Knitebane Manor Illos libenter devoramus qui nos opprimere velint


Let them eat progress

Posted by Knitebane

This isn't going to go down well with some folks. Not well at all, especially with those people that have family that have been or are still suffering.  I can only say that we have family there too so it's not like we don't have a dog in this fight.

Unless they are insane, no parent likes to punish a child even when they obviously have earned it. The vast majority of parents hope that their children will learn by observation or instruction and do the right things. Sometimes when they don't, the authority of the parent must be applied to teach children that poor choices have consequences. Failure to punish that child will only result in that child continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again, eventually with much more dire consequences. A parent doesn't even like to see a child hurt themselves even when repeatedly warned. It truly sucks but sometimes pain is the best teacher.

So, much like the parent of a child that keeps running in the house and has been told that they're going to fall and get hurt repeatedly and is now standing over the fallen, crying child and letting the lesson sink in, I offer this:

Dear Residents of Staten Island and New Jersey,

At first, we were saddened to hear of your brush with the barely-a-hurricane that struck portions of your cities.  At first we were moved, as we are always moved, to send relief supplies and money to help. The storm was a mere fraction of the size and power of those storms that hit Florida and the southern U.S. east coast and the Gulf Coast but we know first-hand that even a minor storm can cause temporary disruptions and isolated cases of disaster. We prepare for them, evacuate or ride them out, and then help our neighbors. In a few hours or days (or weeks in the case of Category III or greater hurricanes) the power will be back, we and our neighbors will have chainsawed and swept away the debris and life will return to normal.

We prepare for such things because they can happen and because government help is often late, useless or simply non-existent. We know this and because of our observations of poor government responses and because of our well-earned general distrust of the intentions and actions of government we take care of ourselves and neighbors are leave government to do the slow, inefficient response in those isolated cases where co-ordination of outside resources is necessary.

And after Katrina, and after the howling and gnashing-of-teeth that came from the media we took careful note and made extra preparations. We assumed anyone within reach of a coastal storm would do the same.

Apparently we were wrong.

Two weeks after the storm you still have quite a mess and by some accounts some places are getting worse instead of better.

We continue to hear of non-union electrical workers being turned away. (and no, one report by CBS News to the contrary does not "debunk" that. Say, did CBS ever apologize for forging the National Guard papers that Dan Rather tried to use to tank a presidential election? No? Likewise, a union representative denying it doesn't make it so.)

We hear of food shipments being refused because your nanny mayor can't be sure if the amount of salt and transfats are within his designated limits.

We continue to hear of people living in the dark for weeks at a time, of flood ravaged neighborhoods, of morgues that suddenly disappear right before a presidential election.

You continue to lack medical care because your government is too big and too slow to get hospitals back on-line.

We hear of your closest neighbors coming in on "disaster tours" armed not with bottled water and blankets but cameras to populate their gruesome scrapbooks.

We hear of the 122nd precinct police that were ordered to shut down volunteer food relief efforts on Father Capodanno Boulevard in order to make people think that only FEMA can take care of people. To their credit, the police commander refused and instead moved the relief efforts off the street and into a parking lot where network news cameras would not see them.  Still, this is the end result of the politics being more important than the people.

We hear of rioting and looting on Coney Island, yet Mayor Bloomberg turned down National Guard troops because of his insane hatred for guns.

And the less said about the Pollyanna-like notion to continue with the NYC marathon through some of the some of the hardest hit parts of Manhattan the better. Yes, Bloomberg finally canceled it after  howls of outrage, and after a large number of runners dropped out to do storm relief instead. Still, those generators reserved for the marathon media tents just kinda sat there after the cancellation didn't they?

What's that? These failures can be contributed to your useless government and not to individual residents who are suffering you say?

Well, when your individual residents assault utility workers that are just there to help you, you can't lay that at the feet of the mysterious and far-off "government."

And besides, Staten Island, you voted overwhelmingly for Michael Bloomberg. You and New Jersey voted for the idiot in the White House that zipped in, made himself look good at your expense, and then abandoned you. Long after his photo op was done, FEMA continues to run out of water and food, you're still in the dark two weeks after the storm and the media doesn't seem to be telling anyone now do they? Where's Shepard Smith? Where's Jerry Rivers? And are you still chortling over National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers?"

