Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Slice of Formerly American Pie

Pensacola Digest summarizes this nicely:
"At last night’s meeting, Monk told the council they had no right to dictate the content of their speech, and suggested that they instead examine any actions by the city that would prompt such comparisons.

“As Americans, we have the right to redress our government without fear of being arrested,” he said. “Whether or not they’re connecting dots from Hitler to George Wallace to Barney … you should be asking, ‘well what are we doing that’s allowing people to connect those dots?’ It was a sick and gross abuse of power.”

Council President Hall interrupted Monk at that point. “Your time is up, sit down,” he said.

“No, I have a minute and 12 seconds left,” Monk said, looking at the timer at the speaker’s lectern.

“I’m ruling you out of order,” Hall said.

When Monk refused to leave, noting that he had not violated any rules of conduct, Hall asked Police Chief Simmons and two other uniformed police officers in attendance to remove him. He refused to budge until his allotted time was up, after which he was escorted from council chambers by the officers.

During the standoff, council members Sherri Myers and John Jerralds stood up and left their seats in protest."

This man, Father Nathan Monk, is at this point in time one of the greatest American's I've seen. Occupy Wall Street crowd, please note there are bedrock principles this man stands for, rather then just flailing wildly against forces left without understanding.

This man, at this instance in time, is an American Hero.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Newt Gingrich

This ad from the Ron Paul Campaign deftly sums up the past decade of Newt Gingrich:

Full Link

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Power of the State

Fundamentally, the only authority the state can muster stems from fear and force. This is an example of both, as students who are sitting on the sidewalk at a UC Davis campus are pepper sprayed for not moving.

After the first officer (UC Davis Campus Police Lt. John Pike) begins, other officers begin threatening the surrounding crowd to allow the pepper spraying to continue. When the initiating officer empties his canister of spray, he motions and a second officer comes up to finish the job. Which he does.

Full Link

This is not the deviant work of a single officer, but an large and powerful body of police working in cohesion to achieve the desired outcome, which was to displace protesters who harmed no one and caused no destruction. The means to do so is the raw use of force, which is the last resort of state authority.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Quicks

For the OWS crowd:

And for everyone ever thrust into a conversation involving the lies that say a baby is a mass of unliving tissue, this extraordinary TED talk from December 2010 by Alexander Tsiaras, a mathetician / artist, author of The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman: The Marvel of the Human Body, Revealed. This is titled Conception to Birth, Visualized. (Warning, graphic in the Anatomy textbook sort of way)

Sunday, October 09, 2011


I am now a married man, as of September 16 2011. 
I don't know how you married guys keep the blogging up, I've been able to do zip since the wedding.

But this stellar post from the always interesting In Shredz blog had no logical response except to require a re-blog.

To quote Gino:
"I see. If you are a rancher or lifelong hunter who's fighting cancer and chemotherapy you are an existential felon under federal law.

But, if you are a drug cartel from Mexico, the Feds will sell you lot of military style weapons.

Glad I got that cleared up.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It's For Stopping Terrorists, Right?

As is well known, the Patriot Act put into law by the Bush Justice Department and a US congress eager to do something about terrorists after 9/11.

Among other controversies, the ability for the Justice department to break-and-enter for the purposes of evidence collection is significant. Under the pretense of fighting terrorists, the Bush administration took the foundations of the is republican government and running it through a paper shredder. By accepting it as law, the  wardens at the gates of the constitution have permitted egregious violations of civil liberties. 

But we have to stop the terrorists, right? 
If you have nothing to hide, why does it bother you if the FBI is stopping terrorists?
Terrorists are everywhere, and we need these expanded violations of civil liberty to secure our other freedoms.

Here's the data of 2008-2009, (H/t Jesse Walker) a mere two years of the past decade. In cases involving evidence searching without a warrant, terrorists seem to be an afterthought.

