Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama to Push for Offshore Drilling? Don't Be Fooled

President Obama announced today his plan to modify the moratorium on offshore drilling by allowing rigs within 50 miles of the coast of Virginia. While this sounds good on the surface, the article goes on to highlight other areas that are now closed to drilling, namely the West Coast and Alaska.

Net gain = not much.

Veteran political watchers will immediately recognize this move as the tossing of a bone to the right and a few independents since his approval numbers are descending rapidly among those groups. The headlines will make it sound as though Obama really cares about artifically high energy costs, but not everyone is as enthusiastic. John Boehner rightly finds this announcement lacking, as will most Americans once they find out the details.

So, how would we know that Obama, who admitted that his cap-and-trade bill would result in catastrophic increases in energy prices for Americans, is serious about reducing our dependency on foreign oil? He didn't call for any type of legislation to streamline the permitting process for oil exploration. There are no provisions to eliminate the frivolous lawsuits that radical environmental groups use to cripple our capacity to produce energy. He hasn't called for a moratorium on new environmental regulations. He hasn't done anything to increase our energy supply or reduce energy costs.

This announcement is basically a non-announcement.

We'll see if this statement has any teeth by the way the market responds with higher or lower gas pump prices. Many leading indicators say that we can expect another round of $4 per gallon gas this summer which will further harm an already wounded economy. As with the last one, grocery prices will rise first, followed by anything else that is transported by truck. The hyperinflation that we've been warned about could very well start in the energy sector, primarily due to ineffective and essentially meaningless policies such as this one. Once this begins, it will be very hard to stop, especially with the current crop of Congresscritters in Washington and their resistance to common sense and ignorance of economic laws.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Decoding the Left: Mental Illness as a Political Movement

By now, you may have heard the newest item of the MSM's agenda: any opposition to the ObamaCare Law is the fault of evil, right-wing conservatives. Those who don't like the imposition of a massively expensive and intrusive government program to correct minor imperfections in the world's best medical system are bloodthirsty conservative radicals, unhinged and ready to kill someone, anyone in their blind lunatic rage against the nations's first black president.

Got that?

It's all part of the psychological war being waged upon average Americans by a minority of elites who want nothing less than full control over you, your thoughts and actions, your family and your country. Make no mistake, what you see and hear on CNN, MSNBC and the Big Three is another carefully crafted effort to manipulate your emotions and make you question your instincts.

What we have here is mental instability acting like a political movement. There's just no other way to describe it.

Here's the baseline: a normal, well-adjusted adult has no urge to control another normal, well-adjusted adult. It just doesn't exist. The need isn't there. A normal, well-adjusted adult has a firm grip on reality and conducts his or her life in a responsible manner. This person has a sort of inner compass, informing him/her of the proper way to live and separating truth from fiction, lies from deceit. In fact, in a perfect world, everyone would be self-contained and whole within themselves, thus eliminating the need for laws. Peace would reign, supreme. I feel confident that this mental attitude is what's referred to in the Bible as "Heaven on Earth".

Having established a baseline, we can see just how far we've fallen away from it. The distance from it is measured in the unit called a "progressive".

The roots of this mental illness remain a mystery. The symptoms, however, are on display daily and most often shown by politicians, particularly Democrats, who have become brazen and open in their efforts to dismiss the opinion and will of the people they're supposed to represent. Well-reasoned argument is avoided,with one representative reducing the oppostions' argument to the immature phrase of "die quickly", complete with placards printed with large lettering, lest we illiterates on the right miss the verbal messsage.

Fortunately, this blog isn't alone in its quest to understand this illness. Dr. Pat Santy, whose blog is a regular stop for me, regularly engages in this exploration of the mind. Her recent post on self-esteem is a classic treatise on the immaturity of leftists. Se sure to check out Encouraging a Culture of Narcissism.

In it, she quotes Dr. Theodore Dalrymple:

When people speak of their low self-esteem, they imply two things: first, that it is a physiological fact, rather like low hemoglobin, and second, that they have a right to more of it. What they seek, if you like, is a transfusion of self-esteem, given (curiously enough) by others; and once they have it, the quality of their lives will improve as the night succeeds the day. For the record, I never had a patient who complained of having too much self-esteem, and who therefore asked for a reduction. Self-esteem, it appears, is like money or health: you can't have too much of it.

Again, this is merely a symptom of a disease. Oversimplified, it is a God complex where the victim decides that he or she knows everything. Of and by itself, that attitude is merely humorous, and can be endearing in certain cases. However, that attitude in a position of power is very dangerous, as we are slowly seeing with the Obama administration, aided by Reid and Pelosi. It's just one of the many reasons why politicians should be rigorously examined by the public in any race, local or national, and those infected by this disease rejected.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid, Health Care Propaganda Edition

Wheee! It's Friday!

In the wake (and this blog means that in the funereal way) of the passage of the ObamaCare bill on Sunday, a carefully orchestrated series of news stories are currently being run in an attempt by the neo-Marxists in Washington to discredit any and all opposition to this takeover of one-sixth of the economy. Teary-eyed Democrats, shaking with raw emotion, are fearfully recounting incidents of people shouting at them and giving them mean looks.

