October 31, 2008

ASTEROID!

Inescapable cataclysm! Total destruction! Nowhere to hide! Make peace with your God!

Prepare yourselves, sayeth the news. This thing is coming and you can’t stop it. You’ve seen the numbers. Banks of supercomputers refining to the eighth significant figure the precise moment of impact; the location down to a half mile. The giant Obamaroid bearing down on us: unstoppable by mere puny earthlings; a rock the size of Ireland, immutable, inevitable, crushing and final. Run all you want; you’ll just die tired. This is it. The end of all we hold dear.

And what advice do we hear from political science advisors, our best and brightest stalwarts rallied to stave off this disaster? What say these wise men in white coats, men that spend decades in labs, dissecting every trend and poll, crunching numbers and assaying intentions to the milligram? What help might we look to them for?

Ah! Some instructions! Something at last, some hope to cling to! Let me just check the official printout here…

On the morning of impact, grab the sturdiest chair you can find. Move it away from all doors and windows. A basement is your best bet, if you have one. Place the chair in any doorway underneath a load-bearing beam – a steel I-beam is ideal. Sit down and place your feet about two feet apart, firmly pressing down on the floor. Open your mouth slightly to relieve the overpressure from the impact, and the instant you see the flash of light, close you eyes immediately, lean forward as far as you can, put your hands over your ears and kiss your ass goodbye.

You know, I love cheap sci-fi. And one of my favorite lines from an absolutely terrific little cheap sci-fi film is this: History is-a made at night. Character is what you are in the dark.

This attitude of despair is being trumpeted from the left for the sensible and understandable reason that if they lose this election – with all the advantages they have at this precise point in time – then they can never win. Not ever. And the media is pulling with their teeth now, because if Obama loses they will have destroyed their credibility – for nothing.

That’s all fine with me. I know what they and the press sayeth. Sayeth I:

If we are mark'd to lose, we are enow
To do our party loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
Let he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not vote in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to vote with us.
This day is call'd the eve of Elect-ian.
He that votes this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Republican
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is the fourth of November'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his hands,
And say 'With these I moved yon levers on election day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What votes he did cast that day.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that shares his vote with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen and lady pundits now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their book deals cheap whilst any speaks
That voted with us upon election day.

The original is a speech promising glory in the face of overwhelming defeat. King Henry V went on to win perhaps the most miraculous victory in the history of mankind.

This is not an asteroid we face. It is not preordained, unstoppable, inevitable. It is a choice made by human men and women, an individual decision made a hundred million times and not the cold, precise product of gravity and mass.

My friend Iowahawk writes some of the most brilliant satire I have ever read. He likes to come across as a beer-swilling gearhead – because he is – but look at this [ http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/10/balls-and-urns.html ] analysis of what probability and polling is and isn’t, which I will proceed to steal a graph or two from, simply so that I may bask in its reflected glory:

You take a simple random sample of 1000 balls from an urn containing 120,000,000 red and blue balls, and your sample shows 450 red balls and 550 blue balls. Construct a 95% confidence interval for the true proportion of blue balls in the urn."

…Works pretty well if you're interested in hypothetical colored balls in hypothetical giant urns, or survival rates of plants in a controlled experiment, or defects in a batch of factory products. It may even work well if you're interested in blind cola taste tests. But what if the thing you are studying doesn't quite fit the balls & urns template?

• What if 40% of the balls have personally chosen to live in an urn that you legally can't stick your hand into?
• What if 50% of the balls who live in the legal urn explicitly refuse to let you select them?
• What if the balls inside the urn are constantly interacting and talking and arguing with each other, and can decide to change their color on a whim?
• What if you have to rely on the balls to report their own color, and some unknown number are probably lying to you?
• What if you've been hired to count balls by a company who has endorsed blue as their favorite color?
• What if you have outsourced the urn-ball counting to part-time temp balls, most of whom happen to be blue?
• What if the balls inside the urn are listening to you counting out there, and it affects whether they want to be counted, and/or which color they want to be?

(And what, I wonder, if all around you, every day, you are told by all of the coolest, hippest, prettiest balls that your color is mean, irrelevant, unpopular, un-cool, evil, old, incompetent and probably racist? Would you stick to your guns in the face of that, or keep your mouth shut and show ‘em when the curtain closes?)

Iowahawk concludes:

If one or more of the above statements are true, then the formula for margin of error simplifies to
Margin of Error = Who the hell knows?

