Thursday, January 2, 2014

My New Year's Activities and Resolutions

I have a profound hatred for New Year's eve parties and celebrations. I find the whole business about staying up past midnight, and engaging in forced joviality profoundly irritating. I came to have this hatred largely as the result of my many New Year's eve parties overseas where I had to pretend to wish Soviet and GDR representatives a "Happy New Year!" all the while wishing them and their horrid little regimes the worst possible year.

Of late, my New Year's celebrations consist of dodging invites to parties, staying home quietly, and, if awake, going outside to watch my cars depreciate several thousands of dollars at the stroke of midnight. I long ago gave up making New Year's resolutions as I don't recall keeping any. You see, unlike the "theory" of global climate change, such resolutions are falsifiable. You either lose weight or you don't; you stop smoking or you don't; you give up ice cream or you don't. It's all very binary. Unlike the "theory" of global climate change, you cannot claim that a gain in weight means a loss in weight; or cite the cig hanging from your lips as proof you have given up smoking. It's "yes," or "no"; "0" or "1." I don't want to put myself through that.

That does not mean that I don't, at least briefly, engage in a bit of optimism when the clock ticks past midnight on December 31--once I stop fretting about having to collect all my financial info together to get my tax returns ready. This year is no different. As readers of this petite blog know, I tend to the pessimistic side. Pessimism and libertarianism form my default settings. At times, however, I have to attach an asterisk to both, and tweak my outlook a bit--not as much as those global climate change modelers do, but, a tweak nevertheless. On my political beliefs, for example, I am a libertarian except when it comes to foreign policy and national defense. I want the USA and our allies to have the biggest, baddest, most kick ass militaries on the planet so that our mortal enemies--and they do exist--will think twice or thrice before attacking any of us, and if they do, then I want them to find themselves spending the rest of their miserable short lives hiding in caves, sweating through sleepless nights, listening for the drones and the whoosh of death dealing Hellfire missiles, or fearing the arrival of SEAL or SAS shooters with blood in their eyes.

On pessimism. The overall trend line for the West is not positive. Having just a few years ago defeated Soviet Communism, our greatest existential threat since, well, I don't know, the Golden Horde, perhaps, we now find ourselves defeating ourselves. In an effort to "combat" Islamic crazies, for example, we have, for politically correct reasons, refused to focus our energies on the enemy, i.e., the Islamic crazies, and instead destroy our civil liberties and traditions of freedom. Here in the USA, for example, we have moronic TSA agents strip searching blue-haired grandmas while fearing to do anything approaching "profiling" of the people who pose a real threat. We never had this problem before. When, to mention one example, the FBI went after the Italian mafia, they did not feel it incumbent to arrest a few Swedes to balance the arrest stats. For decades, we had restrictions on Nazis and Communists, and survived quite nicely without feeling it necessary to say things such as "ninety-nine percent of all Nazis and Communists are peace-loving and law-abiding."

Demographics are working against freedom in the West, as well. Europe, Canada, Australia, and the USA have insane immigration policies. To argue that, of course, opens one to charges of racism; I reject that, and as I have written many times, race tells you very little useful about any person. I would argue it in terms of national defense. Western society is worth defending and that means controlling how many people come into our societies, and having a means to determine what they will contribute to or cost our societies. A Japanese electrical engineer presumably brings more to our society than do tens-of-thousands of unskilled third world laborers allegedly coming for non-existent jobs and living on the dole. I see nothing wrong with requiring voters to prove they are citizens, but again, demanding that seems to be a sign of racism--except maybe in California where the state now hands out official ids to illegal aliens making the issue moot.

Glimmers of optimism? A few.

In the US, I found encouraging the strong grassroots' reaction to the nonsensical progressive attack on Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty; the verdict in the absurd Zimmerman shooting trial; Obama's dropping opinion polls; the widespread ridicule heaped on the Obamacare roll-out; and a few other events, e.g., the increased willingness of gun owners to fight back against idiotic "gun control" measures, the conservative rebellion against police abuse.

Overseas, the most encouraging development must be the return of a conservative government in Australia. I hope PM Abbott will turn out as good a PM as I think he will. In addition, our northern neighbor Canada is giving us a remarkable demonstration of how you do economic freedom; Alberta and Saskatchewan are now considered the freest areas in North America.

