Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey! Teacher! Leave Them Kids Alone!

What is it with all these female teachers getting jiggy with their male students, and where were these teachers when I was a teen, dammit?

But seriously, why are we seeing so much of this now? I’ll spare you the moralizing and leave it out there as an opinion question.

While I don’t condone this activity, I think it is an abuse of the law to treat an adult woman who seduces a 16 or 17 year old as a child molester. Also, calling a consensual act between an adult and a 17-year old an "assault on a child" is an abuse of the term, obscuring the fact that there are indeed nasty child predators out there.

Kick her out of her teaching job and ban her from the profession? Sure. Take her kids away? No. We have not only lost all sense of morality in this country, we've also lost all sense of proportionality, especially in legal matters.

In Arvada (part of Denver), an 11 year old student was arrested and taken into custody for drawing stick figures and scrawling the words "teacher must die."

This was a gross overreaction. The kid needs therapy, which he is in, and he was encouraged to make such drawings as a substitute for acting out. Can't a school simply suspend the kid if they think he's a threat, or talk with the kid's parents and therapist to see if there is an appropriate remedy?

Our Schools have turned into Government-Run Nuthouses
 
We need to privatize primary and secondary education. Government has completely botched it and can no longer be trusted. Our schools must cease being dysfunctional government institutions and instead become places of business, where professionals get paid based upon performance and wasteful bureaucratic overhead is slashed.

The customers also must learn to dress and behave appropriately, at the risk of being tossed out of the building. What place of business in America would tolerate making out in the hallways, bullies threatening others, coming to work high, or bored dingbats disrupting others for their own entertainment?

If a female teacher seduced my teen, I'd demand she be fired, not arrested. If it were a male teacher, I'd beat him up and then demand he be fired. Someone with so little self-control has no business shaping young lives. All of this can be taken care of with no government involvement whatsoever.

Same goes for disruptive students. Little Johnny Wankster doesn't want to follow the rules? Bounce him and refund the balance of his tuition to the parents! Cutting off welfare, food stamps and public housing will quickly make flunking out of school and being stupid a poor life choice.

Mother Should I Trust The Government?

We've lost control of ourselves and the circumstances around us, so government steps in, making a bad situation even worse. Government pampering creates a cadre of incontinent, self-indulgent whiners. It also creates a capricious environment where lazy authorities end up collaring only the simplest offenders, while the truly dangerous and street-savvy get away with murder.

Is is such a radical notion to want to chase government back to its constitutional corner and to once again learn to do for ourselves?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are We Still Capable of Self-Governance?


Is the Founding Fathers' ideal of each person governing himself or herself outmoded?

Charles Schumer wants the government to collect even more information on free citizens, others want to keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens...

All kinds of stupid ideas are washing up on shore in the wake of the Arizona shootings.  Senator Schumer wants the military to report civilians who fail drug tests at the enlistment station.  Their names would go to the FBI and they would be banned from buying guns.  I don't want doped up people carrying weapons, but his idea would remove someone's constitutional right with no legal adjudication.

One government agency (DoD) reports your name to another (FBI) and your rights are gone.  Sounds like something out of an Orwell novel.  Would the FBI also raid the person's home looking for weapons?

Others are simply, and repetitively, calling for gun control of some flavor or other.  Limit the ammo, or magazine size, licensing...  You can put all the controls in the world in place, but people will find ways around them.

Locks are for Honest People
This is what John Adams meant by our constitution being made for "a moral and religious people."  Religious arguments aside, what he meant is that ours is not a top-down rules-based society, but one where each person governs himself or  herself.  The constitution does not dictate morality; it protects the God-given rights of all.

Such a system requires self-discipline.  As anyone in the military can tell you, imposed discipline only goes so far, and the military employs it chiefly to instill self-discipline.

An irresponsible person in one kitchen can cause an entire apartment block to burn down or explode.  An automobile is a dangerous weapon and kills thousands every year.  Life is fraught with dangers and randomness.

It's a balancing act, and I think enduring conservative principles, as outlined by Russell Kirk in his Ten Conservative Principles are a much better guide than reactionary thinking on the left.  Caution!  It's full of archaic concepts like customs and prudence.
A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society—whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society—no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be. (Russell Kirk - 10 Conservative Principles)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Obama's No Lincoln, Plus a Quick Economics Lesson

Hailed as America’s first truly cosmopolitan president, Mr. Obama seems to have learned nothing from his youthful years on the international scene. It's no exaggeration to say that the typical Army Sergeant has more real-life experience than this elitist metrosexual poser.

He’s not like Lincoln because he’s shown no humility...

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me insufficient for that day."
  -- Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln had seen success and failure in his life,and he understood all too well our flawed and fallen nature. He had a deep humility borne of this knowledge.

It is impossible to imagine Obama saying something like that.  Instead, he and his wife lecture us on how stupid we are.  Obama juts his chin in the air and fills it with flowery words that have no basis in real-world experience. He’s an inexperienced, unlearned man, but this does not stop him from loudly calling out enemies and lecturing us on how to eat, how to live, how to sneeze and how to spend our money.

To comprehend economics, avoid Paul Krugman, read Greg Mankiw

Harvard Economics professor Greg Mankiw has a gift for explaining the dismal science. Here he explains how economic transactions in a free market are not a zero sum game, but rather, they are win-win situations:
… let’s start with a basic economic transaction. You have a driveway covered in snow and would be willing to pay $40 to have it shoveled. The boy next door can do it in two hours, or he can spend that time playing on his Xbox, an activity he values at $20. The solution is obvious: You offer him $30 to shovel your drive, and he happily agrees.

The key here is that everyone gains from trade. By buying something for $30 that you value at $40, you get $10 of what economists call “consumer surplus.” Similarly, your young neighbor gets $10 of “producer surplus,” because he earns $30 of income by incurring only $20 of cost. Unlike a sports contest, which by necessity has a winner and a loser, a voluntary economic transaction between consenting consumers and producers typically benefits both parties. (Greg Mankiw - Emerging Markets)
This also explains why trade deficits are not always bad. Think about it: Your household runs a permanent trade deficit with the grocer and the utility company. If they were simply vacuuming money out of your pocket this would be a bad thing, but it is not because you get a product back (food, heat) for the money you hand over. In turn, those products enable you to continue widening the trade surplus with your employer.

Finally, this is why I think, on balance Wikileaks helps more than hurts...

China has us by the balls:
An October 2008 cable, released by WikiLeaks, showed a senior Chinese official linking questions about much-needed Chinese investment to sensitive military sales to Taiwan.
His comments came days after the Pentagon notified Congress it was poised to sell $6.5 billion worth of arms to China's arch rival Taiwan.
The much-delayed package was eventually sold, but did not include requested F-16 jets. (AP - Breitbart)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Government Unions are a Taxpayer Scam

Crossing the Mississippi heading east last summer, the Silverfiddle family van’s radio was tuned to a local Illinois station. We were subjected to angry government workers standing on the steps of the capitol shouting through bullhorns “RAISE OUR TAXES! RAISE OUR TAXES!. RAISE OUR TAXES!” Crowds of troublemakers bused in from Chicago provided the background chorus of hoots, chants and whistles.

