Friday, July 31, 2009

Learn From Government's Resumé

Our illustrious federal government had the brilliant idea of stimulating the economy and saving the planet, all in one neat package called "Cash for Clunkers". For those unfamiliar with the program, it was designed to create jobs for the auto industry by offering up to $4,500 dollars for anyone trading in a gas guzzler for a new, more efficient car.

With a $1 billion kitty, the program was supposed to run until the end of November or until the money was used up. It lasted four days and is now suspended. It created no jobs, since the cars sold were from existing inventory, and the environmental impact is offset by the fact that all of the trade-ins are required to have their engines destroyed and the cars disposed of, ostensibly in landfills, somewhere.

What this offers, however, is a truly "teachable moment". It demonstrates the federal government's inability to run and manage a $1 billion program. Considering this when they are trying to ram through a $1 trillion health care initiative - without reading it - in the shortest amount of time possible should cause alarm in even the most ardent supporter of Barack Obama.

In other words...do you really want the same federal government who couldn't accurately forecast the results of "Cash for Clunkers" making decisions about the future health of you and your loved ones?

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Bama's Beer Bash

While Dan Rather laments the state of journalism and begs the president to form a White House Commission to aid the ailing practice, Obama is planning to sit down to a couple of cold ones with the players in the Cambridge Fiasco. As fate would have it, the same press afflicted with the disease of mediocrity is agog over the event, touting it as an historic moment and opining ad nauseam over the significance it will have in race relations.

The irony lies in the fact that the case really has nothing to do with race unless one considers the reluctance of Harvard Professor Gates to surrender his membership to victim hood. He is, after all, a Harvard Professor while many people of other races are not. Somehow the message of oppression loses its luster when delivered from such a lofty perch. Add to that notion the fact that Crowley had no idea what color the potential perpetrators were before arriving and the outrage of Gates becomes pure grandstanding.

Also, there is a third leading actor in this play who will not twist the top off of a Bud Light with the boys tonight. The 911 caller who initiated the entire scenario - Lucia Whalen - has been left off the party list. Notably, she is not wildly screeching about misogyny.

In the meantime, while kids are still fighting overseas and unemployment continues to rise and other, more pressing issues swirl around us, Dan Rather's colleagues engage in their slobbering love affair with all things Obama, breathlessly awaiting the second act in the Gates-Crowley drama like so many adolescent Jonas Brothers fans. They are sure to not be disappointed.

I have no doubt that this little bash this evening will be the most meticulously staged photo-op since a grim-faced, lip-biting President Clinton paused to form a cross out of stones - conveniently placed in his path by staffers - on Normandy Beach on the anniversary of D-Day.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Mixed Signals On Honduras

As anyone can see, the Americas encompass a very large portion of Earth's land mass, yet only the United States is referred to as simply "America". That may be because the word itself has come to be synonymous with the principles of liberty and the rule of law even though we are not alone in the adherence to such grounding basics.

Looking at the map, Honduras is located along that thin strip of land connecting North and South America, sandwiched between Guatemala to the north and Nicaragua to the south, and as the forces of socialism - egged on by people like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez - continue to ooze toward her borders, Honduras has remained true to her constitution in spite of the pressure exerted from outside influences, which include the United States.

Late last month, on June 28th, the Honduran Supreme Court ruled with the countries Congress and ultimately decided that the unlawful attempts of its president to circumvent the constitution were sufficient grounds for the military to forcefully oust Manuel Zelaya, the aforementioned president. While it would be understandable for our own government to applaud the actions of Honduran patriots, they have not only not applauded, they have booed and condemned the actions, demanding that Zelaya be returned to power in solidarity with surrounding, avowed socialist leaders, notably Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.

While our own leaders here in "America" insist that the socialist Zelaya be returned to power immediately, our allegedly objective media echo the sentiments of the "world" media and refer to the bloodless ouster of Manuel Zelaya as a "military coup", perpetuating the notion that Honduras engaged in a third-world political maneuver, a depiction that is dead wrong.

And now, perhaps realizing that such a thing may be possible in virtually any one of the Americas, our State Department here in the U.S. is seeking to marginalize the legitimacy of interim President Roberto Micheletti by the revocation of diplomatic visas of his foreign diplomats. From the AP:

US revokes visas of 4 Honduran officials
The U.S. government said Tuesday it has revoked the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials, stepping up pressure on coup-installed leaders who insist they can resist international demands to restore the ousted president.
The U.S. State Department did not name the four, but a Honduran official said they included the Supreme Court magistrate who ordered the arrest of ousted President Manuel Zelda and the president of Honduras' Congress.
I try to imagine Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan reacting in similar fashion, and I simply cannot. While this current president seems more than willing to sit down to pheasant under glass with the likes of Achmedinejad in a futile attempt to smooth over whatever dispute, I have seen absolutely zero evidence of any similar diplomatic endeavor towards the patriotic actions of the Honduran political structure.

If I am alone in my puzzlement at this, I must reassess my sanity, for I simply cannot understand how a member of the Organization of American States could stand in solidarity with self-avowed socialists without being likewise cast.

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Obamacare: Fountain Of Euthanasia

In my last post I complained about no one reading legislation before voting on it. That complaint - at least in the case of congressional members' culpability - stands. There is good news, however, and that is that someone is reading the bills. That someone is none other than the highly unlikely source of CNNs Money magazine, CNNMoney.com. Additionally, former senator Fred Thompson has also weighed in on the subject.

The CNN piece deals with the loss of medical freedoms that will be the result of this legislation's passage, while Thompson's discovery is a bit more, shall we say, ominous.

In a piece titled 5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform, with the subtitle warning:

If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.
Shawn Tully lays out what this plan will do to us.

First on the list is the loss of freedom to choose what's in your plan. Since many states require expensive "standard benefits packages", people living in those states will have no alternative but to take what the state plan offers. Next, the government will not have a graduated premium structure, meaning that a 30-year-old healthy person will pay nearly the same premiums as a 50-year-old with emphysema.

Third, the plan eliminates the option of choosing high-deductible coverage, something that many lower income people choose as a way of reducing their premiums. So while a youger, healthier person will pay more than their actual cost, while an older person - who can usually afford to pay more - will get a big discount, and the younger person can't even offset his payments with the high deductible.

Number four is of particular interest because it directly contadicts Obama's insistence that "if you like your current health plan, you keep it, period". What he neglects to mention, however, is that if you work for a large company regulated by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, you can only keep your coverage for a maximum of five years. The reason? After five years, those companies would have to offer only "approved" plans.

For number five - Freedom to choose your doctors - I am simply going to provide an excerpt from the linked article as it says it much better than I could:
The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges -- and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists.

Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what was billed as the solution to America's health-care cost explosion.
Yesterday on his radio show, Fred Thompson interviewed former lieutenant governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey, who has also read the health care bill. What she discovered on page 425 of the bill makes one believe that Tom Daschle, a contributing author, must have gotten some tips from Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Anyone enrolled in Medicare will be required to undergo "life-ending" counseling every five years, and immediately if diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. And if you're thinking that you'll take care of Mom with your savings, think again; just like other countries with socialized medicine, no unfairness like the ability to pay for extra care will be tolerated.

