Saturday, March 31, 2007

To Gettysburg

We left on the Spring Break journey yesterday and made it to Toledo Ohio by 9 or so without a lot of difficulty. Chicago was slow as we expected it to be, but only actually fully stopped for 10min or so.

Today we started out at 8ish and realized that we were going through Cleavland, and with our 15 year old classic rock fan along, I decided that we would take a look at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. LOTs of guitars, the ZZ Top Eliminator car, a TON of "rock outfits", lots of historical Buddy Holly and Beatles stuff. It would have been a "miss" in my book, but the young rock fan is really into the groups, the history, you name it, so it was a "win" for him and that counts for something. I'm sure he may think we have spent just a tiny bit too much time at the few of the rest of the sites we see on the trip.

We drove the tollway over to US 30, and came through some beautiful mountains via Chambersburg. I've been reading "Gettysburg" by Steven W Sears in my times not driving and in the evenings. An excellent book that is a very readable tale that shows you what is happening on both sides. In many ways of course, the times are quite different, but in others, not so much. One of the big reasons that Lee was on the attack was to help the Democrats gain power by turning public opinion against the war. If he could have been successful at Gettysburg, there is every reason to believe that public opinion would have moved even more against the war, and the Democrats would have been able to make "a political deal" with the South on the issue of slavery. Nothing familiar with today on that front I guess.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Brutal Facts

Having lived through the Vietnam / Watergate / Carter years, I'm always intrigued with the segment of our population that finds those to be "the best of times". Defeat in Vietnam, discrediting of the Presidency and as a result of both, the US at a low ebb. Millions killed in Cambodia. The USSR on the advance around the globe and finally hostages in Iran while we stood by, so inept that our weak attempt at rescue crashed and burned in the desert with nothing accomplished but more national despair. Turn off the Christmas lights, the best days of America were behind us. Somewhere in those later years of the '70's I made the personal decision that "despair was not an option", and in the intervening years have been blessed with the grace to learn to focus on values and principles vs dollars and feelings.

Unlike what an atheist might assume however, seeking a higher focus actually increases interest in understanding what kind of general mechanisms drive the daily minutia. One example is a connection of a small fact studied about the Korean War and the MSM story today.

In the Korean War, US POWs suffered the highest casualty rate in our history (38%), yet they were not physically tortured, starved or directly abused. The North Koreans used the tactics of:
  • Informing
  • Self-criticism
  • Breaking loyalty to leadership and country
  • Withholding all positive emotional support
They did what the MSM and Democrats have since July of '03. Most things have been covered in this Blog already, but a short re-cap:
  1. The "Bush lied" ... either in the case of the Niger yellowcake, the Plame affair or the WMD. Hearings and legal proceedings have been held on all of the above showing there to be no "lies", but the constant claiming as to lying has had an affect on all, and has convinced most.
  2. Katrina - Local authorities react horribly, leaving 500 buses standing to be flooded rather than using for evacuation. The Governor refuses to allow Federal troops to come in and Bush courageously makes the greatest ACTUAL breech of the Constitution of his Presidency by putting them in there without a request from the Governor. Katrina was the turning point; the MSM realizes that they can successfully create what they want if they act in the proper concert with Democrats.
  3. Bush makes the greatest easily avoidable self-inflicted mistake of his Presidency in the Meyers appointment. Democrats have no fixed values or principles, so they still mostly supported Clinton when he did NAFTA and Welfare Reform, even though were they to be principled, they woudl be against them. Conversely, Bush lost a lot of Conservatives when he did Perscription Drug and cost himself a huge amount of political capital with all conservatives. He gained nothing from Democrats since politics count for more than actual help for people that they claim to want help for. Miers was a critical point where Bush lost a huge amount of credibility. It was a political miscalculation that could really not be recovered.
  4. The Libby / Wilson / Plame fabrication. The Democrats and MSM manufacture a story that has no content. The tie in of Bob Woodward of Watergate fame makes one wonder about "currents in the force". Repetition is the KEY, and over the long haul, the basic makeup of humanity tends to make 60-80% of people somewhat susceptible.
  5. Iraq, the economy, gas prices, surveillance fears, ... etc. NEVER allow positive stories for more than a moment so that it can be said "oh, we reported it". Build a constant view of mistrust of everything possible except Democrats. John Murtha being a spokesman against the war when he is ON TAPE from the early '80s clearly considering taking a $50K bribe, and not ruling it out, while the MSM keeps it completely quiet. It ONLY shows up as the incoming speaker of the House nominates him for Majority Leader, and it is COMPLETELY forgotten the second that he fails to get that role. Fortunately having a guy with a history of interest in bribes and another caught with $90K in bribes in his freezer is NOT a "culture of corruption". (to the MSM, D's don't have that)
The list could go on, it is a daily activity. Our MSM, the Democrats and the North Korean POW camps have remarkably similar methods. Apparently the objective of those methods in at least the case of the MSM and Democrats is a return to the impotent America of the late '70s. I suppose the idea is that if we are all in despair we will vote for them to take care of us. We were fortunate through that valley that in terms of history we paid a relatively low price for losing our way and were blessed with Ronald Reagan to turn us around.