In a sense, the aftershocks of 9/11 are felt most keenly in such examples. Vivid and repulsive. Damning of our choices and troubling in our minds. Wide in scope and devastating in magnitude. Actions not only upon a slippery slope of tyranny, but actively swimming in the mire of Orwell's future. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

If You Outlaw Lemonade, Then Only Outlaws Will Have Lemonade

Lemonade Freedom: "Meg Mclain, Kathryn Dill and Will Duffield were arrested yesterday for selling LEMONADE in Washington, DC"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ron Paul & The World

I think straw polls at this stage are silly, but this clip by Jon Stewart on Ron Paul and The Invisible Man is worth watching.

Good job showcasing multiple media outlets ignoring Ron Paul in the Ames straw poll.
"How did libertarian Ron Paul become hotel floor 13?"

Republican friends, please notice FOX News is just as guilty of trying to shape this election by altering the republican landscape as anyone else in the media.

In other news with the Ron Paul campaign, there is a good Washington Times profile of the campaign. Gone are the eccentric fife and drum corps and angry rancorous roving bands of people have matured over the past 2 years. The Tea parties that have swept the nation, the seeds of that began to germinate with the Paul campaign in 08, and are beginning to flourish. Do not make the mistake of counting this campaign out.
He may have to run 3rd party, but there may be enough steam to force the issue and have a 3rd party candidate.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bin Laden Assassination Shenanigans Continue

The Chinook helicopter that was shot down over the weekend in Afghanistan? It should come as no surprise that it is only a small part of what is likely a much larger cover-up. 

Questions have arisen since the inception of this story of the American Execution. The neighbors and family in the house questioning government accounts. Rapidly dumping the body at sea before testing or confirmation of individual identity, only to be told later by the intelligence agencies that it was confirmed. (We can trust that because we know they would never lie to people.

Here is a new twist on the story, but for context there needs to be an understanding of the past. 
2005, a Seal team of 4 is sent into the pashtun area of Afghanistan, huntin down Taliban leader Ahmed Shad. They are sent without air support, proper intelligence, and no provision for back up. When they are discovered by a goat herder who sounds the alarm, they are subsequently attacked by the local Taliban forces. Three are killed within the hour. Marcus Luttrell is the lone survivor (Excellent book written by Marcus), and is befriended by local tribesmen until he returns to health. Marcus is able to return to his navy brethren and his praying family. This is a mildly well known story, although it deserves to be known more for the sheer determination and dedication of these men. 
What is seldom discussed in it is the response of the local special forces, who upon hearing the distress calls loaded up on a chopper and flew out to their aid. As they arrived on the scene and began to unload, the chopper and all 16 passengers were all destroyed by a Rocket Propelled Grenade, aka RPG. (I am not a military person, and as such, this retelling is inherently deficient in the terminology. Bear with this blogger.) At the time, it was the single most destructive day for the Navy SEALs on record, and it rocked the military community. 

Lessons were learned, we were told. That would not happen again, we have been told.

Fast forward til 2011, where an even worse event came to pass. This is the single largest wartime loss of SEALs in operational history.
Over the weekend, a Chinook helicopter was shot down with 22 SEALs & 7 Afgan commandos on board, while flying out to answer the distress call of an Army Ranger team in the field. Once again, the aid helicopter was shot down by a simple RPG, with a single shot leaving over 32 casualties. 

Tragic in it's own right, but down right damning when an additional fact is considered. You won't read this else where, it is buried at the end of stories discussing the event. Reuters:
"But several officials have said there is a reluctance to release the names because many were SEALs, and they worry their families will be targeted. Most of the SEALs were from the same team that killed Osama bin Laden in May, although none of those killed participated in that raid, senior defense officials said."

Even military personnel are questioning the sequence of events. Why was it a Vietnam era helicopter being flown? Why was their only one craft? Why was there more then 5 fully functional SEAL teams aboard a single craft? Why was it flown by regular army troops, and not army aviators? 

Who issued the orders for the mission?
Is the death of the remainders of SEAL Team 6 in this manner merely another tragedy of the longest war?
The team most intimately involved with the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, killed in a manner which is already a known to be deadly to Special Forces, only a coincidence?

