Monday, January 31, 2011

The Internet’s Free Flow of Information and How Congress Wants to Stop It

Somebody in Washington missed the memo.

It was sent sometime last November. It said that we wanted less government intrusion into our daily lives.

However, it seems that business as usual has resumed.

The recent events in Egypt should awaken us to the dangers of governmental control of the Internet. As in Iran last year, their government has shut down Internet access, including Twitter accounts, and even disrupted cell phone service in an effort to quell the popular uprisings there. It’s an attempt by what we see as corrupt leaders in a foreign land suppressing the rights of the people.

We think because we’re America that It. Can’t. Happen. Here.


What if I told you that President Obama has been seeking that very power since 2009? And that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced SR 21 that currently contains vague language about national security, to be replaced with something more definitive later, that would give President Obama that power?

It gets better. Rep. James Sensenbrenner has introduced another bill that would require Internet Service Providers to retain information on your comings and goings for two years even though you’ve done nothing wrong. Naturally, FBI Director Robert Mueller is in favor of this bill, saying that it would be "tremendously helpful in giving us a historic basis to make a case" in investigations. I’m all for that, too, as long as you have a search warrant from a judge who has reviewed the evidence. But if you don’t have one, then you don’t have a legal basis to know what anyone is doing on the Internet.

The memo they missed also contained something about sticking to that thing called the Constitution. However, judging by this news, they have yet to even check their in-box. They’re still making up the rules as they go along, seemingly blissfully unaware that they have rules they have to follow. Old rules like the Fourth Amendment. Old rules that until recently were scrupulously adhered to in order to keep us free from government suppression.

Hopefully, we’re starting to wake up to the sad fact that we are reaching parity with other governments around the world, just as our President has wished. In the past, we could take refuge in the fact that America really was different from the rest of the world, that our freedoms could never be taken away or diminished.

Today, we see this is no longer the case. In fact, Washington seems hell-bent on a fundamental transformation that reduces our nation to nothing more than a banana republic, with a strong-armed leader rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies.

We used to be better than this. We used to have representatives who were like our neighbors, who had the same values that we had, and would govern according what was best for the majority of Americans. Our country was designed to be owned and operated by the people, not by career politicians.

I miss the old days.

By not reading the clear message that was sent by us last November to get government out of our lives, we feel like we’ve been unfriended. Even worse, our former BFF’s don’t even want us to log on anymore.

If our representatives ever check their email again, they’ll find this somewhat shorter version of the original memo: We want representatives who will slay the Leviathan, not feed it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Bits of Tid, Challenger Edition

This is a somber Friday.

Do you remember where you were when the crew of Challenger slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God? Bing has a collection of videos from that fateful day in 1986 here. If your children weren't born yet, you could use them as a teaching tool, much as I would imagine Christa McAuliffe would have wanted.

If you do, tell them that we don't often witness noble death.

Carrying on...

Time capsule found.

They came for the Green Bay Packers neckties, and yet I did nothing.

 Major in Walrus, minor in Eggmen. British school award degree in Beatles.

Is riding a horse while drunk legal in Montana? I'd prefer to ride a sober one.

Hey, did anyone lose a penguin?

A memorial for Paul, the Psychic Octopus. What, no calamari?

Duude, like, has anyone seen Paco? He was here just a minute ago...

And finally, who among us hasn't felt like doing this?

And on that note, have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Demonstrates Why We Need Tort Reform

Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich is suing an olive pit.

The horror of it all defies any rational explanation. How can we, the greatest country in the world, allow this travesty? Must we forever be victims of the obvious danger that olive pits pose to our nation? How much longer must we proud Americans cower in fear of our veggie wraps, quivering, afraid to take another bite? We must rise up and speak truth to pits whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself…

Hell, even I can’t keep that up for very long. My Snark Generator just died.

In case you haven’t heard, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich really is suing the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria over an olive pit. The pit in question was contained in a sandwich wrap he bought there on or about April 17, 2008.

He’s asking for $150,000 in damages from the cafeteria. Here’s the PDF of the complaint.

It’s difficult to find a place to start ridiculing this lawsuit. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I do, however, see myself as a victim of these sorts of suits for one simple reason: I am forced to pay for this in the form of higher prices, even though I had nothing to do with it. Lawsuits such as these are responsible for far more damage, though: more than one suit has forced a business to close, causing unecessary hardship for the innocent employees.

When you read the complaint, you’ll find just a few absurdities. Here’s one, “Said sandwich wrap was unwholesome and unfit for human consumption” for containing an olive pit.


If I’m not mistaken, the pit is an integral part of an olive. Haven't we been eating olives for a while, like a few thousand years? I can’t recall any instance of anyone swallowing an olive pit that resulted in more than surprise, at least among anyone I know. How about you?

So that claim of unwholesomeness seems to be contrived. In fact, a whole olive contains a pit, so wouldn't an olive with a pit be considered "wholesome" as it contains all of its parts? Sometimes I think I missed my calling...

Reading further in the complaint, we are informed that the olive pit in question is a “Dangerous Substance.”

Hmm, again. Maybe the opening snark wasn’t so far off the mark after all.

Let’s see if I have this right. An olive pit is a dangerous substance? How? If you eat one, do you die? That would certainly qualify as dangerous to most people.

As for suffering “serious and permanent injuries” as Kucinich claims to have suffered, what was the nature of these injuries? Were they so serious as to prevent him from going to work? Were they so serious as to prevent him from, oh say, running for President after the incident? No?

Hmmm once more.

In addition, doesn’t Mr. Kucinich have a pretty good medical and dental plan as a member of Congress? Better than you and I have access to?

Confronted with such outrageous claims about the dangers of an olive pit, one is left to wonder: have we gone batshit crazy?

In a sane world, a judge would throw out this case and have Kucinich arrested for contempt of court for wasting time and tax money on something that has happened many times to many others without harm. If this is what goes on in an American court of law, we are indeed well screwed.

This is an excellent example of the twisting of truth. There is nothing in this case that should be considered in court. It’s also a good reason for this Congress to pass a bill making these types of cases illegal. We can fix this mess. The question is how we got into it in the first place. I don’t remember telling my representative that I wanted this type of legal abuse going on in court.

The judge in this case has a unique opportunity to throw this case out and in doing so, restore a measure of sanity to our court system. The cafeteria’s defense lawyer also has a chance to poke some serious holes in this case. If it were my business that was the victim of this kind of frivolous lawsuit, I’d countersue.

Folks, this nonsense has to stop. It should stop here.

It’s a sad statement when we have a Representative in Washington who feels the need to sue someone because can’t chew his food properly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Conservative Candidate for 2012 - Mr. Issues, Part III

or, the final installment of The Post That Wouldn't Die. Continued from yesterday...

The next issue that needs to be addressed is our national energy policy.