The nasty thing about democracy is that we are assumed to be self-governing. The number of "great leaders" is very limited, and every great leader comes with the potential for danger as well as the potential for blessing. The BEST approach is if we can look beyond the manufactured MSM view and react to reality--where although the facts may be brutal, we can ALWAYS have faith in the ultimate outcome.

Feinstein Resigns

Don't get your hopes up, only from a committee. It will be interesting to see if the MSM picks this up at all. I'm sure that they would treat a well-known Republican Senator exactly the same!
clipped from www.metroactive.com

Feinstein Resigns

Senator exits MILCON following Metro exposé, vet-care scandal


SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

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Good To Great

I read this Jim Collins book a while back, but re-read as part of my recent class at work. It is a book that can apply to personal life, school, church, or any organization as well as to a business.

While one can take this book as a "cookbook", it is clear that just because you do all the things here, there is no guarantee you will build a great company ... just as following a recipe doesn't guarantee a great dining experience. These elements are just things that can increase the odds of making that leap. Following these ideas is like buying a lottery ticket to greatness.

The main ideas are:

  1. CREATE Level 5 Leadership from within - A leader that "blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will" for the team/business, not for themselves. Darwin Smith of Kimberly-Clark paper and the decision to "Sell the Mills", a historical profit center of the business, and take on Procter&Gamble in the consumer paper products industry is a great example. Note; level 5 leadership at the team, area, organization, site, division can make a HUGE difference even without having it at the top, although the top can have a huge influence.
  2. First Who - Then What - If you have the right people, you can do pretty much anything, and if you have the wrong people, you can do very little but manage the wrong people. The phrase "get the right people on the bus" is brought up a lot. Have a "strong and deep team" rather than a "genius with a thousand helpers model". Put your best people on your best opportunities, not your biggest problems. You want people who will argue and debate furiously, but line up once the decision is made regardless of personal interest (level 5 followership?).
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts, yet never lose faith -This certainly applies to life as well as work.

    The core concept is "The Stockdale Paradox". James Stockwell was the highest ranking US officer imprisoned in North Korea from '65-'73. He said: "I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining even of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade". He was asked who it was that gave up, and he responded "Oh, that's easy, the optimists". The reason was that they always set some deadline like "we will be out by Christmas", and then "we will be out by Easter", and eventually they died of a broken heart.

    "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end--which you can never afford to lose, with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever that might be."

    From Collins:"Life is unfair--sometimes to our advantage, sometimes to our disadvantage. We will all experience disappointments and crushing events somewhere along the way, setbacks for which there is no "reason", no one to blame. It might be disease; it might be injury;it might be an accident;it might be losing a loved one;it might be getting swept away in a political shake-up;it might be getting shot down over Vietnam and thrown into a POW camp for eight years. What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not te presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life."

    There must be a climate in which there is a DRIVE to get and face the truth the key principals for that listed were.

    1. Lead with questions, not answers
    2. Engage in dialog and debate, not coercion
    3. Conduct autopsies without blame
    4. Build "red flag mechanisms" to information into information that can't be ignored.

  4. Hedgehog concept - Foxes pursue many ends at the same time and see the world in all it's complexity. Hedgehogs simplify the complex world into a single, simple organizing idea or principle that guides everything.
    1. What can we be the best in the world at?

