Monday, December 7, 2009

We are All Polluters, Now!

Did you know that with every breath you take, you are polluting? Yup. It's true. It used to be cow flatulence, and now the United States Environmental Protection Agency is tossing around the idea of recognizing carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

From today's Wall Street Journal, via wsj.com:

An "endangerment" finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions -- even if Congress doesn't pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.


The Copenhagen climate nazis can't do jack, so we'll stifle our own economy even further in the midst of a crippling recession that is in all actuality bordering on a full-on depression. Genius, I tell you... Genius!

An EPA spokeswoman declined to comment Sunday on when the agency might finalize its proposed endangerment finding.


How about never, you clueless twit?

The spokeswoman said that the EPA is confident the basis for its decision will be "very strong," and that when it is published, "we invite the public to review the extensive scientific analysis informing" the decision.


Oh, I see. Like the science taking place at the University of East Anglia. Thank you, Anyonymous EPA Spokeswoman, for putting my mind at ease.

Also from the wsj.com article:

The vast majority of increased greenhouse-gas emissions is expected to come from developing countries such as China and India, not from rich countries like the U.S. But developing countries have made it clear that their willingness to reduce growth in emissions will depend on what rich countries do first. That puts a geopolitical spotlight on the U.S.

At the heart of the fight over whether U.S. emission constraints should come from the EPA or Congress is a high-stakes issue: which industries will have to foot the bill for a climate cleanup. A similar theme will play out in Copenhagen as rich countries wrangle over how much they should have to pay to help the developing world shift to cleaner technologies.

"There is no agreement without money," says Rosário Bento Pais, a top climate negotiator for the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm. "That is clear."


So the worst "polluters" aren't even going to be expected to cripple their own economies first!

In the end, virtually all of the people peddling this so-called "science" have a vested monetary interest in keeping it going. Phill Jones was awarded 13 million British pounds in research grants as recently as December 3 of this year. I haven't been able to find anything recent on the Goracle's shenanigans, but maybe that's because the media has virtually blacked-out Al Gore's ties to blatantly fraudlent cap-and-trade schemes at least as far back as 2007. For the uninitiated, Gore buys his "carbon offsets" from a company he has a vested financial interest in. Put another way, he buys his offsets from himself. Money talks, and I can't discuss what walks in a family blog.

This whole sick sad deception exists to make money for the insiders like Jones and Gore who ought to know better. While they live it up, they have every intention of bleeding the rest of us dry.

Copenhagen is a joke! I have every intention to keep right on enjoying my life. I also intend to keep on exhaling CO2, but that's sort of a biological imperative.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tools in the News

This week's tool in the news commuted the lengthy 108 year sentence of violent felon Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons was shot dead today, but not before his parole -- made possible by his commuted sentence -- afforded him an opportunity to commit numerous other violent felonies, including child rape and the shooting deaths of four police officers in Seattle, WA.

Mike Huckabee's supporters have been awfully quick to point out that Clemmons was 16 when he was originally sentenced. These are by-and-large the same folks who cry foul at the prosecutor's failure to object to the original commutation (although stories vary in the telling as to his objection to the parole board proceedings).

Ladies and gentlemen, a sixteen-year-old is just as capable of committing violent crime as a fifty-six-year-old is. When Huckabee speaks as though the system failed, he conveniently leaves out the fact that he was part of that system on which most of Maurice Clemmons' crimes hinged.

No one is suggesting that Huckabee "foretell the future." I simply believe that if Huckabee hadn't known that he was opening the door to parole of a violent felonious psychopath, he had failed in one of his most elementary duties as governor: Ensuring the safety of his people.

Neither is anyone suggesting that Huckabee be held criminally liable for this tragedy. Clemmons was ultimately held responsible for his own actions in his own death, and the worst Huckabee will criminally or civilly have to contend with is the death of his political career. That's a lot less than the families of those four slain police officers in Seattle lost.

Phil Jones = Toast

From The Associated Press, dateline London:

Britain's University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.


And from The UK Telegraph:

Prof Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has said he "absolutely" stands by the science produced by the centre - and that suggestions of a conspiracy to alter evidence to support a theory of man-made global warming were "complete rubbish."

He said he would stand aside as director until the completion of the independent review, which is being conducted in the wake of the allegations by climate "sceptics".


To coin a turn-of-phrase, let me be clear: Phil Jones lied. We can not say with scientific certainty what man's influence on worldwide climate is, but you can take it to the bank that Jones doesn't live in the same world as the rest of us do.

Real science depends on four things: Hypothesis, controlled experimentation, definitive conclusion, and repetition. You throw "consensus" into the mix, and it ceases to be science. By any objective measure, you simply can't do controlled experimentation with computer models because they must be programmed, and ergo can not account for random variables. Without that controlled experimentation, your conclusion can not be scientifically definitive. Of course you wouldn't want repetition in the form of "peer review" because you would become a scientific laughingstock. What are we left with? A hypothesis. The conclusion becomes "definitive" before any sort of experimentation is done.

To coin another turn of phrase, Phil Jones just got toally pwned.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Internet!

History was made on October 29, 1969.

On this day, the first packet-switching network transmitted information between UCLA and SRI, in what was then known as ARPAnet, a project of the Advanced Research Projects Association, or ARPA.

In today's black box society, it's difficult to give just one person the credit for such an important milestone. Vinton Cerf was largely responsible for the logistics, but Leonard Kleinrock researched the theoretical math that made the data transmission possible. Of course, after some twenty years of being a wonky academic service, Tim Berners-Lee germinated the Worldwide Web at the particle physics labs of CERN. Each of these fine gentlemen also had help.

To all those at ARPA and CERN, to all those at the ISP's and telecom companies that make this wonderful and wonderfully uncertain world possible, Happy 40th Birthday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Scozzafava = The Female Jack Abramoff

Dede Scozzafava is in trouble!

Big Abramoff-level accountint scandal brewing, involving RNC and NRCC money being funneled through shell accounts to family. More details available at Redstate.com.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reich, Sanger, and Scozzofava

Robert B. Reich, Margaret Sanger, and Dede Scozzafava all have something in common. As far as I know, despite the high-falutin sound of their last names, they are not looking to hang a shingle and start a law firm. One might even be able to make the case that they are ladies, all three, but I have it on pretty good authority that Reich is just this side of masculine (liberalism notwithstanding).

What these three have in common is their belief in a long-discredited pseudoscience called "eugenics." Eugenics seems innocuous enough. Who could possibly be against the betterment of the human race by way of "survival of the fittest?" Unfortunately, eugenics has justified some of the worst crimes against humanity up until WWII and the end of the nazi regime.

Reich was an associate of the Clintons. It should come as no surprise that he has no trouble letting the elderly or infirm die:

This is what the truth is and what a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say...We are going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive. So we are going to let you die.


Whoa! From your mouth to God's ear, Mr. Reich.

Margaret Sanger founded the family planning advocacy that morphed into Planned Parenthood. What is lesser-known about Ms. Sanger is that she was a strident advocate of forced sterilization and sexual repression, as well as a cheerleader of policies championed by Hitler himself. To this very day, Planned Parenthood proudly continues in Sanger's finest eugenic tradition.

The final member of this unholy anti-life trinity is Dede Scozzafava. She was chosen by eleven party chairs of New York's twenty-third congressional district to run in a special election for John M. McHugh's seat after McHugh was appointed Secretary of the Army.

Scozzafava's credentials as a pro-choice, same-sex marriage advocate are well-established, moreso now that she won the 2009 Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood. Unlike that neo-socialist toad Reich, Scozzafava is a Republican, and has the full backing of Newt Gingrich as well as ACORN!

