Friday, July 30, 2010

The Social Welfare Bubble?

RealClearPolitics - Not a State-Broken People

This is a rather long George Will speech that is well worth reading through. I SINCERELY hope that his thesis, borrowed from Orwell, that "we are not a state broken people" will hold true in November and beyond. Putting the likes of BO in the WH is taking a severe risk, I think it remains to be seen if this regime will allow itself to be slowed by the vote. 

I've been reading a number of books that dovetail with my view that we are in for a very extended "age of re-assessment" -- involving significant loss of wealth, lifestyle and our very liberties being very much in doubt in America. Like all Presidents, Bush was a dissappointment, especially in his 2nd term. Most people forget how difficult Reagan's 2nd term was -- Iran Contra may refresh the mind. What was very new is that this time, for the first two years of that term, Republicans were in charge of Congress, and had already fallen prey to that very real temptation to spend the current and future people's treasure, heavily contributed along with the painful drag of the two wars, to "the base" abandoning the Republican brand.

Republicans as a voting block forgot that in order to govern for the long run, many candidates that are far far less than perfect must be tolerated as the lesser of two evils. The idea that "we may as well have Democrats if they can't do any better than this", has now, very quickly been proven to be demonstratively false. The sad problem is that like the AM hangover compounded with very real damage done to your reputation, family, finances, or all of the above, bad decisions often have much longer term consequences.

In my opinion, we are seeing a series of very long term bubbles pop, and they will continue to pop ... home prices, markets, personal and public debt, the dollar ... an yes, "entitlements". For a century ... with peaks in the 30's, 60's and  now 10's, BOTH PARTIES (the W drug benefit is like 1/3 the size of BOcare) have engaged in an orgy of vote buying through entitlements that are largely to be paid (they thought) by "future generations".

Folks, welcome to the future! We have seen it, and it is impoverished! Thank you "Progressives"!

Anyway, I recommend the whole Will article. Here is just a little teaser on the "welfare bubble".

In 2007, per capita welfare state spending, adjusted for inflation, was 77 percent higher than it had been when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated 27 years earlier. The trend continues and the trend is ominous. Fifty-one days ago the president signed into law health care reform, that great lunge to complete the New Deal project and the Great Society, that great lunge to make us more European. At exactly the moment that this is done the European Ponzi scheme of the social welfare state is being revealed for what it is.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GOP Stupidity

RealClearPolitics - The Politics of GOP Stupidity

What we have here is a failure to communicate .... the fact that conservatives and liberals have a completely different model of government.

 EJ's model is that we OUGHT to "be like Europe". There isn't any "American Brand" -- the only way to solve problems is by more and more government, and any other approach is "stupid". EJ is so intelligent that he's cut that board three times and is shocked and dismayed to find that it is still too short -- when your only tool is your "saw" (government), there simply is no other way but to keep using your saw ... harder, deeper, faster, and for longer.

It used to be that America was PROUD to be different. We looked at things with a more optimistic and different approach, and it didn't involve changing the structure of our government:

Then there's the very structure of our government. Does any other democracy have a powerful legislative branch as undemocratic as the U.S. Senate?

When our republic was created, the population ratio between the largest and smallest state was 13-to-1. Now, it's 68-to-1. Because of the abuse of the filibuster, 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the nation's population can, in principle, block action supported by 59 senators representing more than 89 percent of our population. And you wonder why it's so hard to get anything done in Washington?

Here the left has a stranglehold on Congress and the Presidency, but it is STILL not enough for them ... they want ABSOLUTE POWER!

EJ wants wealth redistributed at all costs -- if it costs jobs, fails to improve the budget or anything else, it is "inherently good". He sees a "Robin Hood model" as somehow "just", but that model assumes that the system fails to allocate income correctly, so somehow, "central command" has to REallocate it.