Where there is smoke, there is fire, and the smoke is billowing from this operation.
I do not know the details of what is happening here, only that we need to remember that all is not as it would seem on the nightly news. 

My honest suspicion is that these deaths are part of a cover-up, and that some of this nations finest have been sacrificed in the name of image keeping. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Comfortable With My Call

My prediction that Clinton, not Obama, will be taking the Democrat Presidential nomination and Palin/Perry will be the Republican ticket continue to look correct:

MJ Perry's Carpe Diem:

Politico is reporting Perry will make his intentions clear saturday, and we all know that making announcements like that means he will be running. Otherwise, make the silly statement in texas.

Clinton is also gaining steam as the Daily Beast reports on her groundswell of support. (h/t Vox Populi)

Palin? She's taking her bus on a road trip again...
To Iowa?
Where the Ames straw poll is?

But forget about all that. If you love liberty, you will be interested only in a Ron Paul victory. Forget the pundits and read the man himself, you will have no choice but to accept him as your only rational choice. 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

August Just Started

"Damn the Sun! How long will it torment us?" 
-Guglielmo Marconi, radio man.  

While not strictly a comment on the Texas summer, it has a keen resemblance to the emotions of those of us living here.

This is my back porch. North side under the roof, in the shade all the livelong day. It tells no lies. 

It's hot even for Texas, we're setting records for electricity usages. Increased population accounts for some, part is due to the paradox of thrift... the more efficient our consumption becomes, the more energy we will harness. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Problem with Republicans

Is the same as the problem with Democrats.

They spend my future children's money far to freely:

"However, the Boehner plan doesn’t actually cut spending at all. The chart shows the discretionary spending caps in the Boehner plan. Spending increases every year—from $1.043 trillion in 2012 to $1,234 trillion in 2021. (This category of spending excludes the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan)." (Chart)

Remember this come elections, because neither side is interested in fixing the budget.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Captain America


Like most reviews, I feel it is appropriate to begin this one with my personal background going into this movie.

I like the Marvel comic book universe. I tend to eschew actually purchasing comic books, but I know the universe better then the average guy, and I love and understand many of the characters better then most people.
Spiderman, Ironman, Thor... I like'm. The Hulk? I like him a lot.
But Captain America? I love this character. All the character we ask from Superman, but the limits of humanity shackling him in the real world.
Because he is a character that originated in WWII, Captain America aka Steve Rogers can easily, and many times accurately, be viewed as a character of propaganda machinations. In the past, he probably was a shill for the US government. 

Today? Not at all. After being recovered from a cyrogenic sleep that essentially hit pause on his life, Captain America returns to this world 80 years later. Steve Rogers is still the same man he was, but the world around him changed during his Rip Van Winkle period. 
But that all comes later.
The movie is from way back then. from the days of yore. 

This movie is spectacular. Performers who nailed their roles (looking at you, Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones). Screen writing that resonates and retains its comic book origins. Character development for Rogers that satisfies. Clean spoken and without a gratuitous female presence. A great intro, and even better ending to the film. (STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS)

What I was really pleased by was the levity with which this film takes itself. As opposed to the Sisyphean gravity born by the recent Batman movies, Captain America is rippling with levity. They have even addressed the past of this series, by incorporating the propaganda nature of the Captain as part of the growth process for Steve Rogers. 
As pointed out by KnightWing: (who should also hence forth be known as knack-for-words)
"Captain America: The First Avenger harkens back to classic adventure films that are rarely—if ever—made today. It feels more Indiana Jones than Saving Private Ryan, to its credit."

To make it simple, I loved this movie and will be both keeping the poster up in the living room and buying the DVD. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Harry Potter: The Series


Since 1997 with the initial novel 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone', the saga of Harry Potter, 'The boy who lived' has dominated the landscape of children's fiction. Picking up critical mass with the release of the first movie in 2001, the series by JK Rowling has continued to grow in a way few things in popular culture will ever imitate. Originally for an audience of young-lings and proceeding to develop alongside them, it is going to have a cultural resonance well beyond a decade. This is a series that is deeply embedded in the fiber of a generation that is just beginning to storm the walls of this world. It will not be a departing from these United States in the identifiable future, so I feel it appropriate to devote some thought to pixels. 

