Friday, October 2, 2009

I like this. A lot.

If you don't know what this video is satirizing, I'll refer you here . I'm not going to lie to you people. As much as I try to present a stoic exterior to the world, I am a pretty emotional person. Not sure if any of you have picked up on that. Anyway, this video almost made me cry (in a totally manly way). Let me explain.

The original one, done by the moronic celebrities, is ridiculous and not even funny. The response, done by a bunch of "nobodies", completely savages the celebrities and exposes just how idiotic their message is. For example, the celebrities talk incredulously about how absurd it is to suggest that someone be expected to pay for their own medical expenses. The regular people, who live in reality, point out how somebody has to pay for that care and it certainly doesn't make sense for the family with bills to take their neighbor's money by force. They don't say all of that literally, but it's there if you can pick up on it. And by the way, the second video is infinitely funnier than the one professionally produced by the multi-millionaires, some of whom make a living from comedy.

This is what we need right now. After all, regular people getting pissed off and sticking their finger in the eyes of the elite is what our country was founded on, right? Can't you see Will Farrell, Don Draper and that dipshit Japanese guy from Heroes watching the above video in disbelief, getting outraged and yelling, "Who do these people think they are?! Don't they know who I am?!" Of course, they don't really want to hear the answer to that question, because the answer is that the average person knows these celebrities better than they know themselves. The celebrities would presume to say the regular folks who made this video are nobodies, while they are somebody important. In reality, it is the celebrities who are nobodies, because they are nobody if the people in the second video don't watch their TV shows and buy tickets to their movies. The celebrities need us far more than we need them, yet somehow they think that they know what is best for us and they can tell us how we should live while they live like spoiled adolescents running wild with daddy's credit card.

Let this forever be a perfect example of how out of touch these rich leftists are. Not only do they think their stupid video will cause people to change their minds just because they are famous, they cannot see the abounding irony in them, celebrities, accusing a bunch of businessmen who deliver a valuable service of being overpaid and having too much money. If they aren't even bright enough to pick up on that, why in the hell would we listen to a word they say about anything else? The obvious answer is, we shouldn't. Many of these people have never had one real job their entire lives, and certainly not in any kind of management position. They are definitely not doctors, they just play them on TV (my favorite line of the video), and some of them can't even do that well.

The overall reason I like this, though, is because nobody is going to help us. We have to band together and do this ourselves if there is any hope of saving this country and rolling back the leftist agenda. We can't wait for someone else to do it and we can't depend on the GOP to find its brain and its spine in time to get anything done. That's why the video almost brought a tear to my eye. All my life I've had to suffer leftist propaganda in virtually every facet of the media and watch all of these self-congratulating ass clowns pat themselves on the back for every mediocre thing they've ever done. I have dreamed of something like this, where ordinary people pants the big dogs in a big way. Let's at least make them try when they make their propaganda.

If there is to be a counterstroke to the invasion of leftist ideology, it starts here and now. Or has it already started? Keep it up, everybody, we've got a long way to go.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friendly Fire

Things are going pretty damn well for conservatives, aren't they? We've basically stopped Obamacare dead in its tracks, cap and trade almost certainly won't pass, Michelle Malkin & Mark Levin are selling a lot of books, Fox News's ratings have never been higher, etc. Yes, I think it's time to show a little mercy to the Democrats and progressive Republicans. Time to take our foot off the gas and move on to more important things like ripping apart Glenn Beck , right? Wrong. The analogy was made that some of us in the VRWC are already dancing in the end zone, but I don't think that's accurate. I think a better analogy is that some of us are Leon Lett and Don Bebee is right behind us, ready to knock the ball out of our hands.

Look, I personally think Glenn Beck is a little off. His "Inconvenient Book" ranges from interesting to pretty strange, like when he waxes poetic about McGriddles and Coke Zero. But you know what? I skip the strange parts. Yeah, I do. Isn't that revolutionary? Instead I focus on things like the outrageous quotes from muslim and environmental leaders and some fascinating factoids like which 10 U.S. cities have the most poverty and which political party has been running them the longest during their decline.