    2. What drives our economic engine?

    3. What are we deeply passionate about?

  5. A Culture of Discipline - "Most companies build their bureaucratic rules to manage the small percentage of the wrong people on the bus". Freedom and Responsibility in a framework -- the example of the air traffic control system and FAA rules, but the ultimate responsibility with the pilot. Start a "stop doing list". "Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding 'to do' lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing--and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of "stop doing" lists as "to do" lists."
  6. Technology Accelerators - Only technology that fits with the hedgehog concept is used. Technology by itself is never the cause of either greatness or decline.
  7. Flywheel and the Doom Loop -- It is the practice that counts, not the big game.
    1. Level 5 leader steps forward with hedgehog concept that organization buys.
    2. right people on the bus, wrong people off
    3. make some key successes ... SUCCEED ... even if it is made up a bit!
    4. more people line up when they see the results
    5. REPEAT - REFINE - REPEAT - REFINE ....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Free Speech for Franken

The Star Tribune is starting their inoculation process for Al Franken. It turns out that "Butt Boy" was a quote in his BOOK, so even more explicit than just an interview. On the other hand, they note that CONSERVATIVES are starting to "wise up" in realizing how bad Ann Coulter is.

Well, Franken has said that he is going to change "Butt-Boy" to "Lap Dog"; something like what a Democrat does when they are caught red-handed with illegal campaign contributions. Give them back! Well, at least they are consistent on this one--as long as you certify you have no character, Democrat or avowed criminal, then no problem. It is only the religious or the Republicans that need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for whatever kind of charge can be trumped up. Scooter Libby being a great recent example.

The MSM control is certainly set back on"high". Conservatives are so much more quiet when things aren't going their way. Ann maybe has some "comments", but no screaming, yelling, talking about leaving the country, etc. Prayer tends to be quieter than marching, carrying signs and screaming obscenities I suppose. History often repeats with slightly different flavors. It seems that this is maybe "defeat in Vietnam without Watergate" ... maybe a bit of a "'70s motif"; our friends the Iranians that the Dems say will help us out in Iraq even have some hostages again.

Oh, for those that don't understand the inoculation. By doing a number of nice reasoned stories on Franken's slur, it becomes "old news". All "reasonable people" have been over that ... none of the gays were concerned about Franken, so why would anyone else be? Clearly the only kind of people that would bring this kind of thing up during a campaign are complete partisans, not "interested in the issues".

As long as one keeps their "Ds and Rs straight", these things are easy to follow. 35 year old guard papers? HUGE issue if they apply to a "R" ... need a prime time special. Decorated veterans pointing out that it is odd for a soldier to take a BIG movie camera to Vietnam, and that having 3 purple hearts without spending a night in a hospital is unheard of?

Oh, they are accusing a D, CLEARLY a horrible pack of lies, smear tactic, completely reprehensible. No story at all. They made their OWN commercial? My goodness, what is the world coming to? Ought there not be a LAW against that kind of speech! Why even years later, someone who donated money so they could get their message out at all should be disqualified from serving in the government. (this week in fact)

Watch the Ds and Rs, at least that part is easy. "Free speech" is only "free" if you are a D ... otherwise it is quite expensive and there is no statute of limitations if you are caught speaking or aiding speech by an R.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences Again

This book was visited before and it will be visited in the future. I like to highlight my books, but I may as well not highlight this one, or come up with a new standard, because it is almost all highlighted now. I'd love to start just putting in great quotes here, but there are so many that it isn't really worth even starting.

The bottom message that can't be stated too often or too well is that the "ultimate decision" is; "Is this all there is"? Meaning: is the material universe all there is, or is there something more? That something more can be named "perfect forms", "spirit", "God", "intellect" or a number of other names, but at the core, it is the "heroic assertion", "wishful thinking", or "prayerful acceptance" that there is truth beyond particles and bits that is the genesis point of departure for the ultimate cleavage of world view.

While Weaver doesn't directly say this (probably because he would find it beneath him to say), when man continued his rebellion against God and Religion in the enlightenment and set science on the throne, he threw "the baby out with the bathwater". Philosophy went out with Religion, and at least western man was left with no "unifying story".

It would be interesting to see how Weaver would see the current Islamic / Western culture clash. Is a bad transcendent idea better than no transcendent idea? My belief is that Weaver might say "yes", but I'm just putting words in his mouth. The decision is one for Theology and Philosophy, and our culture is so lacking in both that the number of minds available to help us answer such questions of ultimate truth are very small. We have also lost the cultural context to even respect the answer, were it to be presented.