Summarized previously is my background with this series. Although an avid reader, and of the correct age group, I never did handle one of these books until the end of 2010. At that point I blitzed through the series through audiobook, enjoying enormously the broad scope and intricate weave set in place by Rowling. Although there are large hesitations regarding this series in the evangelical community, I am quite content to separate fiction from reality and believe that most people are capable of this as well. Those who cannot, well, they are not reading this blog anyways. 

Watching the final movie this past week did unsettle something deep within me. My spirit stirred quite strongly against the futility that this fictional universe portrays. There is evil, and there is lesser evil, yet there tends to be very little good. The only characters that could be assumed to be completely good are Hermione Granger, Molly Weasely, and Lilly Potter. 
 Hermione we know well, because she is the smart one that knows how to do things and keeps the impetuousness of Harry and Ron in check, and it is her love for the two of them that drives her onward. Molly is a tertiary character who takes the roll of Harry's mother at times in the story, so we assume she is good because she loves her family. Lilly seems to be the real hero of the story, the one who died to save her son's life, and sowed the seeds for the dark lord's destruction.
The protagonists are deeply human individuals, with strengths and weaknesses and flaws and hopes. Harry himself seems to fight primarily from of a sense of jealously, revenge, or survival. There is no cause for which the 'good' characters strive, only a motley crew of lesser evils that we love against an array of great evils we hate. 

Is this a sweeping generalization? Yes. 
Is this an incorrect set of assertions? In quibbling over details, many of the muggle-nation will disagree with me. This is a nearly free country, they may do so. 

Reflecting on the theme, there is one overriding constant dominating the series; death. I didn't put this together in my own mind until recently, but in doing some more reading about the author, I found this interview that confirms my thought: UK Telegraph interview:

""My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic."I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it." In the seventh and final Harry Potter book, there will be deaths of both goodies and baddies."
Voldemort's return to life and constant pursuit of immortality drives him onward. Harry is persistently returning to the death of his father and mother to fuel his inner fixations. Eventually,  the death of Sirius and Dumbledore become persistent themes as well. There could be a consideration that love is the driving theme of this series, but it pales in the face of how frequently death is a motivator and monologue component of the series. The world is one of merely avoiding death as long as possible, for there is no hope for the triumph of good in the end. 

On the whole, as a series, the over arching theme is this: 'These people we like and want to live, and we know these guys are bad, and we want them to die'. What is left unspoken is '...to die, so that others might replace them'. There is little that is striven for, yet much that is striven against. 

To give an example, there is a terrific scene at the end of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where Sam and Frodo are headed once more into the dark land. Yet instead of discussing what they are headed to destroy, they speak of what is behind that they seek to defend. A theme of what is being fought for is a constant in the enduring works of civilization. Those that present aimless and vapid themes are swept away over time.

What is most distressing about this franchise is the generation (MINE!) that it represents. The story that will define this generation is one that has no moral truth to teach, possesses no theme inspiring greatness, and presses the inevitability of fate upon the lives of men. 
Harry Potter is not an underlying pestilence, but it is but a symptom of this generation. No surprise, a generation taught they are accidents of evolution set upon predetermined life paths, with nothing in the universe larger then oneself, would embrace such a story. 

I enjoyed the story, but I remain uncomfortable with the ramifications of it. 

(h/t to BikeBubba for a thought provoker)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 2

My efforts continue to document the passage of American movies through the onward march of the summer month with my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. This movie marks the 8th of the series, which is rivaled only by The Lord of the Rings in the book-to-movie genre for it's extensive scope and long term dedication to the franchise. 