Regardless of what you think of Beck, he virtually exposed Van Jones by himself and got him fired while enduring smears and boycotts in the process. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting there, Glenn. Now let's have people who are supposed to be on the same side as you talk about how nuts you are when really they're shitting their pants because you called Obama a racist and they so don't want to go there. So the left can call people like Jeremiah Wright a silly old uncle, but we need to flee in terror and disown Glenn Beck at the drop of a hat, right? Even worse, we are supposed to see Beck's comments as the equivalent of Wright's? Count me out of that self-defeating nonsense.

Whatever Beck's faults are, his fearlessness at issuing challenges to elitist know-it-alls at every turn is not one of them. In fact, we need more of it. "Oh you can't say Obama's a racist! You can't say it!" Okay, then why not? What makes it so ludicrous? Obama is the one that willingly attended that church for two decades and is on record several times speaking glowingly about his "spiritual mentor". A spiritual mentor who just happens to be an evil (yes, evil) virus that twists the Gospel, using it to instil hatred and envy in his congregation while taking their money to retire in an opulent mansion in an almost all-white community (in other words, the embodiment of most accusations the left repeatedly makes about religious leaders).

At first glance it seems to me that the onus would be on Obama to dig his way out of an impossibly deep hole. Instead we hand him a ladder and give him a pass by letting him say that he never listened to any of "those" sermons for twenty years and Wright somehow in the span of a month or two turned into a really bad dude...even though the sermons in question were several years old. Fighting through all of that stuff will be hard, though. There must be something easier we can do rather than have to confront the whole racism thing.

It turns out there is. We can refuse to even discuss the possibility that Obama might be a racist, leave unanswered the question of "What type of person would willingly attend such a church for so long?" and try to destroy Glenn Beck, rationalizing it every step of the way. He's not just a Mormon, he's a kooky Mormon, he's a "recovered" alcoholic (air quotes for the unspoken, unfounded suggestion that mmmmaaaaaybe he's saucing a little before every show). The best part of this is that we can show the liberals how perfectly reasonable we are, which is always our goal, right? The more we demonstrate our hatred for Beck, the more we reveal our reasonableness. When the liberals realize we are perfectly reasonable, they will all suddenly forget their progressive beliefs and will become conservatives overnight because we don't like Glenn Beck anymore. We'll do that even if the liberals' goal in all this is to discredit Beck and whitewash all of Van Jones's dirty laundry so that any time someone complains about Jones, or any other czar, the punk card will be, "Hey, you're not like Glenn Beck, are you?" Make sense?

We don't have to agree with every damn thing that every single one of us does or says. So Beck thinks McCain would have been worse than Obama. We might not agree and we might not understand the purpose of the 45 minute Katie Couric interview, but why spend time and energy arguing about something that can't be proved or disproved at a time when Obama unveils some new affront to our country every day. If you think it was a stupid comment to make in the first place, then doesn't talking about the comment itself at length just compound the stupidity? There's nothing wrong with disagreeing and pointing out faults, but there is something wrong with making it your number one priority and obsessing over it during a time when there are much, much bigger fish to fry.

As much as progressives want to erase the concept of good and evil, there actually are good guys and bad guys out there. For the moment, Beck is one of the good guys, imperfect though he may be. It's entirely possible that may change one day, as it could for any of us, but if it does there is no need to tear our clothes and apologize for him at great length to try and appease the liberals who don't know anything more of Beck other than clips from the Daily Show anyway. If that day comes, if Beck goes too far off the reservation, then he will do himself in because people won't watch his show or buy his books anymore. The only commentary from us needed will be, "That's a shame. He did some good things. Now back to a more pertinent issue." We don't need essays and columns and documentaries assuring our opposition of how much we are not like Glenn Beck while the country burns around us.

The simplest analogy I can make is that the Army and Marines do not get along well and are fierce rivals. However, they both have the same ultimate goal and you won't see one shelling the other to try and score points with the Taliban.

