Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts On The Hobbit, Good, And Evil

I really liked this thought-provoking article at The American Thinker regarding The Hobbit, orcs, and the human condition:

It was with a burdened and weary heart that I made my way to the IMAX theater to catch the premiere of Peter Jackson's rendition of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit." The stormy night had blackened my already dour mood, having arisen that morning to another of man's inconceivably brutal horrors that had taken place at an elementary school thousands of miles away.

But upon seeing the face of my lovely daughter, the "almost pharmacist" and her devoted fiancée, both of whom had invited me to this 3-D showing of a classic book that has a special place in my life, I put aside that volume of human tragedy in anticipation of a literary master's fantasy world. One of the most precious things in my life has been the ability to share this love of Tolkien with Melinda -- to hear her rhapsodize of Middle Earth's richness as we shared the grand cosmology where hobbits, elves, dwarves, men, and necromancers dwell in the tenuous balance of Good and Evil. Indeed, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, in their imaginary worlds that have captured the imaginations of child and adult alike, sound a chord that serves to awaken souls to the never ending tension that constrains the human spirit into opposing directions. Later, while driving back home on rain slicked streets accompanied by the chatter of news concerning mass murder and inconsolable parents, I reflected on the Tolkien universe.

Of all the characters of these books, Hobbits are the most joyous and grounded of creatures. Perhaps because they are the smallest and least robust of beings or because they dwell idyllically in the insular Shire, their hearts are attuned to the creature comforts of hearth and home. With their lives bound up in family, food, and drink, they have been seemingly afforded by nature a calm moderation and a predisposition against novelty and adventure. The world around them, however, is anything but a paradise of rolling green hills and warm fires.

In The Silmarillion, Tolkien tells us that the Creator Illuvatar begat the Ainur, a host of powerful creatures who in obedience to his purpose sang the world into existence. But the greatest of the Ainur, Melkor, slowly began deviating from the harmonies of creation and through his dissonance clouded Illuvatar's intent. Illuvatar, nevertheless, incorporated his dissonance into even more profound harmonies. Drawing an analogy from the Judeo-Christian God and Lucifer, we find in both stories that what began as loving creation ex nihilo soon became a warring battleground. In the moral sphere of Good and Evil, a contest for the hearts and minds of Middle Earth spanned three ages of Middle Earth. In the Tolkien mythos, it is revealed that the world of this Third Age is but a paltry shadow of the First and that a great schism had divided an increasingly disenchanted world.

Evil, whether appearing in the disembodied spirits of Melkor, Morgoth, Sauron or in the spirits of those it tempts or leads away from the light, cannot of itself create. Being contingent, Evil can only propagate and seed itself through deception, corruption, vanity, or fear. While the First Born Elves have a certain moral excellence and distance in respect to their characters, it is in Men and Dwarves that evil finds a firm foothold. Being heir to dispositions of honor, power, and greed, Evil throughout the ages of Middle Earth often projects itself through strife and vanity. Moreover, the races of Orcs and the terrible creatures in Middle Earth were fashioned by Melkor through cruel and persistent tortures in the pit of Utumno. Thus, elves and beings of the first age were corrupted and bred for their dullness and black cruelties.

The universes of Tolkien and Lewis touch a spot in our hearts, not because of a one-dimensional black and white depiction of Good and Evil, but because they ring true in excavating the subtlety of what drives evil. Evil is not deemed co-equal with Good, as in a Manichean worldview, but as a corrupted end which once sought the Good. Such is vice and evil in our lives: love is denatured into lust, acquisition and thrift becomes greed and covetousness, and the desire to rule becomes the thirst for power and tyranny.

No man seeks evil for its own sake and even Lucifer aspired to rule in autonomous freedom because he judged that he would rule better. Having become unhinged from the Light and lost in the labyrinth of unanchored self, once man proceeds out into a vector of independence from the Archimedean Star of the Moral Law, he can no longer discern how far afield he has gone. Without milestones or ethical guideposts, our liberty becomes its own justification and soon we become the sole arbiter of truth and the moral "ought." Ungrounded from the light, Good inexorably morphs into a dark caricature of itself that eventually inflicts or condones actions that fall along the continuum where pain and suffering reside.

Clearly, the Bible and these lovely books, yea all of the classic fairy tales, are rooted in the knowledge that evil is a persistent companion in our amphibious souls. Having a nature that is both carnal and spirit, we are contestants in a subtle warfare for our minds and imaginations. Christians are, however, assured that though evil ebbs and flows in the hearts of men, Goodness and justice will win out in the fullness of days. Despite the manifold vices and wickedness that entertain the human imagination, a joyous optimism is evident in the words of the Gospels, Tolkien, and Lewis. Therein we can take comfort in virtue, faith, and courage that the Dark Lord shall not stand.

It is in our finite reckoning of time that patience exhausts itself and oftentimes our endurance is drawn down as we despair of evil's resolute gravity. Faced with suffering and evil occurring at an ever-accelerating cadence, it may be easier to believe that we are alone in our sorrows instead of exerting faith that a Deft Hand holds the reins. Sometimes it seems as if the free will of a broken humanity is insufficient when weighed in the balance against our cruelties. But without free will there is no love; and without love there is no impetus for a God of Love to create.

But free will or a future redemption is thin gruel to a town with classrooms full of murdered children. Is it enough to say that God did not will this thing and that despite the glib horror of the words, ripples of good are projecting out in time so that as a consequence at least some of this evil might one day be redeemed? Unlike our stories of Middle Earth, there was no convocation of Eagles to spirit those innocents away from a cruel and insane hand. Nevertheless, we are hearing now of unlikely heroes and sacrifices in the face of certain death by some who did not come home.

It is too early to tell, perhaps even in this lifetime, how these events will have weighted the waves of contingency and their significance for those perhaps not yet born. It is not a cliché to hold that courage and faith are needed now more than ever. They were indispensable in an age of Hobbits, elves and dwarves; how much more so in a tangible world of fragile men.

I think this also gets to the heart of why the Lord of the Rings is so vastly more powerful and epic than the contemporary Harry Potter series.  In HP, there is good and evil, but it's mostly evil for its own sake and good simply to avoid being overtaken by the evil.  I found little moral substance, and even less standing on principle in the series.  After all, does not even one steeped in evil fight for his own survival?  For fiction, that sort of banality may still work, but the deeper introspections that Tolkien performed manifested on paper/screen as reflections of the nature of good and evil in the real world, and thus captured the power of the world we see around us.  Yes, it's still fiction, but I am convinced that the best fiction is that which could be real, or at least seems to mirror the real world effectively.  Tolkien got it, and harnessed those timeless truths in his fiction; Rowling did not.

