Thursday, June 30, 2011

Protesting Reality

The Welfare State is in a Death Spiral, and Liberals Can't Handle the Truth
"The spectacle of government workers, cranky retirees, militant unionists, and mad dog socialists locked arm in arm protesting reality is a sight we'd better get used to."  (Bill Frezza - Our Greek Future)
As Robert Samuelson notes dryly, we are witnessing "the death spiral of the welfare state."  Greece now, with the rest of Europe and the US soon to follow.
Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven't fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.

Budget deficits and debt are the real problems; and these stem from all the welfare benefits (unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, health insurance) provided by modern governments.
Taxing the Rich at 100% Still Won't Pay for the Democratic Socialist Agenda

 The Wall Street Journal notes that Obama has set a post-WWII record for government spending.  His feral beast now consumes 25% of GDP, besting Reagan's highest spending level by three percentage points.  Here are a few salient points from the article:  

$$$ Taxing all millionaires and billionaires at 100%  "yields merely about $938 billion..."

$$$ Taxing the "top 10%, or everyone with income over $114,000 [...] throws up only $3.4 trillion."

And that's assuming these job creators will just lay down and take it as federal bandits rape them and steal their property.  Contrary to wild-eyed liberal fantasies, they won't.

Progressivism is morally, intellectually and financially bankrupt.  From Europe to the United States, there's not enough money in the world to pay for the Utopian agenda.

Further Reading:
The Library of Economics & Liberty article Reaganomics does an excellent job combating the liberal lies about President Reagan's record.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Higher Taxes or Increased Revenue: Which do You Want?

Big government statists make the common mistake of confusing taxes and revenue. They are not the same thing

Taxes are an assessment by government on your earnings. Revenue is the money flowing to the US treasury as a result of taxation. There is not a direct correlation between the two.   In fact, government data shows that often it is an inverse relationship.

Liberal Nostalgia

Poor liberals, staggering blindly around Left and Right Blogistan, suffering under the crack-brained theories of a Robert Reich or Rachel Maddow, parroting nonsensical "theories."  The latest shiny ideological bauble that has enraptured Left Blogistanis is the idea that government can restore fiscal sanity by returning to the sky high tax rates of the 1950's.

Why 70% Tax rates won’t work
...and this is what Mr. Reich and his friends always fail to mention—the individual income tax actually brought in less revenue when the highest tax rate was 70% to 91% than it did when the highest tax rate was 28%.

President John F. Kennedy's across-the-board tax cuts reduced the lowest and highest tax rates to 14% and 70% respectively after 1964, yet revenues (after excluding the 5%-10% surtaxes of 1969-70) rose to 8% of GDP. 

President Reagan's across-the-board tax cuts further reduced the lowest and highest tax rates to 11% and 50%, yet revenues rose again to 8.3% of GDP. The 1986 tax reform slashed the top tax rate to 28%, yet revenues dipped trivially to 8.1% of GDP.  (WSJ - Alan Reynolds)
So Robert Reich and his fellow travelers are peddling a cartload of statist crap.  The other factor these petty statists ignore is that in the 1950's we were the only viable post-WWII economy still standing.  We weren't just the only game in town, we were the only game in the world!  The rich had few options to hide their money from the avaricious clutches of the US government. Nowadays, the wealthy have a global smorgasbord of tax avoidance options.  They won't just sit here and take that level of taxation.

Our tax code is an incoherent mess. Half pay no income tax, the rich escape it, the working class cannot, businesses keep their money overseas to avoid US taxation, and friends of Obama like GM poobah Jeffrey HeMelts pay no taxes at all.

Caroline Baum lays out the solution quite nicely:
The solution, of course, is “the lowest rate on the broadest base with the least incentive to avoid, evade or not report taxable income,” Laffer says.

And once we find that illusive rate, let’s leave it there. Walk away. Forget about it. Tax policy, almost all experts agree, should be designed to raise revenue for necessary government programs as simply and as fairly as possible while minimizing economic inefficiency.

As things stand, tax policy is informed by special interests and implemented by lawmakers in the service of those interests. What’s good for one isn’t good for all, which is why tax uniformity should be the goal.
But no, some progressives don't care about facts and numbers, they just want to punish the rich, even if it results in less revenue flowing into the treasury, higher unemployment, and tax breaks for friends of Obama.

Picture yoinked from The Astute Bloggers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Liberal Lunacy will be the Death of Us All

Pfleger & Farrakan:  Peas in a Pod

Failed New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, a man responsible for the deaths of more blacks than the average Ku Klux Klan member, describes in his new book how he feared being taken out by a CIA poison dart attack.

He sadly and shamelessly engages in the continued propagandizing of the New Orleans tragedy, where Dick Cheney ordered the levees destroyed by Halliburton cannons because he hates black people.  Add in blackwater stormtroopers and racist cops, and we lose sight of the salient facts that could actually teach us something:

The New Orleans Police Department was dirty, and it was dirty before the disaster.  FEMA is incompetent, and our government way overmilitarizes everything, especially during such natural disasters.  Every swinging federal worker and local goomba on a payroll has to deck himself out like a Navy Seal hunting the Taliban in the wilds of Afghanistan, when what the people really need are food, clean water, shelter, transportation, and medical assistance    

We already knew the candy-brained mayor of Chocolate City was an indecisive, simpering fool, but here is what caught my eye:
At a news conference Wednesday, the mayor-turned-disaster consultant called writing the book a “therapeutic” experience. (NOLA - Nagin Paranoia)
Ray Nagin is now a disaster consultant???    What does he do, consult on how to create them?  Teach courses on how to make them worse?  Does he explain how to cower in an air conditioned hotel while your citizens are drowning or trapped in a fetid nightmare?  Does he explain how to dither instead of performing a simple evacuation?

I don't know how the media can report this stuff with a straight face.  This is sick.  Any government that hires this man should be charged with fraud, waste and abuse.

Bush Relieved:  Liberals Now Blaming Palin for Everything

If this isn't enough for you, you can go here to read about how Rahm Emanuel's Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy preaches to Chicago's God Damn America crowd.  The video is there also.  Of course, it takes place at Father Pfleger's church, the man who shows us that white demagogues can do the race hustle just a well as a Jackson or Sharpton. 

Violence is rampant in Chicago, you know, that place where Obama did all the community organizing?  So who's fault is it, according to Chicago's top cop?  Whitey, of course!  McCarthy gets the crowd going sometime after the five minute mark.
"Government sponsored racism"
Oh how they cheered for that!  The music cranks up as the people get to their feet
"Rich gun owners living in gated communities"
A chorus of amens
"Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children,"
Oh yeah!  He's got 'em going now!  Here's the grand finale:
McCarthy illustrated his point by recalling a crime scene investigation while he was a police official in Newark, New Jersey where five children were shot, two of whom were killed. McCarthy said when he got home, he turned on his television to unwind and found an episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" showing.

"She was caribou hunting and talking about the right to bear arms. Why wasn't she at the crime scene with me?"
I was waiting for him to actually accuse Sarah Palin of hunting and killing black people on GOP-sponsored inner city safaris, but the video ended. 

