Power Line contest winner: “The Spending is Nuts!”

August 2, 2011

Here’s the winner of the Power Line contest for art in any medium that would best educate the public about our national debt problem. A modern-day Aesop’s Fable using squirrels and nuts to make it’s point, the video is by Justin Folk, who earns a cool $100,000 for his efforts:

I have to admit, this wasn’t my favorite (this one is), though I think it’s a worthy choice. It’s a bit long and lacks something of the laugh-out-loud humor that I think is so important when giving people a message that normally will scare them. (When you scare them, they may stop listening. Make them laugh, though… ) Folk, interestingly enough, creates the backgrounds for Andrew Klavan‘s marvelous videos, which I’ve often posted here. I think this would have been improved by having Andrew collaborate on the script.

But those are quibbles; I think it’s good. But, more importantly, I think this contest was a great idea, one that should be repeated. I wrote before that conservatives and libertarians need to engage in pop culture and the arts to get their views back into the marketplace of ideas where people are likely to see them and be influenced. For too long, that ground has been ceded to the liberals and the Left. (But I repeat myself), and efforts like this from Power Line or in general from sites such as Big Hollywood are invaluable.

I’m looking forward to next year’s contest.

PS: You can see all the best contest entries here.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The mission to get Osama bin Laden

August 2, 2011

Bar none, the most riveting article you’ll read this week. The New Yorker’s Nicholas Schmidle interviewed principals involved in the raid to kill that porn-addicted medieval psychopath bin Laden –including members of SEAL Team 6– and put together an account of the mission from planning stages to aftermath that you won’t be able to put down. An excerpt:

The SEALs’ destination was a house in the small city of Abbottabad, which is about a hundred and twenty miles across the Pakistan border. Situated north of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, Abbottabad is in the foothills of the Pir Panjal Range, and is popular in the summertime with families seeking relief from the blistering heat farther south. Founded in 1853 by a British major named James Abbott, the city became the home of a prestigious military academy after the creation of Pakistan, in 1947. According to information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency, bin Laden was holed up on the third floor of a house in a one-acre compound just off Kakul Road in Bilal Town, a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the entrance to the academy. If all went according to plan, the SEALs would drop from the helicopters into the compound, overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan.

In other words, no matter what was said publicly, this was a mission to kill, not capture. Fine by me. I figure anyone objecting to this is either a hopeless pacifist, someone who thinks this a law enforcement matter rather than a war, or a transnationalist who can’t stand the idea of nation-states actually defending themselves by any means more stern than a press conference, a memo of concern, and perhaps sniffing “unacceptable” if the terrorist atrocity is really bad.

(In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have much regard for those types. None at all, actually.)

Anyway, on reading this, here are three things that jumped out at me:

  • After weeks of training, we were this close to having the mission turn into another Eagle Claw. Helicopters are darned difficult to control in restricted areas.
  • I want to meet the guy code-named “Ahmed,” the Pakistani-American who pretended to be a Pakistani cop to keep curious locals away while our guys were inside killing the world’s most wanted man. His assignment prior to this raid: a desk job.
  • As of the article’s writing, the President of the United States does not know who fired the kill shot(s). He didn’t ask, and the SEALs didn’t offer. Probably for security reasons. That secret may well go to the grave.

Anyway, after weeks of wondering if our government can do anything right, here’s something that shows they can, and do it superbly.

Enjoy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)