Currently, it’s “NO!” No, we can’t drill for our own oil, despite years of politicians claiming to want to rid us of our dependence on foreign oil. No, we can’t build any new nuclear plants, when other countries such as France are relying increasingly on nuclear power. No, we can’t build new infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing population. No, we can’t grow our own food because we can’t water our crops due to some insignificant fish.

This must change. We must elect a president who will be willing to take a good, hard look at our energy policies with an eye towards repealing the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. While we’re at it, we should also look at repealing the Endangered Species Act, too.

Before coffee comes out your nose from incredulity, understand that the goals of having clean air and water were accomplished years ago. Our water and air are much cleaner today than they were forty years ago. You will no doubt notice the absence of flaming rivers in the news. This responsibility can now be shifted onto the individual states, where they can be managed more efficiently.

Today’s environmental movement has become the home of radical leftist, anti-capitalists whose goal is the elimination of our free market system, to be replaced with some flavor of Marxism, Socialism, Communism, or perhaps a hybrid of these methods of failed societal control. It’s all been tried before; it has all failed in spectacular fashion before. It’s time for us to reexamine the role that these unelected groups have in preventing us from utilizing our rich natural resources and stop their efforts cold. It’s happening all over.

I’m sure all of you have heard local stories about this or that environmental group filing a lawsuit to prevent this or that project. A road, a bridge, an oil refinery, a nuclear power or coal plant, the specifics aren’t as important as the overall goal of stopping real, tangible progress. These groups have as their agenda the crippling of our ability to increase our energy supplies in every way possible. They were handed this ability with the passage of the aforementioned Acts.

We’ve been told a lie for so many years about our environment, that some people still believe that we’re poisoning the planet and that somehow, mankind has the ability to alter the very climate of an entire world. Even more preposterous is the idea that we can somehow “save the planet.” How can this be true, after forty years of more and more environmental laws, regulations, and departments? Have our efforts so far proved useless, that we need even more laws? Is nothing enough?

This is the stuff of fiction, folks. And it’s time someone told you so. Moreover, we need a president who understands this simple truth.

It’s a sad fact that many of our elected officials have blindly believed in this fairy tale, even going so far as to enact legislation built on its flimsy suppositions and wildly inaccurate predictions. When they should have been far more inquisitive before introducing these bills based on such dubious (and, as we know today, falsified) data, they forged ahead bravely, thinking they were at the forefront of Something Important, when in fact, they were being used by our domestic enemies.

Witness the witlessness of the effort to ban Di-hydrogen Monoxide. An equal amount of intellectual heavy lifting has gone into most environmental bills. And we’re paying an unnecessarily high price for allowing our elected officials to get away with enacting such laws. What they should be doing is getting out of their offices and getting some first-hand knowledge of the laws that they’re proposing, asking questions, and gathering information from those Americans with actual experience with an issue, not some special interest groups’ well-rehearsed spokespeople. The president could do this on his own as an example to the rest of those in Washington whom we send to act in our stead.

Onward to National Security.

Ronaldus Magnus (aka Ronald Reagan) had the right idea when he proposed his “Star Wars” defense shield. The years since have seen great technological advancements that can make this a reality. His idea for an impenetrable defense to shield us from attack should be made the highest priority. This should be combined with a policy of not being the police officer for the world.

Imagine the possibility of living without the threat of a nuclear missile destroying New York for a just a second. Since the majority of us have lived with this thought lurking in the back of our consciousness since childhood, we should grab this chance and hold it firmly in our national grasp. We should pursue a missile shield, so that we might live in true peace.

This would require a president who wants what Americans want. Our current president has embraced our sworn enemies, bowed to them and abandoned our stalwart friends. We don’t wish to impose our will upon anyone else, except perhaps to show them the benefits and blessings of freedom. In this effort, we should be willing, when asked, to help other nations craft a course that we have successfully navigated. Failing that invitation, we should mind our own national affairs. We have plenty here to keep us busy.

When they considered a national symbol for America, our Founders thought a rattlesnake would prove worthy. This creature lives a solitary life, hunting and eating rodents. It strikes in self-defense, only when provoked. “Don’t Tread on Me.”

We are entering a new era in the American Experiment. Quietly and stealthily, our enemies have amassed. Cloaked in respectability and importance, these enemies have taken positions of power within our very own institutions. However, they are today being exposed, for they can no longer disguise their true intentions. We have seen them operate, using deception and rhetoric before their constituents, then retreating to the halls of Congress to accomplish their nefarious agendas. Massive bills passed in the dead of night, without being openly considered and honestly debated, are the methods by which these enemies work their plans. Are you aware that there are proud Socialists in our own Congress? The mere fact that they define themselves as anything other than Americans should tell you there is something wrong in Washington, something very disturbing. Never doubt their seriousness and sincerity about their intentions. For too long, we have dismissed political rhetoric as mere posturing. We continue this at our peril. Our enemies are committed, as we must be in our vigilance and determination to root them out.

Those who describe themselves as “progressives” have in mind not progress, no, not the progress that our Founders envisioned of a nation of freemen, conducting their affairs in private, with honor, truthfulness, and a shared sense of community with their fellow citizens. Theirs is instead a world of control over the citizens of America, lording over each and every action of a people who should, by all rights, be free from their meddling, as our Founders intended. These “progressives” have no faith in their brothers nor in the concept of freedom, nor in the bedrock of our society as laid out in our Constitution. They seek to twist and distort the plain meaning of our supreme law, claiming that it somehow means something other than what it says. You will know them by their actions. Are these self-proclaimed progressives promoting freedom and liberty by removing barriers, or imposing more laws and regulations on us? The truth is plain to see, you need only know what to look for.

Indeed, the issues are what we should be focusing on. We need an articulate candidate who will craft his or her message around these issues.

The sooner, the better for America.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Conservative Candidate for 2012 - Mr. Issues, Part II

Continued from yesterday's post.

I’ll start with the economy.

Recent polls have shown that 1 of every 2 of us know someone who’s been out of work for a year or more. I personally know several friends who have been unemployed for much longer, have lost their homes and have been forced to move back in with relatives in mid-life. Clearly, we need to get our economy going again. However, despite the promises of a laser-like focus on jobs and the economy, this administration has concentrated instead on forcing unpopular programs on an unwilling country. But you knew that already.

The question is where to begin. Well, since we are a capitalist, center-right country, shouldn't we elect a capitalist, center-right president? Shirley, there must be someone willing to run that has some experience in the private sector, who understands how it operates, and how government has strangled it by imposing an unprecedented number of new rules and regulations upon it. The current administration has dismissed completely the role that the private sector plays in the economy. This gives me an opportunity to run my favorite cartoon by Michael Ramirez

For example, in the disguise of healthcare reform came a requirement for businesses to file a 1099 form for all vendor transactions over $600. Think about that for a moment. Most businesses deal in tens of thousands of dollars or more monthly. This single provision adds an unnecessary burden on these businesses already scouring their profit and loss sheets for every penny. One should ask why this was considered necessary at all.