Unless you wish to see your grandma setting off on a sort of Logan's Run, I urge you to spread this information to everyone you know. The audio of the Thompson-McCaughey interview can be heard here.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

The Fools On The Hill

Well on the way,
Head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him,
or the sound he appears to make,
and he never seems to notice,

But the fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning 'round.

While fully understanding the president's need for speed on all things legislative - or change, if preferred - I have been wondering since the passage of the "stimulus" bill how he persuaded congressional members to help accelerate the bus without having read the damn thing. It turns out that no coercion was necessary. All it took was for the authors to deliberately make it so dauntingly expansive and voluminous that members wouldn't want to read it.

I certainly have neither the time nor the patience to read a thousand pages of legalese, to say nothing of the acumen required to comprehend such a document. It is precisely for that reason that I elect a representative - more often than not a lawyer - to go work on Capitol Hill at a damned good salary and read them for me. Furthermore, I also expect that representative to make a good decision before voting on it and - especially if the consequences of the bill's passage would be detrimental to me - vote against its passage.

John Conyers (D-Mich.) has effectively betrayed the secret of congress, much as a magician revealing the craft's tricks would draw the ire of all magicians. Conyers, who is also the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the following at a National Press Club luncheon:
“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill'. What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”
Personally, I don't care how the other members of congress feel about such a betrayal of a congressional secret. I am, however, stunned and outraged that the chairman of a committee has basically admitted that we have a bunch of people voting on things they have no understanding of and are unwilling to earn their keep by learning.



On top of these fools on the Hill acquiescing to the whims of their leadership in lieu of the demands of their constituents - you know, the people who they allegedly represent - we now know that they are voting on what they're told and not what they themselves have read and understood. Worse still is that the shame of admitting such a thing has apparently gone the way of most of our social mores.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Potentially Lethal Affirmative Action

I know a good many people who have long believed that it would be a wonderful thing to have a "regular guy" in the White House for a fresh perspective. I was one of them, foolishly convinced that we needed to move away from the professional, rich politicians and get someone "just like me" in the Oval Office. See how wrong you can be.

While Barack Obama is neither just like me nor a regular guy, the same principle of the neophyte holds true in his case and we're seeing the fruits of our folly in record short time. Barack Obama is only the 16th U.S. senator to win the General Election and, to the best of my knowledge, the first freshman senator to have done so, and from the moment he was seated in the senate, he was busy campaigning for president.

The American people - or at least half of them - were so intent on "giving a black man a chance" at the presidency that they completely ignored all of the warning signs that he was ill-prepared, at best, to lead. Most of that half of the population still refuses to acknowledge the damage he is inflicting already and the potential still down the road for our complete ruination as a country.

Democrats wailed loudly over the George W. Bush deficit and demanded a halt to the spending on the wars, claiming that he was going to bankrupt the nation. Now that Barack Obama and his allied Congressional cohorts are spending at quadruple the rate of Bush, there is virtual silence from the left, save for the applause. And while the constitution makes quite clear that the number one priority of the Federal Government is the defense of the nation, no one bats an eye over the fact that Obama is ceasing production of the F-22 Raptor and siphoning the money into programs that were never enumerated in the constitution.

This president does not understand economics, he does not understand international relations, and he holds none of the reverence or comprehension for the office that his predecessors had. His comment in Wednesday's news conference regarding the Cambridge police is evidence enough of that. His continuous apologies to the rest of the world on our behalf and his recent interactions with foreign leaders are a source of deep embarrassment and humiliation, and his obsequiousness is noticable to all.

Affirmative action in the private sector can lead to some damaging consequences, and in public safety can be perilous. The same practice applied to the Executive Branch of government can be deadly for the citizens. And - irony of ironies - the devastating effects of this particular black man's reign may possibly ruin any chance of another black man holding the coveted title of President of the United States for decades to come. The rush to elect a black man, any black man, for the sake of saying we finally did it may just undo us.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

It Is Time to Take Our Country Back!

It is Time to Take Our Country Back!

This is not political. This is about patriotism, and living the American way...the American dream. I am an independent voter. I am loyal to no party. I am for freedom. When Obama was elected, I vowed to give him a chance. It did not take long, before he blew it. We are only six months into the changes Obama had in store for us, and I can sum them all up in one word. Control. He wants control. Whoever controls him wants control….control of our lives, and control of our money, which is our livelihood. There is not one word written in the document our founders wrote, known as the constitution that ever mentions government control of our lives. In fact, if one is inclined to bother to read the document, it spells out just the opposite. Our forefathers had the insight to know there would be individuals that would challenge us for our rights and freedoms, and they were specific in the way the document is worded, as to protect those very rights.

Obama's rise to fame and recognition happened at an alarming rate. It was only in 2000, that no one other than a handful of Chicago insiders had ever heard of the man. Yet, he ran for the Senate in 2004, and won. He didn't even serve two full years, before he left that senate seat sitting vacant to hit the road for the presidency.

The country was ripe for a change, after 8 years of the same administration in office, and government getting bigger all the time, but did anyone that was stumping for Obama really think his change meant even more government? More controls over our lives? And, oh by the way….while Obama was sweeping the country, he never did bother to disprove the rumors of his birth in Kenya, after his paternal Grandmother stated that he was in fact born in Kenya. She said she was right there, when he was born. Excuse me, but that makes him ineligible to be president. It is amazing how many people are afraid to press the issue. Wouldn't it be smart of him to just volunteer his birth certificate for public scrutiny to put the matter to rest? One has to assume he cannot prove he is a natural born citizen, or the document would not be kept under lock and key.

So, now, we have a president, that could very well be illegitimate, and yet we're allowing him to stomp on our freedoms left and right, and in between, all the while he spends our money and our children's money faster than the government can print it. Anyone with any common sense knows that when you are broke, you find a way to work harder, and save. You certainly don't go on spending sprees. Yet that is exactly what the Obama administration has done. They passed that stimulus package in the name of creating jobs and helping the economy. But that money is not creating jobs. Jobs are still being lost! Businesses are still going under, and more are threatened by the day with the threat of more taxation, and penalties if they do not insure their employees. What kind if stimulus is that? It's the kind that pays for mice projects, and photo ops over NY, and flies the president (and his family) back and forth all over the world to make his speeches and apologies for the miserable mistakes Americans have made. Never mind the pride America has, for being the most generous nation on earth with her sons and daughters to fight for freedom all over the world for the past 100 years. Never mind that the US is the first to give in the time of natural disasters. Obama apologies for us.

Now, he's shoving this healthcare plan down our throats….and lying to us while he promotes it. He says how we all deserve medical care. He says you can keep your private plan if you want. But he skirts the issue that if for some reason you lose your private insurance, you will be ineligible for another private plan. You will have to go the the government's plan. Does he bother to tell you that if you don't eat and drink and do what they tell you, you might not get treated? This is all about control! He has stated that the elderly might not exactly be eligible for some of the care that could prolong their lives. Move over, Granny and Gramps….that Operating room is needed for someone younger....that money might be needed for an abortion, instead! How many small businesses that are already struggling do you think will be able to afford to cover all of their employees? They will either be penalized, or they will end up hiring less employees, or even worse, be forced to close their doors. Hence, even more jobs lost! He says his plan will have quality care. Yet it's not good enough for him, his family, or for congress! No….we will still be paying high premiums for their "top quality" policies! And he says He is not an elitist? This government healthcare plan is a disaster waiting to happen. Just ask Europe. Just ask Canadians!

