Sunday, January 29, 2012

The state of the TEA party

I posted an opinion on This is Reno about the state of the TEA party movement. I think for many Republicans, the race is effectively over. Not that Mr. Romney is going to beat Mr. Gingrich, it's more a case of it just doesn't matter. Ron Paul will get his 5-20 percent; that won't matter either. The TEA party lost this one and lost their reason for being in the process.

Opinion: TEA party perdition

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I’m going to try and re-launch a somewhat weekly Twitter highlights post. You may remember when I re-started this blog, it was something I was going to do. I think it lasted all of one or two posts. Since I now spend most of my internet time on Twitter and some of my readers refuse to join, maybe this will help them see the light. If you follow me on Twitter, but don’t breathlessly await my every utterance, you may have missed one or two items. In any case, here’s some of what I’ve been tweeting about in order of appearance.

EV’s in the ALMS?

There’s a lot going on in electric vehicle racing development. They expect to start an international series in 2013. At least one car, the Quimera AEGT will make some demonstration runs in a few ALMS races this year. No word yet on whether they will be at Laguna Seca in May.

Quimera AEGT
Quimera AEGT /photo courtesy

GOING GREEN: International Electric Vehicle Racing Championships Envisioned

There are also plans for a Touring GT series, a road legal series, a Formula F3 series, and motorcycles. There is a Quimera promotional video in the article.

Nature Ain’t Disneyland

In what has to be one of the more bizarre stories I’ve read in a good, long time, DNA evidence suggests that an activist for baby seals, William Walkman, was apparently beaten to death by angry adult seals. Of all the stupid ways to get yourself killed, this has to rank at the top.

Baby Seal Man

One might think that since seals have teeth and eat meat, they might have bitten him. But that’s not how it went. I imagine they could give you a swift slap across the jowls by using their front fins, maybe head-butt you in the groin, or something, but that wouldn’t kill you. They apparently beat him with their tails. I guess there’s a few hundred pounds of muscle in a seal’s tail, so yeah, that would probably do it.

What’s fascinating to me about it is it wasn’t just one seal. It was a group of them, acting in concert, and at night as he slept. It was a planned attack, hours, possibly days after Mr. Walkman‘s perceived indiscretion. I have to wonder if this is a learned behavior they got from us killing their babies, or if they did this sort of thing before. In any case, in an odd and unintentional way, Mr. Walkman’s death has given me a whole new respect for seals.

Of The Earth, By The Earth, For The Earth

Locally, two of my friends at This is Reno have started a new podcast called News and Views, Earth. Ryan Jerz and Jim Scripps are two knowledgeable, creative guys who are both good conversationalists. I’m sure the show will evolve over time, but one thing for sure; whatever it turns into is going to be interesting and likely pretty funny. I’m really looking forward to it.

News And Views 1

GOP Conspiracy Theory

I think I’ve been tweeting about Ron Paul too much. But I can’t help it. After desperately trying to ignore him, it began to look like he might win the Iowa Caucus. That‘s when the knives came out. The Republican Party’s fear and loathing of Dr. Paul has been beyond belief; worse than anything Sarah Palin put up with. It’s as if they believe that were we to cut the military by even a single M-16 cartridge, all Hell would break loose.

Overall, my take on the last couple of months is that the TEA party had it exactly backwards; the go along get along crowd are the true conservatives, the limited government types are the real RINO’s. We’ll need a new name to avoid confusion, though. I suggest ‘Barbarians.’ As the Nanny State goes global, we’ll probably end up with a name like that anyway.

The latest screed comes from an otherwise sane, Kimberly Strassel, at the Wall St. Journal.

What Ron Paul Wants

She worries about Dr. Paul influencing the party platform at the convention, and if he doesn’t get his way, a third party run. Silly conservative that she is, she doesn’t realize that most Barbarians don’t vote for major party’s anyway, and party platforms are meaningless to presidential contenders. Except for lip service, even Ronald Reagan ignored the party platform. I would suggest that Ron Paul is running for president because he wants to be president. Just a thought.

So to recap then, racing season approaches, there’s lots of entertainment on the internet, and I’ll soon be heading back into the political wilderness. Oh, and I landed a new job, too. Life is returning to normal.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review

For any reader(s) who don’t follow me on Twitter or read This is Reno, I wrote a book review that I posted on This is Reno. My friend Bob Conrad has written a second book, this one deals with media bias. It’s not about political bias though, just human bias and how it affects the news business. There’s also some stuff in there about where the news business is headed. It really is a pretty good book.

Spin: How the news media misinform and why consumers misunderstand

Monday, January 2, 2012

When enough is enough

You can always tell when we’re about to wage another pointless and meaningless war when the WWII and Hitler analogies start appearing. Last time, it was Saddam Hussein who was the next Hitler. Now, it’s the Iranians. It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the North Korean regime. They always seem to get left out.

My old buddy Orrin Johnson is even getting in on the act. He has a theory as to what might have happened if Ron Paul had been president in the 1930’s and ‘40’s. Orrin also directs us to the Ace of Spades blog, and as might be predicted, another WWII analogy. This one’s about the Holocaust. Would a President Paul have declared war on Germany to stop the concentration camps? No, he would have done nothing, just as President Roosevelt did. Would President Paul have bombed the train tracks leading to the camps once the war had started? No, he would have used those bombs against the trains going from the munitions factories to the front lines, just as President Roosevelt did.

Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. Whoever would have thought that Ron Paul would be in the mainstream of military strategy? The fact is, humanitarianism is not a cause for war. It never has been. These WWII analogies are really pretty meaningless. They’re like asking what would happen if George S. Patton had been in charge of British forces at Yorktown, or how many states would we have if Genghis Khan had been King of the Eskimo’s.

The US Navy is said to be larger than the next thirteen largest navies combined. We currently have troops in 130 of the 180 countries on the planet. Of all the money spent on the world’s militaries, the US spends roughly 50%. My question for Orrin and Ace is the same that any of us would ask a liberal regarding taxes; How much is enough?

Ace goes on to poke fun at conspiracy theorists who are also supporting Ron Paul. Ace makes the mistake of confusing the symptoms for the disease. I think we can all agree with Thomas Jefferson that the success of a Democratic Republic depends on an informed citizenry. When the government hides behind a wall of secrecy, the public is forced to use their imaginations to find answers.

As I recall, conspiracy theories started with the Kennedy assassination’s Warren Commission. Whether by incompetence or design, there were too many unanswered questions. At about that time the Air Force closed Project Blue Book without explanation. The conspiracy theory industry has been with us ever since.

And now here comes the Department of Homeland Security. DHS was created because the 38 or so federal law enforcement agencies were not only keeping secrets from the public, but were keeping secrets from each other as well. It was designed as a clearing house for all the secrets. How is it working out? Nobody knows. They don’t tell us. It’s a secret.

If you want some insight as to what the Ron Paul deal is about, I suggest Daniel Henninger’s latest effort for the Wall Street Journal. There are really two Ron Paul’s. One is the “cranky Texas Libertarian,” and the other is an idea, the growing realization that there is too much. There is too much secrecy, too many closed door meetings, too many foreign adventures to no effect, too many leaders who are no more than slippery salesmen in disguise, too much intrusion, too many academic theories taken as Gospel, too many non-answers, too much fiddling around the edges, too much kicking cans down the road, too much bullshit.

Really fella’s, haven’t you had enough yet?