I spent many years avoiding this series, battling past many friends in my attempts to remain ignorant in regards to this series. In 2008, I watched a handful of the early films but walked away unimpressed and with a few extra minutes of sleep by the conclusion of each movie. Roll around to 2010 as Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows came to the big screen, and I acquiesced to Jenny's request to see it with her. Leading up to that, we watched each of the movies in succession, again leaving me with additional moments of sleep and with a melancholic view of the series. 

Enter HP7, which grabbed my attention and held it throughout. Finally, a film worthy of all the chatter surrounding this series. 
Consequently, I make it a mission to read all 7 books prior to the July release of HP8. Audiobooks to the rescue, as I spent the subsequent 3 months listening to the book series in rapid succession. Rowling's development of the writing is a fun river to ride through, as is the development of the primary characters. Her writing is seldom approaching the greatness that the muggle-nation has imbued upon it. Rowling is no Steinbeck (to be fair, it is a novel clearly intended for a youthful audience)
If the primary point of a fictional yarn is to propel onward interest in the characters and their outcomes, it excels. An intricate and complex web of a story is woven that becomes increasingly epic, aided as it is by numerous flashbacks to help reset the setting of the story. This is the book series of Harry Potter.

The movies do a disservice to the universe, although I have a firm belief that this is not the fault of the production nor screen writing nor acting, but is a consequence of the novels themselves. This is not a series that lends itself neither quickly nor easily to the screen. 

To describe HP8 I turn to analogy. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is like a two-day old re-heated tortilla, one which contains all the necessary ingredients structured in the proper fashion and containing a modicum of warmth and yet leaves only a sallow taste in the mouth after mastication. Reverting to the true colors of the film series with a severe disregard for maintaining a compelling pace, it takes a terrific crescendo of a conclusion penned in a book and serves it up stale. 

The soundtrack is a treat. Visualizations of imaginary magic are both potent and intimate. The characters say all the right things most of the time. There is little to point out that is wrong with the movie, but it just failed to resonate with me nearly the entire time.
I am likely alone in this assessment and will likely remain so for a long time. That would not be unusual for this blogger. 

5/10, The bestfriend will be sticking it on our DVD shelf for sure. 

Presented Without Comment

For none is required:

-XKCD #925

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Ode to IowaHawk

My favorite twitter-er. IowaHawkBlog:

Example of why:

  • "You know who also talked about "shared sacrifice"? Aztec priests."
  • Hail DC full of grace, our cash is with thee. Blessed art thou among spenders & blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Deficit "
  • Oh yeah? Let's see you explain to America why NPR is doing reruns  
  • I won't cheer for the US women's soccer team until they (a) stop discriminating against men, and (b) stop playing soccer.
  • social justice contribution"

If you are on twitter, you are doing yourself a disservice by not following this man

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why Government Stimulus Does Not Work

Because the money is spent like this:

Phil Greenspun is, among other things, a computer scientist at Harvard and a helicopter aviator. In the course of attempting to run a private helicopter charter service Phil has run headlong into the mire of federal entanglements: From his blog:

"Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I’m subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I’m also the only “safety-sensitive employee” subject to drug testing, so basically I’m responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I’m also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I’m also the employer so really I’m learning about how I might trap myself."

The anecdote goes on to tell of a call he receives within 10 minutes of this inspection from an entirely different branch of leaches, in order to begin an audit of his drug screening procedures.
Here's the point that you already know: Government does not have an incentive to do things in a manner that makes sense to people, because people look to derive profit from our endeavors. Bureaucracy seeks on to perpetuate the existence of itself, and in so doing, continues to prey parasitically on those who drive this organism onward.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to fix the Debt

"Thank you for your contribution which will be deposited to the account "Gifts to Reduce the Public Debt." Your contribution is accepted under the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 3113 which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to accept conditional gifts to the United States for the purpose of reducing the public debt. These donations are voluntary, and no goods, services, or other considerations are provided to the donors."

Thank you to the Treasury Department for presenting a positive solution to our deficit monstrosity. 
I do find it amusing to donate towards the public debt by using a credit card. I fancy this is a uniquely American solution.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unemployment Numbers

Big news heading into the weekend, unemployment numbers at 9.2%!
Not so much. These are not your fathers government statistics.

