Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Idol Backlash

Prosecution rests...

How Do You Like Them Now?

They stoked the fires of public outrage on retention bonuses of AIG executives. When the facts were revealed, the House had already reacted. Then the Messiah thought better of it and the Senate had an epiphany. It died.

But don't let that deter ol' Barney, "Liver Lips" Frank from seeking autocratic control over more people. If the Feds gave any business a buck in these all-encompassing bailouts, Barney wants to let Tim, "Turbo-Tax" Geithner make bureaucratic judgments about how much every single employee in the company gets paid.

Read it and continue to weep:

From Each According to His Ability

As always, the government solution is to cancel mail and movies until morale improves.

If any of those pandering pederasts had ever run a business enterprise of any kind they would easily figure out that if you want a business to succeed you must offer competitive compensation to hire and retain the best staff. Capping potential might make Barney and friends feel omnipotent, but it isn't good business practice. It is just the opposite.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Name is Nationalization

Let me ask you a simple question. I don't mean to belittle or embarrass you. It's important. Can you read and understand plain English?

As Mr. Rogers, weirdly entertaining rug rats in his TV home each afternoon, would say, "I knew that you could..."

So, read this:

A Rose By Any Other Name

Can you come to any other conclusion than this is the nationalization of Chrysler and GM? There are no relevant stockholders any more. There is no authority for the Board of Directors at any level. It's sort of "Outer Limits"..."we will control the horizontal, we will control the vertical..."

The President summarily fired the GM CEO to start the week. He's now mandating a recovery plan which will suit the administration, not company management. If he likes it he will dole out, in amounts he sees fit, the necessary operating funds to nurse them along.

But he and his crack staff of automotive engineers...errr, politicians, will judge the economic health of the enterprise. He fairly clearly mandated bankruptcy for the pair of car companies. He didn't ask for a vote or input on a merger for Chrysler and Fiat. He simply issued an order. I wonder how Fiat feels about that part of the negotiations?

On top of it all, he urges you to keep buying GM cars because the (drum-roll please,) the Federal Gubmint will now be your warranty service. That's right, when your transmission goes ker-klunk on a dark winding road at night, simply call the White House and he'll send Rahm out with a tow-truck to take care of things.

Call it what you wish, but if you can read English then you can see that this is quite clearly nationalization of the two car manufacturers. It is seizure of corporate assets without any sort of due process.

Oh yeah, this is going to get good...

Usurpation of Power

Let's say you are a stock-holder in GM. You vote your shares. You take your profits and suffer your losses. You elect a Board of Directors. The Board hires a CEO, reviews his performance and makes decisions on company policy. The elected Board is vested in profit and loss, has fiduciary responsiblity to the shareholders, and makes evaluations of the CEO. They express support for him, choosing to dance with the girl who brung 'em to this prom.

Now, without vote or ownership or shareholding or profit-motive, we've got this:

Carpe Authoritas

This is nothing short of dictatorial. It is autocratic. It is unconstitutional. It will become common-place.

Now, the one little catch I see in this thing, and it won't register for more than a couple of dozen folks across the country is the replacement. He's a fellow named Ken Kresa. He's the former CEO of Northrop-Grumman. He was the CEO when I worked for Northrop. This sort of a palace coup has his signature all over it. At least in my long-distance estimation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Resolve Versus Capability

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates looked a bit frustrated on Sunday when Chris Wallace pressed him about US response to the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by N. Korea. Yes, it is a violation of international law. Yes, it is a provocative act. Yes, it endangers Japan and possibly Alaska and Hawaii. Yes, it portends a dangerous future in which Kim Jong-Il will possess not only nuclear weapons but a proven means to deliver them against America and our allies.

It was just last week that CINCPAC, Admiral Keating, said we had the capability to intercept and destroy such a missile. He noted that our forces were prepared for such a contingency. Has that changed with this:

Paper Tiger-Toothless Dragon

Let's be clear, the issue here isn't about capability. It is about political will, the resolve to defend America. It is not that we can't. It is that the administration has instructed SecDef Gates that we won't. The difference is critical.

This is the administration of negotiations and diplomacy. This is the administration about "re-establishing America" as a nice guy and not a bully. This is about extending the hand of friendship to the snarling pit-bulls of the world. This is ludicrous.

The linked item goes on to say that N. Korea is clearly demonstrating that negotiation and cooperation are not on their agenda. The response from the US is that we will demilitarize and cease development of any sort of defensive missile shield for either ourselves or eastern Europe.

It can only cost us dearly in the long run. This is Munich 1938 and Hillary is following the disaster strewn path of Chamberlain. Probably the next important question is whether Bob Gates will become America's Halifax or rise as the embodiment of Churchill.

Will I Get a Neato Knife?

He was very clear about it during the campaign. He called it a "civilian security force" and indicated that it should be equal in size, armament and capability to the US military. But, isn't civilian security a local responsibility in our federal system? Isn't that what we have police, sheriffs and state law enforcement agencies for? Weren't the Founding Fathers absolutely opposed to any sort of domestic federal para-military organization?

The Messiah holds the reins of government now and his lackies in the Congress are more than willing to institutionalize their control of the populace. Read this:

House Starts the Program

Yep, they've given it a neat patriotic name, and they even include provisions for uniforms. Gotta have a uniform so you can have rank and structure. Uniforms bestow authority and if designed properly can create necessary fear and respect from the citizenry. Hitler and Mussolini knew that.

Remember also, the dictate of Karl Marx regarding religion being the opiate of the masses. Take away religion and you've successfully stripped away morality, ethics, responsibility and the limits that conventional society might impose on your actions. Therefore, there won't be any of that Boy Scout stuff allowed in the Obama Jugend:

No Namby-Pamby Worshipping Either

Now, we would waste a whole lot of money if we had to start from scratch with a new Federal Bureaucracy. How about we use an existing agency, one which has proven beneficial to the Messiah in the past? Let's flood those good folks with money to thank them for their effort in registering non-existant voters.

Foxes in the Hen House

A quarter of a million young people, indiscriminate by definition and emotional, to be trained and indoctrinated by, of all agencies, ACORN. Seriously $5.7 billion is a lot of organizational funding. It comes out to well over $22,000 per trainee.

This is not a move in a good direction.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Fruits of American Education

I see it in my students: the unquestioning acceptance of this concept of economic equality. They postulate a cosmic justice in which a wise and benevolent patriarch dictates what level of reward one can have. In the process the fruits of that individual's labor and risk are dispersed to the less fortunate thereby insuring that nebulous "equality."

Maybe it hasn't reached epidemic proportion yet, but take a peek here:

30% of Americans are Airheads

A reasonable man might make a strong case that if the means of production are owned or subsidized by taxpayer funds doled out somewhat unequally by the government, then the government in exactly the manner of a majority shareholder can fix the limits of compensation.

The flaw in the argument there is that the government's "share" was seized in most instances not voluntarily sold to them. And, the government's motivation is not maximization of profits but rather satisfying the clamoring electorate.

So, 59% of the people get a marginal grade on their belief in government imposed caps on industries receiving bailout dollars. But, what of the 30% who see not a damn thing wrong with capping free enterprise talent, whether in athletics, the entertainment industry or actual business? Where do they think they got a vote in this confiscatory issue?

Reading Assignment

If you have been feeling a false sense of confidence in the future and I've been unsuccessful in depressing you adequately in recent days, then take five or six minutes out of your busy day to read this:

Save Us From This

Once we could easily discount such ravings, knowing that the administration would not willingly dismantle US industry and shove us brutally back into pre-industrial primitivism. But, now we've got a government which strongly supports punishing America in the quest for some sort of environmentalist nirvana.

Consider a list of the member nations in the UN.

Our Future in Their Hands

Would you trust your comfort, lifestyle, prosperity and future to a vote taken by that group?

Watch for developments on this situation.

