Posts by danielmryan

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  • Smoking Pot and Tying the Knot

    12/12/2012 7:19:01 PM PST · 99 of 107
    danielmryan to ansel12
    Conservative activism? Thanks.

    Well then...good luck. To be frank, you have your own way and having the likes of me on board would likely be an impediment to you. Again, best of luck. Goodbye and Godspeed.

  • Smoking Pot and Tying the Knot

    12/12/2012 3:40:07 PM PST · 93 of 107
    danielmryan to ansel12
    Your opinion, pal. Lotsa luck with your own activism.
  • Smoking Pot and Tying the Knot

    12/12/2012 2:42:11 PM PST · 88 of 107
    danielmryan to ansel12
    I've been thinking on what you said re. smoking, and I've figured out why the libertarians are less insistent upon rolling back the smoking bans. Here's my take on why:
    1. The second-hand-smoking issue complicates things. Now, I know that the experiments are often set up to reach the politically correct conclusion. But, unlike with global warming, there isn't an active community of skeptics that recurrently debunk the findings. Junk science second-hand-smoke studies may be, but you not only have to prove it, you also have to have an active community (including scientists) rallying to the cause. (And even then it's tough, as the global-warming issue has shown.) There's been no Climategate in second-hand smoke studies. And, if it proves that second-hand-smoke does cause deleterious effects, then second-hand smoke would have to be pegged as a kind of pollution (aggression) by libertarians.
    2. Smokers may complain but are nevertheless obedient. There's no open cadre of smokers that flout the smoking ban. That's very much unlike Prohibition, where the Volstead Act was frequently and openly broken. Laws that are openly flouted over a wide swath of society (not just in the projects!) are perceived to have something wrong with them.
    3. Despite recent attempts to obliterate the distinction, there's still a hard difference between the civil law and the criminal law. In everyday life, that means a hard distinction between a fine and jail time. That's why laws like speeding laws are regularly flouted but aren't the centre of a mass movement to repeal. If you get a traffic ticket, it's almost like getting a tax bill. The only people who go to court over those tickets are people who want to fight them. No jail time is directly involved. The lawmakers have really picked their spots on traffic laws: the only jailable offenses are ones that either involve outright aggression, have been credibly depicted as tantamount to outright aggression, or represent driving that's typically reckless. For the rest, it's little more than forking over the money. Same goes for the anti-smoking laws.
    What I'm trying to get across is that the marijuana laws are low-hanging fruit for libertarian activists. There's no cluster of studies that say second-hand marijuana smoke causes damage to someone else, so there's no widely-claimed third-party effects to complicate the issue. The marijuana laws are widely flouted, including in middle-class circuits: a law that's widely disregarded by people who are law-abiding at heart is easy to cast as too strict. Combine that with jail time, not just a ticket, and you conjure up the image of (otherwise) law-abiding people being hauled off to the hoosegow and Bubba. What's made marijuana repeal do-able is the fact that the typical marijuana user does not show the behaviour patterns of the typical criminal - just as the typical illegal drinker in the Prohibition era did not show those patterns either. This last point is important. You may have noticed that libertarians are for open borders at the theoretical level, but they're for a lot of things at the theoretical level. In terms of activism, they haven't been pushing amnesty. Had their mission in life solely been to festoon libertarianism with liberal glamour, they would have. But, for now anyway, little Pedro is doing without them.

    One of the main reasons why the Brits' mercantilist laws were seen as tyrannical in the American colonies was the fact that many people made their living through smuggling - and were men of integrity. In other words, they were the opposite of the stereotypical "black marketeer." Their inner integrity was enough to impress their fellow Americans into seeing the laws as unjust. If there's any point that's decisive in re unjust laws, it would be this one. People who are law-abiding through and through, but who nevertheless break a specific law, put the question mark on the law itself. Smokers, on the other hand, are obedient, so the question mark remains unput. Sort-of like the TSA.

    And, I should add, libertarian support for repealing prostitution laws was stuck in the theoretical bubble until the trade itself became gentrified. As long as "what about the pimps?" is a decisive question, even a libertarian recognizes that there's no point in pressing the issue with activism.

    To sum up, the behaviour of all-too-many marijuana smokers themselves, combined with the severity of the marijuana laws, make repeal a winning issue. If FedGov were stupid enough to make possession of a handgun a jailable offense, you can bet that there'd be a bevy of libertarian activists agitating for repeal. That issue would be even more of a winner than repeal of the marijuana laws.

    That said, winning on repeal would be a major notch in the belt for libertarian activists. Winning encourages them, perhaps enough to throw some muscle behind the repeal of those smoking prohibitions and other "health n' safety" neoPuritanism.

  • Benevolent Sexism

    12/12/2012 6:24:11 AM PST · 8 of 19
    danielmryan to Servant of the Cross
    Ever notice that feminists have no objection to a protective and controlling government? (Unless headed up by Republicans?)
  • Women in combat a really, really bad idea

    12/11/2012 11:28:46 PM PST · 55 of 84
    danielmryan to ReformationFan
    This makes way too much sense for many in today's world to understand.

    Many of the "many" are people who picked up the notion that boot camp has little or nothing to do with the skills needed to soldier in the field. The types who think that boot camp is all about "domination," or breaking soldiers to the harness, with the tasks themselves being ancillary to the purportedly main purpose.