John Wiliams of Shadow Government Statistics shows how we should really be counting the numbers:

Remember what they always told us about the great depression?
Unemployment near 25%?

The Keynesian failure has come full circle. I want that bailout back.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Review: Transformers 3

After the once in a generation debacle that is called Transformers 2 (TF2), I was very wary about Transformers 3(TF3). The elation and joy I experienced with the first transformers was more then drowned out by the anguish of the awfulness of TF2. With the cajoling of Jenny, I went ahead and paid good money for the IMAX 3d version of TF3.

I want it back.
Not on account of the IMAX or the 3d, but because it was in no way even close to being a good movie.

Begin with the terrible scripting, in which line after line after line is delivered with the apparent purpose of making the audience wince. Mixed in are the attempts at humor and levity, relentless in its failure at generating a laugh from an audience who wanted this film to succeed.

Prior to seeing this film, I verbally rejoiced that Megan Fox would be absent from the screen. To whit, "It has to be better then the last one, there is no Megan Fox as a primary character!" The director, Michael Bay, succeeded in finding a single actress to make me desire to have Megan Fox back for her acting abilities. The new female lead, who's name I will not mention, has no acting ability aside from a stint with Victoria's Secret. Her involvement was to add a 'hottie' to the screen to create a love conflict with Sam Widwickity. She fails on both counts, even to the point of committing the greatest heresy in an action movie, serving as the focal point of camera work while giant robots have a throwdown in the background. Booo.

Speaking of Giant Robot Throwdowns, this movie excels in one way. Giant Sci-fi Robot throwdowns are not to be missed, especially ones between thousands of robots in what is possibly the most intricately epic cyber warfare on screen ever. Its majestic in scope and detail, for almost a full minute of mind blowing animation work.
Then the movie really starts, and with the exception of almost a collective 20 minutes of Giant Robot Throwdown, it is worthless.
Not even close to a good movie.

3/10, Which is more disappointing then Green Lantern. If it hadn't offended me with its underwear modeling and moments of pointlessness, it could achieve a 4/10.

Headline of the Day

Headline of the morning:
"EPA Orders Texas to Cut Other States Pollution"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Review: Liberty Defined

 Ron Paul is officially the most thoughtful and articulate member of this cavalcade of presidential contenders. I can say that with an absolute certainty, a certainty born of hours of delightful research. Starting in 2008 with Revolution: A Manifesto, continuing in 2010 with End the Fed, and marching triumphantly into 2011 with Liberty Defined, Ron Paul has set himself apart from this contemporary batch of misanthropic animals of the political machine. In 2008, I was set against Ron Paul in the GOP primary for various reasons, mostly involving foreign policy. I was present at the 2008 farewell to the Texas Republican convention, and wrote the following while sitting less then 50 feet from the man.
"He’s done now… this is the strangest thing. He essentially just left his constituents without guidance, which I guess is how this entire campaign has been run. I don’t know what lasting developments will come from this, but it was an interesting experience."

My primary criticism of Paul in 2008 has come full circle. The loudest praise I can proclaim for Ron Paul is this: The man thinks, he leads, and the lives what he writes. This is not a failed candidate who passed into the sunset following a lost campaign, he is a man who has become the shining beacon of a growing movement, that transcends a mere political race. 

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues that Affect Our Freedom is really a collection of essays with a single objective: Defining an issue, showing the effects of the status quo, and offering a solution that is worthy of pursuit. Rather then playing games with politics and pandering to any group, Paul begins by assailing a sacred cow of the right and the left, Abortion. His solution is unlikely to make partisans on either side content, but it the man is a doctor who has delivered over 2000 children, and is far and away more experienced in his speaking then most of the current scene. Driving straight through Assassination, Inflation, Lobbying and Zionism, Paul never skirts away from a single issue. Clearly there will be room for disagreement. Just as clear is that there is much room for learning and thinking and considering every issue in a new light. The writing is simple and concise, wasting no time with bombastic extrapolation. 

