It happened at night. Your ascent began with an unpleasant awakening. You could tell she was scared and in pain. Movements occurred faster than reason. Clothes on, car keys found, eyes awake, bodies moving towards the car, road leading to the emergency room. Then, all motion stopped.
Part I is here.
Vijay wasn't a drinking buddy in the colloquial sense. He was a conversation buddy, but the conversations usually took place at the dive bar - the same dive bar you've been patronizing for more years than you care to remember. You liked his company because he was insightful and brutally - often viciously - honest. So even in the backdrop of dirty tables and aging waitresses, you savored these nights.
This is the story of your consciousness
It always begins with a betrayal. Decisions were made without your knowledge, without your input. You were not offered a chance to analyze them. In most cases you weren't even born when others made decisions that impacted your life. You can't comprehend their impact if you don't know they happened. They layer on top of each other, one after another for decades. Thick intellectual fog envelopes you - becomes as commonplace and routine as a train that passes your home so often you no longer notice it.
Originally published January 21, 2012
In 2003, a Heavyweight boxer got a tattoo that covered half of his face. America's collective reaction was, "yeah, that sounds about right." After all, it was Mike Tyson and we had long since passed the point of being surprised by anything he did or said. We were in what one sports columnist jokingly referred to as The Tyson Zone.
In 2012, one Presidential candidate is challenging that designation.
In a nutshell, The Tyson Zone is a special place for the rarest celebrity who is so insane, so unpredictable, that two things happen. First, their complete unpredictability becomes predictable. In other words, you would have been much more surprised to learn that Mike Tyson thought of getting a giant face tattoo and then reconsidered. Second, the real stories about the celebrity are so ridiculous that any crazy story you hear about them is instantly believable - and the crazier it is, the more believable.
Mike Tyson set the standard for lunacy. His quotes are legendary. In fact, there is a great YouTube song that is nothing more than a collection of his most outrageous comments put to a few acoustic guitar chords.
Side note 1: If you up-vote this blog for any reason, it will be for that song link.
Side note 2: Warning, foul language! (It's Mike Tyson's actual quotes, after all.)
Iron Mike Has Met His Match
The more I learn about Rick Santorum, I feel the need to reconsider the standard Mike Tyson has set for sheer insanity. Has the bar been raised (or lowered, depending on your perspective)? Has Santorum reached a new level of crazy that makes Mike Tyson seem tame and conventional by comparison?
To make my point, below are five stories about Rick Santorum.
An analysis of Milton Friedman's Plucking Model and Critique of Austrian Business Cycle Theory.
James Kotecki garnered some minor fame in the libertarian movement when Ron Paul came to his dorm room last campaign for an interview, something I can't imagine any other Presidential candidate doing. However, in a recent Huffington Post column, Kotecki expressed his reservations about Paul's candidacy and declared that he will not support Ron Paul. The basic formula of Kotecki's reasoning is that he was associated with evangelicals at some point and Ron's supporters remind him of those experiences.
I don't know how much James Kotecki spent on his college education, but appearantly the sticker price didn't include any classes on logic or argumentation. What follows is a string of logical fallacies in the format of A is C and B is C, therefore A is B, or Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle. These fallacies are acceptable work at Huffington Post though. As Ron Paul supporters, we see this often. Rather than merely pointing out the fallacy, let's discuss Kotecki's feelings regarding Ron Paul's supporters.
"They have a simple solution to every problem. For evangelicals, it's more God. For Ron Paul supporters, it's less government."
Ron Paul's support continues to grow. In 2008, the good Doctor received 7.8% of the votes cast in the New Hampshire Republican Primary. Despite more than tripling that total in 2012, the Dead Stream Media (DSM) continues to invent new and amusing reasons to dismiss his candidacy. One hysterical non-contributing zero from MSNBC even referred to Paul's candidacy as a fraud, clearly enraged that Huntsman wasn't declared the de facto runner up!
The DSM is taking bets on when all non-Mitt Republicans will concede, but we know that the fun is just beginning. Let us take a moment to consider what will happen after Ron rocks Super Tuesday. Will Mitt Romney run as an Independent to split the Republican vote?