This is sick and disgusting and it perfectly illustrates what is wrong with our nation
It's everyone's fault but the people involved.  Can't blame the cops, can't blame the corrupt Crook County government, and you certainly can't blame the irresponsible parents who spawn the little murderers, and the last people in line for blame are the criminals themselves.  That's a broken society, from top to bottom.

We don't hold people accountable.  Not in government and not in their own personal lives.  On 9/11 over 3,000 people were killed yet nobody was fired.  Nagin kills his city and many of its citizens, yet he's now an expert with a book tour, speaking engagements, and a consultancy.  Chicago suffers under the corrupt Democratic Machine, but it's Sara Palin's fault.

We are stupid.  We are stupid for rewarding incompetence and bad behavior.  We are stupid for putting up with such bald-faced demagoguery.  Why are we going down the toilet?  Why do conspiracy suckers believe they are being oppressed?  Why do we make such poor decisions at the ballot box?  Garbage in, garbage out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gay New York

New York has approved gay marriage in that state. I don't agree with gay marriage, but they did it the right way. I believe it is a states rights issue and that it should not be decided by mullahs in black robes at the federal level.

My opposition to gay marriage is definitional 

There is no society in the history of mankind where gay marriage ever existed.  This is a post-modern theft of the word.  Advocates counter that gay couplings have been observed in the wild among apes, but simians also throw crap at each other, so I don't think that is a valid example to point to. The term marriage has always had a specific meaning, and it should not be changed. Call a gay relationship whatever you want,  protect gay rights in contract law, but don't call it marriage.

A Victory for Polygamy

Can anyone keep a straight face while telling me Muslim advocacy groups will not bring lawsuits to strike down polygamy bans? Unlike gay marriage, polygamy has a robust history. What makes marrying someone of the same sex more valid than a man marrying two or three or four women? Or a woman marrying multiple men for that matter. We've struck down a standard and now have nothing to take its place, so it's anything goes for the cultural vandals. The next ten years should be exciting.

A Dangerous Blow to Religious Liberty

The New York Legislature, God bless 'em, insisted that churches should not be coerced into doing anything against their beliefs. While I applaud the good intentions, it sets a dangerous precedent, in that the state legislature is granting by law a right to a church that the state has no right to grant.  Freedom of religion is a preexisting right recognized in the First Amendment to the constitution.

According to the Founding Fathers and The Constitution they authored, religious liberties come from God, not a politician. If a legislature can grant rights to a church, it can also take them away, and that is the Trojan Horse. The law should be struck down because it pretends to grant the God-given right of religious liberty that has already been guaranteed by the First Amendment to The US Constitution.

This is another shot over the bow of religious liberty.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

To My Atheist Friends

Correction:  Maya Angelou did not write this.  And I have updated the text to reflect the true author's words.  See Snopes for the full story.  Shame on me for not checking my facts, and thanks to Anonymous, whoever you are!

By Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble -
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek His name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved

Friday, June 24, 2011

Digging Our Way Out of a Hole

Here are some fun thoughts going into the weekend...

Greece could still tip over...
First, the bailouts are not actually making it any more likely that Greece will be able to pay its debts back. Perhaps just the opposite. The bailouts are trying to solve Greece's debt problem with debt. 

And then what? However you slice it and dice it, Greece's debt is unsustainable, and the bailout process being employed to fix the problem is equally unsustainable. (Time)
The US is in worse shape than Greece...

All that separates us from Greece is the fact that we can still print our own money.
The national debt will exceed the size of the entire U.S. economy by 2021 — and balloon to nearly 200 percent of GDP within 25 years — without dramatic cuts to federal health and retirement programs or steep tax increases, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday.

“The health care programs are the main drivers of that growth,” the CBO said, responsible for 80 percent of the projected rise in spending on those programs over the next 25 years. (WaPo)
We would have to cut $700 billion per year just to keep our debt from getting worse!
According to the CBO report, policymakers would have to come up with immediate and permanent savings of more than $700 billion a year — more than $7 trillion over the next decade — just to keep the debt at its current level of roughly 69 percent of GDP through 2035. Reducing the debt as a share of the economy would require even more dramatic changes. (WaPo)
Even Democrats are ringing the alarm bells, so you know this is serious, unlike VP Biden's paltry $2 trillion in phony cuts over 12 years or whatever the latest unserious White House proposal is.  We are out of easy answers

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Press: Making us Stupider

Our press, and the fools who hang on their every word, can be surprisingly naive 

Reporter Lara Logan had this to say in an interview after her frightful gang rape in Tahrir Square during Egypt's Arab Spring:
Before the assault, Ms. Logan said, she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced.
“I would have paid more attention to it if I had had any sense of it,” she said. “When women are harassed and subjected to this in society, they’re denied an equal place in that society. Public spaces don’t belong to them. Men control it. It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.”(NY Times)
How could a journalist not know about the ugly plight of women who suffer in silence in backward societies?  Rape is one of the most common tools to punish, to denigrate, to demean and to silence.  I wish she could have arrived at this enlightenment without having to endure an ugly crime at the hands of brutal misogynist miscreants.

Hot Arab Lesbian Chicks!

The latest edition in the catalog of journalistic ignorance involves "A Gay Girl in Damascus," who wasn't really the LGBT hero of the Levant that they thought she was.  She was really a he, a "40-year-old straight dude from Georgia living in Scotland," which is almost as interesting if you think about it.

I expected the soft-heads who believe in Arab Springs and Islamic democracies to lap it up, but even CNN was fooled.  The clues that this was a hoax were obvious to those willing to view all with a critical eye.

First, how does a woman's lesbianism even become an issue in the Middle East, where homosexuality stays deep underground because it is punished by jail and death?  If she's a lesbian fingered by the government and society, she's not going to be blogging about it from her apartment, she's going to be suffering in a dungeon or dead.

The other big clue was this excerpt from the CNN interview (feel free to laugh along with me):
Besides, "she" has never been harassed by Arabs for being gay. But in America, "she" has been "struck by strangers for being an Arab" and "had dung thrown at me" for wearing the hijab.
I haven't heard of any dung attacks lately her in America, have you?

But seriously, the level of ignorance displayed by our reporters is stunning and a detriment to the nation.  Many seem shocked to find that the world is a dangerous place.  I know it is, I've been there.  Is this willful ignorance on their part driven by reflexive political correctness?

If anyone has a more plausible explanation I'd love to hear it...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Liberal Lunacy

A Few Observations on the Loony Left...

Why do so many inhabitants of Left Blogistan sound so nutty?  Perhaps it's because “credible” jornolists on the “intellectual” left churn out absolute crap like this, and the gullible readers lap it up and barf it back out on the rest of us:

Cain wants to be taken seriously in this race. He has said some very unserious things -- his proposal to build a moat between the U.S. and Mexico and fill it with alligators comes to mind (Liberal Jornolist Jeffrey Goldberg)
Goldberg’s defense would probably be that he was being tongue in cheek, but he knows much of his slobbering readership is not into subtleties, and it is evidenced by the nutroots who fell for it and echoed this cheap lie across the blogisphere like the gaggle of cawing boobies and hooting loonies they are.