I have a message for Newt Gingrich and the rest of the epic failures that forgot their promises to the people on their first day in office back in 1994: Sit down, and shut up. If you can't find candidates that respect life, let the primary voters do it for you.

And to any of my listeners in a position to do so, check out Doug Hoffman's campaign website. Spare the nice man a few dollars of your morning coffee money if you can. Remember, it may be the twenty-third district of New York voting, but either Doug Hoffman or Dede Scozzafava are going to be part of a body of 535 people that make law by which we are all bound.

I aided in Tom Daschle's ouster in 2004. It can be done again, and with your help, it will.

Friday, October 16, 2009

AIG and Misplaced Outrage

Earlier this week, Neil Barofsky blamed Timothy "Tax Cheat" Geithner and the Treasury department for the travesty of yet more bonuses paid out to employees by TARP fund recipient AIG. It is worth noting that not all of these "outrageous bonuses" went to executives; indeed, there were bonuses across a wide range of amounts to employees at all levels of the organization...

But why do we need a TARP? I've always thought of a "tarp" as something you use to cover the load of trash that you're taking out to the landfill. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind, perhaps?

The United States of America pioneered one of the most efficient means in history of infusing cash into ailing businesses (financial and otherwise): It's called, "going public." Naturally, not all corporations are publicly traded. Most of the larger ones that do business nationwide are, and there are numerous reasons for it.

In a nutshell, trading in stocks not only means that private individuals gain an ownership interest in a corporation, but it also means that a corporation gets to borrow money from its shareholders. What do we, the shareholders, get in return? It varies from company-to-company as to the particulars, but the privileges can generally be boiled down to two categories: dividends and voting rights. If enough shareholders are dissatisfied about the direction a corporation is taking, they have the opportunity to either vote the offending parties off of the board of directors, or sell the stock in its entirety and get out, hopefully getting back all of the money they originally invested.

What recourse do we have the government? We've heard about how "we all own General Motors now," but do we have any say in how the company is run? Can we sell our stock in AIG and get any of our money back? When the government is involved, we have all the burden and responsibility of stock ownership, but we have none of the perks. The closest thing we have to a board of directors in the mighty Federal Government is Congress, which consists of 535 representatives and senators. The most populous (and arguably the most liberal) state among the fifty only has the right to vote on 55 of those seats, while the other 480 help to make rules which are just as binding. The smallest of the states can only vote on three(!) of those seats, leaving the other 532 to foist legally binding mandates on us all.

The continuing arrogance must be stopped. Don't wait until 2010 to do something.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh no! They must be stopped!

This time, I am not talking about the Obama administration. I am not talking about the Democratic party apparatus, nor am I talking about that corpus of egg-sucking weasels we call "Congress." No, the enemy-of-the-hour is the United States Chamber of Congress. I know, because Eliot "Spits-her" told me so.

From an article published today on Slate.com:

The chamber remains an unabashed voice for the libertarian worldview that caused the most catastrophic economic meltdown since the Great Depression. And the chamber's view of social justice would warm Scrooge's heart. It is the chamber's right to be wrong, and its right to argue its preposterous ideas aggressively, as it does through vast expenditures on lobbyists and litigation. Last year alone, the chamber spent more than $91 million on lobbying, and, according to lobby tracker Opensecrets.org, it has spent more than twice as much on lobbying during the past 12 years as any other corporation or group.


Hmm...do you think perhaps the Chamber spends more on lobbying than any other corporation, because it is lobbying for its members interests? Do you think, Mr. Spits-her, that might be why a corporation voluntarily chooses to belong to the Chamber?

The problem is, the chamber is doing all this with our money. The chamber survives financially on the dues and support of its members, which are most of America's major corporations listed on the stock exchange. The chamber derives its political clout from the fact that its membership includes these corporations. Yet we—you and I—own the companies that support the chamber and permit it to propagate its views. Our passive, permissive attitude toward the management of the companies we own has enabled the chamber to be one of the primary impediments to the reform of markets, health care, energy policy, and politics that we have all been calling for. It is time for that to change.


No Democratic tax whore ought to be lecturing the American people about what the American Chamber of Commerce does with its voluntarily paid dues. When you hear a Democrat say "It will require sacrifice," what that really means is, "We will decide from the hallowed halls of congress how much you can afford to sacrifice, Peasant."

Client #9 is a national embarrassment,. His fellow liberals may be ready to give Him a pass for his indiscretions, but he is the worst kind of hypocrite. From the very moment he was caught patronizing a business of the sort he routinely prosecuted, Eliot Spits-her forfeited the privilege of being taken seriously on any important national matters. He violated the laws he swore to uphold, and I will not so much as entertain the idea of forgiveness until I believe that he is truly sorry.

In the meantime, I hope Slate.com is paying him well. Op-ed in a liberal E-rag is a more prominent job than he deserves to have.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Olympics Vs. Iran

Many of my colleagues felt ill-concealed glee at Obama's failure to chide the International Olympics Committee into putting the 2016 games in Chicago. Laying aside the conservative gloating for a moment, the liberals are once again conveniently ignoring the stubborn facts that do not fit their narrative.

Chicago was made a finalist in the IOC's voting in June 2008 before Obama had even clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. All Bush's fault, huh?

Even many conservatives thought that the IOC voting was all wrapped up. What kind of head-of-state would engage in diplomacy without knowing the outcome?

President Obama's speech as well as Michelle Obama's, were both laced with narcissistic self-reference bordering on the obscene. Nobody I've heard expressing an opinion has thought that could have possibly helped.

As an amateur sometimes-pundit, I'm glad that the Daley corruption machine won't be able to get their Chicago-thug mitts into the already corruption-laced Olympics. However, I also believe that Obama's failure with the IOC portends something far more important, and potentially far more disastrous.

Obama's willingness to discuss sporting events with a corrupt body of foreign individuals, while at the same time having no clue what he was wading into, should give all patriotic Americans pause when the subject of Iranian or North Korean nukes is a national topic-of-conversation. Failing in the little, inconsequential things is not a cause for relief when our very national identity and the lives of our citizens is on the line.

Obama will end up an international laughingstock. And I won't be laughing. I'll be digging a bomb shelter while I repeat "See, I told you so" just like a broken vinyl record.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Prescriptions

I've been thinking lately about what it means to be "conservative." Unlike some who believe that it's a dirty word, I think the left would hate us just as strongly no matter what word we use to describe our philosophy.

I believe that there are two guiding principles in modern conservatism, and that as long as we adhere faithfully to them, we will continue to advance the cause of freedom.

Pragmatism: If it isn't broke, don't try to fix it. If it is broke, don't make it worse; make it better!

Simplicity: Sometimes complex problems have relatively complex solutions, but unnecessary complexity can hide ulterior motives.

Looking forward to the 2010 midterm elections and the subsequent presidential election in 2012, I fear for the conservative movement. It doesn't get much more pragmatic or simple than the tea party concept, and yet there is a groundswell of anger towards both parties that may not serve the interest of freedom.

I want just one thing for my country right now: Barack Hussein Obama out of office. I long for the day one of our elected officials will find the bravery to be pilloried for pointing out the fact that Obama took the oath of office in bad faith, but we will probably have to ride out the storm until 2012.

How can we lose? Fifty-nine percent of the American people don't want Obamacare. Fifty-one percent don't think Obama is even doing a good job. The trophy is ours to lose in 2012, and there's a good chance we might.

