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The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves

Here is our usual weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘News Selected By Our Correspondents’ thread above or via the link found in the sidebar.


This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 14th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves”

  1. DW says:

    I’m about three quarters of the way through Mark Steyn’s book After America.
    Certainly not cheery reading thus far. I’m curious who else has read it and what do you think of it?

  2. Petronius says:

    A lesson from Roman history –– with parallels to the death of American journalism, the Liberal war on success, and the state of the Republican Party :

    With the Second Triumvirate (43 BC), and following the proscriptions, oratory became a dead art. The last great orator and constitutionalist, Cicero, had been murdered, his head and his hands cut off and displayed on the Rostra in the Forum. After this, freedom of speech and justice no longer had a place in public life. There was no longer any use for oratory in the Senate or in the Forum. Where despots ruled, brutality and craft counted for more than eloquence and knowledge of law.

    Furthermore, real merit was no longer the path to success –– indeed, success itself had become unsafe, as well as somehow disreputable. Most of the rich were proscribed; many were killed, while others fled, either to safety or to be hunted down. A number were spared because they had well placed relatives or connections, but still they all lost their property. In such revolutionary times as these, who wants to rise above the common herd? For if oratory still had a use, it was used by the demagogue to arouse an armed mob for violence and class warfare. Or to issue an encomium for the man in power. How much more agreeable –– and safer –- to keep a low profile, to stand quietly on the sidelines, mind one’s own business, and devote one’s energies to some respectable activity?

    And so the Romans turned away from public affairs, and turned instead to philosophy, literature, family pursuits, and taking care of business. They made no attempt to conceal their departure.

    Poets, writers and artists became disillusioned and melancholy. Some devoted themselves to the study of history, antiquities, and genealogies. Sallust had crossed swords with Cicero in the Senate, and under Caesar had commanded troops at Thapsus and governed a province. But now Sallust retired from public life, and wrote with pessimism about civil war and class warfare, of the decay of ancient virtues and the ruin of the Roman people, and still found time to improve his gardens. Varro had been a tribune of the plebs and commanded an army under Pompey. Now he wrote about agriculture. The official religion offered no solace, since it was part of the fabric of the Roman State. But some found comfort in Stoicism, with its doctrines of peace of mind, and calm composure in the face of destiny. Epicureanism extolled tranquility, the simple life, abstention from politics and public life, and the cultivation of private virtue.

    And so the politician, the lawyer, and the orator withdrew, withered away, and perished. Rhetoric was still taught in private by the tutors, but no longer with a view toward training boys for a life of public speaking in the Senate or in the courts of law. By the time of Tacitus, in the late first century AD, the focus of oratory had shifted to training students in the art of storytelling. In due course, it was studied as an intellectual exercise or a quaint curiosity, as today scholars might study Logic or Latin manuscripts. In time it was forgotten completely. For once lost, these arts were lost forever.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Dedicated to Sean Penn, Allah’s gift to public debate, spokesman for the Occupy movement.

      Thanks as always, Petronius.

  3. Melly says:

    An amusing op-ed piece on the fleabaggers by Ted Nugent

    NUGENT: Nobody needs Michael Moore’s hypocritical advice

    Idiots are easily manipulated. They are useful pawns, and that’s about it. Consider the stooges of the fledgling movement “Occupy Wall Street.” These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.

    From what I can tell, the softheaded numskulls of Occupy Wall Street want investment bankers to give up their wealth, as in “spread the wealth around.” They are blaming Wall Street for the sad state of our economic malaise and for all the other problems of the world.

    Poster boy for the morbidly obese and natural leader of the hygiene-challenged, uber-lefty America-haters, Michael Moore spoke out in favor of Occupy Wall Street. What he didn’t tell the crowd of useful idiots and what they are too stupid to grasp is that he is one of the wealthy individuals whom he and they supposedly despise. I would gladly pay for a first-class, one-way ticket for Mr. Moore to the socialist or Marxist country of his choosing if he promises to stay there.

    Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade.

    Yes, people, especially young people, have a right to be angry, and the smart ones are focusing their anger on President Obama, Rep. Barney Frank, former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, and other anti-free-market socialists. They are the ones who have wrecked the economy….


  4. Melly says:

    Livestream video of the OWS flea baggers protest around the country and the world. The website belongs to Canadian anti-corporate publication Adbusters.