The horror.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall them having much to say against these protests.

Andrew Breitbart has issued a challenge to the Congressional Black Caucus. He's offering a $10,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund for anyone who can prove that any of their members was spat upon by anyone in the crowd last weekend in Washington. He accurately points out that with all of the personal electronics present, no one seems to be able to confirm the accustions. Funny, that.

Here's where this blog makes an absurd point: One could say that the sky is brown with green poka-dots. You could say it. You have every right to say it. We have laws defending your right to say it.

But that doesn't make it true.

Here's another tidbit to brighten up your Friday. If you had any doubts that the Obama administration is working directly against your interests, wonder no more.  Personal incomes are dropping across the country.

In closing, I present this for your consideration. I think it's a conspriracy. The USPS has been running in the red for a while and they need to increase the number of letters you mail.

Behold the Bacon Flavored Envelope.

Bastages, all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just a Reminder of What We Could Be Doing

Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
John Kennedy

While this blog considers itself to be grounded in reality, occasionally flights of fancy take off. Today is one of those times.
We could have people in Washington who genuinely cared about their fellow citizens. They would want the same things for us that we want for ourselves and our families. Things like a strong economy so we could realize the American Dream, good wages, real diversity in the job market so that those of us who enjoy working with our hands can have a future as fullfilling as anyone with a college degree.
We could have people in Washington who realize that our country is not the source of evil in the world, as so many of them seem to think. To them I say, "Show me this perfect society that you compare us to. When did it flourish and where was it located, what did it do for it's people that we aren't doing? Who were its' people and what were their contributions to mankind? Was everyone in this land prosperous and healthy, wanting nothing?" If there were such a place, why have we never heard of it?
We could be using our natural resources to continue to improve not only our lives, but those of the whole world. We could have cheap gasoline and natural gas, coal and nuclear power. But we've allowed ourselves to be lied to by people who don't like us. They want us to believe we're doing real harm to a planet that's many billions of years old. As a result, we face increased prices for things that should be getting cheaper, causing scarcity where there need not be. We're tired of the drone that we consume so much of the Earth's resources, with it's implication that we're somehow wasting them. Nothing could be further from the truth, and most people know it. We need politicians who know it and will stop the insanity of radical environmentalism before we all revert back to living in caves.
We could have leadership in Washington that's in tune with the majority of honest, hard-working Americans and would work to insure that our values were reinforced.
We have instead the Obama administration.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some Early Fallout From The Health Care Takeover Bill

It doesn't look good for president Obama, Harry Pelosi or Nancy Reid.

A CNN poll over the weekend show just how unpopular this takeover is with America.

59% oppose the Democrats’ health care bill, while only 39% favor it.

70% say the federal budget deficit will go up under the Democrats’ health care bill; only 12% believe it will go down.

47% say they and their families will be worse off under the Democrats’ health care bill; 33% say things will be about the same, and only 19% think they’ll be better off.
Click here for the PDF of the poll results.

Congresscritters who voted against the will of their constituents are already feeling the heat just one day later.

Michelle Malkin has a list of more opposition to this travesty of justice.

And now for the cherry on top: Reid and Pelosi's popularity numbers are right down there with that bastion of Venezuelan freedom, Hugo Chavez.

And that's just today.

Make no mistake, the anti-American Marxists and progressives who've infested Washington have overreached in a big way. Their determination to defy the will of the country in the face of growing public opposition to the health care bill has pushed them over the edge. As conditions in our country continue to deteriorate, look for more people to awaken to the hostile takeover, and begin to actively resist the effort to turn us into a banana republic.

This is only the beginning...

Monday, March 22, 2010

So this is what disenfranchisement feels like.

How do you feel today?

Do you feel like your voice has been heard in Washington? Do you feel like a vital and necessary part of your country, that your input is well-recieved? That your opinion concerning the direction your country should take is being considered thoughtfully by those whom you trusted enough to send to Washington?

If not, then welcome to Change.

Yesterday's vote for Obamacare in the House was truly historic, but for the wrong reasons. Granted, our health care system could use some improvement. You could accurately say that about nearly facet of our society. Polls have shown that most Americans do indeed want some kind of health care reform.

Just not what we got yesterday.

We Americans are a practical lot. We tend towards the best and most effective solution to a problem. Such is the case with health care reform. However, logical solutions seem lost on our current leadership. For instance, one solution to the rising cost of health care would be to place limits on frivolous lawsuits. As has been well documented, these lawsuits are the prime cause of skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates. The actions of a few greedy lawyers have a direct impact on the price of health care for everyone, but due to the money and influence of the trial lawyers' lobby in Washington, this solution (a provision to reduce or restrict lawsuits) is not considered viable. We were told early on that this was not to be an option, for the very reasons I just outlined. Over. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Score: Trial Lawyers 1, American public 0.

Another common sense solution that was disregarded was to use the free market to reduce costs by allowing interstate competition between insurance companies. We've seen this work quite well for the auto insurance companies, so it's not like this is some pie-in-the-sky fantasy. Again, this idea never gained any traction as a method of cost containment.