I read this as an audiobook. The narration does a good job conveying the thought and gravity of the script, better then Paul himself would have done. I don't know what the deal is with publishers and books about liberty needing music by that nefarious instrument that plagues right wing kitsch dealers, the fife. 

Ron Paul collated gunpowder of ideas for fuel ideological fireworks of freedom. Those looking for what may be the last great prophet of liberty in this trouble nation should enjoy this while it lasts. 

Audible (Get it for Free!)

Amazon Hardcover
-The Revolution (Changed my thoughts on US Narcotic policy)
-End the Fed (Radically shifted my perception of monetary policy)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Makin Money!

Re-posted in its entirety from an always fascinating Cafe Hayek: (Because I cannot improve on it)
"Planet Money uncovers the fact that the US government has been minting dollar coins that no one wants to use. We prefer paper. A billion dollars worth of the coins that nobody wants is sitting in Fed vaults. And more are on the way–we’re only up to Ulysses S. Grant.
Why is Congress continuing with the program? This story may help–Arizona is rich in copper and Tennessee has zinc. Wonder what the coins are made of. Probably mostly copper. So Arizona politicians think it’s a good idea. They’ve pushed for the dollar coin before. I suspect somebody made a deal to get someone else to get behind it in exchange for doing that person a favor…" - Russ Roberts

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Other News

Coming in a fortnight late, is this announcement. 
That hand on the bottom is mine, the one on top is the beautiful woman I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. 
Your prayers are appreciated. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Super 8

JJ Abrams has crafted a stellar piece of cinema with Super 8. (Trailer) To summarize loosely, it is about a group of kids making a movie over the summer. By virtue of filming next to a train as it wrecks, they become involved in a complex fabric of the Air Force, their fathers, and a town going it pieces through unexplained events.
That is a lousy summary. But only because this movie is so good I am choosing to not spoil any parts. As most of you know, the Super 8 part of the title is in reference to the film the children are using, and it is a wonderfully continuous component of the story. I am to young to have ever used a Super 8 film myself, but I know from seeing old videos that they do have a charm of their own.
A quiet and square charm, but a charm nonetheless.

In a summer movie season full of the sound and the fireworks of American (and now outsourced) special effects, Super 8 rings in with a deeply human story. Told through the eyes of a handful of children, it takes a firm hold on your attention and your  heart and refuses to let go. Abrams spins complex weave of mystery and learning, despair and delight, anticipation with the unexpected. Every character in the film was a real person, to the point where I often forgot I was watching actors on a screen. Remarkable, and a testament to Abram's skill as a director that a movie can be carried so well by such an array of young actors.

It is a wonderful movie. 7/10

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Green Lantern

The Trailer should have been the warning I needed. 

Seeing this movie was a strange and disconcerting experience. The strange was that I felt like I had seen it before. The disconcerting part was that I had not seen it before. 
Green Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell, and 'played' by Ryan Reynolds (Of chick flick fame) is little more then an amalgamation of checks on a sub par super-hero movie check list. 

  • Struggling beginnings? Check.
  • Nonsensical new powers? Check.
  • Nonsensical development of a parallel villain? Check.
  • Rapid acceptance of new status quo? Check.
  • Vapid and needless drama with a female? Check.
  • Large battle at the end? Check.
  • Attempt at a moral message? Check.

Wrapped around this entire checklist is a series of events devised by twisted minds to fracture the suspension of disbelief held by all members in the audience. Lines like 'Now, I'm going to take off my pants and fly some planes' have no helpful place. Pretending like the faults of the hero and the villain are both the results of their lousy fathers does nothing to drive a derelict plot onward.

Layer on some pretty imaginative graphics, horrendous screen writing, and frost the cake with world ending alien threats. Now you have Green Lantern, and I will go to my grave struggling to understand how a comic book superhero movie that is early 90's bad came out in 2011.

4/10, with the caveat that it deserves a 3/10, but only because it did not offend me it can struggle to claim it's 4. But I want my 2 hours back.