    That's the type who thinks that the training standards are "arbitrary" - i.e., have little or nothing to do with skills needed on the field when soldiering.

    There are lots of people like that about. Granted that they tend to be civvies and/or bookworms, but they have influence in Congress.

  • Masked gunman kills self after opening fire at Oregon mall, killing 2

    12/11/2012 7:49:25 PM PST · 21 of 61
    danielmryan to GeronL
    I have seen a girl who could fill out paperwork for her dad when she was a kid to being someone who can barely be bothered to read at all.

    Myself, I used to thoroughly read the instructions to a new board game for the rest of the family and then explain to everyone how to play. Now, on the very occasional time I start a new computer game, I barely have the patience to nail down the basics.

    And, as for sobriety, I barely drink. [Not that I'm a teetotaler: far from it. The time just slips away.]

    So, I think that the onset of "glorious puberty" has something to do with it. :)

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson calls for a ‘major strike’ after Michigan right-to-work laws pass

    12/11/2012 7:36:05 PM PST · 37 of 57
    danielmryan to re_nortex
    In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.... Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer....

    And the students will have to pay attention in economics class ;)

  • The Only Thing Left for the Republican Party is its Obituary

    12/11/2012 12:47:42 AM PST · 50 of 56
    danielmryan to x
    Politics is growing more ideological and more lobbyist-dominated at the same time and at the same pace.

    The two trends have gone hand in hand in recent years. Why that is, I don't know.

    People who are more ideological have easier-to-press hot buttons. Among other metiers, lobbyists are good button-pushers.

    But so are professional politicians. If a lobbyist relied on button-pushing when lobbying politicians, he'd just be scoffed at and no elected politician would take him seriously.

  • Half of America: I'd kill to protect my own

    12/10/2012 11:47:39 PM PST · 33 of 43
    danielmryan to Perseverando
    The poll, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 3 with a margin of error of 3.14 percentage points, showed 58 percent of Americans would be somewhat or very willing to kill someone if a member of their family was threatened with attack during an emergency.

    But that would be because 50 percent expect that within two weeks of a catastrophic emergency, their home, person or family member would be physically attacked by someone desperate for food, money or commodities like gasoline.

    Yeesh. If the sample base is reflective of America, and not a chimera from a false consensus, then austerity time is going to be rough.

    One thing I remember from the Hostess bankruptcy: when good times turn to bad, camaraderie turns to acrimony. During the Great Depression, despite the lurid tales of bank robbers, crime declined. Back then, hard times lessened acrimony: brought people to their senses, in a way.

    It's a safer bet that those days are gone.

  • Half of America: I'd kill to protect my own

    12/10/2012 11:42:35 PM PST · 32 of 43
    danielmryan to Marcella
    Bothersome...but if you look it another way, it's a dead-flat counterexample to the liberal stereotype of the crazed vigilantish gun owner.
  • The Distributional Issue ... is Extremely Important

    12/10/2012 11:39:30 PM PST · 106 of 111
    danielmryan to Uncle Miltie
    That's an interesting graph: it strongly suggests that the top marginal tax rate has little or no correlation with the tax take as percentage of GDP.
  • Disowned for Voting Republican: Part II

    12/10/2012 10:39:09 PM PST · 165 of 166
    danielmryan to Behind the Blue Wall
    Thanks, and welcome.
  • Disowned for Voting Republican: Part II

    12/10/2012 10:24:25 PM PST · 163 of 166
    danielmryan to Behind the Blue Wall
    I definitely agree that the Left has white people cowering in the corner when it comes to race, and that’s a big part of the problem. Just last night, I got into a conversation with a neighbor. It turns out that he’s descended from the Scottish people who were sent over by the British to hold the Ulster Plantation in Ireland for the Crown. I started to talking about the history of that group, and he said something to the effect that they have a lot of answer for in history. That’s so wrong; Scots-Irish have been on the bottom of basically every society that they’ve been a part of, never part of the ruling class, never the beneficiaries of much in the way of privilege or wealth. But here he is apologizing for them as if they were the worst oppressors in history.

    Believe it or not, part of it is vanity. If I'm powerful enough to be an oppressor, then I'm powerful. If I feel guilt, then I'm using my power responsibly. If I'm powerful enough to halt climate change by driving a bike, then I'm powerful. If I have "white skin privilege," then I'm of the privileged classes. And so on.

  • Disowned for Voting Republican: Part II

    12/10/2012 10:00:08 PM PST · 162 of 166
    danielmryan to Behind the Blue Wall
    As someone who's a Canadian and with Irish heritage, I found your father-in-law's remarks fascinating. They're reminiscent of old Irish-Catholic arguments to keep Irish Catholics "votin' the right way."

    I don't have any family legend to go on, but I imagine they went something like these:

    • "Think of the bright-eyed Irish children when they see a fellow Irish Catholic in the office. Would you deny them their confidence?"
    • "Why would you make the Irish boys so sad, which they will be if they see yet another Brit lording it over them?"
    • "The trouble with you is, you're too trusting. The Brits you see in the Episcopal Church are the same Brits that caused the Great Potato Famine."
    • "'Corrupt?' Let me assure you that the Prods will cheat you faster than you can say 'where's my wallet?' When you consider how the Brits and Prods cheat decent men every day, a few little fiddles look like nothing. We're way more sinned against than sinning."
    • "See this sign? It says 'Dogs And Irishmen Not Permitted.' Unless you vote the right way, you're voting for me, us and you to be treated like dogs."
    • "Granted, he's not a saint. But the Prods always have a hidden agenda. When they say 'reform', they mean getting rid of your fellow Irishmen and throwing them into the flop house. Nothing more."
    • (etc.)
    Do you see the psychological pressure being applied here? The mix of sentimentality and the appeal to group loyalty? If you ever wondered why a bunch of decent people would stick with a political machine, the above list should open your eyes. It was far more than micro-bribery that did the trick.