Folks, let's face it, when we talk about the "West" we really mean the Anglosphere. For a variety of reasons, the English-speaking world is the core of the free world. For most of the 20th century, the USA formed the core of the core. That is not true anymore. Both Australia and Canada have passed us in the quest for freedom and in protecting it. We need to catch up--although Canada still has serious problems with hate speech legislation which I pray we do not emulate. I hope we reaffirm our own commitment to freedom, especially to economic liberty which means cutting the size and scope of government.

Without making it a formal resolution, I will try to fight my pessimist tendencies. It would help, of course, to see a massive rejection of the progressive agenda next November--too much to hope for such change?

53 comments:

  1. G'day Dip,

    I'm with you. New Year's Eve parties are a complete waste of the space/time continuum. And who said that the commonly accepted calendar is correct? Why not the Chinese or Jewish New Years or any other perhaps obscure group's concept of the change of years. I suppose we can cross the Mayans off the list as according to their prognostications some centuries ago the world has already ended.

    Personally I hate the politically correct "Common Era" [CE] appellation put on to dates now. As a not so good Jewish boy I much prefer the suffixes BC and AD as I find the Jewish Calendar just too bothersome [sorry Rabbi] and pretty insignificant to the rest of the world.

    As to your wishes for a rejection of the progressive agenda your progressives are doing their best to seriously annoy a fair proportion of your population if what a US friend of mine sent me is correct. It follows.

    Commences.

    Quote of the day by Dianne Feinstein


    Dianne Feinstein: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms."

    Yep, - she really said it in a meeting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee......and the quote below from the LA Times is priceless. Sometimes even the L.A. Times gets it right.

    Kurt Nimmo: "Senator Feinstein insults all U.S. Veterans as she flays about in a vain attempt to save her anti-firearms bill."

    Quote of the Day from the Los Angeles Times:

    "Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close.

    When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're Number One.
    There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up in 'Macbeth'.

    The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab.
    You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words."

    Columnist Burt Prelutsky,
    Los Angeles Times

    Ends.

    If the above is correct this lady[?] is seriously in need of attitudinal readjustment. The Brits call it a "Beasting" and down here a "Bollocking".

    There will come a time in the not too distant future I hope when the Anglosphere wakes up to itself and says to its enemies [and it has a few], "Friend you are about to find out that if you mess with us your life expectancy is pretty limited".

    A close examination of history. starting with ancient Greece, shows us that the west, while slow to start, has an aptitude for total war that others do not.

    I hope it does not come to that and the "talk softly and carry a big stick" style of diplomacy carries the day.

    All the best for November.

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    1. You will find it hard to credit, but the junior senator from California (Boxer) is *even worse* than the senior (Feinstein).

      Apart from la Waters, about whom I know little, these women have husbands whose fortunes bought them into the plutocrat's playhouse that "campaign finance reform" has made of our politics. That's part of it, but surely insufficient for an explanation.

      Another part is that in California--more than anywhere else, apparently--we teach our women to hate men, freedom, and America. Proof positive that our low-rated "public" schools (for you foreigners: government schools) are actually superb at what they're trying to do.

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  2. Dip,
    Down under we have just escaped from 6 years of stupidity that was sold to the people as a caring sharing version of John Howard. Just like the Obama regency we got sold the sizzle and it took 6 years to realise there was no sausage. Instead we got Kevvie who didn't see a policy or a junket he could resist and was way ahead of Barry for selfies and other childish games.

    The progressive luvvies finally gave him the flick and installed Julia the Just. A failed lawyer replete with live in boyfriend straight from the Union casting Office. She was so talented that when it came to balancing the budget she and Kevvie had spent all the money left in the bank by Howard and Costello and have borrowed another 300B while promising to spend even more on other social programs while lowering the defence budget to 1.8% of GDP, the lowest since 1937. Things got so bad the luvvies finally knifed Julia and reinstalled Kevvie such was the talent on offer.

    So although I can understand your pessimistic outlook, it still took us two terms to send them packing and install a proper conservative. I simply cannot believe that the American people will again be fooled by spin and sleight of hand and the false promise of what might have been. The current economic circumstances will in my opinion, and unfortunately, bring many who bought the dream back to reality and reinvigorate the great spirit of enterprise that is embedded in the people of the United States.

    So take heart, this year should be the turning point and even with the great games in the electoral system the people generally get it right if you give them a choice.