Score: Pelosi 1, Common Sense 0

As more details were discovered about this healt care bills' provisions, the more public sentiment turned against this bill, but not the notion of reform itself. America told Washington to slow down and take a good  look at the alternatives to a massive government takeover of one-sixth of our economy. Then we said, stop altogether, this is getting out of control. Finally, when protestors took to the Capitol steps to register their discontent, they were totally ignored.

Score: Radical Marxists 1, America 0

Do you feel disenfranchised yet? If not, you should. Your wishes have been roundly and blatantly ignored by President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

You are now a subject, not a citizen. You have no voice against the power of elites in Washington who are now empowered to do your thinking for you. You ideas are considered irrelevant, your opinion worthless.

When your opnion is worthless, so is your citizenship.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid, NCAA Edition

...wherein this blog mentions that it hasn't had the time to watch many games in the first round. For this, I humbly beseech you not to permanently revoke my Man Card.

It's just that I'm far more focused on the Constitutional crisis currently going on in Washington. Yesterday's vote to proceed with the Slaughter rule has opened a dangerous door. This means that the Constitution will have been rendered essentially meaningless and will brand each and every member of Congress who voted for this manuever as a traior, and rightly so. This is dangerous territory for the progressives as the country awakens from its slumber to discover, in horror, that Washington no longer cares for the will of the people. Some are already calling for impeachment, as is our right to do. It's just not whom you'd suspect. It's the Washington Times.

Even Howard Stern, not known as a particularly prescient political thinker, is extremely pissed. He's not alone.

Folks, I don't normally do this sort of thing here, but I believe that we're in a time and situation that calls for Divine Intervention if we are to save our country and our way of life. We need help and we need it badly.


Fervently, with humility and hope that we can recapture the spirit of freedom enshrined in our Constitution and purge our enemies from power in a peaceful way that meets His approval.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A President Revealed

Sporting a green striped tie for St. Patrick's Day, President Obama sat down with Fox News Anchor Bret Baier for an interview in the historic oval Blue Room in the White House. A memorable exchange followed, allowing the American public to see and hear the President in a more relaxed, informal, and less scripted setting.

Baier came well-equipped with facts and figures concerning the transformative healthcare bill currently limping its way through Congress. Obama arrived with considerably less.

Baier wasted no time, asking Obama if he was comfortable with the heretofore unheard of parliamentary manuever called "The Slaughter Rule". Obama waved off the question as essentially irrelevant, saying
"I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate."
Well, Mr. President, neither do we. We trust the people we send to Washington to stick to the rules. However, not many of us have heard of this one, so pardon us if we have a question or two. Perhaps you could, oh, I don't know, maybe educate the public about it, seeing as how you used to be a Constitutional professor and all. I'm sure we'd all like to know a bit of the history and use of this rule.

Bret next asked a question posed by the general public. Citing two names, the question was "If this bill is so good, why all the deals and arm twisting?"

Obama shot back that he could produce 40,000 letters asking why he hasn't done enough, displaying more dismissiveness of the American public.
Baier's next question quoted Nancy Pelosi's approval for the Slaughter Rule after the President had said that America deserved an up or down vote on the measure.

Obama replied by noting the controversial "Cornhusker Kickback", a provision in the bill exempting Kansas from the financial costs of the bill, a perk not offered to any other state. This was followed by an explanation that was random and bordering on incoherent.

Now, a lot of the members of the House legitimately say, we want to vote on a package, as the president has proposed, that has those fixes embedded in it. Now that may mean they have to sequence the votes. But the ultimate vote they're taking is on whether or not they believe in the proposal that I put forward, to make sure that insurance reform is fixed, to make sure the deficits are reduced, and premiums go down, and small businesses are helped. That's what they're concerned about.
Thank you for that insight, Sir.

Continuing on the subject of which special deals were contained in the bill, Baier asked if certain provisions were in or out of the bill.

Hilarity ensued in the form of this, uh, um, whatever this is:

I am certain that we've made sure, for example, that any burdens on states are alleviated, when it comes to what they're going to have to chip in to make sure that we're giving subsidies to small businesses, and subsidies to individuals, for example.

Baier then asked if the Conneticut deal was in the bill. Obama replied with his approval of the "Lousiana Purchase"  citing a provision that evaded the issue of the 100 million dollar gift to the state and instead focused on the bill's other goal of providing federal aid to states hit by natural disasters. Remind me again, Mr. President, which state hasn't recieved federal help after a natural disaster?

When pressed as to the presence of other payoffs and special deals in the healthcare bill (which he could not answer), a visibly upset President said something that should be of great concern to everyone.

Bret, the core of this bill is going to be affecting every American family.
Two points: You can't answer simple questions about the content of this bill after having spent the past 14 months working on it? Believe me, Sir, if you came into my office as my employee and could not tell me what you've been working on for the past year, I would fire you.

The second point is that the bill is so sweeping in its scope, the size alone is scary and I'm not sure I want you to have that much power.