Frank Rich, Review of "The Promise"

‘Why Has He Fallen Short?’ | The New York Review of Books

I won't have time to read "The Promise", and it was tough to skim through this review. It is most interesting to note the liberal thought tenets:
  • Liberals are smarter, BO is smartest of all, human intelligence is "the deal" -- forget spirit, emotion, intuition, etc ... liberals are smarter, liberal leaders are smartest of all, that is certain to be the answer to all our problems very soon.
  • It all CAN be done by pulling on the right government levers -- once you have a smart enough rat pushing the levers, nirvana is at hand.
  • "the masses", especially those that fall into the evil of conservatism, are too stupid to understand, or often even to be manipulated to the correct path. They fall prey to "ideologues", "partisans", religion, etc ... they lose the true and saving faith in the garden of liberal earthly delight, which the truly wise know is "just around the corner" (see that rat pushing those levers??? ....) 
There is always a certain happiness and passion to liberals when they are out of power -- their certainty that they have all the answers is so solid it defies any doubt when they are looking on from the sidelines, or quarterbacking on Monday morning. The only thing that stands between them and great joy is that damned "less than liberal" in power at the time.

Once they sit down to the daily task of pushing and pulling on those levers of power with Delphic brilliance, there is a certain panic, depression and confusion that descends upon them. "The damned conservatives have broken the machine too badly!!!" ... "This is FAR worse than we thought, we must re-double and triple our efforts to spend money, to regulate, to legislate, to pontificate, and to demonize !!!" ... "Why, oh why can we not find the right lever? The evil conservatives must have hidden it. Nirvana was right at hand, we could see it! But now there are all these damned problems!" ... their travails would be humorous if it wasn't the levers of power in a real nation, OUR NATION that they are randomly pushing, pulling and abusing with no clue of reality.

One often wonders how one can last past 30 as a liberal. It just seems like the real world would have bitten you in the ass by then and convinced you that "brains ain't everything". Brains are nice, but even Einstein is dead -- much better to try to branch out a bit.


Shoe Bomber Sentencing

snopes.com: Judge William Young -- Shoe Bomber Sentencing

Worth a read, got in the mail and had to verify it was true, thus the Snopes link. My big concern with the left today, is I'm not at all certain they still honour this  paragraph from the sentencing:

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You
hate our freedom.  Our individual freedom.  Our individual freedom to
live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not
believe as we individually choose.  Here, in this society, the very
wind carries freedom.  It carries it everywhere from sea to shining
sea.  It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are
here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see,
that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.  It
is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on
your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of
you before other judges.





Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wolfram TED

It is worth going out and playing with Wolfram Alpha, it is pretty amazing and I would be completely unsurprised if it replaced Google for some classes of knowledge work.

I have "A New Kind of Science" -- I'm really not going to say that I understand it, but kind of like at the end of the video, I believe one has to take a "Super Programmers View of the Universe" ... it is all about software, "models".

Physics is a mathematical model that accurately predicts much of the physical universe, but it has to some degree broken down at the levels of the very small, the very hot and the very fast.

Wolfram believes that he has a better idea, Cellular Automata, as a better way than existing forms of mathematics to explain "virtually everything" ... the structure of the universe, language, thought, evolution ....

There are pieces that I think I kind of get ... sort of like reading the classics, Greek and Roman History, and a few thousand other things, I'm hopeful that I can reduce demands on my time in the future to undertake getting a bit smarter about this area.

(In my dreams, I may even take on and somehow come to grips with Roger Penrose: "The Emperors New Mind" ... sort of like "A New Kind of Science", I've taken a couple of runs at that one and decided, "I need a bigger brain, or A LOT more time" .... I have this sneaking suspicion that while "in theory", even a mortal ought to be able to figure some of this stuff out by taking longer, drawing on more supporting material, creating intermediate analogous models, etc, there is a fairly high risk this is "Non-computable in MooseSpace".

I think it IS fascinating to watch however!