However, that wasn’t all the damage contained in the ObamaCare bill. We have (or once had) a private-sector method to administer health care insurance. The ObamaCare bill was designed to destroy it. Granted, there were some flaws in the system that needed to be addressed, but what was needed could have been done with common sense reforms designed to remedy those flaws, such as tort reform to eliminate the added costs of frivolous lawsuits and to allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, much like auto insurance companies. What was not needed was a complete takeover of the industry by Washington.

Even now, progressives in Congress are wildly claiming that repeal of this awful piece of legislation will result in the needless deaths of Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Political grandstanding such as this serves no purpose, other than to confuse voters so unscrupulous politicians can retain their power. Recall that throughout the too-short debate on the ObamaCare bill, health insurance companies and doctors were treated as some sort of out-of-control Frankenstein monster, terrorizing local villages, lopping off legs in some greedy rampage, when the truth is that those insurance companies operate at a five-per-cent profit margin and employ your neighbors and friends.

We need healthcare. We can administer it through the private sector, where Americans can perform a needed service to their fellow citizens, constantly on the lookout for better ways to do their jobs and make some money, or we can do it through government (and a union as an added bonus layer of lazy bureaucracy and inefficiency, strikes, etc.). Someone gets paid either way. The question then becomes which one is more efficient. If you’ve ever been to your local Department of Motor Vehicles, I think you know the answer. The last thing any of us want is that level of customer service when it comes to our medical needs. However, that's what progressives wanted, the destruction of the worlds best medical system, replaced with a socialized system that is well-known for needless deaths and long waits for essential procedures. Brilliant!

Having a capitalist president in the wheelhouse will enable us to use our free market economy in a way that benefits the public instead of draining it its resources. While there are things that only government can do, such as provide a standing military for national defense, there are plenty of opportunities for the private sector to step in to provide needed services at a reduced cost.

Mr. Issues will also begin to address the direction in which our economy can move to provide a richness of diversity in the job market.

It is indeed curious that considering how much the mantra of “diversity” has been bandied about in recent years, we’ve managed to reduce the number of job opportunities available to us. While there’s nothing wrong with a college degree, there are many Americans who draw a great deal of satisfaction in working with their hands. I count myself among them. Manufacturing provides good paying job opportunities for people of various skill levels, from fabrication, to machining, to quality control, to finishing, to shipping. Some of these positions require more education than others, but the point is that a college degree is not required for all of them. Apprenticeships are just as valuable, even moreso since the student gets paid to learn. What's not to like?

The passage of NAFTA was to herald a move towards a service economy. How has that worked out for us so far? Why was that move necessary to begin with? Somewhere along the way, we managed to move away from our manufacturing economy, where downturns were far less disruptive, to one based more upon disposable income, which is more volatile and prone to fluctuations. This is another area where a capitalist president could calm the waters, so to speak, not walk on them.

A president with real working experience would steer the country back towards a manufacturing based economy. We’ve seen the rapid rise of China’s economy, fueled by manufacturing. While there are some naysayers who complain that American workers command a too-high wage, we need look no further than Germany, who has maintained their level of worker pay while increasing their exports. They are currently leading Europe’s exit from the worldwide recession.

There is no reason why Americans shouldn’t be making American products. We have the world’s largest economy, we’re dumb not to take advantage of it. There was and is no excuse for other countries to flourish at our expense. Mr. Issues would also propose a national “right-to-work” law and allow the free market to do its stuff. In the Internet Age, it wouldn’t take long for folks to find out which company has the best compensation plans. Good companies would attract good employees as a matter of course. Bad companies would wither away, as they should, and have in the past, before It Was Decided that certain companies (populated with union workers) were Too Big To Fail.
To be continued tomorrow., same time, same place.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Conservative Candidate for 2012 – Mr. Issues

Warning, warning, Will Robinson! My sensors have detected a long post ahead!

Since President Obama has unofficially kicked off his reelection campaign for 2012, it’s time for us conservatives to begin to plan our strategy.

In our oblivious past, we’ve considered our presidential candidates based on superficial qualities, such as who has the better appearance, or speaking voice or the best suit-and-tie combination (or pantsuit). Much like the Queen of the Prom, we’ve chosen our president based on who we thought would look good standing next to us for the prom picture, rather than who would be best qualified to set our national agenda.

Much of this tendency had to do with our belief that whomever we elected would automatically do what was in our best national interests. However, the election of Barack Obama has shown us the error of this presumption, good and hard.

Hope and Change proved to be the ultimate in political superficiality.

Such gauzy platitudes only disguised a leftward lurch the likes of which we’ve never before experienced, at least in my lifetime. Most of us who weren’t paying attention, the 52% of the public that voted for Obama, have reached the grim realization that we’ve been had. Behind the classic columns and soaring rhetoric lurked a most decidedly anti-American dedication to Big Government. Takeovers of General Motors and Chrysler, the college loan system, Wall Street and health care caught the nation by surprise. Aided and encouraged by the worst leaders in congressional history, president Obama set a course toward European-style Socialism that has proven to be an unparalleled disaster for our country.

We are now suffering from record high unemployment, record numbers of Americans on food stamps, record numbers of Americans living in poverty, millions of homes in foreclosure and more on the way, the spectre of mass businesses foreclosures following suit and more, all as the result of the American ship of state listing hard to port.

By every measure, we’ve failed ourselves in spectacular fashion. It seemed like we had to have our generational fling with Socialism. Now, it’s the morning after, and all that’s left is a hastily scribbled note on the nightstand containing a promise to call, a fifty-dollar bill next to it, and a severe headache.

And some soreness...

But all is not lost. November’s mid-term elections showed that we’ve finally had enough of this nonsense. We voted for a course change back to our original destination.

We’re not fully back on course yet, which is why the 2012 presidential election is so important. The political winds have shifted, making our course correction a bit easier. Americans who stated their political affiliation are fleeing the Democrat Party in numbers not seen in recent history.

However, the lefts’ willing accomplice, the Mainstream Media Machine, is already on the job. Candidates are being propped up in front of the electorate in their attempt to get Republicans to nominate the weakest opponent possible for Obama, thus insuring a four-year delay in reaching our national port-of-call.

I’m going out on the yardarm here to suggest a different tack. Let’s look a bit deeper at what needs to be done and then pick a candidate that best understands the navigational charts and who can at least avoid the icebergs. Our current captain can’t even read the compass.

In other words, we need to establish what needs to be done, and then find the best person to do it. We need no longer pick the lesser of two evils. We have an opportunity that we haven’t had in recent election cycles to nominate a true conservative for president.

We already have a good idea, given that we’ve experienced two years of what not to do. Actually, if you count the takeover of Congress by progressive Democrats in 2007, we’ve had four years of misdirection and disaster. You could easily say, “Oh, well, just do the opposite of what’s been done the last four years and we’ll be on our way.” Um, that’s the old way of thinking. We need to not only undo the damage done by the worst congress in history, we need to state in no uncertain terms what needs to be done, then set about to find someone do it.

