Workers of the world, unite
A pilots' strike to force the issue of allowing armed pilots is a nonstarter. The pilots themselves won't go along with it. Their counterproposal is quite acceptable, but will take some balls on the part of us business travelers: we all stay home on the same day.

In the meantime, maybe a few self-adhesive labels, saying "We want our pilots to be armed" pasted over the crossword puzzles of the inflight magazines? Toilet stalls in the Red Carpet clubs?

Doubts about string theory
I spent a lot of time last night at Jane Galt's place, and through her, Bruce Baugh's article about regulatory capture, which gives me to doubt that extraordinary wartime powers granted to government can ever be taken back. Talk to me about this.

Update: Bruce Baugh talked to me with a long and considered post. Thank you.


I love you, man
"But the greater mercy was to become hard, unsentimental."

"But I find that I resent the idea that if I'm asked for $100 and I give $50, I'm cursed as a miser rather than being thanked for my generosity."

How does a man learn to write so well?

Update: and he's an engineer. Writing skills are usually bred out of engineers.
String theory
Here's one more DenBeste quote:
"All power will eventually be misused; it's only a matter of time. . . . Power ultimately vests in the people of the United States, and we grant to our government only such powers as we think it absolutely needs in order to do the job we want it to do. Everything beyond that we keep for ourselves."

This quote from USS Clueless ties into my assertion that we must declare this "Current Mess," this War on a Noun. We may not prevail in this war without giving power to the government, in the form of men, dollars, and God forgive me, legislation. But we must not grant that power without strings attached, without a definable end. We need milestones to indicate when the need and justification for the power end, because that's when the extraordinary powers must end. It will be the difference between a "War" and a "War On."

Granted, this strategy of attaching strings to extraordinary war powers, to recall them when no longer needed, has not always worked. We still have a tax on telephone services, levied to finance the Spanish-American War. The way we buy medical services was radically altered through a World War II wage freeze. Maybe we didn't tug on those strings when it was time to, maybe they were weak and broke, maybe some boxcutters were smuggled in so the strings could be cut. We still have those examples of wartime powers that stayed after the war was over (the telephone tax even left and came back).

To be fair, these war powers persist long after the wars that justified them because we let them. We didn't insist explicitly that the powers were to last only as long as the war. Complaining that the strings were tampered with is just that: complaining.

The USA Patriot Act didn't even include such a deadline, only an arbirtary time limit, and that only for a narrow set of the broad powers it granted to the Feds. USAPA needs to be challenged, and it needs to lose. But the pressure will still be there, and will still be justifiable, for some additional powers for our government to fight this war. They must be granted on condition of a declaration of war, and they must be revoked upon the conclusion of peace.


PowerPoint is the Embodiment of Evil
Other writers more talented and experienced than me have observed that Microsoft PowerPoint has been used for evil purposes. After having used it, on active duty, on both career AF people as well as Guardsmen and Reservists, I'm ambivalent. It has been used to make a very clean, internally hotlinked decision guide, and it has been used to ramble on incoherently with mind-numbing information that no imaginative audience could retain. Conclusion: PowerPoint enables the presenter to blur the distinction between dazzling an audience with brilliance, and baffling them with bullshit, even to a
reasonably astute audience. Whether that is good or evil depends entirely upon the motives of the presenter. The Devil can quote Scripture for his own ends.
Even the presenter himself can be seduced by this tool, losing the ability to distinguish between dazzling and baffling.
I think I need to sit down
" . . my rage eats away at my patience, and I fear for the angel of justice that holds the scales without the sword."

Religion of peace, my ass.


Weclome Walter in Denver! And thank you for substantiating Vin Suprynowicz's account of Rick Stanley's kangaroo court appearance. I've had a long chat with Rick, and I agree that Rick can say things that upset other libertarians. But I also agree that he has the cojones that a Senate candidate will need, and a Senator will need even more.
Why We Fight
While corresponding with a friend who may be called up, she expressed some concerns about how her family and employer will view her callup. Then she expressed the meta-concern, about how we will regard her now that she expressed those concerns. In trying to put her meta-concerns to rest, I finally summarized something I've been trying to articulate for, umm, 9 months. Here goes:

I signed up to go in case the world is in really bad shape. I'd rather not go, even if the world is in bad shape, because I've got a lot at stake with my regular life. The main reason I signed on with the Guard is to make sure that I, and everybody else, can have such a good, prosperous regular life. I'd rather not go unless that prosperous regular life is threatened by an external enemy. But I'm leaving the determination of that threat up to you, Uncle Sam, and if you say "go," I'll go.

I expect the same hazards, hardships, rights, responsibilities, and privileges as career AF members, and I'll meet and handle them the way career AF are expected to do. And I don't want to be released from this responsibility, or parked somewhere in the rear awaiting further instructions, until that threat is dealt with conclusively. I don't want to have to come back here months or years from now because the job was left undone.

I've earned the right to say this, by virtue of having taken the oath and having offered myself, my talents, and my hardship, and Uncle Sam having accepted them, for the last 21 years.

Thanks, Luci. You teased it out of me.
The byline "Fusilier Pundit" is not appearing at the footers of my posts. I added a META tag to the template last night, then had to move it to the right place; let us hope some fatfingering in the template is not the cause of this.


I want to draw your attention to my friend Sandy's site, Cherubs. His charity tries to raise awareness of the special problem of availability of childrens' organs for donation. And his charity seeks to solve the problem strictly by raising awareness, by trying to reach all parents now, rather than approaching devastated moms and dads who just got awful news.

So please visit.


Since this is a family blog
Weck up to thees.
Include me in the ranks of bloggers who assert that "under God" should not have been inserted into the Pledge in the first place, and removing it now through the force of the courts only exacerbates the problem. There are some wrongs that we need not right.
Saw Pulp Fiction last night. It occurs to me that I am one of those people who laughs at inappropriate moments during the show.