The moral of this midterm for all would-be pollsters: if you are really interested in how many of us red and blue balls there are in this great big urn, sit back and relax until Tuesday, and let us show our true colors.

Well said, buddy. And finally, this, from Zombietime.com:

It may very well be that an army of glum, dispirited and pessimistic conservatives will reluctantly trudge to the polls on November 4, each one imagining they are the only remaining person in the entire country voting for McCain, and lo and behold -- they'll turn out to be a silent majority after all.

That may be the most prophetic sentence of the year.

I don’t want to be the person who sat home and missed being a part of that. And I won’t be.

See you there.








To comment on this article you can go here.

Posted by Proteus at 1:54 PM

October 28, 2008

AFTERBURNER!

I am very happy to announce that The Powers That Be have decided to move ALL of my Afterburner editorials at www.pjtv.com into the free, unregistered section. Even better, I have been asked to ask you to vote on which ones you think are best.

You can find the complete list of them here.

There’s a thumbs up / thumbs down button next to each of the eight entries (and there will be three new ones per week for the foreseeable future). Now I know that, like me, you are constitutionally incapable of actually pressing the THUMBS DOWN button. But you can hit THUMBS UP for the ones you like the most, and you can vote for more than one. Any kind words you may choose to leave will go on my Permanent Record.

We’re still trying to figure out just where to put these editorials. Right now, the content at PJTV falls into three categories: FREE, REGISTRATION REQUIRED and SUBSCRIPTION. Free is free and painless: just select HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW or FLASH quality, and off you go. REGISTRATION simply requires an email address and a password, and I can assure you personally that those addresses are not sold or used for any kind of spam. And finally, there are SUBSCRIPTION options that allow you access to everything on the site.

Needless to say, the goal of Pajamas TV is to gain subscribers, and we’re trying to find the best way to do that. One of the things we’re doing with this contest is to make the Afterburner segments available for free for a week or two as they become available, and then perhaps retire them to the REGISTERED section where an email address and password would allow you to see all of them in “the vault.”

Pajamas TV is still in Beta, and we’re still trying to get a handle on where to put these things. If you have an opinion – a printable opinion – then feel free to add it when you vote thumbs up on one of the individual videos.

PJTV is determined to become an alternative news and opinion source. In addition to the editorials, I generally do two or three interviews per daily episode, and I can tell you I have a chance to ask the kind of in-depth questions you would never see elsewhere.

So if you have some time, please vote your favorite Afterburner by clicking on the (free!) list here.

You can also rate our Michelle Malkin interviews (I did the last four with her, and in addition to Deep Thoughts we have a lot of laughs.) Those are – for the moment at least – also free and unregistered, as are Hugh Hewitt’s news reports.

We want to be the place to go for conservative news and opinion. If you get some time, please go take a look and tell us what you think.


Posted by Proteus at 9:26 PM | Comments (4920)

October 27, 2008

SHAME, CUBED

The Drudge Report this morning led off with a link to audio of Barack Obama on WBEZ, A Chicago Public Radio station. And this time, candidate Obama was not eight years old when the bomb went off.

Speaking at a call-in radio show in 2001, you can hear Senator Obama say things that should profoundly shock any American – or at least those who have not taken the time to dig deeply enough into this man’s beliefs and affiliations.

Abandon all Hope, Ye Who Enter Here:

Barack Obama, in 2001:

“You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the Civil Rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be okay, but the Supreme Court never entered into the issues of re-distribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

“And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution – at least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [it] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

“And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.”

A caller then helpfully asks:

“The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical. My question is (with economic changes)… my question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work, economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to change place?”

Obama replies:

“You know, I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way. [snip] You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time. You know, the court is just not very good at it, and politically, it’s just very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard.

So I think that, although you can craft theoretical justifications for it, legally, you know, I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.”


THE FIRST CIRCLE OF SHAME

There is nothing vague or ambiguous about this. Nothing.

From the top:

“…The Supreme Court never entered into the issues of re-distribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.”

If the second highlighted phrase had been there without the first, Obama’s defenders would have bent over backwards trying to spin the meaning of “political and economic justice.” We all know what political and economic justice means, because Barack Obama has already made it crystal clear a second earlier: it means re-distribution of wealth. Not the creation of wealth and certainly not the creation of opportunity, but simply taking money from the successful and the hard-working and distributing it to those whom the government decides “deserve” it.