As our Commander in Chief, he has already been whittling away at our military, by cutting their budgets, and funds for their equipment….the latest being the funding for new F-22's. Now, he's stating that a victory in Afghanistan is not really necessary. Why would anyone put their lives on the line for a cause that is not meant to be won? He's shooting us in the foot! When you want to weaken your enemy, you disable his weapons...his fleet, do you not? So, ask yourself...why does Obama want to weaken our our forces? Are we his enemy?

Our economy is in the tank, our healthcare, which has up to this point been the best in the world is being threatened, and our defenses are being disarmed. Someone from another faction of al Qaeda, or a similar Islamic group couldn't plan a better undoing of America than Obama and Company are doing to us right now. He sure has not done a darned thing to prove his loyalty or love for his country or her citizens!

It is time to take our country back, and stop this man that is not only not qualified, but not legal to sit in the White House! We need to take our country back now! We cannot wait for the next election to roll around. We have to cut his power grabs now! It it time for us as Americans to stand up and defend our constitution, and protect our own rights and freedoms. It is time for us to demand our leadership represent us, instead of trying to control us! It is time to get vocal, and it is time to March!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Accentuating The Trivial: The Harvard Professor Flap

According to the police report filed on July 16th, a neighbor on Ware Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts saw two black men wearing backpacks trying to force their way into a home and called the Cambridge police. She had no way of knowing that one of the men was Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. All she knew was that two men she didn't know were attempting to force their way into one her neighbor's homes. She did the right thing.

Officer James Crowley, a sergeant on the Cambridge Police Force, responded to the call from a citizen that there may be a break-in in place. Upon arriving at the scene, he saw a black man standing in the foyer and asked if he would please come outside and identify himself, a request that the man inside refused and countered with his own demand that the officer identify himself. The officer complied and identified himself by name and rank, and from there it went downhill. Rather than continue to recount the events, I will post a link to The Smoking Gun.com, which has posted a photocopy of the police report. Please read the report before continuing with this article because it will make a difference.

As it turns out, Gates' doorway was subjected to a previous break-in attempt and was stuck upon his return from a trip overseas. His driver was the other man witnessed by the neighbor and who was trying to force open the door. Now, one would normally think that hers were the actions of a good Samaritan. One might also think that Gates would have gladly shown the officer the requested identification and thanked him for his dedication to the community. One would be wrong. It also turns out that Gate's makes his living not only from his professorial duties at Harvard, but also from his exploitation of his race's past exploitation.

I am not writing this because of this case, though, despite its appeal to the sensibilities of people who are more than ready to move beyond antiquated racial divides. I write this mainly because of the reactions it has generated and, more importantly the absolutely stunning departure from sense and protocol displayed by the president last night.

Asked about this case, the president absent-mindedly offered an opinion that he had no business offering. He said that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" with absolutely zero knowledge of the events outlined above. The officer himself has subsequently declined interviews for comment out of a cognizance of the law, noting that he cannot comment on a case currently under investigation, and yet the President of the United States blithely and ignorantly commented during a live, nationally televised press conference.

This is simply incomprehensible from a man who allegedly possesses a high I.Q. and law degrees and who should know better based strictly on a professional level. What it proves is that this president governs from a purely ideological standpoint rather than that of a man fully versed in our culture and standards. Even Bill Cosby said he was stunned that the POTUS would utter such nonsense at the podium.

Of course, another "race entrepreneur" has weighed in, and it is worth noting that he was also a presidential contender. Al Sharpton is complaining about police "abuse of power", which becomes laughable when one has actually read the police report.

But here's where the "trivial" from the title comes into play. Despite the enormity of the chain of events in this case as regards the POTUS, the main mea culpa now is that White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and Obama himself are trying to back-pedal on whether Obama meant to call the Cambridge police "stupid". Always the political animals, Democrats are now trying frantically to qualify the president's remarks while missing the damage already done by his failure to comprehend the weight of the office he holds.

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm trying to adjust to having a younger person than me running the country, but I seriously doubt that. Tradition does not suddenly become passe, and protocol never fades from fashion. I truly believe that the man I have repeatedly referred as a neophyte is just that, and I am afraid that he is way out of his league in his current position. What actually frightens me, however, is that the nation has suddenly become accepting of affirmative action in the Executive Branch of government.

God help us all.

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No Mail For You!

Democrats continue to raise obfuscation to an art form, wantonly contradicting the fiscal predictions of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by insisting on telling the American people that their proposals will actually reduce the deficit. One Democrat congressman even went so far as to tell a town hall meeting that Obama's Universal Health Care would create a $6 billion surplus, much to the chagrin of the audience who promptly heckled him nearly off the stage. Hannity discussed this meeting and the video clearly shows that the audience is obviously better informed than the congressman assessed.



Last night President Obama had yet another televised press conference in which he blathered on at length about a proposal which he has previously admitted that he is unfamiliar. When a caller to a show that Obama was on recently asked about the provision on page sixteen of the bill that would prohibit people from getting new private insurance, Obama confessed that he was "unfamiliar with that portion" of the bill. That doesn't stop him from bloviating on the subject with platitudinous rhetoric, however.

Now we have the controlling Democrats in the House of Representatives who are actually blocking House Republicans from sending out mailings to their constituents that are critical of the health care proposal. According to Roll Call:

Democrats are preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the majority’s health care reform plan, blocking the mailing by alleging that it is inaccurate.

House Republicans are crying foul and claiming that the Democrats are using their majority to prevent GOP Members from communicating with their constituents.

The dispute centers on a chart created by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee to illustrate the organization of the Democratic health care plan.
When the Democrats retook Congress in 2006, they promised transparency and bi-partisanship. We have seen neither from them. All during the excruciatingly long campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama promised a new atmosphere of cooperation and transparency. So far he has managed to break his promises one by one, teaming with his fellow Democrats in ramming through pieces of legislation that no one - including those who actually vote on them - has had time to read.

Now, even in the face of growing opposition to this health care plan and accompanying evidence and analyses that portend economic disaster, Obama and Congressional Democrats simply say that all of it is untrue. Deny, deny, deny. This is how they claim that their motives for blocking Republicans' correspondence with their constituents are based on rules. That seems awfully convenient; simply censor your opposition by claiming that they are lying.

I hope the Democrats savor the flavor, and remember this tactic's usefulness in 2011.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Total Eclipse Of The Sun

East Asia got to enjoy a rare spectacle today, a total eclipse of the sun. Beautiful.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Blow To The Apocalypse

I suppose the pessimists among the global warming worshipers would point to the slow erosion of the planet's "beautiful deserts" as yet another sign of man's parasitic and destructive tendencies, but that would be expected. Just supposing for a moment that we are contributors to the climate's state, that same crowd of believers would shudder at the prospect of the fictional "Genesis Project" from the Star Trek movies.

Not long ago, the anthropogenic global warming believers and activists - including those renowned IPCC scientists - were telling us that global warming would cause an expansion of the world's deserts, but recent satellite pictures of North Africa appear to show a receding of the Sahara Desert. The cause? Warming oceans evaporating at a faster rate, resulting in more rain. As Popeye would say, "Well blow me down"!

