Friday, May 22, 2009


Self-described independents (36%) now outnumber both Democrats (35%) and Republicans (23%), according to a study released yesterday by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The GOP continues to hemorrhage allegiance in every way imaginable and, adding insult to partisan injury, accounting for independent "leaners" widens the gap from 35%-23% to 53%-36%.

I recommend downloading a pdf of the full report here. Its 165 pages are chock-full of fascinating snapshots, trends and analysis -- no one does this kind of stuff better than Pew.

Pres. Barack Obama gave a fine speech on national security yesterday, but he should've stopped short of characterizing the very existence of Gitmo as a recruiting tool for terrorists -- that, in my opinion, was one bridge too far. Dick Cheney followed with a predictably cranky rebuttal -- best summed up as, "I'm right and you suck" -- which served only to make this President look even more like the right guy for the job.

Draining the Guantanamo Bay swamp, whether it happens sooner or later, ultimately will mean bringing current Gitmo detainees onto U.S. soil, into U.S. supermax prisons. No argument I've heard opposing the transfer (collusion, escape, etc.) passes the laugh test, much less the smell test. We're simply seeing the latest example of NIMBY -- "not in my back yard" -- and nothing more.

Even as I support all necessary and lawful efforts to fight terrorism -- and I do -- I also must acknowledge that there will be prisoners and there likely will be trials. My patriotism instructs me to accept a citizen's share of the risk of defending my country, and if that means incarcerating suspected terrorists in my back yard, then so be it. If we need to build more or more secure prisons to hold them (which would cost money, by the way), then let's get on with it.

On September 11, 2001, we learned that we no longer live on an island, and yet many Americans continue to act as if the fight against terrorism can be kept conveniently beyond our borders and out of our sight. That attitude, exemplified by NIMBY, is naive and, in my view, something less than patriotic.

The Nissan Cube might just be the ugliest car I've ever seen, replacing the Pontiac Aztec at the top (or bottom) of my personal list. In case you haven't seen the itsy-bitsy Cube, it looks like a Scion xB (which is pretty fugly itself) that was left out in the sun and started to melt. It's wretched.

If these things catch on, I'm packing up the wife and spawns and we're moving to Montana -- the Apocalypse is coming.

General Motors is expected to be shepherded into bankruptcy next week. Although the Obama administration is trying to tamp-down the rumors, some reports say that under the plan GM would get another $30 billion from the government (from taxpayers, that is). It's important to grasp two truths: 1) in or out of bankruptcy, GM no longer is a viable commercial enterprise; and 2) a GM bankruptcy would deal a brutal, disastrous blow to our economy.

There's no silver lining here, no reason for optimism, informed or otherwise. We can stop kidding ourselves -- this will be bad.

Sharps is a recurring theme here on KintlaLake Blog, so it shouldn't surprise regular readers that the only item on my Father's Day wish list is a knife -- a plain-edge
Benchmade 551 Griptilian, either in orange or OD. Griptilian folders are solid, American-made knives, widely regarded as some of the best values out there.

I'm on my best behavior, my fingers firmly crossed.

Speaking of Griptilians, the one I'd really like to get my hands on is a 552, otherwise known as the RSK Mk1. It's the result of a collaboration with Doug Ritter of Equipped To Survive, a classic example of making a good design even better. And even though it's a good bit more expensive than a 551 ($118 street vs. $65), the Mk1 is still surprisingly affordable.

Visitors to our national parks soon will be allowed to carry concealed weapons, given a valid state concealed-carry permit. Ordinarily, Mrs. KintlaLake and I loathe eleventh-hour amendments to unrelated legislation -- Congress approved the concealed-carry provision this week as part of a bill reforming the credit-card industry -- but in this case we'll gladly make an exception.

For everyone who supports the Second Amendment and believes in individual citizens' right to personal defense, this is a satisfying win.

My community's Memorial Day parade will take place at 9am on Monday morning. I'll be there, rain or shine, and I suggest that everyone reading this blog do the same in their communities.

Remembering our nation's fallen warriors is what this holiday is all about. As a free People, we should consider it our solemn obligation to honor those who sacrificed their lives for Liberty.