This is what you voted for.  In this most recent election, in the 2009 mayoral election and in the 2008 elections Staten Island voted for Obama, Bloomberg and Obama respectively by nearly 3-to-1 margins.  So much for Staten Island being the most conservative part of NYC. That rather seems like claiming to be the clean turd in the bowl at this point. And northern and coastal New Jersey votes for collectivist, big government, nanny staters regularly as well and in job lots. Chris Christie (who by our standards is barely a Republican, much less a  small-government conservative) was elected in spite of their votes, not because of them.  Indeed, a mere week after the storm while many of you were still trying to drag out wet carpet, find your wedding rings and were starting to smell your decomposing neighbors you happily pulled the lever for more of the same, even while you still hadn't seen hide nor hair of FEMA.

You vote for the people that intend to institute your failed big-government policies nationwide even while you are suffering from the failures of those polices and ask that we help you so that you can continue to force your choice of politicians on us.  Really?

You voted for big government, even when some of the elderly among you still bear the tatoos of another big government.  You voted for big government that has doubled our fuel prices and much of our food prices. You voted for big government that has spent trillions of our dollars fighting poverty only to have even more poverty now than in 1968. You voted for it, regardless of how poorly it has treated those that have to live under it or how badly it has failed in the past or how many have died from it.

So now that you've voted for all this big government and it's failing you, apparently we out here in flyover country are expected to send money and food (well, not food. Bloomberg said no to that) to bail you out. And when it's over you'll go right back to voting these statist monsters back into our lives. For this we should extend our hands in friendship and sympathy?

So, we're going to point out that the floor sure is hard, and say "Didn't we warn you not to run in the house?"

Yes, off to bed without dinner. Take it out of the taxes we've been soaked with.

As far as we're concerned you can sit in the dark and stay wet and cold and hungry. Until you affect regime change we're not willing to lift a finger to help you. You voted for "progress" and you got it, hard. There is not a more collectivist, big government, nanny-state collection of people on the east coast.  So revel in your creation. Bask in the glow of your progressive paradise. May that be a substitute for the actual lights that still don't work.

For those of you that vote for less intrusive government and prepared for disaster you have my sympathies. Eh, but you still decided to stay there in the socialist paradise didn't you? Well, then, even my sympathies are limited.

For those of you that voted with your feet and left and left your statist pro-big-government tendencies behind we say, "Welcome to America!" For those of you that stay there and vote for more of the same, you have our contempt. And you will continue to have it until such time as you wise up and affect regime change there in your inner shitty hellhole.  When you send Nanny Bloomberg packing and usher in someone willing to help get government off your back so you can rise or fall on your own then we'll reconsider. We'll be willing to help wipe that tear and say, "There, there. You did something stupid and you learned from it.  Here, have a cookie."

But until you show some signs of learning from it don't expect us to subsidize your bad decisions.

Yes, we will do what we can for our relatives that live there and some of us will donate a bit to salve our consciences. But when the huge outpouring of support like you saw on 9/11 or during Katrina or Joplin, MO or the Texas wildfires doesn't materialize you'll know why.

When you hear that the American Red Cross has collected only a fraction of what they collected for Katrina, far short of the some four billion dollars sent for that disaster, you'll know why. Much of this disaster is of your own making.  You wouldn't prepare, you didn't evacuate.  You trusted your big government to save you.  And you chose poorly. Only pain will teach you not to make the same mistakes again or worse, force those mistakes on the rest of us.  Yes, it sucks.  But continuing to save you from your mistakes will only make the next one worse.  This big government addiction you have is a sickness.  We really, honestly want you to get better but we certainly don't want you infecting the rest of us either.

What happens when a Category 4 storm hits Manhattan?   What happens when it's 10 million without power for two months?  Do you think your Bloomberg or FEMA or the Red Cross will do a better job?  Do you still think it can't happen?  Do you still think your government is going to save you?

