Monday, December 10, 2012

Let it Burn

Over at Ace of Spades there is a post by Drewm that advocates "Letting it burn".

After 2010 I had some hope that we might be able to turn this massive welfare state around. The full implementation of ObamaCare means that isn’t going to happen. At least not absent a total collapse of our fiscal house of cards.
Let It Burn isn’t an option, it’s an eventuality. The questions are will we be complicit in it any longer and do we want to delay it? I say no. Let the liberals own it. Very few things are made better by delaying the day of inevitable reckoning.  The sooner it burns, the sooner we can try and rebuild.

I agree with that sentiment, much better that it all collapses while i am still young enough to work another 25 years rather than have it all come down in 2025 and I'll just have a couple years to work and save up for cat food.   Here's what I posted as a comment over there:

I think we need to expand the scale of let it burn to: let it burn - worldwide.  It's too expensive to be the world's policeman, and the fire department, and trying to rebuild countries after we blow them up.

I find myself sliding towards being an isolationist as the only moral choice.  we can go and try to save other people, but 4 years later we lose an election and all is undone leaving people exposed to reprisals.  It's much better and moral to have done nothing, than to incite people to revolt and then not support them.

Problems in the balkans, sorry we are the friends of liberty everywhere, but only pay for our own.  Madman in Iran threatening us with nukes?  here, nuclear fire for you is very cost effective.

unfortunately starving the beast includes the defense budget, we need to choose what we really need.  Then cut back our foreign policy to match.  We can't afford a very moral precision defense policy where we invade a country and try not to hurt anyone, then rebuild the country under fire.  It didn't work and we can't afford to repeat it.

It probably doesn't matter, we'll continue to wiggle through problems until the fit hits the shan, then the consequences will happen.   The ironic thing will be it will come out much worse for places like Iran just because we can't afford to be nice.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


The instapundit links to some twits spouting off on twitter that if Romney wins they are going to leave
the country.  Good.  Go.

I've been hearing that for 10 years:  "If Bush fights an illegal war then I'll go to Canada" or if Bush gets reelected I'll move to Canada".   But they never seem to go. ( " You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... In the name of God, go!")

 Meanwhile when I tried to move back home a couple of years ago the chief twit shut down the oilfield for a year, no job for Joe there.  Thankfully they gave me a job here, but I do get homesick sometimes when I get to see two politicos on TV and one of them is frothing like a mad dog.  It makes me miss Louisiana.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cautiously hopeful

It's  funny watching the liberal media in a panic about how the president performed in the debate last week.  I'm hoping that their astonishment will continue, then after the election I can post the picture of Cartman drinking the tears of his opponent, Romney will win and the Senate will flip Republican and it will be a new morning in America.

I do realize that it is just as likely that I'll be disappointed.  Romney's point about the 47% might be mildly offensive to some people but it is true, the president has a large percentage of the population on his side no matter what he does or says, and he just needs to convince an additional 4% in several swing states and he'll win.

That will be bad, but there is no way of knowing if that will be the worst possible outcome.  It might be already too late to stop the Titanic of the world economy from hitting the iceberg, and having Obama at the helm when it happens will discredit the big government idea forever.

Oh well, we'll soon see.  Perhaps the Saints can come back from 1-4 to go 10-6 and win the superbowl in New Orleans, and Mitt Romney can win the presidency and take just the right actions to stop the coming economic apocalypse from happening.  But if the Saints don't win and Romney loses it won't be the end of the world, it will just feel like it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ritholz, comments and asshats

Barry Ritholz reposted an attack on Megan Mcardle that I just didn't get. I posted a comment that didn't agree with him and a followup comment was replaced by a link to the comment don't be an asshat.

So here's that followup post:

 maybe there is some other article with clear evidence than the one you are pointing to, but just reading through point by point, I don't see any evidence of anything, just supposition
: -first point: weird attack on her father, and she went to an expensive school (is she a sleeper agent paid by the koch's for 30 years?)
-she changed in college from liberal to conservative (like most of us. you mean unicorns don't make rainbows?)
-a link to her old blog, a months worth of posts. huh? -she was rejected from the foreign service, meaning she didn't get the job that all liberal arts students want. -she made an unfunny comment during 2003 about war protesters (haven't we all)
-she was trained by some sinister organization in journalism (IHS @ george mason university) -she wrote articles against dodd frank (I wish everyone had and that crap wasn't passed) a bloomberg article starts off saying koch is against it, ooh, sinister, but a better summary was buried:
"A provision in the bill known as the “end-user exemption” is of particular concern to industry groups representing Koch, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. The rule would exempt companies that use derivatives to hedge their risks in commodities, currencies and interest rates from posting margin, or a deposit against default, on over-the-counter trades." so now Caterpillar is evil too?
 -then several points that you could argue either side. eg I'd agree that putting large inheritance taxes just makes wealthy people hide their money. -she was against things that would 'improve voters lives obamacare' . me too. and most americans too -
 -"In February 2009, McArdle led a propaganda campaign in her Atlantic blog to discredit investigative journalism exposing the first Tea Party protest in February 2009 as an Astroturf campaign backed by the Koch brothers and FreedomWorks. " There's no source for any of this. Is the tea party astroturf? who says? half of my facebook friends are in the tea party.