A checklist, if you will, for a potential candidate to fill out.

We need to say, "Here's what we want done. Will you do it?" If not, then on to the next one until we find a presidential candidate who has a clear vision of the future for America and will know what is expected of him or her.

No bullshit, no excuses, no vagarities, no confusion.

Just a straight-up, "yes or no" on a national agenda that puts Americans first.

To be continued tomorrow...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Bits of Tid, Don Kirshner Edition

A giant of the American music industry passed away this week. Don Kirshner, known as "The Man with the Golden Ear" died on Tuesday.

Kirshner was instrumental (pardon the pun) in bringing new talent to an American market full of baby boomers. His first gig was co-writing a song with Bobby Darin. He would later create the Monkees and the Archies. In 1972 he would be hired as executive producer for the television series "In Concert", which would morph into "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert." This show was notable for its departure from the standard for televised music acts where artists lip-synched their performances to pre-recorded songs. For Rock Concert, a live performance was captured on tape in front of an audience.

You know such stars as Neil Diamond, Carol King, LaBelle, Kansas, Billy Joel, and The Police because of him.

He will be sorely missed.

I've put together a few videos for you that will give you a small sample of Kirshner's influence on American music. From bubble-gum, to ballads, from funk and soul to early death metal, his ear for new talent seemed endless. No genre was left untouched by his influence.

Here we go. Also bear in mind that television recording technology using tape was in its' infancy at that time, hence the lack of synchronization between the audio and the video in some of these clips. They're still fun to watch.

Starting at the beginning of the alphabet, here's ABBA

Here's a batless Ozzy with Black Sabbath

This is an anorexic Wizard and True Star, Todd Rundgren with the first incarnation of Utopia.

Steve Miller unplugged. By the way, Steve, what exactly is a "pompetus?"

Mark, Don, and Mel, AKA Grand Funk Railroad

Here's the man hisself introducing The Ramones

I'm not sure this hybrid of the James Gang and T-Rex was ever seen again after this performance

And lastly, success breeds imitation

Rest in Peace, Don.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Progs Want to Punish the Whole Class for One Student’s Behavior

There is a curious trait amongst the adherents of leftist political beliefs that I have yet to fully understand: it’s the overwhelming urge to punish everyone for the acts of a single individual.

Let’s hop in the Way Back Machine where we’ll be transported to a certain middle school in a certain state. The location isn’t important so much as the actions of a certain teacher who was universally reviled by her students. She was known as “The Bitch” instead of her given name. A certain Boy was soon to find out how she earned her name.

As you all know from experience, there are always students who like to be the center of the class’s attention for the wrong reasons. The Cut-Ups and the Class Clowns are a part of every school. They are normally sent to the Principal’s Office for discipline, calm is restored, and class eventually proceeds.

“The Bitch” was different.

This particular teacher was known to punish an entire class by keeping them all after school just because one student chose to disrupt her class. This wonderful lesson in the misuse and abuse of power led to near-universal condemnation of her among the students and silence from school administrators. And for good reason: there is absolutely no reason to punish someone for the actions of someone else.


That is just about the quickest way I can think of to instill hatred for authority in an impressionable youngster. Yet this fact seems to have been lost on the school administration that refused to scold this teacher for actions unbecoming.

And standing up to this kind of abuse of authority is the quickest way to earn a trip to the Principal’s office. *shuffles feet and whistles*

I suppose I should clarify my statement to say that there is no quicker way to instill hatred for authoritarianism, because that’s what it really is. There is a fine line separating the two, and a world of difference between the two philosophies.

Maybe it was dear old Mom who showed me the difference early on. Her favorite reason for me to do anything was, “Because I said so.” It made little difference what she ordered, nor how little sense it made, it was clear that I was to act as told because she was in charge.

She was also batshit crazy.

I was fortunate enough, though, to have also been exposed to the respectful type of authority through a military school where respect was commanded instead of demanded. This good kind of authority was instantly recognizable as good without any type of coercion. Respect was also mutual, without the denigration that comes with authoritarianism. As I mentioned, worlds apart.

Through the years, I’ve noticed that this tendency to punish everyone for the actions of a few (or one), comes from a deep desire to control people, a desire that isn’t normal. We’ve all known “control freaks:” if they can’t control you, they freak out. In case you haven’t noticed yet, the political left in America is composed primarily of such control freaks. This is evident in their knee-jerk reaction in the wake of the tragic Giffords shooting to introduce more laws restricting our constitutionally guaranteed right to possess firearms. This effort comes exclusively from progressives.

Those of us on the right side of the aisle recognize the necessity of maintaining the maximum freedom for the people and therefore reject the left’s assertion that we need to punish everyone in America for the actions of a lone disturbed gunman. We do not need any more laws restricting our right to keep and bear arms. What we need is swift and sure punishment for those who violate our laws.

Wasn’t that easy to understand? Then why is it that radical, leftist, progressives can’t get it?

As I said, I don’t get why they don’t get it, unless they really don’t want us to be free…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Starving the Federal Beast - Where and How to Begin

While perusing the Interwebs this morning, I ran across two articles I'd like to bring to your attention. The first post is from Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, the chairman and president of Freedomworks, What Congress Should Cut over at WSJ Online. The second post comes from Chris Gacek at Fox entitled How Conservatives Can Limit the Scope and Size of Government.

There can be no doubt that the Federal government has grown out of control. For a long while, the costs of compliance incurred by private sector business was passed along to the consumer, meaning you and I. However, the market can only bear so much. Today's profit margins are so slim that we are in real danger of legislating ourselves out of the market altogether, as a growing bureaucracy threatens to suck the remaining life from our economy.

We are just now awakening to the negative effects of too much government intrusion into our economy. Last Novembers' elections were the first grumpy responses to the alarm clock. We've been hitting the snooze button for a generation. While we search for the coffee cup in our national quest to fully wake up, we need to start looking at what to do to get an increasingly nosey government out of our business.

Of course, we could start just about anywhere. Four years of prog control of Congress now has us facing the dim prospect of high unemployment and a stagnant economy for the next ten years or so. This need not happen. Common sense tells us that the best solution is to get the economy going again. Any effort to reduce the intrusion of government will reap rewards in the marketplace.

Armey and Kibbe give us a good place to start. Their first proposal is to immediately return to spending levels prior to the 2007 takeover of Congress by Nancy Pelosi and her Merry Band of Economy Killers. This move would save us $374B. Repealing the individual mandate of ObamaCare would result in an additional $252B. Just two simple moves to reverse the damage of Pelosi's Reign of Progressive Economic Terror saves us over half a trillion dollars.

A trillion here and a trillion there, soon we're talking real money.

Gacek takes a more legalistic look at what will be required to pare our oversized government back down to a manageable size. His premise (and I truly hope this Chris is a he-Chris, if not, my apologies in advance) is to cut the head of the snake by repealing the laws that power government agencies such as the Department of Education,

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965); Higher Education Act of 1965; Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975); Equal Access Act (1984); No Child Left Behind Act (2001); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004); and, Race to the Top (2009). Each one of these laws permits the lawyers amongst those 4,200 DoE employees to write regulations that have the force of law.