    BTW the Kiwis aren't doing to bad at Freedom either and we in Oz have still to get rid of the hate speech nonsense but it is now on the agenda.

    I also hold great hope for Abbott but he has a hard row to hoe and this year will be critical

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    1. " I simply cannot believe that the American people will again be fooled by spin and sleight of hand and the false promise of what might have been."

      You forget that for 80+ years, the American people have been sold a bill of Socialist goods. From FDR's New Deal to Johnson's Great Society to Clinton and Obama shoving collectivism down our throats with the shout that if you object, you are racist, homophobic, bigoted, and a killer of kittens. The educational system has created such uneducated, dumbed down citizens (less than half of Detroit is functionally literate) that ambition has been replaced by entitlement.

      But there is change in the wind. There are now two kinds of Americans; those that will succumb because it is the easy road, and those that are now starting to fight back and say "No more." Chick-fil-a was an anomaly, Phil Robertson has started a movement and a normally docile Christian majority is beginning to realize they have to fight back or succumb to the statists as they raised their voices and multiple TV stations blocked the Parade of the Roses homosexual wedding yesterday. We do not want to be Ireland, Denmark or any of the EuroSocialist nations that are cutting their own throats all in the name of diversity.

      I pray the winds of change are upon us.

      Zane

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    2. I'm not encouraged. The current US Administration has deployed a national security state unlike anything anywhere in all of human history, literally. They have militarized Homeland Security for an expected civil insurgency. None of the scandals of the past 3 years have been resolved, and in the IRS case they continue with the targeting of conservatives. Nothing is being rolled back. Meanwhile it's very likely the US $ will face a crisis/collapse in the next 3 or 4 months, losing its reserve status and thereby causing a broad financial meltdown far worse than the 2007 crisis. And the US mainstream media continues its pathetic 'selfie' moment with Obama. 2014 will be a year of decision. This general US collapse may not have the predicted adverse impact on other economies. Reagan and Thatcher showed the world the way, and most everywhere except the US and Britain have heeded the lesson. For months I've raged against this US endgame, and finally I just stopped caring. The US has had 5 long years of warnings of what lies in store. The only pushback occurs over peripheral events, as with Phil Robertson. Notice that there is still no broad consensus on terminating ObamaCare. Apparently nothing can derail it. America seems determined to destroy itself.

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  3. My dear diplomaddic friend, I am happy to celebrate the New Year for you, so you won't have to.

    I am quibbler enough, however, to dispute that your foreign policy isn't libertarian: it is the best means of preserving liberty from its worst enemies, make our own governments look free and just by comparison. It is only that your foreign policy isn't capital-L Libertarian. More fools the partisans of that party.

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    1. "It would help, of course, to see a massive rejection of the progressive agenda next November--too much to hope for such change?"

      Nothing is too much to hope for. But I fear it is too much to expect.

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  4. The pain inflicted by the ACA has only just begun. Next year will bring shocking news for many people. The numbers affected so far will pale in comparison. We should see a massive push back against the conservative agenda in the mid-terms. So why do I feel so glum? Because no political party has mastered the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory like the Republicans.

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    1. Hi, Carol. Good to meet you.

      Never mind the Republicans for the moment. Do you suppose that the administration won't put off the painful consequences until after the election, or do you suppose that people will learn to anticipate future harms?

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  5. Oh Carol, you are sooo right. As far as I am concerned, the Republican party is dead. We need to encourage all those "Tea Party" types to take over and pledge to fight for individual liberty and economic sanity, no matter what the subject matter brought before the House and Senate. With those items foremost in mind, perhaps we can begin to roll back the absolute insanity that has taken hold in D.C.

    Heaps of blessings upon all my conservative friends and allies, and of course, dear Dip who gives us hope that all is not lost.

    LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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    1. ! Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: BLOCKQUOTE

      <blockquote>As far as I am concerned, the Republican party is dead. We need to...
      --Anonymous</blockquote>

      Your name says it all. If you were actually off your backside doing something you wouldn't be babbling "We need to... blah blah blah" because you'd already be doing it. (No, typing your bellyaching out to strangers isn't Doing Something.)

      It's now 2014. If you haven't got a candidate, filing papers and petitioners ready to go, and a campaign committee with six figures in the bank and pledges from supporters in hand for another seven, you are already too late to affect who's on your ballot in November 2014. At best, you can only make a difference for somebody who is better prepared than you, pajama-gramma. So get your street clothes on, start visiting candidate HQs (avoid the spring rush, right now you might even be able to meet the candidates over coffee and talk with 'em personally), and be ready to volunteer all-in.