William Jefferson Blythe Clinton won two terms, each in a plurality with a split Republican vote. In 1992, he won on promises of middle-class tax cuts after the elder President Bush violated his "no new taxes" pledge.

This is our blueprint -- for success or failure. We won't know which one until the 2012 presidential election has come and gone. I would caution my conservative brothers and sisters to adhere to the principles of pragmatism and simplicity through some very trying times which are still ahead.

Running against the Republicans, there is no way Barack Obama can win in 2012. With a third party candidate in the mix, there is no way he can lose.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9/12 Reflections

In the interest of full disclosure, I was not in Washington D.C. on 9/12. Although I was not able to attend the rally, rest assured readers that I stand with the movement in solidarity.

I have spent the last few days since the 9/12 protests trying to understand just what it was that I saw. Every description of those teeming masses of "we the people" seems to fall short. It goes without saying that the mainstream media is less than enamored of the whole business, but that's no different than any other gathering of "rightwing extremists."


Tax protest? Health care protest? Government-spending protest? I thought perhaps the word "zeitgeist" would be appropriate, but the tea party phenomenon seems to even transcend the spirit of the times. Maybe the tea parties are all of those things wrapped up in one; if they are, I still think there's more to it than even that.

I suppose that in the end, I'm sort of glad that this all escapes me. That means that "it," whatever it is, is bigger than me. "It" is bigger than any one person, including the President of the United States of America. The lefties ignores us at their own peril, and their active attempts to pigeonhole us will like-as-not aid in the permanent dismantling of the Democratic party as an American political body.

The preceding warning applies equally to Republicans. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John McCain, and anyone else trafficking in the big lie that is "bipartisanship," know this: My first love is God, my second love is family, and my third love is freedom. I have no desire to compromise with whoever seeks to change the very fabric of our nation's founding. Hard to say for sure, but I am sublimely confident that most of my tea party brothers and sisters feel the same way, even if they find it hard to put into words.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Apologies

No, this is not a post about Van Jones and his apologies. Unfortunately, I believe I owe my readers and listeners an apology.

Things have been awfully nuts at my day job the last couple of weeks, and I had to cancel my BlogTalkRadio show with very little notice this week for reasons entirely beyond my control.

I have every intention of returning on the usual day, although I may postpone the show an hour or two depending on when President Obama gives his speech to the schoolchildren.

I don't really think that much more needs to be said about Van Jones or Ted Kennedy that hasn't already been said numerous times in numerous places, anyhow. If you'd like to reflect on those subjects anyway, subscribe to my cinch feed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've Got the Blue Dog Blues

Since I am a philosophical objectivist-conservative, many liberals would accuse me of being a cold, heartless and ignorant rube. I assure you, dear readers, I am posessed of both savvy and sympathy for the downtrodden. A perfect example of where my sympathies lie is the "Blue Dog" coalition of Democrats that was coordinated by Rahm Emanuel.

Fear not. I haven't gone soft on you yet. I could no more bring myself to vote for a pro-abortion party now than I could thirteen years ago when I turned eighteen. I am simply of the belief that, politically speaking, the Democratic Party and the Blue Dogs in particular, are in a rather unenviable position.

How many moderates, or so-called "conservative Democrats" do you find vamping for the cameras in national press conferences? Not many. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid have plumb leadership positions in their respective chambers, and Bawney...ahem...Barney Frank, a man perhaps more responsible for the banking collapse than any other individual, also has a plumb appointment on the House Banking Committee. The list of radical partisan hacks goes on and on -- while most of the freshman Blue Dogs are completely without clout. Sorry Blue Dogs; you've been had. You were used and abused. True moderates, let alone conservatives, will never have real clout in the modern Democratic Party.

I really don't think that the Democratic leadership cares at all about moderating themselves. That's simply my opinion. What I know is that elected officials of both parties depend heavily on their respective national party committees, various PACs, and the support of congressional campaign committees, all led by senior party aparatchiks that do have major clout. This is where the dilemma enters the picutre.

The American people have watched porkulus, the auto bailouts, and cash-for-clunkers skate through congress relatively easily. We've now drawn the line in the sand, and a solid majority of voting-age Americans are asking, "If you [congress] can't be counted-on to handle little things, how can we count on you to handle one-sixth of the entire economy?"

Democratic leadership has invested heavily in the Blue Dogs' election as a route to power, so much so that now they are depending on the Blue Dogs to ram through health care reform, and the American people aren't buying it. So what do the Blue Dogs do? If they follow the wishes of their consituency, they run the risk of being cut off from their party's support system and they face the prospect of nationally-engineered protracted primary battles with opponents hand-picked by the current administration. On the other hand, if they buck the anger at home to kowtow to their party's leadership, no amount of money and advertising will save them if the people refuse to vote for them (such as happened to Tom Daschle in 2004).

This strikes me as a no-brainer, but perhaps that's because I'm not an elected official. My eyes haven't been glazed over by the wonders and perquisites of Capitol Hill. That's why I believe that any Blue Dog with an ounce of common sense will listen to the people first. Without the party's support, your chances of winning are lessened. Without the voters' support, your chances of winning are nonexistent.

You have to hand it to Barack Obama, anyway. He is certainly a man of principle (which I am diametrically opposed to), and in sticking to his guns along with congressional leadership, he may be able to do what Bill Clinton couldn't: destroy the Democratic Party as a viable political entity. I wouldn't want to be a Blue Dog right now.

Open Letter to John McCain

Sit down and shut up. We don't need your maverick ways or your "bipartisanship." The Democrats are doing a fine job of self-destructing with very little Republican input. Stay out of their way and just let it happen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Hammer Time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mary Katherine Ham had an excellent article at The Weekly Standard about Representative Baron Hill (D Ind.) who has now at least twice publicly accused townhall protesters of being political terrorists.

Considering the overwhelming public opposition to Obamacare, who does he think he is going to get to vote for him? Seriously?

"Terrorism" as a concept is so amorphous, it is hard to define. I shall try here:

Terrorism:
The intentional injury or killing of civillian non-combatants, inside or outside of a war zone, for the express purpose of effecting political change.


Now there are a whole host of reasons that America is not a terrorist nation by that definition, but the particulars of that discussion can be saved for another more appropriate time.

I don't want those Democratic Obama stooges to die. I want their most morbid collective fear to come true: I want them to lose their jobs in a uniquely American open and free election, only to be consigned to the dustbin of political history as utter failures.

Does that make me a terrorist? I'll admit, the above definition is not strictly a dictionary definition, but to listen to Baron Hall, we've all been terrorists at some time in our lives, because we all use fear in some capacity at some time to get what we want.

You see, normal people do tend to fear things like death and illness and perhaps to a lesser extent, pain and emotional suffering. To normal people, "terroism" constitutes something on the order of using fully-loaded passenger plains as missiles to topple high-rise buildings and snuff out the lives of roughly 3000 other normal people.

Politicians aren't normal people. They live in a different world than most of us. For the liberal establishment, for far too long, politics has been a game of input and output. Buy the votes, ply the favors, and take it for granted that you're in like sin.

That's not the case this time. The American people aren't buying what the Democrats are selling. There are politicians who fear for their reelection chances far more than they fear the chance of an Iranian nuclear strike.

I hope Representative Hall and his Democratic colleagues continue to fear. The death of my fellow humans -- normal or not, politicians or otherwise -- brings me no pleasure. Seeing losers stooge for Obama and pay the political price would be absolutely priceless.

Philip Elliott is a Moron

...and should be brought up on charges of journalistic malpractice.

