Friday, August 08, 2008

A Test For The World's Cop

OK, my interventionist friends. Is Russia's bombing of Georgia important enough to warrant US intervention? Move the troops from Iraq and call up a hell of a lot more? Kick Putin's ass and let him know that war doesn't happen while on the USA's watch?

I say 'NO'. It isn't our problem. Our isolation from this area would be splendid.

I can't wait for statements from Obama, McCain, and Barr on this.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

OK, Today It's McCain

Er, wait. I think it was McCain that torqued me off last time, so, it's still McCain.

Can you believe the depths some candidates will go to in order to 'salt the mine'? On McCain's website, the reader is urged to 'spread the word', as a spammer- using cut & paste talking points to load into blog comment sections.

Heh- he's even awarding points for successful spamming.

I can't stand McCain. With legislation bearing his name, he'll restrict the politcal speech of people who are forthright. For his campaign, the slimiest, lowest forms of signal jamming are a-ok.

(h/t Reason Hit & Run)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Trade Horses!

Some folks think the Republicans are full of nerve, asking Libertarians to withdraw from close races. I don't see it as a slap in the face, so much as an opportunity. From Foolocracy:
To no one’s surprise, except Hupp’s and whichever Republicans she conspired with, the Libertarians refused to drop from the race. It is surprising that she considers the Libertarian Party as a Republican lapdog to rollover as needed. Third party candidates rarely have expectations to win, but they do believe in elections as a forum. Hupp may do well to check out the differences in the two parties’ platforms next time.

One of the Libertarians said that while Hupp did not directly offer board seats on local commissions, it was left open as a possibility. Hupp denied anything of the sort.

Wes Benedict, head of the Libertarian Party for Texas, dismissed the Republican requests for Libertarians to drop out. “Republicans need to earn those votes,” Benedict said.

If I were the Texas LP state chair, I'd make a deal: We'll drop out of these three races, AFTER, the Republican Party drops its candidates out of up to six races that are two-party contests, Libertarian vs Republican, at the same level: state house. No appointments. No swapping state office for county office. Straight up. Electoral contests for electoral contests. But since they're asking and I'm in the driver's seat, my price is high. As a state chair, I'd take six sure electoral wins.

Elections are indeed great forums for discussing ideals, but hardly the best thing going. Nothing beats elected office as a forum for implementing the ideals, which is what really matters.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Budgets and Relative Belt Tightening

When the budget gets tight at the Kole house, the vacation budget is eliminated. It's a 100% budget cut, until such time as we can afford it. We eat out 75% less. Entertainment is little more than a trip to the library. New clothing purchases are halted. Etc. In sum, the cuts are pretty harsh.

Elected officials are therefore hilarious in comparison. They whine and moan about 3% or 4% budget cuts. Boo-friggin'-hoo!

Here's an interesting bit from Cato's David Boaz:
Time to stop spending, eh? That would be most people’s response to an unprecedented deficit. And they do mention “irresponsible spending” later in the piece. But somehow, it appears that the governors thought that was a good lead for an article in the Washington Post demanding more federal spending to subsidize state governments.

They lamented the the plight of the state budgets; New York, for instance, asked state agencies “to slash their state budgets by 3.35 percent.” Now, if I had to cut my budget for a new sofa, say, from $1,000 to $966.50, I don’t think I’d call that a “slash”; it’s more like margin of error.

Hilarious. And there are some who make it out that Grover Norquist has won the day, that fiscal conservatism has triumphed, with taxes almost nil, and the federal government shrunk to the size of that of the Polk Administration.

Reason has picked up on this willful ignorance, also, noting how some fans of larger government are tying the downward slide of the Republican Party to the idea that said slide is proof of the failure of fiscal conservatism. I took Balloon Juice to task on this just last week. From Reason's Matt Welch:
"...a strain of curious left-of-center analysis I'm seeing more and more this election: That the Republicans are losing because limited-government ideas don't work, and are no longer popular.

This critique requires a significant leap of logic − that George W. Bush, and his would-be GOP successor John McCain, practice and/or believe in limited government principles."

Fiscal conservatism wasn't even tried out by the Republicans. Tax cut, borrow and spend simply isn't a fiscally conservative ideal. McCain thinks cutting earmarks is a slash, just as NY's governor thinks a 3% nick is a draconian reversion to primitive barbarism.

At the Kole house, and I'm quite sure at many others across the land, when the money isn't there, we radically cut our spending, by as much as 40%. We don't take out loans so that we can keep spending. We don't commandeer from our neighbors under the premise of 'the common good'. We cut spending.
Want To Trade?

My garden is going nuts. It's a problem to have, but my family simply cannot eat all of what we are producing.

If you want to trade, here's what I have ready to go right now:

Italian Basil
Lemon Basil
Simpson Leaf Lettuce

If you are near Fishers and have bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, or other lettuce varieties, and want to trade, email me at mikekole (a) .

In about a week, I'm going to have 50 or more cucumbers. Wow.
Today, It's McCain

It seems that McCain and Obama take turns irritating me. Today, I am irritated with John McCain and his campaign. Can you believe this presumptuous crap?

Dear John- You don't have my support. You have a commitment against you, however. Kindly fade into obscurity.

I've gotten some fairly presumptuous stuff from Obama before, back in April '07 in fact, and it irked me then. I was the Libertarian Party's candidate for Secretary of State in '06, for crying out loud. I'm a Libertarian partisan! It's not too hard to look up, and it suggested to me that Obama would make the kind of president that wouldn't be too interested in details or facts, just getting the win. I really don't like that.

Well, I like this less. This one came with a letter, addressed to me, not to 'occupant' but to me by name, and identified me as a 'grassroots leader'. It targeted me as one with 'conservative principles'- which is correct, insofar as 'conservative' relative to change means, with lineage to Thomas Jefferson. So, the McCain campaign must have looked me up enough to know that I kind of have some grassroots political involvement.
McCain is the co-author of McCain-Feingold, the badly misnamed campaign finance 'reform' law. I don't know the full scope of McCain-Feingold, but I do know this: It's illegal to troll campaign finance reports for potential donors. I'm not saying that's what the McCain campaign is doing when it lands a targeted beg package like this in the lap of a guy like me, but I wouldn't rule it out either.
I really don't like that in a president, either.
The letter reads, "I know that before I ask for your support, I must earn your respect."
The McCain 'honor' stuff has worn more than thin. It's a load of bunk. If you want my respect, call for the repeal of McCain-Feingold, reverse your Iraq policy, apologize for your FISA vote, up the call for budget cuts from measly earmarks to something substantial like 5% across-the-board, and maybe just fold your campaign. that would be a start towards earning my respect.
Excellent Game!

Funny enough, I nearly sat out last night's hockey, due to a broken 'pinky' toe, but I decided to play anyhow, figuring I could sit out if it started bothering me enough, or that I could shy away from contact if it was suspect. Turns out it felt fine, and I had a great game, scoring a goal on a redirection, and helping put a play together to get a winning goal with 45 seconds left in the game.

It was very satsifying. I've been noticing that with regards to my exercise, I tend to allow circumstances get in the way of consistent effort. I made up my mind that I was going to do everything I could to not let an understandable circumstance interfere. A busted toe is about as good an excuse as one could find.

Here's what a redirection looks like. I get in front of the goalie to screen his vision. A teammate shoots the puck, and as it approaches, I use my stick to deflect the puck. It changes direction, leaving the goalie little chance to stop it. Redirections are my favorite goals to score, because they're very hard to pull off. You have your back to the net and the goalie when you do it.