Patterico's Pontifications


Dead Pig Left at Republican HQ in Manhattan Beach

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:33 pm

Wearing a Mitt Romney T-shirt:

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — A dead pig clad in a Mitt Romney T-shirt was left at a Republican campaign office in Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach Police had to discard the pig’s head and its feet in a trash bin, but not before several passersby saw it.

“I thought it was a dead body because of the way he approached it,” said Manhattan Beach resident Andy Gaeta. “And then when he lifted the shirt, he saw the head wrapped in barbed wire and it’s cut in half, the whole skull was. It looked like something from a butcher’s market.”

The pig was laid out at the doorstep of the Republican headquarters on Highland Avenue.

According to sources I just made up, Big Media types quickly agreed: The Republican Party needs to take a long, hard look at itself. When good Democrats are pushed to the point where they have no choice but to express their political views by slaughtering a defenseless animal and dumping it at their opponents’ front door — well, it really says something about the GOP.

I blame Bush.

Bill Whittle on What to Do Now

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 pm

This was recommended by htom. You wouldn’t necessarily think you’d be able to sit there and listen to a guy talk for 90 minutes straight and enjoy it all and feel inspired, but then again, you might think so if you were listening to Bill Whittle. One of the nice things about living in Los Angeles is that I get to be around Bill Whittle every so often, and he’s just like this in person. I don’t subscribe to everything he says here, but his ideas are . . . American. And that’s one of the highest compliments you can pay to an idea.

I won’t try to summarize it. Just watch it. You might not be convinced on every point, but you’ll like the spirit.

One fairly major quibble with Whittle: we can’t simply refuse to participate in government and stop fighting to win. Because if we do, they won’t just take half. They’ll take it all. Parallel structures. Live your own life better than the government can, but keep trying to take back the government at the same time. If nothing else, it gives us more time.

Here you go:

Inside Edition Focuses on Swatting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 pm

And interviews Mike Stack.

The video auto-starts, so I’m placing it on a separate page, here.

The Coming Crash of the Government Debt Bubble

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

Every major crisis we have had in the last 25 years was easy to see coming. Each time, you had a phenomenon that was clearly out of kilter. It seemed wonderful on one level: everyone was getting free money. Everyone knew that it couldn’t go on forever, but somehow it seemed like it might, so nobody really seemed very worried. And then the crisis came, as we knew it would.

First there was the stock market crash. In the 1990s, stocks kept going up and up and up. It seemed wonderful on one level. Everyone was watching their stock holdings grow and grow and grow. Everyone knew it couldn’t go on forever, but somehow it seemed like it might. So nobody seemed very worried.

And then there was a crash.

Then we had the real estate bubble. In the 2000s, property values kept going up and up and up. It seemed wonderful on one level. Everyone’s house value was skyrocketing. You could take out loans on the equity and do fun stuff. Everyone knew it couldn’t go on forever, but somehow it seemed like it might. So nobody seemed very worried.

And then there was a crash.

Now we have the government debt bubble. Government spending keeps going up and up and up. It seems horrific to us, because we are paying attention — but to most people, frankly, it seems wonderful. We’re getting all these government services and we don’t have to pay for them! It’s utterly unsustainable, and everyone knows it can’t go on forever, but somehow it seems like it might. So people don’t seem very worried. Certainly, they’re not worried enough to vote out of office someone who has exploded our national debt to unimaginable levels.

There is going to be a crash.

We have a serious problem, folks, and Steven Den Beste summed it up well yesterday:

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was full of fear. There’s a catastrophe waiting for my country, a precipice over which it may fall. And if that happens, it won’t be recognizable any longer, for the next twenty years or more.

I’m not talking about a liberal Supreme Court. I’m not talking about automatic tax increases on Jan 1, nor about sequester. This precipice is less obvious, yet far more dangerous.

I think the dollar is going to crash.

There’s a story told about a man who fell out of a window on top of a skyscraper. As he passed the 20th floor he was heard to mutter, “Well, I’m OK so far.” This country is falling, but hasn’t hit the ground yet. When it does, things get very ugly, very fast.

The problem is the deficit.

Den Beste lays out a fairly realistic scenario for what happens when we keep spending without regard to what we’re taking in:

The only reason that debt service on that $16 trillion hasn’t destroyed us already is that the Fed is holding interest rates down. The reason the annual deficit hasn’t destroyed us yet is that the Fed is “running the printing presses” (only they call it “quantitative easing”) to cover it. But neither of those is sustainable in the long run. The ground is still waiting for us, and we’ll know we’ve hit it when a T-bill auction ends up with a lot higher interest rate than we’ve been paying so far.

It’ll be a cascading failure, once it begins. When T-bill interest rates begin to rise, confidence will begin to fail. The rise will accelerate as bond purchasers begin to price in increasing degrees of risk.

And eventually this explosion of money is going to lead to inflation. In fact, it already has; just go to a grocery store some time and look at the prices.