“Of course that’s what they’d say,” my astute older daughter observed, “They get more out of the pay raise than they have to pay in the extra taxes!” I could have hugged her, but I was driving.

Government and Government Unions:  Partners in Crime

Unlike a private sector union, government unions are not adversaries of their employers. Instead they are a partner in crime of the government bureaucrats who pick our pockets:
Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway: grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members' employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees' salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy "negotiations" with unions. (George Will)
They also pick the pockets of unwilling workers

The Unions have hijacked the public franchise and not only use it to squeeze increasingly more out of the taxpayer, but they turn the coercive power of the state against their own members as well.
In Indiana, a House committee on Monday approved legislation to change state law so that private-sector workers no longer would be required to pay dues or belong to a union that bargains on their behalf. Unions say this would erode union membership, and eventually their finances and political clout, if workers decided not to join or pay dues. (WSJ.com)
But don’t take my word for it!

Here are the words of a union kingpin, who explains the government-union shakedown racket better than I ever could…
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation's largest public-sector union, said the moves in various state capitals to target state employees were an explicit effort to undermine a key source of Democratic funds.
"They know how much we spent in the last campaign," he said. "They're going to try and shoot us down."
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME last year tapped emergency accounts and took out loans as it poured more than $90 million into Democratic campaign efforts in the mid-term elections.

Overall, unions put around $400 million into the 2008 campaign to help elect Mr. Obama and other Democrats.
Big Money in Politics?  "Unions are Big Money"

You don’t blow that kind of cash for nothing, even if you're Charlie Sheen. It’s not a contribution, it’s an investment. They put in $400 million with the expectation of receiving much more from the democrats they elect. Here’s something else to consider the next time you hear some liberal whining about “big money” in politics:
But the unions are big money. Five of the top ten contributors to congressional and presidential campaigns since 1989 are labor unions according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the last election, 10 of the top 20 PACs were union PACs. (Washington Examiner)
The unions and our governments are running a scam on us, and honest governors with the help of conservative legislators are blowing the lid off and smokin’ em out! That’s why the idiot astroturfers with beet-red faces are shouting themselves hoarse in the streets of state capitals while liberal lawmakers scamper and scurry for cover like the rats and cockroaches they are.

We’ve got ‘em on the run, folks!

Sources:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703800204576158851079665840.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22union.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CaligulaUSA


Our public servants have become the master. Federal, state and municipal governments across this great land have gone mad with power.







Instead of facing the facts and engaging in an adult conversation with the taxpayers, we get crap like this...
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two children were killed in a fire in the city’s Olney section Tuesday, and now an official from the firefighters’ union is questioning if Philadelphia’s cost-cutting “brownouts” of fire companies played a role.
If government officials cannot manage cuts and downsizing without risking the lives and safety of citizens they’ve sworn to serve, they need to be thrown out, impeached, recalled, or criminally prosecuted.

Every day, private citizens in this country make decisions on how best to care for their children, aging parents, and sometimes friends and neighbors who are struggling day to day. We’re balancing bills and making trade-offs. We do this in the face of lay-offs, pay cuts, inflation, austerity and shrinking family budgets.

Thank God these decisions and actions are still in the hands of families, where they belong. Were the federal, state and municipal governments handling this balancing act, granny would be dead, we’d be out on the street, and our kids would indeed be starving.

We The People are Getting By – Governments Bureaucrats are Getting Over


We need look no further than the education system that government has thoroughly botched. In Wisconsin, current battleground of union incompetency, education costs have doubled over the past 10 years, but test scores have fallen.

From Jimmy Carter to George Bush, the Federal Government pushed its way into the formerly private housing market. It crashed.

Total debt stacked up by all governments in the US stand somewhere north of $60 trillion dollars. There is not enough money in the world to pay this off.

When Does Incompetence Reach the Level of Criminal?

How long can governments continue to kite checks, knowing the account has insufficient funds?

How long can they continue to borrow money from people who hate us and stick us and our progeny with the bill?

How much longer will we allow taxpayer-funded schools to continue dumbing down our kids and our country? Are we not yet sufficiently stupid?

Will we continue to stand by as the District of Criminals stuffs billions in the pockets of Wall Street Banksters, while flinging pennies at the rest of us, and they’re our damned pennies!

Will we continue to allow unctuous politicians to bribe us with our own money?

Will we cheer on porn scans, anal probes and “package checks” at airports because they make us "feel safer," while foreigners waltz across our borders unmolested?

Hundreds of billions spent on intelligence but thousands die on 9/11. Nobody fired...

A jihadi Army major shoots up Fort Hood, killing 12 people and wounding 31, and nobody is fired...

George Bush loved telling us how islam is a religion of peace and now Director of National Intelligence ClaponClapOff tells us to ignore the NAZI past of the Muslim Brotherhood and to shut up and swallow their propaganda...

We're the only country in the world that allows aliens to enter illegally and create their own little US citizens...

We’re going in debt by the trillions, but the only solution the geniuses in government can come up with is to spend more...

The off-the-chain Roman emperor Caligula supposedly attempted to elevate his favorite horse to the position of government consul, causing outrage among the governing class and the people.

Our government is full of horse’s asses, and I don’t think we are yet sufficiently outraged.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Of Course Government Can Put a Gun to Your Head and Force You to Buy Stuff!


Liberal Arguments for the individual mandate are the greatest argument against it.

Big Government statists in the press are firing back at the charge that the Obamacare individual mandate is unconstitutional.  They take aim specifically at the charge that making everyone buy insurance is an abuse of the commerce clause.  Here's a typical line of attack:
Of course this distinction proves essentially meaningless once you realize that not buying health insurance now means paying out of pocket later. Combined with the fact that states generally require hospitals to treat the uninsured in the case of emergency, to say that the uninsured are making a "free choice" is highly misleading. It's government regulation that makes these choices possible in the first place. (Prospect)
See how this works? Government causes a problem by “requiring hospitals to treat the uninsured,” creating an opening for further regulation, leading us finally to the individual mandate.

To correctly restate the author’s last sentence...

It’s government regulation that makes these problems possible in the first place.

Back in the old days, people without money or insurance were treated, but they signed a contract with the hospital and paid the bill off in monthly installments.