The entire debate is not whether warming is occurring, but rather what or who is responsible for it. CO2 has become the compound we love to hate, the veritable J.R. Ewing of science, but all we have seen of its existence is beneficial. Likewise, as it has been cast as the villain in this play, it has been demonstrated by historical data that warming precedes increases in CO2 levels. (I almost get tired of pointing out that salient fact).

While the "Green Movement" has proven to be somewhat melodramatic in its machinations, it can be said that they are not completely without merit. Yes, man was consuming global forestry at an alarming pace and yes, it was the same movement that persuaded the loggers to reseed what they had harvested. Any successful farmer would understand that simple concept. Some argued that replenishment was insufficient because of the time required for new saplings to replace the crop, but now that we have elevated levels of CO2, it only stands to reason that the new crops flourish much more quickly. We raise plants in greenhouses for a very good reason.

If the increase in warming proceeds - for whatever reason - toward levels not seen in centuries, and as the foliage invades the sand, man will adapt to the remote possibility of rising sea levels by moving into the newly habitable desert regions. However, as the oceans evaporate and the rains continue to create an ever expanding habitat for man, moving away from the current shores may be an unnecessary notion altogether.

It may be hard to argue that Mother Nature can be cruel at times, but perhaps she does know how to prepare for more children.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Write To Your Congressperson!

This is a suggestion only, but is completely available to any who wish to use it. I just want to make it as easy as possible for people to make their wishes known.

Dear (Congressperson),

I am writing to express my displeasure with the machinations of Congress as it is today, and wish to relay to you my deep resentment at the disregard and contempt I feel emanating from my elected officials.

Sir (Madam), I am deeply opposed to the prospect of my government running the health care system, and vehemently protest the process which will ultimately decide this issue.

While I have long understood the fraternal environment of congress, that mentality has never borne more significance than it does today, and I must voice my disdain for those who would succumb to the wishes of the house leadership over the wishes of their actual constituencies.

That being said, Sir (Madam), please understand that the arm twisting that may occur from your leadership with the threat of committee banishment may pale in comparison to the prospect of outright unemployment from your district voters. That may be a particularly undesirable possibility considering the current economic climate created by none other than you, the representatives.

So I beseech you to vote against the Washington machine and cast a "nay" vote on socialized medicine. I did not help elect you to represent my interests only for you to submit to an elite few who harbor an agenda detrimental to my interests.

Sincerely,

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Call Obama's Bluff

Obama and his supporters continually point to the folly of betting against him. In poker, one gains notoriety by winning and, if the streak lasts long enough, creates fear in opponents. The longer one wins the more reluctant are his fellow contestants to challenge him, thus making the art of the bluff more potent at each hand. All it takes, however, is one good slap down on a high ante, and the winner is instantly transformed back to that of his collective table. Remove the mystification and you can once again play with a mere mortal.

The people who applaud the destructive notions of this president use his past successes as a shield, warning opponents not to even try to stand in the way. That strategy has been effective, but as Obama continues to raise the stakes, people as well as leaders are beginning to become emboldened. Less and less willing are they to let Obama simply rake in the pot.

Case in point: This past weekend at the National Governors Association Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi, angst was the emotion du jour as the nation's governors expressed their disdain over the attempts of the federal government to saddle their states with unfunded mandates. While it would be more comforting if they were dead set against socializing medicine at all, an ally can be an ally even for the wrong reasons. If the governors can rally the states to derail this insanity currently making its way through the House of Representatives, I'll take it, one way or the other.

The plan to socialize medicine is coated in a multitude of layers of "feel good" designed to hypnotize the masses into not only accepting it, but clamoring for it, and the plan so far has been working just as drawn up. Combine the slick packaging with the clever advertising - on alleged "news" programs, no less - and people are convinced that it's the greatest thing ever. But when clear-headed outlets align with those who will ultimately bear the brunt of the damage this will cause, it becomes a road strewn with downed limbs that Obama and his ilk must traverse.

Despite Obama's outright contradictions of the Congressional Budget Office estimates of the overall cost of socialized medicine, others are digging in their heels and making known to even more people the perils of the plan. And while Obama bemoans the tactics of his foes as "fear mongering", it is more like an accurate warning.

Imagine a group of kids playing ball and one hits the ball into the neighbor's yard full of snarling pit bulls. All but one of the kids tells the one who hit the ball that it's simply too dangerous and out of the question to hop the fence and retrieve the ball. The lone dissenter tells the hitter that the other kids are using fear tactics and that he should get the ball, and tells him that the pit bulls aren't really there anyway. Clearly, if the hitter hops the fence, he's dead.

And now comes the news that the White House is going to deliberately delay publishing their midsummer budget update - usually released in mid-July - until after Congress recesses August 7th. Why would they do this? Breitbart.com has that answer:

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update—usually scheduled for mid-July—has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town Aug. 7 on its summer recess.
How long the mainstream media can continue in its role as wing man for Obama remains to be seen, but one thing is clear. Starting with the governors of all fifty states, someone has to call his bluff and end his reign at the table. One defeat, that's all I ask. Then let's find out just how much mettle the man really has.

Stop Universal Health Care now.

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Liberalism Perfectly Illustrated

Success to a liberal, as I've said many times, is defined by creating an environment where everyone is equal. The problem is, they cannot figure out a way to lift everyone up to the highest standard of living, so their remedy is to drag everyone down to equally wallow at the bottom. Equal misery for all, that's the ticket.

On a recent airing of Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox, Stuart Varney as guest host debated radio talk-show host Mike Papantonio and the exchange was both stunning and somewhat amusing. Papantonio actually defended the words of President Obama when he says that the "stimulus is working".

After pointing out the soaring unemployment rate and the myriad jobs lost, Varney asked Papantonio to explain. Papantonio countered that there were "dozens of policemen in Cleveland rehired", and 3,000 teachers in Alabama who "got their jobs back". The look of incredulity on Varney's face says it all:



Papantonio then goes on to declare that the obvious success of the Reagan economy was a failure and that if we only shut up and fall in line behind Obama, everything will work out just fine. Never mind the blatant lies already told by this administration regarding the stimulus and the unemployment rate. Remember, Obama said that if we passed the stimulus right away, unemployment wouldn't exceed 8%. It's now 9.5%, and rising (those dozens of cops in Cleveland notwithstanding).

And now he wants to perpetrate the same insidiousness via Universal Health Care. While decrying the "scare tactics" of the right designed to defeat his lofty ambitions, Obama then attempts to scare us into supporting it. And he looks straight into the camera and says that his plan will help the struggling economy despite what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculates:



I guess Papantonio believes that if we just get behind Obama and stop "ankle-biting", we can all prove the CBO wrong? Perhaps if it doesn't work out, we can then just blame people like me for the teeth marks on Obama's ankles, or the coup de grace, blame it all on George W. Bush.

The Pied Piper was charged with leading the rat infestation out of town. In this case, he is Obama and he's leading lemmings of a cliff. Someone needs to break that damned flute, and quickly.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Clueless!

This president is either a pathological liar or he is completely clueless. In either instance, he obviously thinks the American people are morons.