My personal favorites would be the repeal of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Now, before the radical environmentalists start screeching that I want us all to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water, I'll tell you that these are responsibilities best left to the individual states, not Washington. Common sense, folks, common sense.

I'm sure that you, gentle readers, can come up with a few agencies that you would like to see dismantled. In fact, this would be a fun game at your next cocktail party or family picnic. Try to find one tangible benefit that comes from a large government program. Naturally, you'll need to exclude any lawyers from that game due to the obvious conflict of interest.

I'll even help get you started. Why and in what way is the ban on incandescent light bulbs directly making your life better? Is it the higher cost of CFL bulbs? The eight pages of directions for safely disposing of a broken CFL bulb? How about the mercury vapor released when one breaks that requires the room be vacated for thirty minutes? What about all the American jobs that were eliminated and are now in China as a result of this ban?

See what fun you can have.

In the mean time, as they say in the blogs, read it all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rhetoric vs. Reality: Obama Promises Regulatory Review Just as EPA Shuts Down Mine

In the wake of last November’s shellacking, President Obama has promised a government-wide review of the regulations that are strangling the nations’ economic growth. After two years of unprecedented intrusion by Washington into the private sector, Obama would have us believe that he's had a change of heart and now wants what we conservatives have wanted for years, a realistic reassessment of the negative effects of government regulations upon American businesses.

This is bullshit.

I know it, you know it, and everyone who is currently out of a job knows it. What’s worse is, Obama himself knows it. He has no interest in reviving the private sector. In fact, he is anti-business, as we’ve heard in his speeches. His open hostility toward the private sector and anyone in it is unique in modern times. He has consistently and uniformly criticized the creation of wealth and it’s benefits. He is playing the counterculture drumbeat that began in the ‘60’s.

Obama clearly has no understanding of how our free-market economy works. He has never run a business, in fact, his role as a community organizer was expressly designed to damage businesses. Only 19% of his advisors have any experience in the private sector.

Even his childhood primed him to be hostile to business in any form. His mother was a political radical, as was his mentor, the communist Frank Marshall Davis. All radicals hate business in any form. It’s what makes them part of the counterculture in the first place. They uniformly believe that wealth is evil.

It’s a perversion of the Bible verse, “Love of money is the root of all evil.” Notice it doesn’t say that money itself is the root of evil, the love of it is. What those “revolutionaries” lack is perspective, among other things. In their misguide quest to perfect humanity, they think that if money was eliminated, all of the ills of society would be cured forever. Ask yourself if their previous efforts to solve this problem have produced anything other than untold death and destruction to the society that they claimed to “help.”

But, I digress.

I’m sure you remember the famous conversation between Obama and Joe the Plumber during the campaign. Obama said, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” The absurdity of his comment is evident in the fact that everyone who works receives a paycheck. These “evil corporations” that leftists regard as the devil incarnate do, in fact, spread the wealth around in the form of paychecks and stock. They also pay taxes. Remember that the next time you hear a Nancy Pelosi or a Barney Frank castigate business. This is another manifestation of what I call "progressive political psychosis" where a radical leftist politician demonizes an American institution that it depends on for its' very existence.

While progressive politicians love to point their bony fingers at business, we are somehow supposed to overlook their greed. “Corporate greed” has been supplanted with “government greed.” What is the one characteristic of liberal, “proud progressive” politicians that differentiates them from conservatives? Like knights on a modern-day Crusade, it is their holy quest to raise taxes, taking as much money as possible from business and consumers.

Who are the truly greedy ones again?

The timing of Obama’s claim just happens to coincide with the EPA’s cancellation of a four-year-old mining permit in West Virginia, shutting down a working coalmine, forcing hundreds of Americans out of work and reducing our supply of energy, in keeping with his campaign pledge to make everyone’s utility bills “necessarily skyrocket.” The mining company had dotted all the “i’s” and crossed all the “t’s” according to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, when the EPA suddenly decided that the company must halt operations.

If President Obama were at all serious about reducing federal regulations, he would start with this incident. He has an opportunity to prove his intentions to the country by making sure that this mine is reopened as soon as possible.

Will his actions match his words? We shall see.

I’m not holding my breath while I wait.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Had a Dream, Too

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Thanks to all of you who clicked on the video Friday. I feel much better.

Such is the power of this Interwebs thingy.

In between coughing fits and fevered sleep, I had a dream I’d like to share with you.

I dreamed that America had an epiphany. That collectively, we decided we’d had enough of the things that bedevil us and set course to pursue what could, and should, be ours. To take our place in history as the greatest society the world has ever known.

That we started to emphasize the goodness that comes naturally to us. We told our leaders that, in no uncertain terms, from this day forward they were instructed to vigorously pursue our wishes, to the exclusion of all others.

Our wishes were these:

America should begin to put Americans first.  Political decisions will be made henceforth with the needs of all Americans in mind. We will begin to reassemble a free-market economy that insures Americans have a secure future to pursue happiness for our families and ourselves. We would create true diversity in the job market so as to accommodate the richness of our abilities, whether those abilities reside in our heads or in our hands.

America’s representatives would put themselves in the place of their neighbors and practice real empathy. They would ask themselves how their decisions would benefit the majority of their peers who chose them to act in their stead in Washington, and if they had no answer, they would go directly to the people and ask them, and then act on those answers. Their decisions would no longer cater to whichever group gave them the most money for their campaigns, but to America as a whole.

I dreamed that those whose charge it is to inform us would swear allegiance to the truth, that we might ferret out those who choose to ignore the plain, honest wishes of the people, and not seek to “change the world” through deception, or bias, or misrepresentation of American values.

I dreamed that we would construct an impenetrable shield to protect our shores from enemies and those within our shores who wish us ill leave us in peace.

I dreamed that we would once again draw our God-given resources from His Earth to use for our benefit in a responsible way.

Lastly, I dreamed the dream of another, that we might truly judge one another by the content of their character. That we all begin to see our similarities more clearly than our differences. That we see ourselves in each other, knowing that we are interconnected not just in life, but in spirit, seeking goodness, humility and truth to bind us together, and to treat each other as we want to be treated.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Bits of Tid, Still Under the Weather, So This is Just a Bit

Here's how you can help: play this little video over and over until I feel better.

I'm going back to bed...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm Calling in Sick

I've been fighting off the flu for two days.

I am losing.

Much medicine in body. Attenshion span is , oooh, look, a, squirrel! its geting hard to tytpe. I'''l try somefing tomorwserff a;dk,,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It is Time to Restore the American Precept that Each Individual is Accountable for His Actions

Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan and requoted by Sarah Palin today. We would do well to take them to heart as the pain of the Tucson tragedy begins to ebb. In their never-ending quest to retain political power, left-wing progressives have stooped to new lows in their exploitation of this tragedy. They weakly try to discredit and smear their opposition by using the flimsy excuse that “heated political rhetoric from the right” is somehow responsible for the actions of an obviously disturbed gunman last Saturday.