Bret was able to corner the president with this:

You said a few times as Senator Obama that if a president has to eke out a victory of 50 plus one, that on something as important as health care, "you can't govern." But now you're embracing a 50 plus one reconciliation process in the Senate, so do you feel like you can govern after this?

Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark.

Obama answered incoherently:

Well, Bret, the — I think what we've seen during the course of this year is that we have come up with a bill that basically tracks the recommendations of Tom Daschle, former Democratic senator and leader, but also Bob Dole, former Republican leader, Howard Baker, former Republican leader. The ideas embodied in this legislation are not left, they're not right, they are — they are —

That's OK, Sir. You can stop right there. No, really Sir, it's not necessary to keep going. Honestly...

It's at this point that the interview degrades into a display by the President of dismissiveness, evasion, irritation, obfuscation and outright confusion. More questions about specific provisions in the bill were met with non-answers. At the end, Obama played the only card he had left to play: blaming his predecessor.


My general impression of the interview was that President Obama was outmatched. Bret Baier was much better prepared to ask substantive questions about the healthcare bill, questions that Obama clearly could not answer. There weren't many "gotcha" questions, at least no more than Sarah Palin got in her interviews on the campaign trail. On the few that were asked, Baier coached him, giving him short details, not wanting to be seen as ambushing him.

We saw nothing inspiring. We saw a man clearly not up to the rigors of the task of being President. We saw a man seemingly unable to think on his feet, wholly dependent on handlers and teleprompters and prepared speeches. We saw a man who holds no foundation of belief in any institution save himself. We saw a self-obsessed, vain and shallow man, far different from the one that was presented during the campaign.

We did not see a genuine President.

We saw a crude charicature instead.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Poision of Progressivism

It began with hope and a promise of change. No longer would our country be shackled by "politics as usual". Openess and honesty were to be the standing orders of the day. A bright new sun would rise, replacing the darkness of the previous administration whose policies were dragging down the great potential contained in the United States.

Anyone who still believes that in light of the disaster of the past 14 months of the Obama administration needs a serious and thorough psychiatric evaluation followed by heavy doses of medication because you have lost your mind.

The events of the past year have truly been breathtaking in their audacity. The list is growing too large to be remembered conveniently - what is left is the uncomfortable feeling that our country has been taken away from us by the very people we trusted enough to vote into office.

It's in our nature as Americans to give our fellow citizens the benefit of the doubt. We extended that courtesy to the new administration and gave it time to acclimate itself to the rigors of leadership. What were seen as obvious missteps were forgiven as rookie mistakes that were sure to be corrected in short order. After all, Democrats had been out of power for a while and might be a bit rusty. Time and experience would serve as self-correction. We believed that we were making history with the election of the country's first black President, which we did, and that our newfound racial harmony would absolve us of the stain of segregation. This new administration would be merely a liberal twist on standard American values, not unlike previous Democrat administrations.

Well, so much for those ideas.

If you question wheter what you're witnessing in Washington is the result of incompetance or a deliberate assault on the country, wonder no more. Believe your own eyes and trust what you hear: your country has been taken away from you.

It is essential for you to understand that the politicians who now inhabit the area inside the Beltway are not like you or me. They do not share your values. They are not interested in your welfare. They do not want you to be successful in life, they don't care if your family has a secure future and they most definitely do not embrace the values that made America the beacon of hope and freedom for the world.

In fact, for some inexplicable reason, they hold you in contempt. They look down upon you and your beliefs as one might look upon a small child. Your opinions don't matter. Your arguments are dismissed. They are the ultimate arbiters of your life, not you.

This attitude is now on naked display in the battle over ObamaCare currently raging on Capitol Hill. In the face of overwhelming evidence that shows America wants nothing to do with a government takeover of the healthcare industry, progressives in both houses of Congress persist in forcing their grand vision of socialism down your throat.

This issue has become so toxic to the nation that we are now faced with a true Constitutional crisis in the form of the "Slaughter rule". Make no mistake, this is being done on purpose in a deliberate attempt to circumvent the will of America. Any attempt to do an "end around" any vote should be considered a slap in your face.

This crisis didn't just appear out of thin air, my friends. It came about as part of a well-planned and orchestrated effort to bypass our Constituion and to fundamentally change our country. And this is just the beginning.

There was a time when the word "communist" invoked an image of people who hated you because you were American. Communists and communism were seen as a threat to the country, and rightly so. It was their stated goal: "We will bury you".

It's time to consider the word "progressive" to be equally evil. The goal of "progressives" is the same: to abolish the pillars of self-rule by the people and replace it with a government that is openly hostile to you. your family, and your future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Keeping Up With the Competition II: Enough with the Regulations, Already

Here's the best news that isn't fit to print. The Environmental Protection Agency released its annual report on air quality trends. And guess what? Our air is much cleaner today than it was forty years ago. That's no real surprise. It's also gotten much cleaner over the last twenty years than the previous twenty years. Again, that's not much of a surprise either.

The surprise is that this wasn't reported by the MSM.