Elliott wrote the following on Monday, August 17, 2009, for the associated press(Dateline - Washington):

Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama's administration signaled Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.


Take your time pondering that opening 'graph. Think about what's wrong with it. That's right! The Democrats have a commanding majority in both houses of Congress, as well as a leader in the executive branch! It gets better.

Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters, but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.


Can you say "cognitive dissonance," kids? The only thing the Republicans have to bring to the table is the moral high ground that comes with "bipartisanship." When it comes to actually forcing legislation through the meat grinder of congress, the only practical reason for getting Republicans on-board with anything would be Democratic disunity.

If Philip Elliott isn't a moron, it must be said that he is a dishonest shill. Of course, the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Protesting Fun




Earlier tonight, I was able attend a health care townhall meeting that took place right here in my hometown. I stayed for about the first twenty minutes of the meeting itself, and I was not surprised at all to find that the whole purpose of the round-table Q&A seemed to be AARP propaganda.


I had the most fun snapping pictures of the people protesting outside the fine arts center on the local college campus, where the meeting was taking place.




The gentleman above had information about a townhall meeting being conducted by Senator John Thune in my hometown later this week.



And this is a closeup of the flier he was holding.


And of course not everyone at the meeting, or protesting outside, was necessarily of age to belong to the AARP.
I will blog some more, and possibly cinch or even do a show after John Thune's townhall on Thursday. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let's go, Joe!

I was listening to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski via the WABC radio webcast this morning. Unfortunately, although I tend to like Scarborough, I heard some things on his show today that greatly concern me.

Joe doesn't understand the fear that the average American feels for their country. He believes that the constitutional republic that we enjoy will outlive any presidency, just as it has survived two world wars and numerous spats of turmoil which he enumerated.

I wish I shared Joe Scarborough's optimism. I think he's wrong.

Eternal vigilance is indeed the price of freedom. We have been flagging in that vigilance since at least 1913 (with the consitutional amendment that authorized direct taxation), and perhaps before. The income tax outlasted WWI. Social security, ponzi scheme that it is, outlasted FDR. Federal highway funding outlasted President Ike. The Great Society outlasted LBJ. Each of these freedom-encroaching unconstitutional programs have contributed to transforming our republic into something our founding fathers wouldn't recognize today.

In the great scheme of things, the Republican takeover of congress in 1994 was barely a hiccup. Those of my readers who are more aware may remember that Scarborough was a member of the House "class of '94." Is it possible that perhaps his views are colored by his experience as a federal legislator?

Our fear is not the sort of fear that will force us to cower behind the scenes as nationalized health care is forced on us. With our liberty at stake like it hasn't been in my lifetime, all the admonishment in the world from Joe Scarborough -- or anyone else -- won't allay our fears.

The institutions that Scarborough puts so much faith in will survive only as long as they are maintained and preserved. That job falls to "We the People." We will not be denied.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Broad Brush



Now we are an unruly mob. I am extreme. You are extreme. We are extreme. Our honor has been impugned because we dare to petition our government for a redress of our grievance. Those in power are those who would just as soon deny us that right. They are the same people who would deny us the basic right to make informed decisions about our own lives and death.

When it comes to the dangers of socialized medicine, "we the people" have truth on our side. Now is not the time to be quiet. Now is not the time to retreat into humility! They would not be demonizing us if they did not fear us.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cash for Clunkers (which I don't have)

The "Cash for Clunkers" program inflames me like few things do. I hold it up as a paragon of poor government planning (but I repeat myself), social engineering, and bureaucratic indifference all rolled up into one tidy little package.

At first blush, cash for clunkers might seem like generous largesse. To anyone with an ounce of common sense, that idea simply doesn't pass the smell test. Government can only get money one way: by shaking down the people. For those people that choose to take part in the program, they are paying the very tax dollars that make it possible to exist.

But what about those people with no cars to trade? I'm one of those people, and therefore I am out of luck. Just this fact is enough to make the C4C program suspect to me.

There is also the matter of how long the program's budget lasted. One billion dollars of taxpayer money was originally slated to last from the last week of July through the end of October. Well ladies and gentlemen, if you've been living in a cave, I'm here to tell you: Most of that budget was blown through inside of four days. The House of Representatives has voted to authorize another two billion dollars, which at that rate will keep the program going for roughly another week. Can you imagine how many billions of dollars it would take to keep the program going through November?

And to top it all off, the government is further insulting me by mandating that those clunkers collected by the program be summarily destroyed! Hundreds of thousands of cars might be taken out of circulation that I could afford if I chose to purchase one, and I along with many others who are less-than-wealthy, are once again massively cheated in this massive FUBAR Charlie-Foxtrot.

The brilliant Doctor Zero said it far better than I ever could, so go read the good doctor's Green Room post at Hotair.com. Isn't it great that we have adults in charge now?

Tools in the News

A common thread running within just about everything that ticks me off is the idea that somehow, I am an idiot. The mainstream media, along with many Democratic congressmen and Hollywood moguls all seem to trumpet the idea rather loudly that we are a nation of simpletons who simply don't know what's good for us.

The latest example of many comes from Representative Paul Hodes (D-NH).

Regarding critics who argue that lawmakers do not even read the bills they are voting on, Hodes said it’s not realistic to expect members of Congress to read every bill word-for-word, as Congress took more than 2,000 votes in the session that ended in December.

“I think you would slow down the business of Congress to a crawl and it would be hard to get done what needs to be done. It’s not necessarily the major problem with the way Congress functions.”


So not only did Hodes vote for Porkulus, not only did he vote for cap-and-fraud, but he expects us to somehow have sympathy for people that make what is perhaps the highest hourly pay in the nation!

In case my gripe here isn't clear, dear reader, let me make myself clear: I want congress to slow down. When every piece of legislation passed in a legislative year is a worthless boondoggle, the less the better. Paul Hodes is a certified tool on the order of John Conyers. Try again, Sir.

Special thanks to Captain Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tools in the News

This week's Tool in the News is House Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers (D-MI).



Looks to me like we now know what Congressman Conyers thinks of his constituents.

How about this, Congressman? If you can't read the bill due to time constraints or legalese, just don't pass it!

I Just Don't Get It...

Jack Dunphy (a pseudonym, not to be confused with the late playwright) had a brilliant article at Pajamas Media on the the reasonability of Officer Crowley's behavior.

Color me ignorant, but I just don't get it; does Henry Louis Gates actually believe that he would have been treated differently if he were white? Dunphy points out in some detail just why Crowley was justified in his concern. Crowley did not stop Gates because Gates was black. There was a 911 call involved, and when police are dispatched with information from a 911 call, an emergency must be presumed.

Gates sounds to me like a whiny petulant little child. I'm not about to paint with a broad brush, but he sure makes a lousy amabassador for his race.

Teh 3pic Fa1l uv 0bama

Like many conservative pundits, I am worried the future. Even in the best of the times, the future can be an uncertain uncanny beast waiting to devour us, or it can be an angel swooping in to save us from ourselves at just the perfect time.

In 2010, the midterm congressional elections will likely serve as a bellweather for 2012 and beyond. Unlike many of my conservative brothers and sisters, I have recently discovered a cause for renewed optimism. One needs only to look at the second-most socialist president ever to come down the pike in my lifetime: William Jefferson Blythe-Clinton.

President "Slick Willie" was painfully aware of certain forces at work, which I call "political considerations." Clinton was notorious in political circles for commissioning polls to determine every last bit of minutiae for his public persona, such as what to eat when going out, where to go on vacation, Etc. Dick Morris, being a professional political advisor, could probably say a lot more, and in a lot more detail, than I could about such considerations, but the important thing to recall is how Clinton reacted to them.