    What many don't understand about machines is, they rise and fall on emotional support. Those pressure tactics, repeated by decent people as they seem decent, reinforce the emotional bond and provide a major psychological deterrent to breaking out.

    Your father-in-law's attempt to dissuade you is noticeably revealing. It reveals the mind-set of a decent man who's emotionally tied to a kind of political machine. If you're of the mind, you could ask him to get his friends to "talk sense" into you too. You'll see similar pressure tactics - and some you didn't even know existed.

  • Obama: Look at Michigan to See How Unions Built America’s Middle Class

    12/10/2012 7:31:54 PM PST · 55 of 151
    danielmryan to Slyfox
    Private enterprise built the original Michigan middle class.

    Actually, with respect to America, the middle class was already there. It was just known by a different name.

    Back in the age of aristocracy, the term "middle class" wasn't used at all. The division was between the High and the Low. The High were royalty, aristocracy, knighthood and gentry. The Low were commoners.

    But as society progressed through the Middle Ages and afterwards, a third class developed. Distinctively, they were people without the authority to lord it over others but also beholden to none. Unlike the peasant, they were free.

    It's this class that was the original middle class. In America, they were known as "yeomen farmers" because America started off agricultural. A yeoman farmer was not wealthy or powerful, but he owned his own land and answered to no man: he only answered to the law of the land.

    When you see this, you'll realize that America began as a middle-class nation. Those yeoman farmers had signature middle-class virtues like diligence, forethought and courtesy. They also had a surprisingly high literacy rate long before the first public school opened.

    [For the last, you can thank Protestantism. Sola scriptura doesn't mean a lot if you don't know how to read Scripture. Consequently, the Protestants saw literacy as a religious duty except for slaves. The Catholics, of course, followed suit.]

    So you could say with a lot of accuracy that America was always middle class. The yeoman farmer, and his analog in the trades, put the drop on the notion that the American middle class is peculiarly modern. The liberals who like to claim the unions built the middle class are like the EPA ideologues who like to claim that the EPA is responsible for the clean air in the countryside.

  • George Will: “Opposition to Gay Marriage is Dying—It’s Old People”

    12/10/2012 6:45:06 PM PST · 54 of 138
    danielmryan to ilgipper
    There's also a third aspect. As the number of laws multiply, and more of our activities become compelled or forbidden, there's a compensatory lunge for freedom - particularly in the personal-lifestyle area. You can't really peg that as libertarian, because many of the lungers would flat-out reject the libertarian alternative.

    If you're in chains and the chains are chafing, seeing someone else's chain cut can provide a psychological boost. That's why prisoners cheer on (and even help) escapees even though they themselves are not one iota freer as a result. If society is overlawed into becoming a kind of prison, you'll see the same attitude in the general public.

    Unfortunately, in too many cases, freedom-lungers are reacting emotionally rather than acting rationally.

  • Governor signs Amendment 64, marijuana officially legal in Colorado

    12/10/2012 6:12:59 PM PST · 96 of 116
    danielmryan to CodeToad
    Ironic that liberals think making guns legal means murders everywhere while Republicans think making pot legal means potheads everywhere, as though their own kids aren’t smoking pot in high school and college already.

    Yes, it is. Of course, there's a different irony in the fact that all mind-altering substance were legal in 1900 - all of them, including heroin - and 1900 was like, well, 1900.

    Widespread welfare does introduce a different dynamic, but that's a dynamic all its own. The Controlled Substances Act has not prevented the welfare culture from getting out of hand. Nor would Prohibition have, come to think of it. It's cold comfort to know that you've been flash-mobbed by fifty clean and sober ferals.

    The way I see it, there are two arguments that the drug prohibitionists rely upon with regards to the welfare culture:

    1. Without the Controlled Substance Act, the welfare culture would be worse than it already is.
    2. Without the Controlled Substances Act, more middle-class people would fall into the welfare culture.
    The first is dubious because the welfare culture already accommodates lawlessness. (Reminiscent of gun control!) As for the second - well, Colorado will show and tell.
  • Governor signs Amendment 64, marijuana officially legal in Colorado

    12/10/2012 5:52:46 PM PST · 92 of 116
    danielmryan to Morgana
    Was wondering how this would affect drug tests now.

    Simple answer: if marijuana is as legal as alcohol, then the precedents established for alcohol tests kick in. For example, airline companies are perfectly within their rights to bench any pilot or co-pilot that's drank in the last 24 hours. Trucking companies are likely obligated to bench a driver that's had enough of a tipple to make the breathalyzer frown on them. I believe those rights extend to the right to fire for chronic reprobates. As a general rule, if alcohol testing is permitted then marijuana testing would be.

