An Interesting Correlation


Matthew Lillefielt has a piece over at The Examiner about some of the lobbying done by law enforcement officials during the current session of the Maryland Legislature. He notes that those lobbying against loosening the state’s marijuana laws seem to be from the counties that voted for Mitt Romney, while those favoring liberalization are from … well … liberal counties that voted for Barack Obama.

Of course, correlation doesn’t prove causation, but does Lillefielt mean to say that the parts of our state where people are more likely to be clean and sober are the places that vote Republican?

NOTE—I live in one of those few red counties, but I support decriminalizing marijuana in order to make it less of a moneymaker for criminals. While I think dope should be a legal substance, I view it as a potentially destructive one similar to alcohol. I would like to know how marijuana DUI would be handled before I would be ready to change the law though.

Expect the Unexpected


Stacy McCain has a post up about the negative economic growth reported for the last quarter of 2012. He wonders how the Main Stream Media will spin their reporting. I’ll bet they will claim that they were drinking heavily while celebrating the election results and blame Busch.

Mr. McCain’s post is entitled Obamanomics Fails–Unexpectedly! in a riff on the Main Stream Media’s continuing disbelief that The Lightworker is unable to defy the Laws of Economics.

Folks, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Expect the “unexpected.”

UPDATE–For the past year, I’ve expected the economy to begin contracting if Barack Obama were reelected. Business that were putting off investing in expansion in hope of a Romney victory are now being joined by joined by other firms facing the costs of Obamacare and four more years of over-the-top regulation and irresponsible fiscal policy. More people are going Galt.

The next four years are going to be tough brutal.

Two Cheers for Increased Gun Sales


Yes, only two. I know that, since I have been certified as a Right Wing Nut Job Gun Nut by the eminent expert Breitbart Unmasked, the Gentle Reader would expect a resounding three cheers from me when gun sales are up. Alas, it is not so.

One cheer comes from the boost to the economy from these sales.

The second comes from more folks choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The third cheer is held back because of the reason many first time gun buyers are wanting a gun. Some no longer trust the government to protect them from crime. Others simply no longer trust the government. Still others fear a coming disruption in society. None of these reasons strike me as cheerful.

Lefties on Twitter Foam at the Mouth Over the “Layoff Bomb”


The moonbats on Twitter are ranting about the evil revenge business owners are taking on their employees because Barack Obama has been reelected. (H/T, Twitchy) Sure, layoffs are probably coming as the economy worsens. Even if Washington decides not to drive off the economic cliff, the politicians will most likely veer off into a deep ditch. Obamacare and other restrictive regulations are no longer a possibility to be hedged against. They’re a sure thing, and many companies are now faced with the choice of contracting to handle the expected economic downturn or simply giving up and cashing in while their assets still have value.

Let me give you an example of the kinds of consumer choices that will drive the economic contraction. I don’t get a chance to go hunting every year, but this year both Mrs. Hoge and I will be in the field harvesting deer for our freezer. Since we already have rifles, the incremental cost to us will be around $100 for hunting licenses and a couple of boxes of ammunition. Compare that with what we would spend on an equivalent amount of meat at Safeway, and you can see how our family’s economizing will help shrink the overall economy. Hornady (maker of the ammo we use) and Safeway will have to make their staffing decisions based on how they believe my family and millions of others will be making our spending decisions.

One wonders if any of these moonbats took Econ 101. Or if they all took it from Paul Krugman.

UPDATE–While I use a Tikka T3 Lite in .270 Winchester or a Marlin Model 1895 in .45/70 for deer, Stacy McCain seems to favor a Hyunai Sonata.

Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin Puts Someone Else’s Money Where His Mouth Is


As I’ve noted before, TDPK (who isn’t registered to vote), claims to have been busy for the last month or so working on election integrity issues. He’s offering the following reward to anyone who can prove that vote hacking changed the results of any federal election.

<mockery>Methinks that it’s time for someone to throughly investigate each of the close races that resulted in the defeat of a Republican candidate, Allan West, for example.</mockery>

According to information on the last available IRS Form 990 (2010), Velvet Revolution US had to borrow $4500 from TDPK to pay its bills. Unless there has been a staggering improvement in its fortunes, either the megabuck reward is bogus or someone is willing to pony up the cash.

Just when I think I’m going to have to work at finding something new to tease Team Kimberlin about, they throw me another softball. Talk about a target rich environment.

UPDATE—Given the possible good news for Allan West (he may be leading in the recount), perhaps Mia Love’s race could use some scrutiny.

Stock Picks for the Second Term


The stock market is down today on the news of Barack Obama’s reelection. The market will go up and down day by day, but some stocks will, on average, do better than others. Here are four companies that I think will do well during the adverse economic climate I expect for the next few years.