I am again awed, and left in somewhat the same state as a primitive that has wandered in the ruins of a great city by this book and others. Thousands of years of thinking on the state of man in the universe has been cast aside and but a tiny remnant of humanity is even interested in discovering concepts like meaning and truth. The vast majority would rather focus on the firing of 8 attorneys under one political party while having had no concern over the firing of 93 others by the opposite political party 14 years earlier. They are perfectly willing to let "truth" be all in context of time and party.

99% of the population is completely unaware of the consequences of making those decisions as to the loss of meaning, direction, value, and understanding created by such a willingness to flee principle and consistency. Our limited reason can only find purchase in the context of consistency against some standard not fluid in time and application. Science provides no meaning, only data. Correlated data relative to physical perception at times, but no values in any sense. So we continue to drift, hoping that "bigger, better, faster, easier, more comfortable" will provide happiness, or at least comfort.

Why ARE we so fascinated with Anna Nichole? Could it be that she is a bit of a blond "canary in the coal mine"? She seems to be a worthy symbol of the direction of our general culture.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Consistent Whiplash

Whiplash Department   [Jonah Goldberg]

Me: Edwards is a saint when he drops out. Edwards is a saint when he doesn't. I don't have a major problem with the sentiments of either post taken individually, but taken together, we can now see that the intervals between self-contradictory statements by Sullivan has fallen to a mere 22 minutes. Pretty soon the ends of his sentences will contradict the beginnings.  

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Butt Boy vs Faggot

I wonder if any astute observers can notice any difference in the MSM treatment of Coulter vs Franken?
clipped from www.startribune.com

How does the media punish a U.S. Senate candidate for calling a U.S. Senator a “butt boy”?

Consider in particular Franken’s statement in this interview last October with the New Statesman (very near the end) that Sen Norm Coleman is…

“one of the [Bush] administration’s leading butt boys.”

For a Feb. 15 story about Franken’s announcement of his candidacy, the Star Tribune inquired about the authenticity of this quote, which was trotted out by the state GOP.

The Franken campaign did not dispute the quote.


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Causes of Death

I'm taking another excellent class this week, although not as absolutely stellar as the last round. For an exercise we were given the list of the top 15 causes of death in the US listed on death certificates and then asked to work in groups to rank them. The issue was how we went about working in groups, not the right answer, but it amazed me that a major discussion in our group was if ACCIDENT was #1! Many groups picked accident as #1, and quite a few in the top 3, when it is really #5 by a fairly wide margin.

The top 5 are Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Lung Disease, and then accident, with heart killing over 600K, cancer 550K and then dropping down to less than 200k, AIDs wasn't even in the top 15.

In a democracy, the populace has to know what is going on if they are to govern themselves. The coverage of accidents shows the "sell papers" bias of a market driven media, reasonably intelligent people can have the capacity to adjust for that if they are aware. The AIDs reporting shows the political bias. It is reported because the measures taken to combat it promote the lifestyle choices the MSM encourages.

Freedom means stepping back from the media control and using the media as a TOOL. It is ONE WAY to carefully and skeptically gather information. When the information choices, priority, and bias of the MSM is followed without those cautions, we are cut off from reality and unable to govern ourselves.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

YouTube has the whole program and it is well worth watching. I have no idea if it is correct or not, but it is certainly very well done, at least rings of truth, and the credentials of the people involved are impressive. The main points are:
  • The ice core data shows that carbon dioxide level consistently lags climate change by 800 years or so.
  • The human input to the total planetary carbon dioxide is less than 1% ... volcanoes, termites and the oceans are HUGELY greater sources, accounting in aggregate for 99% of the "problem"
  • At least one excellent potential cause of climate change on the earth is solar activity, and the show goes into that.
  • There have been a number of fluctuations in climate in the last few thousand years that are very similar or even "worse" (warmer) than the current one. In general, the times of more warmth have been very positive times for life, and especially human life.
It will be interesting to see if this gets any coverage. Anytime a story only has one side as global warming has become, one has to wonder if it is factual or propaganda. CO2 causing global warming SOUNDS plausible, but one thing that true science shows us is that things that sound plausible are often not.

