November 22, 2008

As God Is My Witness...

I swear I thought turkeys could fly were meant to be eaten.

Tim Blair's roundup is consistent, coherent, and complete.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:09 AM | Comments (4)

November 13, 2008

To the Manner Born

Believe or not, this isn't a politically themed post but a diversion into language and the difference between reading it and hearing it.

This is a phrase uttered by Hamlet and referenced innumerable times. When taken aurally (another pun, but I digress), it could also be "To the Manor Born", a British sitcom, as well as another phrase referenced innumerable times. I wasn't the only one who mistook the latter for the former as the predominant intended meaning for quite some time, although I now always tend to think of the former rather than the latter, as my appreciation of and infatuation with Shakespeare increases with age.

Of course, were this to be a politically themed post, I might also riff further on "To the Man O'erborn," but I though better of it, mostly because I couldn't decide whether to treat with it as a Shakespean comedy or tragedy. Nontheless I wonder how the intentionalism of which Jeff Goldstein often speaks is affected, if at all, by the too easily misinterpreted meanings of homonymic words and phrases.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

Deflation, My Ass

For those unfamiliar with hyperinflation and the Wiemar Republic, the unending stream of entities lining up to get multi-billion dollar handouts, or the $5 trillion in bad debts our government has signed up to so far in just the past month, here's something to perhaps become familiar with:

1 Rentenmark = 1,000,000,000,000 Papiermark

Learn it. Live it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:45 PM | Comments (2)

The Declaration of Dependence

As evidenced by the lack of a Civilian Security Force, Thomas Jefferson clearly wasn't attuned to the needs of today's society, lacking the requisite modicum of hope and desire for the right kind of change, so a revision to some of our founding documents has become necessary, to animate them in the same manner as our living constitution. And so it begins:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people The One to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them him, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind the international community requires that they he should declare the causes which impel them him to the separation deliver hope and change.

We He holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created to be made equal, that they are endowed by their Creator President with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life tax rebates for those who the government favors, Liberty freedom to do what is permitted and the pursuit of Happiness goals the state deems appropriate.

More as time (and the government) permits... but I'll have to work on getting Michele Obama's words in there somewhere:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:08 PM | Comments (3)

November 11, 2008

I've Got a Dr. Fever and the Only Cure Is, No Wait, That's Not Right

When I saw this story today:

A behind-the-scenes battle to take the reins of the Republican National Committee is taking off between former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

I couldn't help but flash back to this paraphrased excerpt from WKRP in Cincinatti with Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich standing in for Loni Anderson's boy toy and Les Nessman, respectively:

Michael Steele: I believe a man's name should reflect his personality. My name's Steele. (Reaches out to shake hands) What's your name?
Newt Gingrich: Newt. Newt Gingrich.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

He Who Laughs Last...

I went here which took me here which took me here which ended with this:

Indeed. And the comments illustrate the lefty blogs' problems. Somewhere, Karl Rove is chortling over the left's ongoing self-destruction via self-parody.

I guess we can put Karl's laughter right up there with Nero's fiddling.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:20 AM | Comments (1)

Veteran's Day

Friday, I attended my friend LTC James Hey's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Jim was a great fellow I knew personally and professionally and he will be missed by his family and his many friends. He left far too soon.

It was a beautiful day in Arlington, with the Catholic liturgy in the Old Post Chapel, the horse drawn caisson, the riflemen, the Army band, the walk past so many fallen heroes to the gravesite, the pallbearers, the folding and presentation of the flag to his wife Jerri, the twenty-one gun salute, and in the distance the Washington Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and the tip of the Capitol.

Requiescat in pacem, Jim. A belated thanks again to you and to everyone who has served.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2008

The Good Fight

(A family e-mail thread started a day or two ago begining with Fouad Ajami's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and working its way though some Obama well wishers by those who voted or him and against him. What follows is my contrbution to the thread.)

As Americans have collectively decided to trade their birthright of liberty for some ephemeral notion of equality of outcome, I too wish Obama wisdom, luck and safety. Success, not so much. I remain a member of the loyal opposition. I will oppose and work against policies that take away our liberties and sacrifice equality of opportunity for ever changing progressive ideas championing an equality of outcome. I will oppose and work against policies that sacrifice American sovereignty and integrity at the altar of transnational progressivism. I will oppose and work against a judiciary who substitute their empathy and international mores for the rule of law and the United States Constitution. I will oppose and work against the cult of personality that President-Elect Obama and those around him have built and actively encourage. The man is not more important than the office.