They, and we, know better.

However, that doesn’t stop them from lying. Trying to accuse Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, or Mark Levin or anyone on the right merely shows the depth of the lefts’ intellectual depravity. As I pointed out on Monday, the overwhelming majority of calls for violence come from the left.

By now, the nation is well aware of the progressives’ stock in trade: misleading remarks, twisting the meaning of words, gross mischaracterization of their opponents and issues, wild overreaction and a general political insanity where truth and results dare not enter, lest they suffer the same fate as the innocent victims in Tucson.

But their zeal for power doesn’t stop there. Even though Rahm Emmanuel yesterday denied that his famous phrase “Never let a crisis go to waste” was meant or intended to exploit this tragedy, that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington right now. Several members of Congress have introduced new laws to “deal” with this tragedy in the hopes of preventing another one, as if no laws currently existed. While their intentions are understandable, what they’re really doing is punishing society instead of the shooter by reducing our freedom

The problem is that there will always be someone who breaks the law. And lawyers long ago figured out that if they can implicate as many people or institutions as possible in a case, they can increase their bottom line by forcing as many as possible to pay, often when they are completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

The questionable decision in the McDonalds coffee scalding case comes to mind. The plaintiff received an $8M settlement that we all paid for in the form of higher prices to offset the restaurant chains’ legal costs. Had the plaintiff used just a bit of common sense and awareness (as she ordered hot coffee), she would have been more cautious when handling the cup. The results would have saved her physical pain and McDonald’s customers money. It’s too bad that the judge in that case didn’t rule in favor of personal responsibility: all that was necessary was for McDonalds to cover the cost of her medical bills and lost wages, a sum that I doubt would have amounted to eight million dollars.

We need to return to the legal and societal concept of punishing the one who actually committed the crime. Those of us who abide by the law should be left alone, precisely because we have done no harm.

Ask yourself if it’s fair to punish someone for the actions of someone else. Common sense will immediately tell you that’s grossly unfair and will only lead to a contempt of authority, as it should. Nothing screams “injustice” louder than that. Thank goodness that Speaker Boehner is thinking clearly and is already saying that these misguided attempts to restrict the freedom of law-abiding Americans will not be considered under his watch. Thank you, Mr. Speaker

Yet another precept that we should return to is the issue of punishment itself. It should be noted that John Green, the father of nine-year victim Christina Taylor Green, has come out in favor of the shooter's execution. I agree with him.

It’s no secret that our court system has grown increasingly lenient in the past forty years. Cases that previously would have resulted in the swift execution of a murderer now result in the drain on our taxes.

Think Charles Manson.

Can you come up with a single reason why he should be kept alive at taxpayer expense? I sure can't. Should his lawyers continue to profit from him with our tax money? I say no. As in this case, his mental instability has been proven, yet is also grounds to spare him from his responsibility for the death of innocents. This is almost as insane as the actions of the Tucson shooter.

We have an opportunity to correct a number of deficiencies in our court system with this open-and-shut case. The judge should make an example of the Tucson shooter by ordering a fair trial and a swift execution within a year.

Justice can be served and society made safe by the removal of a killer from our midst.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leftists Spin Tucson, Public Rejects Their Lies

Trying to pick any truth out of the dung heap of progressive accusations of “right-wing hate speech” requires the patience of someone who stacks BB’s for a living. If you think that the left didn’t have their script ready at the wait for a situation just like this, then you’d be wrong.

Note the speed and uniformity of the baseless accusations leveled at the right. As I noted yesterday, we didn’t have all of the facts before the Sheriff of Pima County began his diatribe against the right, using all the standard smears. You’ve heard them all before: there’s nothing new, original or truthful in their words.

At least, Sheriff Dupnik made it clear that he was just spouting his opinion. What’s pathetic is, that’s not his job. His job is to investigate crime, not serve as a political pundit. If that’s what he wants to do, he should turn in his badge and get his own web site.

Perhaps he should focus less on tainting the jury pool and more on explaining to the people of Pima County why he allowed this tragedy to occur on his watch. As more facts are uncovered, we’re finding that the shooter wasn’t unknown to the sheriff. He’d been making threats to prominent members of the community for several years. The shooters’ classmates saw his incoherent, erratic behavior and were rightly concerned for their safety.

The sheriff has some explaining to do.

Hiding behind the sheriff’s uninformed opinions are legions of leftist pundits yelling, “Go Clarence. Go get the TeaParty/SarahPalin/RushLimbaugh/GlennBeck/SeanHannity. Take them down!”

However, the tide has turned against the progressive left. In a CBS poll, only 32% of the public believe that “right-wing” rhetoric caused the Tucson tragedy. This could be compared to declining success of using the race card that the left literally used until it became dog-eared and worn out. We've awakened to the tactics that the progressive left uses to twist the truth and rejected them.

The sheriff is clearly in the minority, a small and shrinking minority.

The Truth will come out and the American public will embrace it.

Progressivism is dying a slow and well-deserved death in America.

Ooh, was that inflammatory rhetoric? Um, yeah, yeah it was.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Progressives and Their Shameful Lies in the Giffords Tragedy

We couldn't even finish our prayers for the victims and their families before radical, left-wing progressives started falsely accusing conservatives for the attack that left 6 people dead, including a Federal Judge, and Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life on Saturday.

The psychological projection from the left is breathtaking in its scope and its denial of reality. Many are beginning to sound as incoherent as the shooter. In what can only be described as hysteria, any word of disagreement with their agenda is automatically characterized as "hate speech".

Pima County, Arizona's Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, has become the radical left's new mouthpiece, injecting his political opinion into every interview I've seen so far. Watch this interview with a visibly shaken Megan Kelly...

So Sheriff Dupnik seems to think that all conservative speech is hate speech? Perhaps he would be so kind as to share with us his political opinion of these statements:

Here's the video evidence of the voter intimidation that Eric Holder refused to prosecute:

''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.''

"Republicans want you to die quickly." Former Democrat Representative Alan Grayson.

"I will be happy to see the Republicans test whether or not I'm itching for a fight on a whole range of issues," Obama said last week. "I suspect they will find I am. And I think the American people will be on my side on a whole bunch of these fights."

"We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so
I know whose ass to kick."

'I want you to argue with them and get in their face.'

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,”

The U.S. government will keep a "boot on the neck" of BP

"...punish our enemies..."

Here's much more.

Well, Sheriff Dupnik, what say you?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Bits of Tid, Harlem Globetrotters Edition

Good Day, Ladies and Germs. Take my wife, please. I'll be here all week, try the veal.

Hey, I have to fall back on something in case this blogging thing doesn't work out.