Finally, a note to any self-righteous, perfectly reasonable, moderate commentators out there. Once they've finished with Beck and the others they're coming for you, because you will suddenly be "the fringe", and that's what this is really all about. Beck is in the crosshairs at the moment, but he's not the first and he won't be the last. It's the beginning, not the end. It never ends.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ezra Klein you F'ing slut.

As I think I may have alluded to in the past, I do not normally watch television. I don't particularly care to get my information from video sources--it's too hard to "interrogate the text" to use a post-modern phrase, it's too difficult to go back over and re-read, to leave the page open while I go look at something else.

And when it comes to entertainment a book does far better, and is there when I want it, and I don't have to dick with a bunch of technology. Well, until I bought the kindle, which frankly is one of the least troublesome bits of tech I've worked with this side of a multi-blade screwdriver.

Anyway. Video.

I was trying to eat my "Caesar Salad" in the chow hall here at Victory a bit a go, and they have these big ass monitors with TV on them. For some reason they have about 1/3 of them tuned to CNN about half the time (the other half is Fox News).

There was a discussion about Health Care Reform (of course) and they cue'd in Ezra Klein (you can google this twit, I ain't linking it in) Ezra Klein is a left-progressive "Economist" who makes a living spewing propaganda.

He's also full of shit.

Apparently one of the ways that Dear Leader thinks he's going to pay for his health care reform is by charging an excise tax on so-called "Gold Plated" (aka "high cost") insurance plans.

Now, this in and of itself is a dumb move.

One of CNN Bobbleheads asks Klein if this will reduce the number of people who take out these plans.

Klein says (paraphrasing because I've got a chain link brain):

This will be a good thing because it will reduce the cost of the system.

Mr. Klein you Ignorant Slut;

You're an economist. Or at least you're a writer who claims to know something about economics.

Presumably you've studied both Macro and Micro economics, and at least a BIT of the inbetween stuff.

What you are apparently incapable of understanding is the concept of PROFIT MARGIN.

That is the (positive) delta between what it costs a company to create, produce, ship, sell, deliver, whatever a product and what that product brings in.

Now, like a lot of pomo types (and like me on a bad day) you may have done some "research" at some point that basically amounted to reading a corporate financial report or three, and some webpages. You often find comments in this like "The profit margin across our lines was %" or you see news articles that say "Apple makes a n% profit margin while Microsoft makes n+5%..." or whatever.

These are a lie. Or at least a blurring of hte truth. Microsoft doesn't function on a profit margin. Nor does Apple, or any other company with multiple lines.

This is why Ford and GM were able to make cheap fuel efficient cars (which they had to because of CAFE standards) and sell them at a loss while making (literally) TONS of those EVIL POLLUTING SUVS that everybody ELSE wanted. Because they had a higher margin on those SUVs than on the tin cans that everyone else drove.

In other words Ford subsidized (because of CAFE) the econo-boxes with the PROFIT MARGIN on the SUVs.

This is as basic as a very very basic thing. Even my art degree having slacker self can understand that.

To make it easier on you, you've probably heard the term "loss leader", right? It's what Grocery Stores and 7-11 use to get you in the door. Yeah, that's the OPPOSITE of profit margin. They take a small loss on a few products so they can sell you other stuff at normal "markup". Part of that markup is PROFIT MARGIN.

Now, let's talk a bit about profit margins Mr. Klein.

In general your most expensive products have your highest profit margins. This is for a couple of reasons:
  • Premium products are usually less cost sensitive, so you can slide an extra percent or two in there without looking uncompetitive.
  • Even if you can't get the extra percent in there, a 10% off a 100 dollar product is 10, and 10% off a 300 product is 30, and if you have to spend almost the same amount of effort to get a 300 sold as a 100 product, you're 20 ahead.
Now, for this and for other reasons your CHEAPER products generally have lower profit margins (because they are MORE price sensitive). What a company then does is try to find a cheap way of selling these products.

This generally doesn't work in the health insurance game because of regulations, contracts and traditional industry practices (aka "brokers").