Tyranny of the Majority

Mass. Legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College - Local News Updates - MetroDesk - The Boston Globe

There is a move afoot to make an end run around the electoral college that so many liberals hate. The idea that somehow politicians are going to pay more attention to "fly over country" is the big lie ... as is so often the case with liberal agendas, it is in fact exactly the OPPOSITE. TODAY you will see candidates stop in those states because the "value per voter" is much higher than voters in urban areas -- as the founders intended to help act as a brake on "the tyranny of the majority".

Presidential candidates now "ignore wide swaths of the country" they consider strong blue or red states and focus their campaigning on contested states, Eldridge said. If the president were picked by national popular vote, he argued, candidates would spread their attention out more evenly.

"That's really what we're talking about is making sure that every voter, no matter where they live, that they're being reached out to," he said.

What else can one say about this quote beyond "YES"!

"The thing about this that bothers me the most is it's so sneaky. This is the way that liberals do things a lot of times, very sneaky," he said. "This is sort of an end run around the Constitution."

Well, maybe one thing -- why is this so? It is so because liberals believe that the ends justify the means. If the 60 vote rule in the Senate has to be subverted so they can take over health care, so be it. If they have to use direct lies and sneak around the US Constitution, so be it. They believe that in the end, they can create "utopia" if they just get their way --- history tells us that their utopia is either bankruptcy, the gulag, or both. To which, they say "so be it".





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Net Neutrality

Al Franken to Liberals: Don't Check Out Now - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

As a techie semi-libertarian, I've looked at Net Neutrality and pretty much said "who cares". In principle, "no barriers, little or no censorship, standards" seems just fine ... and as far as I can see, "we're there".

Now I see that Al Franken is really in favor of it and is certain that "Fox news is going to load faster than DailyKos",  and my antenna quiver.

My usual rule is that if liberals accuse conservatives of planning to do something, then they are planning (or in the process of) doing exactly that. (We could do a really long list, but think of campaign finance complaints against Bush and what BO did, think of deficits under Bush vs BO, think of complaints of Rove and the Christian right and then look at Axlerod and Acorn ...)

So why DOES everyone need to have exactly the same access? Is this some statement like "since there isn't much of a market for liberal talk radio" (since NPR, CBS, ABC, etc already cornered it), we ought to either cancel conservative talk radio or subsidize a liberal version?

Oh, and who enforces Net Neutrality? I'm assuming that Al Franken is saying "the government" -- so while I'm sure the DailyKos will load really speedily, maybe Fox News won't even be possible to find if Al gets his way. His "neutral" and mine may be significantly different.

Haven't changed my mind yet, but "if Franken is for it, I'm against it" is often a really good rule, and the fact that he is for it at least means it needs some real thought and scrutiny!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Journolist

Raw Journolist emails on ‘Palin’s Downs child’ | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Truth is often far stranger than fiction. While liberals are up in arms at the "unfairness" of the edited tape of Sherrod and how it "mislead" the poor NAACP and BO administration, the Journolist story just goes on and on, getting stranger and stranger.

Now they didn't happen to come out and call Fred Barnes a racist as they were discussing, but it makes one realize why they are always railing against the "vast right wing conspiracy" and "coordinated conservative attacks". They assume it must be true, because that is how THEY operate!

The difference is that if some "RightRlist" with a bunch of conservatives that contained a lot of hypothetical ideas of how to damage BO or some Democrat rights theft dejour, the MSM would go positively whack job nuts! Many of them already are over just an edited tape and the subsequent over reaction by their own beloved BO.

The thing that hits me the most is how completely out of touch they are with what something around 50% of Americans are like. We ALL know what liberals are like -- we see them on the news all the time, watch their movies, listen to their songs and get to hear them pontificating on the stupidity of religion, the nuclear family, people working to make money, monogamy, heterosexual lifestyles, having (and no doubt falling short of) moral standards, and all sorts of things they find to be abominations. There is nothing in the Journolist that I really find "surprising" -- it just provides extra clarity for "why they are as they are".