As Thomas Sowell points out, the cries of “Do something!” have started more government-sponsored calamities…

The verbal gymnastics that statists employ to support the federal government forcing you to purchase insurance is amazing:
Widespread problems with access to health care and skyrocketing costs are certainly big enough to plausibly require a federal solution. . (Prospect)
No, the health care “problem” does not “require” a federal solution. That is an unfounded assertion.
Generally, the problem being addressed plausibly requires a federal solution, and the proposed regulation -- even if it does not itself regulate interstate commerce -- is part of a larger regulatory scheme. (Prospect)
This is absurd pedantry. The author is saying that the individual mandate, standing on its own, would be unconstitutional. But because it is “part of a larger regulatory scheme,” it’s OK. The dangling tendentia is reminiscent of Homer Simpson’s thinking:
Homer: "No! Homer Simpson never lies twice on the same form. He never has and he never will."
Marge: "You lied dozens of times on our mortgage application."
Homer: "Yes, but they were all part of a single ball of lies."
Mr. Lemieux’s argument hinges on whether a specific government action is part of a larger “regulatory scheme.” He helpfully cites cases where such an action that was not part of a larger scheme was struck down by the supreme court as not authorized under the commerce clause, thereby drawing his ominous distinction between constitutional and unconstitutional.
“The fact that the mandate is an essential part of a federal regulatory scheme just underscores why the federal government has not exceeded its authority under existing law.”
The Road to Statism

Obamacare’s progressive defenders concede that stand-alone laws that claw freedom from the individual are unconstitutional. However, this is a false concession. They proclaim that government does have such a right if done under the umbrella of a larger regulatory scheme.

The logical result? Create a tentacular, hydra-headed bureaucratic monster, call it a regulatory scheme, and now the federal government can do whatever it wants.

I recommend you go read the entire article. It is a frightening peek into the mind of a progressive statist.

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_individual_mandate_not_a_slippery_slope#

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Progressive Doomsday Device


Progressives are already snickering in giddy anticipation of the voter backlash against GOP budget cuts…

Read along with me what this little handmaiden of big government has to say...

The politics become volatile and incendiary when the rubber of deficit reduction meets the road of pain and suffering imposed on individual voters. The polls today are irrelevant. Public opinion will shift in dramatic and unpredictable ways once the happy drunk of deficit-reduction promises brings the hangover headache of deciding which voters will suffer what pain. (Brent Budowsky – The Hill)
Notice how the statist commentator steals the “drunk” analogy from those who apply it to big spenders, and now uses it against those wanting to stop the profligacy? Neat rhetorical trick.

But this is the operative part of the quote: “…deciding which voters will suffer what pain.”

We're All Crack Whores Now
That is the beautiful trap progressives built into their grand scheme. Spread it around, hand the government-issued crack cocaine out to everyone. Middle class parents whose children eat subsidize school lunches. Retirees with hundreds of thousands in retirement nesteggs who are conditioned to the idea of a monthly government check. Government-subsidized train travel. Education grants and cheap student loans…

It’s all bound so tightly, any scalpel wielding politician is bound to draw blood.  We’re all hooked. We’re crack whores who break out in the cold sweats every time we contemplate escaping Uncle Sugar the pimp daddy.

In the cold war movie Dr Strangelove, a rogue Air Force general launches bombers with no way to call them back in the hopes of nuking the Russkies before they can retaliate. His plan is foiled when the Russians declare they have a previously undisclosed “doomsday machine,” that will automatically launch all their nukes, there’s no way to stop it.

Statists have done the same with their progressive programs. Knife-wielders in green eyeshades find themselves lost in a funhouse maze, nowhere to turn, nowhere to cut where someone won’t scream in agony. The progressives have turned the goodie-dispensing federal government into a giant doomsday machine that will blow up in the faces of anyone trying to dismantle it. The big spenders can just sit back and chuckle as the slashers piss off more and more voters.

Defunding the Democratic Party

As the teachers unions abandon our kids and their schools to swarm Madison like a throbbing horde of third-world lunatics, liberal columnist Kevin Drum makes an excellent point.  He complains that Republicans who are dismantling government programs and cutting spending are “defunding the Democratic party.”

A brilliant observation!  Democrats have been buying votes with our tax dollars for the better part of 80 years now.  It’s time to put a stop to it.

MSNBC – Republican Cuts

Monday, February 21, 2011

People Gotta be Free... Even Free to Fail

“If the mind can conceive it, and the heart believe it, man can achieve it.”*

Jordanian-American Rami Khouri is an astute Middle Eastern observer. He believes the overthrow of Mubarak is just the beginning for that region, that it brings the"promise the birth of a more democratic, humanistic Arab world, assuming the transitions persist, which I believe is certain." (Khouri - Daily Star)

I don’t share his optimism, but he lays out his case quite well. Even if his conclusion is Pollyannaish, his points are still valid. He lives there, as opposed to the cacophonous chorus of commenters here in the US who have no real understanding of the region.
Egypt and Tunisia have sparked new life in a dead region and vigor in moribund states, making vibrant citizens of once-docile subjects. They have spurred marginalized states to reclaim a role in the world of dynamic countries. Widespread collective and individual humiliation is giving way to self-assertion; incompetent security states are giving way to re-legitimized governments and normal societies. (Khouri)
My only quibble is that he lists these events as “firsts” when really they are “seconds” or perhaps even “thirds,” given our efforts at democratizing Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Kemal Attaturk’s heroic efforts to drag his country into the modern age (OK, they are Turks, not Arabs.)  Nonetheless, these events are not so unprecedented as Khouri would have us believe.

Is it Bush's Fault?

Had we not invaded Iraq and forced a regime change that put politics into the hands of ordinary Iraqis, would Tunisia and Egypt have happened? Was George Bush the imperfect grandfather of this? It’s worth noting that the unrest has not spread to Iraq. The people there have more control over their destiny than any other country in the region besides Israel. Iraqis are in the street protesting, but it is for more electricity and better public services.

The people of the Middle East have been beaten down by their rulers; further humiliations were handed them by foreign intervention. We must understand that although we took out a brutal dictator and freed over 40 million people, this is counted as a humiliation in the Arab mind. Because we did something for them that they could not do it themselves, we laid bare their inadequacies. So in this respect, Tunisia and Egypt are signal events.

Let it Burn?
Regardless of whether nefarious forces are behind street demonstrations, these people must grasp their own destiny, even if they end up crashing. At least it will be their crash, and maybe, just maybe, they can finally own their failures without instinctively grasping for a foreign scapegoat to slaughter.

Smart global strategists point to the dangers of allowing this boiling cauldron to tip over. I think we need to allow events to play out regardless of how chaotic they become. At the end of it, a people must work out their issues to the logical end. We in the west have been screaming at them that they’re doing it all wrong, to no avail. They need to work it out on their own. Will it lead to more enslavement, this time at the hands of humorless Islamists? Who knows. At least that outcome would pit the people against their mullahtocracy, instead of against the west. That is what happened in Iran.

Blood for Oil?

Like it or not, oil powers our economy. Does it logically follow that we have to keep an expensive presence in the Middle East? Jeremy Khan highlights research that says maybe not.
There’s no denying the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the US economy. Although only 15 percent of imported US oil comes directly from the Persian Gulf, the region is responsible for nearly a third of the world’s production and the majority of its known reserves. But the oil market is also elastic: Many key producing countries have spare capacity, so if oil is cut off from one country, others tend to increase their output rapidly to compensate. (Boston Globe)

Whoever controls that oil can’t eat it; they will have to sell it eventually, ending any global “oil shock.” Also, we can start drilling here drilling now to lessen our dependence even more. In the final equation, it comes down to a simple cost-benefit analysis: Which is cheaper? Staying in the region and protecting nasty regimes who hate our guts and fund Wahabbist projects in our lands, or getting out and absorbing whatever economic hits we may take due to the whatever turmoil or disruptions would occur in our absence?