So, what accounts for the embargo on what should be considered good news and a story of success against the ravages of mankind upon the planet? Could it be that this information is being smothered in an attempt to convince the public we still need the Cap and Trade Bill?

Even more important is this question:  How much regulation is enough?

It's becoming clear that what we're doing is working, and judging from this report, working quite well, thank you. But at what point does regulation begin to become counterproductive, costing more in regulatory fees, fines, and unecessary lawsuits? And how much cost is added to the price of doing business because of them? Also, are we hanging a regulatory millstone around the neck of American businesses that other countries don't?

To answer this question, we need look no further than California. Their Legislative and Analytic Office is now starting to see the negative effects of too much regulation. The report notes the exodus of businesses from the state due to environmental overregulation and the negative impact on job creation that logically follows. The next thing to fall is tax income for the state, which results is spending deficits when politicians won't stop spending.

One would think that with a warning sign the size of the state of California, that Washington and the Obama administration would at least consider the possiblity that overregulation will significantly hamper our ability to compete in the global marketplace. This doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, EPA head Lisa Jackson has indicated in an interview with Forbes online that her agency will increase the regulatory pressure on American businesses. She states:

I think it's fair to say that, yes, we will be putting out more rules.
She goes on to laud an activist role for the agency,

I would definitely describe it as an active EPA. And proactive. "Activist" calls to mind the idea that we only have one point of view. What I've said is that we have to be driven by science and the law. The laws that we have in this country to govern environmental matters are extremely powerful, and in many cases just need to be used and used consistently. Maybe progressive would be a word I feel more comfortable with.
If Ms. Jackson were at all driven by science, she'd know that ClimatedGate has blown an enormous hole in the theory of man-made "climate change". If she were at all sincere, she's be hesitant to push for more and more restrictive regulations in light of the CRU emails showing a deliberate effort by "climate scientists" to omit and manipulate climate data to twist the outcome into something less than the truth.

It's this blog's opinion that we've been very effective with the environmental regulations we've put in place over the years.

It's time for us to consider a moratorium on any new environmental regulations for a minimum of three years and a reduction in the funding of the EPA.

Our ability to compete with the rest of the world depend upon it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keeping Up With the Competition: Can We Compete in a World Market?

Much has been written about the global economy in the last twenty years or so. It was presented as the New World Order of Economics, wherein everyone was a beneficiary and there was nary a downside. Indeed, we would all be ushered into a brave new world (by our benevolent governments, of course), everyone could work as they pleased, money would be plentiful, the price of goods would be reduced and everyone would enjoy all the positives and none of the negatives.

Here we are twenty years later, enough time to accurately gauge the effects of this new way of economic thinking. So, where is here, exactly?

Hint, it's not as good as we were used to. In fact, if you use any traditional yardstick, we're much worse off.

Today's unemployment numbers stand at record levels not seen in a generation. Job growth is non-existant, the GDP is flailing, purchasing power and consumer confidence are very low, and nearly one out of five Americans is jobless or underemployed.

It's gotten so bad that the Obama administration has tried to change the traditional measurements of economic health by introducing the new paradigm of "jobs, saved or created". This is a blatent attempt to fool you into thinking something that isn't true.

Thank goodness it isn't working. There are too many folks out there suffering. Do you know someone who hasn't been negatively affected by the economy? Do you know someone who has lost their job? Or their house? Or been forced to move to find a job? This blog is willing to bet that the majority of you do.

Which brings me to the original point: Is this global economy working to our advantage or is it time to reconsider and perhaps try something different?

Anyone who has ever engaged in business will tell you that you must keep up with the competition. In the quest to generate wealth, it's axiomatic that someone will think of better ways to do things. You can either become better than your competition, or you'll lose market share and money to a more agile competitor.

But when the government becomes a business factor, look forward to reduced efficiency and higher costs, with the resultant drag on the economy and a reduced standard of living. Once government decides to impose its will in the private market, we all see the negative impact, even if we somehow manage to avoid the consequences. Eventually, if the government becomes too large a factor, everyone suffers.

As government increases its role in the private sector, the costs of doing business rise. More government = higher prices. It just doesn't get much simpler than that. Think for a moment about the contradiction of a government that encourages our participation in the global market, but then creates so many rules and regulations (compared to other countries) that we lose any advantage we may have once enjoyed in the market. It is entirely possible to legislate ourselves out of the running, as we watch companies flock to other countries with far fewer regulations. Is this already happening? Look at China, one of the few countries enjoying rapid growth.

It's time to reconsider the role our government plays in the nations' business and ask ourselves if we're hurting ourselves by electing the wrong people into office. Should we be electing those who insist on government rules and regulations as the solution for everything, or should we perhaps shift our focus away from Washington and towards Main Street, where the greatest  reservoir of talent lies in the common sense of Americans?

To be continued...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid, Ides of March Edition

Where in the world is James Brown's body?

Tiger Woods to return to golf at the Masters? He has Hank Haney as his swing coach and Ari Fleischer as his spin coach. Winning the Masters again might remind the world what he's really good at.