It isn't hard for a conservative to understand their thinking at all -- "there but for the grace of God". If I wasn't "saddled" with the belief in an immortal soul and eventual judgement, I would enjoy a whole lot more smugness and witty attacks of all sorts. It is very human to enjoy being "in with the in crowd", and Journolist is clearly that -- these are folks that KNOW of the rightness of their ways. No need to try to interpret the wishes of some infinite God or anything, just go with what seems like a fun approach to taking down the folks you hate --- forget "truth". Edit a tape where someone is talking to put them in a bad light? Why bother, just make up stories out of whole cloth -- that shows off a whole lot more of your "creativity".


Standing Up To Right Wing

RealClearPolitics - Time to Stand Up to the Right Wing

Here is the "short version" of the Sherrod video.




Here is a video of the Black Panthers voter intimidation.




EJ Dionne is all up in arms here. I can remember staying up late to finally be able to see the entire Rodney King tape -- it was months after the incident that had caused the riots. It was LONG and BORING ... things go on for a very long time before the "hot incident" that caused LA Cops to be branded as "racist", even though a number of those involved were black. Let's face it, once those snippets were shown, it was over, the MSM was completely not concerned with "context".

One could go on a long list of folks that have been smeared in the MSM over all sorts of things, or nothing at all -- Robert Bork, Pat Buchanan, Dan Quayle, Ray Donovan ("where do I go to get my reputation back"), Clarence Thomas, ... I'm not going to waste time here, it is common. We now know of "JournOlist" with the discussion of just calling Fred Barnes a racist made up out of whole cloth to take attention away from the Rev Wright story. They didn't happen to do that one, but how many DID they do?

Take the very simple thought exercise of making Sherrod a white guy government worker talking at some "organization for the advancement of white people" -- I don't care how long he talks, he is toast, and NOBODY comes out to defend him. 

Put some white hoods in the place of the panthers and have them saying the inverse of "cracker" at some polling station -- I bet the results are WAY different, and that the story doesn't go away.

The OTHER thing I'd ask be considered -- put the "conservative version of EJ" in the story in the other cases. The other stories are as I indicate above, NOW, have a conservative journalist come out saying "it is time to stand up to the LEFT wing!". How is that received? I bet it is received as "White politicians in government making questionable statements about blacks, and white racial organizations (if there were such a thing) cheering them on is not "partisan" it is "american"... it is something that all should be able to agree on".

Think about it. The fact that EJ can do an article like this with impunity says that the heading is very wrong. It is time for AMERICANS to stand up to the wacko liberal press!!!



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Praise for John Kerry

Power Line - John Kerry Does Something Right

Kerry has a $7 million yacht, he keeps it in Rhode Island rather than Massachusetts to avoid $500K in taxes. A completely rational and reasonable thing to do!! -- were he a conservative with actual principles, it would be hypocrisy, but since he is a liberal with none, I fail to see why one would have cause for comment.

I ALSO applaud his flying of a large American flag from the boat -- this is an act of extreme courage for a liberal, and many would not do as much. Kudos to Kerry!

Understanding Sherrod

Op-Ed Columnist - You’ll Never Believe What This White House Is Missing - NYTimes.com

I had an interesting Thursday as I went up to the cities for a "Smart Grid" presentation at the U, so had a decent amount of car time. For my radio selection I got to hear, MPR, CBS Glenn Beck and Hannity. By listening to those outlets, here is what I heard on Sherrod:

  • MPR -- Conservative media is dangerous because they "take things out of context", Ag Sectretary made a big mistake, BO fixed it. End of story unless we could somehow get rid of Andrew Breitbart.
  • CBS -- Conservative radio evil, Ag Secretary "mislead", BO a saint. Nuff said.
  • Beck -- The point of the story was how the NAACP audience reacted to her statement that she wasn't going to help the white guy much -- in reaction to the NAACP calling the Tea Party "racist". The BO administration screw up is just their over reaction because they realize that many blacks ARE racist, so they assumed that she "got caught".
  • Hannity -- Waste of time -- he just wanted to dodge the issue, so my guess is that he took the "she is a racist path" and was embarrassed. He did have one reasonable point how likely is a white speaker / audience could get away with this, context or not ??? I think we all know the answer to that.
A little more net work, and my perspective is:
  • By design or otherwise, the real point of this, that the NAACP is more racist than any Tea Party movement got lost. It is NAMED as a racist organization, and surprise, surprise, it is ... I think there IS a "NAAWP" for whites, and it is racist. Surprise.
  • Anyone that read BO's first book knows that he is a racist or very close to a racist -- the idea that he would even consider or include discussion of "purging white blood"  would be seen as quite extreme were it reversed to "purging black blood". Even touching on the issue of "blood purity" has an awful lot of bad connotations and it is remarkable that he has been allowed to skate without even any questions on what he was thinking when he wrote that.
  • The big screw up here is the BO administration. It is pretty surprising that Vilsak isn't under the bus already and there isn't a witch hunt to find out "who dunnit"? The IMMEDIATE media question under Bush would have been "was Karl Rove involved?" ... so here the exact question would be "Was Axelrod involved". One sees inside the different media approach a bit here. With Bush, the objective of the MSM on every story is "how can we most effectively damage the president?". They saw getting Rove out of there as a major objective, so the "puppet master" type question was asked over and over. That is how the echo chamber works -- ask and get some pundit to say "this has Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it" enough times, and most of the sheep believe.


Eject, Eject ...

Photoblog - Pilot ejects an instant before fighterjet crashes

"The nick of time" doesn't really do this justice.


The Wilson Has Landed

Wilson Combat CQB, G10 Starburst Grips
My long awaited Wilson arrived last week, so I now have a true 1911. My step is more sure, my back straighter, my gaze more direct. As US servicemen knew from 1911 to 1985, there is nothing as positive for the good of man in this mortal coil than the grip of a true 1911.

I took my Para Tac 4 hi-cap, LDA trigger out to the range for comparison. The only way to truly savor redemption is to face that which you have been redeemed from -- the Para is a fine weapon, at one level not a thing wrong with it, having 13 rounds of .45 vs 8 might come in handy. The fatal transgression is to believe that the metaphysical merits of the true 1911 could be bestowed by a double stack completely unrecognisable as a 1911. My handgunning soul has been redeemed, and I am free, truely free as only a real 1911 owning American can be, at last.

One beholds the Wilson with a sense of humility. Although the first outing was far and away my best first outing with a new firearm, including my best groups ever right out of the box, I realise this is a weapon that I will never do justice.  I have some concern of being apprehended at the range by some life NRA member for possession of a firearm in excess of my demonstrated skill level. I'm not exactly sure what the penalty would be, but after one outing, I'd say that even if it were death, it would be worth it -- providing it would be "death by Wilson". If one must die by gun, it may as well be by the very best.

First Wilson Groups
The target above is 10 yards, first center group from the bench, second upper right standing free hand. My tendency is to shoot low and left -- improper trigger control, a personal failing that the Wilson can't correct completely, but one which it VASTLY improved right out of the box. We put about 150 rounds through it. One of my buddies had a F2F on a Chip McCormick mag, otherwise completely flawless. As anyone that has dealt with new guns, especially 1911's, that is incredible -- usually it takes 500-1000 rounds to get them out of the finicky stage. Winchester white box, Blazer brass, and Remington ... all hardball.

Naturally, since it was my buddy that had the F2F, I won't consider the potential that he "limp wristed" it. 

I'm completely happy. Great gun to just admire, even better gun to enjoy shooting for a lifetime and then pass it on to the next generation.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Rich

 http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/07/21/definition-of-rich/

All the Democrats in MN are very excited at what they hope is their future capability to "tax the rich" once they manage to get the Governor's office. As per usual, they have some arguments about "who is rich" ... basically they are sure it is either an income of $150k for a couple or $250K. Also, as usual, they are completely clueless.