I think we need to take a serious look at choosing the latter.

* - This quote is ascribed to W. Clement Stone and Jesse Jackson, among many others. It is one of Papa Silverfiddle’s favorites, and he taught it to me when I was young.

Further Reading:
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67432/james-d-le-sueur/postcolonial-time-disorder

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unions: A Progressive Assault on America

President Obama Calls Wisconsin Budget Bill "Assault on Unions"


He's wrong, as usual.  Unions are an assault on America.  They've destroyed Detroit, and they turned America's industrial heartland into a rust belt.

"We've got a right to organize!"  they shout.  Sure, on your own damned time and your own damned dime!  You've also got a right to STFU, and get back to work doing what the taxpayers are paying you to do.  And while you're at it, could you explain to us why you are more entitled another dollar than the taxpayer that earned it?

Why should laid off workers fund your pension plan and your health care?
Why should private sector workers pay your pension plan, when we have to fund our own?  Why should people who have taken 5, 10 or 20% pay cuts fund you health care when you don't chip in a dime?

The private sector unemployment rate is 10%, what is the government sector unemployment rate?
In the 90's, over 100,000 active duty personnel were unceremoniously tossed from the public payroll.  Where was the outcry?  These same troops also went years with no pay raises.  Where was the liberal concern?

I'm not complaining.  This is how over 80% of us live, and we were doing just fine until the government blew up the economy.  My company simply announced two years ago that they were cutting in half their 401K matching contribution, and pay raises were a fraction of what they were in previous years.  No arbitration, no collective bargaining, just an announcement.  Each worker was free to like it or lump it or take it down the road and dump it.

We have labor laws and contract laws in this country, so lets drop the crap about government workers being abused, not having adequate representation, bla bla bla... 

How do the 80% of us not covered by unions have a “voice?”  Simple.  We talk to the boss and ask for a raise.  If we ask for more than we are worth he tells us no.  If he values us, we strike a deal mutually beneficial to both.

How do you justify a government salary? 
Government makes no profit that workers can demand a share of, as in the private industry.  That's why government unions are an abomination anyway.  FDR knew that and he was opposed to government unions.

Unionism is a fundamental mistrust of the free market place.  Union workers are afraid of getting paid what they are really worth.  It's especially absurd to see credentialed professionals band together in unions, which serves only to protect the shoddiest among them.  Most professions aim to expel the bums from their ranks in order to raise the worth of each professional; teachers unions do the opposite.

Wisconsin Looks Like Egypt, Turned into a Third-World Country by Screaming Idiots in the Democratic Party

Yeah, it's Egypt, and Obama is Mubarack.  The citizens of this country, and the residents of Wisconsin, voted to throw off the shackles of progressivism last November, and the rioting astroturfers in Madison are the government cronies straining to prop up the tyrannical status quo.  We have a president who lost big time in the last election but he refuses to accept the will of the people. Simple-minded liberals transparently capture a meme and then abuse it.  They view themselves as heroic democracy demonstrators in the public square, but it's just the opposite.

Democrats are the party of statism, Republicans are the party of the people
The Democrats are the party of yesterday, staunchly screaming themselves hoarse in defense of a rotten, outdated system that has ushered us to the brink of failure.  Now we have a sitting president unleashing his rabble of community activists, poverty pimps, professional troublemakers and race hustlers upon the capitols of various states.  Yes, the President himself has been implicated in mobilizing the red-faced, rioting hordes that are demanding a deeper reach into the taxpayers' pockets.

Welcome to the third-world.  Brought to you by the statist progressives of the Democratic party.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Saturday...

Reagan’s Legacy

Robert Samuelson  explains Reagan’s true concrete accomplishment:  Snuffing inflation.  Yes, Fed Chairman Paul Volker did the heavy lifting, but President Reagan kept a steady hand at the wheel and resisted politically-smart but economically-stupid advice to lower interest rates sent through the roof by Jimmy Carter's disastrous policies.

The lesson liberals draw (and urge Obama to imitate) is that Reagan's political success reflected his optimistic presidential stagecraft. It wasn't policy, it was presentation. Wrong.
Reagan earned his success the hard way - by backing policies that, though initially unpopular, served the nation's long-term interests. That's called leadership, a quality Obama has yet to demonstrate. (Samuelson)
Who’s Afraid of E-Verify?
The US Chamber of Commerce.  Wouldn't want to hurt the bottom line by hiring Americans and paying them a decent wage, would we? 

Only in America could we be talking about "jobs Americans just won't do" while we have 10% unemployment.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Plague of GOP Lobbyists


Dark clouds are forming over the House GOP agenda… 

May be storm clouds, or maybe a cloud of former GOP staffers-turned-lobbyists swarming like locusts and offering bribes, er… campaign cash in return for leaving certain programs alone.

It's already worked for farm subsidies.  The GOP treats them like a hot stove.

A number of associations hoping to retain federal funding have recently added GOP lobbyists with connections to the new majority. The hiring binge indicates Republican lobbyists are earning dividends from their party’s re-taking of the House in November and points to the headaches in store for a Republican House that wants to take a hatchet to public spending.  (The Hill)
Slashing NPR's tires will be child's play.  Cutting benefits for children will separate the men from the boys...
The National Association of Children’s Hospitals (NACH) has hired former Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) of Clark Lytle & Geduldig to lobby for the reauthorization of the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program, which uses $317.5 million in federal funding a year.

“As a parent of a child who battled cancer, [Pryce] is intimately familiar with the importance of timely access to specialty care,” said Jim Kaufman, NACH’s vice president for public policy.  (The Hill)
It's time for everyone to take a deep breath and realize that there are other funding sources besides the federal government.

Americans give over $300 billion to charity every year.  We donate 8 billion volunteer hours worth another $169 billion.  Swing some of that money and manpower from more frivolous enterprises like lesbian dance troups, battered husbands and Hotels for Hounds, and if we all dig a little deeper for the rest, we can fill the vacuum.  And it's all voluntary, from the heart, which is the true mark of genuine charity

GOP lobbying has already worked in one area

James Pethokoukis asks, "Did Wall Street nix GOP push to let states go bankrupt?"
In 2010 election cycle,  Wall Street campaign contributions shifted to Republicans from Democrats.
If I were a betting man I'd put my money on Hell Yes They Did!

Goldman Sachs and the other big Wall Street banksters who own the US government make money off the bond market, and state bankruptcies would send that market tanking.

Strap it on, my friends.  We're in for a bumpy ride.  It's even money that the GOP will collapse like a soggy cardboard box.  The alternative will not be pretty either.