Clinton was a noted member (charter, I believe) of the Democratic Leadership Council. He campaigned as a third-way moderate which he clearly was not, but recognition of inviolable political considerations led him to do more than a few things reluctantly; he privately encouraged Hillary to scrap her health care reform plans early in his administration, he signed the welfare reform act that was passed by a Republican congress after the 1994 takeover, and faced with the infamous blue dress, Clinton finally had to make a flimsy apology to the American public.

Quite clearly, Barack H. Obama has believed up until this point that he could succeed where Clinton failed. His rockstar status during the campaign was almost enough to make me worry that he was right. Now that he is in the Oval Office and actually has to deliver on the promises he made, the wine is going sour and the roses are starting to wilt.

On the subject of Health Care, Hillary Clinton presented Congress with a draft bill that was the subject of heavy critcism from many pundits, and even a significant segment of Congress at the time. Obama has submitted no draft bill, apparently in the hopes that he could escape that criticism. All he would need to do was trust Congress to churn out something -- anything -- for him to sign before the American people, or even most of Congress, could know what was being voted on. Might have worked, but for the fact that Obama himself admitted his ignorance concerning what was in the House health care reform bill.

When it comes to racial animus, Obama had yet another chance to shine in his answer to Lynn Sweet last week during his health care presser. For someone in a "post-racial" presidency, he seemed awfully happy to condemn a white police officer for the very act of arresting a black man, even though Obama said he knew he didn't have all the facts, himself.

With each passing week, talk of the economy and war on terror that Obama "inherited" sounds more petty to more people. His failure to take responsibility for problems of his own creation will ring hollow as an empty eggshell if it remains into the 2010 congressional campaign season.

Perhaps it could be said that in the end, Bill Clinton was chiefly worried about his own power. When he had his back against the wall, Clinton was more than happy to sacrifice his socialist/Marxist principles to ensure a second term. In that, he was successful. On the other hand, Barack H. Obama makes a terrible mistake in thinking that his charisma can carry him through his presidency as an ideologue. Sooner or later, the people will expect delivery. We'll know if we get a bill of goods.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Refreshingly Honest Look at Health Care

July 21, 2009
Dateline: Washington

Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar hasn't done President Obama any favors with the article he wrote for Tuesday's news cycle:

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law on July 30, 1965, and 11 months later seniors were receiving coverage. But if President Barack Obama gets to sign a health care overhaul this fall, the uninsured won't be covered until 2013 -- after the next presidential election.


Good grief! What's the hurry? But wait -- it gets even better:

In fact, a timeline of the 1,000-pagge health care bill crafted by House Democrats shows it would take the better part of a decade -- from 2010-2018 -- to get all the components of the far-reaching proposal up and running. The moving parts include a national insurance marketplace overseen by a brand new federal bureaucracy -- the Health Choices Administration.


"Moving parts?" "Bureaucracy?" This is wrong on so many levels. The alarm bells going off in my head are deafening. Color me cynical, but there has to be a reason to put off the full impact of health care reform until after the 2012 elections. Whatever that reason is, it doesn't bode well for the American people.

No Pork in the Stimulus Bill? Wha...?

From TheHill.com, Drudge had this story plastered all over his site yesterday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac was quick to point out:

“Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.19 million to buy ‘2 pounds of ham’ are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.”


Well doesn't that just put your mind at ease? What a nice man. What concern. [/sarcasm off]

I am hoping and praying with every fiber of my soul that this administration will be held accountable for every wasted dime!

Small Town, Bad Reputation

Sunday, July 20
Dateline: Zeeland, ND

Some exposition is in order. I work for a newspaper in a town of about 24,800 people. My hometown is surrounded farms and even smaller communities, many of which virtually straddle the South Dakota/North Dakota border.

James MacPherson, writing for the Assocated Press, paints a bleak picture of life in a hamlet far smaller than my own:

Bad blood among feuding residents is commonplace in the tiny south-central North Dakota town of Zeeland. Even the mayor has a restraining order against him for allegedly harassing his neighbor over her barking dog.

Residents seem to be ceaselessly involved in rifsts in the McIntosh County town of about 140 people, the county's top prosecutor says.

And in a sidebar:
Mayor Bob Schumacher pleaded not guilty last month to a disorderly conduct charge accusing him of threatening a woman about her yapping pooch. The affidavit says Schumacher not only complayed about her dog, but also scolded her for being unemployed and overweight.


I can about imagine how that conversation might have gone...

Get that mutt away from me, you fat lazy [expletive deleted]!

To all the residents of Zeeland, and especially Mayor Bob Shumacher, I have a message: Grow up!

I hope someone in Zeeland read's MacPherson's article and sees themselves in it. If absolutely no one does, then that pitiful little backwater is beyond help.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pick up the Pieces, Fill in the Gaps, Etc...

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Bob Mercer, writing for the Aberdeen American News

An interesting article in the Aberdeen American News speaks to the dread that socialized health care should engender.

The most important part of the story comes in the third and fourth paragraphs:

[South Dakota] State Social Services Secretary Deb Bowman said there is no question that South Dakota must help pay when the Indian Health Service refers patients to outside health care providers.

She described the Indian Health Service as "woefully inadequately funded" by Congress and said many services, including even normal births of babies, must be provided through outside clinics, hospitals and specialists.


Every time I read about the Indian Health Service and its failings, I think I get a different picture than these articles intend to give. Many tribes see the failure of the IHS as a failure of the white power structure (i.e. the federal government) to live up to its obligations (which were entered into by our forefathers largely in bad faith anyway).

What I see is a shining example of what a single-payer federally funded health care system would be like for everyone. Make no mistake, it's not a question of if the private insurance industry would be crowded out; it's only a question of when. At least in Indian Country, they have an option for when the Federal Government fails them. What would our options be with a nationwide system of the same kind?

On a more personal note, I'm getting socked in the pocketbook twice already. My federal tax dollars pay for IHS, and state tax dollars pay for the medicaid that picks up the slack. I do not want to be charged a third time for someone else's health insurance.

But Will They Get Burned?

On Monday (July 13), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, charged that Sonia Sotomayor is "out of the mainstream," but hastened to add that she would get a fair hearing in front of the committee.

Once again we find ourselves, as conservatives, playing by the ground rules set by the liberals. We played by their rules when we were out of power, we played by their rules when we were back in power, and now we're out of power again.

Someone should step up to the plate and say that "being judged fairly" does not mean that Sotomayor is assured of any senator's vote only on the basis of a "compelling life story." Judge Sotomayor does not have the judicial temperment to be called as a citizen juror, much less a judge.

I'm already bracing myself to be disappointed based on the tenor of the dialogue thus far. We may be in danger of sounding like Democrats, but we have something on our side that the Democrats never had:

The Truth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who's deceptive?

July 6, 2009
From Associated Press writer Alan Fram

WASHINGTON (AP) - Staring at the camera, Shona Holmes says a brain tumor would have killed her had she relied on her Canadian, government-run health plan that would have provided treatment far too late. "Now, Washington wants to bring Canadian-style health care to the U.S.," a narrator says darkly.

The television ad from a conservative group is dramatic—but deceptive.

In fact, President Barack Obama and Democrats pushing to overhaul health care want to create an optional, government-run plan to compete with private insurers but not replace them. As Obama told a health forum last week, "We're not suddenly just going to completely upend the system. We want to build on what works about the system and fix what's broken about the system."


Does any right-thinking person, any person with half-a-brain think that President Obama is actually concerned about competing with private health insurance? There's already been far too much said behind closed doors.

