Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The OTHER Threats

Karl Rove heckled, called 'war criminal' at book event - CNN.com

Last week we heard a lot about "uncivil Republicans" and threats on Democrats. Above you see a link to Karl Rove being heckled Code Pink -- hardly news, Republicans endure heckling, threats and actual attacks all the time.

Last week the MSM was all primed to watch the Tea Party gathering at Searchlight NV to see if there were threats and violence -- there were http://www.foundingbloggers.com/wordpress/2010/03/harry-reid-supporters-threaten-violence-against-breitbart-at-tea-party-protest/ but it wasn't newsworthy since the perpetrators were Reid supporters.

The Democrats also used the idea of "incivility" in a campaign mailing last week and Axlerod on weekend shout shows talked about how "Republicans bear responsibility for the heated rhetoric". This week, there is an arrest for a death threat against a REPUBLICAN Congressman.

Notice a pattern? Just think for a moment. JFK - shot by a Castro supporter that had been to the USSR, RFK, shot by a Palestinian immigrant, MLK, shot by James Earl Ray, small time criminal -- not many of those are Republicans.

Jerry Ford was shot at twice by Manson followers -- pretty unlikely they were right wing. Reagan was shot by a guy that was trying to get a date with Jody Foster -- doesn't sound very political to me.

Calling Republicans names and claiming that they are "fascists", "taking your rights" and demanding protests and disruption is so standard as to be boring. Anyone say anything bad about a Democrat? Oh, wow, better call out the Gaurd!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome To A Mismanaged Third World Nation

Robert J. Samuelson - With health bill, Obama has sown the seeds of a budget crisis - washingtonpost.com

When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health-care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.

He covers the accounting sleight of hands that turn the supposed "savings" into added deficit as well. Worth a read.

The Title Is Right

Op-Ed Columnist - Going to Extreme - NYTimes.com

Reasonable people need to be aware of what gets spewed from the left, as painful as it might be.

Paul likes to revel the losses of the other side, but of course a "reasonable other side" would roll over, put their legs up, and let Paul and his buddies kick them in the head. Any form of backbone in opposition is something that must be thoroughly dishonored from the left.

Here is his assertion about Democrats:
All of this goes far beyond politics as usual. Democrats had a lot of harsh things to say about former President George W. Bush — but you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials.
Let's see if we can find any counter example rhetoric on the net. Here we have BO in Philly in the summer of '08. Sounds nice doesn't it?

That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

Here is Al Gore:

The Bush administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops.'

Why is Krugman still in the NYTs?

Closing Gitmo "Complicated"

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Axelrod: still no date for closing Guantanamo Bay facility « - Blogs from CNN.com

I believe we're going to get there, but it's complicated," David Axelrod told the CNN program "State of the Union," adding that there has been progress toward closing the facility.
I think we will get to fusion energy as well.

So if Gitmo was a "recruiting device for terrorists" under Bush, why isn't it now? Well, because it never was, it was a POLITICAL DEVICE ... it served it's purpose, so no hurry. It is hard, expensive and damaging to security to close it, but if you are BO, those costs are worth the political gain it gave him as a campaign issue, especially since the "adversarial press" is the "lapdog press" for him.

Remember Recess Appointments Being Big News?

Democrats, Republicans spar over Obama's recess appointments - CNN.com

Remember when the news media went berserk over recess appointments? John Bolton is a name that comes to mind.

Expect anything noisy out of this, even though it sounds like one of them is a union lawyer who even Democrats have signed up to filibuster? (if Republican's sign up, that is called "bi-partisanship" ... in case you forget)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Income Gap

The Government Pay Boom - WSJ.com

Now here is an income gap that isn't likely to get a lot of media coverage. For every $1 earned in an equivalent private sector job, a government worker gets $1.45. Sweet ... if you are not receiving vs the paying end, and heck, there are more government workers and less private workers all the time, so what the heck?

What if government workers earned the average of what private workers earn? States and localities would save $339 billion a year from their more than $2.1 trillion budgets. These savings are larger than the combined estimated deficits for 2010 and 2011 of every state in America.

Oh, deficits. Spoil sport. This seems like a story worth VERY little coverage in the MSM. Let's see if they surprise me.

Shoot the Messenger!

Democrats threaten companies hit hard by health care bill | Washington Examiner

Worth reading through. A number companies realize that BOcare is going to cost them a lot of money, so they are reporting it in their financial forward looking statements and taking charges as SOX and other Federal regulations demand. Of course, the emperor does not like being told not only that he has no clothes along with the fact that the view is not flattering.