If the GOP gets anything close to the cuts they want we will be subjected to a 24/7 litany of sob stories, old people freezing in their homes, poor children starving, hospitals closing, governments cutting back essential services.  The liberals will play the media like Satan's Bagpipes, and the crescendo of caterwauling and ululations from the left will become almost too much to bear.

We are living in interesting times.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Death of Freddie and Fannie?

Believe it or not, a bi-partisan consensus may be forming that will finally, once and for all, sell off the vampiric monsters known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The signs are encouraging, but statist projects die hard...
One compromise described in drafts of the administration’s proposal would reduce the government’s role to a last line of defense for the mortgage market. A version of this idea has been advocated by David S. Scharfstein, a finance professor at Harvard who previously worked as an adviser to Mr. Geithner.

The core of Mr. Scharfstein’s proposal is to create a new government-owned corporation for the sole purpose of providing guarantees to mortgage investors. During normal times, the insurer would guarantee no more than 10 percent of mortgages, but in times of crisis, the government could raise that cap, offering guarantees to a broader range of investors so that money continues to flow into the mortgage market and credit remains available.  (NY Times - Housing)
No, No, No!  How stupid are we?  
Two quasi-government entities blow billions in taxpayer money, contributing to the housing bubble (and inevitable collapse), and the solution is to create another one?  We’re intellectually bankrupt.  Time for those who wrecked it all to get the hell out of the way and let some new thinking in.

This is a Pollyannaish dream to take the downside out of every market
Markets have downturns for distinct reasons, and they provide a necessary corrective.  Government stepping in and short-circuiting normal market signals creates bubbles, misallocates capital, wastes money and pulls down economic growth.  More insidiously, taxpayer-funded statist projects such as this allow the big bankers to keep one hand in Uncle Sam’s pocket.

A failing market needs more cash like a crackhead needs another vial
Seriously, if your brother-in-law was living riotously and careening out of control, would you loan him money?  Of course not.  You’d want him to clean up his act first.

How about a hard-working, sober brother-in-law who just fell on hard times?  You’d be more likely to lend him money.

Markets work the same way, including mortgages and lending.  Responsible people can borrow at a lower rate.  People with a record of gross irresponsibility may not be able to borrow at all.  Uncle Sam steps in where wise lenders fear to tread, and We The Taxpayers foot the bill when reckless borrowers default.

Would you invest in a foundering company?
Another example:  Which would you more likely invest in, Apple Corporation, or a man on a street corner selling steam-powered tricycles?  No contest.  You put your money where you think you will get the best return.

Markets work the same way.  Irresponsible behavior poses risks, investors see that and pull their money.  You see it in population migrations as well.  Look at Detroit. People voted with their feet and the city is shrinking.  California and New York are also bleeding out productive people and businesses.

Government “backstops” are a horrible idea, because the federal government steps in when the smart money is pulling out.  Bleeding out money (or people) is a market signal that you are doing something wrong and need to correct yourself.  Government money subsidizes failure and masks that signal, protecting the failed enterprise from the necessary pain it needs to go through to get back on firm footing.

Government money also distorts otherwise healthy markets, driving up prices.  Just look at higher education.  It has grown something like five times faster than the overall economy.

A true free market produces only what consumers can afford. Government interventions inevitably end in crashes, burst bubbles, panics, unemployment and tears.  One area where this is not true:  Higher education.  That bubble is still inflated.  Hate those increasing tuition bills?  Thank Uncle Sam.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Next Bubble

Detroit:  The city liberalism destroyed
Are Cities and States Too Big to Fail?  We're about to find out

The socialists of all parties in the federal government created the housing bubble and the ensuing, inevitable crash, by encouraging lenders to abandon prudent, time testing lending practices. Low interest rates ushered in an era of easy money, and Freddie and Fannie backed everything mortgage companies could shovel their way, regardless of the stench.

Wall Street gambled and the taxpayer lost
Dirty Hank and his gang of pirates blew a hole in the side of the US Treasury and made it all good. Wall Street is back to record profits and bonuses, while working people despair of ever again finding a job, and the big banks are still too big to fail. 

Muni-Bombs
Blissfully ignorant and unencumbered by any capacity to learn from experience, the federal government has turned on the money spigot to our fiscally incontinent states and cities. It’s stimulus, dontcha know. See how stimulated everybody is and how the job market is booming?
Since 2000 the total outstanding state and municipal bond debt, adjusted for inflation, has soared from $1.5 trillion to $2.8 trillion (see chart). The recession didn’t slow the spending. (Reason)
So the drunks are teetering on the brink of the train platform with a high speed locomotive bearing down, and good ol' Uncle Sam hands them another bottle of hooch...
The Build America Bonds program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was aimed at subsidizing bonds for infrastructure projects. Under this program, the Treasury Department pays 35 percent of bond interest to the issuing government. 

If a state or local government issued a bond at a high rate to make it appealing to investors—10 percent, say—the Treasury would make a 3.5 percent direct payment to the issuer. [...] It’s no surprise that, starting in 2008, states and cities increased their debt dramatically, while investors enabled this overspending. (Reason)
Our federal government encouraged irresponsible state and local government to be even more irresponsible by backing their bonds and even paying part of the interest collected by investors.  All funded by We The Taxpayer, and money borrowed from China.

This wouldn't be so bad if cities were using this federal largess to pay down debt and put themselves on sound fiscal footing, but they are doing just the opposite.  In his informative article, State Budget Bunk, Steven Malanga catalogs the cheap tricks that are putting cities and states deeper in hock.

Write your elected officials and preemptively tell them "NO" to any state or city bailouts.  Tell them these failed states and cities must file for bankruptcy like other financially irresponsible people are forced to do.
 
Further Reading:

Muni bond Prices Drop

State Budget Bunk

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Conservative Principles



What is Conservatism?

Marine blogger Mustang gave us a cogent and well-stated answer in his response to my blog post, Time to Throw the Neocons Overboard:

I am a conservative. I vote conservative; this means I revere our traditional values and shun Marxist/Stalinist ideology. As a conservative, I believe in God and Judeo-Christian values. I do not support homosexual lifestyles, but neither do I condemn people who do. I do not think I should have to pay for some idiot’s abortion. I do not think it is the federal government’s business to regulate marriage, my drinking habits, or how many gallons of gasoline I consume in a week. I believe strongly that our states are sovereign and must behave accordingly. I think limited government is the best kind of government.
That's a good working definition, especially speaking off the top of ones head.  Logical, no contradictions, no bigotry.  Just a stated belief in the vision of the founders embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.  Mustang can trace his belief all the way back to the enlightenment.

Most liberals have a hard time explaining liberalism...
...because it is an incoherent hodgepodge of pollyanic aspirations, musty dogma and high dudgeon. It has also become very illiberal, with its path winding through Fabian Socialism, illiberal nationalism, elitist progressivism and ending up in the dark caverns of tribalism, identity politics, and because-we-say-so-ism.