As indicated at the close of the article, those same truths not only make for impactful fiction, but they are indispensable for the real world.  Sadly, there are woefully too many who ignore the real world, where timeless truths matter most.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas List

Tonight we found a Christmas list left on the table by Kylee.  It's priceless (she made the circle, not us):

Does parenting get any better than this?  I think not.  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Farming, Take Two

First it was "Farming and I Grow It," now it's "Workin' Farmer Style"...

Nice job (again), guys!  Looks like this may become a recurring thing...sweet!

Let's make this one go viral, too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tis The Season


I especially love how members of the crowd join in.  It's the best time of the year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Collin Klein And The Heisman

Johnny Manziel is a tremendously exciting player, all the more so because this is his first year as a starter.

That doesn't mean he deserves the Heisman.

Before we get into the weeds, I should back up a second.  I've never really been that taken by the Heisman hype, which has transformed an award for being the best player in college football into a simple popularity contest for the best (SEC) player each year.  In fact, I generally view the Heisman with a pretty fair amount of disdain precisely because it isn't much more than a beauty pageant for quarterbacks.  Next year I'll probably be back to disdain, but with Collin Klein being deeply in the mix this year, I couldn't help it.  If nothing else, it's a tremendous benefit in terms of PR for future recruiting at a relatively unknown (and undesired) university like Kansas State.  Personally, I also believe that Klein is a one-in-a-million person who is extremely unlikely to let an award of that magnitude change who he is.

So, the top three candidates are Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Collin Klein of K-State, and Manti Te'o of Notre Dame.  Most of the analysis I've seen has Te'o in a distant third place, and it's really hard to compare a linebacker with two quarterbacks, so while it's clear he's the heart of a beast of a terrific defense, it seems unlikely he's going to win.  Thus, I'm going to focus on Manziel and Klein.

Manziel is the frontrunner at the moment.  If you ask me, it's mostly because he destroyed a handful of no-name teams to pad his stats, combined with one singular moment of greatness (beating #1 Alabama).  Oh, and he's in the SEC.  Remember, anything and everything college football-related is colored by a gigantic favoritism toward the SEC (don't believe me? ask me next year and I'll prove it to you on any late Saturday night E-SEC-PN highlights broadcast).  As I mentioned before, he's a great player and will certainly be in New York for future Heisman ceremonies, but let's look at some numbers and see what we see about this year.

Here's one great workup of some data.  Here are what I believe are some of the more salient points, though the distinct differences between the two teams' styles do muddy the waters a bit:

In-Conference Production
Klein was masterful in Big 12 play for the second straight season. He has scored 16 of his 20 rushing touchdowns in league play, including huge road performances at West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU. He avenged both losses to Oklahoma schools last fall with big showings against the Sooners and Cowboys. Manziel has been much more up and down in SEC play. He had a huge performance against Alabama and Mississippi State, struggled against Florida, LSU and somewhat against Ole Miss while torching bad teams like Arkansas, Auburn and Missouri. Manziel’s out-of-conference numbers are much more inflated than Klein’s. Of Manziel’s 43 total touchdowns, 22 came in four games against South Carolina State, Sam Houston State, SMU and Louisiana Tech. 

Offensive System
Kevin Sumlin’s ... Texas A&M offense ran 959 plays (11th nationally) for an average of 6.9 yards per play (5th nationally). Bill Snyder’s offense is totally different, ranking 120th nationally with only 712 plays. However, the Wildcats have been equally effective at 6.4 yards per play (19th nationally). Both offenses have produced at a similar rate all year, so that means Klein has produced his stats on 247 fewer offensive snaps. 

Supporting Cast
This one is no contest. Manziel has an infinitely better supporting cast than Klein at Kansas State. Texas A&M has an average national team recruiting ranking of 20.3 over the last four classes and has finished no lower than 27th (2011) in the team rankings. Kansas State has an average national team ranking of 70.1 over the same span. The best class Manhattan has seen in four years was 2012’s 58th-rated class. With two potential first-round picks blocking for him, multiple five-star tailbacks, and a senior All-SEC wide receiver at his disposal, Manziel has by far the best supporting cast of the two. And it’s really not even close.

Off-the-Field Character
This is a small factor but Klein is one of the most respected, most upstanding young people this game has ever seen. He is Tim Tebow off of the field as well as Tebow in the huddle and locker room. Manziel was arrested this summer for getting into a fight with a 47-year old man and carrying multiple false IDs. Is Manziel simply a young kid enjoying the trappings of young fame (SEE: Halloween pictures)? Of course, but Klein would never get into a fight with someone nearly 30 years older than himself.

“Johnny Football” versus “Optimus Klein.” I am sorry, but this one isn’t even close. Johnny Football is one of the lamest, most unimaginative nicknames I have ever heard. And as a kid who grew up loving the Transformers, my vote goes to Klein. This one is easy and heavily in favor of the Kansas State Wildcat. It's a good thing a nickname has absolutely nothing to do with the Heisman.

I just liked that last one, so I had to include it.  :)

This article makes the argument that the SEC schedule Manziel faced was significantly more difficult than the Big 12 slate that Klein took down.  It depends on where you look for this stat, but I like Sagarin's rating because it includes some additional details that I think are key.  The bottom line is that K-State played the 19th most difficult schedule while TAM had the 27th.  Some will argue that TAM faced more ranked teams, but that depends on whether you're looking at final rankings now or rankings at the time the game was played.  Sagarin helps clear this up by indicating the teams' records against opponents that are currently ranked in the top 10 and in the top 30.  It's no contest:

KSU - 1-0 vs Top 10 / 6-1 vs Top 30
TAM - 1-1 vs Top 10 / 1-2 vs Top 30

No one in their right mind would call this result anything other than a harder road for K-State and Klein.  In fact, the Big 12 may not have a team in the championship game, but the vaunted SEC has only one more team with a single loss on the year (Alabama and Florida).  The SEC has six of the top ten spots, but four of those have two losses.  Ranked #11, Oklahoma provides a second BCS team for the Big 12.  It's clear that the SEC is a bit more top-heavy than the Big 12, but what percentage of the SEC is playing in a bowl game?  65%.  The Big 12, on the other hand, are coming in at 90%, as only Kansas failed to become bowl eligible.  I'd be curious to know how many coaches would prefer a schedule comprised of half cupcakes and half monsters as opposed to a top-to-bottom slate of teams that could all beat you on any given day.  Given the rigors of having to face quality opponent after quality opponent throughout the entire season, I think that Klein's march through the Big 12 is easily more impressive than Manziel's sporadic trek through the SEC, all the more so if the analysis above about the talent levels of the two teams is true.