 -her fiancee works for freedom works. so what. -she wrote an article attacking a book about a writer that went bankrupt. read the comments in that link, it is more enlightening
 - she married her husband. is where he works a conflict of interest?
 - a crappy anecdote about meeting a black man who approves of gentrification....and?
 -attacking a ny times article that is huffy about formaldehyde, the koch's apparently love formaldehyde, but only since 2005 when they bought Georgia Pacific. is that causality?

 If you are going to accuse someone of conflict of interest shouldn't you have something, like, evidence? her marriage and where her husband works are both on her wikipedia page, that seems like disclosure. If there is something else, i don't see it from the links provided.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

we got to let them go.

I finally got to see Clint Eastwood's speech to the RNC. A scary speech, I thought that maybe he was drunk, the way his hair was combed back in a weird way with a weird stuttering delivery. Someone on pajamas media suggested he was acting, doing the part of Mr Smith goes to washington. Since it's been 30 years since I've seen that movie, watching it with my parents on WTBS, I googled around for some pictures or video and it was clear that was what he was doing. His hair is combed back like Smith's and he was speaking more like Dirty Harry doing George Baiey (M..M...M...Mary, M...M...Make my day). A really funny performance, they can cut it up into 30 commercials.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Get ready for voting

If you are an expat and you want to vote, here is the place to go and register: Important Dates for UOCAVA citizens: General Election: 11/06/2012 Register by: 10/09/2012 Request ballot by: 10/30/2012 Ballot Return from Within U.S.: 7pm, 11/06/2012 Ballot Return from Outside U.S.: 11/12/2012* The more people vote, the better the outcome will be. When Obama get's sent back to Chicago we don't want anyone to say 'he wuz robbed'. Go vote, and let the better man win.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Safe cracker

Frustrating morning running around the airport in DF. an early
flight and a late beer meant I only slept a few hours before being
rudely snatched from the arms of sleep by the crazy annoying alarm
on my cell phone. I got ready and almost walked out the door forgetting
my passport in the safe, walked back into the room and entered the
wrong code,bonk, then the code I was sure was right, bonk, then a
variation on the right code, bonk, then the right code again, bonk.
The LED flashed "slep" and blinked off.

Fuck. I was on the verge of being late for the flight so I called the
front desk, no answer, ana de llaves, no answer, gerente. nada.
Ran the 200 yards to the front desk; "estoy (gasp) en (gasp) hab. (gasp)
veinte-tres zero cuatro (gasp)". blank look from the girl wrapped
in two coats and two scarves because the lobby of the NH hotel is
the coldest place in mexico. two more guesses at my room number
and then finally the girl lights up, says she'll send the guy right
away. 15 minutes later, the guy shows up to unclog a toilet, no magic
safe cracking box. fuck, now I'm actually late for the flight, he leaves
and comes back 10 minutes later with a box, the safe pops open and we
jog to the front desk.

I had a ticket, so I just dropped my bag at the AM counter and the girl
said 'they are boarding, hay que correr'. A nice lady in a wheelchair
helped me cut most of the security line, through security with just a quick
explanation of what a kindle is, "libro, no es un ipad" since they are
making people with ipads take them out and put them in another tray,
and I jogged to the gate where I was third to the last to board the bus.

After all that running and huffing the plane turned around went back to
the ramp because the pilot's seatbelt was broken. I could have slept half
an hour more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I'm eating a subway sandwich at my desk and reading
through lunch. Lunches here are from 2 to 4 and it's
not recommended to stay in the office and eat while working,
it tends to stretch out the day from a 10 hour day to a 12
hour day. bleh.

I'm reading one of the best things posted on the web, it's
"Rhythms" by Neptunus Lex, and it tells the story of a couple
of days strike fighter operations on an aircraft carrier during
the Iraq war.

it's the poetry of war, and really fantastic writing. He brought
to life what it must be like to serve on an aircraft carrier.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Still bummed out

I'm too busy lately to just surf around the blogosphere, and
my bookmarks got nuked in a harddrive crash last year so
I mostly read just a few on my bloglinks, Instapundit, Jerry Pournelle and
Neptunus Lex being the most common.

Out of force of habit I clicked over to Neptunus Lex and it hit
me again. What a sad week.

He was nice enough to respond to an email I sent:

On Nov 04, 2011, at 04:12 PM, Joe wrote:

Hey Lex,

I'm sure you're going to convert all of these notes into a book, but what I really can't wait for is the movie. It will be easy to sell, the tagline could be "Top Gun meets The Rookie". Dennis Quaid would be the obvious guy to play the main character, with love interests, dogfights in prop planes, high speed motorcycle rides down the coast ('sweet home alabama' playing in the background), jet aircraft screaming off the runway.

anyway, keep up the great writing,



to me
Dennis Quaid? My wife would love it!