      Patriotism is a contact sport. Fight it out with ballots while you still can, grandma.

      Please prove you're not a robot eelymosoi 55

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  6. It seems to be a Western trait that free people have to be pushed to the limit or hurt badly enough before a seismic shift takes place. The great clueless center has to be hurt to the point where they ask what has happened and why "nobody ever told them". Meantime the obvious angers us all while the instigators get away with everything. There is a day of reckoning.

    Has anyone ever noticed there is a stairway to Heaven and a highway to Hell? Says something about volume of traffic.

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    1. The great clueless center has to be hurt to the point where they ask what has happened and why "nobody ever told them".

      That's Whitewall, as concise a diagnostic as I've seen.

      Adding my 2¢ on the actual date for making resolutions, what say we move the date for observing New Year's to January 20ths for the future - make every year a Leap Year?

      January 20ths keep in mind, is the date new Presidents take office.

      Arkie

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    2. Mr. Wall, nice to speak to you again.

      I agree with you in substance, but I disrelish the invidious implied comparison of West to East--a bad habit of our culture so ingrained that you probably did it without even meaning it. So:

      What does it take before a seismic shift takes place among Eastern free people? O, wait, there haven't been any until historically recently, so there's not much of a track record. But, okay, among the Japanese, Indians, South Koreans, and so on, not to mention the Muslims privileged to vote ... the superiority to Western free peoples is not obvious to me.

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    3. a6z, I see you are ABLE to sit up and take nourishment here in this new year. Well done. I suppose I left off the East in my observation, but I saw West in Dips piece and one of my favorite words "Anglosphere" seated close to it. That word causes me to take to my keyboard and commence scribbling as fast as I can. My experiences over the years were with East as in European Iron Curtain years.

      I believe we will witness something tumultuous within China in a very few years. It may be unprecedented and give the East something to contemplate for its collective future. Meanwhile, Japanese women have forgotten what sex is about as their population is declining. The West still remembers what sex is and for the time being, we seem to be doing it to ourselves.

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    4. Things are a little dark around the edges in the Celestial Kingdom!

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    5. Whitewall and James: Back when I was vice consul in Guangzhou, I bought bread and raisins from the Uighur migrants. They had a colony of them behind the train station there. They had these two kinds of "Nan" (I guess anyone with South Asian or Central Asian experience will recognize the term), one of which made a fairly decent pizza crust, the other was sort of like an overgrown bagel, only the hole didn't go all the way through (but it was boiled, then baked--which is how a bagel's made).

      Having heard from old Soviet/Russia hands, my guess is that the Uighur are to China what the Chechens are to Russia-a royal pain and trouble. In Guangzhou, the local Chinese thought I was a fool to have any dealings with the Uighur, for their own police were afraid to go into that part of town (can you imagine? A totalitarian police force right after the successful 1989 crackdown? Afraid of citizens?). I found out that the reason was that some health officers went into the community to "talk" to a couple of Uighur women who'd had too many pregnancies. The house was surrounded by a crowd of men waving knives and threatening to muck with the health officers' and cops' reproduction if they dared suggest mucking with the Uighur women's reproduction. Then again, in rural Guangdong, especially where everyone was related to everyone else, health officers got "disappeared" for being too zealous about the one child policy, too.

      I'm also intrigued by that village of Wukan in Guangdong, which has managed to put non-Communists into its local government after some standoffs with police. And back when I was in Guangzhou, the county of Lufeng, just up the coast, was actually run by smuggling gangs.

      Of course, what I mention here is dated, for I was in Guangzhou back in the early '90's. But I note that the MSM has caught up with the Uighur rebellion; and who knows what else is brewing elsewhere.

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    6. Kepha,
      History shows no government, no matter how all repressive has been able to keep people down forever. Doesn't mean they won't keep trying sometime unfortunately with impressive results, but they all fail in the end. It's the price paid for their folly that's so maddening.