On that point, though, I don't think it is.  Remember, this is the first year TAM is in the SEC, and I'm pretty sure that E-SEC-PN wouldn't be singing their personnel praises quite so much if they had remained in the Big 12.  But that's awfully hard to compare, so I'm not going to belabor it.

Anyway, here's another way to compare the two candidates - how do they perform when the stakes are high?  How do they perform against their best opponents?  That one is pretty clear, too, and the broadcast team flashed up a graphic during K-State's pounding of Texas that illustrated precisely this question:

In games vs. BCS conference teams with winning records: 
Collin Klein has a 7-1 record, 25 total TDs, 6 turnovers 
Johnny Manziel has a 2-2 record, 5 TDs, 5 turnovers
Another no-brainer.

And what about over the course of the player's career, and in historical terms?  Get this:
Between that first game [against Texas], and this last game, Klein has found time to start a total of 24 other Wildcat games compiling career numbers and records of: 
• 45 rushing touchdowns … a KSU record and fourth in Big 12 history 
• Sixth player in Big 12 history with 4,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards 
• Posted 21 wins as a starter quarterback, just one shy of the school record of 22 by Ell Roberson and Michael Bishop 
• Rushed for 2,352 yards, fourth in KSU history only behind Sproles, Roberson and Thomas 
• Passed for 4,389 yards, seventh in KSU history 
• Owns a national-high of passing for at least one score and rushing for at least one score in 16 games since 2011 
In the BCS era, Klein is the only quarterback to rush for at least 20 TDs and pass for at least 10 TDs in more than one season 
That last one is the biggest - Klein is the only QB in college football history to do that.  That kind of top-level production over the course of two years is the sort of thing that makes the best football player in college football.

What about Manziel?  Well, he did set the SEC total yardage record at 4,600 yards this year.  That's impressive...but, once again, if he had remained in the Big 12, the record would have been over 5,700, far out of his reach (yet another reason to doubt the mantra that the SEC is vastly superior).  But whatever.  He can have that record in the conference with subpar offenses.  Congrats.

The bottom line is that both QBs were great.  But, if you look objectively at the body of work, Klein's track record is significantly more impressive.  Those who take their significance from things like the Heisman Popularity Contest just don't think Klein is the sexy pick, nor is K-State.  Sure, it makes for a nice story, but when you really boil it down they're looking for anyone else to give the hardware to, especially someone from the SEC.  The real question is whether or not there are enough voters who are outside the SEC and the state of Texas.  I have no idea, but we'll know in a few days.  For the sake of Klein and the Purple nation, I truly hope so.  If not, well, I'll happily settle for a Fiesta Bowl win over the Oregon Ducks as a consolation prize (more on that in the next few days).  :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Boo-yah! We're #1!

How sweet it is:

Collin Klein threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores and No. 6 Kansas State beat No. 18 Texas 42-24 on Saturday night for its third conference title in 117 years and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. 
The Wildcats had never played for a conference championship in their last game at home, and had never had a player end the regular season in such close contention for the Heisman Trophy as Klein. 
Neither of his main competitors, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel nor Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, played this weekend. 
So Klein, a multitalented senior, had the stage all to himself, one last chance to burnish his credentials for what would be Kansas State's first Heisman. 
In front of their sixth sellout in seven home games, the Wildcats (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) tied their team record for victories in a season and matched Oklahoma's Big 12 record. 
Kansas State has beaten Texas (8-4, 5-4) five in a row. 
The Sooners beat TCU earlier Saturday and immediately donned caps and T-shirts declaring themselves Big 12 champs. But Kansas State's 24-19 win at Oklahoma on Sept. 22 gives them the tiebreaker and sends them into the Fiesta Bowl. 
After a slow start, Klein wound up hitting 8 of 14 passes for 184 yards and added 108 yards rushing on 23 carries. John Hubert scored three touchdowns. (link)

Generally speaking, I ignore/disdain the Heisman as a useless popularity contest.  For proof, simply look at how fast people fall off the top of the list.  But...in the case of Klein, I'm happy to make an exception.  Not only is he a stellar athlete who has meant more to his team over the past two years than any other player in the nation, but he's got his head screwed on straight and won't let it change him.  More on that in the next day or two.

For now, let's just savor the sweet, sweet sound of...




The Kansas State Wildcats!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Future Of Computing?

The COO of Box gave a talk in KC recently, and offers his opinion about the future of computing, and specifically the use of hardware agnostic cloud technology.  Fascinating stuff (minor language warning):

Box is a great product, by the way.  Like he said, it's geared more toward commercial functionality, but it still works really well for individual consumers, too.  If you don't have an account, you really should get one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feel Like Being Naked Online?

You're about to.  Big Brother is on his way and will arrive within a matter of days, if a bill currently in the U.S. Senate becomes law.  No more online privacy for you!

CNet reports (emphasis mine):

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, isscheduled for next week.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)

Make no mistake - this isn't a political thing, as you can see from the fact that these reports are coming from tech organizations like CNet and Gizmodo.  This isn't a Republican/Democrat thing, either, since there will likely be support from both sides of the aisle.  No, the reality is that this is all about the privacy of you, your family, and anyone you know who has any account or activity anywhere on the Internet being stripped away by the government...without any oversight or justification whatsoever.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust that kind of power to a President and a Congress made up entirely of people I personally hand-picked, much less the corrupt chuckleheads currently in Washington!

This is, quite simply, the American people versus the American government, and they're looking to stack the deck against us.

Look up the two Senators from your state here, and give them a call or send an email (more than one if you're so inclined).  Tell them this bill is an overreach of government power, and that it shouldn't become law.  Then forward this information to as many people as you can.  A massive uprising of people from both the Left and the Right is the only thing standing between your online privacy and the full legal force of the U.S. government.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today's Lesson In Irony

A friend of mine sent me this.  I offer it without further comment:

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.


Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."


Thus ends today's lesson in irony.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Now THAT'S An Implosion

I find it hard to believe that a team as mentally tough as this one seems to have crumpled like paper mache once the #1 ranking was at stake, but I'm not sure what else can explain this.  Injuries?  Sure, that makes a difference, but everyone has to deal with injuries at this point in the year.  A bunch of blown officiating?  Perhaps, but what's done is done.  Mostly, it was just a total failure to show up.  There wasn't one aspect of this game that was #1 quality, or anything close.  This was a summary destruction at the hands of a team that had previously beaten only one team -- Kansas, of all people -- in the Big 12 this year.  Losing a close one to a top-10 team is one thing; this was pathetic and inexcusable.

So, let's chuck this one into the Forget It Really Fast bin and start looking toward Texas next week.  Don't forget that with a win over the Longhorns, KSU clinches at least a share of the Big 12 title, which is a massive accomplishment in itself.  I don't know about most KSU fans, but if you would have offered me the chance to accept a one-loss season, a Big 12 Championship, and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat.  Of course, with OU squeaking out a win over West Virginia tonight, the Cats had better make it a convincing win over Texas, or it's very possible (maybe even likely) that the Sooners would get the Fiesta invite, especially given the Wildcats' downward trend of late.  A sound win over another ranked team would do wonders to shore up the bowl bid prospects.

Oh, and Collin Klein's chances at winning the Heisman can be chucked, too.  Maybe there really is something about that Sports Illustrated cover curse...

Ugh.  What an awful, awful night.  The only thing worse would be to follow it up with an even more awful Chiefs game tomorrow...oh wait...

Total, Complete Suckage

Actually, that's being generous.  Stupid penalties, turnovers, poor blocking, poor tackling, dropped passes...it's all there tonight, and against an opponent that really is an inferior team.  I'm generally not one to give up early, but at this point -- 35-17 Baylor, in the 3rd quarter -- I'm doing other stuff.  If this is how they play when it counts most, K-State most certainly does not deserve to be #1, nor play in the BCS Championship.  The only consolation is that Oregon seems to be struggling, as well.  If K-State can pull their heads out of their butts quickly enough to salvage this utter disaster of a game and Oregon can't, then there's still hope.  We'll see soon enough...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Security Alert For Internet Explorer Users

PC World:

Today is the eleventh Patch Tuesday of 2012, but the first since the official launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. There are six new security bulletins—a couple of which are particularly urgent, especially for anyone planning to do any online shopping this holiday season.

There are four security bulletins rated as Critical, one Important, and one Moderate. The Critical security bulletins address issues with Internet Explorer, Windows kernel-mode drivers, the .NET framework, and flaws in Windows shell code that can allow remote exploits.

The most crucial of the six security bulletins is the cumulative update for Internet Explorer—MS12-071. Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle, declares, "Topping our 'patch immediately' list this month is the drive-by exploit affecting Internet Explorer 9. It's fairly obvious that Microsoft patched this bug in IE10 before its release; otherwise, we would have a bulletin affecting both IE9 and IE10.

Black Friday—the official kick off of the holiday shopping season—and it's online twin Cyber Monday are just around the corner. Millions of holiday shoppers will turn to the Internet to research gifts, and make holiday purchases. The holidays are always a time for heightened online security, so a flaw in Internet Explorer that can result in drive-by downloads is even more serious than usual.

Tyler Reguly, technical manager of security research and development for nCircle, concurs. "To reiterate what will be said hundreds of times today: patch IE first. It's the most critical bulletin."

Of course, being the tech savvy audience you are, I assume you're not using IE much at all because Firefox and Chrome are both vastly better.  Still, I wanted to post this so you all could inform people you may know who might still be using the Smart Car (i.e. the piddly, underperforming, doofus-y stepchild) of modern browsers.

Not that I'm biased or anything.


This Is Just Cool

Monday, November 12, 2012


Just a quick follow-up to the last post...it's official!!!

The highlights:


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Dream Lives!

This week K-State faced one of its toughest tests of the year - TCU.  The Horned Frogs were one of the top teams in the pre-season ratings, and expected to make some waves in the Big 12.  They've fallen a bit short of expectations, but still posed some tricky hurdles for the Wildcats.  They have a history of being a giant-killer, taking out their last three visiting top 5 opponents.  Head coach Gary Patterson is a former KSU player and coach, and has a drive to win like no other.  They play tough defense, and are good a taking the ball away.  Perhaps more than anything else, TCU just plain knows how to win, with 11+ wins in four out of the last seven seasons.

But, K-State, as we all know, is not without weapons of their own, and they took care of business.  Here are some highlights:

Looking at the stats, TCU actually outplayed the Wildcats.  They had more first downs, more yardage, and better time of possession.  They forced two turnovers in the game from a disciplined Wildcat offense that has given up only four in the previous nine games combined.  One of the most remarkable stats of the year, though, has to be points off turnovers.  Before the TCU game:

The Wildcats' four turnovers through their first eight games are the fewest in the country, and the 24 they've forced are fifth-most. The result is a plus-20 turnover margin that's more than triple any other Big 12 team. 
The result? Kansas State (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) has outscored opponents 111-0 off turnovers. 
Yes, that's not a misprint — 111-0 in points off turnovers.

It's astounding, really.  Personally, I think this points to a very underrated defense that is truly great at throttling offenses of every kind.  But, TCU finally managed to crack that egg, scoring a late touchdown in the final 3 minutes of the game after a KSU fumble.  The game was out of reach at that point, and the statistic is still pretty mind-blowing, but the 0 was really nice to have on the other side.  :)

I heard a lot of talk this week about how K-State has yet to have a bad game.  They've had plenty of good ones, but not one where things just seemed to go wrong, and the ball bounces the wrong way.  This appears to have been that game.  But, the important thing is that they still found a way -- largely on the backs of a smothering defense that had shut out TCU for almost 54 minutes -- to get the win.  Most pundits will tell you that championship teams find a way, and that's just what the Wildcats did.  Despite the disparities in the stats, it really didn't feel at all like it was a close game.  This is one of those where the numbers just don't tell the story.

