Get Some

Get Some, Governor:

Now this is the Sarah Palin we thought we knew:

Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."
That's sure enough true. It was obvious when he told that little girl that 'America is not what it once was.'

The question never asked: just when was America better than now? The answer to that would tell us quite a bit.

Indian Dancing at Cumming Fair

Honoring Fathers:

We went to the Fair at Cumming, GA, last night. It's mostly like a fair anywhere -- rickety rides, unpleasant carnies, concerts, livestock, etc. However, the folks in Cumming decided to set aside a portion of their fairgrounds for their heritage exhibitions. There are several that treat what life in the small-town South was like before the post-WWII economic boom. There is also a small 'village' at the far end of the fairground that recalls the earliest days of America in the area, when this area was part of the Cherokee nation, and when the Old Federal Road was pushed through the wilderness from Savannah to Knoxville.

There are several Cherokee-style buildings on this place, plus a reproduction of the Tavern that sat on Old Federal Road at the ford of the Chattahoochee river. This was the center of early American life in what was then the wilderness, at a time when white settlers who wanted to live here had to apply to the Cherokees for the right to emigrate to their nation. In those days the deep forests of North Georgia were populated with wildlife that had not learned to be frightened of people: one of the early settlers, the day after she gave birth to a daughter, was attacked by a wildcat when she went to get water from the river. She choked it to death.

This 'village' is employed during the fair by various living history groups. I always enjoy spending time with reenactors or living historians: these are people who make sense to me. The drive to preserve and extend what you love, to let it inform your life and define the future, is something that I understand. One of the groups does traditional Native American dancing, although not of purely Cherokee styles. One was Cherokee, the next Chiricahua Apache (the lodge lionized in our most recent movie club film), the next of another line. The chief spokesman and lead dancer was Commanche, and performed the "men's traditional" dance.

This photo shows the Chiricahua Apache dancer. The building in the background is that replica of the Old Tavern that I mentioned above.

The coup stick carried by the Commanche was the man's own: it measures his and his family's victories. These include especially military service, his own and that of his father, grandfather, and so forth. He remembers them and honors them in his daily life, and in his art, both to inform himself and to teach his children to do likewise. Likewise, the women dancing bore tokens of warriors in their ancestry, and their dances involved bows toward the symbols of their warrior fathers.

That explanation earned quite a round of applause from the crowd. It is something they understood on a deep and personal level.


The Palin - Biden Debate:

Of three focus groups, two said Sen. Biden won, but the third gave Gov. Palin a runaway victory. People listening to her found her intelligent, a regular American, and said 'she sounds like everybody.' She seems to have done that well.

It was clearly a major focus of the debate: I guess the Obama campaign figures that the one thing he can't do is seem like a regular guy, which he just isn't, so that's got to be Biden's job. The problem is, Sen. Biden has been in the Senate for more than three decades. Joe Biden tries to sound normal by naming places: "Scranton," "Katie's Diner." He speaks of "kitchen table issues." Sarah Palin sounds normal by talking about people, doing ordinary things.

It's clear that normal America is a place that Joe Biden visits, but that it is where Sarah Palin lives.

Well, what about the substance?

There were a number of factual errors; Gov. Palin's most obvious was her claim that "millions" of small businesses make more than $250,000 a year. That's correct if and only if you mean that they bring in that much money; once you deduct their operating expenses, advertising costs, salaries, benefits, etc., the figure is far lower.

The bigger mistake here is simply to accept Sen. Obama's tax plan at face value. The fact is that he obviously can't do what he says he'll do: cut taxes for most Americans, increase government spending, establish universal healthcare, bailout the economy, and create a bunch of new programs. Every time anyone points out that this is impossible, Sen. Obama accuses them of 'not being honest' about his plan, which is really to do all those things.

My new economic recovery plan is to give everyone wings out of their shoulders so they can fly to work, thus breaking our dependency on foreign oil; and then mana from heaven to eat, so that their wallet will no longer suffer under rising food costs. Anyone who says I can't is not being honest about my plan. Right.

The debate moderators get this, which is why both of them have asked several times each what new cuts might have to be pondered under 'changing circumstances.' That's a highly legitimate question, and one that the Obama camp in particular has dodged. Gov. Palin dodged it as well tonight, although in a sense fairly: she pointed out that she, personally, hasn't really pledged much, and therefore there's not much of her pledged spending that she'd have to cut.