Reading the Tea Leaves

One of the major concerns during the election campaign was how a new president would have an early opportunity to significantly reshape the Supreme Court. Justices are appointed for life, and an appointment opportunity for a President only comes when a justice retires or dies. The Founders designed it that way to insure consistency and to provide a check on government ideological swings as administrations come and go. It has worked superbly.

Courts have been called too liberal or too conservative, but that is usually just political dialogue. The ability to have the court move to extremes has been very limited. Often justices temper in their doctrine during their tenure on the court. Often the mood of the electorate provides for an ideological shift in the executive and legislative, but the judiciary responds slowly.

The deep seated fear was that an extremist President such as Obama (and there can be no doubt at this point that he is precisely that,) would move the court quickly to the left--an activist position abhored by conservatives.

Here's a bit of prognostication on the future:

A Bright Light in a Dismal Future

So, Justice Ginsberg dropped a not unexpected bomb two weeks ago. She has had a recurrence of her cancer, and I would have to take a pessimistic view of our prognosis. She suggested, without too much subterfuge that there very well might be a new face on the court shortly. I'd say that is almost definite.

Recall that over the history of the republic that on average a sitting President gets to appoint but one justice per term. Some don't get any, some get a couple during a term. Bush got none during his first term and then a double in short order for his second.

What's the bright spot? Ginsberg is about as far left on the court as you can get. A replacement for her won't shift the balance at all. If Souter leaves, as the Slate item suggests, the same situation exists. Still no ideological shift. And if John Paul Stevens disappears? You've got a three-fer of liberals being replaced, naturally by liberals. But, no ideological shift.

Now let's continue to hope that Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito take care of themselves.

A Knight's Tale

Many was the time, lost and wandering I sought such a welcoming port in a world beset by storms.

Ahhh, you probably don't believe that stuff like that used to happen all of the time when I was a bit younger.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Losing Their Rights Too!

In The Know: New Iraqi Law Requires Waiting Period For Suicide Vest Purchases

Muzzling the Polity

I am never reluctant to point out to students that the reason the First Amendment was first, was because the Framers listed the restrictions on government in order of importance. The most critical concerns jumped to the top of the list. That's why the First Amendment is so important to all of us. It edges the Second, but only slightly as they knew what today's liberals don't--that a government can only be checked by the existing capability of an armed citizenry.

But this is about the First Amendment today. The brief statement covers religion, speech, press, assembly and petition of our government over grievances. The First Amendment wasn't established to allow us to have Internet pornography or Maplethorpe photo exhibits, or inflammatory publicly funded art like "Piss Christ." It was to insure that we would be able to freely express our political will to our government and our fellow citizens.

That alone is why the very concept of campaign reform is so offensive. Certainly, if you scratch the emotional surface of the unthinking citizenry, they will immediately tell you that contributing to political causes and candidates causes corruption. They somehow equate getting your message out or your interests defended with buying a politician for personal use. In the process they ignore the basic fact that money is necessary to mount a credible campaign. Without the critical mass of a certain level of funding, your bid for elected office will fail. Candidates with voter appeal will generate contributions.

When I can support a candidate, it is my political speech that is being expressed. My voice can be soft as in offering a few bucks of support or I should be able to shout my favorite son's name from the rooftops with a huge check. Stopping me from spending my own money in support of those whom I deem best for the job is a violation of my First Amendment freedoms.

Yet, the slavering drones of our Legislature passed McCain-Feingold, the President signed it, and the Supreme Court skipped an opportunity to overturn it. Now the restrictions to political free speech continue:

Loss of the First Amendment Defined

How anyone can defend the concept of denying information to voters during the period immediately preceeding an election is beyond me. How they now, after Fahrenheit 9/11 and Oliver Stone's "W," attempt to somehow stretch McCain-Feingold to stop a movie about Hillary Clinton is something to frighten even the most optimistic among us.

Core to the First Amendment's protection of political expression is the concept that it must be applied even when the political position being expressed is not the one which you prefer. When we can no longer voice our political will, we will be enslaved.

Another Slap in the Face

He is a senior member of Congress. He boasts of being a Marine, but a check reveals that he has been primarily a reservist, not on active duty. His brief active duty stint was in the Navy and that was a long way from any enemy encounters.

He gained considerable face time with the media two years ago when he accused the US Marines fighting in Haditha of murder and war crimes. He did it loud, unequivocally, and repeatedly. He clearly did it to support his anti-war on terror positions and to discredit both the Corps and the nation.

A detailed investigation by a military panel uncovered no wrong-doing and all accused Marines were cleared. Despite that, he has never apologized, corrected or rescinded his remarks.

That is why this is such a clear slap in the face of all who serve honorably:

Honoring the Dishonorable

You should not disparage a sitting Congressman who is going about his Constitutional duties. But, it is another thing entirely to honor him in this manner. The Navy could have ignored him. He should be shunned not feted. If I were a co-recipient of that award, I would be packing it up for return to sender--strong message to follow.

40,089 Signers Demand Rescinding the Award

If you haven't already, follow the link and add your voice.

Start Your Day With a Smile

Iowahawk today offers a news report about British efforts to interdict the flourishing anti-gay humor joke traffic in Ol' Blimey:

News From Heathrow

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Future Financial Management of the Nation

So, you wonder what it takes to become a Congress-critter? This could have been done in someone's basement with a hand-held video as a joke, but unfortunately this is the United States Congress:

Yep, "gradulations" due all around.

Never in the Field of Human Conflict

Here's timeless beauty and a chance to ponder the deeds of The Few:

Not Quite a Tabloid

OK, I'll acknowledge that the New York Post is not quite the New York Times. The Post is still making a profit, not facing bankruptcy and not terribly eroded by a series of journalistic ethical lapses of highly paid staff.

So, it is interesting the level of slap-down they demonstrate in this scathing editorial piece:

They've Noticed

Despite the somewhat tabloid look of the item, I find it difficult to argue with any part of it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Question of Management

As the daily soap opera of ignorant public and pandering politicians versus the national economy and free-market capitalism continues to unfold, I see this piece in the Dallas Morning Fishwrapper:

Responsible Ownership

Now, if a columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper's business section writes it it must be reasonably business savvy, wouldn't you think? But, unfortunately, upon examination it proves to be as populist as the rest of the news. She suggests, quite logically it seems, that since the government is dumping all of this money into recovery/bailout of all of these financial institutions, that the government (AKA "we the people") becomes de facto a shareholder. And, since many of these situations can be viewed through the skewed lens of the unwashed masses, it is possible to conclude that the government now owns the controlling majority of the stock in all of these publicly traded corporations.

So, if we the ignorant people own all these shares, shouldn't we be voting them?

Of course, we wouldn't actually vote the shares for managment policy. It would be those fine representatives on Capitol Hill; the Barney Franks, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter bunch. Yeah, they would make the managment choices. And what would govern their choices? Re-election of course, not bottom line business practices.

Wasn't the whole idea of the bailouts to provide a bridge loan to sustain the companies and prop up the economy temporarily? Keep them solvent, restore confidence, loosen credit and then get paid back into the public coffers as profitability is restored. The key word is TEMPORARILY.

But, public outrage over the emotionalism of people making too much money for doing a job they are particularly trained and capable of is urging Congress to cap compensation arbitrarily. Limit the future and you inevitably quell ambition. Prod for success with one hand and take away the fruits of that success with the other--just because the people who contribute nothing to the equation demand it.

This way lies disaster. Take a look at a government managed enterprise:

Your Government Management

Fedex and UPS and DHL seem to be doing quite nicely in the package and document delivery business. Why is it that the government subsidized enterprise supposed to do that same thing can't break even?

Madness! It's madness.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No One Gets Out Alive

Increasingly aware of my own mortality, I notice this item:

I Like His Thinking

It looks to me like a nice way of handling things. The only part I'd do differently is the trip to Arlington.

