Saturday, November 2, 2013

100 Years From Now, These Will Be The Great Quotes

I've been thinking a lot about which presidential quotations will be widely known a hundred years from now. 

For instance, George Washington may or may not have said the following:  "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."  I have no idea if he ever made this statement.  Attributions of these lines to Washington didn't show up until around 1910. 

By now, if Washington didn't say it, he should have.  It's an awesome line.  So... did he say it sometime around 1780, and only a few people jotted it down someplace?  Or did some 1910 blogger ancestor invent a fake tagline for an editorial? 

We'll never know. 

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address wasn't well received at the time.  Hell, he wrote it on an envelope.  He didn't know I'd be forced to memorize it in 1978. 

Who knows what lines, quotes and speeches our recent Oval Office Executives will be known for in a hundred years? 

Well hell, I do. 

These are the entries that I believe will lead off the year 2113 edition of "Bartlett's Quotations" for each of our last 13 presidents. 

I suspect that many of these were off-the-cuff throwaway lines. 

Franklin Roosevelt: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  Well, that, and the godawful social programs of Franklin Roosevelt that we're still going bankrupt trying to salvage. 

Harry Truman:  "The buck stops here." 

Dwight Eisenhower: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex."

John F. Kennedy:  "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." (He shoulda stopped after the second comma.) 

Lyndon Johnson: "I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." - remark about FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Richard Nixon: "I am not a crook."  He was. 

Gerald Ford: "Our long, national nightmare is over." He was talking about Nixon. 

Jimmy Carter: "America did not invent human rights.  In a very real sense.... human rights invented America." I love that one. 

Ronald Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" I love that one. 

George H.W. Bush: "Read my lips.  No new taxes."  Although I'm tempted to submit the following:  "I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli."

Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski." I really do have some admiration for Clinton.  But as for as quotes go, he's going to be remembered for his lies.  Here's another one: "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two -- and didn't like it -- and didn't inhale and never tried inhaling again."

George W. Bush: "I hear you.  The whole world hears you."  Said after 15 guys from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt and one dude from Lebanon flew planes into the Twin Towers, and we retaliated by attacking freakin' Afghanistan. 

Barack Obama: "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it." 

Those are my picks for the 2123 edition of Bartlett's.  May God save us all from interesting, colorful, and "transformative" presidents. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The "Libertarian At A Dinner Party" Halloween Costume

I find this costume terribly offensive.

 First of all, we don't smoke pipes, we do cigars.

Plus, out of the dozen or so copies of "Atlas Shrugged" that we all own, we would never bring our precious hardbacks to a meal at someone else's home. We have the small paperbacks for those events. 

Unlike the clown in this picture, we always, always, always hold the labels of our liquor bottles toward the camera, since we are huge fans of corporations, branding, and private enterprise. 

What else is wrong with this repugnant stereotype? THE GUY'S BOWTIE DOESN'T HAVE LIBERTARIAN PORCUPINES ON IT!! 

(You should always get a LP proofreader to sign off on these images before posting them. God is in the details.) 

And finally, I've never known a libertarian to deliver a "possibly racist rant", publicly or privately. 

But I've heard several rants that would make anyone feel awkward who voted for Obama just because he was a black guy (i.e. - voters who are racists). 

This picture is a stench in the nostrils of the righteous, and in a civilized society, it would be removed from the internet. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Public Religion Research Institute survey of libertarians in America

Ok, this is going to take a while.  The Public Religion Research Institute has surveyed people claiming to be small-l and large-L libertarians.  (Small-l libertarians generally believe in liberty instead of political demigods.  Large-L Libertarians share the same beliefs, but go so far as to join the Libertarian Party.) 
This is interesting stuff.  Hope you'll devote a lunch break to reading the whole thing here
Or just check it out on my site, with additional Whited commentary. 

According to a newly developed Libertarian Orientation Scale, less than 1-in-10 (7%) Americans are consistent libertarians, and an additional 15% lean libertarian. At the other end of the spectrum, an equal number of Americans are consistent communalists (7%), and an additional 17% lean communalist. A majority (54%) of Americans have a mixed ideological profile, falling in between libertarian and communalist orientations.

I don't believe that the communalists "lean" toward communalism.  I think they're leaning on me and you.  But that's quibbling over details. 