And it's worth noting that there are other ways to coerce people into a single-payer system; it doesn't have to be done statutorily. If you don't look to Canadian health care as your example, one only needs to look at Medicare's low payouts, rampant fraud, and general mismanagement, to see where this is headed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fatalism

Dateline: Chicago
Monday, June 29, 2009

Associated Press writer Lindsey Tanner writes about a disturbing trend embodied in a survey done by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

A surprising number of teenagers -- nearly 15 percent -- think they're going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior, new research suggests.


For a long time, it seemed like teenagers thought they were ten-foot-tall and bulletproof. Now, that seems not to be the case.

To keep things succinct, I'll use the definition of "fatalism" that the survey does: A belief, between the ages of roughly 12 and 18 (the survey subjects were in the seventh up through the twelfth grade) who believes they will die before the age of 35. One who believes this could be said to be a "fatalist."

So how do the numbers break down? Well for starters, males have females beat in the raw numbers; 15% to 13% respectively are fatalists. Given the sample of over 20,00 young people, that could be a statistical blip.

Moving down the results, things get more interesting when the survey is broken down by race or ethnicity. Fully 30% of surveyed Native Americans were fatalist, followed by Blacks (26%) and Hispanics (21%). Asians/Pacific Islanders weighed in at 15% fatalist, and the Whites surveyed were 10%.

The numbers became more intriguing to me when broken down by certain cultural segments. 10% of kids surveyed who lived with both parents at the time of the survey were fatalists, and 18% of the kids surveyed who did not live with both parents were fatalist. Any way you look at it, that is a significant difference.

Also, 24% of those surveyed whose families received public aid were fatalists, as opposed to 13% of those surveyed whose families did not receive such aid.

The upshot of the article is that determining a teen's fatalism might be useful in a clinical sense.

The study suggests a new say doctors could detect kids likely to engage in unsafe behavior and potentially help prevent it, said Dr. Johnathan Klein, a University of Rochester adolescent health expert who was not involved in the research.

"Asking about this sense of fatalism is probably a pretty important component of one of the ways we can figure out who those kids at greater risk are," he said.


I think something's not quite passing the smell test for me here. For decades, particularly since the 1960's, we've been exposed to one liberal shibboleth after another about how certain groups are disadvantaged, and therefore need monetary help or affirmative action, ad nauseum. Conservatives fire back that these government interventions actually rob people of their basic human dignity by encouraging laziness and family breakdown.

So now it can be asked; If fatalism in teenagers is a reliable predictor of risky behavior as it seems to be, is fatalism the disease, or is it a symptom of something more sinisiter? While human dignity is universal, teen fatalism is clearly not. To turn our heads away from the obvious is an exercise in futility, now more than ever.

Sold Out!

This past Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. While over 40 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote against the bill, there were eight Republicans who voted for it.

The list of Republican defectors is as follows:


  • Mary Bono Mack

  • Mike Castle

  • Mark Kirk

  • Lenoard Lance

  • Frank LoBiondo

  • John McHugh

  • Dave Reichert

  • Chris Smith (NJ)



I find Mary Bono Mack's vote particularly galling, considering that if it had not been for Sonny Bono's ascendancy in the Republican class of '94, Mary Bono Mack would still be a nobody. Goodness knows her conservative credentials have been highly questionable in the past, but this is the first vote of hers that has genuinely angered me.

What do you hope to gain, defectors? Do you really believe that you're doing the right thing despite all evidence to the contrary? Can you possibly give me some sort of explanation for your votes that doesn't involve spewing leftist talking points?

I'm waiting!

The MJ Fiasco

When it comes to Michael Jackson, I don't need to hem and haw and tell you I have all sorts of mixed feelings; I don't. I never knew him, and while there have been some of his songs that I like, I think that there has been a prounounced overestimation of his impact on modern pop. His rise was meteoric, and he fell just as fast.

In the last 16 years, Jackson's behavior raised a lot of questions that were never satisfactorily answered, as far as I'm concerned, and the monetary settlement with his accuser in 1994 raises even more questions in my mind.

Isn't it possible that Michael Jackson could have simply been damaged goods? He performed for 46 of his 50 years and spent most of his life -- his entire life -- as a feted celebrity. Many pundits and journalists alike point out the fact that "he never had a childhood" as if it were an excuse for his oddness. I'd go so far as to call it a tragedy.

The most important thing to remember in all this is the same lesson we should draw from anytime a famous person is accused of wrongdoing: Murder, molestation, and other forms of mayhem are no more or less tragic when they make news headlines, and the truth we arrive at in our opinions is sometimes more reliable than jury verdict.

I believe that Michael Jackson's legacy will be tainted forever by allegations that were levelled against him twice, his numerous gross and unacknowledged plastic surgeries, and his utter-and-complete lack of any life outside of showbiz (quite literally). I know that Jackson died with a lot of unfinished business, which may be a tragedy to some, but I can not mourn his loss, since I know I didn't lose anything. I'll leave the mourning to his friends, family, toadies, and other assorted hangers-on. They can keep him.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Real Martyrdom

Many people more educated than I have written about the Iran protests.

As hard as he gets pushed, Mirhossein Mousavi has continued to push back even harder.

I'm not sure just why or how Mousavi ended up running against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and I don't know what the future holds for Iran in Mousavi's success, but as an American, I am shamed and humbled by the apparent nobility of the protesters' motives.

Are you watching, grown-up hippies? What have Americans done since the end of The Civil War to put their lives on the line like this?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Different (Safe)Way

Steven A. Burd, the CEO of Safeway, Inc., has a brilliant piece dated June 12, on WSJ.com. Burd talks about great strides made in Safeway's health care practices that have not only held their costs flat for both employer and employee, but have also given financial incentive for a significant and measurable increase in employee health.

At Safeway we believe that well-designed health-care reform, utilizing market-based solutions, can ultimately reduce our nation's health-care bill by 40%. The key to achieving these savings is health-care plans that reward healthy behavior. As a self-insured employer, Safeway designed just such a plan in 2005 and has made continuous improvements each year. The results have been remarkable. During this four-year period, we have kept our per capita health-care costs flat (that includes both the employee and the employer portion), while most American companies' costs have increased 38% over the same four years.


I'm reminded of the model that the auto insurance industry uses. It simply boils down to the fact that poor drivers aren't subsidized by the better ones. You get speeding tickets? You're accident prone? You're just young and dumb? You pay more.

Although not all risk factors are necessarily behavior-based, Safeway takes this into account by providing refunds, on an annual basis, to those that improve in any of the risk factors they regularly test for.

The most important thing about to remember about this system is that it puts to lie the notion that government intervention is necessary. Steven Burd may end up being a target, but this is true health care reform that preserves the freedom that every right-thinking American should cherish.

While comprehensive health-care reform needs to address a number of other key issues, we believe that personal responsibility and financial incentives are the path to a healthier America. By our calculation, if the nation had adopted our approach in 2005, the nation's direct health-care bill would be $550 billion less than it is today. This is almost four times the $150 billion that most experts estimate to be the cost of covering today's 47 million uninsured. The implication is that we can achieve health-care reform with universal coverage and declining per capita health-care costs.


I believe that when it comes to health care, Steven Burd is a true American patriot. Do any of our congressweasels have the spine to follow in his footsteps?

Tools in the News

On Thursday, June 11,
From Youtube, by way of Hotair.com:



Can we now put to lie any assumption that Barney "Elmer Fudd" Frank has the nation's best interests at heart? Is this not simply the typical liberal modus operandi? Find a solution in need of a problem that will create the problem itself, so when the problem gets worse, you can claim that you're the only one that can fix it! What a tool!