MPR decided to get an economist from NYU into the mix (you can go listen on the link if you like), and he pointed out a "shocking fact" (for liberals) -- "rich" has a lot more to do with NET WORTH than it does with INCOME!!! Imagine that!!

He said that providing you had a net worth of at least $2.5 Million, a $250K a year income would be the "threshold of rich" ... but the NET WORTH was the more important factor.

The obvious point -- there are plenty of folks that make $150K, $250K and more that would be "on the street" if they quit working. It is very true that those are the kinds of "rich" that MPR and the Democrats love --- the kind that have less choice of restricting their income if taxed, but never the less, those people are far closer to "high income poor" than "rich".

You may have big debt because of going to medical school, setting up your small business, or just because you felt you needed a $400K home, a lake home, a fancy car, cool vacations, or whatever. It doesn't really matter WHY you are spending most of that income, but if you are, then you are not rich. You may in fact be very close to bankruptcy.

If you have to work, you aren't rich. Wealth has much much more to do with your assets and your cost of living (sometimes self imposed, sometimes not). Like health being a good input to help you be happy, but far from a guarentee, income may be an asset in eventually becoming rich, but it will depend MUCH more on what you do with it than the actual income figure.

HINT: Giving it to Democrats in taxes won't make you wealthy ... and given their philosophy and understanding of life, it likely won't help anyone else either. "Doing good" in all but the cases of really really good luck is going to require some exposure to what reality actually is, and mixing up income and net worth is just one more sign that is an area that Democrats are lacking in knowledge. Having "your heart in the right place" only goes so far.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PJ O'Rourke, Driving Like Crazy

Like most anything from PJ, extremely fun, irreverent, totally Non-PC and witty -- a "guilty pleasure" that doesn't leave you feeling guilty, because mixed in with the mayhem are some nuggets of real wisdom about the world.

As the title says, it is a "driving book", but what he has done is taken some of his old stories, updated them, commented on his own "foolishness of youth" and in my opinion, used some 30 years of writing experience to just make them better.

There are a series of very entertaining and somewhat surprising vignettes -- as in PJ and Mike Nesmith of ancient "Monkees" fame running the Baja race in a supertruck named "TimeRider". PJ's introduction to NASCAR and a trip from Islamabad to Calcutta on the Grand Trunk Road.

Along the way, some very solid tips are thrown in -- the Indian Sub-Continent Diet for example: take one tablespoon of the local water a day and eat absolutely anything you want (not likely to be much) and lose weight faster than a hunger strike!

Caution, PJ is politically "not a liberal" ... I think he might be a libertarian, he certainly really isn't "conservative" in any sense of moralizing that the media likes to associate with conservatives. He may be an anarchist -- or potentially just nuts.

The point is, liberals will likely be offended. This is another of the "monster gulfs" between conservatives and liberals. While it is darned hard to watch or listen to any popular movies, tv, music without hearing the equivalents of "They're beating plowshares into swords for this tired old man that we've elected king" (Don Henley, '80s, song I really like in general -- not too subtle reference to Reagan) . Liberal thought is pervasive, especially in the mass media, so conservatives have to have "perspective", and a sense of humor even. We also have the solace that much like the line above, just wait around for a couple years and the liberal thought will be proven idiotic like 90%+ of the time.

I think reading PJ would be a GREAT way for a liberal to work on being just a little less grim, or as PJ puts it "less of a FunSucker" ... although I realize that one couldn't really stay a liberal at all and try to understand a broader view.

Rated a big F for FUN! If you have any interest in cars, driving, drinking, stupidity, wit and just a guy that is interesting and has no right to still be alive -- go for it. Highly recommended.

Monday, July 19, 2010

No Mosque At Ground Zero

 Forget the outrage -- it would be enough for me, but it isn't even 10% of the problem.