I found the statement hard to believe so I googled “Herman Cain moats alligators,” and I got a bunch of leftwing wackadoo sites seriously claiming Herman Cain had proposed a great wall of China between the US and Mexico, as well as a moat with alligators. Of course, Cain was playfully joking on Obama’s comments, but they can’t let a few facts stand in the way of the progressive long march.

Climate Change:  I love it when liberals stumble over the painful truth and don’t even notice... 

Here’s a telling line from a typically liberal NY Times piece.
“The failure of cap and trade notwithstanding, the recession itself helped cut carbon dioxide emissions in 2009 through reduced economy activity…” (NY Times)
Get that?  Cripple the economy and we can cut carbon dioxide output, nevermind that we throw millions out of work in the process. Liberals do occasionally tell the truth, if only by accident.

And finally, to balance out this liberal lunacy, some wisdom from Thomas Sowell... 

He praises the record of Tim Pawlenty, while also arguing against those who lament the lack of excitement in the GOP field. Whether you like Pawlenty or not, Dr. Sowell’s larger point is still valid:
Some fear that Governor Pawlenty doesn't have the charisma and fireworks rhetoric that they would like to see in a candidate. Charisma and rhetoric are what gave us the current disastrous administration in Washington. Charisma and rhetoric gave people in other countries even bigger disasters, up to and including Hitler. (Thomas Sowell – Is Pawlenty Plenty?)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No God, No Rights

What's behind Barack Obama, NBC, Harry Reid and a host of other progressives editing God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, and public discourse in general?

Simply put, get rid of God (or The Creator, or Divine Providence if you prefer), and you eradicate the concept of natural rights.  Erase our natural rights, and you destroy the foundation upon which rests our constitutional republic.  Progressives hate the concept of natural rights as espoused by our founding fathers, because it stands in the way of their grandiose master plan to remake society in their own twisted image.

Awhile back, a liberal blogger said a very ignorant thing:
There is no such thing as "God given rights" because if we returned to the original state of nature, or that which was "God given" we would find ourselves bound only by our own personal power, our conscience, and or by forces superior to our own.

The rights that we enjoy today are man made rights; and as such are not "natural rights" nor are they permanently fixed.
The first sentence is incoherent, and the second absurd. They cannot be defended. The first sentence is either nonsensical or it contradicts the author's thesis. It is so poorly written that a sane person cannot tell what was intended.

The second sentence is absurd. We get our rights from man? OK. So if "man" decides to enslave all bloggers then it's OK? If man grants rights, he can take them away. This explains liberals' infatuation with strongmen like Mussolini, as well as uber-liberal Tom Friedman's current love affair with the Red Chinese politburo.  It also explains how 20th century statism was able to kill over 100 million people.

The writer didn’t even cite a philosophical work to defend his unsubstantiated claim. I know why. No credible thinker could defend this. Even if there were someone loony enough to try to defend such a preposterous supposition, it would be written in incomprehensible Cornell West psychobabble.

American liberalism is a hopeless, self-contradictory tangle, an intellectual cul-de-sac.  In contrast, our Natural Rights, as enunciated by our founding fathers, are axiomatic:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Declaration of Independence)
Yes, we have a social contract called the US Constitution, but our rights do not emanate from that document.  They are natural rights that preexist and supersede man-made institutions. 

Natural Law -- Our Foundation

Natural Law is a philosophy, a theory.  As such, it is open to debate and question, as is Christianity and global warming.  Natural Law is the philosophical foundation of our constitutional republic, and today it stands in stark contrast to the central economic planning and social tinkering of progressives.

Jonathan  Dolhenty explains:
What do we mean by "natural law"? In its simplest definition, natural law is that "unwritten law" that is more or less the same for everyone everywhere. 

To be more exact, natural law is the concept of a body of moral principles that is common to all humankind and, as generally posited, is recognizable by human reason alone. Natural law is therefore distinguished from -- and provides a standard for -- positive law, the formal legal enactments of a particular society.

To sum it up, then, we can say that the natural law:
  • is not made by human beings;
  • is based on the structure of reality itself;
  • is the same for all human beings and at all times;
  • is an unchanging rule or pattern which is there for human beings to discover;
  • is the naturally knowable moral law
  • is a means by which human beings can rationally guide themselves to their good.  
(Source:  Radical Academy)
Banish God, and you destroy the concept of Natural Rights.  Without natural rights, the US Constitution is a worthless piece of paper.  This opens the gates for progressive hordes to storm the citadel of individual liberty, and that is the goal of those statists who are offended by free people exercising their God-given individual rights to shoot guns, drive gas guzzlers and live however they damn well please. 

Such a free society is deeply offensive to the social engineers afflicted by Hayek's fatal conceit.

Further Reading:
Locke's Second Treatise Of Civil Government
The Principles of Natural and Politic Law

Monday, June 20, 2011

MSR Tampa: The Road Home

Navistar - Fletch, Seth and Me

Getting out of Iraq may be more challenging than getting in
American commanders say one of the gravest threats to the 46,000 troops here is that they could become easy targets for insurgents when they begin their final withdrawal this summer and head for the border along a 160-mile stretch of road cutting through the desert into Kuwait. (NY Times)

For the last of the OIF Mohicans, MSR Tampa is the Road Home

I’ve driven up and down MSR Tampa a few times.  It is the main supply route that runs from our bases in Kuwait up through Baghdad and on to points north.  You drive from Ali Al Salim up to Navistar where you wait for your convoy to get assembled.  Once the convoy is all formed up, you cross the Iraqi border and head north.

Drive through Safwan, past shabby dwellings so close to the road you could reach out and touch the scowling faces as you drive by.  Pass by Basra and on up to Ali Base, the Ziggurats and Ur.  A few more hours and you're in Baghdad.

It was a dangerous road when I drove it various times back in 2005.  Much of my job was doing comm projects to improve security.  Units in trouble often could not make radio contact for backup or a dustoff, which is a very scary situation.  Just Google MSR Tampa and you'll read the stories and see the pictures and video memories of our troops who have fought and lost buddies on that road.

Fortunately for me, I have no harrowing tales to tell, and I was surprised at the discipline of the gunners.  We were all armed, but most of us are drivers or passengers helping the driver spot trouble and navigate.  The convoys had security people whose only job was to look out for trouble.  My first trip, south of Ali, an old Chevy Impala came screaming out of the barren fields and noisily bounced onto the convoy route.  I thought for sure he was a bomber, but no, he was just another crazy Iraqi driver, clueless to how lucky he was we have disciplined soldiers.

On another trip, we got the usual cars getting too close, despite signs in Arabic telling them to stay back.  All of a sudden, an impatient little Toyota crosses the hardscrabble median between the divided highway and goes screaming the wrong way in the opposite lane just to pass us.  Meanwhile, oncoming cars heading in the right direction are parting like the Red Sea to let him through.  I guess this was routine for them.