On this day in 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters played their first game in Hinckley, Illinois. Many in their audience had never seen a basketball game played before. Before long, they were living up to their name, traveling the world as America's basketball ambassadors and playing for Pope Pius XII. Their manager, Abe Saperstein, also sewed their uniforms.

Let us tid.

This certainly explains why Romania's Prime Minister is now a frog. Romanian witches use spells to protest new taxes.

This proves that thieves aren't very bright. Police in Phoenix are looking for a bandit who tries to rob banks by asking for $40 and $60 dollar bills. All the Birmingham police had to do to find these thieves was follow the money.

They don't call the Vice-President "Slow Joe" for nothing. He repeats the same joke over and over.

How do you remember where you buried your time-capsule? Put some porn in it. *rimshot*

Duude, like, the more I eat of this pizza to cure the munchies, the more I get the munchies, man.

Why I'm glad to be a Moron. Three reasons, actually. First there's this article, which is long but well worth the read (and it just happens to be about one of the "P's" here),

and then there's this little video,

and then there's, um, uh, well anyway, thanks, Ace.

Y'all have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Step Further – Let’s Abolish DUI Laws Altogether

As soon as I finished my post on the disturbing new legal development where police officers can forcibly take your blood at a DUI checkpoint against your will (and against the Constitution), I found this article by’s Radley Balko on the subject of DUI laws.

Do I have timing or what?

Balko’s post notes that Austin’s police chief, Art Acevedo, wants to create a new law: “driving while ability impaired.” This would allow him to arrest someone whose Blood Alcohol Content is below .08%, which current law forbids without additional evidence of impairment. It’s an idea that’s attracting supporters such as the Chairman of the Texas State Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee, John Whitmire (D-Houston).

There is only one way for this new law to work: abolish the old DUI law and do away with checkpoints altogether.

There are many sound, logical reasons for this new approach to eliminating dangerous driving, as Balko points out. Really, this approach would be a return to common sense, as the institution of DUI checkpoints is a relatively recent development.

This new law would take into account the variations in peoples’ response to alcohol. As I noted, setting an artificially low threshold ignores the fact that two drinks in two different people will have two different effects. Some folks can’t handle one drink, while experienced drinkers can safely drive after three.

Again, I must stress that I’m not advocating driving while drunk. But you know that already. Safe driving is a passion of mine, as my exemplary record behind the wheel demonstrates. Learning how to drive on a military installation as I did teaches you respect for traffic laws. On a personal note, I’ve lost far more friends to auto accidents than I care to recall, dating back to high school. So, yeah, I advocate safe, responsible driving at all times and in all places.

Balko goes on to note that DUI checkpoints take officers off the highways where they are most needed to find more impaired drivers. When you consider that they’re ineffective when compared to the money and man-hours consumed and are constitutional violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, there’s lots of valid reasons why this approach to getting impaired drivers off the roads isn’t working.

We are smarter than this.

Police should start concentrating on reckless driving regardless of cause. I’ve seen perfectly sober folk who couldn’t drive well and nearly caused accidents due to their disregard for safety.  I once told a guy to pull over so I could get out of his car, he drove so carelessly. I walked back home and never rode with him again after that.

You have probably known a few bad drivers in your life, too. My point is that you need not be impaired in order to drive recklessly. Our police should concentrate their efforts on improving public safety by getting those reckless drivers off the road. They aren’t hard to find, we see them every day. We need to free up those officers currently confined to DUI checkpoints and put them back on the roads where they can be far more effective.

In fact, if we did away with DUI laws, we still have laws against reckless driving. Perhaps all that's needed is a refinement of existing law. However, the lawyers' lobby would start screeching that doing away with laws is dangerous and a threat to public safety, which is bullshit, especially when you realize the amount of money lawyers make with the current DUI laws. They want to guarantee their income at the expense of our freedom. They're funny like that.

The current method is like fishing with dynamite. Sure, you’ll catch a lot of fish, but it’s illegal and you end up with a lot of fish you don’t want or need. You’re doing far more harm than good.

I’ll let Mr. Balko sum it up:

Doing away with the specific charge of drunk driving sounds radical at first blush, but it would put the focus back on behavior, where it belongs. The punishable act should be violating road rules or causing an accident, not the factors that led to those offenses. Singling out alcohol impairment for extra punishment isn’t about making the roads safer. It’s about a lingering hostility toward demon rum.
And government control over you. But you already knew that, too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oil Prices Rise, Obama Does Nothing Despite New Field Find

Drudge has this link up today: Rising oil price threatens fragile recovery (sorry, the link is for subscribers only, although I was able to read it earlier). In this “water is wet” story, rising oil prices are ready to stymie the world’s economies by rising to unnecessarily high levels at a time when they should remain low.

Thank you, President Obama.

It goes without saying that this situation doesn’t need to happen. If we had an administration that was at all interested in lifting America out of the depths of the worst economy since the Great Depression, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. We’d be doing the things that we all know should be done to get our economy going again.

What we have instead is an administration that seems intent upon prolonging America’s suffering. Based on their actions, they apparantly want high unemployment and people without jobs. The reason why is anyone’s guess. But the fact that this recession has gone on this long, longer than any other recovery on record, tells us something.

In fact, we’re not even in a recovery. Our current rate of growth is hovering around the 2.5% mark. While that's technically positive growth, economists say that this is barely enough to tread water. It needs to be around 9% to start to see any real positive effect. That is possible, but this administration seems to look at our economy much as a caveman would look at a car. It’s a wonder to behold, but it does so much more when you know how it works.

Take oil for example. If you’re in business, I don’t need to tell you what high fuel prices do to your bottom line. If you go to the grocery store, you see the effects of increased transportation costs in the form of higher prices. If you work and drive to get there, you know that when gas prices rise, you receive a cut in pay. When the cost of gasoline goes up, everyone pays for it.

The worst part of all this is that none of it needs to happen.

None of it.

Let that sink in for a moment.

By now, you should be intimately familiar with the negative effects on our nations's energy production from the Big Green Movement. Radical environmentalists, (there is no other kind) despite being unelected, have been dictating our energy policy for over a generation. These groups have blocked or slowed every effort to increase our nation’s energy supplies. Want to build a new oil refinery? Expect some fat-cat, left-wing environmental lawyer to beat you to the courthouse with a lawsuit to stop it. Want to build a new nuclear power plant to fill the needs of a growing community? Expect demonstrations against it led by more radical, left-wing environmental lawyers and their stooges. Drill for oil? You’ve got to be kidding. The Obama administrations position is that, despite a Federal court’s decision citing the unconstitutionality of it, there’s still a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, putting thousands of people out of work, further slowing any chance of recovery.

In other words, our own government is making sure that we never use traditional energy sources again. It’s their misguided idea that we’re supposed to be forced into some sort of “green economy.” There’s only one problem with that idea: it doesn’t work. Alternative energy has been studied for nearly forty years and has yet to become viable. The only way to force the country to use it is to shovel massive amounts of tax money into temporary government programs. Spain tried it and failed. For every “green job” their government created, 2.5 private sector jobs were lost.