Remember the rush job to pass the stimulus? Remember the 1500-plus pages that congess didn't have time to read before they voted for that disaster? Well, watch the video again and imagine that he is talking about the health care bill that he is trying to ram through congress so he can sign it. When? Immediately!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Universal Health Care Bill Is Hotel California

You can check out anytime you like
But you can never leave...
"Don't believe what you see, believe what I tell you" seems to be the mantra of this administration and the democrat leadership in both houses regarding how they spend our money. Running faster and faster with the Father Knows Best mentality, our government is seeking to drive us all to ruin despite our vociferous protestations because they actually believe that we will believe anything they try to tell us. I don't know how many of you have already tried to call your representatives, but if you live in a "blue district", as I do, you probably know well the frustration of dealing with dripping condescension on the other end of the line.

From the incredibly ill-conceived words of our new vice president - who declared quite seriously that we need to spend more and faster to avoid bankruptcy - to the insistence that no matter how bad it looks, Obama and the democrats know what they're doing, the simple truth is that are lying to us. If Obama's own lies on the campaign trail - which he's already backtracked on multiple times - aren't enough for you, there is the latest one about people being permitted (an ominous word from a bureaucrat) to keep the private insurance that they have if they choose to do so.

That is an out and out lie, one that his minions continue to perpetuate even when nailed to the wall on it. Investors Business Daily has obtained a copy of the 1000-plus page health care bill and made an outrageous discovery on page sixteen. It turns out that while those who will be permitted to retain their preferred coverage is true to a degree, what our government hasn't told us is that - under the provisions of this monstrous bill - if one ever loses that coverage, it will be illegal to obtain a new private policy.

From the article:
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
Add to this revelation the fact that despite the Congressional Budget Office rating the bill a disaster, the administration and congress still insist on voting it in and doing so before their summer recess, it becomes quite clear that our elected leaders are but insolent school children - albeit gravely dangerous ones - who want to be done with this business before they can go play. Consequences be damned.

Again, I beseech all of you to contact your representatives in both houses of congress and tell them that this will not be tolerated by we, the people. We have a scant two weeks to save our country from Marxist ruination. Here again is the link: Contacting Congress

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The True American Spirit

I have posted musical videos over past months for purely entertainment purposes, but this one is philosophical. I think it perfectly encapsulates the mindset that I espouse along with the multitudes who share my ideology. While it is a simplistic depiction of that ideology, it nevertheless is dead-on balls accurate.

Sit back, put on the headphones, and enjoy the music and the message:

Anyone who disagrees is welcome to say so, but you will subsequently be shot and given a burial that would make Josey Wales spit tobacco on my forehead. I hate that.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Philosophical Self Indulgence

While I do have a few irons in the fire regarding our current societal predicament, I must confess that I am suffering a bit of overload trying to sort through the antics of the new administration and as a result, have been bleeding different thoughts over into different posts. That being said, I sought the solace of music; my type of music. Music that many of my conservative friends also teethed on and music that would cause many to wonder how we ever became conservatives at all.

The truthful answer is, we were always conservatives - even in our rebellious teen years - but we just didn't realize it. We were the ones who suddenly discovered that our parents and their entire generation were morons who would destroy the planet, along with us. We learned this from a juvenile perspective derived from the deep lyrics of the musicians we worshipped. Listening to the message became very important in the late sixties and throughout the seventies, and the composers became ever so much more artful in the delivery of that message.

I still seek refuge in those compositions - as I did today - simply because of the beauty of the music, but my interpretation of the lyrics has changed even as I now question whether my youthful understanding was skewed. Perhaps - as the video age has progressed - the artists themselves have reconsidered their original intent or, just maybe, they were spot on all along? It may well have been we consumers who read too much into the meaning.

Anyone familiar with the band YES, and their scathing yet brilliant condemnation of war in The Gates Of Delirium from the album Relayer may see where I am going with this line of thought. It was one of the most remarkable compositions in the modern rock age, and while the track does get a bit shrill at times, every bit of it is absolutely pertinent to the entire piece. But the message is perfectly completed with the last movement, titled Soon. As I watched the video seen here, of an aging band performing with the majesty of an orchestra - something that was formerly done by one man with incredible technological and keyboard mastery - I was struck by the societal importance of music and the meaning it has for us all. Watch this beauty:

The reason this struck me as it did was simply because I realized that the band members may have had a completely generic message to send as opposed to one of a subversive nature. In other words, maybe all they were trying to convey was the futility of war in general without being necessarily anti-war.

Which leads me back to my conservative roots. Those who accuse conservatives of being "war mongers" are just as guilty as conservatives who accuse all liberals of being "pacifists". It can be argued effectively that no one wants war, therefore, everyone is anti-war. The music speaks for itself. The difference is that conservatives understand the occassional necessity and subsequently support the need for warfare, whereas modern liberals still cling to a notion derived from musical icons from their youth that tells them that war is just bad.

Again, war can never be defended as something good, but neither can bad-tasting medicine to a child. It is only when people achieve adulthood that they realize that life is not all about candy and play.

Thank God that we developed the means to record forever the works of those who provide us with art that enables us to make these contemplations. Also thank God that the artists mature just like the rest of us.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Age Of Aquarius

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars

Or, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

Even from a position of power such as they have, democrats continue to futilely flail at republicans, and it is starting to get tiresome to a good many people, even democrat voters. Nancy Pelosi is back in the news for her accusations that the CIA lied to her and the reason is because her fellow democrats were attempting to provide cover for her earlier transgressions. The colloquial term for mistakes like this is "continually stepping in [it]".

After a lame attempt to damage the former administration and George W. Bush in mid-May, the Speaker found herself frantically trying to remove her foot from her mouth. A few days ago, she thought she could thank CIA chief Leon Panetta for finally extricating the appendage, but that's not working out so well for her, either. Thinking that they were about to score twice, democrats and their media enablers were giddy over the prospect of nailing Dick Cheney to the wall while vindicating Nancy Pelosi, as George Stephanopoulos gushed on ABCs state-run "news".

But already, the democrats are finding that they may have stepped in something that's difficult to wipe off as more facts continue to emerge. According to a Fox News report, Congress Authorized CIA to Develop Secret Al Qaeda Plan, Former Official Says:
Congress originally authorized the CIA to develop the secret counterterrorism program that is now drawing fierce criticism from House Democrats who say they were kept in the dark all along, a former senior intelligence official told FOX News on Monday.
Other reports are pointing out that the "secret" plan was never implemented, nor was it ever close to being implemented, which could cause added grief for democrats who still believe that they may have the smoking gun needed to finally "get" Cheney. As the Washington Post reports:
Three former intelligence officials who were close to the program said it operated within legal guidelines.

"Everything we did fell under the [authorizations] of both administrations, Democratic and Republican," said one former counterterrorism official with detailed knowledge of the program. "We would have been professionally negligent if we had not taken the actions we did. There was zero legal risk in my mind."
And yet, the democrats are still planning to investigate this vigorously, which as it turns out, could be just what the doctor ordered. If they get bogged down with the CIA business, it is less likely that they will meet Obama's timetables for health care and cap and trade. That's a win for our side on two fronts. First, we won't end up being saddled with the additional financial burdens the two plans would inflict upon us and second, the people who were so sure that Obama would finally deliver will be furious when he cannot. That may well translate into a shift of power in both houses of Congress in 2010.