    One interesting unknown (to me, anyway) is welfare recipients. Does a state or municipality have the right to test for drunkenness, or does it violate a welfare recipient's "rights?" If the former, then they can be tested for marijuana use.

  • 'He's treated like the worst of the worst': Sandusky put on hard routine...

    12/09/2012 12:52:19 PM PST · 16 of 46
    danielmryan to Morgana
    And that's what he gets for doing what he's done: it's called "justice." End of story.
  • School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

    12/09/2012 10:33:50 AM PST · 19 of 28
    danielmryan to SkyDancer
    Sort of like a balloon payment then. The investors don’t see a dime until the bond matures? Then the borrower can file bankruptcy and not pay and those bond holders are out their investment. Right???

    Doesn't look too good when you're on the other side, does it?

    That's why the early zeroes (or "strip bonds") sold to the public were stripped U.S. Treasury bonds. Theoretically, Treasuries have zero credit risk.

    What you pointed out did happen at the end of the '80s in the junk-bond arena. The whizzes at Drexel started peddling so-called "payment in kind" junk bonds, which were essentially zeroes. Your interest payment was more junk bonds of the same issue.

    Needless to say, those deals didn't end all that well.

  • School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

    12/09/2012 9:52:47 AM PST · 17 of 28
    danielmryan to SkyDancer
    That’s one heck of a vig. to pay.

    It's not that bad if you consider the time factor. Ever hear of zero-coupon bonds? You might not have, because they've faded from view, but they were fashionable in the 1980s. Sometimes, they were promoted as the perfect investment for an IRA.

    Essentially, a zero-coupon bond is a bond whose coupons (interest payments) are stripped off and sold elsewhere. What's left is the principal payment on maturity. You can take a 30-year Treasury bond and make it into a "zero" by splitting the interest payments from the bond itself and assigning them elsewhere. Zero chop shops sold the coupons to different clients.

    Since these bond pay nothing - nada - until the maturity date, they sell at a huge discount to the payoff at maturity. In essence, the huge discount is compensation for the nada you get over the life of the bond.

    Back in the mid and late-1980s, you could still get 8% on long-term Treasuries. A twenty-five year zero would pay nothing over the life of the bond, except at the end. To yield 8%, a $1,000 twenty-five-year zero-coupon bond would have to be sold for only $146.

    That's how the math works. In order to yield 8%, that zero has to be sold at about 1/7th of face value. The huge payout at the end is compensation for being locked out of any payment for the entire twenty-five years: for getting nothing until the big payday.

    A "capital appreciation bond" is a zero-coupon bond. From that article, I inferred that one of them had a wait period of forty years (!) No joke: a forty-year CAP that pays off $15 per dollar of original loan yields a wee bit more than 7%. Seven percent per year: that's how the compound-interest math works out.

    So the vig looks huge only because it's pushed back into a lump sum at the end.

    (I found that, when some dealie seems outrageous, that it's best to imagine I'm on the other side of the transaction...)

  • On Strange Names and the Curse of Individualism

    12/08/2012 9:21:47 PM PST · 121 of 172
    danielmryan to This I Wonder32460; Verginius Rufus
    It's more common to use the mother's maiden name for the boy's middle name. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and so on. The idea behind it is to honour the mother.

    I'm one of those. My mother's maiden name was Mackenzie, and my full name is Daniel Mackenzie Ryan.

  • Are Preppers responsible for the unprepared?

    12/08/2012 8:26:55 PM PST · 54 of 182
    danielmryan to Marcella
    This cry baby woman must have met me somewhere - maybe at Kroger while I was buying all the food in the store so she couldn’t have any.

    Oh yeah, right. It's only selfish right wingers who believe that Kroger's wants to maximize profit by keeping the shelves stocked ;)

  • Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?

    12/08/2012 8:13:03 PM PST · 76 of 90
    danielmryan to muawiyah
    on the other hand liberal larry’s ne’r do well brother in law would see in perogie a guy who created jobs and is concerned ~ so even though the two agree on everything, the BIL would vote or perogie and liberal larry might vote for Bush ~ imagining Clinton to be a clown.

    Again, good point - but Liberal Larry would have to put aside the complaints of his fellow liberals about Bush's "Willie Horton" ad. Although his moral universe is limited, Liberal Larry has one very predictable aversion: he doesn't want to be on the side of the "oppressor."

    As for Larry's BIL, he's not a bad stand-in for Moderate Moe: the real prize.

  • Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?

    12/08/2012 7:32:39 PM PST · 68 of 90
    danielmryan to muawiyah
    perogie wasn't appealing to a real middle ~ he was appealing to factions in whole or in part already well ensconsed inside the Democrat and Republican parties.

    He touched some nerves and got some votes. The electoral vote system more or less ignored him...

    Okay. You've got political experience that I lack, and your take does ring true. Coalition-building, pasting together several factions, is where it's at.

    It just occurred to me: if I were Liberal Larry, and I liked what I saw in Perot, I'd see his protectionism as a new and better way to punish big corporations with higher taxes. (A tariff is a tax.)

    Needless to say, Liberal Larry's moral universe begins and ends with supporting those deemed "disadvantaged" or "victims." Any other appeal to morals browns Larry right off.

  • Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?