The Ultimate Oxymoron

It is coming. Let there be no doubt about it. They have the power and they will act. It is only a question of when. Read this and ponder:

The Coming Storm

Their agenda is clear and has been no secret for decades. They got slapped down at the polls for their proposals and they withdrew for a period, but they have never given up the idea. Now, they've got exactly the toolset to make it happen. A congress led by demagogues and closet totalitarians and a President with stars in his eyes and air in his head to sign the bills and enforce them. The last component to be put in place is the Messiah's "Civilian Security Force." He didn't shy away from that proposal during the campaign. He was quite clear. "Equal in size and equipment to the military..."

It is an oxymoron. "Common sense gun law."

Molon Labe!

Remember the Spartans

Defying Reason

At long last Timothy "It was TurboTax" Geithner has expounded in detail on "the Plan." Here's what he says in the Wall Street Journal:

Doing More of the Same

You won't have to read much beyond the second paragraph before you start shaking your head in disbelief. Does anybody read this crap before it leaves the building?

No crisis like this has a simple or single cause, but as a nation we borrowed too much and let our financial system take on irresponsible levels of risk.

That's right! The cause of the financial decline was too much debt and irresponsible levels of risk.

So, what he is doing about it? He's handing out money like he owned the printing press...ooops, I guess he does. He's quadrupling the national deficit and projecting ten years more of similar deficit spending. How's that work if the root cause was too much debt?

And, now he's setting up a program for government underwritten purchase of the debts formerly known as "toxic." They apparently were too risky last year, but just perfect for today.

Gilbert and Sullivan could put this to music.

Painfully True

An ultimatum is delivered to the One. And, I don't believe for one minute that TOTUS is asking for too much.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Laugh or Cry With Me

Calling names is one thing, but actually spelling out the grievances which led to the conclusion is so much more Jeffersonian. It brings to mind the totality of the Declaration of Independence.

Take a couple of minutes to read this:

Why He Doesn't Like Him

I've got to say the observations track pretty closely with what I'm feeling these days.

Simply watching the man brings chills up my spine. I've never gotten the tingle down the leg thing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Want to get your heart beating? Listen to good King Harry and consider the glory that would come from that battle won by those badly outnumbered warriors on St. Crispin's Day.

Don't be confused. There were two saints, Crispian and Crispin, one more forward, the other more taciturn. Their days fall in sequence and the battle of Agincourt commenced early the morning of Crispin's Day. You'll read all about it if you seek out Bernard Cornwell's current best seller, Agincourt. You'll also learn that Crispian and Crispin were the patron saints of a French village of Soissons where a community of English were brutally massacred in the years before Agincourt.


Obama Meets Reality

Flashback to those thrilling days of yesteryear...just last yesteryear during the campaign. In regularly forgetting that he was running against John McCain, the Messiah vilified the Bush administration foreign policy as too heavy-handed and inadequately nuanced. The fact that George W. Bush wasn't going to be in the White House in 2009 made no difference. Run against Bush and then link McCain to the outgoing President despite their regular disagreements during the previous eight years. It worked well.

Now President Barack Obama is on the real world hot seat. So, how's that nuance thing working out for you, Barry?

All it would take, he had told us was initiating a dialogue. Show a willingness to talk, negotiate, roll over and let your tummy be rubbed. Results are trickling in.

Two days ago the President made a saccharine sweet video congratulating the Iranian peace-loving people on their Persian new year celebrations. He looked forward to meeting and talking and friendship. The response has come in:

The Ayatollah Slapdown

Ohh, bad news! All right, what about that festering pustule to the south in oil-rich Venezuela? Remember his stirring speech to the United Nations about the stench of brimstone remaining after the President of the United States had addressed the group? So what does socialist buddy Hugo Chavez have to say about the new administration's hand of friendship?


Not very diplomatic there, amigo! All right, Rome didn't collapse in a day. What about the most likely start of a nuclear meltdown on the Asian front? Pouty, pompadoured Supreme Leader simply needs a little TLC to warm up to us, doesn't he?

Kim Jong-Ill-will

Doesn't look like any sort of detente has been reached there either. The fallout (pun intended) of a Korean excursion further into the nuclear world has a very capable Japan strongly indicating their immediate jump into the nuclear club.

Obama doesn't look to be a success at nuclear non-proliferation either.

Beware the Dark Side

The main-stream media continue to descend in a whirlpool of self-delusion seeking little more than to flog mis-information about the former administration and deflect observation of the current crop of clowns.

The characterization of Dick Cheney as some sort of villainous Svengali of the White House continues even after George W. Bush has left office. Here we have chief propagandist of the New York Times elite expounding on the "executive assassination squads."

Tin Foil Hat Ring

Hersh speaks with "great confidence" about what he hasn't written yet. Then adds that it may be a "year or two" before he has what he needs to actually commit some of his blather to paper. How do you have such great confidence then? And, why do I think that a "covert" organization at that level would be decidedly hard to get anything on record. I'm flashing back to Mr. Phelps and his Mission Impossible bunch here. Everybody disavows everything if it blows up, but before then nobody knows nothing.

My stumble was when Hersh's paranoid vision named the organization as the Joint Special Operations Command. If you speak fluent militarese, as I do you, know that "special operations" means unconventional warfare--stuff like behind-the-lines activities, intel gathering, penetration of enemy assets, insertion/extraction of such forces, etc. It dates back a long way, but the most modern iteration is usually traced back to the World War II OSS. And "joint" means an organization with components from more than one service. "Command" of course means they all work for one guy, just as in all military organizations. Doesn't sound too malevolent to me.

The acronym, JSOC, returns this as the number one hit on Google:

Not Too Secret for Wikipedia

Maybe Mr. Hersh should do his research on Wikipedia. He might see there that the genesis of JSOC wasn't Bush/Cheney. It was the much more leftist incompetence of Jimmy Carter after the Iranian hostage rescue debacle that established the organization.

Notice, if you read all the way down, that the entry is current enough to even disparage Mr. Hersh's rantings.

America Land of (Limited) Opportunity

My ambition for all of my life has been to pay a million dollars a year in income tax. The way I thought about that was, if I paid that much income tax I would be making ten or fifteen million a year at least. It was a tongue-in-cheek look at financial success.

Now we are seeing the demagogue drumbeat of class-warfare that embraces the idea that "fairness" in wages means that our most productive and successful citizens should be restricted in how much they can make. The ludicruous argument stems quickly from a society which has been nurtured on the doctrine of a federally mandated "minimum wage." That is the faulty concept that what you could paid for your work can be detached from the essential value of your labor to the enterprise. That simply isn't true.

The new concept now is a federally mandated "maximum wage."

We The People Decide

The clamoring for specific punitive taxation on the people who labored under the misconceptions that a contract for payment made nearly a year ago would be honored has emboldened the Messiah.

The key phrase in that proposal is the dangling clause, "and possibly other companies as well." What Constitutional authority can we possibly find for either executive or legislative action which would mandate interference with free enterprise business compensation policies?

Compensation is a negotiated settlement between two freely acting parties, the worker and the payer. The largely uninvolved masses of American people who clamor for "economic equality" should be ignored in those transactions. Letting the posturing political class, absent any free enterprise experience, set limits will discourage entrepreneurship, ambition, motivation and excellence. Be prepared for standardized mediocrity.

It worked so well in the Soviet Union and Maoist China, why not here?

No Wonder He Didn't Take the Job

I'm developing more and more respect for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). It began when he stood up after appointment by the Messiah as his token Republican in the administration. He realized, once the honor of selection sank in, that he would be expected to be a figurehead and tool rather than a contributing conservative in the staff. He withdrew from consideration as Commerce Secretary.

He's now gaining more cred with his forthright characterizations of the rape of America being implemented by the gang who can't shoot straight. Check this:

Noting the Emperor's Nakedness

Gregg stands and delivers condemnation of the "only man in America" smart enough to get us out of this economic mess and simultaneously unable to operate TurboTax. He tells Tim Geithner that his economic forecast is a lie. He doesn't just cast an aspersion, he supports the contention with charts, tables, numbers and sound fiscal principles. Gotta love it.