So here's what's going to happen if you plan on financing ANY part of your idiotic proposal with an excise tax on these expensive plans:
  1. The Unions, whose members are the greatest consumers of these plans will kill this bill. Which will be the first time on this turn of the wheel that I will be on the side of Big Labor. Stranger things have happen, somewhere. But the guy was probably on acid.
  2. Since the Unions killed it, there is no 2.

If that fails this will be the chain of events:

  1. Millions of Union Members will find their health care plans revamped to come in JUST UNDER whatever price or feature point you lay out.
  2. The Insurers will, to keep the Union business and stay competitive will give up a little profit margin on THESE plans because they need to hit a price point. Which they will get other users of the "gold-plated" to switch to.
  3. That means the government won't get the money it claims to expect (since these claims never match reality I don't think they really do expect to get that money, it's just a lie to get it past the voters and MAYBE the CBO if you're REALLY lucky.). #2 means that the insurance companies will be making less money. Which you're probably fine with except:
  4. If the insurance company is a not-for-profit it's using those expensive policies to finance the cheaper policies, which it now has to raise the price on. Meaning no net change in the COST OF THE SYSTEM. Which leads to
  5. More people not being able to afford commercial insurance, leaving them either without it, or on the "public plan".
  6. If they are a for profit, they HAVE to keep making a profit, so they'll probably raise the cost of their lower cost plans ANYWAY with the same results.
This will start what some would call "a vicious circle", and what I like to call "swirling round the porcelain pot". Because as more people fall off onto the public plan you're going to have to scramble for money to pay for it. Which means more taxes, more restructuring, more people on the public plan etc., until you reach the state that England is in.

One where MOST of the people get really, really crappy care and a (relatively) few people who either have their insurance paid for by the government (who will write themselves out of the excise tax) or are just rich, will be able to afford care with private doctors and clinics, or leave the country for health care (aka "medical tourism").

Oh, and let's look at secondary effects. Reportedly most of these "gold plated" plans are in Union states like Michigan, and EXPENSIVE states like NY (especially NYC) and California. You know, two places that have been hemorrhaging middle class citizens for the last 5 years? California's legal population is actually dropping. When you increase the costs of employer provided health care, what do you think those employers are going to do? Migrate jobs elsewhere if they can, or effectively reduce employees salaries by not giving raises. Which again means less money for the feds. Which means when inflation kicks in in about 18 months, we're screwed.

This Mr. Klein is where your plans are destined to take us. Because despite your rhetoric, despite your propaganda, health care in THIS country is better than any in the world. It costs very, very little to get your basic care. We spend more because we have more, and we really DO get more out of our system because we engage in all manner of really stupid lifestyles, from the prepared foods and sodas in front of the TV meals to wii's as a form of exercise to higher levels of smoking (until recently). We do more damage to ourselves because we've expected the health care system to keep up with it.

My daughter was able to see a specialist--a fairly rare specialist--within HOURS of her primary care physician noticing a possible problem.

Hours, Mr. Klein.

I was a "good boy" Mr. Klein. I did what the system told me I needed to do--I joined the Marines to earn money for college, then I went to College and got a degree. Then I learned a useful skill that people would pay good money for. I could have slacked off. I could have been even worse a father to my first kid--by not working like hell to get her on my health insurance as soon as I realized it was possible. I could have worked the shadow economy to avoid any "real" earnings and not sent her mom a dime in child support. After all, I was a punk, and I knew people who lived like that.

But I did this to pay for my needs and my families needs. And for the last 28 years you and fucking thieves like you have been taking money--which means a small part of my life--out of every finanical transaction I make to pay for useful shit like roads and the DoD and useless shit like ACORN and the NEA and Social Security (which is now going to be net-deficit sometime in the NEXT TWO YEARS).

You're sort of right Mr. Klein, it WILL reduce the cost of the overall system in 10-20 years, when it finally collapses. When there is no longer enough money in the system to support all but hte most basic research (you'll need the basic research to keep the plebes in line with "study shows extract from juju berries might increase bone density in left handed lemurs" so you at least make it LOOK like you're going to increase their chocolate ration sometime) you'll stop getting new drugs, new diagnostic tools and new procedures.

Maybe, maybe China or India will pick up the slack.