Now it's true that I might be getting ahead of myself. Let's take a moment to review the argument against Mitt's electability from my first Daily Paul blog.
The argument against Mitt in six sentences or less:
Last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished in a statistical tie for first place in the Iowa GOP caucus vote. While Romney's strong finish wasn't surprising, Santorum's sudden rise in popularity will have many empty suits and skirts in the Dead Stream Media (DSM) scratching their hollow craniums. Ron Paul finished third, a few percentage points behind. While this isn't the stunning victory his supporters had hoped for, he still managed to more than double his support from his 2008 finish of 9.93% of the vote. Not bad for a fringe candidate that many 2008 political experts predicted would have no real impact on the future of American politics.
If it's true that Romney's strong showing in Iowa bodes very well for his chances to win the Republican nomination, then the biggest winner of the Iowa GOP vote was Barack Obama. But before I get into why Romney has no chance in the general election, let us try to understand where Rick Santorum came from. Then I'll attempt to paint his certain fall from grace as quickly as it will happen in real life.
How Santorum Won (yes, that's a win)
There were a combination of factors at work that propelled Santorum to his strong showing. I'm going to start with what I feel is the most important. I like to call it the RedState.com voting bloc. There is a strongly committed group of neoconservative voters that exhibit a similar level of passion as the hardest of hard core Paulites. They probably don't view themselves as "neoconservative" and perhaps quite a few of them don't even know what that means, nor could they trace the history from Kirzner to Buckley to Cheney to Limbaugh, but they nonetheless unshakably agree with the ideological arguments presented by neoconservatives. Their home on the web is RedState.com. Their home on the airwaves is Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin. They watch FoxNews and turn it off when Napolitano and Stossel come on. They hold up Ann Coulter as a paragon of the intellectual 21st century American woman. They have their fingers crossed for Sarah Palin.
It's been a tough 4 years for the RedState gang. They became energized behind George W. Bush's so-called leadership in thrusting America into two failed wars and the never ending war on anything that looks terroristy. In 2008, they rallied around Mike Huckabee, propelling him to a commanding Iowa victory. When Huck's evangelical army couldn't carry on that momentum, they threw their might behind Guiliani. When he turned out to be a womanizing career politician that couldn't beat a fringe nobody named Ron Paul in the GOP debates, they settled on McCain. McCain promised to keep their sacred war in Iraq going for 100 years if need be (Constitution, be damned!). They were overjoyed when he hired the Alaskan sweetheart to stand next to him on the campaign trail. The only way McCain could have become more appealing to the RedState faction would have been to name Danica Patrick as Vice President. Unfortunately for RedState, and thankfully for the rest of us, John "Bomb Iran" McCain was completely out of step with the independent vote in America. They were already tiring of the war, they were angry over the bailouts that he (and Barack) had vocally supported, and they viewed him as 4 more years of Bush. In other words, he was exactly what RedState wanted. Yes, by 2008, the neoconservatives were already out of step with Independent voters. Their base was shrinking.
The Joke's on EVERYONE
Santorum's Iowa victory is highly amusing. The RedState voters have become even more polarized and out of step with mainstream American thought than they were in 2008, when they were banning Ron Paul supporters from their forums for debating too intelligently. They are ready to latch on to anyone not named Mitt and especially not named Ron Paul. The hatred of Paul goes back a few years and is by no means a recent phenomenon. I don't know who fired the first shot, but it may have been Paul himself when he delivered a scathing speech on the history, ideas, and disastrous effects of the neoconservative movement on the House floor in 2006. That speech highlighted the chameleon political affiliations of the movement, e.g. siding with Moynihan and the Democrat Establishment in support of the Vietnam War. Paul also traced the history of the leadership and their views on foreign and economic policy. Reading neoconservative columnists like David Frum and David Brooks, who espouse economic ideas that resemble classical Communism, makes you wonder how the gang ever found a home among Republican voters so quick to salute the American flag and so eager to remind pesky libertarians how a strong national defense purportedly defeated the great Communist threat.