Is this the end of Jack Bauer? I, for one, will miss She-of-the-perpetually-furrowed-brow.

Something foul afoot at the Miami Airport. Frank Zappa would approve.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald Obama administration. Flopping Aces fires up the Wayback Machine and sets the controls to 2004, when the press was virtually orgasmic in their gleeful coverage of Bush the 43rd when he reached that number. Today, with Obama? Crickets.

Brain scan reads peoples' thoughts. In the case of progressives, all you get is a test pattern.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In the Holding Cell, 2011

"So I was sitting there, talking to my broker over lunch, when this big cop walks in the front door and starts talking to the maitre'd. I didn't think anything of it until they both looked at our table. The maitre'd then pointed at me and I began to get nervous. This was a great little Italian restaurant and I certainly didn't want to create a scene. I'd been eating there for several years and knew the owner and most of the staff by name."

The skinny kid with the tattoos who sat next to me was waiting to find out how a well-dressed, Wall Street kind of guy like me wound up in the same holding cell as him. He looked like a nice enough kid and I could almost see him as a child on his grandfathers' lap, soaking up each detail of a story well told. "Did you think about making a trip to the men's room to flush it?" he asked. "That's what I would've done. I wouldn't have been caught with that stuff on me."

I looked at him and replied, "I thought about it, but that would've been too obvious. The cop would've chased me into the bathroom. I was already in enough trouble anyway, I didn't want to add fleeing from the police to the list."

"Anyway, the cop walks over to our table and stands next to me and tells me to keep my hands where he can see them. Then he reaches into my coat pocket and pulls out the baggie like he had seen me put it there, which I knew was impossible. I never thought I looked that suspicious..."

"Maybe you should've just dropped it on the floor. You could've claimed that it belonged to somebody else, you know." the kid said.

"Have you ever heard of dusting for fingerprints?" I shot back.

The kid nodded, "Oh, yeah, I hadn't thought of that,"

"Then the cop leans in and says, "You can come quietly or not." I chose to keep this whole thing as low-key as possible. I'd need as many facts on my side as I could get when I went before the judge. I played it cool and walked out the front door with the cop right behind me."

"The cop didn't do anything to your broker buddy?" the kid asked.

"No, but he paid our bill. I guess that was enough punishment. Well, that and getting the shit scared out of him right before dessert."

The kid leaned back against the block wall. "So, how will you plead? This law is pretty new..."

"I'm not sure. I've heard from some people that posession of salt and using it on food are two separate charges, some say it's just one. I guess we'll find out. I don't like being a guinea pig."

By now, the third guy in the holding cell, the one in the green flannel shirt and baseball cap, had heard my story. "Good luck in court. You'll need it."

"Thanks," I replied. "Say, you don't look like the dangerous type to me. What are you in for?"


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Farewell Former Representative Massa: You Won't be Missed

This blog watched the train wreck that was billed as an interview on Glenn Beck's television show yesterday. At the end, Glenn apologized to America for wasting an hour of our time.

I'm not so sure an apology is necessary, Glenn. In fact, you may have actually done us a favor.

What we heard and saw in yesterday's interview was eye-opening and makes me want to test the water in Washington for hallucinogens. What we heard was rambling and often incoherent. Judging by his performance, Massa seems incapable of drawing a straight line between two points. Direct questions were not only not answered, there was no attempt to even stay on the topic of the question. Massa resembled a pinball, bouncing off this bumper, then that one with no apparent goal and certainly no intent of actually answering a question. Prior to his Beck appearance, he said he was forced out of Congress when he really resigned.

Beck was visibly upset at the end of his show. One could sense that it had not gone the way he'd planned. His guest had not been cooperative nor forthcoming with the answers to the questions posed. In particular, the topic of corruption had not been adequately addressed, which may have accounted for most of Beck's dour mood.

Glenn, perhaps the hour did not live up to your standards. Don't feel bad, it didn't reach mine either. We both wanted to know far more about the inner workings of Congress than Massa disclosed. You weren't at fault here, it was clearly Massa's intent to duck, bob, and weave his way around questions like a boxer.

What you did, Glenn, was show us the man. In that respect, you succeeded. Massa clearly does not possess the qualitites necessary for a leadership position, which is curious considering his many years of Naval service to his country. He could not, or would not answer a direct question in a clear and concise manner.

Glenn, you showed us the type of person we need to purge from Washington.

For that, I thank you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Obama Administration Seeks to Ban...Fishing?


There's no other word to describe the environmental movement. What began as a fringe group whose wild-eyed predictions of global catastrophe garnered the bemused attention of the media has become a potent force in politics. Never mind that the entire premise of the "climate change" crowd is flawed to the point of absurdity, these people have now gained a foothold in Washington with the election of Barack Obama.

Forty years ago, if you'd brought up the idea that mankind could cause any long-term damage to the planet, you would've been laughed out of the room, and rightly so. Anyone who's ever seen grass growing in the crack of a highway instinctively knows that the Earth is the final winner in any contest with man. If mankind were to be suddenly swept away, is there any doubt that flora would rush to overcome our buildings and roads? Is there any doubt that the world would eventually revert to it's pre-man state, plus a few artifacts?