Compared to the general population, libertarians are significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic white, male, and young. Nearly all libertarians are non-Hispanic whites (94%), more than two-thirds (68%) are men, and more than 6-in-10 (62%) are under the age of 50.

I'm surprised these percentages aren't higher.  On the age issue, for instance, the closer you get to being in God's Waiting Room, the more concern you have about free goodies. 

The party affiliation of libertarians skews significantly more Republican than Democratic. Close to half (45%) of libertarians identify as Republican, compared to only 5% who identify as Democrat. However, half of libertarians identify as politically independent (35%) or identify with a third political party (15%), including roughly 1-in-10 (8%) who identify with the Libertarian Party. Roughly 4-in-10 (39%) libertarians identify as part of the Tea Party movement, while 61% do not.
Libertarians make up a smaller proportion of the Republican Party than other key conservative groups.  Only 12% of self-identified Republicans are libertarians, compared to 20% of Republicans who identify with the Tea Party, 33% who identify with the religious right or conservative Christian movement, and 37% who identify as white evangelical Protestant.

I had to read that last sentence several times.  Are they saying that Libertarians, Tea Partiers, the Religious Right, and White Evangelical Protestants are all religions?  Bizarre. 

Libertarians also constitute a smaller proportion of the Tea Party movement than other core conservative groups. About one-quarter (26%) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement are libertarians, compared to a majority (52%) who say they are a part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement, and 35% who identify as white evangelical Protestant.
Libertarians are composed of a disproportionately high number of white mainline Protestants (27%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (27%). Only about 1-in-10 (11%) libertarians identify as Catholic, and no libertarians identify as black Protestant.

I would've bet on the "religiously unaffiliated" percentage as higher.  I know a lot of atheists.  All but a few are Libertarians.  (The others aren't really atheists, but are actually Secular Theists.) 

GOTW.102913.Libertarian 320x414 Survey | 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America

Generally speaking, libertarians are more opposed than white evangelical Protestants, those affiliated with the Tea Party, and Republicans overall to government involvement across a range of economic policies, such as raising the minimum wage, Obamacare, and increasing environmental protections.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of libertarians oppose increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.00 an hour, as do 57% of Americans who identify with the Tea Party. By contrast, 57% of Republicans overall and 61% of white evangelical Protestants support raising the minimum wage.
  • Nearly all (96%) libertarians have an unfavorable view of the 2010 health care law, compared to 83% of white evangelical Protestants, 78% of Tea Party members, and 89% of Republicans.
  • On the issue of passing tougher environmental laws, libertarians and Tea Party members are generally aligned in their strong opposition (73% and 74% oppose), while white evangelical Protestants and Republicans overall are also opposed but with less intensity (62% each opposed).
Ok, now I've got to go into the dangerous area of litmus tests.  According to the survey, 35% of libertarians don't oppose minimum wage hikes.  That's almost like saying 35% of Christians don't believe Jesus existed.  Are these people libertarians, or have they just heard a cool word and now claim to identify with it?  Or am I going into the "No True Scotsman" fallacy? 

Christ almighty, this is a depressing chart. 

Unlike economic questions, on which libertarians are generally aligned with other conservative constituencies, libertarians have a more distinct profile on social issues.
  • Nearly 6-in-10 (57%) libertarians oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, a proportion identical to the general population. By contrast, strong majorities of Republicans overall (58%), Americans affiliated with the Tea Party (58%), and white evangelical Protestants (68%) favor making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion.
  • Seven-in-ten (70%) libertarians favor allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their lives. Americans who identify with the Tea Party are closely divided on this question (49% favor, 51% oppose). By contrast, strong majorities of Republicans (58%) and white evangelical Protestants (70%) oppose this policy.
  • More than 7-in-10 (71%) libertarians favor legalizing marijuana. By contrast, approximately 6-in-10 Republicans (61%) and Tea Party members (59%), and nearly 7-in-10 (69%) white evangelical Protestants, oppose legalizing marijuana.
  • Unlike most other social issues, libertarians remain socially conservative on same-sex marriage. While a majority (59%) of libertarians oppose same-sex marriage, they are significantly less opposed than Republicans overall (67%) and than other conservative-leaning groups such as Tea Party members (73%) and white evangelical Protestants (80%).
I can't believe I just read that.  I don't know of a single Libertarian Party member who opposes same-sex marriage.  Ditto for weed legalization.  I think they surveyed some of the people that The New York Times interviews for libertarian viewpoints.  (But yes, differences in our viewpoints do exist.  We have some serious differences of opinion on abortion and immigration into a welfare state.) 
A majority (53%) of libertarian voters say they always vote in primary elections, a rate comparable to white evangelical Protestant voters (48%) and Republican voters overall (50%) but significantly lower than the participation rate among Tea Party voters (62%).