So just when Obama and the democrats thought that the stars were in their favor - especially with the seating of Al Franken in Minnesota, giving the democrats a super majority of 60 seats - it is starting to increasingly look like the Age of Aquarius will eventually favor the republicans. And it can't happen fast enough.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't Forget The Pestilence

As Congress begins the week debating the disastrous cap and tax legislation, Barbara Boxer is pulling out almost all of the stops. Saying that the bill must be passed to save humanity, she is warning of droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more. One can only surmise that the "more" is pestilence or possibly swarms of locusts. It might seem ironic that in order to cool the planet she relies on "fire and brimstone", but it's really not. Here's why.

The bill has nothing at all to do with the climate. It has nothing to do with green energy, creating jobs or energy independence, as Boxer claims. It has everything to do with control and global governance. Don't believe it? Listen to what Al Gore is saying now:

“But it is the awareness itself that will drive the change and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements.”
As the article also points out, it was former French President Jacques Chirac who also called for global governance. Add to that the comments of former EU Environment Minister Margot Wallstrom, who said:
"Kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide."
And another quote, just for good measure:
"Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in history...When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist
There are several issues involved with this whole climate change boondoggle, and the success of the perpetrators in the face of such obvious evidence is frightening. What is truly disturbing, however, is that the people we elected to represent the interests of America and the American people are involved with trying to dismantle her sovereignty in favor of a World Government.

Fortunately, James Inhofe is fighting valiantly to stop this madness, but with 60 seats in the Senate, the democrats hold the reins of power. I pray that whatever they foist upon America can be undone when Republicans once again hold that power, because if this bill gets passed by the Senate - and there is no question that Obama will sign it before the paper cools - we will be spreading the wealth not just to poorer neighborhoods in America, but to nations all over the world. There will be a global carbon tax that will allow the UN to charge American companies - and ostensibly individuals - for carbon and take the money to give to other countries.

I wish more people would see this for what it is before it's too late. I also wish the media would do its job in informing the public, but it seems that they been bought by the liberal establishment completely.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just Like You

Pandering politicians are nothing new. Raising the practice to an art form is...
To paraphrase an old saying, wherever Barack Obama goes, there he is, and while politicians have long sought to fit in with the communities in which they are currently stumping for votes, it is a rare practice for one who is victorious in an election. I cannot recall a U.S. president prior to the current one that so closely resembled a chameleon. Past presidents - when travelling abroad - proudly embodied the American spirit. Not so with Obama.

In his recent tours of the world, he has endeavored to remind the peoples to whom he was speaking that he is "just like them" and, therefore, understands them. In Cairo, he reminded the crowd of his "Muslim heritage", even though he vehemently denied that heritage during the campaign. And this past week in Ghana, he administered the same confession to Africans, pointing out that he has "the blood of Africa within me".

That could be an innocuous, vague reference to his being half African American. He went on, though, to say something that could once again raise the low-simmering controversy over his qualifications to be POTUS in regards to the never-seen birth certificate (Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, be damned). He said, "Countries like Kenya, which had a per capita economy larger than South Korea's when I was born, have been badly outpaced." (Emphasis mine).

If he had substituted "in the early sixties" or "forty-eight years ago" for "when I was born", the significance would have escaped notice. However, describing the economic or societal condition of a country at the time he was born lends an air of personal experience, at least in my mind. For example, I wouldn't think to describe what it might have been like in China when I was born. I would be more inclined to refer to the, uh...middle of the twentieth century.

There is a technical word that describes a "Freudian Slip": it is Parapraxis and it defines a phrase that inadvertently reveals a truth that the speaker would have preferred to have kept hidden. We know so little of the mysterious ascension of Barack Obama, the orphaned lad who attended the best schools and attained privileged status so quickly. We know nothing of the origins of the funding necessary to have accomplished the things he has. It's almost like he is the fictional character Kyle XY , the difference being that in the show, Kyle didn't know his origins, either. More significantly, Kyle wasn't the leader of the free world. That leader, Obama, knows his origins well and does his best to conceal them, along with whomever was responsible for his meteoric rise to prominence.

And just as an aside...I hope you all noticed that Obama was adorned with a black cowboy hat in the accompanying photo. Some may cry "symbolism over substance", but in the case of Obama, it may be best for them to rely heavily on the symbolism, since the substance is in short supply.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Summer Of Our Discontent

While a local newspaper here in the North East yesterday made a reference to "autumn in July", despite the cool temperatures, it is still technically summer. It is not the weather, however, that is responsible for the discontent.

Slightly more than five months into the job, Barack Obama has proven to be a challenge even to his ardent supporters. And to the millions who voted with their hearts - and who have also begun to show signs of a pending break-up - he has become the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room. ( For the record, I absolutely refuse to avoid using a perfectly good metaphor out of fear of offending someone).

President Obama's personal approval rating remains in good numbers, but he is falling like a proverbial meteorite in performance polls as the summer wears on, something the weather may have affected. While Obama continues to push for climate legislation that will ultimately cripple what's left of our economy, his only ally may be the fact that many are actually saving money on their energy bills because - at least in the north - it has been damned chilly for summer. But the brief respite people feel in their personal budgets may not equate to support for the president's efforts to combat what these same savers increasingly see as a non-existent problem.

People are beginning to seriously question whether punitive legislation is needed at all, based on the cool summer combined with the growing list of dissenting scientists who are challenging the theory of anthropogenic global warming. That's a good start.

Add to this the fact that people on the political fringes - those who "strongly approve or strongly disapprove" of the president's job performance - have begun to diverge negatively for Obama, and the trend against him is clear; people are beginning to awaken from the nightmare they inflicted upon not only themselves, but the rest of us. By the end of the summer, Obama will own this terrible economy and accompanying record deficits, even in the eyes of those who formerly were happy to blame Bush 43, and they will turn on him at an accelerated pace.

Indeed, as unemployment continues to rise along with America's debt, people will remember the empty promises made by candidate Obama and compare them with the failure of president Obama, particularly because of the super majority he has enjoyed since the seating of Al Franken in Minnesota. It is entirely possible that - with same-party defections on the increase - the state-run media will attempt to convince the people that Obama was unsuccessful due to sabotage, claiming that the contrarian members of congress were not "truly democrats". I maintain that the American people will not be fooled for that long, however, as they continue to witness the media frantically struggling to conceal the stains on their blue dresses.

While I was pathetically lugubrious a mere few months ago, I am now hopeful. As long as the Republicans don't shoot themselves in the foot, the summer of our discontent may prove to be the venue to avert nearly a decade of that condition.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

King Of The Hill

Baby boomers probably remember the game, king of the hill. It was played on a pile of dirt and the rules were simple: get to the top by knocking the guy currently on top, off. It taught us competitive skills and perseverance, with the reward of success. Some kids were too small to succeed, true, but as they grew and aspired to win, they held fast to the dream of being the king.

Then something terrible happened. Adults ruined all of the fun by declaring the game too dangerous in light of the skinned knees and crying children, and decreed that fairness by fiat was to be the new rule. Everyone would share in the chance to stand atop the pile of dirt without the perilous contest. Not realizing that the very purpose of the game was removed, the adults could not understand - in their elder-inspired wisdom - why the kids found something else to occupy their time. Not addressed in this formula was the question of who the ultimate arbiter was to be regarding whose turn might be next, which created a ruling class of humans; the adults.