Anyway, I pray we can get our guys out of there safely, and I also pray the Iraqis have learned something and that they can make a go of what we fought to give them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

My dad taught me how to be a man. Not with words, but by going to work every day and being faithful to my mom. He taught me how to man up when adversity calls, as it surely does in each of our lives. He taught me that talk is cheap but character is invaluable, and family is worth more than all the treasure in the world.

Below are a few of my favorite lines concerning dads.

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
--Mark Twain

Any fool can father a child. It takes a real man to be a dad.
-- Philip Whitmore Sr

Only a Dad, by Edgar Guest
Only a dad but he gives it his all,
To smooth the way for his children small
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him
This is the line that for him I pen
Only a dad, but the best of men

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Liberal Loudmouth Falls Silent

Anthony Weiner finally did the right thing yesterday and resigned amid a hail of heckles and catcalls.  His demeanor was inappropriate, more like a heroic Lou Gehrig bidding goodbye to his fans instead of a shamed pervert slinking off the national stage. 

Regardless, he took full responsibility for his actions and gave a public apology to the nation. I wish him well on his road to recovery.  I take no joy in the humiliating downfall of others, not even grandstanding liberal slanderers.  We're all human, and there but for the grace of God go I.

I will continue to heap scorn upon the dimbulbs in his district who were prepared to vote for him again.  They are what's wrong with this country.  Our standards have sagged to an unacceptable low, and then we wonder why this country is so screwed up.  Private behavior should stay private.  Pestering people with naked pictures of yourself disqualifies you for a position of trust and authority.  Period.  I congratulate Mr. Weiner for finally reaching that conclusion.

His God and his wife are the ones who really need the apology.  The latter is the harder one.  Guys, can you imagine being in his place right now?  His wife was away on business when his scandalous twitterations spilled out into the open.  The reunion had to be edgy, and it's a safe bet it didn't include a romantic dinner followed by an eager conjugal embrace.

Worse, his wife was with Hillary Clinton when the news broke.  Hillary Clinton!  The mother of all scandalized spouses.  You know Hillary had to be going through some serious philandering flashbacks as she schooled Huma on just how to handle it.  I shudder as I speculate on the stone cold advice that woman doled out to her beautiful young protege.

I bet former congressman Chris Lee is kicking himself.  He resigned over nothing more than a shirtless photo on Craig's list...

Have a happy Fathers Day weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Angry Islam Incompatible with European Liberalism

Europeans are increasingly unwilling to tolerate Muslim intolerance

The liberal media in this country are wringing their hands over increasing European intolerance. They worry that anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise even in Sweden...

"...home of the Nobel Prize and known as the "conscience of the world" for aiding refugees and pioneering laws for women's equality and gay rights. Yet even here, the Swedish Democrats made it into the Rikstag by tapping into a surge of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment sweeping across many nations in Western Europe, propelling right-wing and nationalist parties to their biggest gains in years." (WaPo)
Are our ink-stained scribblers and enlightened cognoscenti really too dumb to realize that Islam is the greatest threat to Europe's famed and admirable liberalism? Muslims are not known for championing women's equality and gay rights.

A Swede put it simply:

"The Swedish are tired of walking around in their own neighborhoods and feeling like they're in Saudi Arabia," said Ekeroth, an intense 30-year-old and founder of the new Anti-Islamic Fund, which promotes criticism of radical Islam. "It is time for the Swedish to be comfortable again in their own country."
Angry Muslim replaces Ugly American as #1 Threat to Europe

There is disorder in the European house. Europeans were living comfortably and peaceably in the home they had built, settling upon a live-and-let-live liberalism that has kept the peace for 65 years.  Ugly Americans demanding everybody speak English used to be the main disturber of Europe's peaceful repose.

Now, denizens of the Olde Continent are shocked and horrified to see that many Muslims they generously invited in have become a pack of wild animals let loose in the house. The beasts have found high perches upon couch backs and china cabinets and bare their fangs at the customs of their hosts.  

Because of these newcomers, Europeans must change their behavior?

How is that right? A people have a right to their culture, and nobody has the right to forcibly change it from the outside. This is especially so when the culture is beneficial to mankind, not a threat to others, and has been decided upon by the people. Europe's culture meets all three criteria.

"It isn't racist to want to preserve your culture," said Leif Johansson, a 64-year-old carpenter. "I'm open to immigration, but these people come without a thought to integration, no interest in learning Swedish or being part of Swedish society."
Precisely. No nation should be compelled to commit national suicide. But what else could the agenda be of a people who move in and angrily demand conformance to their strange and violent politico-religious freak show?

Europe may finally be fed up. I pray they are, and I pray we learn a lesson here before it's too late.

* - This is a repost.  It expands upon my thoughts from yesterday's post

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Camp of the Saints: Europe's Nighmare Becoming Reality

Europe, already besotted with immigrants, is straining under the latest siege: 
The present crisis started when refugees began fleeing Tunisia by boat in the wake of January’s revolution. Italy was a natural destination: its island of Lampedusa lies south of Tunis and just 70 miles off the African coast. These refugees were joined by others from Libya, and by late May almost 40,000 had arrived. (NY Times - Immigration in the EU)
EU nations are talking of reestablishing border controls because they don't know what to do about their immigrant problem.  I guess, "stop letting them in," is too unsophisticated for the European mind.
The issue has been simmering for years, but unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and fears of a new wave of migrants have brought it to a boil. Of course, closing off Europe to newcomers violates the cosmopolitan vision on which the European Union was built... (NY Times - Immigration in the EU)
The problem is that the immigrants storming Europe's borders are not cosmopolitan.  

A liberal democracy will not survive being swamped by people bringing ancient hatreds and intolerant ideologies with them.  Especially when these immigrants are well-versed in agitprop jujitsu, using a state's liberties against itself to stifle free speech and criticism and to enshrine special status for themselves and their abhorrent cultural practices.

All of this is eerily reminiscent of a gripping novel French author Jean Raspail wrote back in the early 1970's.  Entitled Camp of the Saints, it remains controversial to this day.  He describes a sagging third-world flotilla bringing millions of benighted poor to the shores of Europe, and the liberal powers that talked a good game about the brotherhood of man don't know what to do.  They cannot appear as hypocrites, so they dither and talk, acquiescing by inaction to the invasion.

Raspail has been branded a hateful racist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and was unsuccessfully sued in Europe for writing an anti-immigrant article in Le Figaro.  It is unfortunate that the multiculturalists have succeeded in equating defending your culture with racism.  Like most progressive ideas, the very notion of multiculturalism goes against human nature.  For better or worse, we are tribal: 
That scorn of a people for other races, the knowledge that one’s own is best, the triumphant joy at feeling oneself to be part of humanity’s finest—none of that had ever filled these youngsters’ addled brains, or at least so little that the monstrous cancer implanted in the Western conscience had quashed it in no time at all.  (Raspail - Camp of the Saints)
Loving your culture and wanting to preserve it against newcomers who would turn it all upside down is not hateful

Especially the way Raspail expresses it.  Yes, he employs dark-skinned people as the protagonists, but his pointed and sustained scorn is aimed at squishy western elites, not immigrants.  Indeed, he understands why they are sailing to Europe and he is sympathetic.