Watch him in action on Hannity:

Got that? On a scale from 1-10, the Obama plan rates a "minus three." What happens when you live in a bankrupt country? Do we go into receivership under Chinese management? Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad step in as "recovery czar"?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tea Party Anthem

Learn the words, then feel free to sing along. Sing it loud, sing it long:

Worthy Read

In what is probably the best summary of the current situation I've yet seen, Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post ponders the most serious question, "Is this the end of America?"

Precisely To The Point

It is chillingly true.

A Thought For This Morning

Consider that this was written 60 years ago:

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion.
When you see that in order to produce you need permission from men who
produce nothing. When you see money flowing to those who deal not in
goods but in favors. When you see men get richer by graft and pull
more than work, and your laws don't protect you against them but
protect them against you. And when you see corruption being rewarded
and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice you may know that your society
is doomed.

Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged

Friday, March 20, 2009

Top 10 List--Since Letterman Didn't Get the Guest

Apparently the media in the UK only faked sipping at the Kool-Aid while the US press corps gulped it in cooling quantities. They take the time to build a list of the top 10 public gaffes of the Messiah and his second-in-command, Ol' Whatzisname.

Viddies of Top 10 Obama/Biden Gaffes

Good and conscientious blokes, they've included Vid-Klips of each and every one so you can see that this stuff was not made up.

The Dangerous Printing Press

The run-away government keeps pontificating, posturing and pandering with each day bringing a new massive give-away program of tax dollars accompanied by a sequence of disclosures of legislative incompetence followed by a televised exercise in blame shifting. It's great theater but only tragedy. There's not a lick of comedy except for the darkest kind.

Yesterday brought the news of the Federal Reserve leaping further into the fray. They've run out of gas for their usual monetarist policy tools, the manipulation of interest rates. Unlike our "progressive" federal tax structure in which you can give someone who pays zero tax a tax rebate, when it comes to interest rates it isn't reasonable to lower them below zero. Paying people to take money is still not within the acceptable range of policy. Maybe next year.

Here's a piece at the Atlantic:

Channeling Everett Dirksen

It was the mid-Sixties when Sen. Dirksen, that velvet-voiced senior statesman from Illinois, intoned, "a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

The line drew attention because in those days a billion was a meaningful number. Now, we don't even take notice until we are discussing hundreds of billions and the previously rare word, trillion, has become part of the daily lexicon.

The Fed's action yesterday is the firing up of the virtual money presses. As noted in the Atlantic, today "money" isn't always greenbacks. More often it is ledger book entries of fund transfers and debt movements. Think about your personal life. Do you carry cash or credit cards more often? Is remembering your debit PIN more common than counting your change?

If we start printing money, which isn't really anything but a promise, don't we quickly leap to the top of that slippery ski-jump of inflation? Aren't we standing in the gate of a wild excursion in which we see a leap-frogging of costs rising, wages countering, savings deteriorating and debts becoming meaningless because they will be paid in tomorrow's money which is worth much less than today's

If you went to school in the '50s, '60s or '70s you may still have a world history textbook in your basement that tells the story of the Weimar Republic in Germany. It was the period between WW I and WW II, leading to the rise of Hitler. The section in my book was illustrated by a photo of an old German woman pushing a wheelbarrow down the street filled with currency. She was taking bushels of Reichmarks to the bakerei to buy the loaf of daily bread. Tomorrow's loaf would cost appreciably more.

Failure to learn the lessons of history dooms us to repeat them. Then came Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin. Could that sort of life be in our future under current trends? Demagogues leading governments?

What do you think?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Could It Relate?

I don't know if they still mention it in English Literature classes or Journalism or History, but there is a long established tradition of using fairy tales and parables to skewer the political panjandrums without really coming right out and naming names.

Now I'm not saying that Anna has done that, but I couldn't help but see a bit of parallelism with current events here. Read it yourself, either as an entertaining exercise in creative writing or as something deeper in terms of political commentary:

A Modern Fairy Tale

I lean toward the dark side on this. It is a beautiful job.

Equality Has Limits

I'm all for social equality. No, I don't mean that we should all be reduced to the same level of crudity of a professional wrestling headliner or a bling-festooned rap star. I mean that discrimination based on ethnic, racial, religious, gender, age or other immutable characteristics should be minimized to the greatest extent possible in society. We should be provided equality of opportunity. I recognize that we should not be guaranteed equality of outcomes.

What I can't abide is the blathering about economic equality. It runs counter to everything I believe in; everything I've worked for in my life. What's mine is mine and I'm willing to respect that what's yours is similarly yours. I only want what I earn, but once I've earned it I wish to keep it. I'll share if I want to, but only if I want to and then only to the extent which I choose. Simple concept, heh?

Read this piece carefully in the WSJ:

It's All About Fairness

I especially like the data source for the chart. The whole concept behind that should petrify you.

A Tougher One to Fire

You may recall shortly after inauguration day an item here about the President and his authority to replace US Attorneys around the nation. I mentioned an outstanding young man who had been elevated to US Attorney for the state of New Mexico by President Bush. I wondered if he would face the partisan ax or possibly be bypassed because he had not been a direct Bush appointee but had been the choice of a panel of federal justices in the jurisdiction to fill the chief federal prosecutor role.

Well, here's a little item that should make it a potato too hot for the Messiah to handle:

Citizen, FBI and US Attorney Net a Big Package

When the young prosecutor whom you meet in that local news video has just put the entire top level of Democratic state government into the federal penal system, it would be quite politically incorrect for the President to attempt to justify dumping him for any sort of rational cause.

I'd say his job looks safe. And I'd suggest that those planning federal crimes might think about taking their business to another jurisdiction for the next couple of years.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is Old School Reporting

Love him or hate him, Shep Smith goes for the throat...and he's spot on target:

No One Liners Needed

I've come to bristle and snap back at fools who come to debate political issues armed with cutesy names and soundbite laugh lines. I know I shouldn't cast stones because I daily refer to the Messiah, but I alibi that it is merely a bit of artistic license to lighten the message.

I don't like "Obama-lama-ding-dong" or "Klintoon" or Molly Ivin's famous "Shrub" or any the others. They are cover for shallowness. We need to get beyond sloganeering if we are going to actually begin to identify the vacantness of "hope and change" as a policy.

New Paltz Journal does a bang-up job of illustrating the difference today. He's got a friend with a good one-liner..."We're stuck not only with a socialist, but a seemingly incompetent one..." Bada-bing, rim-shot, cue the laugh track.

He expands from there and clearly explains that it is more seriously flawed than the the joke. Socialism, or the idea of a government-controlled, centrally planned economy is inherently flawed when placed in an objective comparison with Adam Smith's classic free-market process in action.

Understanding, Not Cheap Shots

One need only watch a few stomach-turning minutes of the hearings in Barney Frank's committee on the AIG bonuses to get all the evidence one needs that government can't run a corporation successfully. They are too concerned with posturing and increasingly with brow-beating of the citizenry.

If they get away with what Chris Dodd in the Senate and Barney Frank in the house propose, can you see what that portends? They intend to craft specific legislation specifying a named group of American citizens and singularly confiscating their wealth in the name of the government. If they can confiscate the money paid under contractual obligations to the AIG employees, can they be restricted from taking anything else they wish from you?

It would seem to me that the 14th Amendment clearly suggests that no person can be deprived by the government of life, liberty or property except under due process of the law...OK, they can enact a law to take away your property...But, wait...nor shall any person be under their jurisdiction be denied equal protection under the law.

So, is singling out a list of specific individuals for their own personal confiscatory tax rate in any interpretation a form of "equal protection..."?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Erin Go Bragh

Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's day. And as an alumnus of St. Patrick's High School in Chicago, I'll raise a glass of a Harp's or two this afternoon and maybe a bit of Bushmill's this evening.

No Nobels for These Scientists

So, the scientists came together to discuss global climate change. I'll refrain from using the over-familiar word "crisis" in the discussion. The activities of the group get summarized here:

International Conference on Climate Change

Unfortunately scientists don't lend themselves to sound-bites. They don't gain the support of Hollywood hollow-heads to make sensationalist movies. Their message isn't concise nor is it easy to understand for Joe Six-Pack. And, who would you give a scientific Nobel to: a scientist or a chubby divinity school drop-out and former vice-president?