1.Libertarian Scale1 320x369 Survey | 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America

A majority (57%) of libertarians have a favorable view of the Republican Party, but a substantial minority (40%) have an unfavorable view of the GOP. Americans who identify with the Tea Party and white evangelical Protestants have a more positive view of the GOP than libertarians. Approximately two-thirds of Tea Party members (68%) and white evangelical Protestants (66%) have a favorable view of the Republican Party. Notably, libertarians hold more negative views of Democrats than they hold positive views of Republicans. Nearly 9-in-10 (89%) libertarians have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party including nearly two-thirds (64%) who have a very unfavorable opinion of the party.

Schizophrenia update:  I think that the Democrat Party is generally sillier than the Republican Party.  But I'm sick of Republicans promising small government and delivering a massive government.  That's why I vote for the Democrat when no Libertarian is on the ballot.  There really are some Dem politicians who consistently support Marriage Equality, ending the Drug War, and Weed Legalization. 

Among voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, support is spread fairly evenly across the potential 2016 presidential field in a head-to-head question. Eighteen percent prefer Governor Chris Christie, 18% prefer Congressman Paul Ryan, 15% prefer former Governor Jeb Bush, 14% prefer Senator Marco Rubio, 11% prefer Senator Rand Paul, and 11% prefer Senator Ted Cruz.
  • Among libertarian voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, Paul (26%) was the most popular potential candidate, while 18% prefer Cruz, 16% prefer Rubio, and 13% prefer Ryan. Fewer libertarian voters prefer Christie (10%) or Bush (6%).
  • Among Tea Party voters who identify or lean Republican, Cruz is the most preferred candidate (22%), followed by Rubio (18%), Ryan (14%), and Paul (13%). Roughly 1-in-10 Tea Party voters prefer Bush (11%) or Christie (12%).
  • White evangelical Protestant voters have less clear candidate preferences than libertarian and Tea Party voters. Among white evangelical Protestant voters who identify or lean Republican, top preferences include Ryan (19%), Christie (16%), and Bush (15%), while roughly 1-in-10 prefer Rubio (13%), Paul (11%), or Cruz (10%).
As usual, the previous Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, wasn't included in the survey of Libertarian preferences for president.. That's ok.  We're used to it. 
Some of these findings confirm what I've long suspected.  Others surprise me. 
The relevant question is whether we'll allow ourselves to have a bigger and bigger tent. But Jesus Christ Almighty, are you really a libertarian if you support the minimum wage?   

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

George Will Vs. Juan Williams

Here's George Will wiping the floor with Juan Williams, eating his lunch, drinking his milkshake, and then letting Williams escape with the last word. 

Will starts by explaining why all rational people want to see ObamaCare defeated.  That's easy. 

Then Williams start in on Social Security, arguing that it's now incredibly popular, and that ObamaCare will soon achieve the same level of popularity.  AND WILL LETS HIM GET AWAY WITH IT!!!


(God, I feel better now.)

Watch the whole thing.  It's only two minutes. 


A warning about user privacy on ObamaCare

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yes, The Fighting Okra Do Exist, And They Dwell Among You

My co-workers get a kick out of my Fighting Okra shirt every time I wear it. 

I graduated from Delta State University in 1983.  At the time, our mascot was the DSU Statesman, quite possibly the most boring mascot in the nation.  Everyone else had Panthers, Rebels, Bulldogs, Vandals, Vikings, Tigers, Bears and Hawks. 
We had this thing that looked like a Leprechaun on steroids.  No connection to the Mississippi Delta region, no personality, and no defining character traits. 

The way I've heard it, several years after I graduated some guys in the athletic dorm got a bit tipsy and drew up the first ever picture of the Delta State University Fighting Okra.  Granted, the Mississippi Delta isn't particularly known for Okra, but at least the Delta is very green, we grew a lot of other plants there, and it was distinctive.  NOBODY else would have stadiums full of college kids chanting OKRA! OKRA! OKRA! after touchdowns. 
The idea took off from there. 