    12/08/2012 6:43:18 PM PST · 58 of 90
    danielmryan to Yashcheritsiy
    I don’t see why we have to remain tied to the GOP. Saying that we have to be is simply simpleminded and a lack of imagination. The GOP can go away, and we’ll be none the worse for it. Better to build something else using conservative GOPers, conservative independents, while picking off some Democrats who lean to the Right but haven’t given up their Party yet because the GOP doesn;t really offer a better alternative.

    If you're going to go this way, I humbly suggest you look over the current minor parties that offer a conservative alternative (eg., Constitution Party) and find out why they failed to click with millions. Once you find out what's stopping them, you'll know what traps to avoid - and when to call it a day if those traps prove to be unavoidable.

    If you have Ross Perot in the back of your mind, please keep in mind that he's a supersalesman. He started up EDS because, as an IBM salesman, he met his full-year quota in a few weeks! And as a result, he was told to take it easy for the rest of the year by IBM management. Declining, he started up EDS and made a mint selling computer time-share services.

    Here's the point. Ross Perot did not invent the computer. He did not invent time-sharing. Instead, he brilliantly marketed the two. That's his strength: marketing and selling a product that's already been put in place for him to sell. He managed to see ways that computers and time-sharing could make his customers more productive, and he ginned himself up to believe in his solutions passionately. That's what good salespeople do.

    When he ran in '92, he needed a platform. He needed a platform that he could sell the h*** out of. As a natural marketer, he figured out quickly that the best "product" would aim at the centre. It would have to be one that appealed to both Republicans and Democrats. It would have to be a platform that would be eagerly welcomed by disgruntled conservative and disgruntled moderates and liberals. He needed all three as a "prospect base" in order to maximize his campaign's appeal.

    And, of course, he needed a single theme to knit his program together. A single concept is much easier to sell than a bullet-point list.

    So, his platform had to have:

    • A single theme;
    • A natural appeal to liberals and moderates as well as conservatives;
    • A ready-to-wear package as the true centre;
    • And, it had to make mainstream liberals and mainstream conservatives look "extreme" as well as "obstructionist."
    Thus, he settled upon populist protectionism: that "giant sucking sound" of his infomercial. Carefully crafted, by a genuine supersalesman, to make both liberals and conservatives look bad.

    Perot aimed at the centre. He aimed at the centre because that's where the most prospects were. That's why, before his meltdown, he was a serious contender. He aimed at the centre with a very enticing populist twist, which made both established parties look ineffectual as well as "ideological." He eschewed any policy that could be credibly tarred as "extreme" by his opponents.

    So...if your third party idea is going to get off the ground, you'll all but have to aim at the centre. You have to make a home for disgruntled liberals and moderates as well as conservatives. You need a single policy, like Perot's protectionism, that ticks off both Democrat insiders and Republican insiders. One that gets splutters out of establishment conservatives as well as establishment liberals, like Ross Perot's protectionism did. That way, you can position yourself as offering a middle way between the two extremes. As an anti-ideologue battling two parties full of ideologues. As someone who can cut through the liberal nonsense and the conservative nonsense. Unless you have both, you've cut yourself off from most of your prospects and are likely to fall into the "splinter party" or "too extreme for the extremists" trap.

    And...in order to reach that goal, you have to eschew any policy that would scare off disgruntled moderates and disgruntled liberals. You have to get to them all, as did Perot in his heyday.

    As I hope I've indicated, it's a tall order - and likely requires a supersalesperson to see it through.

  • Maher: Obama Should Implement Carbon Tax As A “Personal &#!@ You to the Koch Brothers”

    12/08/2012 5:16:05 PM PST · 17 of 42
    danielmryan to WhistlingPastTheGraveyard
    And the libertarians have really got the Left coming and going, albeit subtly. Have you come across the epithet "Kochtopus?" It was coined by none other than Murray N. Rothbard.
  • Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House

    12/08/2012 5:07:33 PM PST · 41 of 54
    danielmryan to moovova; AnonymousConservative
    There's a little more to it than that, at least from my reading. Notice the bias of the "expert" that the reporter brought in? It's the typical court-historian bias. A "great" Speaker becomes "great" by accumulating power. Boehner stands out in that expert's eyes because he's increased his power, not diminished it, over the course of his term.

    Now, what would happen if a Tea Party Speaker accumulates such power?

    Give that court-historian bias, the NPR lefties would be in a quandary. On the one hand, they'd want to knife the guy. But on the other hand, their court-historian side would incline them to sing the guy's praises and even lick his boots. After all, their metric of success is power, isn't it?

    There's a good chance they'd end up stumbling all over each other, with the head NPRer calling it "balanced."

  • PSY Apologizes for “Kill Those #—ing Yankees” Rap; “Gangnam” Star ”Will Forever Be Sorry”

    12/08/2012 4:27:56 PM PST · 45 of 46
    danielmryan to mylife
    Thanks.
  • PSY Apologizes for “Kill Those #—ing Yankees” Rap; “Gangnam” Star ”Will Forever Be Sorry”

    12/07/2012 9:49:10 PM PST · 38 of 46
    danielmryan to dfwgator
    Or to quote Elvis Costello, “I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly.”

    You've hit upon the other side. Anyone who's kept their eye on Greece knows that the people who get "free stuff" from the government are far more aggressive with their demands than are taxpayers' groups that are trying to protect themselves.

    I don't know why that's so, but it's a well-ensconced part of our world.