Which brings us to the third deficit: trade. The dollar is the de-facto world currency. Oil is priced and bought in dollars, and that’s not the only thing that is. But if confidence in the dollar begins to decline, and increasing suspicion that the US will devalue it (either deliberately or inadvertantly) then willingness of others to accept dollars will decline and that will, in fact, result in a drop in the value of the dollar, reflected in changing exchange rates.

All of these things will feed back on themselves and each other, and it will be an accelerating failure. Once something like this happens, it’s almost impossible to stop. I don’t anticipate Weimar Republic (or Zimbabwe) levels of inflation, but I won’t be at all suprised if it hits 20% per year. I won’t be surprised if it’s a lot higher than that.

To me, this is not crazy talk. This is real.

So what should the Republican party do? I don’t know if that’s the question. I don’t know if they’re up to the task.

The question is: what should you and I do?

We have to make people try to understand the problem. We have to make this a priority. Because a crash is going to be very, very hard on our children.

How to make this a priority is an ongoing discussion. Whether to make it a priority is not. It must be done.

Thanks to SPQR.

Political SWATtings in the L.A. Weekly

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

The L.A. Weekly has a story about politically motivated swattings. They focus primarily on mine, but also mention the swattings of Mike Stack, Erick Erickson, and Aaron Walker. The story is titled SWATting, a Deadly Political Game. The deck headline reads: “DA Patrick Frey’s enemies called 911, saying he’d shot his wife.” Here is an excerpt:

The deputy DA believes his widely followed revelations about Weiner’s online escapades made Frey the target of a dangerous, unnerving hoax: a false 911 call that put Frey, his wife, Christi —a high-end sex-crimes prosecutor for the District Attorney — and his two young children in the crosshairs of armed officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 1, 2011, Frey, in his nighttime blogger role, was talking to a source over his cellphone just after 12:30 a.m. — his wife and kids fast asleep upstairs in their Rancho Palos Verdes home — when he heard a thunderous pounding at his front door.

“I was sitting right here in this chair,” he says, re-enacting the haunting experience as he sits at his kitchen table, the South Bay harbor gleaming up through hot glass.

“I jumped up to the counter … and peeked around the corner,” he says. Five or six armed deputies on his porch were barking, “Come out with your hands up!”

As he opened the door, Frey, afraid to set down his cellphone — any quick move could be deadly — prayed they wouldn’t mistake the device for a gun.

But the cops were cautious, and no shots were fired. Deputies handcuffed the longtime deputy DA and hustled him into a patrol vehicle. His stunned wife, Christi, was patted down against the garage wall. The couple’s two young children tell L.A. Weekly that police burst into their bedrooms with flashlights to make sure they were safe. The Freys’ neighbors, awakened by the spectacle, watched the dramatic midnight raid play out.

“People can turn other people’s lives upside down just sitting in front of a keyboard,” Frey says. “There’s just something strange and disquieting about that.”

The reporter, Simone Wilson, came to my home and spent a good amount of time talking to me about what happened. I showed her where I was sitting (the same place I am sitting now) and where my wife was frisked by police.

I might not have phrased everything the same way Wilson did, and I might quibble with a minor point here and there, but the story is generally quite well done. Probably none of it will be news to the people who have followed the story on this blog. However, it’s a decent summary of the four politically motivated swattings that happened over the last 16 months.

You might think that the attempts to harass and intimidate me have stopped, just because I hardly ever talk about them these days. You would be wrong. The harassment is a daily occurrence, as it has been for at least 16 months. Defamation, workplace complaints, false reports to police, crazy conspiracy theories, twisting of facts, incitement of bad actors — literally every day a malevolent Internet presence continues to try to disrupt my life and that of my family.

The good news is that the bad actors appear to be worried and desperate. The bad news is that the bad actors appear to be worried and desperate.

My harassers have been thoroughly discredited, and that brings a certain peace of mind. It is not necessary to respond to every twisted allegation. My friends know it’s nonsense without even asking.

The experience has been very clarifying. I know who my friends are. Those who have truly stood with me have my everlasting appreciation.

I’m still facing a frivolous lawsuit — a form of harassment that most of you are already familiar with. Neal Rauhauser has boasted that he was “instrumental in this coming to pass” and fantasizes that it “may put an end to Frey’s career in the DA’s office.” So the lawsuit was instigated at the behest of a Brett Kimberlin associate, and the plaintiff has discussed her intention to use it to out a conservative blogger who has been targeted by Kimberlin and Rauhauser. It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The lawsuit is mentioned in the article, which provides further evidence that the suit is politically motivated harassment.

My lawyers would like me to keep comments closed on posts such as these, for the time being.

My plan is to keep on keeping on.

Thanks again to you readers for all your support. And, again, a huge shout-out to Ron Coleman of Likelihood of Confusion and Kenneth P. White of Popehat for being the sort of people who stand up — so that people like me can speak out.

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