So why global warming? Basically money and power. Once the USSR lost and in general socialist policies lost with it, then a large number of leftists needed something to do that could get funding and fit into their world view. Capitalism still had to be wrong, so claiming that it was "destroying the world" through global warming rather than just creating too much economic wealth was a decent scam.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Commanding the Heights

I ran into a the documentary out on Netflix, and the book is now on order. It appears to be an excellent discussion of the history of economics in the 20th century, and of all places it was done by PBS! Well, unlike doctrinaire liberals, conservatives enjoy truth where it is found, it doesn't need to be discredited just because of source!

An example of the "breath of fresh air" is that they actually admit the obvious fact that the 70's were an economic disaster caused by Keynesian/liberal/government controlled economics. Part of the travesty of the present time is that every rational American is not as aware of the failure of Keynesian economics and the success of free markets as they are of the failure of the model of a flat earth. While the "two crimes" point is more subtle, it is the same--Democracy can't hope to be successful in even the medium term without the general public understanding reality!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Aren't We All Terminal?

One has to dig in this story a bit to find that she was first turned down by the Supreme Court TWO YEARS AGO! Justice is a government program, so the waiting lines tend to be long. I suspect that the case took a couple of years to get to the high court prior to that as well. Let's be generous and say she has only been "hanging on" three years.

I understand what message the MSM is TRYING to brainwash me with on the heartless(Bush) government here, but they need to think of consistency if they want to reach this particular sheep. They would ALSO like me to hand complete responsibility for my health care over to that same heartless government!

I guess if she died waiting in line for "universal" healthcare she wouldn't have to hang on for years smoking pot! 

clipped from www.cnn.com

Court: Dying can be charged for using marijuana


POSTED: 2:00 p.m. EDT, March 14, 2007

Story Highlights

• Appeals court rules dying not immune from drug charges for marijuana use
• Doctor says marijuana is only drug keeping Angel Raich alive
• Raich has a brain tumor and chronic nausea, her doctor says
• She sobbed when told of the court's decision
The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Politcal Firing of US Attorneys

The complete fantasy story of Scooter Libbey has done so well that the Dem / MSM factory has created a new one. Bush fires 8 US attorneys that serve as political appointees at the pleasure of the executive branch. Clinton summarily fired 93 in one fell swoop in March of 1993. News at 11, your boss can fire you too!

Was it a story when Clinton did it? Well, of course not! Need we remind, there is a "D" after his name! Since he had a perfect right to fire all 93 in 1993, there was no reason for it to be a story at that time, but of course 8 ought to have been even less of a story now for those few that believe in the fantasy of an "unbiased press".


A Republican "acting reasonably / contrite / nice / etc" is merely blood in the water to the left. If Republicans hold ALL the cards, then they can ALMOST survive ... Bush and company are the main course at a Dem / MSM Bar-B-Q . Even if they circle the wagons and fight as dirty as they can (which would be about 1/10 as dirty as Carvell, Begalla and Hill-Billy during the '90s), they are still turning on a spit with hot hickory underneath and MSM vinegar sauce being liberally applied

The Hubbell Standard
Hillary Clinton knows all about sacking U.S. Attorneys.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.
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Hillary Still Not Completely Amoral?

Does Hillary still have some actual morality left, or is she just doing the calculation that there still may be more voters with some slight morality than there are Gays / completely amoral voters?
clipped from www.cnn.com

Story Highlights

• Clinton now says she "does not share [Pace's] view, plain and simple"
• Clinton avoided question on whether she thinks homosexuality is immoral
• "I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said when asked by ABC News
• Clinton recently told gay-rights activists she was proud to stand by their side

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton sidestepped a question about whether she thinks homosexuality is immoral Wednesday, less than two weeks after telling gay-rights activists she was "proud" to stand by their side.

Clinton was asked the question by ABC News, in the wake of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace's controversial comment that he believed homosexual acts were immoral.

"Well, I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said. (Watch why gay-rights groups are angry with Clinton Video)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'

Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.



read more | digg story

Monday, March 12, 2007

Frost Bite Ends Global Warming Trek

The Bancroft-Arneson trip to the North Pole to show the devastating effects of global warming has been ended by extreme cold and frostbite. While certainly not enough to give up the AGW faith, they were at least able to see the "irony".


The explorers had planned to call in regular updates to school groups by satellite phone, and had planned online posts with photographic evidence of global warming. In contrast to Bancroft's 1986 trek across the Arctic with fellow Minnesota explorer Will Steger, this time she and Arnesen were prepared to don body suits and swim through areas where polar ice has melted.
Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.
"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said. "But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.