Conservatives stand upon the immovable stone foundations of Bastiat and Burke; but the musty tomes from which their eternal ideas spring can be intimidating.  We understand these concepts because they have been handed down through the generations and championed in the writings of great conservative thinkers like William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan and George Will.

Conservatism:  The Definitive Definition
Russell Kirk was a great 20th century conservative writer.  Among his many writings on the subject of conservatism, which he never considered a "movement," Ten Conservative Principles is the most concise and accessible to the average citizen.  It can be read in about ten minutes and it is one of the best summaries of conservatism that can be found.

This short essay is a beautiful piece that should be read as a whole, but I will leave you with a few quotes:
Conservatives are champions of custom, convention, and continuity because they prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know. Order and justice and freedom, they believe, are the artificial products of a long social experience, the result of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice.
Change isn't always for the better...
Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away.
Against Anarchy, Against Tyranny
The conservative endeavors to so limit and balance political power that anarchy or tyranny may not arise. In every age, nevertheless, men and women are tempted to overthrow the limitations upon power, for the sake of some fancied temporary advantage. It is characteristic of the radical that he thinks of power as a force for good—so long as the power falls into his hands.
The Right Kind of Change
The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world.
Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tryannies are Toppling across the Middle East--Could the US be Next?

Egypt has thrown off a tyrannical regime.  When will we topple ours?

I'm not talking about President Obama; He's just a cog in the machine.  I'm referring to this large bureaucratic regime, this clanking soul-draining monster, this federal, state and municipal steamroller that is built, fed and operated by the statists of all parties.

Egypt's situation is fundamentally different than ours, for we do not suffer under a military dictatorship, but read this excerpt and broadly replace references to "military" with "bureaucracy," and you'll see what I'm talking about...
The democratic wave that has finally struck the Arab world is, among other things, a civilian protest movement against the militarization of Middle Eastern life. Old Oriental despotisms, for all their unpleasantness, did not fundamentally assault the civilian nature of Muslim societies, where men of the cloth, letters, the bazaar, and small-town aristocracies defined the “good and noble.”

Robbed of ideology and military purpose (defeating Israel became a millenarian dream, like the ancient Arab aspiration to conquer Constantinople), Arab armies became instruments of political oppression and private enrichment. (Reuel Marc Gerecht - Weekly Standard)
The tyranny we groan and strain under is a bureaucratic one
FDR built a civilian statist army back in the 1930's and put it on war footing.  Government was supposed to wage war on poverty, ignorance and those on the outside attacking us and our way of life.  Instead, it now fosters poverty and ignorance and joins in the  multicultural jihad against our borders, language and culture (Yes, I got that from Doc Savage).

This out of control government that cannot manage its own finances nonetheless lectures us on what we should eat and how we should live.  It incompetently stumbles and bumbles its way through international diplomacy and blows hundreds of billions on intelligence, only to be surprised when a friendly dictator is toppled.  Meanwhile, domestic surveillance of innocent citizens increases.

Fighting Citizens is Easier than Fighting Criminals
Governments across the spectrum have found fighting crime and improving the lives of its citizens too challenging, so it now turns on them, spies on them, regulates and scolds them.  America's army of bureaucrats long ago turned on the people it was supposed to serve, and like the Egyptian Army, enjoys its perks and will not give them up willingly.

Real criminals with real guns are robbing and killing in Denver, but the Jefferson County DA goes after a kid with an airsoft gun.  This is just one story in an avalanche of government-sponsored outrages and abuse.  The EPA demanding dairy farmers treat milk spills as hazardous waste, and calling the dust they kick up "pollution" adds to the bonfire of regulatory stupidities now raging against the job-providers in this country. Our unemployment is government-induced.

Fighting criminals and protecting borders is hard; it's so much easier and satisfying to turn the power of the state against the people.  Government is everywhere.  They have robbed us of the private nature of our lives and our societies.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
-Plato

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Entrepreneurial America


American needs to renew her entrepreneurial spirit.
They didn't call it that back then, but entrepreneurship is what built this country. People from all over the world risk it all to just to get here, and people born here take risks in the hope of improving their lives.

Big Business and Big Government hate free markets

Capitalism is about efficiency, and that means making more money with less people, which explains why job growth has been so sluggish while the stock market climbs.

Big Business is bureaucratic, as is Big Government, which explains their natural affinity for one another, and their mutual disdain for entrepreneurship and the little guy. Capitalism galloping along the wild economic frontiers is distasteful, unorganized, incomprehensible. It’s scary and dangerous, but that is where the growth lies.

The Messy Paths of the Free Marketplace

Carl Schramm, in his article The Messy Path to Job Creation, explains that the lion's share of job creation is done by small companies and new startups. Government "job creation" should avoid picking favorites and instead create an environment that is inviting to potential entrepreneurs.

Schramm also advocates...
...stepping up efforts to get the less-represented parts of our population into the mix.

Our goal should be to double the number of Americans who are serious about starting businesses...
Our entrepreneurial spirit is almost crushed. A stultified, soul-destroying bureaucratic mindset has gripped us, and it is killing us, our economy and society. We've got to shake it if we're going to make it in the 21st century. Government and education are two places for us to start in on immediately.

Government Bureaucracy Needs Entrepreneurship
our bureaucracies are not just cumbersome time and creativity sucks; they are expensive as well. Federal, state and local government can become significantly cheaper as we strip out the layers of bureaucracy, dispense with work rules developed in some cases back when carbon paper ruled the world, and restructure patterns of organization and management that date back even farther.

People who like low taxes and people who like big government can agree at least that by systematically making government cheaper we can have all the government we need at rates we can afford (Mead)
How? Privatize it! 
Management of the frequency spectrum and government social programs, automobile and drivers licensing, airport security, and the thousands of other petty bureaucracies... Turn it over to private companies on fixed contracts, and they will figure out ways to make these government functions more efficient.

What will happen to all those government employees thrown out of work? The good ones will form companies or join existing ones to bid on the privatized government work, doing much of it from home or satellite offices, allowing government to sell off real estate and save on maintenance and utilities costs.

We Don't Need No Education!

I watched Pink Floyd's The Wall the other night, and I was again reminded how much I hated school.
Mediocre, conformity inducing, alienating, time wasting: the school system trains kids to sit still, follow directions, and move with the herd. As the economy becomes more fluid, more entrepreneurial, it is clear that raising one generation after another of aspiring time-serving bureaucrats is not very effective. But isn’t it also a terrible waste of human potential? (Mead)
This "big box" approach served its purpose 50 years ago, but it's time for a new model. Mead continues...
Maybe there’s something more we can teach our kids than the bland pablum of the standard school curriculum; maybe there are ways we can organize learning so that it is more individual, closer to home, better integrated with the world of work — and more rewarding.
The way forward is not stacking bureaucratic remedies upon bureaucratic failures, but private enterprise and entrepreneurship in education. Open it up! Make every school a charter school and hand out vouchers to everyone. Teachers Unions? To hell with them. We need parents and student unions.  The good teachers will end up better payed, and the bums will be flushed from the system.