Sen. McCain alone gave a straightforward and honest answer to that question. It's a question that we should continue to press. If pushed to the wall, what's more important to Sen. Obama? The tax 'cuts,' as Sen. Obama likes to call giving people money over and above what they ever paid in taxes? Or these social programs? What's more important to Sen. McCain? We know: he told us.

Gov. Palin's strongest policy moment, I thought, was this:

Now you said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that's not patriotic. Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you're not always the solution. In fact, too often you're the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper. An increased tax formula that Barack Obama is proposing in addition to nearly a trillion dollars in new spending that he's proposing is the backwards way of trying to grow our economy.
That resonates with Americans. It's definitely not the case that we don't pay enough taxes, or that we should pay more to prove how much we love our government. This is a policy statement -- low taxes are the better way to grow out of economic trouble -- but it's deeply tied to a powerful emotion. Policy statements work best when they are. Not: "I believe we need lower taxes," but: "You said we weren't patriotic of we didn't pony up to you, but you're the problem a lot of the time. I say people should keep their money. They'll do better with it than you will."

It also puts the Democratic ticket off balance on patriotism. I don't think it's as effective aimed at Sen. Biden, who is clearly a great American in his way. I would feel not at all uncomfortable with this year's election if he were at the top of the ticket, policy differences aside. Patriotism is a bigger problem for Sen. Obama, because of his pastor (who actually is a bigger patriot than he is -- the Rev. Mr. Wright was a Marine and Navy Corpsman, which in my book means he's earned the right to say whatever he thinks), and his terrorist associate Bill Ayers, his wife's statements, his own statements to a certain little girl, etc.

Biden's strongest moment was this:
You know how Barack Obama -- excuse me, do you know how John McCain pays for his $5,000 tax credit you're going to get, a family will get?

He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you listening who has a health care plan through your employer. That's how he raises $3.6 trillion, on your -- taxing your health care benefit to give you a $5,000 plan, which his Web site points out will go straight to the insurance company.

And then you're going to have to replace a $12,000 -- that's the average cost of the plan you get through your employer -- it costs $12,000. You're going to have to pay -- replace a $12,000 plan, because 20 million of you are going to be dropped. Twenty million of you will be dropped.

So you're going to have to place -- replace a $12,000 plan with a $5,000 check you just give to the insurance company. I call that the "Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere."
My question, though: don't most of us pay for the insurance we get through our companies, out of our paychecks? As an independent contractor, I don't: I actually buy my family's health insurance alone on the free market. (The cost is nowhere near $12,000 -- closer to half that -- but maybe 'the average American' has better insurance than I do).

Feel free to sound off with what you think.



This is the most astonishing thing yet: a sitting US Federal District Court Judge has issued an order that accepts an argument that Senator Obama lost his citizenship in 1967, and has ordered him to produce documents proving he reclaimed it according to law.

By tomorrow.

We've all been ignoring the 'birth certificate' issue, but it suddenly exploded.

UPDATE: Or not. Valerie at Winds of Change says it's a draft of the order the plantiff would like to see, not the actual order. So it's still a nonstory (although I would appreciate some commentary from a lawyer or two on the claims re: the possibility of losing one's citizenship, which I find extraordinary).

Cash is King

A King of Infinite Space:

A little history on a remarkable year. In 1873, Winchester produced the Winchester 73, "The Gun That Won The West." Col. Colt produced the Single Action Army revolver, probably one of the two most famous pistols of all (the other also being a Colt). And none of that touched The Real Great Depression.

As the panic deepened, ordinary Americans suffered terribly. A cigar maker named Samuel Gompers who was young in 1873 later recalled that with the panic, "economic organization crumbled with some primeval upheaval." Between 1873 and 1877, as many smaller factories and workshops shuttered their doors, tens of thousands of workers — many former Civil War soldiers — became transients. The terms "tramp" and "bum," both indirect references to former soldiers, became commonplace American terms. Relief rolls exploded in major cities, with 25-percent unemployment (100,000 workers) in New York City alone. Unemployed workers demonstrated in Boston, Chicago, and New York in the winter of 1873-74 demanding public work. In New York's Tompkins Square in 1874, police entered the crowd with clubs and beat up thousands of men and women. The most violent strikes in American history followed the panic, including by the secret labor group known as the Molly Maguires in Pennsylvania's coal fields in 1875, when masked workmen exchanged gunfire with the "Coal and Iron Police," a private force commissioned by the state. A nationwide railroad strike followed in 1877, in which mobs destroyed railway hubs in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Cumberland, Md.