What is the logical thing to do? Shoot the messenger of course!

Monday, March 22, 2010


We live in a morally, spiritually, financially and politically bankrupt nation. The passage of BOcare in the corrupt way it happened after the election of Brown in MA shows that the left officially doesn't respect either the Constitution nor the electorate.

Where to from here? Down. Way down. When you are looking forward to roasted rat as "your first good meal in a month", remember, you once lived in a great country where men were free, God was revered, laws and institutions were respected, and everyone had both rights and responsibility.

We failed and fell. Now we suffer the consequences.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ethics of Rhetoric, Richard Weaver

Confession: I like to read more than I like to write. Maybe to put it more correctly, reading is more of an escape for me than writing. That means that there is a stack of books that have been read, but not blogged on, and this is the highest priority. The book is FANTASTIC, if 10-20% of Americans could manage to read it, the quality of our dialogue and understanding of ourselves and the universe would rise exponentially!

"Our difficulty with the Phaedrus may be that our interpretation has been too literal and too topical". It doesn't get a lot closer to the bone than that for a technocratic culture that has lost most of what it means to be human!

In response to a question if Socrates really believes if something in the myth of Boreas and Oreithyia is true, Weaver writes:

"The answer of Socrates is that many tales are open to this kind of rationalization, but the result is tedious and irrelevant. It is irrelevant because our chief concern is with the nature of man, and it is beside the point to probe into such matters while we are yet ignorant of ourselves. The scientific criticism of Greek mythology, which may be likened to the scientific criticism of the myths of the Bible in our own day, produces at best "a boorish sort of wisdom". It is a limitation to suppose that the truth of the story lies in its historicity."
*** historicity can be thought of as "scientific history" -- perfectly factual, verifiable, evidence based history -- which really can't exist, because even the MOST learned current historians can't possibly share the LIVED CONTEXT of the time. As opposed to the "narrative of history". Since all human thought is "story based", so the left attempts to make the "historical story" into an "untrue myth", while making the present into "factual truth" -- or really a "false truth" that they use their dominance to present as "factually true".

Or to put it in Weaver's words: "... some things are best told by parable and some perhaps discoverable only by parable. Real investigation goes forward with the help of analogy."

We humans have forgotten that all each of us  ever "know" is "known" by a mere single human being's perception (our own). We don't really understand human beings. Consciousness is mostly a mystery. We can't create life, and it is likely that even if we could, our understanding of it would be no greater (maybe less?). The Greeks and Romans understood this, as did our founding fathers -- as in "The Closing of the American Mind", modern man has forgotten.

The start of the book has a discourse between Phaedrus and Socrates on the thought that "people should grant favors to non-lovers rather than to lovers". The essential point is that facts and dialectic are more "real" than rhetoric (lovers speech), so they are "the good". The counter argument is that we are humans, and nobody is moved, nor really "takes facts to heart". Three person's are introduced; the non-lover, the evil lover and the noble lover. Again, "love" is the idea of "bringing the emotions in".

The non-lover is straightforward -- facts and rational argument. Lots of respect for the audience, the assumption being that "they will make up their own mind" (Bush). The noble lover is the leader or speaker that cares deeply (loves) their constituency of people of lesser gifts, and uses his soaring rhetoric to take them to a better place than they would go to otherwise ... what a conservative would see Reagan as, or a liberal would see Obama as.

The evil lover is essentially what the conservative sees Obama as, and many liberals saw Reagan as -- just using the electorate for their own means. Pulling the wool over the eyes of the simpler masses.

As we look now for the parallel in language, we find ourselves confronting the 2nd alternative: speech which influences us in the direction of evil. This we shall call base rhetoric because it's end is the exploitation which Socrates has been condemning. We find the base rhetoric hates that which is opposed, or is equal or better because all such things are impediments to its will, and in the last analysis it knows only its will. Truth is the stubborn, objective restraint which this will endeavors to overcome. Base rhetoric is therefore always trying to keep it's objects from the support which personal courage, noble associations, and divine philosophy provide to a man.

The day that the Democrats conspire to use "Deem and Pass" to ram health care through the congress is a great day to write this. The Democrats want no "market", no Constitution, and in the final analysis, no rules at all to stand in the way of their will to power!

The next section of the book is an excellent discourse on the relationship of fact, dialectic and rhetoric in the context of the "Scopes Monkey Trial". How one of the major problems of discourse, and especially modern discourse is "What is the question?" Are we talking means or goals? Do we believe in law and the Constitution, or did someone "decide behind the curtain" that we were going to throw them out in the name of some "higher value" (like "equality", or "the "right" of health care)?