What I will not do is claim that President-Elect Obama is Stalin, that he wants to destroy America, or that his political decisions I disagree with are criminal. I will respect the office of the presidency and the man holding that office despite the fact that so many of my friends on the Left seemed unable to do so the last eight years. We must be able to agree to disagree about political ends and means while remaining civil and upholding the framework and ideals which made this republic great. We are all Americans and want America and Americans to be successful. We just have different ideas about how to define that success and how to achieve it. When we can no longer argue and work out our differences through elections and the legislatures, then America will be nothing more than a hollowed out shell not worthy of the sacrifice of so many in the past who knew that freedom isn’t free, that tyranny must always be resisted, and that it was respect for individuals and individualism that made our success possible.

Democrats like to tell people that Republicans are the party of the rich. The fact that more rich people are Democrats than Republicans is irrelevant to this demagoguery, but I digress. But if that were true then it only stands to reason that Republicans can only build their base by creating more rich people. Conversely, if Democrats are the party of the poor, then they can only build their base by creating more poor people. Yeah, I know it’s a cheap shot, but it has the added virtue of being true.

FWIW, I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I side with the protectors and advocates of freedom, whoever they may be. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” Or as Samuel Adams once said, “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

If my words trouble you, then I suggest you read some history. Start with Herodotus and work forward until you come to realize that there is little new under the sun when it come to mankind and human nature. Year Zero always holds a certain appeal for those who believe they can remake man and improve upon him, for his own good of course. As Yeats wrote in his poem, The Second Coming, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” The coffee house commissars and petty wannabe tyrants have been and will always be there waiting for an opportunity to seize what is not theirs. There is no end state, but only an eternal battle of vigilance to defend the liberties we have been given.

Or take me off your e-mail lists, your choice.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:45 PM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2008

I Shall Return

Went to vote this morning. I haven't seen lines like that since I was at Disneyworld. I'll have to return later this afternoon when I've got a couple of hours I can spare.

DOWNDATE: By 2:00 PM, there was no line at all. Made voting a lot easier, but what does it mean?

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:59 AM | Comments (5)

November 03, 2008


Even if Senator McCain wins tomorrow, I'm afraid my idealism is gone. Too few Americans seem to remember what is special about America, that limited government and individualism are what made this country great. Instead, far too many people want someone to take care of them instead of taking care of themselves. That we are collectively (pun intended) electing the most left-wing candidate in history to the presidency shows just how deep and thorough the rot has become. From Ronald Reagan to Barrack Obama in twenty years.

Rousseau is victorious as the Oprahfication of the masses is complete. Sadly, the Enlightenment is over and a new dark age is beginning. Too many people are now motivated by envy and jealousy, seemingly prefering that no one have a big house unless everyone can have one. Politicians always have to be kept on a short leash, but now we have much of the public and most of the press wanting to let them range free, for our own good of course.

I'm not sure what to do about it, but I do know that traditional methods of trying to stem the dismal tide of illiberal statism are no longer effective. It's what the people want and I sure as hell can't stop them from getting it. I can only hope that when they realize their error they can still do something about it. Perhaps it is best to gird my loins and lie low for a while.

If you've got any ideas, let me know.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:04 PM | Comments (2)

November 02, 2008

Today Is My Birthday

Can you guess what I wished for when I blew out the candles?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:43 PM | Comments (2)

This Seems Fitting

An excerpt from Nob and Nobility:

Blackadder: "Now listen Frou Frou, would you like to earn some money?"

Comte de Frou Frou: "No - I wouldn't. I would like other people to earn it, and then give it to me."

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

A Really Futile and Stupid Gesture

Was it over when Bill Ayers bombed the Pentagon?

What the f*ck happened to the classic liberals I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go against Obama, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

Fall Back

Happy Standard Time everybody!

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2008

On It Or Under It

Your choice, media:

"Come on guys, get back on the bus," he pleaded with journalists, many of whom had accompanied him from the airport to Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

Bias? What Bias?

Obama aunt leak raises questions

Of course, being the Politico, the questions it raises are about timing of a "leak" rather than how Senator Obama can know so little about his relatives living in the US illegally. But maybe there is something to this timing question. I mean, if the Politico had ever done much real investigative journalism concerning Senator Obama they would have learned this a long time ago.

Honestly, the Politico has become something of a disgrace.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

What If We're Kind of Happy With the World?

Obama: 'I Will Change The World'

Sometimes I wonder whether people who want to change the world do more harm than good.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)