Here's the back of my DSU Fighting Okra T-Shirt, sent to me by former neighbor Alan LaMastus.

The Okra still isn't the official mascot of Delta State University.  The Stateman and The Okra have agreed to co-exist until enough elderly alumni pass away.  Then the Statesman costume can then be sent back to whichever Irish Pride Festival or St. Patrick's Day Parade it came from. 

Some radio station once published a listing of the Top 5 Bad College Mascots.  They declared the "Okra" the absolute worst. 

Here's a slice of what they had to say:
The pride of Cleveland, Mississippi - Delta State University and the feared "Fighting Okra". As you well know, there's nothing that can scare the bejeebers out of you like a ticked off vegetable. Remember those terrible nightmares you had as a child of that horrible "Fighting Okra" coming to drag you off into the garden? Course you don't. Nobody does. Fighting Okra? Sounds more like the college took a dare from several rednecks in Mississippi to brand themselves that way....
Well, yeah, that's kinda the way it happened. 

GO OKRA !!!!

Samizdata quote of the day

The quote of the day comes from someone named Mr. Ed, commenting on the Samizdata website

The whole purpose of politics and hence of government is to reward failure, if people succeed and prosper, the they don’t need government. Politicians* promise unearned rewards, and the more vicious ones promise to penalise success. Some set out to penalise success and promise reward to those who set them on their way.

*We know that there are exceptions, more common than vegetarian hyenas.

Hard to say it any better than that. 


Why the Repulblican Party Should Be Very, Very Afraid

This is why we fight.... Last night, John Spivey and I got to speak briefly at the first Ron Paul/Campaign For Liberty meetup since the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa. 

At the Tampa convention, Ron Paul's supporters were declared losers in voice votes that they obviously won.  Some of their state delegations weren't seated.  The Republican Party made it very, very clear that the Paul supporters weren't welcome.  Hell, they actually want the government to spend less money !!   

Note to readers in the UK and elsewhere.... Congressman Ron Paul (now retired) was a libertarian with a small l.  He championed all of the same values as the Libertarian party, but usually chose to remain a Republican.  Republicans have been in power longer, have more money, and are on the winning side of the "wasted vote" fallacy. 

(The wasted vote fallacy goes like this.... "I can't possibly vote for the Libertarian candidate.  If I don't vote for the Republican, the Democrat will win.")

There is a growing Liberty movement within the Republican Party.  Unfortunately, it is aligned with the champions of bloated military budgets, gay/lesbian hatred, corporate subsidies, import quotas, the drug war, and the Noah's Ark preservation society. 

Ron Paul lost his bid to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012 because of the blatant dishonesty of the Republican convention process, and perhaps because the majority of the delegates were drunk enough to nominate the godfather of ObamaCare, Mitt Romney. 

Back to what happened at the meeting....

After listening to Jeremy (the group leader) describe a horrifying Republican party convention where Ron Paul delegates and supporters were intentionally kidnapped and driven around Tampa for 3 hours by treacherous bus drivers who had no intention of taking them to the convention site, plus hundreds of incidents of parliamentary skullduggery, and thugs separating delegates from their groups, plus blatant disregard for the will of the delegation,  I got my chance to address the group.
I told them what their philosophical, economic, and political brothers in the Libertarian party had been up to.  I thanked them for working so hard for liberty.  And then I couldn't help myself.... I asked the group if any of them STILL voted for Mitt Romney, despite being treated like Zoo Dirt by the Republican Party.

Only two men raised their hands.  (I suspect that those two masochists enjoy having their wives spank them with hairbrushes, being made to clean the toilet with their toothbrushes, all while being told that they've been naughty, naughty, naughty.) 

Then someone asked how many people voted for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. 
2/3rds of the people in the room raised their hands.
Some of these people were delegates to the Republican state convention and national convention! 

Rand Paul (Dr. Ron Paul's son) will not be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.  The Republicans would nominate a cocker spaniel before they would nominate a small-government chip from the Ron Paul block.  Someone like Chris Christie or Paul Ryan will get the nod. 

And once again, THE Libertarian party will be waiting for the Republican Liberty Movement voters with open arms, along with promises that they won't be kidnapped and driven around Tampa for three hours. 
We're on the winning side.  Gary Johnson for president, 2016.