Out to lunch…

Lecturing tonight (Bird’s-eye-view of the Civil War), and then spending the rest of the week in DC visiting my Grandma.  I’ll have my laptop with me, but it’s almost guaranteed that I won’t be online until Sunday or so.

Scientists discover hot water

No, really, it’s something nobody ever knew.


That’s what I am today after five days’ vacation.  Got about a third of what was supposed to happen done, purely because after days spent in the godawfully-beautiful Oachita mountain valleys… who the hell wants to do lesson planning in a quiet house?

No complaints, but, sheesh, I miss the country.

Happy Thanksgiving

To all, even vegetarians!

How the losers cry for vengeance

You know something?  I just figured out how to pick the historical loser:

He goes on the offensive, decrying how he’s under attack.

Civil War:  The South whines about “northern aggression” the whole time it’s racking up huge pro-slavery wins throughout the 1840s and 1850s. (Fugitive Slave Law, Dred Scott, “Squatter’s Sovereignty.”)

WWII:   Nazis use France and the Jews as a vindication for their game, get stomped.

Korea:  North Koreans use S. Korean dictator as vindication, get stomped, have asses saved at last minute by Chinese.

Vietnam:  Same game, only this time after the Tet Offensive, it’s the Democratic Party who makes North Vietnam safe for Communism by refusing to keep arming the South.

Bolivia:  Pick one.

Al Quaeda:  Butchers everybody in sight in order to “defend Islam” from the west.  The West only decides it gives a rat’s ass when the bombs and planes go off, and whip them everywhere they find them.

Arabs against Israel:   Pick one.

Mexico:  A government so corrupt that its best and bravest would rather risk death in the desert in order to be minor criminals in a northern country where it’s cold, nobody gives a rat’s ass whether you live or die, and they speak a weird language, than continue to stay in a place where you have to pay serious bribes just to get and hold a minimum-wage job.  Status: amazingly enough, kinda-sorta growing a middle class as it outgrows the victim rhetoric, pending Chavista revolts in Oaxaca.
Russia:  full of grievances, currently selling its women and collapsing demographically…

Iran:  full of mullahs, currently selling its women while collapsing demographically…

Death Bugs!

You will never stand before the might of our wily robo-insects!

I’m neutral on Israel in general: I don’t care for them, but I don’t care for their neighbors even worse.  But if I were thinking about whether to open relations, knowing that I could get nailed in the night with some horrible poison by some tiny flying robot would make me think real hard about whether I wanted to be these peoples’ enemies.

“We believe in…”

But does McCain believe in the First Amendment? He’s making some of the right noises out there on the rubber-chicken circuit… but there’s a big credibility-hole he’s got to escape if he’s going to get it on in ’08.

Murtha goes down in flames

And Hoyer’s in.  This after NPR has spent the better part of a week talking about how powerful Pelosi is.

Well, Pelosi put it on the line, and got her face slapped.  The Blue Dogs ain’t in the mood.  So, Ms. Hardball better really think twice about the consequences of punishing Jane Harman.

Milton Friedman is dead.

Hats off to one of the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand.

Kyrgyzstan gets a Parliamentary Constitution!

So how’s this stack up in the great Huntington vs. Palmer debate?

Actually, it tends to support Robert Kaplan, and, by doing so, Augusto Pinochet, who argued that representative government was impossible without the existence of a solid middle class… and whose murderous regime was predicated upon preserving and growing it, no matter how many skulls he racked up in the process.

Yeah. Sometimes things can get pretty uncomfortable in the political history department. But in Kyrgyzstan, we see something similar: somebody had to pay for all those tents. You can’t go mount protests for weeks at a time when it’s “put in 12 hours minimum or you and your children starve — tonight.”

Congratulations, Kyrgyzstan!

Paging Andy Blair

Your absence is alarming people.  Please make contact.

Sucking Up


This is Little Crow. AKA, “Squirmybutt McPoopyTail.”

The cat, not my hot sleepy wife. Weirdo.

He’s eaten solid food today for the first time in three weeks. And has currently realized who must be placated in order to ensure his continued survival.

Libertarians threw the election to the Dems?

Gee, you think?

But, contrary to the Economist, it’s not the Libertarian Party that’s going to emerge as a mover-and-shaker.  It’s the small-l libertarians who usually pull a Republican lever, and a lot of them pulled Dem because they couldn’t stand KELO, McCain-Feingold, the Medicare bill, Bush’s blatantly partisan steel tariffs, Tom DeLay and the K Street Connection, and the Trent Lott/ Denny Hastert anti-transparency campaign to protect earmark spending and congressmen with unmarked bills in their freezers.

Social issues?  Social conservatives lost with Santorum, but it was the President and his party officials who supported Link Chafee against a conservative with fairly solid support in the primaries.  And conservative-leaning Dems won across the board.
Oh, sure, they’ll be called “conservatives” in either party… but social liberal, or social conservative, the Dems have figured out that there’s election blood in the water for credible fiscal conservatives to run.  For the first time in my adult life, the Blue Dog Democrats may actually be turning into power-brokers as the late-80s-through-late-90s “Dem=liberal Rep=conservative/libertarian” party ideological identification breaks down.

Rumsfeld Out.

This is actually a pity:   Rumsfeld is easily the least-understood man in D.C., and is directly responsible for more beneficial Pentagon changes since the Goldwater-Nichols Act (which you can bet your bottom dollar the ignorant yap-dogs baying for Rumsfeld’s blood have never even heard of).

But it wasn’t the first time he’d offered his resignation — the nice thing about having no higher political aspirations is not only that you can turn sacred cows into hamburger, but that leaving the job is no personal disaster.

No tears for the Republican Party

Wish I could find the quote reference for Karl Rove’s saying “they’ll come home once they realize what their choice is.”  Well, plenty of folks realized their choice was between a Republican national party that is perfectly comfortable saying in public “where ya gonna go,” and a stable of surprisingly moderate Democrats… and decided that by and large, they could live with Speaker Pelosi embarrassing herself in public for a couple of years.

Watch the turnout: I’m betting a LOT of libertarian and fiscal-conservative Republicans pulled Democrat levers this time around, or simply didn’t show.  As I posted earlier this year:

In other words, Bush, Lott, Frist, et. al., have said to the conservatives and small-l libertarians, “we own you. Where you gonna go?” …. the response is likely to be “out to dinner, chump.”

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