Our second tool in the news has no audio or video availble due to a copyright assertion by CBS, but very little in the way of explanation or introduction is needed. David Letterman not only cheesed up big-time by making a vulgar joke about a fourteen-year-old girl, he seemed to think that it would be all okay if the joke was about an eighteen-year-old instead.

What bothers me even more than the rank vulgarity of it all is the rank stench of hypocrisy. Can you imagine the outcry if Chelsea Clinton had been the butt of jokes like that? Or the Obama girls? Give me a break! What a tool!

Who's the True Patriot?

Sunday, June 14
Via Yahoo News


WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former vice president Dick Cheney's criticism of the Obama administration's handling of security matters suggests he wants the United States to be attacked, CIA chief Leon Panetta said.

"I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue," Panetta told The New Yorker magazine for its June 22 edition.


It's official: Leon Panetta is sick-in-the-head.

Ask yourself, my dear readers; what does Dick Cheney stand to gain if the United States is attacked? Do you think he takes joy in sticking his neck out, only to have to dodge the Democratic hatchets?

Yes, what Cheney has been doing and saying doesn't have much in the way of precedent, but Dick Cheney is a true American patriot. He has far more to lose than to gain in criticizing the current administration. As for the ridiculous assertion that he is "hoping" for another attack? Eight years of no major attacks on American soil while he was veep speaks volumes -- unless Cheney, Bush and company just got lucky.

Eight years-lucky? Come on!

Executive Pay Ceilings

Thursday July 11, 2009
From Jimm Kuhnhenn for the Associated Press, by way of Yahoo Finance:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration struck a delicate balance on executive pay Thursday, blaming flawed compensation packages for encouraging disastrous risk-taking but insisting it doesn't want to dictate how corporations reward their top people.

Gene Sperling, a top counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, conceded to a congressional committee that imposing compensation caps on companies could lead to a flight of talent.

"I can say with certainty that nobody in the Obama administration is proposing such a thing," he said.


...Yet. The current administration, when it comes to socialist policies, has already proven itself capable of sacrificing the national good for political expediency. I'm about to the point where I hear "no one is proposing this," and in my head I hear, "...but we will float it now and seriously come back to it when the time is right."

Where have you gone, America? We'll have to ride this administration out through 2012, but we can still neuter its political effectiveness in the next midterm election. Are you concerned? If you are, don't wait until the general election to get active. If you aren't, look forward to less purchasing power and even higher unemployment, and let the real adults handle the real crises.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blah Blah Blah Health care Blah Blah Blah

I got into a bit of a row yesterday with some people over on Facebook concerning the state of American health care; although it's usually topical news items that set me off, some of the inanities spewed in this discussion are definitely worthy of a gripe from Gryph.

"...my in laws are Canadian.They have never come to America for treatment. My mother in law just got both knees replaced-they did a GREAT job-she waited one month from the day she asked for surgery."


I don't want any other person besides myself, or my next-of-kin if I am incapacitated, making health care decisions for me. A single-payer system takes those sorts of decisions out of my hand. And after having said all that, hooray for your mother-in-law -- the plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

"I work in a college of medicine and we spend a lot of time on this
issue. Try [link removed by blogmaster for for brevity] to see how US compares to other nations in % GDP we spend. You can find our mortality data, infant mortality and other stats easily using whatever site you want -- reality is we spend far more for far less by any public health measure, despite leading in low smoking rates. I'm always confused by people who have orthodoxy about free market when it fails. Why not match best system to problem? Some problems addressed well by free market, some not. The "move to Canada" knee jerk response may feel good, but fails to acknowledge complexity of our problems. Why not face that our system is failing and think up solutions -- like some used by countries that spend less and get more. Step 1: Figure out which outcome you want -- mortality? infant mortality? cancer rates? Heart disease rates? countries that succeed in prevention?..."


Can we burn the straw men here, please? Obama's goal is universal health care, which will be de facto taxpayer funded. Bill Gates is going to have his health care paid for by the taxpayers, people. We're not going to have a choice. As I've alluded to before, health care was not on the political radar before the post WWII era, and only then because of wartime government wage and price controls.

Some things leave no room for compromise, and I believe this is one of those settled questions. Health care is not a fundamental right. When the government grants you civil rights by diktat, they can take them away just as quickly. If I am to err, then I will err on the side of God-given freedom.

I don't need government raping and pillaging my pocketbook for money for anything, least of all health care (which, incidentally, I've chosen to remain uninsured for).

Why is this discussion framed as a quality-of-care issue? We in America are absolutely second-to-none by any statistically significant measure. If, as Obama seems to think, this is an availability-of-care issue, rest assured that we are the most generous nation in history, as well; no one who's life is on the line will be denied lifesaving care. Those countries that can say the same (and there are few, if any) are our equals -- not our superiors.

Bats laid low by...

...fungus. Mold.

I've refrained from speaking much about the environment so far, mostly because it's a topic I feel rather ignorant on. That being the case, I believe that every last environmental scientist in the world can only make the case for intellectual honesty by admitting that they don't know much more than I do on the subject.

The late novelist Michael Crichton, of Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park fame, has a brilliant speech on complexity and environmental management transcribed on his website. Since I am constrained by intellectual property rights, space on my blog, and time on my show, I will instead use White-nose Syndrome as a microcosm of my environmental philosophy.

From Dina Cappiello, writing for the Associated Press:


A mysterious fungus attacking America's bats could spread nationwide within years and represents the most serious threat to wildlife in a century, experts warned Congress Thursday.

Displaying pictures of bats speckled with the white fungus that gave the disease its name -- white-nose syndrome -- experts described to two House subcommittees Thursday the horror of discovering caves where bats had been decimated by the disease.


It's worth noting that, like many modern newspaper articles, Cappiello's screed takes forever to start naming "experts," and it's also worth noting that many such articles don't name experts at all. Ah, but I digress.

Much of the rest of the article is similarly alarming:


Merlin Tuttle, a world-renowned bat expert and president of Bat Conservation International in Austin, Texas, said that white-nose syndrome was probably the most serious threat to wildlife in the past century. He also called for more research to determine its cause and how it was being spread.

"Never in my wildest imagination had I dreamed of anything that could pose this serious a threat to America's bats," Tuttle told the panel. "This is the most alarming event in the lifetime of a person who has devoted his life to recovering these populations."
It's peculiar to think that, since we don't know where the fungus comes from or how it spreads, anything is possible. The "most alarming event" in Merlin Tuttle's lifetime may not have anything to do with human intervention at all. Worse yet, it's not beyond the pale to speculate that this could even be an unintended result of some other environmentalist intervention.


Whatever the cause, I'm sure it will shock the environmental intelligentsia to find out. I am far too humbled by nature's majesty for much of anything to shock me anymore.

"Joe Six-Pack" becomes "Joe Diet Cola"

Alan Fram, writing for the Associated Press:

A push for new taxes on soda, beer and wine to help pay for Americans' health care is stirring up more than just the beverage industry.


To make a long story short, not only is the Senate Finance Committee considering a new "sin tax" on alcoholic drinks, but they are also giving serious consideration to creating a new tax out of whole cloth for any drink sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The tone of the article is rather factual, but the implications should make any right-minded conservative stop and think.

Do you remember when the very idea of an income tax was roundly condemned as unconsitutional? It was an idea sold with lies, half-truths, and a war that fed traditional notions of patriotism -- but still needed to be paid for.