    Adbusters apparently originated the OWS movement:http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111014/occupy-toronto-wall-street-111015/20111015/?hub=EdmontonHome

    Here’s the link to Adbusters including the livestream video and tweets from flea baggers. The tweets are facinating: http://www.adbusters.org/

  5. proreason says:

    The silence on S&L about Herman Cain is deafening.

    It appears that Rush and Mark Levin have found their candidate. Other sites are abuzz about him.

    I’ll confess to not being impressed with Mr Cain as a potential president. What say the S&L’ers?

    • Melly says:

      Agreed proreason. Cain has had many misteps with foreign relations etc. And his Empower Zones of his 999 plan is disconcerting. However, he is appealing because he represents the American Dream. Talking heads need to realize that they cannot “occupy” the GOP nomination process essentially thinking they can choose a nominee for us. Who is the “establishment” nowadays? The line is blurred.

    • mr_bill says:

      Good question, Pro.

      I like Cain for a few reasons, not the least of which is that he is not a politician by “trade.” He knows you don’t “borrow money to meet payroll” as nerobama suggested in one of his under-reported blunders.

      While I am resistant to the idea of a national sales tax, I am willing to consider it as part of a tax re-structuring plan that eliminates the IRS and taxes those members of society whose incomes are otherwise un-taxed: i.e, illegal invaders, drug dealers, prostitutes, and members of nerobama’s cabinet. If it can be done with measures preventing Congress from raising the thing all the time (like a 2/3rds majority needed for raising it), I can be persuaded to support it. I think there is an investor-friendly nature to his plan that would increase capital-investment in the US, which is precisely what we need to grow the entire economy. Look no farther than the wild economic expansion which followed Reagan’s tax policies. This bolus of capital investment in the US from the Reagan era was still playing a role in US economic expansion when Newt became Speaker of the House.

      Beyond that, Cain seems to be the only GOP candidate who can give a straight answer on a question. I can’t stand Romney and Perry dancing around the questions any longer. Romney is the establishment candidate because he, in my opinion, is nested somewhere between Bill Clinton and nerobama in terms of his policies. The “soft-republicans” love that as does the left. He is their “Big-Tent” Republican. He is NOT a conservative. If Romney is the best we can do, we might as well trot out Juan McCain for another run at the presidency. We all saw how well a “Big-Tent” Republican did against an inexperienced, un-vetted, unknown, uber-liberal, community agitator. That’s exactly what the left wants us to do again and if we’re not careful, we’ll end up with another milque toast, wishy-washy, quasi-liberal, RINO candidate like Romney who will either capitulate to liberals, diddle around as much as the current president, or get the country backed into a corner because he’s worried about focus-groups and polls instead of standing up for what is right. I can’t vote for that.

      I can’t take Rick Perry seriously, either. Sure he carries a concealed weapon and hasn’t done anything really, really awful as Governor of Texas, but he hasn’t done anything all that great, either. The TX legislature meets for 120 days every 2 years and the Office of the Governor is practically neutered. Its not a hard state to govern because it doesn’t give much power to its state government. In 3 terms, he has failed to do anything (even start the debate in the TX legislature) about the constant influx of illegals (he hasn’t even really taken a position on whether or not he thinks its a bad thing) and the whole HPV vaccine thing chapped my behind. I suspect that when really pressed on the issues, he probably falls somewhere near Mitt Romney on everything. Let’s not forget he “used” to be a democrat, until he figured out he couldn’t win on that ticket in Texas anymore. Besides, his got his moment in the spotlight and didn’t do anything with it. Cain is doing something.

      The other candidates are white noise. Bachmann is probably the most conservative, but she never gained any traction for a few reasons. This post is long enough without going into them. Huntsman, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul haven’t got much of a shot either and they ought to throw in the towel already.

      Throw out everybody who isn’t conservative and doesn’t stand a chance and the only candidate left standing is Cain. I’m happy to support him. Not because he is the only guy left, but because he’s the only candidate who I believe has the intestinal fortitude, principles, and the economic experience to lead the country in a time when those will be the most valuable assets of the next President. He isn’t a push-over and stands his ground when he needs to (think what that will do for our foreign relations). He knows that successful people surround themselves with the best and brightest (not just their union buddies from back in Chicago). And he drives the establishment liberals crazy. I can’t wait for the verbal thrashing that Cain rains down on nerobama (sans teleprompter) in the Presidential Debates next year. Just imagine that for a minute and try to picture any other republican candidate (with a legitimate shot of being elected) doing it any better than Cain. If anybody can picture a candidate doing it better, I’d love to hear who and why?