From his blog back in 2003:


"Finally you are moored, the colors are shifted from the main mast to the after staff, the brow is lowered to the quarterdeck and permissions are piped to go ashore. First , the new fathers, those Sailors whose wives have given birth while they were at sea. Then the rest of us, in order of seniority. You go ashore, find your family, and experience the most exquisite sensation of sweetness that God has given man to ever know. It is unalloyed bliss.

At that moment, everything you have experienced is almost worth it. The moment will not last forever, but it is enough."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Neptunus Lex

A good bio from the Navy times of Neptunus Lex.

"But as a prominent military blogger, he was part analyst, part cheerleader, part critic and part poet who wrote about the Navy, his family, the military and global affairs with the casual tone, frankness and familiarity that flows through ready rooms. His sea stories were personal memoirs as well as parables."

Missing Man

Fantastic writer, storyteller and Pilot Neptunus Lex was killed in a crash.
Fair winds.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Standing like a Stone Wall

I was pretty bummed out and worried that the death of
Andrew Breitbart at a too young age (younger than me)pretty
much dooms us to 4 more years of the current president. I
feel like my ancestors must have felt when Stonewall Jackson
was killed. Sure there are other non-left slanted media people,
but Andrew Breitbart actually delivered, pointing out the
stupidity and hypocrisy of the left. Maybe we can still win
in november, but I doubt it.

But then again, since I can't be in the USA to help fight, I need
to at least blog consistently to do my small part of replacing a
blogging giant.

To get restarted on blogging I thought i'd start with what I believe.
In one article on the life of Breitbart, I saw that he was a
south park republican. The distinction between South Park Republican
and Libertarian eludes me, but I'd go with that title as well.

South Park insults everyone equally. Every ox gets gored on that show.
The truth is I don't care what other people do or believe, but like
south park I do reserve the right to laugh at them if their beliefs
or actions are really stupid. I don't care if people are gay, or get
married to gays, or smoke pot, or crank, or buy sudafed or grow organic
food, of funnel beer or believe in communism, or smoke, eat potato chips, go
to church, don't go to church. Don't fucking care. and the government shouldn't care either.

They definitely shouldn't have people making GS-16 money inspecting
gay weddings, or bunny farms or organic farms or feeling up people in security
lines or arresting someone because their daughter drew a picture of a gun.
In the 90's we could afford to think like that and hire people to do stupid
shit, but we can't afford it. I have to do my taxes this weekend, and even
though I don't live in the USA and get no benefits from the USA, i still have
to pay taxes so some dickwad can make it illegal for me to buy two packs of
sudafed at the houston airport and bring them back here.

We need to be throwing the bums out at every level, elected, bureaucrats,
everyone, and making it easier for the bums that are thrown out to start a
business without any bureaucracy getting in the way. If someone wants to make
a new law "for the children", then they should find two other laws to take off
the books.

To get the growing rolls of people off of food stamps and disablity, the
government just needs to get out of the way and let businesses start up,
let pipelines be built, let wells be drilled. Queers,smokers, tweekers,
stoners go do what you want, but at some point you'll have to grow up and
be men. Take responsibility for yourself. The government should stop taking
responsibility for people. help people when they are down, sure, but the
government can't be the universal nipple, condom supplier, food giver, job
provider, and it shouldn't. Any group that can give you everything will be
able to take everything away as well.

Anyway. to some up. do what you want, don't expect to get bailed out so
stop taking crazy bets. Vote out every single person currently in office.
If you're an expat like me, be sure to vote this year.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's the only way to be sure.

I'm reading reports about the afgani's days of rage because
a few books were burned and I find that I've lost the entire
feeling of give a fuck about that region. Since we've already
given a date for withdrawal, we should just pull out now.

I thought the small footprint approach in afganistan was correct.
(Don't fight a land war in asia seems like a good rule of thumb) and
I supported the war in Iraq because it seemed like creating a stable
democratic country in the place where it seemed possible could have
worked to gradually free the entire region from it's medieval mentality.
I never thought a large scale war in Afganistan could be successful, you
can't convert a country full of illiterate tribesman into taxpayers,
and the Russians proved combat doesn't work either.

Iraq might have worked, but in reality President Bush never made the right
case or pushed back against the constant stream of lies and mistruths,
so that the results of the whole operation was 'Bush lied people died'.
The narrative that was written by his political enemies and the media
is the one that has survived and is repeated over and over.

Iraq has instead inspired the Arab spring, which looks to me more like
the Iranian revolution than the American revolution. The US government
has returned to a policy of weakness and apologies, so now it appears
the cycle of 1980 to 2008 is going to repeat, probably with much worse
outcomes for everyone. Weakness will lead to attacks, the attacks will
probably be worse because they will be nukes. We'll respond with the
only thing we have left, which will be nukes.

I'd say it doesn't matter who is in charge next year, but apologies and
weakness is the worst thing to do right now. It will inspire another
generation of people to think they can win. If they are going to hate
us anyway, it's better to be feared and hated than just hated. If it
looks like a weak horse, and quacks like a weak horse, it is probably
a weak horse.