Do you?

Do you want the rest of us to suffer under the same restrictions once we're all living under a big-government socialist nanny state? Is that why you voted for more Obama?  Would you rather we all suffer rather than a few succeed?

Do you?

And if the answer to that is yes, tell me again why we should help you?


The Red States

P.S.  When you're doing better (and you'll get through this.  After all, your ancestors were Americans), let's talk.  Let's work together to kick this big-government disease.  We're ready to help, but you have to want to get better for it to work.



Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

Posted by Knitebane

Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.   -- Paul Simon, The Boxer

I'm sorry that I didn't get this out yesterday but just as I was about to start on it, my Intarwebs went down.  That's probably a good thing because all I could think of yesterday was that I was completely blindsided, had no idea how it happened and now we're completely doomed.

In the time since I think I discovered how I managed to be so completely wrong.

A few very wise pundits often say that the only real poll that matters is the one held on election day.  All of the other ones are various different forms of guessing, some of them better than others.

What threw me (and a few people much better at prognosticating than your humble blogger) was a seeming disparity in the numbers coming out of the polls.  The major polling organizations were asking the right questions but the cumulative answers didn't make sense, so we picked the answers we liked.

And that's where I screwed up.

All the way up until election day the polls were telling us that in the swing states, Obama had a slight lead.  The national polls showed Romney up slightly and the national Demonrat/Republican split was about R+2 where in 2010 it was R+1 and in 2008 it was D+6.

The swing state polls were showing Obama and Romney neck and neck.  We looked at that, looked at the changing split and decided that one of them had to be wrong.  Given the huge amount of people turning out to see Romney and Ryan, it had to be the swing state polls that were wrong and on election day, Obama was going down by 5 or 6 points.

But the swing state polls weren't wrong.

In other states, like NC and TX and UT, Romney won those states by bigger margins than even Bush in 2004.  In the swing states, Romney didn't turn out the numbers McCain did.  Obama didn't turn out the voters he turned out in 2004 either but he eked out a slight lead, just like the polls said he would.

What the hell happened?

Well, a couple of things.  None of them (save one) was a deal breaker. It took a combination of factors to get us to where we ended up.

1) Sandy.  Even the national polls showed Romney by 5 or so before Sandy.  After Sandy he started to slide a bit.  It wasn't much but the pictures of Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie and the gushing by Christie that made the SCOAMF look all presidential hurt.   When the guy that's been one of your harshest critics says you're doing a good job it helps you. It was not enough to change the election all by itself, but it had an effect.

2) Sandy again.  Not as a political event but as a Black Swan news event.  Romney's strategy in the closing days of the election was about getting his message out, clear and strong and consistent.   The storm pushed politics off of the front page and stopped people talking about the election.  The steady surge hit a bump and instead of recovering and continuing up it just kind of sat there. Not for long. Again, not enough to change the election, but a bit.

3) Romney's strategy.  In the final weeks running up to the election, Romney avoided any conversation that could be bad for him.  He did almost no interviews and stuck to his stump speeches.  Generally, this is wise.  Many of us said that the election was Romney's to lose and doing something stupid would certainly do that.  But the Obama campaign and the media were throwing bombs about Romney's fund raising after the storm, women in binders, 47%, rape, and a host of other attacks.  Romney stuck to his message which is generally good, but didn't respond to any of the attacks, which is generally bad but better than responding badly, which would be worse.  He played it safe right into the loser's column.

4)  Romney himself.  This is where we have hard numbers. Compared to 2008, Romney gained some ground and lost some ground.  With evangelicals, Romney gained ground.  Not a lot, but some.  So the new meme that evangelicals didn't turn out for Romney is wrong.  He gained ground with Catholics.  Not as much as with evangelicals, but still a gain.  Romney lost ground with women, hispanics and the 18-24 crowd (demographics that matter) and gays ( a demographic that isn't statistically significant) but none of them in number significantly large to make a difference in the election.  Demographics for Obama were also down, mostly where we said they would be but not as large as we thought and not nearly as much in swing states as nation-wide.  But the one demographic that was enough by itself to sink Romney was the generic Republican voter.  Down by a significant percentage.