But either way I hope that when you produce "offspring who will spend half their time adoring me and the other half realizing every ambition I failed to make good on" that you never have to go through what I did with my second child--an emergency c-section (well, my wife went through that, but I had to watch) and then 7 days in the ICU.

But I hope that if you do, it's not under the health care system you advocate.

Because your child will die. Well, you're won't because you'll still be politically well connected, and call in favors, right? But someone's will, just like that poor woman in Britain who was punished for having sex by carrying a child for only 5 months and 21 days, 5 days shy of "the legal limit".

Wasn't even a live birth on their statistics.

I couldn't finish reading that article Mr. Klein, because some day I may be in England and I wouldn't want my vacation ruined by a desire to hunt down the doctors and give them the same treatment they gave that poor luckless baby.

We would treat that baby here Mr. Klein, we'd spend a million dollars to keep that baby alive.

Because we're better than them. We're Americans.

You're not.

Friday, September 18, 2009

For the Dogs

Down, boys. Heel.

Freakin' Vickles. First there was Norm, then there was Trigger, and now Bulldozer. This ever-growing chorus of canine commentators has become a thorn in my side. It's not that I have anything against dogs weighing in with their thoughts per se. I'm actually surprised they have something more to contribute than this. What I do have a problem with is their elitist attitude. Where the hell does a dog get off acting like that, anyway? It's the type of attitude I'd expect from a Siamese cat. Then again, they are Philly fans, and we all know there's no accounting for that lot.

There is just a bit of a contradiction going on here. What's good for the dog pound is expected to be good for everyone else, but what's good for everyone else might bore them to death. Norm dismissed me out of hand as a cold, vacuum-like shell of a person that doesn't understand passion or eros because I thought Event Horizon was a scary movie. Let's put aside the irony of getting a lecture on eros from a member of a species that knocks up their bitches (literally) and leaves them alone with eight babies at a time. Instead, let's just focus on what brought his comment up in the first place, namely that I was unimpressed by Cat People. Despite thinking it was a mediocre movie, I enjoyed talking about it and watching it and did gain some understanding about why some people think it's great. I think it's largely got to do with personal preference and nostalgia, but hey that's fine, thanks for sharing.

That's what gets me about this whole comic thing. It really miffs you dogs for some reason. Now see, your disdain would be justified if the message of the posts was, "OMG, ppl! Did u c the new issue of x-men? Wolverine is so fuckan kewl, man!" Instead, it actually is what Bulldozer is complaining that we aren't doing enough of. The entire reason I put those posts up was to share my life, ideas, memories, and values. Not only that, I'm also making an effort to tie these posts in to current events. I am not celebrating comic books in those posts. I am shouting to all of you, "Look at what these bastards tried to make me think!" These douche bags go after the kiddies, and that's part of the reason I can't write as much as I'd like. I'm not going to park my kids in front of the TV and let Nickelodeon shape their minds with their Obama propaganda cartoons and environmental brainwashing. I want to do everything I can to avoid contributing to the “next generation of psychopaths” as someone (LocoPunk?) said.

If any of you haven't yet seen the Avengers post, I'm begging you to read it, but leave your snobbery at the door. Norm chided me for not looking deeper into an '80s movie, which is an era of films I largely don't care for. Trigger chastised me for not being interested in the story of someone who frequents places like this. That's a two-way street, li’l doggies. You get what you give. Don't ignore the underlying theme of what I'm posting simply because there are comic books involved, then scoff in incredulity when I don’t become a Starchild believer.

I bring up the Avengers post because it reads virtually word for word everything that the left has been saying about the Tea Party & Obamacare protesters, yet it was published almost 20 years ago. This is what these people really think about all of us. That comic is just one example of how they have been spreading their bullshit ideology in our country. The left is stale, unoriginal, unrepentant, trying the same failed plans over and over again, yet most people nowadays have no idea. Otherwise how could someone run as a transformational, "fresh" candidate as they run around using the same old socialist rhetoric?