Language in Action

Slowly we see the nuances of Obama policy emerging. It’s all in the language apparently. We should have learned that basic truth of Ivy League lawyering when Bill Clinton redefined for us all the meaning of “having sex” to eliminate some of the activities which consenting adults have found inconveniently linked to the terminology previously. I’ve still not convinced my wife that the Clinton/Lewinsky dalliance wasn’t sex and I should be allowed to try it out occasionally with women I encounter if I can convince them it would be fun. She just won’t buy it.

If that redefinition didn’t do it for us, then the angels on a pinhead discussion of what the meaning of “is” is should have done it. Now the new kid on the block has eliminated the use of the term “enemy combatant” to describe those wonderful bearded folks living in mandated cleanliness in Guantanamo’s detention facility.

End Use of Term

It so far escapes my understanding whether that now means they aren’t enemies or that they weren’t apprehended in combat.

Now we’ve got Obama’s executive order removing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. You know what I’m talking about here, the Bush administration restrictions against the government funding any projects that destroy embryos in the quest for stem cell data on possible human regeneration. I’m not particularly fond of restricting science in that manner, but that’s a discussion for another time. The Prez has been very specific about his position correcting this. But, there seems to be a conflict once again between what he says and what actually happens:

Buried in the Language

It seems that buried deep in the unread legalese of the money-dumping omnibus spending bill we’ve got the boiler-plate restriction to federal bucks going to just that purpose if embryos are destroyed. Traditionally acts of the legislature trump executive orders. So, if the Messiah really means what he said, then he would seem to be required to veto that spending bill. Or, if he considers the spending bill important, he will have to ‘fess up that he isn’t opening stem cell research for federal dollars. My bet is that he simply says he did the removal of restrictions but nothing really happens. That fits the pattern.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Greed is Good

The great line in this piece is "selfishness is a virtue":

Absolute Truth

I reread Rand's masterful work about last Spring and never was her message more timely than in the period since. Hardly a day goes by without mention of her name. Her characters surround me and populate the daily media. Increasingly I'm seeing the phrase "going Galt" in blogs.

I honestly doubt that many folks have either the courage or capability to really go Galt. For that matter most will ask you, "who is John Galt?"

Was There Ever Any Doubt?

I was one of the skeptics who could never accept the Messiah's blanket pronouncement of a tax cut for 95% of the people. It was ludicrous on its face. If more than 40% of Americans already pay zero federal income tax, you really can't cut zero any smaller. If you cut their payroll tax (Social Security deduction) you then aren't requiring people to subsidize their own retirement. You simply can't do it.

So, this comes as no great surprise:

Tax Increase Takes Back Any Cuts

Everyone seems to believe in the free lunch these days. They absolutely salivate when the Messiah promises affordable health care for everyone. They stand slack-jawed and point at Medicare as being the model, but they ignore the reality that every worker in the nations pays into Medicare and only those over 65 years old, get the coverage. Expanding Medicare to all Americans would mean that rather than having the many subsidize the few we would actually have to have everyone pay their own health insurance premiums. Few would want to do that.

So, where does the money come from? Here the administration has finally come clean. Taxing your health care benefits at work as "income" means you will take home less money. You get less for your labor, but your employer still pays the wage. You both lose. Obvious result is that health care benefits are either drastically reduced or eliminated as an employer provided benefit. You go shopping as an individual and probably pay more for less.

We now see part of the big picture. President Obama takes away a lot more than he gives, but don't expect him to admit your pocket has been picked for the good of the masses. He fully expects you not to notice.

Can't Do Without It

I raved about the Kindle ebook reader several months ago when I got mine. There's a link on the sidebar here where you can check out the video on Amazon. They've recently released the Kindle II, and if there was anything that was griped about in the first one, it has been pretty much taken care of.

Here's one of many reviews of the gadget:

Better Than Ever

It still strikes a lot of folks as a bit pricey, but I've justified it in my mind by balancing the initial cost against the convenience of having a mini-library in my hands whenever I want it and the fact that best sellers and new releases that I want typically come for $10 rather than the book store average of $25-35. More than 240,000 titles on Amazon for your Kindle and when you want something it gets wirelessly downloaded to your device in a matter of seconds. No postage, no waiting, no monthly connection or subscription costs.

The Kindle meets my criterion for new technology: a product that you don't need until you've got one, then you'll never be without one again. Previous gadgets that met the hurdle for me include TV, microwaves, food processors, cell phones and digital cameras.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Laugh If You Can

No further comment is needed:


Biden's Prediction

During the campaign the voluble Sen. from Delaware by way of Pennsylvania, Joe Biden, warned America that nations with bad intentions would challenge a President Obama shortly after he entered office.

Does this give you a very retro feeling?

Deja Vu 1962

It took Kruschev almost two years after JFK took office before he got around to deploying IL-28 Beagles and intermediate range nuclear missiles into Cuba. This proposal comes with less than two months in office and it offers a whole lot more reach for the Soviets.

And consider for a moment the cost to us for air defense. That is, of course, if the administration has sufficient testicular fortitude to risk offending the bad guys by defending the nation at all.

Modern American Thinking

He lives and works in Washington. Well actually he works in Washington and lives in Prince George's County in Maryland. Either way, you get the idea. He's a thinker which is a euphemism for opinion columnist for the Washington Post. That should mean that he has a view of the "Big Picture" and America as a nation in a dangerous world. It should mean that, but does it? Take a look:

Thinking Global--Not

OK, I get that he's a father and he's concerned about his son. But when he comments on something like service to his country and distills the debate down to cash for college versus individual exposure to harm he displays the ignorance of the popular culture. Military service isn't about those two alternatives being weighed. It's bigger than that.

What he needs to ponder before having that conversation with his son about a life choice is what his nation and his security means to him. He needs to consider what it takes to preserve what we have, what we've built and what we value. He needs to remember the threats we have faced to our national survival in the past and the ones we will continue to face today and tomorrow.

Most importantly, he needs to ask who is responsible for providing him this protection? He seems to brag that he comes from an anti-war generation yet he ignores the fact that being anti-war doesn't make war go away. He considers himself fortunate that he didn't serve, yet he fails to recognize that such service is essential to our way of life.

Mr. Milloy, if not you or your son, then who should protect you?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fleeting Fame and Failing Fortunes

The Wall Street Journal takes a hard look at poll numbers for the first 55 days:

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Can the American people learn the lesson that quickly?

Take It Like a Man

We could see it during the campaign. Like so many things, it was largely ignored, but it was there for any who considered things reasonably objectively. Like a much younger individual, the young President can't take criticism. He simply can't abide being told that his ideas are less than stellar or his speech was not quite brilliant or his policy is fundamentally flawed. If someone should dare to do that, they would be discredited as racist or ignorant or potentially un-American.

But, what about the current goings on in Washington? Can any sane person look at the rush to distribute money to all of the usual suspects, even if we don't have it, won't get it and can't justify it? This is very obvious pandering. It is political patronage. It is pay-offs and plundering of our future.

Take a look at this response to some criticism. Read what was said carefully and then note the proxy's response:

Obama Likened to Mugabe?

Gov. Sanford rightly notes that simple strewing of taxpayer dollars doesn't "create" jobs. I've noted here in the past that government can't "create" a job, they can merely pay someone for something that may not need doing. That is a lot different than producing goods and services that generate wealth and economic growth.

The response, however, skips the economic truths of the debate and goes to the ad hominem of accusing a Mugabe comparison and since both parties in the comparison are Black, it must be a racist statement at its core.

The overlooked essential here is the gradually growing backlash of conservative governors across the country who are declining the porcine slop bucket for solid fiscal and governmental reasons. In addition to Sanford's decline of a big chunk of federal change, we also read this morning about Gov. Rick Perry in Texas saying "no thanks" to half a billion dollars.