This re-distribution of wealth, he states, “essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.” It is an administrative task. Not suitable for the courts. More suitable for the Chief Executive.

Now that’s just garden-variety socialism, which apparently is not a big deal to many voters. So I would appeal to ANY American who claims to love the Constitution and to revere the Founding Fathers… I will not only appeal to you, I will BEG you, as one American citizen to another, to consider this next statement with as much care as you can possibly bring to bear:

“And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution – at least as it’s been interpreted, and [the] Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [it] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."

The United States of America – 5% of the world’s population – leads the world economically, militarily, scientifically and culturally – and by a spectacular margin. Any one of these achievements, taken alone, would be cause for enormous pride. To dominate as we do in all four arenas has no historical precedent. That we have achieved so much in so many areas is due – due entirely – to the structure of our society as outlined in the Constitution of the United States.

The entire purpose of the Constitution was to LIMIT GOVERNMENT. That limitation of powers is what has unlocked in America the vast human potential available in any population.

Barack Obama sees that limiting of government not as a lynchpin but rather as a fatal flaw:

“…One of the, I think, the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.”

There is no room for wiggle or misunderstanding here. This is not edited copy. There is nothing out of context; for the entire thing is context – the context of what Barack Obama believes. You and I do not have to guess at what he believes or try to interpret what he believes. He says what he believes.

We have, in our storied history, elected Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives and moderates. We have fought, and will continue to fight, pitched battles about how best to govern this nation. But we have never, ever in our 232 year history, elected a President who so completely and openly opposed the idea of limited government, the absolute cornerstone of makes the United States of America unique and exceptional.

If this does not frighten you – regardless of your political affiliation – then you deserve what this man will deliver with both houses of Congress, a filibuster-proof Senate, and, to quote Senator Obama again, “a righteous wind at our backs.”

That a man so clear in his understanding of the Constitution, and so opposed to the basic tenets it provides against tyranny and the abuse of power, can run for President of the United States is shameful enough.

We’re just getting started.


THE SECOND CIRCLE OF SHAME

Mercifully shorter than the First, and simply this: I happen to know the person who found this audio. It is an individual person, with no more resources than a desire to know everything that he or she can about who might be the next President of the United States and the most powerful man in the world.

I know that this person does not have teams of highly-paid professionals, does not work out of a corner office in a skyscraper in New York, does not have access to all of the subtle and hidden conduits of information… who possesses no network television stations, owns no satellite time, does not receive billions in advertising dollars, and has a staff of exactly ONE.

I do not blame Barack Obama for believing in wealth distribution. That’s his right as an American. I do blame him for lying about what he believes. But his entire life has been applying for the next job at the expense of the current one. He’s at the end of the line now.

I do, however, blame the press for allowing an individual citizen to do the work that they employ standing armies of so-called professionals for. I know they are capable of this kind of investigative journalism: it only took them a day or two to damage Sarah Palin with wild accusations about her baby’s paternity and less time than that to destroy a man who happened to be playing ball when the Messiah decided to roll up looking for a few more votes on the way to the inevitable coronation.

We no longer have an independent, fair, investigative press. That is abundantly clear to everyone – even the press. It is just another of the facts that they refuse to report, because it does not suit them.

Remember this, America: the press did not break this story. A single citizen, on the internet did.

There is a special hell for you “journalists” out there, a hell made specifically for you narcissists and elitists who think you have the right to determine which information is passed on to the electorate and which is not.

That hell – your own personal hell – is a fiery lake of Irrelevance, blinding clouds of Obscurity, and burning, everlasting Scorn.

You’ve earned it.


THE THIRD CIRCLE OF SHAME

This discovery will hurt Obama much more than Joe the Plumber.

What will be left of my friend, and my friend’s family, I wonder, when the press is finished with them?















After about 30 comments I realized I forgot to do what I forgot to do last time...

There is an entire web community dedicated to discussing some of the issues we raise here at Eject! Eject! Eject! You may comment on this article by clicking here.

I will try to move the existing comments to the new forum if I am able.

Posted by Proteus at 3:11 AM | Comments (35)

October 26, 2008

PROGRAM NOTES

My friends, it’s been an exciting couple of months for me. My new job at Pajamas TV came hot on the heels of being invited (!) to write for freakin’ NATIONAL REVIEW, and both of these amazing opportunities have simply blown my mind.