All this means is that "Global Warming" is being re-branded as "Climate Change", which is much more flexible, Ann and Liv just need to get with the program.

A theory that explains everything explains nothing (Popper).

Jesus Appalled

In an interview with http://www.beliefnet.com/story/213/story_21312_1.html#extndVer

Edwards had the following to say.

What parts of American life do you think would most outrage Jesus?

Our selfishness. Our resort to war when it's not necessary. I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually.

One thing that the right really misses are more cartoonists, they do a great job of getting point across. At least with the web, there are now a few!
clipped from powerlineblog.com
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Universal" Walter Reed

One would think "National", "Continental", "Planetary", "Solar" or "Galactic" would be big enough for health care, but we seem stuck on "Universal". If we are going to go that far, we really ought to cover the 10 to the 500 multiverse. "Multiversal Healthcare"? Seems like a concept that Democrats could get behind. Here in MN, the Dems are focused on the important issue of medical marijuana. Enough of that, and how long the lines are for the Multiversal Healthcare really won't matter. If you get sick, you can just take another drag and even ignore the rats chewing up your feet.

It always shocks me when liberals are surprised when there are serious problems with massive federal programs. You name the program ... veterans, medicare, drug benefits, defense, etc, and they will point out how bad the implementation is. Right after they complain, they will ask for more money for the current failing programs and some new ones to start failing in even nastier ways. Don't I feel sorry for the wounded veterans? Absolutely, they are saddled with government healthcare, EVERYONE ought to be feel sorry for them! Walter Reed is just the latest issue. Horrible treatment of veterans requiring medical care is as old as the VA system. The MSM only tends to complain about it when there is a Republican President, but just like a host of other problems endemic to large bloated bureaucracies with no competition or profit motive, it is always there.

The problem with government health care in a democracy is that there are many more well voters than sick voters, and many more slightly sick voters than really sick voters. Even worse, the very sick ones almost never vote. Markets are like death and gravity--you don't have like them, believe in them, or even acknowledge them and they will still work. Politicians are drawn to buy the most votes that they can for as little as they can in their market. They may not even understand what they are doing, but the ones that win in the market for votes are going to naturally be drawn to buying the most votes as efficiently as they can. Granted, it will be very INefficient, but it is the market that they are in that counts.

Certainly federal health care will be bloated and inefficient since it is a bureaucracy with no profit motive, BUT, what the lefties seem to be able to ignore even when it stares them in the face is that since the sick constituency is so small, the politicians and the bureaucracy itself will be drawn to spend less and less on the sick and more and more on the "essentially healthy", and of course on the bureaucracy itself. In this case that means wounded soldiers with horrible care and rats running around. Sadly, horrible VA conditions are a story as old as the VA itself, and horrible care for the SICK in any kind of government health care program is just as old a story.

However, nearly ALL government health care is wildly popular for the HEALTHY! They don't have high insurance bills, they THINK that they are "fully covered", and they THINK that "someone else is paying". What could be better! Government medicine is a lot like the post office ... it is a good system as long as you aren't mailing anything you care about. If you are, you better hope that there is a UPS or Fedex. Government systems just "re-define zero for a very high cost". It doesn't really take a VA system to have rats chewing on wounded veterans, the VA system just allows 100s of billions of dollars to be spent on the way to the peeling paint, rats and squalor. The "new zero" is just a lot higher priced.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Valhalla Is Heaven

The Vikings named their heaven "Valhalla", and the Valhalla hills NE of Iron River WI were snowmobile heaven for the last couple of days. The picture shows the Apex and Fusion sitting at the Valhalla Trail Lodge that happened to be closed on Monday, but the snow was nice anyway.

In something over 280mi of riding over two days we met less than 10 sleds on the trails. We had lunch Monday at the Bell Street Tavern on Madeline Island, where we enjoyed some REALLY good sweet potato fries that were no doubt no good for the waistline.

Trail conditions were generally excellent, with LOTS of snow. Tuesday we headed south to Drummond and had lunch at the Black Bear. We had thought about heading south to Hayward, but decided that we had enough curves, so got on the railroad bed trail to the east and went NE back to the Tri-County Corridor, the big high speed railroad bed trail that runs from Ashland to parts "somewhere west". All the way to Iron River, which is where we stayed, so far enough for our purposes. We decided we had to run into Ashland to have lattes at the Black Cat ... a place that seems to be "very slightly on the liberal side" based on all the posters on the wall. I don't much care about their politics since their coffee is good.