  • Fiscal Cliff Means 50% Tax Rates For The Middle Class

    12/07/2012 8:37:04 PM PST · 18 of 32
    danielmryan to blam
    What I find interesting about this article is the fact that American corporations are undertaking proactive tax planning so openly. It's almost as if the boards of directors listen to the Dem talk about "their fair share" and say, "ya, ri-i-i-ight."

    Not even lip service anymore. How soon before Middle Class Joe follows suit?

  • Fiscal Cliff Means 50% Tax Rates For The Middle Class

    12/07/2012 8:32:43 PM PST · 17 of 32
    danielmryan to blam
    Isn't it charming how the cops trust their snitches so much /s
  • Fiscal Cliff Means 50% Tax Rates For The Middle Class

    12/07/2012 8:29:42 PM PST · 16 of 32
    danielmryan to The Louiswu
    Every lib I've ever talked to said we should all pay more taxes, a little more, our fair share and when I ask them how much more, how much is "my fair share" or what percentage of my income do I get to keep...all I hear is nothing.

    Well, you can credit them for some honesty in the matter...because there is no answer. There's no way to quantify it without slipping in at least one "ought."

  • Pearl Harbor 2.0

    12/07/2012 8:11:28 PM PST · 11 of 15
    danielmryan to Standing Wolf
    If it's in Time, I'm at least deeply skeptical of it.

    What surprised me about it is that WW2 revisionism is outré even here. Time ain't exactly Taki's Top Drawer.

  • Dems look to Obama to punish Michigan over labor vote

    12/07/2012 8:05:04 PM PST · 53 of 60
    danielmryan to jazusamo
    I don’t know if marijuana is legal there but it sounds like Whitmer is smoking lots of it.

    I was wondering about the voters. The woman certainly has a talent for shocking.

    From what I recall, Teddy Kennedy secretly conspired with the KGB to trip up President Reagan in 1983. But he never was so, er, "bold" to publicly call upon the United Nations or GATT to punish the United States.

  • The Washington Post Company Accelerates Payment of 2013 Dividends

    12/07/2012 7:00:17 PM PST · 11 of 22
    danielmryan to george76
    Guess what? 23.4% of the Washington Post is owned by none other than Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway.
  • PSY Apologizes for “Kill Those #—ing Yankees” Rap; “Gangnam” Star ”Will Forever Be Sorry”

    12/07/2012 6:57:34 PM PST · 28 of 46
    danielmryan to ConradofMontferrat
    Thanks. To be frank I didn't know my earlier past came across as convoluted.

    A simpler way to put it: a lot of people in the region see "Uncle Sam" as someone who says, "You didn't build that!"

  • Dems look to Obama to punish Michigan over labor vote

    12/07/2012 6:54:33 PM PST · 50 of 60
    danielmryan to jazusamo
    So...what we got here is a senior Senator of a state who publicly asks the President of the United States to punish that same state by withholding funds. A Senator who, by any common-sensical gauge, is supposed to be looking out for the state. And, who's publicly asking the President of the United States to punish that same state by withholding funds.

    Is marijuana legal there too?

  • Pearl Harbor 2.0

    12/07/2012 6:31:41 PM PST · 2 of 15
    danielmryan to Theoria
    WWII revisionism? In Time??
  • PSY Apologizes for “Kill Those #—ing Yankees” Rap; “Gangnam” Star ”Will Forever Be Sorry”

    12/07/2012 6:20:06 PM PST · 24 of 46
    danielmryan to mylife
    I will never understand why young S Koreans hate us so much when we brought them such prosperity.

    This should help. People resent showing gratitude when they have a good case for their success being due to their own efforts. I.e., "I got this house because I busted my hiney for twenty years. Why should I get down on my knees and genuflect to Uncle Sam?"

    Then, a certain dynamic kicks in. "You should be grateful." "To H*** with that! Why don't I tell 'em to stick it, instead?" In the Japanese language, the words for "gratitude" in come contexts connote "resentment."

    It's tough to take, but there's a lighter side to it. People like that, albeit slowly and usually quietly, eventually get the idea that they shouldn't be all that grateful to their own governments either. It's a good bet that a lot of mainland Chinese entrepreneurs are (quietly and secretly) wondering why they should be so grateful to "St. Mao."

  • The GOP and Social Issues: Sophomoric Arguments at the Wall Street Journal

    12/07/2012 5:25:13 PM PST · 7 of 11
    danielmryan to NYer
    I'm sure that no-one here would support Gary North's Reconstructionism, but he definitely has his moments as a political observer. In Conspiracy In Philadelphia, he goes into depth about how the Founders - and the American elite of the time - had their worldview shaped by Newtonian mechanics. We all know that they were profoundly shaped by the Enlightenment, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, but they were also profoundly influenced by Newton's "natural philosophy."

    As "social scientists," they saw themselves as designing a structure of government in the spirit of Newton. The ideal Newtonian system is one where the forces manifesting themselves naturally both complement and balance each other off so as to keep the system stable. Like the solar system or a well-designed structure, the checks and balances operate as a whole to keep the system together. Thus, it's most stable when every component is left to move (or exert a force) of its own accord. Meddling with the structure makes it weaker, and more prone to collapse. Thus, meddlers are prone to do harm regardless of their "good intentions." Most likely, they don't know what they're doing.