In short, our own government, under the control of eco-freaks, has tied our hands when it comes to energy production. We could be drilling for our own oil. We should be building new refineries, since we haven’t built one since the ‘70’s.

And you do know that Global Warming was proven to be a hoax, don’t you? There is no reason for us not to be developing our own energy supplies. Not one.

Yet for years we’ve heard politicians in Washington say we need to become less dependent on foreign oil. Of course, their actions prove that they’re not serious when they say that, else we’d see less restrictions on oil drilling, not more moratoriums.

Two facts make it abundantly clear that this administration doesn’t want a recovery to occur. One is the financing of Petrobras to the tune of some $2B so they can expand their drilling operations. The other is that our own US Geological Service has discovered a major new crude oil field. In fact, this is the largest oil field they’ve ever discovered.

It’s in Montana.

Now, in a sane world, we’d already be pumping oil out of it, creating jobs and wealth, increasing the retirement portfolios of Americans who own oil company stock and generally acting for the general welfare of the country. The fact that we aren’t, and aren’t even planning to exploit this valuable natural resource speaks volumes about the current mindset in Washington.

We need energy, we have sources of energy, yet we aren’t developing our own resources of energy. No other country is doing what we’re doing to ourselves.

Does that seem like a sensible thing to do?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Remember When We Were Capitalists?

I was having a conversation with a group of coworkers a few years ago (back when people had those things called jobs) and we were talking about the price of gasoline in Europe. One fellow lamented the fact that we Americans had low gas prices as though it was a bad thing. I reminded him that high gas prices in Europe were because of their high taxes. Then I reminded him that we were capitalists, and were therefore supposed to have the lowest prices.

He looked at me and nodded. “Oh, yeah.”

How soon we forget.

It’s almost as if we need constant reminding how well capitalism works. Anyone who’s old enough to remember early electronic calculators also recalls how much they cost, around $250. This was in the early Seventies when that was a lot of money. They only had four functions, were rather large, and ran on batteries that had to be replaced or recharged.

Contrast that with today’s calculator. The last one I bought cost around $15, needs no batteries and performs more mathematical functions than I can name. A side effect of this technology has been to introduce a much higher level of precision into our daily lives. Not that we really need thirteen decimal places of accuracy at the grocery store, but it’s nice to know that we have it when we need it. Not too long ago, that level of precision was exclusively the realm of a scientist with a slide rule and really thick glasses. Now, everyone can have it. Technology has made us smarter, more accurate and certainly more efficient.

The point is that when capitalism is left alone, as it once was in America, it does wonderful things for us. Lately, it’s been disturbed and distorted by some very powerful politicians who either don’t understand how capitalism is supposed to operate, or they do understand and they're screwing it up on purpose.

Some have even gone so far as to proclaim that our system is broken, when they were the ones who broke it (hello, housing market). Of course they now want to replace it, (naturally with them in charge) but with what? History has proven that American capitalism is the best economic system to date. It’s done more positive things for our country and the world than any other economic system. We’ve raised the living standard so high here that you can now be considered poor and still own a flat-screen TV and a car. And a refrigerator. And a microwave oven.

That’s a fairly affluent poverty. Not many of the rest of the worlds’ poor can say that.

We taught the rest of the world how to do it. We established the rules for success, namely freedom for the people and a minimum amount of regulation and intrusion by the government. So you’d think the rest of the world would want to imitate our proven success and raise the situation of mankind to new heights?

Ahh, you’d be wrong, calculator-breath.

They want to take our wealth away from us instead of creating their own. That’s what the redistribution of wealth is all about. This takes the form of the various failed methods of government that we all should be familiar with, but aren’t. Even our own President Obama is a redistributionist, among other un-American things. Remember his conversation with Joe the Plumber during the campaign when Obama said spreading the wealth around was good for everybody?

How’s that working out for us so far?

Perhaps, had Obama actually studied American History in college instead of surrounding himself with well-chosen radicals so he’d look cool, he would know what it takes to get our economy going again. He sure as hell ain’t doing it now.

And after two years of his inability to get the economy moving again, the country finally figured it out and shellacked him in last November’s election. We want change, real change, the good kind this time, not this Socialist bullshit of failure.

We want our Capitalism back.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ezra Klein’s Remarkable 30 Seconds of Stupid

The 112th Congress has yet to be sworn in and already the Leftist media is trotting out their dumbest and most inane representatives to try to throw a wet blanket on them. And they certainly did a good job with Ezra Klein. I wasn’t aware that so much stupid could be stuffed into a 30-second sound bite, but after watching it, I can only marvel at the efficiency of MSNBC.

Behold the wonder…

Now, I can see that this kid is a bit young and still wet behind the ears. He’s so lacking in life experience that I can hardly blame him for not knowing everything. But his statements following the host’s idiotic assertion that reading the Constitution was a “gimmick” are just, well, I don’t know how to put it.

The stupid is strong with this one.

Even when confronted with his own words, Klein responds with the clarity of mud. You’d think that after studying poli-sci in college that he’d have a tiny amount of respect for the legal foundation of our country. That respect seems to be lacking. In fact, he sounds rather in contempt of it.

All this brings up a few questions. We’ve already established his apparent disdain for the incoming Congress and their reading of the Constitution. His clarification didn’t dispel that either. So, he’s eliminated any doubts as to his political leanings. He’s a die-hard Leftist. But, if you know who he is, you already knew that.

My first question is this: How is he able to keep his job?

My second question is, who is it that keeps shoving him onto the national stage to spout his ignorance?

I mean, he’s demonstrated well his grasp of politics. He has none. His opinions are uninformed, flitting around concrete ideas like a hummingbird, never staying in one place long enough to establish a premise or a valid political point, other than his hatred for conservatism.

This qualifies him for a job, how, exactly?

What I find truly disconcerting is the fact that his uninformed opinions are broadcast as if they have some sort of weight. He’s well out of his league intellectually and his writings prove it. There’s just no there there. Nothing of substance, no grand, overarching political foundation, no sense of history, no sense of being connected to America and the fact that many of his fellow citizens are truly hurting as a direct result of four years of progressive control of Congress.


Is this what a college education will do to you, fill your head with nothing in exchange for a sheepskin? What happened to learning a bit of your own country’s history and how legislation has helped to shape or to harm society? Certainly, not every bill that comes from Congress is perfect, as more than a few have been repealed. Maybe it's me, but I always thought that was what you studied in Political Science classes, the nuts and bolts of our political system.

Clearly, the young Klein has yet to develop the essential qualities that separate adolescents from adults, most notably a healthy skepticism. Also missing is the ability to determine for yourself whether something is true or false.

Let me put this another way.

If I were a big league baseball manager, I’d send this kid back to the minor leagues. I’m not talking AAA, or AA, but all the way back to division A ball.

Or, in the words of Mike Wazowski, “Go grow up.”