Introducing true entrepreneurship in schooling at all levels will allow the market to discover the needs of the consumer and tailor services appropriately. Monopolistic Bureaucracies are inherently unable to do that.

Free-market capitalism is messy, especially for the small startups. Failure rates are high, but the consumer benefits, and stiff competition builds better employees and better business owners.  Government should lower the regulatory and legal barriers to market entry, as Australia does, and confine itself to setting the rules and punishing violators.  Uncle Sam needs to stop picking winners and losers, because he almost always gets it wrong.

http://blogs.forbes.com/carlschramm/2011/01/19/the-messy-path-to-creating-jobs/
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/01/17/the-next-american-upgrade/

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ten Thoughts to Ponder

OD's The one smoking
It's Saturday, time for something frivolous... 

Here's another e-mail item, courtesy of  my old Air Force buddy, OD.  We fought the drug wars in South America with radios and rum...





Ten Thoughts to Ponder

Number 10:  Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9:  Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8:  Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich .

Number 7:  Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Number 6:  Some people are like a Slinky-not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5:  Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

Number 4:  All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 3:  Why does a slight tax increase cost you $800.00, and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.00?

Number 2:  In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

Number 1:  Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers--what you do today, might burn you tomorrow.

And a bonus...

Just put a deposit down on a brand new Porsche & mentioned it on Facebook. I said, "I can't wait for the new 911 to arrive!" Next thing I know 4000 Muslims have friended me and Homeland Security has my house surrounded.  The illegals who live next door sure got a good laugh.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ho's with Dough

The latest batch of nude pictures, that she consented to, has left Kim Kardashian in tears

Life's questions...  How can someone who launched her career with a viral sex video be upset over some semi-nude photos?  

Why do the Kardashian girls, Paris Hilton, and other tartletts in the celebrity mags garner so much attention?  These girls are gutter skanks with money.  Their only redeeming social value is to show ordinary folk that the rich are not inherently noble or classy.

They are useful only for pointing out to our sons what a slut looks like and why you should avoid them at all costs.
   
Take away the money and Kim Kardasian would be a 300 pound couch queen eating ho hos all day while watching trash tv.  Her little thug baby daddy or whatever they call him would be in jail or bleeding in a gutter with his head caved in because he started it with the wrong guys and the bodyguards weren’t there to step in.

Can Charlie Sheen get through at-home rehab?  Inquiring minds want to know.  My first though was, "Sure, as long as he's stocked up on coke, booze and slutty prostitutes..."

It takes a lot of money to live a liberal lifestyle, what with the retinue of moochers, bodyguards, lawyers, and rehab...  The hooting baboons who look to these Hollywood morons for guidance usually end up finding this out the hard way.
 
A sad social commentary is that this is not so much the cause of our cultural decay as it is a result, which feeds further moral decline in a depressing downward spiral.  Yes, there is nothing new under the sun.  Bad behavior has been around since the dawn of time.  The difference is that civilized society used to ignore it and marginalize it to dens of iniquity out of the public eye.  Now, we celebrate it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Progressives of All Parties are Destroying America


The progressives of all parties who hijacked the federal bureaucracy have just about destroyed us. Sure, they started with good intentions, but we’re now morally, intellectually and financially bankrupt.






WASHINGTON—The federal budget deficit will reach a record of nearly $1.5 trillion in 2011 due to the weak economy, higher spending and fresh tax cuts, congressional budget analysts said, in a stark warning that will drive the growing battle over government spending and taxation.
As a percentage of the nation's economic output, the 9.8% deficit would be the second-largest since World War II, behind only the 10% level in 2009.
"This report is a reflection of the gross mismanagement of our nation's finances," said Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.). "It should make every American think twice about the latest calls by the president to increase spending at a time when Washington can clearly not afford to pay its bills." . (WSJ – Deficit)
We’ve spent ourselves to the brink of bankruptcy, but most sickening of all is that we have nothing to show for it.

Social Security is going broke…
New congressional projections show Social Security running deficits every year until its trust funds are eventually drained in about 2037.

This year alone, Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. (El Lay Times)
Obamacare will not save any money, and no, you can’t keep your coverage…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare's independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday.
The landmark legislation probably won't hold costs down, and it won't let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. (AP – Medicare Official Doubts)
Meanwhile, HHS is handing out Obamacare waivers, 733 and counting …

Over at HUD, they’re having a party with our money and creating failure, which justifies requests for even more taxpayer funds…
Even by Washington standards, $26 billion is a lot of money.

That’s the amount spent by taxpayers annually to provide housing for needy Americans. But there’s significant evidence that some of the monies have been poorly spent for years.
A joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity found that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has struggled to combat theft, corruption, and mismanagement in the more than 3,000 public housing agencies nationwide it funds, and particularly inside the172 that HUD considers the most troubled. (Public Housing – Private Frustration)
Now who want to stand up and deny that the progressive house of cards is collapsing?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mr Obama, You’re No Ronald Reagan

Liberals spewed hatred on Ronald Reagan for thirty years, now they are attempting to co-opt him 

I know, the Reagan Centennial was last Sunday, but I’m left with that feeling you get after attending a really good concert. Still basking in the sights and sounds, you’re left wanting more, so you pop in a CD or DVD to make the feeling last.

What spurred me to this latest outburst was all the stupid blather comparing Obama to Reagan. It’s another foolish indulgence of the Washington press corps, for really, there is no comparison.

Ronald Reagan’s communications were symphonic masterpieces...

...crafted and delivered from a deep and thoughtful well of study and experience. His rock solid words now resonate through the ages. “Tear down this wall!” …and the wall came tumbling down.

He backed up his words with action. He told the air traffic controllers to go back to work. They didn’t. He fired them. This put the world on notice that the American president meant what he said. Communists really were trying to make inroads into Central America, and Reagan defeated them by keeping our military profile low and helping freedom-loving Central Americans help themselves. The region in now freer and more prosperous as a result.

Obama’s speeches are cotton candy…

…top 40 bubblegum pop songs that catch the listeners’ ears with a cheap lyrical hook or a catchy tune, but are forgotten the next week. His award of an anticipatory Nobel Prize was a farce, and it was the apotheosis of Obama. All flowery words and billowy hope, but no substance, no action.

Reagan made history by collapsing communism and freeing tens of millions of people.  Obama made history by being the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to host and toast a tyrannical regime that imprisoned a  fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Reagan Encouraged Us, Obama Scolds Us...

Reagan believed in the American people and uplifted us; President Obama is perpetually disappointed in us. He, his wife and his cabinet scold us on eating habits, going green, police who act stupidly, people too cowardly to talk about race, and even how to sneeze properly.

President Reagan shrugged off criticism with a smile and a joke, President Obama encourages his fervid worshipers to punish their enemies.

Reagan believed in American exceptionalism. Obama compared us to Greece, and leads us there with his disastrous policies.