    "You don't like that there wall in the middle of the room? Well, it's structural. You take it down, regardless of how more spacious or prettier it makes the room, you weaken the whole structure and hasten the day when the entire structure collapses. So learn to like it.

    "The same thing goes for our solar system. If some cosmic meddler shoves Saturn into Jupiter, every planet's orbit will be perturbed - including ours. Earth would go out of its natural orbit and our planet would be no longer fit to live on.

    "So it is with our System of Natural Liberty. Take down the ugly wall that displeases you so, you only hasten its collapse. Join one planet to another out of 'efficiency' and the whole system goes out of kilter and life become unlivable. No go read your Newton and think over what I said."

    But, as North further points out, this protective Newtonianism went awry. Not because of Einstein, but because Newton lost his cachet in favour of Charles Darwin. Instead of Newtonian mechanics being the height of thought, Darwinian evolutionism became the height. The "random chance as metaphysics" we read about today was a complementary add-on to the Darwinian worldview.

    Darwinism, as "social science," emphasizes process and celebrates successful change. It doesn't matter much about the truth-value or moral excellence of a new "idea:" what matters is its fate. Blithely, Darwinists assume that bad ideas are squelched off early - just as bad mutations die off quickly. So, they further assume, a "change" that sticks has to have some good to it. On the other hand, an idea that's buried has to be bad: it's a "bad mutation" because it died out.

    Thus, a Darwinist has the opposite attitude towards meddling than the Newtonian. Instead of the strict lecture above, it's:

    "Well, I have my doubts, but the only way to find out is to put it into play and see if it sticks. If you've come up with a good reform, it will win out over the reactionaries and obstructionists because it'll 'take' in the minds of the people.

    "On the other hand, it may well flop. If so, best to just put it aside. But remember, you had a fair chance because your idea did get free play in the political environment. If it dies off, don't waste time being bitter. That's just the way evolution works, and disappointment's part of progress too."

    Unfortunately, Darwinism has economic growth and technological progress as its capstone selling point. Both forms of progress reinforce the notion that any "change" that breeds true is good. The Newtonians actually had an easier time when plenty was the norm but economic/technological progress was slow.

    Those Republicans who want to drop the opposition to gay marriage are showing a Darwinian mindset. Gay marriage has been pegged by them as the latest political mutation that's taken root. Thus, they believe, opposing it means opposing "progress" - i.e., the progress of political evolution. So, they believe, opponents of gay marriage are the (Darwinially proverbial!) "dinosaurs" on the way to extinction. Thus, they conclude, socons should get with the evolutionary program or they'll go politically extinct.

    And that's how it's been since Darwinism replaced Newtonianism. Process, change for change's sake, success as its own validator, radical impermanence, etc. It's the same mentality behind the "living Constitution" trope.

  • Ryan, Rubio Seek Party Rebranding

    12/07/2012 9:37:14 AM PST · 82 of 84
    danielmryan to Conservativegreatgrandma
    We already have around 40 so-called “third parties”, none of them have gone anywhere so why will another one. Anyone who believes yet another one is going to solve any problems has to also believe in Santa Claus.

    I think they believe because they remember Ross Perot in '92.

  • Here's How the Obama Admin. Is Considering Responding to Legal Pot in Colorado and Washington

    12/07/2012 12:33:00 AM PST · 27 of 93
    danielmryan to Vince Ferrer
    This is a tenth amendment issue if there ever was one, and the people of Washington and Colorado have spoken. As long as the battle is over the tenth amendment and the constitution,...

    At the very least, it's a great way to get pro-pot lefties out of their "states' rights = racism" conditioning.

  • Congress Considers Taxing Internet Sales

    12/06/2012 11:52:27 PM PST · 4 of 26
    danielmryan to 2ndDivisionVet
    Thanks, Justice Roberts! /sarc
  • War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure by Richard Branson

    12/06/2012 10:12:19 PM PST · 119 of 234
    danielmryan to ZirconEncrustedTweezers
    Forgive me for running off at the mouth on this issue, but a possible objection to the above scenario occurred to me: wouldn't (say) "Marijuana Inc." just follow in the footsteps of the tobacco companies and stonewall?

    They might try, but the tabacco executives stonewall because they've been doing so since the Surgeon-General's Report of 1964. Up until relatively recently, stonewalling has worked well for them. Thus, they're stuck in the stonewalling rut.

    But nowadays, stonewalling doesn't work, as this list of lawsuits against tobacco companies shows. Lacking that rut, and starting from the legal environment as of today, the lawyers for "Marijuana Inc." would be assertive in recommending pre-emptive spending to mitigate the damages in advance of a lawsuit.

    Come to think of it: it would be wise if the baccy companies banded together and offered an "X Prize" for a workable and reliable cure for lung cancer. (And, secured the patent right to it.) But they won't, because their top execs are too used to the good ol' stonewall. Plus, a pharma company would see synergies that the baccy boys won't.

  • Ryan, Rubio Seek Party Rebranding

    12/06/2012 9:56:15 PM PST · 69 of 84
    danielmryan to grcuster
    Some way we need to get rid of the Republican inner circle through a takeover and replace them with strong leaders who truely believe in U.S. Constitution as the founding fathers intended, to preserve this nation’s belief in G-D, Freedom and Liberty. This is a must for this nation to continue or we are doomed and will be just like Russia and that won’t be pleasant unless you are a member of the political elite.