There follows an excellent discussion that might be titled "ye shall know them by their arguments". Edmund Burke is exposed by this analysis as essentially a liberal, since his arguments are almost always from circumstance, and that is the ground that the liberal feels best upon. "We HAVE to do SOMETHING, there are 45 million uninsured in this country"!

Lincoln is shown as a conservative, as his most standard argument is from definition. "If a negro is a man, then ... let me show how you in fact recognize him as a man ....".  Here is an example from Lincoln:

"Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored--contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between right and wrong: vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nore a dead man; such a policy of "don't care" on a question about which all true men do care ..."
There are excellent discussions on how circumstance tends to better appeal to the common man, since examples can be brought to the front (BO putting up someone on stage that lost their insurance, had to stop cancer treatment, or whatever) ... circumstance is easy because it is real and immediate, and allows us to "see ourselves in their place".

Right and wrong, reality, means, principle -- these things are hard. Most of our supposed "good" today is claiming to feel so bad we will send someone a bad check, or demand that our richer neighbor send money to help -- or that our children or grandchildren  cover the cost of our "doing good under the circumstances". We are besieged with base rhetoric;  "how can you stand there doing NOTHING when people are going broke" -- as if random action in the face of problems was somehow virtuous.

This book is certainly not "easy", but I think it is within the grasp of most, and it is an excellent introduction to what is actually going on behind the curtain of a lot of the communication that we are bombarded with today. Highly recommended!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The BO Narrative

The Obama "Narrative" Narrative - Reason Magazine

Good little article, read it. Simple facts:
  1. Humans explain the world in stories (narrative) ... that is just how our minds work
  2. The real world isn't actually a story -- enter "gap"
  3. Campaigning is pure story (narrative) ... governing has to deal with the real world.
So the master reductionist David Brooks judges President Obama to be "the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency" without citing a single shred of the Obama administration's real-world education policy (which has—surprise!—ladeled unprecedented sums of money to the unreformed status quo). Not a day goes by without some semi-well-regarded commentator stating as fact that George W. Bush helped to intentionally "sap" the "strength" and even "disable" the federal government, leading directly to the financial crisis and various other horrors. I can't begin to tell you how often I watch reporters' jaws drop when I mention that, actually, Bush grew the federal government at a rate not seen since LBJ and jacked up regulations (including on the financial industry) in a way that would make Bill Clinton blush.

BOcare Crossroads

The ObamaCare Crossroads - WSJ.com

They voted on Christmas eve. If they could just hold off a couple more weeks and vote again on Easter, the symbolism of the "Deem N Pass" would be more complete for me. I guess just voting on a Sunday will have to cover it. Couple good sobering paragraphs on what we have wrought as a nation by the election of this Luo radical and assorted henchmen.

With the House's climactic vote on ObamaCare tomorrow, Democrats are on the cusp of a profound and historic mistake, comparable in our view to the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act. Everyone is preoccupied now with the politics, but ultimately at stake on Sunday is the kind of country America will be.

The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country's fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough. Inextricably bound up in a plan as far-reaching and ambitious as ObamaCare are also larger questions about the role of government, the dynamism of American enterprise and the nature of a free society. Above anything else, this explains why Democrats have had such trouble convincing the public, let alone their own Members.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Honesty, A Rare Democrat Policy


"If you don't tie our hands, we will keep stealing". The truth is so simple, and unfortunately it applies to both parties. Could we finally all just get it? 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why Can't (uncle) Sammy Learn?

RealClearPolitics - Why Can't Uncle Sam Learn?
In 1983, three years after Jimmy Carter paid his debt to teachers' unions by creating the Education Department, a national commission declared America "a nation at risk": "If an unfriendly power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war." So in 1984, Ronald Reagan decreed improvements.

They did not materialize, so in 1994 Congress decreed that by 2000 the high school graduation rate would be "at least" 90 percent and students would be "first in the world in mathematics and science achievement." Even inflated by "social promotions," the graduation rate in 2000 was about 75 percent (it peaked at 77.1 in 1969), and among 38 nations surveyed, Americans ranked 19th in mathematics, just below Latvians, and 18th in science, just below Bulgarians.
How shocking. Our education system is nearly all government run, yet our test scores continue to get worse and worse. How can that be? We are about to turn our medical system over to the government, yet our education is already firmly in government hands and it is an expensive shambles.