One of those trips where everything went right and all was right with both the snowmobiling world and the trailering / driving world up and back. MUCH nicer to have great snow conditions with a four hour drive rather than an 8 hour drive.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Name Calling

Maybe visible under the latest news section of CNN is a headline titled "Coulter Under Fire for Anti-Gay Slur". In a speech, she said: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I'm - so, kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions"

Naturally, the MSM likes any chance they can get to jump all over Ann, so they ignore the fact that her joke was referencing the case of Isaiah Washington going into rehab, and of course there is NO attempt to indicate that it is a joke ... as opposed to say, John Kerry saying: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” The media was QUICK to point out that "oh, he MEANT Bush" ... yes, he only meant to disparage the commander in chief, not the troops. Nice when the MSM leaps to your defense.

Here is a YouTube that compliments John as being pretty
When he was running in '04, he was widely recognized as a "metrosexual" by MANY media people--a male that is very much more concerned with his appearance than standard. He even remarked about the quality of "hair" that he and John Kerry brought to the race. Ann was making a joke ... and one that isn't even particularly direct. It seems like much like being a muti-millionaire with a giant new mansion and talking about "too much income disparity", Edwards would like to get credit for being pretty without even so much as any ribbing. Of course, the MSM figures that is OK too.

If we step back for a minute, Al Franken is running for the Senate from MN, and he wrote a BOOK with the TITLE "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot". Is that nice? Well, I guess it is OK, because Rush is certainly conservative, so you can call him ANYTHING. Republicans are commonly called "Fascists" or any form of that slur that can be thought of ... there is a book out now called "American Fascists" on the "religious right", and nobody in the media has any problem when that at all ... I've seen the author, he doesn't mean it as a joke. Calling people "racist" is also pretty much standard, and nobody is going to do any rehab, certainly as long as the person that they are calling names has an "R" somewhere near their name. Yes, calling people names isn't nice and it might be nice if Ann would refrain from it, BUT, why is it that ANN ought to refrain, but the left does it all the time with total impunity?

Michael Moore wins Academy Awards, sat next to Jimmy Carter at the last Democratic Presidential nominating convention. Let's quote a little bit from his "prayer to the comfortable" on page 234 of "Stupid White Men":

"Dear Lord (God/Yahweh/Buddha/Bob/Nobody) ... Rather dear Lord, we ask that You inflict every member of the House of Representatives with horrible, incurable cancers of the brain, penis, and hand (though not necessarily in that order). We ask, Our Loving Father, that every senator from the South be rendered addicted to drugs and find himself locked away for life. We beseech You to make the children of every senator in the Mountain Time Zone gay--REALLY gay. Put the children of the senators from the East in a wheelchair ..."

Is he joking? Probably, just like Franken, he can say whatever he wants, and if it is "inappropriate", it is a joke! Anyone that doesn't "get it" is pretty much an unsophisticated rube! The MSM likes Franken and Moore because they agree with what the MSM thinks. "Freedom of speech" is for people that agree with the MSM. If you don't agree with them, what you generally do is "hate speech", and they would like to criminalize it as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cold Cash Congressman


Here we see how CNN presents the House Democrat leadership attempting to move the Congressman that was caught with $90K of "cold cash" bribe money in his FREEZER into a committee chairmanship.

The sheep can read this and go no further. It is ONLY the GOP that is doing this "baffling" thing. You actually have to read the article to understand AT ALL, and even then it would take a full read to really even have much for suspicion that potentially it isn't all that "baffling" why most any person other than a complete partisan would NOT object.

Were the shoe on the other foot, how would the writing be done? Let's sample a couple and see if they ring true"

"GOP to Elevate Cold Cash Congressman"

"Dems Question GOP Ethics: Where is the reform?"

"Cold Cash Congressman to Key Committee?"

"GOP Gives Tainted Congressman Key Committee"

"Dems Demand GOP Ethics Accountability"

"Dems Decry GOP Culture of Corruption"

One could go on and on, and we will, as soon as there is an "R" next to something even 1/10 this corrupt and overt.