Bottom line is that comics were a part of my life experience and are really what first alerted me to liberal media bias. The ones I'm sharing are from the last year I ever bought comics and I'm showing you the reasons why. I did like them a lot, but even at a young age figured out that indoctrination was more important to these people than telling a good story or drawing cool pictures. It sucked because of how much I enjoyed them, but I had to drop them one series after another as the infection spread.

It's part of a larger story about the death of trust in media going on right now. This same hard-nosed groupthink has spilled into every facet of the media's existence, including the news. Maybe it's been there all along, maybe it's more widespread now. Either way, more and more people are doing the same thing with their TV shows and news reports that I started doing with comics way back then. We could very well reach the point where people don't trust the media to give them news or entertainment.

If that's not something you care about simply because you feel comics are beneath you, then you're essentially saying part of my life experiences are beneath you and not worth sharing. In other words, it doesn't matter how it ties in to current events or how it impacted my life; if there are doodles on a page involved, you just don't care. If that's the case, you mutts really need to appeal to the head honchos Over There to post some ground rules about what is and is not worthy to reference over here and at the other place. Don't be surprised if you end up seeing even less offerings after that happens, though, especially if the topics held as superior fare are ‘80s movies and UFO theories. Instead, let me use a liberal cliche and suggest that you fellas be a little more "open-minded". Perhaps it’s the similarity comics have to newspaper funny pages that make you want to reflexively defecate all over them, but trust me, there is something more to these posts than fan-boyerism.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The developing dispute over US tariffs of Chinese-made tires is likely to drive prices higher for Americans as Chinese tire producers appeal for a collective price hike to soften the blow from the recently approved tax.

Chinese tire exporters are also urging the government to offer higher tax rebates, said Zhou Zhiyong, general manager of China's largest tire exporter Guangzhou Huanan Rubber Tire Co Ltd.

"Chinese tire producers have reached a consensus that we are going to raise the price on tire exports to the US by large margins," Zhou told Guangzhou Daily. He added that the move would make American consumers feel the pain caused by the new tariff.
This is not big. This is bloody huge. This is the start of a trade war with China. More than that, it's a preview of a likely result of passing cap & trade, namely that we'll have to pass massive tariffs to give U.S. businesses any shot at surviving in the global marketplace. I know health care and ACORN are big right now, but I think this deserves an equal share of the nation's attention.

Let me direct your attention to two key parts of this article. All boldface is added:
Many [Chinese] tire companies have begun exploring markets outside the US...[such as] Europe, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa...
In other words, the entire rest of the damn world. And pay close attention to this next part:
In addition, China may sell its tires to countries like India, Japan, South Korea and Germany, who are likely to supplant China as the low-end tire suppliers to the US market...

Chinese imports come at the lower end of the price spectrum, where US producers have little interest in, or capacity for, making substitutes for the Chinese imports. More likely, their demand would be satisfied by imports from other countries who offer low-end, low-priced tires.
Got that? There is a reason U.S. companies don't make these tires: because it's not profitable enough. With metals there are material test reports that show who the manufacturer is and where the material originated. I don't know how the tire industry works, but if it's not as strict it's entirely possible we will still be buying these Chinese tires, just doing it through other countries like Japan & South Korea who will mark them up first. Or we'll be buying tires made in Japan & Korea which still won't help U.S. industry. Unless, that is, Obama enacts an across the board tariff that covers all import tires. Whatever happens, though, the American consumer loses because of increased costs.

What I don't understand is why Obama has decided to do this now, while he's in the middle of the health care fight, rising unemployment, and a host of other things. Is it as simple as he needed to pay back big labor? Is he trying to completely destroy our country? What explanation makes sense? No doubt this is going to be heralded by liberals as some sort of proof that he's a tough guy and willing to stand up to China.

The thing is, though, we have already put ourselves in such an incredible position of weakness with China that I don't see how we can be tough with them about anything until we start cutting spending and paying down the deficit. Obama's plan here is a little bit like walking up to the loan shark you haven't even begun to pay back yet, spitting in his eye and then smirking. Is that going to work? Hillary Clinton already went over there and begged them to buy more of our debt. Plus, how does Obama plan to fund Obamacare without a fully cooperative China to help out with all that increased debt that goes along with the price tag?