Why can't the Government and the American people learn?:
  1. The MSM refuses to repetitively report the facts on the issue
  2. We really don't want to believe that we have thrown our money down a hole while giving our children a worse and worse education, squandering our once enviable position in world education to union kickbacks and ideological foolishness.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Left Starts to Worry

My Inflation Nightmare - Magazine - The Atlantic

Kinsley is a liberal in good standing -- writing for the Atlantic these days, formerly the leftward foil for such right wing heavies as none other than William F Buckley himself, and that morose paleoconservative, Patrick Buchanan.

Naturally is is "all Bush and the Republican's fault", but he is a bit concerned about inflation. Golly, can't we just run multi-Trillion dollar deficits forever as long as we have a liberal president? Maybe Kinsley actually doesn't like the idea of 30 or 40 years of life savings suddenly being barely able to buy a decent meal.

Sounds like an alarmist to me -- seems like one ought listen to Paul Krugman, he has a Nobel prize, saw deficits as a severe danger under Bush, but now they are no problem  at all, and in fact we need more. Paul must be on to something -- I imagine the universe is simply ideological. Makes sense to me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Left and Right, Looking at the Other

RealClearPolitics - In Praise of the Rotation of Power

Gap in world view of Democrats, Republicans

A couple of articles, one from the right and one from the left, trying to find the center. Naturally I think the one from the right has a better plan, but I'd like to make a couple statements in prelude.
  1. Both of them pretty much assume that there isn't such a thing as "correct and incorrect" -- there are just different views, largely capable of being aligned along the traditional left-right divides, and truth is "someplace in the middle". I believe that science, religion, philosophy, and our founding fathers would all reject that general concept. The search for truth, beauty, happiness, a better world, and the perfect Scotch are all admirable. The muddy middle will never provide any of those. (lest we settle on blended whiskey!)
  2. The whole assumption that humans of any sort -- by virtue of a brilliant national system, lots of conversation and study or just blind luck will arrive at something clearly best and agreeable to anything like "all" is at best wishful thinking and most likely simple hubris.
 By faith, we are a fallen race in desperate need of eternal salvation, by science we are momentary side effects of a completely random universe, froth on an unknown sea of probability, by philosophy, it is questionable if either we or what we think is knowledge exists at all.

There is nothing as scary as humans who by their own supposed intelligence, study, insight, breeding or position feel that they have cornered some piece of "truth". Before a set of ideals gets to be taken seriously as "truth", I'd like to see something over a billion people subscribing to it and at least a couple millennia of practice, so we can see how things are working out for it and any other pretenders to the "truth crowd".

If multiple scientists or technologists can do experiments that are repeatable or build machines that work to verify their truths, I'm willing to let them into the technical truth door much quicker.
Let's take the left view of "the problem" first:

Republicans generally assume:
-- Don't do anything that interferes with business; i.e., hands off the free-market system.
-- Health care is a business and must be strictly run as such; health care is thus a privilege that one must earn.
-- Clear incentives must be given to business so that it will offer health care to its employees and will be motivated to operate it as a business.
-- Government is the enemy; for some, it is the devil itself; it must be fought tooth and nail because it can't be trusted to do anything competently and effectively.

These are the sorts of attempts at stating your oppositions opinions that give straw men a bad name.

  1. Today's Republicans are at best a tiny fraction less to the big government left than Democrats. There is NO "gulf". For our founding fathers, "left" was "control" of ANY sort -- monarch, dictator, socialist, fascist, communist, etc., Right was "chaos" ... anarchy, no government at all. "Don't do anything" is way off the mark.
  2. Healthcare can be a business without it either being a privilege. I'm not sure what their point would be other than contrast, but health care is a PRODUCT / SERVICE and SOMEONE has to pay for it. 
  3. I don't think Republicans care so much if a business gives it's employees health coverage. The decision for business ought to be primarily a business decision -- can health benefits be provided at a rate that is going to make them a useful incentive to finding and retaining the kind of employees that we want?
  4. As I said in 1, any sort of Republican today is WAY off anything like this position. It is a completely gross overstatement of a position that not even the most libertarian hold. 

In sharp contrast, Democrats generally assume:

-- Business must be strongly regulated because it cannot be trusted to act in the public interest.

-- Health care is not a business because when one is sick, one cannot shop for alternatives. Health care is a fundamental right for all, not a privilege for those who can afford it. Even those with coverage are not treated fairly by for-profit health-insurance companies.

-- Incentives must be offered to not-for-profits so that they will be motivated to enter health care.

-- Big business is the enemy. It is not true that business is always more efficient.