The novel is dark.  While employing unflattering terms for the immigrants and the elites who pretend to care for them, the author displays a marked Christian sympathy for the poor of the world.  It is a complex novel, but his simple message seems to be that we can and should help them, but not by inviting them all here.

Jean Raspail speaks of eternal realities...
Man never has really loved humanity all of a piece—all its races, its peoples, its religions—but only those creatures he feels are his kin, a part of his clan, no matter how vast. As far as the rest are concerned, he forces himself, and lets the world force him. And then, when he does, when the damage is done, he himself falls apart. (Raspail - Camp of the Saints)
Western Christendom is falling apart.  We are ashamed of our culture and our elites caution us to tone down the flag waving and displays of cultural pride.  Meanwhile, those who immigrate but refuse to assimilate despise us for our weakness.

Related:  Western Hero - Angry Islam Incompatible with European Liberalism
NY Times - Immigration in the EU
Islam vs Europe

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Genie is Out of the Bottle

A nobody crawls out of the political sewers of Chicago and becomes president, and now every swinging tweeter and snapping social networker thinks he or she can be president, too.

The Donald, perhaps stung by the gales of conservative laughter that accompanied his announcement and then his bowing out, now threatens to reenter the race, as does The Huckster.

I'm sure Michelle Bachman was an excellent tax attorney, and Sarah Palin has some fine qualities, but prior to Obamamania, no one would even be having a serious discussion about such inexperienced candidates.  I will concede up front that experienced DC Don Newt Gingrich is the flip side of the coin that damages my case against inexperience.

My fellow citizens, we've lost control.  Christopher Hitchens once observed that "Politics is just show business for ugly people."  Well, the beautiful people and the glitterati have moved in, turning politics into a Hollywood freakshow.

Remember back when you had to be a general, or a former vice president in order to run?  Arguably, Harry Truman was the least qualified president before the utterly unqualified Barack Obama.  But Truman, despite being vice president for only four months, had an impressive background:  Senator for 10 years, business owner, and a WW I artillery captain in France.

... But even worse than this, is the talk on the right of a third party
A third party splits the opposition for the democrats, allowing them to go even harder left. A third party guarantees leftwing democratic domination of America.  The conservative-liberal self-identification is around 40% conservative, 20% liberal.  40% identify themselves as moderates, and that's where elections are fought in this country.  Not by pandering to the middle, but by winning them over to your side by making your ideas attractive to them and by not doing crazy things.  

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

I agree we need to fight harder, but Boehner is already punching above his weight. The GOP does not control the white house or the senate. They’re doing what they can with what they’ve got. To reverse the progressive toxic tide, the GOP must win the senate and white house in 2012.  That won’t happen if conservatives stupidly split into two competing parties.

Third-world dictators running sham democracies do this to their opposition to keep them weak.  Shamed and rejected 1980's Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega won back the Nicaraguan presidency in 2007 with 38% of the vote because the conservatives who controlled government ended up splitting and running two candidates.

Also, Palin is starting to resemble Gingrich in that she talks a great game, but talk is cheap.  She denigrates the GOP efforts, but what has she done? It’s easy to talk when you’re not in the arena every day doing political battle with Harry Reid, Obama and House democrats. Instead of going on friendly talk shows and hitting softballs out of the park, she should have run for election to the house or senate to show us how it’s done.

I was going to title this blog post, "The Road to Hell," but that implies those talking up a third party have good intentions.  They don't.  Grownup politicians need to stop whining about the "GOP establishment" and go do something about it.  Stage an insurrection, take over the RNC, whatever.  Just stop crying on our shoulders.  Starting a third party is running away with tears in your eyes because the bullies ran you out of the clubhouse.

Is Palin a Mama Grizzly?  Is Jim DeMint the conservative alpha male?  Then they should storm GOP headquarters, putting it to the torch and displaying the defeated country clubbers' heads on pike poles out in front of the ruins.  

We're at the point where we have to ask, is this about winning or is it about self-aggrandizement?  Politics is about using power to advance an agenda.  Your agenda is dead without power.  You gain power by winning elections, and you don't win elections by dividing your ideological base.   

The Hill - Growing Support for Third Party 
Gallup - Liberal, Conservative, Moderate 
Political Potluck

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Press-Performed Palinoscopy

Drudge had this headline up:

Press Hunts Mama Grizzly

It's a funny headline.  Can you imagine anyone in our gun-hating press actually engaging in the redneck pursuit of hunting?  All those pampered effete metrosexuals in the press know how to hunt is bargains at Sachs Fifth Avenue.  Also, they need to be careful.  As anyone who's hunted bears in Alaska can tell you, the bears can end up hunting you.

Newspapers all over the world have posted the trove of Governor Palin e-mails on-line, inviting Palin haters to comb them for damning information.  Now that they've become bored with Democrats playing with their Wieners, it's on to the next sideshow, this one a creation of the media.

It's all pretty ho-hum so far, but give it time.  We'll hear about how Sara was so concerned about her image, as if there is a politician in America who is not.  They will knock her because she relied on her husband (who hunts, fishes and works in Alaska's wild outdoors) for advice on wildlife management, forgetting how they loved it when an unqualified Hillary was right there with President Bill, crafting policy.

Our economy is groaning under a crushing load of debt, regulation and crony crapitalism, but our media focuses on Governor Palin's e-mails.  The press is making us stupider.

For a hilarious take on it all, visit The People's Cube

Sunday, June 12, 2011

About Life

"...when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."  (The Risen Lord speaking to Peter.  John 21:19)

I apologize in advance for the nature of this post.  Our neighbor next door, only a few years older than us, has been fighting cancer these past few years, and we thought he had it licked.  He's a vibrant man, loves to hike and snowshoe, he's anything but a victim.  My wife and I prayed with him and his wife when he was diagnosed, and we prayed again in thanksgiving when the last of his cancer was pronounced gone late last year.

Anyway, now an MRI has revealed lesions on his brain and he's going in for surgery this Wednesday.  Mrs Silverfiddle is off to her mama's house with the kids and I had to call and give her the news.  I hated to spoil her vacation, but our neighbor needs her prayers, and those of her mom, who is the most saintly woman I have ever met.

I thought I would be OK as I was dialing the phone, but I broke down as I was telling her the news.   Isn't it weird like that?  I was fine in my solitude, even as I went to Saturday mass and said extra prayers, but as soon as I tried to speak it out loud to my wife over the phone, I cracked up.

Maybe it was more for my wife.  She's the neighborhood do-gooder, taking care of everybody.  She's a big believer in prayer and in herbal medicine and having good health through eating good foods, no msgs or trans fats!  She is personally offended by sickness, and has helped friends and family battle it by eating right.  I've tried to tell her that sometimes when your number is called it's just time to go, but she won't listen.