Too Many Strings Attached

When you see who gets those unemployment checks you quickly realize that folks who have never received unemployment benefits before will be permanently added to the dole. Justifying unemployment for a part-time worker who is unemployed and doesn't seek full-time employment is simply foolishness. McDonald's cuts high-school afternoon burger-flippers and they get a government check while they chill out at the Mall? No thanks.

A Stunning Memorial

If you ever doubted the power of the press to accentuate or minimize what they choose, take a look at this:

The Tear Drop

Did you ever hear of it or see it before?

Did you notice when it was presented and dedicated? More than two years ago!

Notice who it is from? That gives it some significance in a world that seems rife with conflict.

But, we heard little about it. I'm certain the folks in Bayonne NJ are proud to have it and possibly a bit disappointed that no one seems to have noticed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stupid Getting Trounced

Milton Friedman, the incredible economist who so clearly explained the relationship between money, credit, interest rates and the economy, passed away a bit more than two years ago. His counsel would have greatly benefitted the Messiah if only he had stayed awake in that class.

Check this TV spot with Communist fellow-traveler Phil Donohue pleading for redistribution of our money. It was 1979, but the message is just as true today:

Reality trumps emotion in any debate.

Roster Changes

As a North Texas resident for the last four years, I become by default a Dallas Cowboys fan. Just as during my twenty year residence in Colorado where I grudgingly acknowledged a slight affinity for the Denver Broncos and a slightly more enthusiastic involvement with the Colorado Rockies, now I watch Cowboys games when they are available and I tsk-tsk as I read the collapse each day of the Texas Rangers.

That's why this piece in The Onion is so welcome and undeniably true:

Buffalo's Loss, Our Gain

Yes, thug-meister and meddler-in-chief, Jerry Jones traded away the self-appointed world's greatest wide receiver. The dismissal of some of the most obvious criminals from this year's roster means that there will be a lot less in the Monday morning newspapers through the fall. More scores and game recaps and less police blotter and hospital admission stuff.

Simply Illogical

They had a nut-case go postal in Germany yesterday. He took a gun to the high school he graduated from last year and wasted a dozen people, mostly female students and teachers before killing himself.

Lets start by saying that even in Germany, killing people is against the law.

So, we've got a guy who is going to break the law and he's not worried about that. What then can a logical man make of this:

Pathetic Reaction

That's right! The Euro-wussies are going to solve the problem by passing restrictions on gun ownership. Those are laws he would have obeyed...aren't they?

What is so difficult to understand about the ineffectiveness of gun laws?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hoplophobia In Action

A random shooting without apparent cause is always tragic. A shooting of a minister in a church in front of his congregation is sensationally tragic. There is plenty there to report on in a front-page story. Why then do we have this:

Tiny "Arsenal"

Did you get that? "He had an arsenal in his bedroom"!!!

What did the arsenal comprise? Stockpiles of military weapons? Barrels of ammunition? Dozens of assault rifles? Nope, the description is considerably more mundane.

He had two 12 gauge shotguns. That doesn't seem abnormal or excessive in a rural Illinois community. Ducks, geese, pheasant and similar game abound. Hunting in such locales is common.

He had a rifle and 550 rounds of 22 ammunition. Duh? I would assume the rifle was a .22 caliber as well. The ammo amounts to a "brick" and a box. That's a quantity a lot of plinkers and target shooters might expend on a Sunday afternoon outing to the range.

That's the "arsenal". Sensationalism anyone?

And, he came to the church with "enough ammunition to possible kill 30 people". Is that bandoleers of ammo draped over his shoulders? Nope. It's three ten-round magazines--recall that the ten-rounders were the limited mags imposed upon us for a decade by the Clinton gun-control administration. Hardly arsenal level there either.

Was he a gun nut? A shooting fanatic? I think that the report that his weapon jammed after firing four rounds might indicate not. Hard to know what would cause a Glock to jam, but an experienced shooter probably would have new, fresh ammunition; reliable quality magazines and be able to clear a malfunction efficiently and quickly without much pause.

Yet, the Associated Press shamelessly weaves their hoplophobia through the story and we the uncaring public get more seeds sown for our future disarmament. An "arsenal" indeed.

Newest Right Wing Rag

I'm loving it! No one would ever accuse Salon.com as being a tool of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Their unabashed leftist spin has been manifest for years. They have some talented writers, but you've got to know what you'll get when you start exploring there.

That's why this is so remarkable. It is inescapable. We've just lived through it. But, it is surprising that the folks at Salon are so clear:

Disaffection at Salon

The honeymoon is unraveling apparently.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tar Baby

They don’t read Uncle Remus tales to kids anymore. You won’t see a remastering of “Song of the South” to be re-released this summer for kids. It is simply politically incorrect today. It mentions race and a kindly, but almost stereotypical, avuncular black man who relates fables to a young white boy. The stories are meaningful lessons in life, but we could hardly get to the moral of the story before the usually aggrieved fanatics would be screaming prejudice and racism while threatening to burn the theater down. It’s a loss to grow up without humming “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” along a daisy-lined path or knowing that Br’er Rabbit always outsmarts Br’er Fox.

Maybe the most famous tale was the one about the tar baby. That’s where Br’er Rabbit convinces the fox to grab onto the tar figure. The greedy fox does and within short order is firmly stuck to the tacky doll allowing Br’er Rabbit to scamper off for another day.

We’re watching another tar baby story emerge in our flat-lining American political discourse. The tar baby is Rush Limbaugh and the unlikely hero of the fable is the Democratic National Committee. Somehow they have managed to get supposedly intelligent Republicans who potentially could be re-organizing the party and leading them out of the desert toward the Promised Land to grab onto a tar baby in the rather rotund figure of talk-meister Limbaugh.

First it was RNC Chairman, Michael Steele. He got enticed and in a blundering apologia designed, I guess, to distance himself and the party from Rush, he mumble-mouthed disclaimers, denials and diverters to convince the observers that Limbaugh really doesn’t speak for either the RNC or Mr. Steele. He failed miserably, but in the process attracted the ire of Mr. Limbaugh who doesn’t take defamation lying down. The cliché about contests with the press used to be never get in an argument with an opponent who buys ink by the barrel. Today it should be never challenge someone who has three hours a day on talk radio to rebut your statements.

Now, we’ve got this:

Personality Politics vs Ideological Principles

I’ve always admired Newt’s intellect. He is one very smart commentator on the political scene. Unfortunately he often talks well above the heads of his audience, but that doesn’t detract from the truth of his message. He, of all people, should be smarter than to get stuck to this tar baby. Rush, in expected fashion retaliates.

The Republicans and conservatives are distracted from the development of a coherent message. The public finds new cause to ridicule Rush in particular and conservatives in general; and the Democrats skip merrily down the daisy-lined lane whistling, “My, oh my, what a wonderful day.”

A Voice of Experience

Remember Czechoslovakia? The Velvet Revolution that finally overturned communism? The brutal Soviet crackdown two decades before? Here's the President of the Czech Republic speaking on the current administration's economic policies and global climate change:

Euro Leader, Former Communist Appalled at US Economic Policy

He's the President of a European nation. He's a professor of economics. He's an individual who has lived under Communism. I think he is a voice worth listening to.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Blowing Smoke

Even my eyes glaze over when the discussion turns to "cap and trade." It's simply boring to the nth degree. Here, however is a concise and cogent discussion about what is really going on:

Reality Sets In

The truth emerges when he notes that what occurs is that government creates a commodity literally out of nothing and then legislates it into scarcity. I doubt that Adam Smith could have applied his supply/demand concepts to such a prospect, but that was long ago in a galaxy that no longer exists.

What's the essential?

The Obamaniacs embrace the religion of man-induced global warming. The planet is spiraling out of control into overheat mode because of our exhalations. We emit carbon dioxide in our daily living and that is causing the heating. We must stop such activity or die of hypothermia.