I can see why the liberals are liberals!:

  1. Well of course business doesn't explicitly act in the public interest. Adam Smith: "It isnot from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the bakerthat we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Liberals have come to doubt the foundation of the American economy that you can BETTER trust people and business acting in their self interest than you can trust government bureaucrats and elected officials, the former with the most job security outside of the SOTUS, and the latter intent on purchasing their next election with others tax money and contributions from their friends. 
  2. What is health care, what is insurance, what is emergency surgery, what is elective. There aren't that many "emergency abortions" compared to the total, nor that many emergency prescriptions for Viagra for that matter. We already treat emergency health care as a fundamental right. The fair is in August (in this town). Other than that, I'm afraid that even the most left wing will eventually grow up enough to understand that fact that "life is not fair". "Progressives" apparently find the transfer of 15% of the earning power of even the poorest young person to elderly people that are as a group much more wealthy to be "fair". That does not make it so, any more than the treatment of everyone by insurance companies, the government, the weather, nor life in general can be expected to be "fair".  Welcome to this planet. 
  3. Why would "not for profits" react to "incentives" as opposed to people with jobs? Liberals seem to think that they can tax productivity like crazy, and nobody will react to DISincentives. What gives? How many hospitals in the US are connected to churches? Do liberals need "incentives" to do good? I thought they were just naturally good, and conservatives were naturally bad. This is making my head hurt. 
  4. Big business certainly is the enemy of most democrats today, but it has little to do with big business. "More efficient than what?" is the operative question. When hiking and attacked by a bear, you don't have to outrun the bear, just the guy you are hiking with -- that is why conservatives never hike alone and are kind to slow friends. If one wants to tax, regulate, demonize, create vast uncertainty in the markets and treat business like a pariah, it is possible to be enemies. Business doesn't have to ALWAYS be more efficient, it just has to USUALLY be more efficient than a giant government with officials buying votes and bureaucrats with cushy lifetime jobs, huge benefits, and very little motivation to do anything. If "not for profits" need incentives, imagine how much of an incentive a government workers are going to need to outdo people in business that might see their stock go up and get paid for performance! Business doesn't need to be "always more efficient", it just has to be more efficient than government on average!

I DO want to give credit where credit is due -- the idea of attempting to get at some of the core differences is the only way forward that I can imagine.

Now on to Charles, whom I'm afraid is way too charitable to liberals, but again, his general direction is good. Please read all of both articles, especially Charles, he is a MUCH better writer than I.

  • He points out that BO is following the Bush strategy 100% in Iraq and is in his 2nd attempt at an improvement in Afghanistan and has instituted a "surge". The left is extremely sanguine -- there is no outcry, no talk of not giving money for the surge, no talk of the "costly wars". All is well. The rotation of power has legitimized the wars. I find this to be wishful -- were a Republican to take over as President in '12 and there be a need to deploy troops, I'd assert that the left would yet again become "anti-war". Anyone with a memory could realize that there was no principle involved there other than political gain at the expense of the troops and the safety of the country. Indeed, there was no outcry from the "anti-war" left over Slick Willie sending troops to Kosovo. Charles is magnanimous, the left in this country has demonstrated already more than once, and I'm sure will demonstrate again that partisanship no longer even comes CLOSE to stopping at the waters edge!
  • His points on things like the Patriot Act being legitimized like the wars is probably well taken as well. Although again, I'd argue that Democrats will simply change their stripes if power changes again. 
  • I find his discussion of the BO attack on Reaganism to be likely disingenuous. Where the standards of the Senate, strongly espoused by the Democrats and the media in '05 during the conflict over appointments, to be followed, the election of Scott Brown would have been the end of BOcare. However, THAT "rotation of power" has now been usurped. As we look at 2005 and listen to what was said both by the Democrats and the MSM at that time, we can see that they are actively attempting yet another coup much like their campaign finance push. For REPUBLICANS anything going through the Senate must take 60 votes, including a presidential appointment. For DEMOCRATS, if you can pass BOcare with 51, you can pass ANYTHING! Same as campaign finance -- Republicans must follow campaign finance rules to the T else the MSM outcry drowns all other activity. Slick Willie and especially BO have completely ignored any regulation at all and raised and spent to their heats content -- including from foreign sources. 

Reading both is an interesting contrast however. The left, even in it's supposed attempt to "look at both sides" is pretty much absolutist, while Charles seems to be bending over backward to see how lefties can completely come to understand reality once they have experienced policy under their own guy. If only it were so. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lincoln to BO to Roberts

Power Line - A troubling image

Short and pithy. How a statesman talks and acts vs a Luo.

How sad it is to recall that just over a year ago the left thought BO might be "another Lincoln". Was he going to free anyone? or just our pocketbooks?