      Delete
    7. Seems there are some Uighur guests at Gitmo that are about to be released if I read correctly. Or is it from a mainland prison? Anyway, with China being such a vast "island" unto itself, there are bound to be many fractures within that are beginning to experience some economic freedom. Humans want more naturally. All it takes is a catalyst like a currency crash and central control being exerted within this mix and poof! Civil wars within China's border that will only make the economic chaos even worse. Could get ugly but couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

      We in the West have a different challenge. We have always known freedom and are now seeing the Statists attempt to regulate it and even control it and take away some. That effort will come to naught in time. I am not a pessimist, but a realist that always leans optimist. We just have to be hurt enough to get angry enough. We will become refuseniks. Things could get ugly but freedom ain't free.

      Delete
    8. "freedom ain't free." Nor can you get it at discount or buy one get one free!

      Delete
    9. Sadly, from my personal experience in the USSR,I can testify that most people did not want freedom, they only wanted more goods, only a small minority were against the system. Many are still nostalgic for the security of the soviet "prison". Just a handful actively resisted, it all collapsed for economic reasons. Sadly, more and more are conditioned to value material security above all. Where do we run next?

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    10. Tatiana, your comment says a great deal about the human condition and freedom. As Robert Heinlein stated the problem - "it is impossible to free a serf or a slave. He or she must free themselves and most are much more terrified of that prospect than they are resentful of being ruled."

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    11. You're right Whitewall, in another apt correlation slavery, nicotine, drink, drugs, are all things that the practitioner alone must heal themselves.

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  7. pmc

    Pretty much what you said. Thanks.

    If we are lucky 2014 will continue the leftist progressive over-step. Billary self identification with deBlasio is a good start.

    yikes. mind bleach. Hag Hillary carriage hack for deBlasio.

    Perhaps God or enemy incompetence will keep us safe, because we got jack for FP.





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  8. Bitter dark humor always works for me, when all the lights of the world have gone out.
    My effort here - and do please feel free to copy and disseminate
    http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/a-prophecy-for-2014/

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    1. Thanks for the link, Celia Hayes. I found it worth following.

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    2. My pleasure - I have some small gifts in the arena of mockery and snark.

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    3. Are you a fan of Ambrose Bierce?

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    4. I am - but as I said, my gifts in that arena are relatively modest. Serviceable in this degraded age and sufficient to the day - but modest in comparison to the masters.

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    5. Excellent! I find the "Devil's Dictionary" a useful manual for dealing with the throngs of silly people I meet on my daily journeys.

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  9. A pessimist is an optimist who was mugged by reality.

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  10. On celebrating New Years, and resolutions:

    My family finds it fitting to celebrate New Year's with a drink at midnight ... Greenwich Mean Time. Which means 7 pm on the East Coast. It just so happens it is during the evening meal, wouldn't you know.

    I made and kept a resolution back in 1975. A resolution that I've kept to this day, and it seems to be one that you have unintentionally also mastered. No more (Deleted) resolutions!

    As to the rest ... Dan Henninger writes in today's Wall Street Journal that it's time for a big league President. He's right, of course, but .....

    Green Bear

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    1. Big league? Does that rule out Bush league? I'll have to find Dan's article.

      Delete
  11. Personally, my New Year's resolution is to blame other people more.
    Feels good, costs little, lots of candidates.

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  12. "Canada still has some serious problems with hate speech legislation which I hope we do not emulate."

    I fantasize that every US legislator or judge who wants to emulate "hate speech" laws gets impeached and thrown out of office; failing that, tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

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    1. We definitely have some problems having allowed too many progressive politicians too much leeway in enacting stupid "hate" speech legislation.

      Though I have to say I would prefer to have that problem, and some stout resistance from the likes of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant rather than a president who does not understand the constitution and the effect of his own law and NO apparent resistance from anybody except Diplomad and Protein Wisdom. Of course the Trayvon Martin thing also exposed how weak the support was for free speech and an independent judiciary.

      I would say the USA is dire circumstances, Canada has some annoying problems.

      Delete
    2. Agree, agree, agree . . . sigh . . . .

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    3. Thank you Diplomad, it brings me no pleasure to criticize the USA, I hope it is obvious that I am in fact criticizing your president-the halfrican princess. You are always a gracious host in that regard.

      Please keep up your incisive commentary of the woeful state of modern politics-Canada included.

      Delete
  13. paul vincent zecchinoJanuary 2, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Caution: losing one's pessimistic tendencies can cause dangerous psychotic breaks with reality.

    New Years always was amateur night. And the idea of watching that stupid ball dump, and especially this year given who did the dropping. Forget it.