Life happens.  People like AOW, who are taking care of loved ones, know it all too well.   I call AOW heroic, but she would probably shrug it off.  She loves Mr. AOW and she's determined to put him on the road to recovery.  All I can do is stare into an unknown future and know that my charmed life will come to an end eventually.  Maybe quick, maybe slow and painful, but one day sooner or later I will meet my end

A few days before the wife and kids left, she and I watched the movie About Schmidt, hoping for a good laugh.  Mrs Silverfiddle and I loved Jack Nicholson in Anger Management, thought he was outstanding in As Good as it Gets, and he was at his devilish best in Witches of Eastwick.

Anyway, About Schimidt wasn't a funny movie.  It was a very sobering movie, a movie that made me think about the rest of my life.  Like Schmidt, it would be just my luck that my wife dies before me, and I could see myself struggling to come to grips just as he did in the movie.  It was painful to watch, but it was real.

I watched Papa Silverfiddle struggling to convince granny that it was time to sell the house and move into an old folks home.  She's stubborn, and Dad loves her very much.  After a lot of wrangling she is in her own little apartment where they keep her meds straight, do her laundry, and have a cafeteria and activities.  Best of all, she's very happy and tells everyone how glad she is she decided to sell the old place and convince her son to move her to that wonderful apartment.

It was not an easy transition, and if she takes a turn for the worse, the next one will be more difficult.  We all face it eventually.

In the movie, which has some kitschy late 80's Denver scenes, complete with Katherine Bates and Martin Mull as aging hippies, we realize that Schmidt has never really connected with anyone.  Not his wife, his daughter, or his friends.  The way he finally makes contact with humanity is amusing and quite poignant.

I have a dead Facebook friend, and Facebook keeps urging me to tell him about some new messaging app.  He died slowly of cancer, but he died with dignity and respect, with his wife and kids, brothers and sisters all there with him the whole way.  He lived a full life as a teacher and writer, father and husband.  He loved and he was loved by others.  What more can one expect from life?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Herman Cain for President

OK, I'm not officially endorsing Mr. Cain.  It's too early and the primaries haven't even started yet.  I just needed a good headline.  I do consider him a serious candidate and he is the one that I will measure others against.

Reaganite Republican, in the throes of supporting Donald Trump, chided me for mentioning Herman Cain.  I responded that Politics as Team Sports is what got us into this mess.  Hero worshipers hoot and catcall when their hero is up and somebody else's is down.  We're in serious trouble, and we need a serious president.

Herman Cain is a serious man, but I wanted to investigate further.  Anytime someone comes out of the blue and sounds really good, you just know there's something cringe-worthy or worse in their background.  It's all going great and then the candidate casually mentions how the government is spying on you through your toaster, or something kooky like that.  So I've done some investigating, and I have yet to find anything damning. I also watch the YouTube videos. It's easy for people to start pandering to their crowd and end up doing or saying something irresponsible. Herman Cain has not indulged in any of that.

I'm not a big YouTube pusher, but I invite you to watch this, or any Herman Cain video and judge for yourself. He says the right things, not because someone coached him, but because he has life experiences that are relevant to the office of president.

It's about a half-hour long, so you may want to let it load up and just skip through it. 

Facts about Herman Cain:
- Still married to his first wife, the love of his life
- Bachelors degree in mathematics
- 6 years as a mathematician for the Department of the Navy
- Masters degree in Computer Science
- Executive, Coca-cola
- Executive, and eventually a Vice President of Pillsbury
- Took a "step down" to run a failing Burger King region, turning it into a top performer
- CEO, Godfathers Pizza
- Chairman, National Restaurant Association
- Board member and later chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

This is a man who understands America and our founding principles.  He knows how business works, how money works and he has a deep understanding of economic issues.  His only blind spot is foreign policy, but his background suggests he knows how to hire the right people and make good decisions.

Two factors give me pause:  He supported TARP, and he was a FED governor.  He's said he supported TARP at the beginning, but they abused it, and his FED role actually means he probably has a better understanding than the average bear of money and finance. I want to know more about where he stands on auditing the FED and if that organization's role should be dialed back or even eliminated.

Nobody's perfect.  On balance, Herman Cain is in my top tier.   

Herman Cain's Website
Herman Cain Defends Bank Bailouts
Herman Cain Supported Tarp

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Operation Enduring Quagmire

It disturbs me to hear people speaking about 21st century conflicts using 20th or even 19th century terminology.  It is especially jarring when the person is foreign policy godfather Henry Kissinger.

I think his plan for getting out of Afghanistan is perfect...  For ending the trench warfare stalemate of World War I...
For negotiation to turn into a viable exit strategy, four conditions must be met: a cease-fire; withdrawal of all or most American and allied forces; the creation of a coalition government or division of territories among the contending parties (or both); and an enforcement mechanism. (Kissinger – WaPo)
A cease fire? Among who? This isn’t the Franco-Prussian war, with identifiable states and armies. Afghanistan is a motley clash of Taliban, Al Qaeda and drug gangs, with the Pakistani ISI and Iranian operatives thrown in for good measure.  Add to that a supporting cast of unemployed locals who can’t even be classified as terrorists or belligerents. They just live there and don’t like strangers in their neighborhood, so they play jihadi rock and roll for the highest bidder with guns and bombs.

Withdrawal. OK. I get that. An exit strategy is pretty much dead if you don’t exit.

Creation of a Coalition Government? Didn't we do that already?  Klepto king Karzai has stolen billions, and his policemen we've trained have developed a nasty twitch which results in them killing their US and NATO "allies."  Does Henry Kissinger read the newspaper?

Division of Territories? That’s problematic, as Kissenger later admits. Leading us to…
Enforcement. Kissenger says this requires “a residual American force, some international guarantee or presence, or — best — a combination of both.”
Let’s see… We couldn’t impose order with a big presence, so we’re going to leave only a small residual presence in order to enforce an agreement among anarchic, violent drug and terrorist gangs who hate outsiders. Yeah, that'll work.

Kissenger rightly predicts chaos upon withdrawal, but his solution of international conferences and agreements with people who won’t honor them is no solution at all.
“Such an outcome would threaten the security of Afghanistan’s neighbors more than America’s.”
He identifies the immediate neighbors, Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan as the ones most negatively affected by this all tipping over after we leave.  He's right, so they will end up dealing with it.  No sense in us getting involved.  China having to resort to communist butchery in order to continue extracting Afghanistan's mineral wealth troubles me not at all.  Our only residual role should be to offer noncombatant assistance to India when the inevitable chaos breaks out in Kashmir.

Henry Kissinger is a brilliant man, so I realize I’m just a little kid trying to kick him in the shins.  His insight is valuable and never to be ignored, but we need to remember he is working for China now, and that will obviously bias his opinions.

