Days of Change

Punked – Manhattan Edition

November 25, 2015
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Sadly, some of the things children learn in school are factoids, pointless trivia that is highly quotable but lacks any knowledge behind it. One of those is the “24 dollars” that the Dutch spent buying the island of Manhattan, worth approximately 3 trillion dollars in real estate today.

First of all, the purchase price was not $24 because US dollars didn’t exist. The price was 60 guilders. That currency exists today, and 60 Dutch guilders are worth $1000 US.  As far as the “beads” myth, there is no specific list of what was exchanged, but similar deals involved items like woven cloth and knives, things the Indians didn’t have the ability to produce.

Then there’s the more complicated question of property rights. One of the other stories about the deal is that the original Manhattan residents “sold” the land believing that land could not be owned then got a harsh lesson when they were driven off with guns. This is a total fabrication. Multiple tribes existed in America at the time, and land borders were constantly defined and negotiated.

There is a theory that the low low price of 60 guilders was actually paid to a group of natives who had no claim to the land at all. In modern vernacular, the Dutch were punked by scam artists. Later, they had to negotiate a much less favorable deal with the owners of the land.

Finally, the land that was Manhattan wasn’t extremely valuable. That land only became important decades later when it was the capital of the United States. That was followed by massive construction and becoming the financial center of the world. In the 1000 years before that, the tribes using that land made no changes to it whatsoever.

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When a Turkey Fights Back

November 24, 2015
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Flightless fowl have let to stage a rebellion against Thanksgiving, but the country of Turkey has had enough of Putin. The country is pretty territorial about their air space. They didn’t allow the US entry during the War on Terror. We all know Russia and Vladimir Putin, the Donald Trump of that country.

After some number of warnings, Turkish planes shot down Russian jets inside their air space. To add insult to injury, one of the pilots was shot to death by rebels along the Turkish border as he ejected. I assume Turkey is trying to show they are serious about not wanted to get involved. However, making your bones going against Putin can lead to you getting a Polonium enema.

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Great Thanksgiving So Far

November 23, 2015
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My car decided to break down this morning, so this holiday is going well so far. No currents events news today, except Obama is still a jackass and New Orleans is as bad as Syria.

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The Anti-Bush

November 22, 2015

For decades, Israel has had to deal with attacks from Muslims at a military level and from bombings, both live and remote. As a result, their country has a strong security stance, while at the same time, allowing Muslims into the country every day to work.

Europe has seen a steady “browning” of their population as non-European immigrants outgrow the dwindling resident population. Even so, attacks were not something to be concerned about until the last decade or so.

America has had a more scattered history with home-grown terror. The Clinton administration made great efforts to convince the public that the first World Trade Center attack was amateur (in reality, it was very close to completing its goal) or that some poor security guard set off a pipe bomb at the Olympics in 1996.

Bush brought America front and center with the War on Terror. Being a protracted fight, there were some wins and some losses. It turned out that people wanted a quick victory that maintained the dignity of the Muslims fighting us. That’s how we got Obama.

Now that we’re in a world where nearly every country faces the reality of terrorist attacks, we have a president who refuses to let the terrorists win a moral victory by letting them win actual victories. Blow up a few Muslims, read everyone’s e-mail (especially journalists) and we can catch all the really important terror plots. If we do get attacked, the first thing this White House will do is blame Edward Snowden.

Obama really is the anti-Bush. If America learned one thing over these 8 years, I hope it’s that Obama is not Bush.

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The Turkey Cometh

November 21, 2015
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Did you know turkey is the most popular sandwich meat? I guess it makes sense since people only cook or eat a whole turkey on a few days of the year. Most of the time, turkey tastes enough like chicken that we use those easier whole birds or head over to KFC.

Anyway, I’m not sure where my turkey is coming from this year.

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Did You Hear What Trump Said?

November 20, 2015

Unfortunately, there are so many right-leaning opponents of Donald Trump that lamestream media generated stories are being picked up by usually anti-media conservative blogs. Today’s story about Trump calling for a Muslim registry a la Hitler was a totally manufactured event, complete with manufactured quotes. picked up on this because they focus on media lies. I also think they like Trump because he follows the Andrew Breitbart belief that politics is upstream of cultural. Like him or not, Trump is a cultural icon.

My problem is that I don’t like Trump himself. He’s a preening egomaniac who thinks his shit don’t stink. He doesn’t take back wrong things he says, but merely slowly changes course to keep people from knowing. He’s a lot like Barack Obama, who stops reading reports about terrorism that contradict his world view.

The thing he said that I actually paid attention to was an attack on Fox contributor Mary Katherine Ham. She’s back from time off after losing her husband to a tragic accident, and is still 38 weeks pregnant.

Now, MK is perfectly capable of handling being called dumb by Trump. I do find it typical of Trump. First, he can’t disagree with anyone because he’s an intellectual absolutist. Either they agree with him or they are objectively wrong. It’s the disease harbored by every Social Justice Warrior trying to make George Orwell’s dystopian future come true.

Second, he could keep his powder dry once in a while. It diminishes his campaign and it really pisses off the conservatives like me who may be faced with the prospect of voting for Trump in a general election. There was probably a 30 second window today where I might have pulled a lever for Hillary Clinton just because Trump is such a jerk.