Amazon AMZN NASDAQ Amazon sells a lot more than books these days. The last item I bought from them was a telescope. With the economy tight, folks will be looking for bargains, and as Amazon gets closer to next day delivery for many items, delay recedes as an issue in the potential buyer’s mind. And most of us can use online shopping to avoid sales tax.

Apple APPL NASDAQ Apple almost went bust as a computer company. They’ve become a giant by being a consumer electronics/entertainment industry company that also sells computers. Companies like RCA with its NBC entertainment subsidiary grew during the Great Depression. Apple is similarly poised for growth during the coming hard times. It’s too late to get in on the capital appreciation of the last decade, but it still looks like a smart buy to me.

Ruger RGR NYSE Ruger makes guns. Barack Obama makes gun owners and potential gun owners nervous. Ruger has seen outstanding growth and profitability for the past four years. Expect four more good years for Ruger.

Smith & Wesson SWHC NASDAQ See above.

No guarantees. YMMV.

A Suggested Program of Recovery, Part 2


Insanity, so the saying goes, is continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Nominating and even electing RINO politicians as not been a successful means of turning the country from the path of Progressivism that we started down in the 20th century.

Before it was co-opted by secularists, American Progressivism had religious roots. There was a stream of eschatological thinking among some Christians called Postmillennialism which tied the return of Christ to a golden age to come when the Church had converted more or less everyone and the world had been cleaned up enough for the Second Coming. Prohibition was one part of the tidying up. Politicians such as Teddy Roosevelt saw themselves as doing the Lord’s work.

I won’t tell the whole saga of how the American Progressive movement morphed into Modern Liberalism. Jonah Goldberg has done a better job of telling the tale they I ever could in his book Liberal Fascism. Go read it if you haven’t already.

Conservatives have spent the last 50+ years “standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’,” and we’ve had some success from time to time in slowing the long slide. But we’ve never really reversed course.

Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. He would have been a better choice for the country in many ways than Barack Obama, but, Gentle Reader, do you really believe that he would have turned the country around? Me neither. We were crazy when we nominated another RINO.

There is a Power greater than ourselves Who can restore us to sanity.

It’s a basic tenet of both Judaism and Christianity that God loves His creation and wants us to love Him. He also wants us to love one another. Love requires a freewill choice. It can’t be compelled. The early American Progressives weren’t wrong to be trying to do God’s will. Their mistake was believing that it was His will that they should take control of things that were not any of their business–that they could compel righteous behavior. Concern for one’s fellow man is good. Meddlesomeness leads to nanny-statism.

If we go forth trying to take control, we will be making the same category of mistakes as the Progressives a century ago. We may not nominate another RINO; we might manage to do something even worse.

We need to have our sanity restored.

A Suggested Program of Recovery


Smitty has a post-election post up that contains these words:

Apparently, it has to get worse before it gets better.

Yes, that’s probably correct. The country hasn’t hit bottom yet, and like a drunk or addict that still thinks he can handle it, the body politic simply isn’t ready to clean up its act. While 52% of the country probably aren’t all Takers and Moochers, they have enough Enablers to result in an electoral majority. Progressivism has been quite seductive in its appeal.

Recovery is still possible, but it won’t begin until we understand that we are powerless over Progressivism–that our lives have become unmanageable. That realization can be the beginning of the restoration of an America that folks like the Founders and Alexis de Tocqueville would recognize.

BTW, that realization needs to come not only to the Taker/Moochers/Enabler crowd but also to those of us who have been in what amounts to a codependent relationship with them. We can’t let their dysfunction ruin us as well whether they come to their senses or not.

That realization can be the beginning, but only a first step in our recovery.

Living in a Bubble


Pauline Kael’s comment about not understanding how Nixon was elected because nobody she knew had voted for him is often cited as a demonstration of the New York City elites’ disconnect from America, of their life in a bubble. Tonight, it seems, I’m the one in a bubble.

Although I live in one of the bluest of blue states, I live in a community that voted 60/40 for Mitt Romney. Most of my colleagues at work are practical people who solve real world problems, technicians and engineers, and who also were overwhelmingly for Romney. Of course, I knew folks who voted for Obama. My house is near a college campus, and the scientists and paper pushers at work tend to be Democrats, but I spend most of my time isolated among above average people who deal with the real world as it comes and not as they wish it were.

The conversations I heard around the office coffee pot and the checkout lines at WalMart led me to believe that Americans were beginning to remember that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch and that realistic leadership was necessary to get a bloated government off of our backs so that we could again be truly productive. It felt like 1980. I thought Mitt Romney would win.