My plan for getting out?
Get out!  Turn everything over to Rashid Dostum and our nominal allies in the north so they can cover us as we kiss that hellhole goodbye.  Leave north through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and tell Pakistan to kiss our ass, we're taking that $3 billion per year in aid with us.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is Sexting Cheating?

Hell yes it is!

Congressman WeenerTweeter is a despicable scumbag.  Not for his sexual deviancy, but for the betrayal of his wife's trust, and for using his fame to get his rocks off.

Also of note, the fall of this liberal loudmouth shows that if you scratch the surface of a bully and push him to the wall, there is a simpering coward underneath.

I heard someone observe that this is the first politician who got in trouble for having a love affair with himself spill out into the open, which is true.  If you're having sex with a computer, you're infatuated with yourself.  Everyone else is just a prop or an audience.
I am not writing this to pile on or celebrate the astonishingly rapid descent of yet another overinflated DC ego.

I am pushing back against the notion that sexting is not cheating.  It is.  It is a breach of trust.  When you take those vows, you swear to forsake all others and put your spouse first in your life, ahead of even the flesh and blood that spawned and raised you.  Sharing intimacies with others is a fundamental violation of those vows.

Weiner blew it, and he did it publicly, striking another blow against traditional morality.  He's a disgusting pig and he needs to get off the public stage and move on to a cable TV show like Client #9 and other unrepentant moral reprobates.

I heard someone on the radio chalk this up to fame, easy access, high testosterone, and the overabundance of hubris that almost always accompanies a national politician.  I get it, but we're not animals who's reactions are determined by instinct.  Between stimulus and response is a thinking, reasoning brain.  People who brazenly act like instinct-drive baboons do not belong in pubic office.

Anthony Weiner has polluted the public square, and his refusal to retreat from it just reinforces how shameless and arrogant he really is.  When news of a certain person comes on the radio or TV and you have to change the station to protect the innocence of your children, that's a sure sign that said person no longer belongs in our government.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smear and Hyperbole are all the Dems have Left

Voter suppression!
“the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”

People who are too irresponsible to get proper identification, and people who are ineligible for it, vote overwhelmingly democrat.

 “A survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law found that 11 percent of citizens, 21 million people, do not have a current photo ID. That fraction increases to 15 percent of low-income voting-age citizens, 18 percent of young eligible voters and 25 percent of black eligible voters.” (NY Times – Republican Threat to Voting)
How in the hell do these people go about their daily lives?  
You can’t even rent a movie at blockbuster without a valid form of ID.  You certainly can’t get a legitimate job without it.  When I got my first civilian job after honorable service in the US military, I had to show up with a valid US passport to prove I was eligible to work in the United States.

That's Racist!
Can you believe it?  GOP state governments are so racist that they are passing laws requiring voters to actually present ID at the polls in order to vote!  What is this country coming to?  And to get this ID, they are required to present a birth certificate or naturalization paperwork proving they are an American citizen!  Imagine that!
“The Wisconsin bill refuses to recognize college photo ID cards, even if they are issued by a state university”
Oh no!  Diplomas are also issued by state universities, and we know how little the vast majority of those are worth.

The Democrat propagandists at the New York Times go on to breathlessly inform us…
“The Texas bill, so vital that Gov. Rick Perry declared it emergency legislation, would also reject student IDs, but would allow anyone with a handgun license to vote.”
Anyone with a brain can see the logic behind this.  Universities do not require source documentation such as a birth certificate or passport to issue their cheap little ID.  A Texas “handgun license” owner has had to prove residency and citizenship.  BTW, any non-felon can possess a weapon in Texas.  The license is for concealed carry, lest a reader think Texas has turned yellow belly sapsucker liberal while we weren’t looking.

My Plan to Prevent Voter Fraud

* Purge the voter rolls every two years

* To vote in a state you must possess a state drivers license or state ID card.  You can only get one of those if you present proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate) and proof of state residency.

* No sidewalk registration by acorn thugs or voter advocacy groups.  If you want to register to vote you must present yourself to the county office every two years with your state-issued ID or drivers license in hand.

* No voting by mail except for military and US government employees stationed overseas

* You must present a valid state issued ID or drivers license at the polling place.  If something doesn’t match, you don’t vote

Electronic voting needs a complete overhaul, but that's a whole topic of its own.

Related article:  The Hill - 5000 Illegal Voters in Colorado

*- Yes, this is a repost.  I posted it the day Google Blooger crashed a few weeks back and I just found it in my list of draft posts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

If the Government Doesn't Stop Helping, Our Economy Will Never Improve

In Washington, success is measured by how much money is wasted

Liberals loudly trumpet the success of the Cash for Clunkers program, pointing to the three-billion-dollar handout as a successful government program.  In a nation where people are still falling for the Nigerian bank e-mail scam and prostituting their moronic lives to The Jerry Springer Show for a night in a luxury hotel, getting them to take free money is not much of an accomplishment.

Success!  Government got people to take free money!

What our governmental Department of Unintended Consequences ended up doing was destroying hundreds of thousands of serviceable cars, driving up the average price of a used car 10-30%.  Productive human beings create wealth.  Government destroys it.  Literally. 

Now Obama and his hallelujah chorus in the press are telling us how he saved the US Auto industry.  Actually, he saved Chrysler and GM from going through the painful restructuring needed to compete in the 21st century, but who cares?  And as usual, his math is off by billions.

GM still owes We The Taxpayer $24 billion, when special tax breaks are factored in, and Chrysler is in hock to us for about $5 billion.

God save us from more democrat "successes"

Worse than the loss to taxpayers was the "le etat cest moi" way Obama did it.  Not by the rule of law via bankruptcy court, but by kingly fiat:
As an exercise in what Zywicki calls  "state capitalism," the bailout was a procedural horror show. It was probably illegal to funnel TARP funds into the companies; they may not have been car companies worthy of the name any longer, but they certainly weren't "financial institutions." 

Chrysler's creditors, who held secured bonds and were guaranteed repayment first, got forced into taking 29 cents on the dollar. In contrast, the United Auto Workers' pension plan got 40 cents on the dollar. The creditors of both Chrysler and GM were denied their usual right to have a say in the reorganizations. (Rich Lowry)

Even more outrageous, Chrysler was a privately-held company, but the owners refused to put more of their own money in to save the company.  Would you invest in such a company?  Add in interest-free loans, and the government strong-arming investors into taking a 70% haircut, and you see just how close to Zimbabwe we really are.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Beauty is all around us, all you have to do is look for it

I see beauty every Sunday in church.  A family of middle aged siblings and their spouses lovingly help their aged and frail parents get seated, and then help then down the aisle and back for communion.  They've got a system of getting the wheel chair for mom and bringing it around, helping dad with his cane, but not too much, and getting the chair folded up and everybody back seated in their pews.  

There's beauty in children singing and playing, unencumbered by the cares of the day, happy in their own fantasy worlds that one will be lost to them forever...

I know many of us struggle to see that beauty, in ourselves, in others, in our country.  Unending wars, crushing debt, shouting and anger...  We're broke.  Financially, but not yet spiritually, but we are close.