Also, protectionism is not going to revive the U.S. tire industry and make everything be well-run and profitable. If anything it will probably make it worse because these union-heavy companies will know that they no longer have any competition. And remember this strategy is the reverse of the Jedi mind trick the left is trying to play on us with health care and cap & trade, which is that the free market works as long as it's not free. This belief is the crux on which Obamacare and cap & trade are built. In one area, the theory is that cutting off access to fossil fuels will inspire the market to magically pull new technology out of its ass. For the other, it's that creating a government health care system (or "injecting competition" into the marketplace, depending on your rhetoric) will lower costs and increase quality of care. But, in the case of the tire industry, decreasing competition and jacking prices up will actually help everybody out. Which one is it, morons?

The big question right now is what will China do? They've already started an anti-dumping probe into U.S. poultry and auto products, but what will the result of that be? I don't see how they won't try to do the economic equivalent to us of breaking our legs with a lead pipe. Now they do have some peripheral drama going on, too, that may affect their decision, but I will be floored if they just take this lying down and don't retaliate. At the same time China is mulling this over, the United Steelworkers union (the same group that got the tire tariff increase) is just getting started:
U.S. Steel Corp. asked the U.S. Commerce Department to impose dumping and anti-subsidy duties of as much as 90 percent on some Chinese steel pipe imports, days after the Obama administration set tariffs on Chinese tires.

The petition was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission against $400 million in imports of pipes used in chemical, petrochemical, refineries and related operations, according to Roger Schagrin, a lawyer for the U.S. producers. The U.S. imposed tariffs this month on a different type of steel pipe from China in a separate case.
By the way, this showdown has been simmering since before last Friday. Things certainly seem to be coming to a boil now. Please make sure your seat belts are securely fastened. It's going to get a little bumpy with Cap'n Barry at the helm.


Thought you fellas had something to say.

Simmering resentments.

Cultural clashes, commentaries, and breakthroughs.


What do we have? Some chatter about comic books at the other site. Here? Nothing.

I promised there would be no intervention from "Over There."

This isn't intervention. It's a bit of wisdom you can accept or reject.

This is your opportunity to be on record. We are living through an incredibly important time. You may think your time is better spent earning a living, cuddling with kids, and riding your family through the recession. Better things to do and all that.

But you're wrong. "The unexamined life is not worth living." We could easily lose this confrontation between the Obamanistas and the Americans. If that happens, all that remains will be the record of those who lived through it, fought their hardest, and went down trying.

Does the "Diary of Anne Frank" ring a bell? A hundred years from now, that may well be all that remains of this resistance against totalitarianism. What we all write down now may be the only record of the fight and the catastrophe of our loss. Your lives, your ideas, your memories, your values, your land and friends and loves... these are worth some time out from the rest of life to set down with some care.

I'm asking you, beseeching you to LIVE here... so that the future will be able to see what living IS, or was... Don't just argue or postulate. Share. Record your lives and dreams and memories and all that makes you YOU. Think of this as a time capsule of the thinking ones who knew what was happening. Put all your beauties into the capsule as well as your angers.

As I said, disappointed. I mean, what do you think "Over There" is about? Showing off? It's always been about documenting a life of mind and heart and land and faith, fighting like hell the whole way against the countervailing tide. The joy of life. The rage against the gathering forces of death. The thrill of understanding how the war is being waged and leaping ferociously in wherever a well placed dagger might help.

This site should give rise to a hundred, a thousand. Instead it wilts in its lonely pot like an unwatered orchid.

Question your own passion, gentlemen. Question it every day. They may be unconscionable assholes "Over There," but when they wake up every day their first move is toward the sword at their side. Can you say that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP Jim Carroll.

A little late, but I guess better than never.

I wasn't a camp follower, but Some People Who Died was a punk rock classic, and Catholic Boy hit a nerve.

Here's hoping that if there's an afterlife he gets a comfortable one.

I can't drink to his soul right now, so one of you lift a glass for me.