Progressive fanboys and fangirls love talking about how intelligent Obama is, but when pressed they can produce no evidence besides “he ran a successful presidential campaign,” or that he was titular head of some college newspaper.

“Amiable dunce” Ronald Reagan has left a rich legacy of writings in his own hand that prove beyond a doubt what an intelligent and studied man he was.

Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan...



Comparisons to the loser that Reagan defeated in 1980 are more appropriate. In fact, Jimmy probably rests a little easier knowing he’s now moved up to the second worst president.

Toby Harnden – You’re No Ronald Reagan
Five Myths about Ronald Reagan
http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/time-magazine-obama-loves-reagan.html
Time – The Role Model

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ironic Story of the Year


Muzzammil Hassan, founder of Bridges TV, a project to promote a positive image of Islam, cut off his wife's head in their place of business.

This happened two years ago in Western New York state. In the United States of America. He was convicted this past Monday.

This item should be given an award for Most Ironic Story to Get No Press Coverage. The newspapers that did cover it at the time danced around the whole "Islam and cutting heads off" thing.  Mark Steyn gave us this newspaper clipping in his insightful treatment of this case:
An upstate TV exec who set up a channel promoting Muslims as peace-loving people was stressed about his failing business in the days before he allegedly chopped off his estranged wife's head, a friend of the couple said today.
C'mon guys, it's happened to all of us... Bad day at work, you slam your pickup door too hard and bust the glass out of the side window...

The dog gets in your path to the front door and you give ol' Beauregard a boot. You're not purposely trying to hurt anyone or be mean. You're just upset about your financial situation, and there's your wife in the kitchen...

You're in a bad mood, you lose it and accidentally chop her head off. It could happen to anybody, nothing newsworthy! Nothing to see here, move along...

Monday, February 7, 2011

See Something, Say Something

The Artistry of Chicago Ray

Be a good American.  Spy on your neighbors and report suspicious activity

Janet Napoleonitano, Kommissar of Heimatland Sicherheit, tells us if we see something, to say something

What?  Like turning in someone who's smoking?  Or kids reporting on parents who own too many guns?  Activities like terrorist-sponsors building mosques are exempt from reporting requirements, I've been told




OK.  I see lot's of stuff, so I'll say something...

I see a bloated bureaucracy making air travel resemble a miserable cattle drive ending at the meat packing plant, with baaing and mooing humans being herded through lanes and gates, harangued, felt up and stripped.  I also see that this bureaucratic organization has stopped not one terrorist.

I see a bipartisan clutch of progressive statists trampling the rights of free people as they wipe their feet on the constitution upon entering the capital.

I see someone gave Britain's nuclear secrets to Russia.  Spies?  No.  The blundering idiots in the Obama Administration.

I see a ship of state careening out of control, with a  dithering incompetent boob at the helm.

I see politicians spending money we don't have, forcing us to the brink of bankruptcy, and I see a foolish electorate who keeps sending them back to the District of Criminals for further thievery, lying, scamming and scandal-making.

I see a government that churns out dense bureaucratic sludge by the ton, and then sells exemptions to the moneyed and the lawyered who know how to play the game.
 
I see an economic ignoramus lashing out at businesses from the White House, admonishing them that they have a "responsibility to help the economy grow."  Meanwhile, he makes state-sponsored deals with crony crapitalists while crushing the rest with burdensome taxes and regulations. Only a socialist would feel that businesses must be scolded into making money.

I see a US President who has completely ignored the American people, hypocritically tell an Egyptian president to "Listen to the people."

I see a border that is an international joke, employment laws ignored, and a social welfare state that has made us the suckers of the world.

Is that the kind of stuff we're supposed to say something about Janet?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy 100th President Reagan!

Ronald Reagan:  A Defense and a Criticism

Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of the 20th Century.  He recaptured America's glory and global respect after the ham-handed buffoonery of the Carter years.  Yeah, FDR must be considered great for his fireside chats and WW II leadership, but his statist economic policies increased the country's misery.  Reagan, on the other hand, knew how to jump start an economy left for dead by liberal experimentation.

Nonetheless, liberal gargoyles like Paul Krugman love to blame all our ills on Reagan, the man responsible for the longest economic boom in our nation's history.  He was not perfect, but on balance, Reagan was a great president, but more importantly, he was a great man of rock-solid values who knew why he believed what he believed.  Here I offer a summary of Reagan criticism (some legitimate), and some links that defend his policies.


Paul Krugman is a dishonest, diabolical troll
Instead of using his education to enlighten Americans about the difficult and dismal science of economics, he chops up facts like firewood and serves up selectively sliced statistics in order to score cheap political points in an attempt to smear this great president.  Ignorant liberals lap it all up and regurgitate it on the rest of us, forcing us to do the homework lazy liberals just won't do.

Practitioners like Krugman use little funhouse mirror tricks to stretch and distort our view.  Yes, some conservatives do it too, but I don't listen to them or repeat their BS.

Most liberal writing on our economic mess is a hopeless tangle.  A typical writer will take crony capitalism, spending, deregulation, bubbles, and poverty, wad it all in a big ball and throw it in Ronald Reagan's face.  The logic is terrible and typically lacks cause and effect. 

Tis true, Reagan didn't shrink the government and he grew the national debt
In return, we collapsed the Soviet Union, freeing tens of millions of Eastern Europeans and got a well-respected kick-ass military to boot.

Add to that the regulatory reform that allowed millions of Americans to start their own businesses and brought structural unemployment to below 5%.  The result was the longest economic expansion in American history, thanks to President Clinton continuing Reagan's policies. What have we gotten for the trillions Obama has spent?  At least Reagan's spending produced results.

For a serious libertarian criticism of Reagan, see free-marketer Sheldon L. Richmon's article, or Murray Rothbard's excellent critique, The Myths of Reaganomics. Their main criticism is he did not roll back government and he spend too much.  These are not liberal screeds, but rather cold-eyed analyses of the facts devoid of any personal criticism of the man.

Reagan was a great man and a great president.  If you want to defend him, you must consider his record, warts and all (no one in the public arena is wart-free).  He did the best he could in an America remade by progressives.  FDR build a clanking, soul-destroying bureaucratic machine, and even the great Ronald Reagan couldn't dismantle it. 

The only way progressives can defend Obamanomics is to turn it all upside down, and that involves taking the success that is Reaganomics and convincing enough soft-headed people that the longest economic expansion in our history was really a failure.

For a serious defense of Reaganism, see the following articles.  There's a lot of liberal BS out there, you'll need to refer to them often:

Reaganomics - William N. Niskanen
Thomas Firey - There Krugman Goes Again
Max Barron - Chief Lib Propagandist Krugman
Reagan Did What? Fantasies of Paul Krugman
Donald Luskin - That Old Hack Magic
Robert Scheer - Krugman Ignores the Real Culprits
Stefan Karlsson
Nick Gillespie - Blame Reagan!
Krugman - Enron's Nobel Advisor