Do you remember when smoking was fashionable? Back in the golden era of the Hollywood studios, movies were full of depictions of heroes and heroines smoking like chimneys. What's changed? Are cigarettes any more lethal now than they were then?

Also from Fram's article:

Soft drink and alcohol lobbyists have snapped into action, though so far their campaigns have been quiet compared to the blaring, multimillion-dollar battles that typify major show-downs.

Their low-key approach is due partly to committee leaders' warnings to refrain from public attacks or be accused of sabotaging health care overhaul. They've also held back because they have faced only modest lobbying from tax proponents, and because they think the proposal may prove so unpopular that it ultimately won't threaten their business.


If there's one thing I've learned in my political awareness, it's that liberals are extremely patient, enormously zealous, and opportunistic almost to the point of obsessiveness. They will wait as long as they have to wait and do whatever they need to do in order to reach their goal expanding their power.

The most potent weapon in the liberal arsenal is slander, but a close second is "Oh, that will never happen." For a true-believing progressive, anything is possible given enough time and effort. Do conservatives have enough will to meet progressive zeal head-on? Let's hope so, or the damage being done to our economy now will be a mere passing blip on the radar screen of history.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Issues of life

I have often spoke about how I believe some things should not be compromised on. Among those things, I feel there is no compromise on matters of life or death. Either one is alive, or not; either one advocates life, or denies it. The affirmation of life versus its denial is the most succint definition of good versus evil that anyone has been able to come up with in thousands of years of human philosophy.

George Tiller was killed on Sunday morning in the foyer of his church. A suspect is in custody, and motive will be divined through the investigations that are a fundamental part of American due process. Fortunately, since I am a pundit and not a news journalist, I am free to opine.

I believe that the primacy of life starts in the womb and ends in the tomb, to use an old pro-life saw. I do not advocate killing, certainly not the type of vigilante killing absent due process, that resulted in the death of George Tiller.

By the same token, to even call Tiller a "doctor" seems to me a perversion in itself. For almost 26 years, Tiller made a career out of repeatedly violating the hippocratic oath, which reads in part:

"I will not give a lethal drug if asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion."
Pretty plain language, no?

The hippocratic oath presupposes an inherent value in human life. Oddly enough, Tiller's death mirrors exactly what is wrong with pro-abortion philosophy. Whoever shot Tiller, regardless of the noble-mindedness of the act, placed some lives above others. That person made a conscious choice to play God in deciding that Tiller should die.

I'm sure there are those among my listeners who would ask how an anti-abortion stance could be reconciled with the traditionally-conservative pro-death penalty stance. I would remind those people that the issue is moot, as Tiller was not afforded the due process of a trial-by-jury of his peers. Tiller may not have been an innocent, but we have a system for deciding such issues. George Tiller and his opponents were all denied the use of that system.

Tiller's shooter has harmed the cause he claimed to care so much about. The harm will continue, and may intensify. For my part, I distance myself from those who claim to be "pro-life" while in reality being "pro-fetus." The distinction is profound, and it is worth thinking about for all pro-life activists.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Exceedingly careful?" Or else...what?!

Gibbsy, you fool! You brought a knife to a gunfight against a Republican caucus that has very little left to lose...

Says Robert Gibbs:

“I think it is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they’ve decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation,”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

North Korean "Diplomacy"

Now that North Korea has detonated a fission bomb, Kim Jong Il has laid his intentions bare for the entire world to take note of. Without a doubt, this will be a defining moment in President Obama's administration. The media characterization of this moment as a "challenge to President Obama's diplomacy," however, is flawed. It is, in fact, a stark repudiation of a failed policy that Obama has adhered to since the 2008 campaign trail.

Diplomacy is what happens when two parties each have things the other wants. Negotiation is the process of discovering how far your opponent is willing to go in achieving what he wants. Not every individual can be negotiated with; there is a point at which a diplomatic sparring partner ceases to be an opponent, and starts to be an enemy. From that point on, negotiation simply means appeasement, and negotiation with Kim Jong Il is nothing less than appeasing a madman.

It's time for President Obama to stop negotiating from a position of weakness, and start from a position of strength. Unfortunately, this borders on the impossible while he seeks to apologize for America's numerous illusory transgressions. Until President Obama can prepare to treat America like the superpower it is, his diplomatic efforts will only give aid and comfort to America's enemies. We know what the United States Constitution has to say about that. . .

Fait Accompli

It has now been definitively reported that Sonia Sotomayor will be David Souter's replacement, nominated by President Obama to serve on the Supreme Court. If ever there was a clear case of doubtful qualification, this is it; but will the Republican congressional minority have the guts to stand up to President Obama now?

Says the presumptive apointee:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male...
This alone should be enough to disqualify Sotomayor from any serious consideration as a judicial official, but her record is replete with such stark examples of race baiting and sexism, the likes of which would infuriate liberals if it came from the opposite side of the aisle. Sotomayor has not stopped there, however. She has spoken of The Supreme Court as "...the place where policy is made" and her opinions over the years have been rife with sympathy for victimhood, real or imagined.

The fact remains that Sotomayor is still of Puerto Rican extraction, and race is one of many third rails of politics that Republicans are rather loathe to approach. There may not even be much that Republicans can do in the face of an overwhelming Democratic majority.

A filibuster in this instance would certainly be politically explosive, but if Republicans don't even have the will to vote "no" in a simple floor vote, they will ultimately render the whole concept of "advice and consent" meaningless, a process which they started with the near-unanimous confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Sonia Sotomayor makes Justice Ginsberg look like a piker by comparison.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obamanomics (and the problem of the two-dollar hamburger)

Barack Obama unfortunately suffers a basic misunderstanding of economics endemic to socialists the world-over. In today's show, I hope to be able to remedy some fundamental misunderstandings about a terribly inexact statistical science.

Before I go too much further, I'd like to thank Walter E. Williams of George Mason University for my admittedly scant economic education. I read his columns most often at Townhall.com, and his knowledge of practical economics is unrivalled.

"Economics" comes from the Greek word "oikonomia," which in-turn comes from the words "oikos" and "nomos," which roughly translates into "household administration." Economics is the predictive science which involves the distribution of resources which are limited, or "scarce," in relation to needs and desires, which are virtually limitless.

Economics education is in a rather sad state-of-affairs today. A large reason for this is that the rudiments of "price," "cost," and "worth" are misunderstood. At first blush, they seem to be different words for the same thing. In terms of economic science, though they are closely related, they are three different things. In order to delve a little deeper, we'll use a hamburger as our metaphor.

For the sake of argument, you are at your favorite burger joint. Your favorite hamburger happens to cost you two dollars everytime you go there. The price of the hamburger is, obviously two dollars, but what is it really worth? Most people's instinct would be to say that the hamburger is worth two dollars, but that's not really true.

Arguably, you wanted your hamburger worse than you wanted your two dollars. From an economical standpoint, that hamburger is worth more than two dollars to you. Conversely, the proprietor of the establishment selling you that hamburger wants the two dollars worse than they want their hamburger (made up of its component parts). To them, that hamburger could be said to be worse less than two dollars. This is how people generate wealth in pursuing capitalist interests.

Obviously that hamburger's price to you is two dollars. What is that hamburger's price to the proprietor of the establishement? Ah hah! A trick question, you see; to the establishment selling the hamburger, there is no price, because they are not the end-consumers. Rather, the hamburger has a "cost," which is the cost of the products used in making it.

All of this is well-and-good, but how does government louse it up? Tune in to Gryph's Gripes to find out.