But here’s a thought for you: I’ve been hinting for a long time that something big was in the works… and neither Pajamas nor National Review is what I meant! Both of those fell into my lap, and I am very grateful for both of them. But there are even bigger things in the works. The Secret Item will have to stay under wraps for a little while longer, but there are a few things I can talk about that will happen in the near future.

First, I hope to have the next book, SEEING THE UNSEEN, finished to have for sale by Christmas. No advance sales this time; I’ve been burned (and burned you) with that in the past.

I want to get that book finished, because there is a third book I need to write. Whatever happens on November 4th, this election has left me absolutely appalled – appalled -- at the breadth and depth of bias in the media, movies, music, on late night television, in the schools and universities – all of that. Turning that around is an enormous undertaking, a generational undertaking, and that is the subject of my third book, which will not be a collection of essays but rather a complete work with a specific goal.

That means I need to clear the decks regarding essays I’ve had floating around, so that I can start with a clean sheet of paper regarding the Herculean task we will face recovering the message and the mythology of this great experiment in liberty and human potential we call America.

So here’s the plan: two new essays into the book on critical thinking, called SEEING THE UNSEEN: one is WINDOW, a long-threatened account of what actually happens on a flight from LA to New York. There’s a million unseen people and systems and procedures that keep you safe as you hurtle through the stratosphere at the speed of a musket ball. That will probably close the book. The other one is the even-more-awaited THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, which will be the global warming essay. Please don’t expect me to actually solve an issue that remains so deeply contested. What interests me is the intersection of politics and science, and that is something I feel I might be able to shed a little light on, having been paid to do both.

Now there have been some other topics I have been thinking about, that more properly belong in the next book (which I intend to finish in a few months, rather than years).

I plan to call the third book TWO REPUBLICS. In debate, you attempt to win an argument first by making the CASE: showing what is wrong, and defending your position with facts, reason and historical precedent. The second part is the PLAN: what you mean to do about it, and how.

TWO REPUBLICS will first present the case: THE REPUBLIC OF EMOTION. That will consist of several chapters showing where we have gone off the rails regarding the kind of place the Founders had in mind. Then, in part two, I’ll try to look at specific examples of how we can get back there and present a cohesive plan in THE REPUBLIC OF REASON.

The kinds of things I am talking about are not the kinds of things that will bear fruit in four years. They are the kinds of issues that will bear fruit in forty years; and I will be delighted if I live long enough to see them begin to come to pass.

I’ll tease you with this: the Left, coming out of the Frankfurt School, have been able to absolutely control both the heart (Hollywood) and the brain (Universities) of this country by slowly – over the course of forty years – infiltrating these institutions and gradually turning them from pro-American cultures into loudspeakers for the kind of socialist thinking that, when implemented, have left us with 100 million bodies in various unmarked graves and a heritage of misery, poverty and despair wherever they have been tried. America has always been their enemy, and now they have convinced half the country that America has to change.

What started as a handful of dedicated radicals have accomplished this through relentless and disciplined action. That’s the bad news. The good news is we’re not starting with a handful of people and an ideology of repression and failure. We are starting with 150 million free and successful people, who have history and logic and human nature on our side.

The message is sound. In point of fact, the message is the most profoundly transformational miracle in human history. What we need are messengers worthy of that message, and a medium that delivers the message untainted.

All of this is coming. Be of good cheer! One way or another, we are about to turn a corner.


Posted by Proteus at 9:16 PM | Comments (5805)

BIDEN'S HINT

BillBiden.jpg


None of these prospects fill me with joy, but I’ll tell you straight up – that last option makes my blood run cold. When you’re surrounded by armed, raging barbarians, well, that is not the optimal time to lay down your sword… even if you don’t have the will or the inclination to use it. Even if you wave it around a little, it can have a remarkable effect. Unless, of course, you’re running away when you do it, in which case it just pisses them off even more.

Sorry for the delay in updating… your author has been out of town.

However, once again, your full-service, multi-media, friendly neighborhood Eject! staff has helpfully provided you with the choice of watching the editorial on www.pjtv.com, which you can do FREE and WITHOUT REGISTRATION by clicking here.

Or you can read a slightly expanded version at National Review Online by clicking here.


I know many people miss the longer-form essays. I’ll have an update on that very shortly… and when I say shortly, I mean in a hour or so.