Trump is what we colloquially refer to as a douchebag. Putin is also like that and as much as he wants to kick ISIS ass, there’s no way in hell I’d want him in a position of leadership in America. By the way, Hillary also has the best margin of not losing against Trump than any other Republican.

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Universal Stealth Care

November 19, 2015
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A large insurance provider, United Health Care, is giving every indication that it is getting the hell out of Obamcare exchanges. Unlike one of their core businesses, group insurance plans for companies, Obamacare exchanges offer expensive plans for people with limited means, making it financially viable only for those with huge medical needs and just enough money to scrape together for the 5 figure premiums and deductibles per year.

Unlike Romneycare, Obamacare is not allowed to compel Americans to buy insurance. Instead, they can only be fined taxed a relatively paltry sum in comparison to the plan premiums required. This means that if you are not on welfare, you’ll probably risk paying cash for health care instead of the thousands you’d pay for not seeing a doctor.

Each year, the people paying for these “bronze” plans are ones seeking the best value (i.e. the sickest) and causing a net loss for insurers. In turn, every year they have to reset their rates upward due to losses from the year before. Eventually, only Blue Cross is going to be the insurer for all Obamacare, at least until they stop getting subsidized. Then Democrats get their single payer.

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Rational Actors

November 18, 2015
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It seems like every time we talk about taking military action against whatever a group of murderous Muslims wants to call themselves this week, someone brings up this recruiting tool argument.

We’ve all heard it ad nauseum. When the US, the West, or any collection of human beings kills a Muslim, guilty or not, a whole bunch of terrorist recruiters use that brand new video to get otherwise rational young Muslim men to go blow themselves up for Allah. The unsaid conclusion is that we should never seek justice since just completely giving up would turn terrorists into quitters like us.

This assumes a lot of things that are wholly inaccurate. Mainly, we can’t believe that we are talking about rational actors here. People who commit suicide by bomb or airplane or attack civilians lack the basic empathy that makes human beings a noble race. It does not make them inhuman, but it makes them irrational. The knowledge that you have enemies does not make you irrational.

Like so many totalitarian societies, the Islamic state (pick one) uses psychological techniques and what could be called brainwashing to control the masses. To paraphrase Lincoln, you can’t turn all of the people into suicide bombers all of the time, but you can turn some of them some of the time. When a wedding or whatever other event gets bombed by accident, it is more of a public relations tool (often used by Western Leftists) rather than a recruitment tool.

There are already Muslim clerics who claim that most of Europe belongs to them and merely living on that land puts the residents in danger. Even if you don’t like Ronald Reagan, he’s right that you can’t negotiate with terrorists. Like Obama or Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s brain, they want their way and there are no acceptable negotiations. We need to do the same. It’s only rational.

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You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down

November 17, 2015
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This is not about Donald Trump. However, this involves Donald Trump.

There are always people who vote against something rather than for it. While Hillary Clinton praised George W. Bush’s calls against Islamophobia, she would never vote for him. The people who would otherwise vote for Bush might be less interested in doing that after hearing about his calls against something that wasn’t really a problem.

If there was a box for “Not Bush” in 2008, that would have been the clear winner. The closest thing was denying Republicans the presidency. Barack Obama was the perfect “Not Bush” candidate. He was a Democrat, he didn’t have a political dynasty. He had no particular history and he was a younger Black guy. Plus, he didn’t want to fight with the other side, talking about working with the other side of the aisle.

To a real extent, people got their “not Bush.” Obama neglected the Middle East military stage, preferring to focus on praising Muslim powers in the region, regardless of how they felt about America and the West. Legitimate concerns were turned into dangerous ungood thoughts about the mythical good Muslims who seem to easily integrate with the bomb strapping kind.

I’m betting that the marginal reelection of Obama in 2012 was due to claims that killing bin Laden ended terrorism, the lack of any real consequences from Obamacare until the following year, and generous amounts of game rigging by the Democrats. I also think that Hillary Clinton is less popular now than in 2008, making it impossible for the Democrats to win the election next year.

This week’s public support of Donald Trump by Sarah Palin (and vice-versa) may be a sign that people who have been ignored by both political parties may have a place to vote for something other than “Not Obama.” The issues that Trump represents, opposing immigration by people who don’t want to be Americans so much as just don’t want to be where they are, fighting the people who want to kill you, and letting businesses run their business, are wildly popular and seem to be ignored by candidates who are funded by big business, including Democrats.

I still think Trump found the right message rather than being the right messenger. Unfortunately, I may have to live with this mailman despite what he does on his off hours.

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Islamophilia Administration

November 16, 2015
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I use the term Islamophilia to describe actions that don’t simply avoid the appearance of bias against Muslims or Islam, but actively prefer Islam because of a perceived victim status.  Essentially, it’s liberals fetishizing terrorists.

Obama admonished anyone who had to listen that we can’t slow the fire hose of unknown Syrian “refugees” (mostly young and male, contrary to the population of most refugees) just because they are Muslim. However, the administration is not allowing Syrian refugees just because they are Christian.

Bush tried to be careful of not going after Islamic culture directly during the Afghan war, sometimes to the detriment of the cause. However, he did this as an act of diplomacy. Barack Obama has never met a special interest group that wasn’t superior to the majority, including himself. He doesn’t prefer terrorists because they are morally superior, he thinks they are morally superior because they are not White and Christian.

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