But wait!  Turnout was up! Long lines at the polls!

Yep.  The numbers for Johnston County tell an interesting tale.   In Johnston County, NC the winner of the race for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler, received  50,615 votes.  The three Republican county commissioners that were running un-opposed netted  50,417, 50,409, and 50,813.

Romney received  48,202.

Somewhere around 2000 Johnston County Republicans voted for local or state-level candidates and then did not vote for Romney.

That's 4% of your base, those R's that the polls indicated were there but weren't showing up in the Obama/Romney split.  And it's not like they lied to the pollsters.  These were certainly likely voters.  They turned out, they waited in line.  And they voted.  But not for Mitt Romney.  In a normal election cycle that's enough to beat you right there.

Why?  That's a subject for another post.  For now let's suffice to say that Romney was a better candidate than everyone hoped but not quite good enough.

-- But the final thing is something that was much more effective than the pundits thought it would be. --

5) The Obama campaign had a new tool they've been putting together since 2007 called Operation Narwhal. Here's how it worked.

Back in 2008, the 13 million people that signed up for Obama campaign alerts got generic, milquetoast, hopey-changey messages about The Lightbringer.  Signing up asked for an email address and your zip code.  Nothing odd about that, right?  But since then, the Obama campaign has been cross-referencing "other databases" to tease out more specific information about what might motivate a voter or the opposite.  And I don't know which databases. I suspect that I don't want to know.

This election the messages sent out to targeted swing states were targeted more specifically than ever before.  A young, white, female  college student would get a message saying how Mitt Romeny was going to take away her contraception.  All young college students would be told how Romney was going to reverse the part of Obamacare that guaranteed their student loans. Gays would be told about how JugEars now supported gay marriage.  African Americans would *not* see the messages about gay marriage but one more crafted to their interests.  The same for the other demographic targets.  If you were poor you were told how rich Romney is.  If you were a professional you'd be told about how Obama saved Wall Street and the banks.  If you were a auto industry worker you'd hear about how Obama saved the car industry and Romney would have let it go bankrupt.  Those kind of voters don't go to rallies.  They don't stand in the cold and the rain to see their candidate because they don't really have a candidate.  They have an enemy.

Does that "revenge" comment Obama dropped in that speech six days before the election make more sense now?  It was the signal for his army of mindless zombies to rise up and strike.

In effect, the Obama campaign turned out an army of single-issue voters in the swing states.  All of them knowing almost nothing about any issues other than the one they were programmed to be concerned about.  The Great Uniter divided his voters like they've never been divided before while at the same time giving them all the same target.  The only thing they had in common was anger about part of Romney's ideas.

Of course, once they start to realize that Obama really doesn't care about their issues it should be entertaining.  But then he won't be up for re-election again will he?  Obama kamikazed his supporters into Romney.  That's the kind of dick move that you can't use more than once but once was enough.

It was just enough to push him over the top.

So, where do we go from here?  I've got a few ideas.  I'll put together another post in a few days about that.



The Mile-High Massacre

Posted by Knitebane

Comrade Obama went into last night's debate expecting to cross swords with the media-created strawman of Mitt Romney; evil, greedy and cruel.  Instead, he met the real Romney; successful businessman, bishop of his church, man of integrity.

Suddenly King Barack the Unready could no longer hide behind his sycophants. He had to actually face criticism for the first time in decades.  The results speak for themselves. He was the SCOAMF that those of us that have paid attention have seen for some time.

Round two will show us the other side of JugEars that the media has hidden; The Bitter, Angry Obama. His handlers will tell him he needs to come out fighting and he will show the side of himself that sent thousands of Mexicans to their deaths.

Round two of the presidential debates will be about foreign policy.  I suspect we'll see a bit more spiking the football about Bin Laden being dead.  And it's true, Bin Laden is dead.

Then again, so are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata.

Obama has also tried to Blame Bush™ for all of the foreign policy failures of his administration and the media has let him get away with that too.   I imagine he'll have about the same experience trying to blame everyone but himself for his failures.