Of course, this is but a crude example as I would not denigrate the necessity of adults being overseers of children, but as we slide further into a future of becoming as children and subsequently wards of the State, we find ourselves surrendering to decisions that - as adults - we are more than capable of making for ourselves but which are increasingly being made by the people we hire to...rule us.

The simple truth is, if there is nothing to work towards, the game is not fun. Winning is what makes the game, no matter how the left tries to equalize virtually every aspect of life in the misguided endeavor of achieving "fairness". While the removal of conflict has long been the goal of man with enduring peace the ultimate reward, instead of promoting good sportsmanship - whereby the victor is gracious and the vanquished inspired - our society has adopted the notion that competition itself be banished. Conflict being the key word here, it must be segregated from the word "contest".

Life itself, at least in a free society, is nothing but a contest. And especially in America, where the contest is the thing - through the myriad promotions to "win a million" - attempts to stifle the will to succeed seem rather...un-American. Yet we are faced with rules and regulations that squelch the human spirit to win from a young age, all under the guise of alleged safety. While winning by simple fortuitousness is acceptable, the same result due to hard work is frowned upon. Forgive me, but that concept seems completely backward.

When children are prohibited from running on school grounds, forbidden to play dodge ball and punished for any physical contact whatsoever, they become adults who cringe at the notion of defeating a rival in the board room. After all, it really isn't fair that all of that hard work to win a contract was chosen over that of the poor schmuck who procrastinated and arrived with a proposal with half the effort.

Compassion is a wonderfully human concept, and a noble one as well, but it must be experienced from a lofty perch. It is only deliverable from a position of affordable philanthropy, and appreciated only from below. When all people have the same ability to give, they also enjoy the same capacity to accept. Total, complete equality may sound like some form of Utopia, but it is truly the death knell of a civilized society.

The king of the hill is an admirable - and should be a desirable - goal. Without it, there is no reason to exist.

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Czar Search

"The rationale for creating “Czar” positions is that such individuals can rise above the usual DC turf wars, knock heads together, and make disparate bureaucracies achieve ambitious, overarching goals. Done well, this can demonstrate an administration's higher level of interest and dedication to an issue. But this ceases to be true when these exalted positions become so commonplace that it’s hard to see where ordinary bureaucracy ends and the extraordinary begins."
That paragraph is from the website Taxpayers For Common Sense, in a cheeky article titled Dancing With The Czars. (That was going to be the title of this article until I started to research, dang it). The article does a nice job of preempting the argument about Reagan starting the idea of a czar with his "drug czar". That was only one, however, and as the article points out, it's a heady idea when done with restraint, but when the appointments start to resemble a monolithic "czardom", an entire new bureaucracy is born.

The current czar count of the Obama administration is at 32...in only a little over five months. Here's the list:
Afghanistan Czar
AIDS Czar
Border Czar
CA Water Czar
Car Czar
Climate Czar
Domestic Violence Czar
Drug Czar
Economic Czar
Energy Czar
Faith-based Czar
Great Lakes Czar
Green Jobs Czar
Guantanamo Closure Czar
Health Czar
Information Czar
Intelligence Czar
Mideast Peace Czar
Mideast Policy Czar
Pay Czar
Regulatory Czar
Science Czar
Stimulus Accountability Czar
Sudan Czar
TARP Czar
TARP Oversight Czar
Technology Czar
Terrorism Czar
Urban Affairs Czar
Weapons Czar
WMD/Terrorism Czar
Taxpayers For Common Sense has an Excel spreadsheet that names the myriad czars and their functions. It's interesting to note that the entire Russian Empire, which spanned 400 years, did not have that many czars.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TARP For Main Street?

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he's not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher ruin your body
Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream
- The Pusher, Steppenwolf 1968
When the president announced last month that some financial institutions would be permitted to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies, he also said that the program had turned a profit for the government. Indeed, the General Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the government had received $6.2 billion in dividends. Great news, you might say; that money will be useful toward paying down the nations massive debt. Well, not so fast.

Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to snatch up that money before the taxpayers know what hit them. While the TARP program was originally designed as an emergency measure to stop financial collapse in the banking industry, Mr. Frank now wants to start bailing out individuals. The full committee will hold a hearing on a bill - H.R. 3068, TARP for Main Street Act of 2009 - that will "use amounts made available under the Troubled Assets Relief Program of the Secretary of the Treasury for relief for homeowners and neighborhoods."

Mr. Frank wants to take $1 billion from dividends paid by financial institutions to the federal government and put it into a trust fund for low-income rental housing. Next, he wants another $1.5 billion from TARP dividends for a "neighborhood stabilization" fund. How this money would be distributed is unknown, but some speculate that it would be through "community organizing" groups. Anyone for an ACORN? This is the redistribution of wealth that Obama spoke of to Joe the Plumber during the campaign.

According to Barney Frank, we need to "help" unemployed people who are struggling to save their homes. However, his "give a man a fish" approach will only stifle the incentive for those folks to find a job. Steppenwolf had it right; "God damn the pusher man".

Fortunately, there is a counter bill in the senate - the Stop TARP Asset Recycling (STAR) Act - co-sponsored by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) According to Mr. Hatch's website:
The Stop TARP Asset Recycling (STAR) Act would require any TARP funds returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to be placed in the general fund in order to pay down the nation’s debt. Current law is unclear whether returned funds could be recycled into TARP and used to expand federal investment in the private sector.
One would think that after the Democrats' hand-wringing over the Bush deficits, this bill would be a no-brainer slam dunk. It would also seem obvious that allowing Barney Frank to keep meddling in the housing sector would be a recipe for disaster.

Blanche Lincoln said it best:
“TARP was never meant to be a permanent program, but rather an emergency initiative designed to stabilize our financial markets and bring greater confidence to investors and business. It is only appropriate for that program to be phased out as expeditiously as possible.”
Let's hope that her point of view prevails.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Emulate The East

This time I mean it. I sincerely hope that our U.S. Senate emulates Europe and Asia when they vote on Obama's climate bill/cap and trade scheme.

At issue this week on Capitol Hill is the senate deliberations on climate change (global warming for the old-school crowd). After Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts in Congress whipped their membership into submission and an ultimate "aye" vote on punishing the American people through punitive legislation on energy, the Senate now is slated to consider the vote. The arrival of Al Franken - the newest senator on the Hill - gives the Democrats a super-majority, a filibuster-proof 60%.

That's relevant, however, only if virtually every member votes along party lines, something that seems increasingly more unlikely given the emerging proclamations by China, Russia and most recently, India. Three of the most rapidly growing economies - and by virtue of such, CO2 emitters - have done something our own congress will not; they actually took the time to realistically study the negative impacts cap and trade would have on their economies. As a result, all three have opted out of the Copenhagen Accord which would, if adopted, replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Ostensibly, the whole intent of such machinations are designed to protect the planet from harmful CO2, maligned as a "pollutant" and a greenhouse gas. Rising levels of CO2, we're told, are causing global temperatures to rise and, therefore, we have to cut our emissions drastically and quickly. Going on the assumption that this is true just for the sake of argument, our own reductions without those of other industrialized nations will accomplish nothing more than destroying our economy once and for all.