Our salvation won't come from DC republicans or democrats.  It will have to come from us.  From our families and our communities. 

Fuzzy Slippers posted a video yesterday that made me cry, and I wasn't even drunk at the time.  The people of Grand Rapids Michigan produced a video of them and their city to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie.  It is an awesome display of civic pride and it's a beautiful slice of America.  Optimistic, happy, but humble.

These are people who cannot be broken.  This is America

America is being crushed by the nationalization of everything and the inevitable partisan clashes that go with it. National politics now poisons every corner of our lives.  It is embittering us and pitting us against one another.

Local efforts used to take on their own local flavor, most often non-partisan, or at least without the screaming ideological anger we see now.  In that video are democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, moderates, people of various religions and beliefs, human beings. 

We lost our innocence on 9/11.  We became hard and angry, and we turned it on our enemies in righteous vengeance.  But we also turned it on ourselves, and we ceded too much to an overweening federal government, forgetting how to do for ourselves and our neighbors.

We've lost it, but we can get it back.

* - Big H/T to Fuzzy Slippers I apologize for stealing your idea, Fuzzy, but this really struck a chord with me

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Righteous Rant From Down Under

Aussie conservative MK has posted a flaming attack on the enviro-globalists and you must read it.  Go to Down Under on the Right Side for the rant of the year

And calling it a rant doesn't do it justice, for it is a cogent lambasting of environmental fascism.  MK takes the raw materials of vulgarity and righteous anger and turns them into a beautiful, flaming work of art!

Here are a few smokin' samples:
Heck, one of these warmists even admitted that whatever we do, including tossing this computer into the sea and going back to scratching around in the dirt outside a hut won’t do shit to the global temperature for a 1000 years. Yet they insist we must do the equivalent of shooting ourselves and our children in the ass.

The time for rational discourse is over, these fascist assholes have made it crystal clear that they don’t give a rats ass what we think. They’re determined to shove their @#$%ing tax down our throats one way or another. (Down Under on the Right Side)
Please go read this blog from down under.  MK is a master at lampooning the outrages of the left.  He is the sweet and sour pork of Right Blogistan:  He'll have you rolling on the floor laughing even as you are outraged at the latest lefty power grab.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ron Paul for President

OK, I’m not endorsing anyone yet, it's too early!

Ron Paul has consistently stood for small government, personal liberty, free markets and a sound dollar.  He also has the quaint habit of using the US Constitution as his guide.  If we had been following Dr. Paul's prescription for government, we would not be in the horrible mess we now find ourselves.

Ron Paul is the only candidate whose positions have not changed over the years, and his personal integrity is beyond reproach.  He's a pro-life, pro-family values Christian who does not exploit his faith for political gain.  He lives it!

Wes Messamore at The Humble Libertarian has made an excellent Ron Paul video.  It's only one minute long.  Please watch it.

Limited government, strong dollar, personal liberty...  Ron Paul was TEA Party 30 years before everyone else...
In 1976, he was one of only four Republican congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president. (

In 1984, he voluntarily relinquished his House seat and returned to his medical practice. Dr. Paul returned to Congress in 1997 to represent the 14th congressional district of Texas. (
Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record  (Taken verbatim from
  • He has never voted to raise taxes.
  • He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
  • He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
  • He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
  • He has never taken a government-paid junket.
  • He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
  • He voted against the Patriot Act.
  • He voted against regulating the Internet.
  • He voted against the Iraq war.
  • He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
  • He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
Just Say No to Global Community Organizing

Ron Paul is not anti-military and his foreign policy ideas are not dangerous; they echo the ideas of the founders.  He is for a strong defense and secure borders. We are blowing too much money overseas and getting nothing but hatred in return.  He believes in a strong military for National Defense, not global community organizing.

Please go to Ron Paul - National Defense, and read what he believes.  There are two YouTube videos as well.   You won't agree with everything he says, but you will find his views logically coherent and far from the danger his political foes claim they are.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good as Gold

Monetary policy and the gold standard can be confusing topics, but we must understand them if we are going to put a stop to government's wealth destroying shenanigans 

I've dipped my toes into Austrian School economics and f oundthe water a pleasant intellectual temperature but very, very deep.  I've read Ron Paul, I've read Murray Rothbard, and I still have at best a only very fundamental understanding of money and banking.

Why the Opposition to the Gold Standard?

Government meddling has destroyed the value of our currency, which in turn robs us of our savings and destroys our buying power.  Nathan Lewis has a gift for breaking down complex issues like the gold standard.  First, he explains why money manipulation is attractive to the mercantilists (those who oppose a gold standard or fixed currency.)
Mercantilists don't see currency instability and monetary fiddling as problems; they see them as solutions. A gold standard system prevents them from implementing this apparent solution, which is why they sometimes refer to the "golden fetters" that used to hold them back.
A standard pro-Federal Reserve argument says that the Fed expands and contracts the money supply to keep the economy on an even keel.  We know how well that has worked over the past 100 years.  Lewis explains the flaw in this argument:
In the short term, a currency devaluation, or an easy-money policy, can create what appears to be an improvement in economic conditions. We saw this with QE1 in March 2009 and QE2 in late 2010. In the longer term, however, this sort of strategy tends to cause stagnation and economic decline. The notion that a country can become wealthy just by fiddling with its currency is patently ridiculous. The most successful countries worldwide have always been those with the most stable currencies.
Such manipulations provide the illusion of wealth, but that's all it is, an illusion.  My house is worth more now than it was 10 years ago, but the dollars that it is priced in are worth so much less, it's probably a wash.  Again, Lewis explains how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is valued higher now than in 2000.  However...
The Dow Jones industrial average was worth about 43 ounces of gold at its peak in 2000. Today, it is worth about 8.5 ounces, a decline of about 80%!
So, like my house or the DJIA, it all looks good on paper, but it's just paper!  You can add zeros on to the price of something, but it will not increase or create real wealth.
A similar story could be told by per-capita GDP, in nominal and gold terms. Today, after 40 years of floating currencies--since 1971--U.S. per-capita GDP, as measured in ounces of gold, is back to levels first seen in the early 1950s. Forty years of easy-money currency fiddling has caused stagnation and decline, just as the Classical economists said it would.
This explains why when government economists point to statistics to say how much better off we are, we really don't feel any better off.  It's all accounting tricks done with currency manipulation.  We went off the gold standard in stages, with Nixon dealing the final blow:
The floating currency system appeared in 1971 for this exact reason. Richard Nixon wanted to boost the economy with easy-money before the 1972 election. Did it work? Officially, GDP rose 5.3% in 1972. Nixon was re-elected. This kicked off a decade of inflation and economic decline.
The Reagan recovery was real because it was driven by a strong dollar.  We all really did get richer because our money was not losing value in the 80's.  Alas, George W. Bush went back to the old government tricks, with President Obama kicking the printing presses into hyperdrive.  Here we are today, richer on paper, poorer in reality.  Thank the Federal Reserve.

Nathan Lewis - If the Gold Standard is so Great...
Market Skeptics