    • proreason says:

      I can live with Romney, on the theory that Congress will tote the water. The next pres will be inconsequential anyway, if I get my way.

      Perry has made too many mistakes for my taste, but I love his energy plan. The mistakes make me worry he can’t beat Obama

      I find Cain to be bizarre, but I know most don’t feel the same way. It’s interesting that so many people are willing to roll the dice with such an unknown quantity on his word alone. The lack of experience isn’t a plus in my way of thinking.

      Bachman and Santorium deselect themselves by appearing overly ideological. They will turn off independents.

      Huntsman can’t catch hold and is too liberal anyway.

      Paul has a great economic plan, if conservatives ruled the world: but he’s a nut on foreign policy and isn’t even close to being electable.

      I might like Gary Johnson, but you never hear anything about him.

      So I’ve landed for a few moments at least with Newt. He has the best brain and best plan and he handles the media the best of any of them and speaks well. I’m over the rino slur. He’s conservative enough for me. I can forgive him sitting next to the Witch in an ad. This election is too important to worry about that stuff. I’m also discounting his personal foibles unless I learn that he is a wierder than me (a hard hill to climb). I’m thinking (hoping?) that he is electable.

      But I could jump to Romney if Gingrich can’t rise up, and if Perry learns how to defend himself he could come back into my personal vision as well.

    • David says:

      I don’t know why but I also feel a bit unsure about Cain. He strikes me as a great commentator but for some reason doesn’t seem to exude the aura which commands attention. Obama may be a bumbling idiot but he does have air of leadership about him, IMO. Romney and Perry are the only guys on stage whom I have seen that type of air. I have mentioned before that I also think Romney might not be conservative to the core but I think he is smart enough to know which side his bread is buttered on. If conservatives and the tea party are a significant election force I think he will tow the line regardless of his personal convictions. Like his faith, I don’t give a rats butt what his personal views are as long as he governs like a conservative.

    • beautyofreason says:

      I have mixed views on him. Certain relatives love the guy because they are small business owners and want more of the country to pay taxes while relieving their own tax burden, which has increased due to Obama care. I like most of Cain’s views but I am lukewarm on the 999.

      I think he’s up in the polls because people are wary of the RINOs. Conservatives were turned off by Romneycare and Perry’s support of college funds for illegals. Cain as of yet has not been tussled by the media and he is the most likable of the conservative front runners. Bachmann and Newt are out according to the polls; Ron Paul seems to win in local straw polls and he has a small minority of passionate supporters, but he is too cozy with the anarchist left and against national defense for my tastes.

      I’ll vote for Cain if he ends up with the nomination. I’m fairly sure he will back down from his tax plan if there is enough public hubris; what he wants to do to the Fed and IRS is pretty radical for a conservative candidate. As of May 2011 he was saying abolish the IRS and implement a 23% national sales tax, which is different from the 999. I’m fine with him testing the economic waters and believe our current tax codes are far too complicated, so I’ll give him time before the election to clarify the plan. At least by vetting the 999 he can get public opinion and refine as needed. There’s no way he will keep it if it becomes a liability.

    • tranquil.night says:

      I remember a wise man once saying here that the person who unapologetically tells the truth abouth this regime is the one who will win this primary and the election; similar to how Rush says they who control the language, the narrative, own the debate.

      Right now that man is Mr. Cain. That, along with the other keen observations made here, have contributed to the clearing of a major hurdle in his candidacy with top tier status in the polls, a feat I honestly did not think would be accomplished for the very reason of the political liability of his inexperience in held office. Personally, while Pro and others I think have valid points, to me, his status as an outsider is a net positive, since, as Pro says, should a Republican win then they will also come with a strong mandate and the watchful eye of a Conservative Congress. But also because I believe he will populate the Executive with experts unbeholden to the establishment and as motivated as he is/we are to reduce its scope and power to outmaneuver Congress on practically everything at this point, two real fears I have with Mittoast and the Rockefeller Good Ol’ Boys. The establishment has proven that they love stacking themselves into a bloated executive branch almost as much as the Statists.