2012 was like 1980 in all but one important respect. Demographics. We are no longer the country we were. The values of the body politic have changed. And so we appear to have voted for four more years like the last four.

I hope the choice we have made is the result of the electorate not understanding the nature of the country’s problems. Ignorance is curable. It responds to proper doses of education. Perhaps four more years will cure us before we do ourselves in. If, OTOH, we now have an electorate incapable of understanding, we’re in a helluva mess. There’s no cure for stupid.

Initial Turnout Heavy in Maryland


The plural of anecdote is data. Here’s some data. Turnout was very heavy at our predominantly Republican precinct in Carroll County when Mrs. Hoge and I voted this morning. Coworkers also report long lines in other majority Republican precincts in Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Charles Counties. Turnout is also reported heavy in predominately Democrat PG County.

Interest seems more directed to the same-sex “marriage” and gambling ballot questions among the PG County voters I’ve talked with than in the political races.

Hmmmm.

In other voting related news, my in-laws in the Chicago area report low turnout in cemetery precincts. That could be a bad sign for the President.

Stay tuned.

Off to the Polls


I’m going to vote a straight Republican ticket and for the most conservative school board candidates. We’ve got seven Questions on the ballot, and I’ll vote NO on all but Question 3 which makes removal from office of a public official a more streamlined process after conviction of a crime. So it’s NO on keeping the gerrymandered congressional districts, same-sex “marriage,” and the expansion of gambling. In the case of gambling, I’m not against it per se, but I view this proposal as a corrupt deal.

I’m going to the polls to vote.

Go thou and do likewise.

Garbage In, Garbage Out


Statistics are like a sewer pipe. The output is dependent on the input. Or as Nate Silver has recently discovered (H/T, TOM),

Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased

Well, duh.

Polls are susceptible to all sorts of bias caused by poor design. Sometimes the error is an honest mistake. Liberty magazine predicted that FDR would lose in 1936 based on the results of a telephone poll. Their sample was skewed because a significant percentage of voters couldn’t afford a phone. Other polls aren’t really honest but are designed to show momentum for a candidate.

The polls this year simply don’t appear to reflect the real world sentiments one hears around the office coffee pot or in the checkout line at WalMart.

I suspect that Mr. Silver’s model is a bit buggy. We will see how well it does on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I expect that I’ll be able to say:

You smell that? That charred smell? That’s Nate Silver, son. I love the smell burnt out Nate Silver in the morning. It’s the smell … of victory.

Wargaming the Electoral College


Profs. Bickers and Berry of the University of Colorado are now predicting the electoral college vote as Romney 335, Obama 203. That’s essentially the inverse of Nate Silver’s guess. The Colorado model has been tested with economic data from 1980 through 2008 and correctly predicts the winner in each election. Nate Silver was right once.

Is it Tuesday yet?

The Wrongness of Conventional Wisdom


When Stacy McCain called me this afternoon, he was in Blue Ash, Ohio, preparing to cover a Mitt Romney rally in nearby West Chester. Blue Ash. That reminds me …

Conventional wisdom tells you that the twigs on trees are more or less round. They aren’t square. When I was a boy scout camping at the Boxwell Scout Reservation in Middle Tennessee 50 or so years ago, I used to win bets that I could show another scout a tree with square twigs. There’s a tree that puts out four vanes along its fresh twigs. During the twigs’ second year, the space between the vanes fills in, and the twigs are more or less square. That species of tree is the Blue Ash, and there was one along the upstream trail to the council fire ring.

20121102-233950.jpgDon’t buy into conventional wisdom.

Go vote this Tuesday.

Turn the rascals out!

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot


While driving home this evening, I had a spirited conversation with Stacy McCain. Mr. McCain is somewhat irritated with some podcaster named Larry Sinclair because of air time he gave to Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt to attack Ali Akbar. You can get a sense of Mr. McCain’s feelings in this post.

I haven’t heard the podcast, and I don’t have time for it right now. But let me say this: There’s an election next Tuesday, and it’s vitally important that we turn the rascals out. Even if you don’t like someone working to defeat Barack Obama, for the next four days the enemy of your enemy is your friend. We can sort out other issues beginning on Wednesday.

As for relying on CBBS as a source … He is a known associate of First Mate Neal Rauhauser, a member of Team Kimberlin, and a selective leaker of sealed court documents. His bumbling style reminds me of the Foreign Office klutz played by Rowan Atkinson in Never Say Never Again (Nigel Small-Fawcett).

It may be that there are some folks whose reputations will need looking into after the election is settled, but accusations from the likes of CBBS should be taken with a grain of salt.

Go hit The Other McCain tip jar. I just did. He can use the support while on the road in Ohio covering the election.