Perhaps because of the ridiculous and outrageous nature of the claims, certain people have become succeptible to an idea that is laughable at best, but highly dangerous if allowed into the political arena. But allowed it is, as though it were perfectly normal to think the sky was brown with orange polka-dots.

This misguided belief is now the basis for all manner of government regulation, all in an effort to reduce our freedom, but all in the name of the innocence of ecology. Again, I must stress that I'm not advocating pouring used motor oil into the ground (and into the water supply), but this excuse has long outlived its usefulness as a rational source of action. It's now being used as a bludgeon against the nation. Knowing that the American people would never vote for the draconian restrictions being placed on our economy, those same restrictions are still being enacted, only by departmental fiat.

Ask yourself: "Should recreational fishing be banned?"

Certainly no one who has ever gone fishing would propose such a ludicrous idea, yet that may very well be the outcome of a Council on Environmental Quality task force currently under way in Washington.

Think about that for a minute, especially if you've ever seen the wonder in a child's eyes while reeling in his first fish. Why would anyone in government want to rob you of that experience? Yet that's exactly the kind of control that the Obama administration wishes to impose upon you. If you ever wondered whether Obama was incompetant or willfully malicious in his desire to "fundamentally transform" America, wonder no more. It is deliberate: his hatred for this country extends all the way down to the lowly fisherman.

And make no mistake, this isn't about the environment. It's all about controlling your life, or rather, taking away your freedom to do as you please.

In a way, it would almost be fun to find yourself in a holding cell and, being asked what you were arrested for, to answer "fishing".


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Goodbye Respect, We Hardly Knew Ye

The good Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has a great post over at Pajamas Media today. He looks at the strange state of mental affairs in California. He observes this:
We want all the dividends of industrial society, but an 18th century wilderness at the same time.
Of course, he's using "we" as "them", being the ultra-cool and tragically hip.

You get the picture — our top echelons have become quite prissy. The redwood deck is beloved, not the falling coast redwood tree; kitchen granite counters are de rigueur, not the blasting at the top of the granite mountain; the Prius is a badge of honor, not the chemical plant that makes its batteries; we now like stainless steel frigs, but hate steel’s coke, and iron ore, and electricity lines; arugula is tasty, not the canal that brings water 400 miles to irrigate it...
While pointing out the popular psychosis brought about by whatever is in the water out there, I kept thinking one thing while reading his article: What we've lost is respect. I even said so in the comments.

At one point, we had a national heirarchy of a sort. I even remember part of it. The family, with a strong father and a cooperative mother raised children who were taught certain values, among them respect for experience. Fathers worked, moms held the house together, kids went to school and were taught by neighbors who shared the same values.

Somewhere along the line, something changed. I recall it happening during the sixties. Authority was challenged by inexperienced youth. Rebellion became the "in" thing to do. If you were protesting, then you were cool since all your friends were doing it. Teenagers were told that they held the keys to knowledge and that their hopelessly out of touch parents were somehow holding them down and keeping them "oppressed".

The result of this was the carefully crafted death of the virtue of respect.

I'm not going to point fingers at who did this, frankly because I don't know who to blame. Nevertheless, the damage was done. One generation's perception of reality was twisted by forces unknown. Turn children against their parents and there is literally hell to pay for it. Parents could have the best of intentions in the wisdom they pass onto their kids, but let one overpowering personality take the place of a parent and all those good intentions fly out the window.

Children who have no respect for their parents have no respect for anyone else. What Dr. Hanson is witnessing in the confusion of Californians is the result (and intent) of this disrespectful attitude. Disrespectful children grow into disrespectful adults with no appreciation for others. Eventually, that attitude grows and permeates society all the way to the top of government. Ask yourself if anyone in Washington currently has any respect for you, your family, your concerns, or your struggles. Is anyone in Washington doing anything to make your life easier? To help you keep more of your money? To increase your freedom?

The answer is no, and a lack of respect is the reason why.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Philosphy 101: The Traditional Role Of War and How the US Broke It

While cruising the Intertubes this morning, I came across a couple of articles prodding the reader to evaluate his or her place in the world, specifically in relation to war.

The first one over at Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred, was a post by a Daily Telegraph reporter who asked the final question at an historic press conference marking the end of the Soviet Union. His life has taken a turn that allowed him to reflect on the meaning of war and it's place in Western sociology. He has time to ponder his impact on the world and thanks soldiers and warriors for the peace that has allowed him to do so.

The second post over at Pajamas Media asks Whose Death Matters More?  It starts with the comparison between the fictional Joe Schmoe and Albert Einstein and moves on to terrorists.

In a rare turn of events, those two posts got me thinking.

Here's the baseline: war is abhorrent and would never occur if everyone had the Love of God in their hearts.

However, since that's not the case, we must play the hand we're dealt and understand that there are people out there who want you, me, and our families dead.


That's the question that will never be answered to anyone's satisfaction because there's no sane reply to that insane question.