Rahmbo for President

RealClearPolitics - Maybe Rahm Should Be President

Good summary of the Rahm / Milbank column lefty tempest. I like his last paragraph:

Beyond the disloyalty and all that, the real reason the Milbank column has enraged so many left-wing bloggers and liberal columnists is that Emanuel's understanding of the political landscape puts him in the reality-based community. And that is a community the Obama cult refuses to join.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wisdom Vs Krugman

Krugman Got It Wrong - Forbes.com

Just read it. I especially liked this "Only if you think that hitting the most productive portions of the population is the right way to instill a sense of national unity would you want to keep this ship afloat.".

Of course, time after time we find out two things:

1). The left does not believe that the folks with the most money are "the most productive". While markets are certainly not perfect, they believe that they are FAR from even close to right and those that have the most money ought to be punished -- in life and in death.

2). Any talk of "unity" is a sham. They absolutely hate the rich -- even if you could 100% scientifically prove to them that letting the top 10% of the income range keep 75%+ of their income, they would want 50, 60, 70 or more % to be taken. The idea that high progressive tax rates are for the purpose of "helping the little man" is a smoke screen.

At least after 1980, it is as clear as anything in the economic universe that LOWER tax rates help EVERYONE -- but don't expect any on the left to be making any changes. Even if the bottom 90% of the income earners DIED as they took 70% of the top 10% income, they would do it because kind of like the old story of the scorpion and the camel**, "that is their nature".

** Scorpion and Camel, Both the scorpion and the camel needed to cross a river. There were difficult rocks that needed to be navigated around, but when the camel swam, he was not able to see well. The scorpion suggested that they team up. The camel was of course concerned about being stung, but the scorpion assured him "that would be foolish, I'd drown". Finally convinced, they set out. 3/4 of the way to the other side, the scorpion stings him. Gasping his last and going down, the camel asks "why did you do that, now you will die too". The scorpion replied "it's my nature".

Moral; you really can deal with someone that is driven by greed, lust for power, etc. What you can't deal with is the equivalent of a suicide bomber -- someone that is willing to die for their "cause" even if it helps nobody. The left in this country has grudging respect for Islamic fascists as they did for Hitler because "they get the job done". They tend to be the reverse of the guy walking on the beach throwing starfish back into the sea. When asked "You don't really think you can help them all do you?", he responds, "I can help that one". If they can't ALL be helped, then NONE will be!!

Many "liberals" would rather that one rich person be "shown the light" of how awful it is to not have money, then have 10K people have 20% more income. The vast majority of "the rich" would likely be happier in poverty than your typical liberal is in plenty, because they long ago figured it out that it wasn't about money anyway.

Different Goals Than Stated

Power Line - Cause and Effect

Good little short segment on BOs attacks against insurance companies and how the "rising rate problem" could be easily fixed. Of course, if it WAS fixed, that would remove the need for BOcare, which is NOT something this president would find useful.

Parable of the Prius

Driver: My Prius took me for a ride - CNN.com

Even though with it's batteries made in 3 countries and the need to replace them to get to 100K miles, the Prius has a 100K mile environmental footprint worse than a Hummer, liberals love it. It became THE "Statement Car". Liberals love "statements" -- the real world, not so much. Hope and change and stuff.

When faced with a problem, the typical liberal answer is "let the government solve it", and indeed in this case it took a lot of officers, cell phone and radio to bring the brilliant liberal statement car to rest. In the end, he finally shut it off.

The tactic worked, and the car slowed to about 50 mph. Sikes said he was able to shut off the car, and it rolled to a stop. The responding officer, Todd Neibert, positioned his patrol car in front of the Prius as a precaution to prevent it from moving again.

How much braying have we listened to about the brilliance of the Prius? How many simple examples does it take before we finallly realize that hubris, wishful thinking and having a hissy fit when things don't go our way is a really poor substitute for a rational appraisal of problems, solutions and taking simple but effective actions?

The answer here is the same as in BOcare, shut the damned thing off in the first place, before it takes the high speed joy ride that is going to hurt 300 million people.

Monday, March 08, 2010

TX beats CA

Michael Barone : Low-Tax Texas Beats Big-Government California - Townhall.com

Good article for the reality based. Unfortunately, don't expect any of the left including the current powers in DC to take any notice!

Republicans Over the Top

 CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time - Blogs from CNN.com

I agree completely, BO as "The Joker", Nancy P as "Cruella" and especially Harry Reid as "Scooby". These innocent cartoon characters never did anything that should cause them to be compared to these vermin! Cruella has both a larger heart and is much better looking, Scooby is twice as smart as Harry, not to mention far more courageous and of course trustworthy.