But, can a mere 300 million Americans really have a significant impact on a global environment of about 6 billion? Can our contribution of carbon dioxide be reduced enough to compensate for the unbridled emissions of China, India and the rest of the developing world? One would have to have some degree of doubt.

Regardless, the government says here's the maximum level you can emit in your daily production cycle. That limit applies to the entire nation, so if you wish to spew out a bit more, you can trade for some of the allocation we've given to Joe, over there. Buy some of his allowance then feel free to emit. And, all of you will pay us, your benevolent government, for your allocation as well. Buy from us, then trade amongst yourselves.

So, government created the commodity, carbon dioxide emission privileges. You get to buy what used to be free for the greater societal good of making an inconsequential reduction in total global emissions.

The basic question has a clear and unequivocal answer: Who pays for this?

You do, of course. Every single product you need for life now will have a higher price. As the link to Q & O above points out this is a maximally regressive tax and strikes directly at the heart of President Obama's core constituency. But, of course, they will be too ignorant, stupid and greedy to notice their pockets being picked. They will blame the producers who are first line victims of cap and trade.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mellow Moment

Just in case you wake on a Monday morning and feel a little less than mellow, this might smooth your rough edges:

One of my old record albums had a review of Getz that said he sounded as if he played from inside his sax. Dunno about that, but he was definitely one with his instrument.

Experience Counts

I ran for the state legislature in Colorado using that subject as my campaign slogan, "Experience Counts". My opponent was a college dropout, a telemarketer (when he had a job) and a political conniver of the highest order. He beat me like the proverbial drum.

In short order, in the Colorado House of Representatives, he rose to leadership. First majority whip and then after six years, Speaker of the House. He looked to be a shoo-in for the next opening of a US Representative seat, until he was arrested one night after a phone call to 911 from a registered lobbyist that he had attempted to break into her house and now was chasing her down the street with a screw-driver.

As the story was revealed, it turned out that he had quite literally gotten in bed with a lobbyist. He was shacking up with her, despite his fine Christian posturing, a supportive wife and three beautiful children. The lobbyist and the legislator had a falling out so she ousted him from her bed and apartment. His story was that he was breaking in to recover his cell phone charger! He should have gone to Radio Shack for a new one.

But, the point of my campaign had been that he had little experience in business, the military, or management at any level. Yet, the voters seemed not to find experience very important. They summarily rejected me and chose him by a landslide. In retrospect, they did me a favor.

Now, we've elevated that sort of decision-making process to the highest national level. We don't seemingly care about whether a Presidential contender has ever met a payroll, directed a staff, or completed a project on time and under budget. We just ask for hope and change without qualifications.

Which leads us to the economy and increasingly to the more sensitive issue of foreign policy, because that will cost us very much more in the long run. Malone Vandam at New Paltz indicts the Messiah today with this summary:

Foreign Policy Blunders Join Economic Malfeasance

How even the most inept administration could so blunder something as common, scripted and almost routine as a visit from a sitting British PM is almost beyond comprehension .

Looking For Context

There are little clues in each day's allocation of bad news on the economy. They allow for interpretation of the date in terms of degree of badness. While we hear the daily bleating from the administration about the end of civilization as we know it (excuse the cliche), maybe the warnings of imminent demise are over-blown. Is it possible that the degree of the "crisis" needs to be evaluated with a bit less hysteria?

Consider the plummeting of the Dow-Jones in response to the Obama spending. In terms of my 401(k), it is significant. The impact on retirement can't be ignored. The market is way down and setting new records for decline daily. How low has it gone? Friday's close was the lowest since 1997! Wait, this isn't the Great Depression level? It's the lowest in less than 12 years. Just that short period, not a millenium. It was lower than this low during the second term of the Clinton administration! Does that add some perspective?

Or, how about unemployment? You might question the raw numbers of the DJ Index as not corrected for inflation, but if you look at unemployment stats, they are a percentage of the work force, not a raw number. How bad? 8.1% jobless. Is this 1931 breadlines stuff? Hoover-ville in the railroad switching yard? How about joblessness as high as it was in 1982, the first full year of the Reagan recovery from the disasterous Carter years. Then it dropped to 11.1%. We've got a way to go.

I remember 1982. I had returned from almost 10 years out of the country--one year in Thailand, four in Spain, three in Germany (and less than a year in Alabama going to school.) I was in Alamogordo NM, and I read two newspapers a day, listened to talk radio and watched TV news. I don't recall any bleating, wailing or even noticeable impact from the high unemployment. Certainly if you are the guy without a job, you suffer. But there wasn't a continuous caterwauling from the President about catastrophe looming. It was largely a momentarily blip in America's continued success. We recovered without much notice.

Will it happen this time? The wild card is the response of the government, which is excessive to put it mildly. The indoctrination of the nation in the politics of failure and the dependence upon only government to get us back on track might be the difference from previous downturns. Is increased governmental interference (AKA "regulation") the answer? Is nationalization of banks, auto-production, energy sources and home financing good for us in the long run?

Dark days lie ahead, but maybe if we watch for hints of context we might change our view of our existance.

Friday, March 06, 2009

He Was Blind to the Obvious

Hardly a day goes by in which we don't hear the Messiah bemoaning the crisis and pitching the extremes of action which he prescribes to move the nation along the path to a perfectly socialized world economically in which the villainous free market has been permanently dismantled. No more greed will exist, the rich will be brought low, the masses needs will be met and somehow this perpetual largesse machine will run forever.

Yet with each pronouncement of an influx of federal magic money there comes from another quadrant of the administration another handicap to success of the economy. He seems to give the means to recover with one hand, but then hold the collar of the producers who might actually achieve that recovery with the other. Here, he says, go and succeed. But, do it with your feet tied together, your right hand trussed behind your back and this blindfold over your eyes lest you should actually make progress.

This fine piece will take you about five minutes to read, but it will show quite clearly, objectively and rationally what is going on. The numbers are there and the source is reliable:

WSJ Explains What the Messiah Can't Admit

The probability of any of these actions being halted before the disaster is unrecoverable becomes increasingly remote.

From a Simpler Time

Is it just me, or does Stan look a bit like the Prez?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Message Unsaid

It has been apparent for some time. The somewhat disconcerting fact that the soaring rhetoric of the baby President is pre-written. The soar crashed to the ground a couple of times during the campaign when the scrolling script stumbled and the Messiah's sermon had to become momentarily extemporaneous.

Here's some commentary on the issue as well as a bit of incriminating video:

What Shall I Say Now?

I will acknowledge that every word that emerges from a President's mouth has consequences. A slip of the tongue can create a crisis--but wait, that's all this President speaks about these days anyway.

Yet, it would seem that if one is a massive intellect, his principles would remain clear in his mind, consistent from day-to-day, and easily elucidated without pre-canning. There might be small risk of being viewed as detached, such as George H. W. Bush with his off-the-cuff moment on "having trouble with the vision thing.." Or you could become comedy fodder like George W. Bush with an occasional malapropism or mispronounciation or spur-of-the-moment word coining. Still, you should be able to utter a brief introduction without someone writing it for you in advance.

Maybe more important in this equation is what is unsaid. Is it possible that the Messiah is the greatest puppet the world has ever seen? Could it be that he is the tool of some evil-minded cabal which has used his ethnicity, his broad smile, his toned wife, and his undeniable charm to gain control of the nation's government? Is it conceivable that he must be scripted because he is only the figurehead of a more nefarious group of plotters?

Nah, that's way too conspiracy oriented for me. Couldn't be...do ya think?

Missing The Message in Favor of The Man

I've long lamented the loss in American political discourse of any ability to rationally discuss the issues. Try to talk politics with anyone these days and you quickly run into a barrage of unsupportable assertions, unrelated non sequiturs, emotional sound-bites and an assault of character defamation. We default to slogans and ignore entire elephants in our room.

The latest step in the deterioration of dialogue comes from the Minister of Propaganda in the polital New Wave administration, Rahm Emmanuel. Remember as you consider this that this is the party that so masterfully vilified Karl Rove as a political puppet-master. They characterized him as a manipulator of mis-information and a prankster of the dirtiest political tricks. That was all to change under the leadership and example of The Enlightened One, shall his name be held sacred.