With the stunning loss of #1 Alabama to Texas A&M, this opens the door to K-State moving to #1 in the next BCS rankings tomorrow night.  Oregon and Notre Dame also won, so that will likely be the new top trio.  There's an outside chance that Oregon might hop over K-State since they're higher in the human polls, but it really doesn't matter.  What counts is simply getting into the championship game, whether as #1 or #2.  Again, a quick review of the remaining schedule of these three teams:
K-State: Baylor, #17 Texas
Oregon: #14 Stanford, #11 Oregon State
Notre Dame: Wake Forest, #19 USC
Oregon still has the toughest road to go, with two ranked teams and the PAC-12 Championship, probably against a third ranked team.  If they win out, they will certainly have earned their spot in the title game.  This rapid uptick in their strength of schedule will also likely push their computer rankings up to #1, giving them the top spot at some point before the end.  Notre Dame has a cupcake game before finishing with USC, which has had their number in 9 of their last 10 meetings.  They are probably better than USC, but it's hard to see a scenario where they gain enough 'style points' to leap over either KSU or Oregon if all three win out.  K-State has what should be a cupcake-ish game against Baylor (though Baylor does have a decent passing attack, and if K-State has a weakness it's the pass defense...more on that next week), followed by a week off and then a tough finish against Texas.  Texas' resurgence late in the year means it's not only a tough game, but also that the nation will be watching, so it's another opportunity for the Cats to put a smackdown on another ranked opponent.  K-State has inexplicably had Texas' number for several years, even during the Ron Prince years.  The week off will be great for getting healthy and game-planning, and finishing against a highly ranked opponent like Texas will help bring KSU back onto the national thought scene after the bye week.  K-State should be fine on this one, too, and it will provide a great opportunity for a last-minute BCS statement.

One more win and K-State will guarantee at least a share of the Big 12 Championship for the year.  Collin Klein still has the inside track on the Heisman.  Who would have thought we'd be saying this about the Kansas State Wildcats??

It's been a terrific year, and we're now on the home stretch.  Let's hope the focus, the determination, and the drive continues...and ratchets up another notch each week.

PS - my favorite article about this week is by Jen Floyd Engel, and can be found here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

In Douglas Adams' hilarious Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, humanity was the third most intelligent species on the planet, behind mice and dolphins.  When it became apparent to the dolphins that the Earth was doomed, they left.  All dolphins everywhere suddenly disappeared, leaving  only a single simple message on the bottom of two fish bowls: "So long and thanks...for all the fish."

I'll admit I'm very, very surprised at the results.  I also cannot express the sadness/nausea with which I write this.  I could go into a rather lengthy description of my guesses as to what happened, but ultimately they're just guesses, and I'm just a guy.  What do I know?  (clearly...)  At some point I may ruminate further on what happened, or maybe explore some of the bigger reasons that I think are behind the events of tonight.  But I might not.  I'll have to think about it and get some perspective before I decide.  I will simply finish my political commentary with two thoughts.

I don't know who said it, but it's fundamentally correct: Americans don't necessarily get the government they want, but they do get the government they deserve.  Tonight, this seems like the most frightening premonition I can conjure up.

Finally, my brain is consumed with this analogy.  When you have children, you try to teach them that their choices have consequences, whether good or bad.  If they choose to fritter away their time with unproductive endeavors, they won't learn and grow.  If they are lazy, they'll achieve less than their more industrious peers.  If they treat others poorly, they'll have fewer friends and more enemies.  On the other hand, if they study hard, they'll get good grades.  If they practice hard, they'll get better at piano, soccer, or whatever their chosen activity.  If they save their money, they'll have plenty in times of want.  And so on (though that model may be in the process of fundamentally transforming now...).  The hope of a parent is that you can teach them well enough that they will learn to self-evaluate when they need to, take a good long look at the consequences of their actions before they decide, and make more good choices than bad.

The thing is, this holds true for adults and for nations, as well.  America made its choice tonight, at least insofar as we can be said to have a legitimate election.  Through whatever means, Barack Obama won re-election.  For all you Obama supporters out there -- whether grudgingly or enthusiastically -- I ask only one thing: remember this choice when you deal with the consequences of another four years of Obama.  Obamacare, Obama-spending, and Obama's Muslim outreach come to mind as a few of the biggest potential impacts, but I suspect there will be many, many more.  It may not happen tomorrow, it may not happen next year, but the choice made tonight will invade upon your life at some point in the future.  You will have no one to blame but yourself.

After all, choices have consequences.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Update #2

A few more items for you...

But no, there's no voter fraud here, folks.

Despite all this, the GOP is feeling pretty good about things thus far:

Assuming Romney wins Florida, NC, and Virginia, then Wisconsin, Colorado, and either Iowa or New Hampshire wins it for him.

I think Team Obama is trying to put out word that Virginia is shaky for Romney. I think they're trying to demoralize us. I don't believe it.

If Rasmussen and Gallup are right about the partisan skew of the country's actual voter population, which is either R+1 or R +6, respectively, then the polls offered by virtually everyone else aren't worth jack.

Just remember...ignore exit polls.

Interesting reading: who exactly is stealing votes?

More tonight...

Quick Election Update

I just heard on the radio that the article I cited earlier about Romney's internal polling being leaked was inaccurate, and that his internal polling information was not been released.  Just to set the record straight.

It is still interesting to note that the Obama-Biden campaign is already positioning themselves for a loss in Ohio, claiming pre-emptively that fraud would be the only possible explanation.  You know, because there's absolutely no way that a state that is widely considered an extremely tight toss-up, and showing higher than expected early voting returns for Romney couldn't possibly be a loss unless fraud was involved.  Speaking of Ohio, Gannett news accidentally posted numbers that show Romney ahead in the early voting by 92,000 votes...then they took it down.  Oops!  Didn't mean to show anything other than a landslide Obama victory!  Here's the analysis on this bit that I think it correct:

This may be a very big deal, if these numbers are correct.  Obama had a big lead in EVs before Election Day in 2008, which allowed him to withstand the GOP's better turnout on the day itself.  Frankly, Team Romney might have been thrilled to be trailing by 92K at this juncture.  To be ahead in early voting portends a big Republican turnout in the Buckeye State, and perhaps an early night for all of us.  We'll see, but this is the first indication of unforeseen Romney strength in this election.

Let's hope so.  We'll know soon enough.