In Central and Eastern Europe, times were even harder. Many political analysts blamed the crisis on a combination of foreign banks and Jews. Nationalistic political leaders (or agents of the Russian czar) embraced a new, sophisticated brand of anti-Semitism that proved appealing to thousands who had lost their livelihoods in the panic. Anti-Jewish pogroms followed in the 1880s, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. Heartland communities large and small had found a scapegoat: aliens in their own midst.

The echoes of the past in the current problems with residential mortgages trouble me.
'Cash is King,' I have read in several pieces on the potential for an economic downturn. But how wide a kingdom will it rule? That's a thing yet undetermined.



After I returned from Iraq a little over a year ago my wife and I celebrated with a vacation to Mexico.  While I was waiting in the airport I stopped by a book store to pick up something to read on the plane.  The book that caught my eye was Appaloosa by Robert Parker.  It turned out to be a great choice.  I devoured the book in no time flat.  In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I immediately bought the sequel, Resolution, when it was released.

Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Appaloosa has been made into a movie and is being released nationwide this Friday.  Early reviews say that the movie follows the book very closely, which is good.

If you like a good western then this movie is a must see.  Western themed movies are an iconic slice of Americana.  Robert Duvall once said that Westerns were America’s unique contribution to film and literature. He said that no ones does Shakespeare like the British and no one does westerns like America.  So, do your patriotic duty and see this movie.

Gov. Palin

Gov. Palin on Her Nomination:

Gov. Sarah Palin has given an exclusive email interview to The Frontiersman. One exchange stands out. She was asked if she had been prepared for the media attacks on her family.

Nothing really prepares you for hatred and made-up stories. But it’s nothing like the hard times of a family that’s lost a job, lost health insurance, or lost a son or daughter in battle.

I would hope that the privacy of my children would be respected, as has been the tradition for the children of previous candidates. Obviously, it hasn’t been so far.

I think part of the media frenzy is because I haven’t been a part of the Washington establishment and that I’m not as well known to the powers that be in Washington. I’m not going to win over anyone in the media elite — I’m going to do my best for the American people.

And of course all candidates want to shield their children from the rancor and bitterness. My personal e-mails being hacked into really took the cake because of all the violation of confidence and privacy that others felt when they saw the e-mails they sent to me were posted on Web sites around the world.

Concern for my family’s safety was also paramount because pictures and contact information for my kids were published and their receipt of all the harassing calls and messages has been very concerning.
It is amazing what has been aimed at her and her family in this time. Of course, once in a while a more honest portrayal breaks through -- even if it has to be given a hostile headline. BlackFive co-blogger Frosty writes:
A Mountain Man/Fisherman and his Mountain Woman/Governor. I don’t think First Dude is an accurate term for a guy who races in the snow 2000 miles, the last 400 on a broken arm, or who fishes in the Gulf of Alaska with 20 ft seas during the season. First Stud, maybe. Not First Dude.
That's certainly part of the Palins' appeal. Some of us look at that kind of thing with respect and admiration, rather than envy.

What did Eric say?

What Was That Thing Eric Used To Say?

Via Reason, which is on the same page as our Mr. Blair.

GHMC: Broken Arrow:

So, what did you think?


Truth Squad Incident Report:

I see that they have an online form to ease the process of reporting violations. I trust everyone will follow the links before choosing a 'violation' to report.

H/t: InstaPundit, who has some additional updates.



The Obama Campaign has recently adopted a truly frightening tactic in Missouri.  Obama’s campaign is assembling a group of sympathetic prosecutors and law enforcement agents to “target” anyone they think is lying or misleading the public about Obama and his positions.  If this intimidation tactic didn’t smack of fascism by its very nature, the title of this group, The Barack Obama Truth Squad, should dispel any lingering doubts.  You can watch a local news report about the group here.

The brazen nature of Obama’s ploy is amazing.  There is only one reason why Obama would want to assemble a “Truth Squad” comprised solely of prosecutors and law enforcement agents: he wants to quash all dissent through naked intimidation.  If all Obama wanted was volunteers to engage the public and challenge the assertions of the opposing candidate he could do so with anyone.  But that is not what Obama wants.  He wants people with a badge, gun, and/or the power to prosecute going after anyone that says something critical of of the Obamessiah.  I find it amazing that liberals will go in to spasms of rage over supposed threats to civil liberties in The Patriot Act (a law designed to stop terrorists) yet have no problem with the “Truth Squad’s” attempt to crush political dissent. 

At least the Governor of Missouri gets it.  Read his statement here.

Talk about liberal fascism.  Sieg Heil, Big smile.

Cross posted at Souther Appeal.