Now, the message isn't about the financial recovery or the war on terror or the need for development of America's energy resources. Nope, the message is about creating a despicable face of leadership for the Republican Party. That's right, the positioning is to place someone who already holds little respect from America's left wing as the voice, the guidance, the agenda-setter of the GOP. If you've already got 30 or 40% of the population thinking someone is a bit of a buffoon, it should be easy then to link the Republicans to that individual and therefore be well on your way to discrediting the entire ideology.

I'm talking about conservative spokesman and talk radio icon, Rush Limbaugh. Identifying him as the director of the Republicans sets the left up to then dismiss anything proposed by the party as some sort of blow-hard's directives. Start with this piece, but then be sure to follow the link to full article:

Bogeyman Distraction

Let's get this straight. Rush is a radio personality. He is a very popular radio personality. He is bombastic, controversial, humorous and entertaining. He speaks emphatically on what he believes, and in the process makes an incredible amount of money. But, he isn't the leader of the party, the definer of the ideology, or the policy-maker of America. He's an entertainer...and a very good one.

Or how about this account of a pathetic slash by a once-talented comic:

Black Humor Attempt

Increasingly obvious is the tactic of the left to accuse their opposition of that which they do with impunity. They point the finger of blame while far exceeding the same sins in their own behavior.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What The Meaning of "Is" Is

I love language. A neatly turned phrase causes me to pause and reread it, trying to gain appreciation of the nuances of the language that were captured and expressed so precisely in just that sequence. Anything different would lessen the impact of the perfect choices that were made by the author.

Here is such a passage which I encountered a few weeks ago when I took upon myself the task of really reading the works of Dickens. It is from the first page of Oliver Twist where he recounts the boy's birth in a workhouse:

The fact is, that there was considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of respiration,- a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter. Now, if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time. There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer; and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and Nature fought out the point between them.

The turns of the passage easily demonstrate what Dickens brought to his literature.

But it is political discourse that bothers me this day. The flatulent vacancy that has characterized the entire vocabulary of the rise of the Messiah is the case in point. Hope, change, belief, and nothing else are offered, but the masses embraced it and dutifully chant the liturgy at every opportunity.

Malone Vandam over at New Paltz Journal captures it beautifully this morning:

For the Love of Language

Here's part of what he writes:

And the young, instead of developing verbal sharpness and fluidity, expanding their integrated conceptual base along with their vocabularies, appear to lose that sharpness and fluidity, having less of it when they leave college than when they entered high school. They wind up speaking an amputated pidgin language that is opaque to concepts beyond those that express the generalized popular therapeutic state of their emotions and moods. They listen to music that is racket with lyrics that are gibberish and are transformed

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Are you amazed? I know I am. The Messiah got elected as this incredible intellect and leader. Despite absolutely no executive experience, we turned over the nation to his control. He quickly surrounded himself with a suitable group of sycophants and began instantaneously to churn out executive orders and spending proposals.

There is no restraint on this. The congress is firmly in the hands of the Socialist Party under Pelosi and Reid. They see no reason not to accede to the Presidential proposals. They will satisfy and enlarge their constituencies. They will be enacting the will of the people. They will be furthering some of their pet agenda items like electric cars, windmill powered houses, military demobilization and mediocre health care for everyone. They will do this by exacerbating class envy and the downtrodden masses deep loathing for the successful in America. Rather than attempting to raise the many, the avowed policy is to destroy the few.

The expenditures already are gargantuan. They’ve changed the language. We no longer consider five hundred million dollars as significant. A few billion is now a drop in the bucket. We talk freely of trillions. And we don’t blanch when we forecast annual deficits for the next decade in trillions of dollars per year. The national debt isn’t even mentioned anymore.

With incredible hubris they simply explain it as all insignificant because they are going to withdraw troops from Iraq and repeal tax cuts on the wealthiest one or two percent. That will handle the supply side of the equation. Money for nothing and the chicks for free.

So, six weeks into the proposals, how is the market responding? It is in free-fall. But wait, you say. The money hasn’t hit the streets yet. It can’t have an impact.

Hogwash says I. The markets respond to the future. The rise in a market is triggered by anticipation of profits, not by profits in hand already. Then it is too late in the cycle for investors to jump aboard. The market should have steadied and even begun a rise, if only a gradual one. Why then the dive?

Simple really. The people who invest in the market are the ones who have money not needed for daily essentials. Those are the folks who are going to bear the tax burdens of the entire nation.

Companies plan for the future based on anticipation of demands. Profit margins drive their investment planning. If you have been promised that your carbon dioxide emissions are going to be heavily taxed you won’t anticipate any profit. If your fuel costs are going to skyrocket because coal power plants have been shut down and no nuclear is being built, your profits will disappear. If your labor costs are going through the roof because you now must provide health care not only to your employees, but their families and their relatives and your retirees you’ve lost your margins for future job creation or infrastructure growth.

The unproductive get the handouts. The productive get taxed into unproductivity. The markets predict the future and their crystal ball should be telling the smartest executive we’ve ever put in the White House that this agenda is impossible.

Regardless of how progressive you are; regardless of how concerned you are for the working poor; regardless of how you want to protect the planet from unsubstantiated threats, you still are bound by simple math. One plus one will always equal two. Even if we want it to equal 1.4 trillion dollars.

As John Galt might remind us, “A equals A.”

Who is John Galt? You may find yourself asking regularly in days to come.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Where's the New RNC?

If a conservative in America needs to become even more depressed, one need only look at the recent CPAC confab in Washington. They gathered to commiserate and strategize. They even had the fire-em-up address by Rush to raise the blood lust and regenerate the fighting spirit.

But, then they took a straw poll. Admittedly such an exercise is meaningless at this point, but it highlights a failure to learn from experience. There has long been a tendency to employ a "wait your turn" philosophy when seeking presidential contenders. That gave us Bob Dole's disasterous attempt against Bill Clinton's second term. It was his turn, but he was way over the hill as far as voters were concerned. He had exceeded his "best if served by" date.

Last go-around the primary voters rejected the favorites. Rudy never got out of the gate. Thompson fell flat for lack of enthusiasm--either his or the voters. Romney got discarded as a religious cultist, not viable for the far right of the party. And, before we knew it we had McCain. It was his turn.

Against the Obama whirlwind of youthful appeal, John fell flat. He got a boost of freshness when Sarah Palin came on board, but then she got muzzled and managed into inanity. Within ten days she was a caricature of what she really is. The left labeled her as shallow and inexperienced and it stuck. We couldn't nail the headliner of the opposition with the same charges although they were much more applicable on that side of the aisle.

So, CPAC took a straw poll for 2012. The winner? Mitt Romney! How loud can I say, NO!!!!???? He didn't work this time, he won't work next time. Even if he is qualified in spades.

The RNC needs to cultivate and nurture its rather significant crop of youthful rising young stars. Palin has time to be recreated and polished. Sanford, Perry, Crist, Palenty and Jindal are all potential powerhouses. Let them be noticed, but most importantly, let them be themselves.

Jindal got the chance to shine last week doing the rebuttal to the President's address to Congress. All the reviews are in and he booted it. Here's an excellent perspective:

Better Served Fresh

Can't we learn from the Palin fiasco? Jindal is a remarkable talent. He got where he is on his skills, intellect and capability. Let him show that to the people. Don't micro-manage and stifle that.

Will he be on the ticket in 2012? I can't predict. But let's stop looking back and start to look at the future. There is incredible talent and freshness in our shopping cart. We don't need to cook the vegetables until all the flavor and vitamins are out of them and they turn gray. Let's apply a light hand and an open mind to show what is there.

Eat a Peach

Duane Allman may have been one of the best dobro pickers ever to come along and he was gone too soon:

But, this is only a taste. The whole peach was a 33 minute cut on one full side of the album