Democrat Spokes-zombie Stephanie Cutter is sending out pre-emptive tweets to calm the angsty Democrat masses to not pay attention to early reports of exit polls all over that might be showing higher Romney turnout.  She claims their early voting returns are the cause of the lower than expected numbers.  For once, I would agree with her that no one should bother paying attention to the exit polls numbers, but for an entirely different reason.  More analysis here.

In continuing news of Democrat voter fraud, we have reports in Iowa of people signing ballots for other people, and "non-partisan" group whose mission is to register new voters shredding Republican registrations.  This is the same organization that had a number of members indicted for voter fraud after the 2008 election.

In Philadelphia, Republican election officials were thrown out of a number of polling places:

The Philadelphia GOP is reporting that court appointed Minority (read GOP) Inspectors are being thrown out of polling locations in several Wards.

These Inspectors are election officials - again, court appointed -- and are reportedly being thrown out by the Head Judges of Elections (these Judges are elected Democrats) and being replaced by Democrats.

This happened in 15 precincts.  A judge formally ordered them to be reinstated, but perhaps now we understand better why the Black Panthers are standing guard outside Philly polling places.  Also in Philly, we see polling places with wall murals of Obama.  But relax, there's no voter fraud.

Now, as for reports of fraud benefiting Republicans, we have the following:

*crickets chirping*

Moving on, I couldn't resist posting this little quote from Bill Clinton on a campaign stop yesterday concerning a Romney ad suggesting Barack Obama's auto bailout hurt America:

"You're laughing, but who wants a president who will knowingly, repeatedly tell you something he knows is not true?

Says the guy who was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying under oath.

More updates as the day goes on...

Final Pre-Election Thoughts

This will be my final post before the election begins.  To put it succinctly, I'm optimistic.  Here are a few high points to justify my position.

Pretty much all of the long-term trends are going in favor of Romney (or, perhaps more accurately, against Obama), and have been for weeks.  The Chick-Fil-A event this past year was a huge movement of support in favor of freedom of religion and speech, both of which have been relentlessly attacked by the Obama administration (and the equivalent left-wing events, like the Chick-Fil-A kiss-in or the 'Million Muppet March' are complete flops).  People are tired of the low-class berating and insults from Obama-Biden that look oh-so-unpresidential.  The 2010 elections were a Republican landslide of historical proportions, an outright rejection of Obama's radical Leftist agenda.  Most of the special elections that have been held since 2010 have gone the way of the Republican, even in blue states (the failed attempt to recall Scott Walker in Wisconsin, for example).  Romney's and Ryan's recent campaign stops are seeing huge crowds, while Obama's final stop yesterday was in a half-empty stadium in Ohio.  The biggest issue of this election is the economy, and the facts are that Obama has presided over the worst 'recovery' since the Great Depression...the promised jobs simply aren't there.  Persistent high unemployment, the failures on Benghazi, constant bowing to foreign leaders, chronic blaming of America first, racial accusation after racial accusation, and a general appearance of not caring, not engaging, and incompetence have all chipped away at the image of Obama as the Messiah who would lower the seas and heal the planet.  The Tea Party is alive and well, and I think is a political time-bomb that has been patiently waiting to go off today.  Even the most shallow anecdotal evidence -- the Washington Redskins and LSU both losing at home the weekend before the election -- are leaning toward Romney.  Never mind all this, the media has already called the election for Obama.

If you look at most of the polls, they're showing various degrees of a 'dead heat', within the margin of error.  The only way they can do this is by severely over-sampling Democrats in a model that has nothing to do with voter enthusiasm or current party self-identification, both of which are also trending Republican in a big way right now.  For example:
The poll, released earlier tonight, shows a 49-49 tie among likely voters. But to get that result CNN had to use one of the most skewed samples we’ve seen this campaign (see page 29): 
 Among those likely voters, 41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans. 
A D+11 sample! By comparison, the electorate in 2008, when Obama-mania was at its peak, was merely D+7, according to exit polls.
Interesting, don't you think?  You see, the media is unabashedly in the tank for Obama.  They're trying to depress Republican turnout, and cover up any possible indication that their guy might lose, to the extent that they are able.  But, on top of everything else, a Romney campaign internal poll gives us solid reason for optimism.  Also, there's this: independent voters are breaking toward Romney big-time.
Team Romney is drawing satisfaction and a growing sense of confidence from a new CNN poll that, while over-weighting Democrats, shows that Mitt Romney is running away with independents, the Big Kahuna in Tuesday's presidential election. 
According to a new CNN poll, Romney is beating President Obama 59 percent to 35 percent among independents even when third party candidates are included. The poll has the race deadlocked at 49 percent, but the sample includes 11 percent more Democrats than Republicans, 41 percent to 30 percent, a bigger gap than recent elections have witnessed. 
What's more, the poll found a slight edge for Romney when it came to those who call themselves "very enthusiastic" about voting. In that category, Romney beats Obama 42 percent to 37 percent.
And this independent thing is huge, so huge that one of the most intelligent election experts in the country, Michael Barone, thinks that this will not only be a Romney win, but big Romney win:
Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections. That's bad news for Barack Obama. True, Americans want to think well of their presidents, and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president. 
But it's also true that most voters oppose Obama's major policies and consider unsatisfactory the very sluggish economic recovery — Friday's job report showed an unemployment uptick.
Also, both national and target state polls show that independents — voters who don't identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans — break for Romney.
That might not matter if Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 39% to 32%, as they did in the 2008 exit poll. But just about every indicator suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting — and about their candidate — than they were in 2008, and Democrats are less so.
That's been apparent in early or absentee voting, where Democrats trail their 2008 numbers in target states Virginia, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
The Obama campaign strategy, from the beginning, has recognized these handicaps, running barrages of early anti-Romney ads in states that Obama carried narrowly. But other states, not so heavily barraged, have come into contention.

Hit the link for his full estimates.  His prediction is Romney winning 315 electoral votes to Obama's 223.

Full disclosure: I'm choosing to be optimistic because the alternative is, to me, unthinkable.  More on that in a moment, but let's just say I have faith that there are a whole lot of people like me out there, and that we'll find that out in the next day or so.

But don't get me wrong, this is far from a slam dunk.  After all, we're already seeing 'irregularities' from Philly and voting machines that magically change Romney votes to Obama votes in Coloradomultiple votes in Nevada, theft and other dirty tricks in Ohio, Black Panthers 'monitoring' voting stations again, and the prevention of military votes by the Department of Defense itself.  I'm sure it's purely a coincidence that every documented incident of voter fraud benefits Democrats.  We don't want another mess involving lawsuits and provisional ballots, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the Democrats will file lawsuit after lawsuit, especially in close precincts.