Posted by Proteus at 6:08 PM | Comments (5674)

October 22, 2008

PLUMBER JOE'S FLASHLIGHT

Bill%20rich.jpg


But here’s the real tragedy that Joe has turned his flashlight on: it’s not just that it’s not okay to punish Joe for wanting to live the American Dream. It’s not just that Obama wants to re-distribute the wealth of a lowly plumber. The real tragedy is that no one objected when he said he wanted to take money from the rich.

The Rich – the top one percent of the population, currently pay forty percent of total income tax.

Let me try somethinmg I learned from Joe Biden, only I’ll uise it to tell the truth; Let me repeat that: the tope one percent of the population pays forty percent of the income tax. And that’s up from thirty four percent in 2002, so they are not getting tax breaks, they are actually paying more now than they did when Bush took office.

One the other hand, the bottom fifty percent of Americans – half – pay three percent. Let me repeat that: the top one percent pays forty percet of taxes, and the bottom half – half!! – pays three percent. And everybody thinks that’s fair and appropriate?

(I actually saved time by having a wax dummy with the same expression made for all the screen grabs. An assistant just changes the clothes and snaps a new pic!)

The AFTERBURNER (!) editorial can be found here. This one is free with registration. (They're rotating them in and out of FREE, REGISTERED and SUBSCRIPTION.)

All it takes is an email address and a password, and if you do register, it opens up more of the interviews and things I do at Pajamas TV Daily. I can also promise that the email database is not sold or used in any way other than to email very infrequent announcements of the PJTV status.

Posted by Proteus at 10:37 AM | Comments (5260)

October 21, 2008

THROW THE BUMS OUT!

Bill_throwemout.jpg

Now that we’ve had a little time for the dust to settle on this whole financial crisis, the thing I most am interested in is how do we make sure this doesn’t happen again? I don’t mean ever… I mean, you know… weekly. Maybe a few months to catch our breath before the next disaster… that kind of thing.

Actually, that level of cynicism makes me ashamed of myself. But the fact is, we have become so accustomed to --- well, not just bad government, but bad governance – that we start to assume that’s just the way it has to be.

That kind of thinking makes me channel Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse now: Wrong! Wrong!


Throw 'em out!

This one is in the SUBSCRIPTION ONLY section. You can find it here.

Posted by Proteus at 3:01 PM | Comments (2746)

October 17, 2008

PEP TALK!

billpep.jpg

Tales of heartbreak and comeback!

You can read it at National Review Online here.

Or you can see a (slightly) abridged version on Pajamas TV! The link is here.

This one requires registration, which is simply an email address and a password. Small price to pay for these fine people paying my salary! Also, being registered opens up more of the daily content at www.pjtv.com.

Be sure to SKIP VIDEO TEST if you get that option.

Posted by Proteus at 12:33 PM | Comments (5369)

October 8, 2008

RIGHTS

bill%20rights.jpg

During the debate last night, Barack Obama was asked if he though health care was a "right." He said he thought it was a right.

Well, if you accept that premise, you can ask some logical follow-up questions. For instance, food is more important than health care... you die pretty quickly without food. Do we have a "right" to food in America? What about shelter? Do we have a "right" to housing? And if we have a right to housing, what standard of housing do we have a right to? And if it is a right -- due to all Americans -- doesn't that mean that no one should have to accept housing, or health care, that is inferior to anyone else's, since it's a right?

Do we have a right to be safe? Do we have a right to be comfortable? Do we have a right to wide-screen televisions? Where does this end?

And it goes from there!

I think this one is actually very good. And it's free, with no registration is required. I'd like to thank www.PJTV.com for making this available at no charge. If you register you can leave feedback, and if you want to thank them for being my new employers and paying me to do this stuff, that would be the place to do it.

I'm grateful!

(BTW, I did an interview with Michelle Malkin that was a LOT of fun. That's available too, for subscribers.)

The link is here

UPDATE: I also submitted this to National Review Online, which was kind enough to post it. If you prefer the written version, you can find it here.

ANOTHER UPDATE! I knew when I saw more profanity in two posts than I had in the previous two years that Leftists have arrived! Welcome DAILY KOS readers! You will be able to tell the exact moment Kos linked to this site by the change from the comments section being a detailed and thoughtful look at the Rights of Man to the arrival of the first F Bomb. God, I wish I could have you guys here daily, simply to illuminate how shallow and demented the left really is.