To compare BO to the Joker? Great actors like Jack and Ledger have played the Joker. The Joker is a character with depth to go with his malevolence, BO is just a smooth tongued villain with a crooked smile. Those are a dime a dozen, he isn't that much more evil than Harry and Nancy. Hopefully Jack will stand up for the Joker, he would make a far better president than BO. More creative, and with a much firmer grasp on reality.

For Want of A Prince

Friedman Aflame by Jonah Goldberg on National Review / Digital

Little bit long, but I think a pretty reasonable discussion of Friedman, a journalist that has slipped the surly bonds of his profession and become a cause celeb. No question that Friedman is very smart, he seems to have gotten to that level of smartness where he believes that he looks acroos the "little people" and sees that if only this anchor called democracy could be removed, then potentially much greater things could be possible.

Ah yes, springtime in Munich!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Ten Cents on the Dollar

RealClearPolitics - The Case for High-Deductible Health Insurance

Essentially, we all want to live forever. This makes health care a very desirable good. At the same time, the normal restraints imposed by price are frequently lacking. Today, of every dollar spent on health care in this country, just 13 cents is paid for by the person actually consuming the goods or services. Roughly half is paid for by government, and the remainder is covered by private insurance. And, as long as someone else is paying, consumers have every reason to consume as much health care as is available.

How likely is it that people will make smart purchasing decisions when they are only paying 13 cents on every dollar being spent for a good? What would happen if food bills were covered that way? Bar tabs? Women's clothing? I think we all realize that prices in all those areas would rise rapidly.

So what would make sense for health care? It would seem pretty obvious that an INCREASE in the deductibles, and instituting some form of mandatory health savings accounts would be a superb idea. So what do BO and company want to do? Well, the opposite of course! They are out to make the situation WORSE!

The president actually denounced high-deductible insurance and greater consumer cost sharing as "not real insurance." Both the House and Senate versions of health reform reduce co-payments and all but eliminate policies with high-deductibles. No co-payments at all are allowed for a wide variety of broadly-defined "preventive" services. The consumer share of health spending will actually decline to just ten cents of every dollar by 2019.
This all but guarantees that health care costs and spending will continue their unsustainable path. And that is a path leading to more debt, higher taxes, fewer jobs and a reduced standard of living for all Americans.

Health care reform cannot just be about giving more stuff to more people. It should be about actually "reforming" the system. That means scrapping the current bills, and crafting the type of reform that makes consumers responsible for their health care decisions.

Never Illusioned

RealClearPolitics - Why the Health Care Bill is a Failure

I love Charles summation: "Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned."

It is the part of conservatism that is actually quite sad, the only antidote that I have ever found is religious faith and hope for a better life to come beyond the grave. Sad because at it's core, conservatism is acceptance that the "human condition" is permanent, and not significantly perfectible. We are terminal, and in even the quite short run in terms of even well understood human history, attempts at improvement are at best mildly palliative, and more commonly disastrous to the point of mass killing (see communism and fascism, final chapters still being written on socialism / liberalism).

Democrat programs are the kind of program that sound a far happier note, with the exception of one small item. As Charles puts it, "the disagreeable  fact of no free lunch". Well, yes, sort of like death, taxes, and too many calories, the "Party of having a party", that agreeable jackass, seems to always forget about the hangover.

Don't read me, go read Charles, he is much better.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Gun Insanity

Supreme Court to address limits of gun control - CNN.com

One definition of insanity is not being in touch with reality.

Chicago passed its ban on handguns in 1982, one of the most restrictive in the U.S. It is that law that is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

A study last year by economist Carl Moody of William & Mary College found that after the ban was imposed, city crime rates rose significantly, almost immediately. The city is more dangerous now than it was before the ban, the study concluded, relative to the 24 largest American cities.

Chicago passed a ban in '82 and crime rates ROSE. GUNS ARE BANNED IN CHICAGO!!!! When guns are banned, criminals have MORE reason to use a gun, it gives them greater leverage. What part of this is hard to understand?

This 53-year-old mother of eight says the city has to do something to stop the fear and pain of the violence. "We have enough guns in our communities already, you know, that we're afraid of, and now we've got to worry about everybody living next door to each other with guns and more guns" if the ban is repealed. "Our children are traumatized by the violence, and it's mostly gun violence."

So, here we have a woman who knows the situation today with guns banned is WORSE than in communities where they are not banned. She knows that there are plenty of guns in Chicago, because if you are a criminal, you do crime -- a "ban" doesn't apply to you, it applies to law abiding citizens. So the criminals have guns and the law abiding citizens do not, unsurprisingly, the criminals increasingly make use of that advantage.