When you break it all down, it's all guess-work at this point.  What matters is the ground game, and getting out the grass roots to vote.  That's why it is so critical that each and every Romney supporter get to the polls, no matter what the TV networks or radio announcers say.  Keep in mind that those 'early reports' are based purely on exit polls, and it has been explicitly demonstrated time and time again that Democrats are far more likely to participate in exit polls.  Remember the 2004 election, when media networks began calling various states for Kerry?  They ended up having to go back and retract those calls later...because the exit polls turned out to be too heavily slanted toward Democrats.  But they reported it anyway because they wanted to depress Republicans who were voting late in the day.  Remember the mess with hanging chads in Florida in 2000?  The Florida panhandle is heavily Republican, but it's also in a different time zone, and thus those polls closed an hour later than the rest of the state, which is much more Democrat.  The TV networks called the state for Gore before the polls even closed in the panhandle.  How many Republicans stayed home because they thought it was over?  We'll never know.

What we do know is that the media is pulling for Obama outright, and we know that they will call states early if they think they can get away with it for a few hours, even if they have to recant later.  So ignore anything they say, and get to the polls!

Here's why it matters.  I believe this election is a tipping point.  At this time in history, there is more than enough access to information about the truth of Barack Obama and his radical Leftist policies.  If anyone has eyes to see, he or she will see.  If there aren't enough people left in America who support the traditional views and principles set forth by the Founders to overcome even the inevitable cheating and fraud from the Left, then this nation is lost.  We will not survive another four years of Obama's policies.  Obamacare alone will truly transform this nation into a dependent state that is irreversible, and far more European than (formerly) American.  We've already got record numbers of dependents upon government, record numbers of food stamp recipients, record numbers of people on disability...another four years and we will be in an essentially permanent recession.  On top of the fiscal components, the Obama administration has shunned Christianity and Israel, and embraced Islam whenever possible.  Obamacare will force religious institutions to provide birth control despite being antithetical to their religious beliefs.  The moral decay in this nation is festering, and four more years of this onslaught will take its toll.  And for those who might be inclined to sit out the election because they don't necessarily like Romney...don't.  To not vote for Romney equates to a vote for Obama.  I agree with Dr. Jeremiah - we have a moral responsibility to vote for the best candidate available, even if he isn't our ideal candidate.  You may get a guy who only reflects your values 50% of the time, but isn't that better than a guy who reflects your values 10% of the time?  You don't get to choose neither, you have to pick the best one available, and that means either Romney or Obama.  No sitting out on this one.

If Obama wins another four years, I believe it will signal the beginning of the end.  America will continue, of course, but it will be on an irreversible course toward being just another primarily socialist nation.  There will be no going back.  It's no longer a question of if, but a question of when.  If that happens, I will weep for our children and grandchildren, for they will grow up in a land that promises them vastly less than we were promised.

I believe America will choose a long-term direction today one way or the other.  We will choose liberty or tyranny, and we have only one chance to get it right.

More info:

A Voter's Guide for Independents And Undecideds
Obama's 4 Years Of Deficient Leadership

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Tipping Point -- Liberty in the Balance

From the Patriot Post:

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams (1781)
As a student of history, I would assert that in noelection since 1860 has our nation been more viscerally divided along clearer battle lines than in the current contest between Romney/Ryanand Obama/Biden.
The contentious contrast in this campaign cycle is not so much about political policies as it is about the overarching themes of tyranny versus Liberty -- Rule of Law versus rule of men.
In just a few days, we will learn whether our nation has elected to move toward the restoration of Liberty, or if Barack Hussein Obama's propaganda machine has succeeded in fast-tracking our nation down the road toDemocratic Socialism.
In preparation for that revelation, I pause to take account of our bearing.
Today, as has been the case since the dawn of American Liberty, Patriots resist the temptation to set their course on moving objects. We are not moved by contemporaneous trends, such as polling and focus groups. Instead, we set our compass on true north, on eternal truths "endowed by our Creator" as outlined in what Thomas Jefferson called the "the declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." Those rights are codified in our Constitution, which many of us have sworn to "support and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
This eternal bearing is central to our Patriot mission, and it will not change with the outcome of any election -- though the task before us will be much, much more difficult if enough of our countrymen lack the wisdom to vote for Liberty over tyranny.
In addition to the written records from our Founders of wisdom in support of Liberty and eternal truths, our team here at The Patriot Post is also blessed and humbled to count among the ranks of our readers hundreds of men and women from the Greatest Generation -- a generation that possesses wisdom that only comes with age. They have lived through presidential administrations from Wilson to Obama, and their wisdom has been forged in the fires of the Great Depression and World War II. They have witnessed the proliferation of socialist tyranny through Eastern Europe and Asia and the resulting slaughter of hundreds of millions of innocents. They have witnessed the grotesque tribal carnage in Africa and the Middle East.
They are also the generation who, through hard work and innovation in the context of a free-enterprise economy, built the strongest manufacturing operations in history; an economy based on tangible products "Made in the USA" by skilled workers and managers.
I receive letters almost every day from these elder Patriots, many of them expressing grief for the state of affairs they're leaving behind. Many of them bear a burden that they have somehow failed their posterity because the generations after them have not been instilled with a spirit of Liberty and civic duty sufficient to discern between candidates like Romney, who promote American Liberty, and those like Obama, who seek to undermine Liberty in their relentless pursuit of statist power.
One of these letters arrived Tuesday from one of my heroes -- my father. He was born in 1923 and remembers well the hardship of the Depression. He became a Naval Aviator in World War II, came home to start a family, and over three decades built a small manufacturing operation into a company with hundreds of employees. That company was dealt a deathblow during the last Great Recession under Jimmy Carter.
On the eve of his 90th birthday, my father is very concerned about the future of Liberty, and his concern has the bold bona-fide stamp of the wisdom of age.
His generation created great abundance, with the unintended consequence that following generations became progressively complacent, apathetic and dependent. This progression follows the fatal "Cycle of Democracy": From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to Liberty (Rule of Law); From Liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage (rule of men).
Our nation is now suffering under another Great Recession. Like the last one, this recession is the direct result of statist interventionist policies. These policies led to the collapse of real estate values, which cascaded into the banking collapse, which nearly took down the entire economy. (For the record, I outlined this sequence of our current economic decline a month before Obama was elected in 2008.)
John Adams wrote, "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." But it's certainly easier to accept Obama's recurring premise: "It's George Bush's fault."
Just prior to the 2008 election, Obama said his objective was "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," and he called on his adherents to join him in "remaking this nation, block by block." Four years later and that transformation is well underway.
Since his election, Obama has undertaken measures in the name of "economic recovery" that will ultimately, by design, break the back of free enterprise. His "stimulus plan" is modeled on the Cloward-Piven strategy for economic transition, which he studied in depth as a student at Columbia University. This socialist stratagem calls for overloading the government welfare system to the point of crisis, requiring the replacement of that system with a national system of "guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty." This collapse is written into the genes of our nation's projected debt load, a burden that will crush free enterprise in the coming decade, without dramatic intervention.
So, how is Obama's strategy working thus far?
There are 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans. Tens of millions who are working have not received sufficient pay increases to even keep up with inflation. On Obama's watch, we have record spending on welfare -- households considered impoverished have grown to one in six, and 47 million are on food stamps -- up 50 percent since Obama's election. Obama has also amassed $5 trillion in new debt, and our national debt now totals $16 trillion, which for the first time in history now exceeds U.S. annual economic output. On top of that, energy prices have doubled because of Obama's restrictions on exploration, and economic growth has slowed to an anemic 1.3 percent.
Of course, what Mitt Romney needs to drive home at every stop is, the real "Obama tax" on the middle class is the fact that median household income has declined by $4,520 (8.2 percent) since Obama took office.
As more Obama supporters remove their heads from their, uh, sandboxes, Obama's propaganda machine is running full steam, endeavoring to complete the colossal makeover to his "jobs president" façade in the remaining days of the campaign. That pig is gonna take a LOT of lipstick.
Even though unemployment ticked back up to 7.9 percent in October (taking some of the wind out of Obama's "road to recovery" rhetoric), he will still take credit for private sector job growth invoking his socialist "we've created jobs" mantra.
The fact is, job creation is more accurately a reflection of how resilient the private sector is despiteObama's interventionist economic policies, and all the economic indicators would be much worse if not for that resilience.
As you recall, a few weeks before the Republican Confab in Tampa, Obama declared, "The private sector is doing fine," and insisted that we really need more government [read "union"] jobs. His Senate lap dog, Harry Reid reiterated, "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine. It's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers..." Both of these remarks unveil Obama's real "jobs" agenda.
Last week, as part of his "jobs" charade, Obama unveiled his phony "The New Economic Patriotism" brochure, a "plan" for jobs that will most assuredly seal the fate of our economy if he is re-elected. He's calling on Americans to "embrace a new economic patriotism," while his lapdog Joe Biden has declared paying higher taxes to be our "patriotic duty."
Ah yes, I recall some other socialists in Germany and Russia, early in the last century, who equated "patriotism" with "statism."
This week, Obama released his second term plan to establish a cabinet level "Department of Business." (Seriously, he did so with a straight face.) Of course there is already a Department of Commerce and a Department of Labor, both of which do nothing but impede job growth. So, we suppose the "Department of Business" will be Obama's final nail in the coffin of free enterprise.
At every campaign stop for the next three days, I would recommended this talking point for Mr. Romney: "Obama should propose a 'Department of GET OUT OF OUR Business,' so the U.S. economy can grow millions of new and better paying jobs."
So, we find ourselves in quite a quandary on the eve of this election: We have a committedsocialist president who has won the allegiance of an electorate so dumbed-down by apathy and dependence that it views the state as a benevolent master.
Obama can depend on two principle constituencies who are irrevocably tied to the Left. About 30 percent of voters (60 percent of Obama's support) are primarily urbanites, whose allegiance has been co-opted by the state in return for redistributed wealth. Another 10 percent of voters (20 percent of Obama's support) are ideological socialists, from Leftist academicians to Hollywood glitterati, and all the Marxists in between.
It is that elusive 20 percent of independent voters who will determine if Obama or Romney will win. In 2008, a majority of independents joined with Obama's base constituencies to give him 53 percent of the popular vote for victory.
It's not that independent voters who supported Obama are ignorant; it's simply that, as Ronald Reagan once said of Democrats, "they know so much that isn't so." Indeed, they were enticed in the last election to support a candidate Joe Biden described as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
In this election year, there is a much clearer distinction between the candidate's ideologies and, fortunately, some of Obama's '08 supporters are coming to their senses, as typified in this Grassroots Commentary letter from "Karen," expressing the buyer's remorse of an ill-informed vote.
My primary concern is whether Mitt Romney has made enough progress in closing the deal with grassroots independent voters -- not because he doesn't genuinely care about Americans from all walks of life, but because his staff is top-heavy with folks who, themselves, have little or no grassroots grounding. Though we know our "Memo to Mitt From Grassroots Americans" was delivered to his communications director, it wasn't evident in the last two presidential debates that those talking points ever made it to his debate strategists.
On Tuesday, we will, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."
Will enough independent voters choose Romney's plan to restore economy and move the needle back toward Liberty, or will a majority again be mesmerized by Obama's rhetorical socialist propaganda? We will know the answer to that question in a few days.
What we know now is that if Romney is elected, he will face the monumental task of defusing the "debt bomb" Obama prepared to dropped on the economy. If Obama is reelected, that debt bomb will most certainly fulfill his promise of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
In the meantime, we must, as Patriots, do everything in our power to push right-minded Americans in every state, however discouraged they may be, to the polls. Recently, Obama proclaimed, "The most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside." It is time to throw him out.
(Footnote: There is a wild card that could accelerate the Obama's Cloward–Piven strategy. He has been derelict in his duty to contain the threat of al-Qa'ida and other Muslim terrorist groups calling for jihad, or "holy war," against "all the enemies of Allah." These Jihadis seek to disable the U.S. economy using any means at their disposal, and thus, undermine our political, military and cultural influence around the world. Their primary objective is the acquisition and detonation of one or more nuclear weapons in East Coast urban centers. Obama has undertaken a deliberate campaign to understate the threat of al-Qa'ida's strength, which is why his administration attempted to blame the recent attack against American diplomats in Libya on a web video.)