    New Year's aft, an enjoyable forced three-mile march through lovely Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island, FL Gulf Coast. Then home, a friend joined my wife and me to watch "Mao's Last Dancer" onna TV whilst I provided accompanying color comments read from websites on the sunny subjects of mao, lin piao, and other spirochetes.

    Turned in to read about 2315L, enjoying bucolic sounds of ashcans and cherry bombs detonating up and down the Key, this area retaining some of its southern flavor.

    Forget resolutions. For the fakes and eternal optimists and Village Damned only. No point. Never could keep them, human imperfection being what it is, things are bleak and will only degenerate: for each vigorous mile walked, one gains eight pound. Dieting? Gains another fifty.

    Still, one does what one must to remain a step ahead of the Affordable Genocide Act.

    Until My Own Private Rwanda comes to pass, life's pretty good.

    But then again, I'm a pessimist.

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  14. One step past hate speech: hate crime
    That already exists to create unequal protection.
    Needs to go on the New Years Rejections.

    - reader #1482

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  15. I don't know of any culture more ferociously committed to its own self-destruction than is the the modern western world

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  16. Replies
    1. Yep, every once in awhile Herr Professor swoops down and helps me get on the horse . . .

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    2. Hah! Horse ridden well! Congrats on the appearance.

      Delete
  17. I agree with your stance: libertarian domestically, but with a robust military. What I don;t understand, however, is the "but." Why is a strong military considered non-libertarian?

    (This question is not necessarily addressed to the author, but to any libertarians in the audience.)

    How does a large military limit our liberty? How does a small military enhance it?

    I have asked this question of our local Libertarian party representatives. They respond that a big military is expensive. OK, that's a valid *economic* argument, but I don't see how it is a *liberty* argument. Same with the argument that the military is wasteful. Yes -- so is every other branch of government. What makes military waste an especial threat to our liberty?

    Or they will argue that recent military excursions have been disastrous for American foreign policy. Again, perfectly valid -- as a *foreign policy* argument. But I'm not seeing what it has to do with our liberty. (For that matter, I don't see what the *size* of the military -- which is what they ostensibly object to -- has to do with whether or not the military is being poorly used. Seems to me a small military is just as capable of being put to poor use as a big one.)

    These questions are in earnest. I do honestly agree with most libertarian stances, but I truly do not see how the size of the military has anything to do with them. can anyone enlighten me? thanks.

    -- Gene D.

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    1. I agree with you that a strong military is a very libertarian ideal. I'm not sure where the meme of libertarians against a strong military comes from, but I acknowledge that it's clearly out there.
      The only way to secure a libertarian state against foreign aggressors is with a strong military.
      The lines get blurred with agencies like the NSA and CIA (intelligence/paramilitary), particularly if they're operating (partially or fully) within borders.
      I don't think a 'libertarian' ideology really prescribes a particular foreign policy, but defense of that liberty via military strength is vital.

      - reader #1482

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    2. I posed this libertarian question to a couple of libertarian types that I know, especially the part as it relates to a threat to liberty. They are still hemming and hawing over it. Makes me wonder just how deep libertarian thinking actually runs outside two or three basic notions. Maybe my libertarian friends are "mugwump isolationists".

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    3. My understanding regarding the opposition to a "big" military is that "it incentivizes actions on the far abroad."

      What the ahem, "Properly Libertarians" seem not to've paid attention to was Rumsfeld's "Well, we go to war with the Army we've got and not the Army we want."

      So. My response when I'm in the company of Proper Libertarians is, "Y'all might recall a couple decades back it was established truth we'd never again be in danger of a Pearl Harbor happening and that was pretty much true until them Wahabbi-guys took up flight training?"

      Arkie

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  18. The quote attributed to D. Feinstein seems to be apocryphal. I could care less about her 'reputation', but assume that you'd want to be accurate.

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  19. The three harpies of California politics -- Dianne, Barbara and Nancy Pelosi -- live in SF and Marin County, mere moments from one another. The Bay Area is a locus of left-wing infection unrivaled in the nation.

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  20. "Both Australia and Canada have passed us"
    Thanks but strictly speaking, I don't think it was us that passed you on the way to freedom. I think you passed us going the other way.
    PeteEE

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  21. Diplomad?

    Via malcolmpollack.com ... what's your take on this?

    http://shoebat.com/2013/08/23/evidence-u-s-bribed-egypts-muslim-brotherhood/

    Arkie

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