      Overall Herman’s candidacy has intrigued me. I was a big fan of his participation at his announcement despite my overall skepticism, but thought he’d be relegated to a small run when he fell for some MBM traps early and only seemed to generate buzz when he asserted the belief that municipalities can legally ban mosques. But he very gracefully admitted his error while still defending his greater point on the matter, showing a level of dynamism in his ability to recognize, understand and most importanly correct and rectify poor decisions, views, or statements. We don’t see and aren’t going to get that ability from our seasoned professional politicians anymore, where all political messaging and calculations are honed through a very technocratic, statistical process to come up with the same regurgitateable identity-politic-tailored talking points that say nothing at all while appearing to sound intelligent. That, above all else, I think is Cain’s unique key asset to victory, because it is that energy that’s defined the success of the Tea Party in combating the false narratives of the Left. It is a movement dedicated to above all else solving problems by learning from past errors and communicating the benefits of their solutions through factual arguments as well as principled ones, rather than just sit around and let the Liberals throw mud and verbal fecal matter at us. We’ve embarassed them consistently, often simply by charting the history of their own statements, and shame is a powerful serum against those who draw their popularity through a false image they present. It is a powerful tool we are looking for a leader to properly utilize because the country is in too dire of straits for our political debate to be forever be dominated by screaming of “You’re racist, you want women, children, etc to die, be hung, etc” until we just give up and submit to their machinations.

      In terms of overall growth as a candidate, politician, and mainstream figure, I think no one could even come close to rivaling Herman over the course of this process except Newt, who has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of all his past odd political chicanery to reclaim his mantle as an immensely savvy policy guru. The ideas in the new Contract with America literally blew me away and left me embarassed for first sneering “Oh great, another hokey basket of empty promises – or should I say Right-Wing Social Engineering™” at the start of its rollout. As probably the most unconventional ticket that probably could be conceived, nevertheless I think a Cain/Gingrich ticket would be incredibly formidable in how one man’s strengths greatly counter and balance the other’s weaknesses.

      With regards to the 9-9-9 plan, I agree with it principally and have warmed to it considerably as it’s come to be understood as a full on tax reform plan. Cain’s been especially impressive in selling it, marked by moments like this past weekend where he factually and effectively refuted the WSJ analysis of his plan and making David Gregory look like a moron, highlighted on Levin’s show today.

      But what actually bugs me about this bold of a tax reform plan being the centerpiece of this years candidacy is not in it’s substance inasmuch that it’s such a politically volatile issue with incredible potential for the Left to demagogue, which they will on a magnitude beyond that which we could dare to imagine. As Levin says – if you’re going to shoot to radically change the tax code so much, why not move to abolish the income tax under the 16th Ammendment as to prevent the Liberals the opportunity of hiking rates again after we’ve lowered them? In terms of using political capital to influence and shape the narrative, currently I think there are stronger policy issues on our platform on which there is already a broad consensus for action if championed: entitlement reform, spending caps, curbing corruption/cronyism/redistributionism, energy development, eliminating departments, etc. However, the tax code really does get at the root of why we are losing our competitiveness nationally, Cain is hitting home some very key points on this topic that I love are hitting the mainstream, and his surge in the polls continue even as Conservatives express their reservations about the plan and his overall candidacy. It’s all very interesting and it’s really his race to lose in the end. Were our party’s voters to nominate him, I’d support him without reservation against Spike, that’s all it boils down to for me.

      Biggest surprise of the week goes to Ron Paul, whose plan (at least what’s been highlighted) consists of I think the most optimal approach to reducing the Leviathan in the first couple years out from Barackalypse Now of a reformist administration. Now it’s well established at this point that the Sr. Paul is an eccentric Liberaltarian with a merry parade of thinly disguised anarchists that care way more about freedom from any sort of social responsibility than the free markets, but dang, whoever is consulting him on what ideas to employ to win the attention of Conservatives need to to be hit up by the rest of the field.

      Cain’s next hurdle is money. Right now the best plans are coming from the people without the big money, and voters are responding to the substance of those ideas rather than just ignoring them for the safety of whose got the necessary capital and conventional wisdom to win the election. That’s a great victory for our primary process and a great vindication for the Tea Party, who have stressed since the beginning that they want to see a substantive competion and candidates work to earn their vote with specific ideas rather than just overwhelming the process with money, chump pandering, and mainstream press coverage. Instead of the cliche watered down milquetoast talk, we are starting to see ideas advocated for years picked up and gain teeth by big sponsors from across the spectrum of our coaltion. The meat and potatoes of the matter, exactly what Conservatives are craving, and exactly what the establishment was looking to avoid by trying to wrap it up quick for the Mittster (who I still will support in a general!)

  6. tranquil.night says:

    So much to say, no way to say it in 150 characters or less!