    No, it won't be pleasant at all. At some point, when the decay is no longer sufferable, the cost of being shut out through vote-splitting will be worth it. I posted that mini-history because there are some optimists who think the slog will be easy as proverbial pie. It won't be. But as I said, at some point the hard slog will be worth it.

    We need another Patrick Henry, for I don’t want slavery or bondage for myself or my son. I spent over 20 years in the military to defend this country and I believe it could very well be the time to consider a stronger rebellion and at great risk, it’s time to refresh our tree of liberty before tyranny takes hold because we remain silent. As Benjamin Franklin stated “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.”

    Well...if the cards all fall your way, you'll wind up with a "Velvet Revolution" with little or no bloodshed. Just a government that no-one obeys anymore, and whose employees don't have the heart to crack down.

    But if the cards don't fall your way, you'll have another Civil War.

    Regarding the latter, it's obvious that the side who wins a future Civil War will have the enormous benefit of the Reconstruction going their way. With this in mind, it may be smart to wait until the Left tries their hands at rebelling. Austerity might be enough to get them sufficiently hot-headed to try something like that.

    Then, FedGov will be on your side. By the time any left-wing insurrection is crushed, FedGov certainly will be on your side - just as it was on the side of the abolitionists after the South surrendered. If this scenario plays out, just imagine two Constitutional Amendments that would be passed in the aftermath of a put-down left-wing insurrection. To make sure it doesn't ever darken the plains of America again.

    [Why do I think the Left will lose? Because: a) they're prone to hot-headedness period; b) they're habituated to getting their way, which means they'll underestimate their enemy if shooting starts. The last is fatal in war.]

    Since I'm on a foreign-advisor jag anyway, I have this suggestion: wait for the Left to try something like that, which they well may if austerity comes in.

    And then, dance of the grave of their "lost cause" :)

  • Ryan, Rubio Seek Party Rebranding

    12/06/2012 9:35:51 PM PST · 68 of 84
    danielmryan to 9YearLurker
    But doesn’t Canada have its first truly conservative government in many decades, now that the Alliance and Conservative parties have been combined?

    In some ways. Except for a raise of the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen, socons have been left out in the cold.

  • War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure by Richard Branson

    12/06/2012 7:27:18 PM PST · 114 of 234
    danielmryan to ZirconEncrustedTweezers
    But I’ll also submit that the main benefit of Prohibition was to bootleggers.

    Yes, that was one point that I wish he had gone into bigger depth about.

    Fact is, the main "skill" that's needed to make big money in the drug trade is the use of violence to protect a monopoly. Beyond that, and basic reliability of delivery, nothing is needed. Once you've got the knack of intimidating, threatening or killing your competitors, and mastered the art of keeping the cops off your back, your return is huge.

    Obviously, a large majority of business talent is deployed in legal businesses. Very few entrepreneurial types have the stomach to do the dirty work necessary to run an illegal business. Consequently, "Ganja Wayne" has absolutely nothing to fear from Molson-Coors. "Coco Rico" doesn't have to waste a moment's worry about competition from Sandoz. Neither of those character have to worry about big corporations going Wal-Mart on their azzes :)

    If drugs became legal, the returns on the trade would drop hugely. In the legal market, outside of the computer industry, a net profit margin of 20% is huge. Of course, the costs would go way up too. In fact, one of the costs would be accounting for potential legal liability. One argument for drug legalization that's not often made is that the corporations dispensing the drugs would be held legally liable for their products. They'd be exposed to all the precedents in tort law that have exacted money from cigarette companies, et. al.

    A smart government lawyer could actually sue them to recompense the government for added welfare costs for addicts. That would give those companies a big-$ incentive to come up with treatments to break drug addictions. If heroin were legal, a pharmaceutical company coming up with a pill that cures heroin addiction would make a huge amount of money. And, save a huge amount of money if that same company was in the heroin trade [as Bayer was when H was legal.]

    The same thing goes for other deleterious effects from mind-altering drugs. If there proved to be something about brain deterioration caused by regular marijuana use, a corporation in the marijuana trade would be liable for a huge class-action lawsuit unless they took pre-emptive action.

    "There is no such thing as an illegal contract" is an axiom in tort law. That's why "Ganja Wayne" and "Coco Rico" can't be sued for a single dime even when the damage their products do is obvious. Needless to say, they can't be leaned on for it either. A corporation can be sued, even by the government for welfare costs attributable to addicts.

  • What happened to Ann Coulter?

    12/06/2012 6:41:25 PM PST · 89 of 104
    danielmryan to Travis McGee
    Yep, the dehumanization train is rolling. Had "support the troops" not been in style, I shudder to think who else would be dehumanized.

    There is a way that a cave-in can work out for the best. The Pubs who seem to like rolling over and exposing their bellies can be primaried out to pasture in '14. They caving does make it more clear-cut :)

  • Washington state lights up as smoking marijuana becomes legal

    12/06/2012 6:05:57 PM PST · 16 of 18
    danielmryan to SaxxonWoods
    The biggest surprise will be how nothing changes. Everyone who wanted to smoke pot has been smoking it all along. Anyone not interested still won’t be interested.

    A year from now it will be a nothingburger.

    Agreed...but a watershed has been reached. Fifty years from now, the civil-liberties crowd will celebrate it as historically decisive as the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1840s UK.