Now let's toss the assumption of veracity out and address the truth. The climate has been steadily cooling since the turn of the century. In fact, just since the release of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, the average global temperature has dropped .74 degrees fahrenheit. That is strange considering that CO2 concentrations have continued to rise: That is not how the true believers tell us it's supposed to be. If we're still pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, and CO2 is a greenhouse gas that causes global warming, how could the Earth possibly be cooling? Perhaps the entire notion of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is an equation designed by a nefarious mind and adopted by legions of lesser ones. Quite telling is the trend currently being set; anyone who has been paying attention would have noticed that the urgency of the true believers is matched equally by the numbers of scientists emerging in opposition to AGW.

As the case crumbles around them, the true believers feverishly work to enact damaging - and most likely, catastrophic - legislation before the opportunity disappears. I only hope that enough members of the Senate realize this before they finish off America.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hold The Cap And Trade

Apparently, those little squiggly light bulbs are so effective in stopping global warming that their use has managed to offset even Al Gore's carbon footprint. Stop the presses and hold the cap and trade, we may not need do anymore than we're already doing. And we certainly don't want to over do it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's figures are out for the month of June, and in New York, the month was the coldest and wettest in the past half century. From their website:

DUE TO THE UNUSUALLY COOL AND WET CONDITIONS IN JUNE...HERE ARE SOME
INTERESTING FACTS TO NOTE:

THIS JUNE IS TIED FOR THE 8TH COOLEST ON RECORD. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE WAS 67.5...3.7 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL...WHICH ALSO
OCCURRED IN 1897.

THIS WAS THE COOLEST JUNE SINCE 1958...WHEN THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE
WAS 67.2 DEGREES.

BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES OCCURRED ON 23 OUT OF 30 DAYS THIS
JUNE...OR 75 PERCENT OF THE MONTH.

CENTRAL PARK HAS NOT HIT 90 DEGREES IN THE MONTH OF JUNE THIS YEAR.
THE LAST TIME THIS OCCURRED WAS BACK IN 1996.

CENTRAL PARK HAS NOT HIT 85 DEGREES IN THE MONTH OF JUNE THIS YEAR.
THE LAST TIME THIS OCCURRED WAS BACK IN 1916. THIS HAS ONLY OCCURRED
2 OTHER TIMES...1903 AND 1886.
I hope someone in the US Senate is paying attention. Now they can vote against the idiotic "climate change" bill with clear consciences.

Lincoln, Illinois also set a record for coldest July 4th temperature. The high in Lincoln was 68 degrees, breaking the previous record set in 1997 by one degree. So it appears that the efforts of the enviros have paid off, the Earth is cooling and we can all enjoy ourselves.

Well done, Red Team!

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Friday, July 3, 2009

International Media Malfeasance

As the isolation of Honduras grows and the Organization of American States continues to demand that ousted president Manuel Zelaya be reinstated, the United States has suspended military cooperation with the country. Whether that means that we will stand by and watch in the event of a Venezuelan invasion remains to be seen, but Hugo Chavez has hinted at the possibility of military intervention without comment from Washington.

Fueling the misguided support for Zelaya are numerous and frequent reports on the matter which consistently refer to the actions of the Honduran Congress as a "military coup". While it is true that the military removed Zelaya from his residence and arrested him, it is also true that they did so on the orders of Congress and the Supreme Court. Of equal importance is the fact that the military then handed the reigns of power over to the Honduran Congress' Speaker, Roberto Micheletti.

Despite the undeniable legality of the actions of Honduras in the ouster of Zelaya, our own administration is demanding that he be returned to the presidency at once, and "news" organizations continue to misrepresent the situation. One such outlet goes a step further.

Cuba's version of ABC News - the Periodico - offers the following headline:

International Isolation of Honduran Military Regime Grows
"Honduran military regime"? Roberto Micheletti wears a suit and tie, not a uniform. He is not a general or a commander, he was the Speaker of the Honduran Congress. He is also a member of the same political party as Zelaya. The removal of Zelaya was not intended to radically alter the direction of the small nation, but rather a move designed to preserve it. It was the alleged "victim" here who was attempting the alteration.

Zelaya, deciding to emulate Hugo Chavez, was attempting to hold a constitutional referendum that would eliminate term limits, thereby allowing him to continue to run for the presidency. He wanted to be "president for life", just like Chavez. His ouster was not the result of a mere policy disagreement, however. In violation of the Constitution, the wishes of Congress and the orders of the Supreme Court, Zelaya was distributing ballots - ironically obtained from Venezuela - stolen at force from a military center where they were being stored. Everything Zelaya was doing was illegal, and the Supreme Court ultimately ordered him arrested.

For most of the last half of the twentieth century, the United States fought the spread of tyrannical regimes, especially those in close proximity to the U.S. Now it seems that our fledgling leader and his administration are actively encouraging that spread. Obama lifted the 60-year-old embargo on Cuba, travelled and apologized to Venezuela and Nicaragua, and now has demanded the return of a criminal president who was removed as required by Honduran law.

And state-run "news" outlets - including our own - continue the campaign of misinformation. Change was promised and delivered in breathtaking fashion. I barely recognize my country anymore.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Miles And Miles Of Taxes (And Control)

As time and technology march inexorably forward, change is seen in exponential increments, matching the imagination of man. It seems that whatever man imagines is not only possible, but happening. Some may view this as progress and therefore good, but some also equate it only with science. Those who neglect the truth that the principle also applies to politics do so at their own peril. When science and politics converge in the culmination of the fruits of the fertile imagination, disaster awaits. In other words, the dreams of the inventor become a nightmare when grasped by devious hands.

So it is with the invention of the Global Positioning System (GPS), and the plans our government has in store for its utilization in further taxing the citizenry. The University of Iowa is already field testing a system that would use GPS transmitters - which would be built into every new car - to track a driver's miles travelled and send a tax bill to the owner of the car.

As fuel consumption by the American people has waned due to high prices and lower incomes, the federal government complains that funds for highway and transportation projects have fallen behind and cannot keep up with demand for maintenance and road building. After a two-year study, the 15-member National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission - a federal commission - decided unanimously that a by-the-mile tax was the best course to travel.

Interestingly, and at least thus far, there is no mention of a graduated per-mile tax based on the size of the vehicle. (Shh, keep this idea between us!) Which means that if the gas tax is removed in lieu of the per-mile tax, one could afford more gas without the added cost of the exorbitant tax and drive whatever type or size car they want, only concerning themselves with distance. This, of course, may solve the highway funding problem, but it will only exacerbate the global warming problem of which we are warned ad nauseam.

Naturally, the government will devise an added tax on the initial purchase of larger vehicles, thereby making them less attractive to the consumer. Those who are well enough off will continue to buy the larger vehicles, contributing to the coffers of the government. Those who are forced to buy cars only approved by the government will eventually drive as little as absolutely necessary in order to save a buck, and when the highway funding inevitably begins to fall short as a result, the government will simply start taxing gas again.

And the vast majority of the American electorate will complain bitterly to friends or loved ones during commercial breaks while watching Entertainment Tonight or American Idol.

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