    That’s why if you were to look up the name of the Soul of Wit, other than Brevity you’d find Steve Gilbert. Enjoy your much deserved break, o tip of the spear!

    I don’t think there was a doubt in any of our minds of the phony, manufactured nature of Occupy Wall St. from day one. It was all calculatably predictable and indeed it was predicted over and over. This is what they’ve been pushed to in desperation to blunt the effectiveness of America’s real protest movement, and it’s what we knew they had the resources to organize.

    Yet the contrasts between how the Liberals and Conservative worldviews prompt people to organize to solve problems are as clear as night and day. One looks to some grand elite nanny state, the other to themselves. The results are now self-evident!

    • proreason says:

      Did you finally decide to leave California?

    • tranquil.night says:

      Heh, well met sir.

      You know you’re in California when Left is right and right is wrong!

      But nay, despite the Southern half of our State reverting back to a desert while simultaneously exploding in population growth on it’s jog (nary becoming a sprint now) to becoming New Tijuana while also living under a despotic regime whose obsession with saving the environment is ironically killing it, an impotent Republican party dominated by blue-bloods and cozy with their Democrat overlords, a Tea Party regiment alarmingly abundant with Paulbots, nevertheless my roots remain well planted here on the Fool’s Gold coast.

      Somebody’s gotta remain the voice of sanity!

      And maybe someday the State of Ronaldus Magnus will get its head out of its posterior. I’d put money on the odds of Sean Penn and Jeanine Garafolalolol doing so first, however. People don’t get rid of their roaches here unless it’ll get them high.

  7. tranquil.night says:

    Bachmann hit on the regime’s attempted reanimation of the CLASS Act even with their own Health Department pronounincing it dead very effectively in last night’s debate. Overall, she remains the lead stalwart for slaying That Which Must Be Repealed and continues to perform very well when she’s on message. However her nature to convey arguments in starkly partisan terms, something I love so much about her leadership in the House (where the Establishment leadership cowers in the face of the absurd), I find to be a bit of a double-edged sword in a presidential race. On the one hand, she’s in her element in her ability to lay out her arguments against this regime’s failures on a case by case basis as is the lawyer’s craft. Then sometimes, more in the structured debates where there’s little time to speak, she’ll miss opportunities to seize the narrative with her solutions and instead spend the bulk of her response reciting her talking points on how Obama has failed on the particular issue. I still find her very much relevant to the race, and bringing valuable assets to the competitive primary process.

    Other than Newt, she has the most comprehensive vision reflecting the ambitious targets across all policy spectrums we HAVE to make into center-folds of an incoming administration to stall this economic, political, and social death-spiral before the consequences become self-enacting and the path to a solution that much more painful. Michele also has a level of passion for undertaking the tasks ahead that I think matches Herman Cain’s, but doesn’t enjoy his overall likeability factor. The conventional wisdom if we line up behind her, Obama’s a lock. That’s the hurdle in front of her right now.

    My favorite wrap-up of the debate comes from Dan Riehl: http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2011/10/dont-stick-a-fork-in-perry-he-isnt-done-yet.html who took my “meat and potatoes” food metaphor to a new level in his analysis of the candidates’ performances.

    I wasn’t as fond of the Texas Barbeque (Perry) as Dan, although he finally had a much healthier flavor last night than his absolutely raw opening. That food-fight which erupted between Rick and Mittoast was sour and of course came to overshadow the positive subtance he was offering. The interesting thing is that Mittoast was so unnerved by the challenge – and I’ve griped for a while that Romney’s game needs to be challenged – that he essentially blew what was very easy sympathy for him on the matter. “I can’t have illegals working on my lawn, I’m running for office”?? That’s the prism through which he saw it?

    Oh, little insights.

    But no Rick, Mitt is not part of the problem for unknowningly employing an undocumented worker. Nor would it be such a mortal sin as to have warranted that level of hostility, really. I think he thought he had a gotcha card to play without being savvy to the fact that we’re spent on the gotcha politics. We’re living under an out of control regime playing on a whole different moral field than us. Perspective, please.

    Still, I like this duel the MBM have struck between Romney and Perry. Rick knows he’s got to step his game up, we’re finally seeing Romney have to take some necessary hits (Newt hit him the best on RomneyCare I’ve seen done yet), and in the meantime the top-tier remains viable for one of the Conservative dark horse candidates. This is all very good for the grassroots’ efforts.

    How do I feel as of now? Still hungry.

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