BUT, she believes that removing a ban which made crime worse is going to make crime worse yet again. What will make it better? She doesn't know. Insanity?

BTW, if there is a question on the constitution applying to states, then what about abortion? Roe V Wade at the Federal level ought to have only applied to DC.

Monday, March 01, 2010

First Do No Harm

RealClearPolitics - Living with Partisanship

Dionne of course writes it to make it seem like Republicans are just heartless lovers of the rich, but he comes to this conclusion that is at least on the path to the truth:

Obama concluded: "We can debate whether or not we can afford to help them, but we shouldn't pretend somehow that they don't need help."

As neatly as anything I have seen, this exchange captured the philosophical and emotional difference between the two parties.

The point is not that Republicans are heartless and Democrats are compassionate. It's that Democrats on the whole believe in using government to correct the inequities and inefficiencies the market creates, while Republicans on the whole think market outcomes are almost always better than anything government can produce.

That's not cheap partisanship. It's a fundamental divide. The paradox is that our understanding of politics would be more realistic if we were less cynical and came to see the battle for what it really is.

The big missing thing in EJ's analysis is that Democrats (and many big government Republicans) assume that any condition CAN be dealt with on this earth -- it is just a matter of "money, smarts, technology, leadership, laws, growth, etc". They disagree with Jesus who said "the poor will always be with us".

I like to trot out death as an example of something that we can't fix, nor would we know what to do if we did--overpopulation of the starving diseased undead would make us pray fervently for death to return. Death is the big obvious item, the list is never ending -- the common cold, fat, rainy days, baldness--take them away (if we could) and we would almost certainly find that we were mistaken in our quest. The ASSUMPTION that all it takes is "government" or "markets" or whatever human construction that we can come up with to fix it is false, expensive, and often the "cure" is far worse than the "disease".

No, the BIG difference between Dionne and a great many of Republicans that are far closer to him than I or many of the truly conservative is that they believe in the ultimate perfectibility of man, and conservatives don't. What is more, Dionne, and most like him would say "at least you have to try"!!!

That is like me trying to do surgery on someone with appendicitis -- actually, worse than that. I realize it IS very possible to do such surgery, it is just that I don't know how to do it. For many of the problems that EJ and his band of do-gooders take on, they have no concept of the cost of the methods nor the llikelihood of a positive outlook (if any). They are more often than not attempting to mandate the mass butchery of one sort of thing or another by government, and feeling smug because they aren't like those evil Republicans who would try to let people decide if they wanted to be butchered, but would also try to convince them they did and make a profit off the butchery. EJ thinks he is a saint because he removes both the choice and the profit from the equation and calls butchery "a good try"!!!

The prime directive of conservatism is just like medicine; FIRST, do no harm!!!

Civility In Politics

Op-Ed Columnist - The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged - NYTimes.com

Frank Rich of course writes for a far left blood soaked idiot of an outlet that nobody but a completely out to lunch leftist would give the time of day, so I know I ought not pay attention. (The New York Times).

"Obsessed and Deranged" seems like a very valid title, but before one starts pulling it out, it is often good to take a really good look close to home.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime. “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened,” he said, “but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.” No one in King’s caucus condemned these remarks. Then again, what King euphemized as “the incident” took out just 1 of the 200 workers in the Austin building: Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran nearing his I.R.S. retirement. Had Stack the devastating weaponry and timing to match the death toll of 168 inflicted by Timothy McVeigh on a federal building in Oklahoma in 1995, maybe a few of the congressman’s peers would have cried foul.

So Stack, McVeigh, Tea Partiers, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin are all "connected". The Republican party has "no constituency" (who won in Virginia, NJ and MA recently? Hmm). What we have is a dangerous fringe movement that is bent on violence and the overthrow of the BO Kingdom. Many of these unwashed have failed to bow to King BO with the appropriate subservience, why many of them are not even aware that we live in a Monarchy, and King BO holds ultimate power. Oh wait ... is that true??  I know Frank is brilliant, it MUST be true!

The NYT would never be wrong.

Gore Not So Popular, Even at Apple

Al Gore a lightning rod at Apple shareholder meeting | Circuit Breaker - CNET News

I'm sure when they put the Inventor of the Internet on the board, it seemed like a great idea -- Nobel Price, Oscar, 100' Houseboat -- great guy. But suddenly, the "climate of climate" has soured. Snow piled up everywhere, things freezing in Florida, leaked e-mails on fraud, numbers that don't add up.

Hard to think of anyone more worthy of a bit of a reality check!