We're all born into a system over which we have no control. If you were born into a communist culture, you'd be taught how to be a good communist. If you were born into a cannibal culture, you'd be taught to be a good cannibal. If you were lucky enough to be born into a society that values freedom and individualism, you'd be taught to be a good American.

Now this is just one blogs' opinion, but Christianity holds within it the key for peaceful living. It starts with the knowledge that we are all in this lifeboat together, trying to do the best we can to provide for our life through the system into which we're born. No society is perfect, just as no person living is perfect. Therein lies the key: we can deal in a Godlike way with imperfect people, with patience and love, treating them the same way we want to be treated.

Hmmm, that sounds like another Christian principle. Something to do with gold and a measuring stick...

Anyway, that's the peaceful side of life which we should all strive for. It's harmonious, full of joy and rewarding in a way that trancends earthly things. The rub is, not everyone thinks that way.

Our sworn enemies have vowed to kill us or make us submit to them. Again, the insane question is Why? We don't actively seek your domination, so what's your real beef with us? Is it jealousy? Envy? Do you covet what we've accomplished in a scant 200 years and wish to take it for yourself? We've shown the rest of the world how beneficial individual freedom is and also how to achieve it. We've shown you the way, but it requires that despotic leaders give up their ways and allow the people to govern themselves.

We, as a nation, have also occupied a unique place in military history. We're the only power that has occupied foreign soil not to conquer, but to return the land to its rightful owners, it's people. Just think of how many countries the US has fought against and could be rightly claimed as our territory, but aren't: South Korea, South Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq, and those are just the ones in my lfetime. We're a warlike nation. We love a good fight, but it had better be for the right reasons.

We don't conquer, we liberate.

There's a difference.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Could We Please Have Some Business Competence in Washington?

I know this chart is old, but it's relevant. It shows how little business experience is present in the Obama administration's Cabinet appointees. There's not a lot there. And it explains quite a bit.

Obama's brief stint in the "working world" consisted of work in the law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 to 2004 while at the same time teaching Constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. He also worked on his first book during this time.

Absent from his resume is any meaningful work in a productive small business. No payroll to meet, no employees to hire, no competition from foreign concerns, no EPA or OSHA inspections to endure. Very little in the way of business acumen. In other words, there's not much to recommend to a prospective employer who isn't in the field of law or academia. The same can be said for the majority of Obama's Cabinet picks.

In a country whose "business is business", this is a recipe for disaster.

Make this announcement in a boardroom and note the reaction: "We're being sued." Will bottles of champagne be opened and party hats donned? Hardly. The prospect of litigation against a company is not welcome. In fact, law and business are directly opposed, with the law having the upper hand. Lawyers can end a business, but no business can defeat lawyers. In a sane world, and knowing that the results of litigation are always negative for a company, the legal system should be used with great discretion and only as a last resort.

As our conomic crisis deepens, it's becoming clear that we don't have the right kind of knowledge base in Washington. President Obama has made it very clear he considers American business to be evil. He looks upon the natural cycles of boom and bust as a reason to abolish capitalism, or to twist it into something unrecognizable. With enough meddling and overregulation, he is accomplishing his goal as the number of unemployed "unexpectedly" swell every month.

It's not unexpected for those of us who have worked for a living, Mr. President. You're doing what we who were aware of your background feared you'd do: populate your regime with radicals who have no real-world experience, only airy academic theories, unproven in reality.

How many more negative economic reports need to be released before you come to your senses and surround yourself with those who know business and what it takes to succeed?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Al Gore: "I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion."

This is one of those rare days, my friends, when the stars align with unprecedented precision, enabling this blog to to what was considered impossible as recently as yesterday. It is with great pride that I announce the following: Al Gore, I can grant your wish.

We all know you're worried sick about the environment. You even wrote about it over the weekend. You're worried about what our grandchildren will think of us:
We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands.
You're also worried about what the rest of the world thinks of us:

Because the world still relies on leadership from the United States, the failure by the Senate to pass legislation intended to cap American emissions before the Copenhagen meeting guaranteed that the outcome would fall far short of even the minimum needed to build momentum toward a meaningful solution.
Al, we know that this whole thing about "climate change" or "global warming"  has your tired little mind working overtime. And you should know that worrying too much isn't good for you. It makes you see things that aren't there and think things that aren't true. It's already starting to show. In this same article you claim that emails that show dishonesty on the part of climate researchers were "stolen" from the University of East Anglia. Al, the rest of us know that they were compiled in response to a Freedom of Information request. They weren't stolen.

Here's another example of your stress. You seem to be just a little bit confused when you say this:
Similarly, even though climate deniers have speciously argued for several years that there has been no warming in the last decade, scientists confirmed last month that the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept.
Um, Al, it's not climate deniers that said there was no warming in the last decade, it was climate scientists themselves. You see, Al, once it was revealed that the majority of climate data had been manipulated, many of the researchers decided that it was best to go ahead and tell the truth to the public who were paying for accurate information but not getting it.

So, Al, in the interest of saving your sanity, this blog is here to help.

You don't have to wish for the "climate crisis" to go away.

It was never real to begin with.