I named this blog Eject! Eject! Eject! because of the disgust I felt for what once had been called "classical liberalism" had become. Daily Kos is a sewer of rage and ignorance unilluminated by... well, anything.

Finally, let me just add that the coward that wrote the Kos entry uses a pseudonym, because like all Marxists he hasn't the courage to put his name to what he believes. The Founding Fathers, on the other hand, put their names to documents that would have cost them their lives, had they lost. That is a fundamental issue of integrity, which both he and I understand very well, although from different sides.

Posted by Proteus at 8:40 PM | Comments (2425)

October 7, 2008

SAD NEWS

I just returned home from watching the debate (and having a beer afterwards) to discover an email from a pilot friend of mine. She told me that an airplane identical to the one I co-own -- a Sky Arrow, a rare, very light Italian import (which you can see to the right) -- had crashed into the ocean over the Malibu pier at about 5:15pm on Tuesday.

I wanted to post this for any of you who might hear that the airplane I fly was in a crash at the airport I fly out of. It wasn't our airplane, and I wasn't one of the pilots.

But I know the pilot of the aircraft very well. I do not believe I know the passenger. The cause of the crash at this time remains unknown, but both aboard were airlifted to UCLA medical center with "severe head trauma."

That's the horrible news.

The good news comes from an email update I received from fellow pilots. Perhaps initial reports were somewhat overstated. My friend, the accident pilot, has been moved from the emergency room into ICU, is conscious, and at last report does not require surgery. The passenger is said to be in slightly better condition, and was also conscious. That would be a tremendous relief. The airplane is a total loss, but that's just a piece of plastic and aluminum...

Fast action on the part of two ordinary people undoubtedly saved both of their lives. We can also credit the world's best trauma treatment, because both of them got to top-flight medical care within the "Golden Hour," and if the latest I received is true, it looks like both will survive.

I'm embarrassed to print my final thought, but it might give you some insight on how the pilot's mind works upon hearing such news. My first thought is the hope that my friend isn't at fault in any way. My second thought -- and I am ashamed to admit it -- is that on some level I hope he was. There's nothing you can do about some freak accident, the kind of thing where you find yourself standing before the Pearly Gates, and St. Peter pats you on the back and says, "Tough break, kid."

But what I secretly hope for is something that I can point to and say, "Ah, see? I never would have done that." That hope brings my fate back under my own control. The first hope outweighs the second by a wide margin, but deep down inside I want to see something that would tell me this would not have happened to me, because I am a very conservative pilot and I have recoiled in horror watching other people (not this guy) take risks I would never take. My hope is that will let me achieve my lifelong goal of dying as The World's Oldest (Not Boldest) Pilot.

We'll know more soon. The only thing that matters is that these guys get to go home to the lives that they led before they took off. All the rest of it is speculation. I'll update this when I know more, but my main thought was that I didn't want anyone to worry. I want to find out exactly what happened so that I can make sure that this particular gremlin -- whatever it was -- does not bite my precious hide.

But even after seeing something that hits about a close as it can -- my friend, in an identical airplane, at my home airport -- not for an instant did I ever have even the most fleeting thought of hanging this up.

I live up there, you see. When I'm down here I'm just visiting y'all.

Posted by Proteus at 11:23 PM | Comments (19)

THE PIRANHA PARTY

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Here's the latest editorial from Pajamas TV.

I know it's late in the game, but this situation just keeps getting worse and I felt compelled to act. So I hereby announce my Chairmanship of the Piranha Party of America.

Vote Piranha! Like your life defended on it! Because it does!

The link is here.

Thanks again to Pajamas TV for making this available for free.

UPDATE: Turns out you do need to register to see the content. Registration is free!

Posted by Proteus at 2:00 PM | Comments (5037)

October 3, 2008

THE GREATEST MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION

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I don't think that's overstating the case.

I'm on Pajamas TV Daily, daily. Here's an editorial on how government puts The Blob to shame. PJTV is a subscriber-based system, but this content is completely FREE. (You may be karmically billed in the afterlife.)

The built-in player is excellent (be sure to SKIP THE VIDEO TEST if you see that option), and there is a lower-quality FLASH player version as well.

More of this to come.

Posted by Proteus at 10:11 AM | Comments (4055)

COWBOYS AND SECRET AGENTS

Well, it's Friday again, and that means another NRO Weekend article: COWBOYS AND SECRET AGENTS can be found here.

As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Posted by Proteus at 10:08 AM | Comments (3960)