A whole lot of being human is about symbolism. Constructing this Mosque is designed to let the Muslim world know that we can be attacked and defeated. It memorialises a great Islamic "success", and shows that we are too decadent, foolish and confused to understand raw power.

This is an ACTUAL terrorist recruitment tool, not a fake one like Gitmo or Abu Girab.

Recruits like to see evidence that they can kick your ass, not that their ass is likely get beaten, locked up, and left to rot -- with a very long dry spell prior to any supposed virgin prospects.

How can we have liberals that go berserk over a Christmas tree but embrace a "religion" that condones the slaughter of those that disagree and the abuse of women in this life and the next -- for "diversity".

 The liberal hatred of America truly trumps all -- there really isn't any other explanation that even remotely makes sense.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Democrat Strategy 2010?

Andrew Alexander - Why the silence from The Post on Black Panther Party story?

Some folks seem to think the Democrats are going to lose big in 2010. I certainly hope they are right, but Democrats have "other options". Just imagine for a moment if this intimidation had been done by a guy in a KKK outfit in some black polling place and he was being given a pass by a Republican administration? What would I think of that? GOOD!!! Voter intimidation is just plain wrong. That ought to be an AMERICAN opinion, not a left or right opinion.

Sadly, we see that not only is the current administration willing to let past intimidation slide, they are also willing to tacitly encourage more of it by lack of enforcement and statements to that effect. Add to that the MSM being willing to soft pedal the story in the extreme, and we have one way to "turn the tide".

Here in MN we find that more felons voted in the last election than Frankens margin of victory -- a story of very close to zero interest to either the MN press, or the election authorities.

Add to this the millions and millions of questionable votes gained by ACORN and other "Community Organizer" groups, and we have a recipe for control of our elections by "other means". The exact methodology espoused by BO's chief mentor, Saul Alinsky.


Santa and Frank

Townhall - Santa and Frank

PJ O'Rourke does a much funnier version of the Democrats being Santa and the Republicans being god, but the effect is about the same. People in general, and especially post "New Deal" Americans love to get stuff under the assumption that "someone else will pay for it". Prior to Reagan, the Republicans always played the particularly bumbling Charlie Brown foil, and their unwillingness to constantly 100% fall on their butts to clean up the Democrats latest drunken spending orgy has brought the nation to what I believe to be beyond recovery -- in an time frame those of us 50 and older are likely to see.

We started scratching the surface of this grave with Teddy Roosevelt, took some big scoops out with Wilson, dug deep and wide with FDR, started lowering the casket with LBJ, shut the lid, folded the flag with Bush (love that bi-partisanship), and now BO is furiously pouring dirt in on the grave of the USA.

Sowell does a good job with the Lucy / Charlie Brown analogy though ... worth a read.

Respect For the Dead

Comparing Obama to Hitler: A Tea Party divided - The Week

A North IA billboard comparing BO to Hitler and Lenin had to be taken down as there were too many complaints of it being unfair to Hitler and Lenin.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Don't Underestimate BO

Charles Krauthammer - Obama's next act

Charles is one of the top minds around these days. A sobering but important article:

I have a warning for Republicans: Don't underestimate Barack Obama.

Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistributions in U.S. history.

Republican's may do very well in congressional elections, but it is quite likely that the combination of BO and the MSM will turn that to his advantage in 2012. Much of "the worst that could happen" now HAS happened (multi-trillion deficits, health care takeover, pay-offs to unions/other interest groups, anti-business legislation) and America won't recover for decades, if ever.

The vast majority of Reagan's contributions -- quarter century of unprecedented economic growth, end of the USSR, are largely discounted. The Republican congress paid a heavy political  price for controlling the growth of government spending, and Slick Willie received the credit for the short stint of balanced budget due primarily to the .Net bubble.

The model is easy to see -- Hoover is considered the "cause of the depression", although he was just another "Progressive". FDR instituted a muddle of government policies, but the economy never turned around until WWII. Much of the competitive capability of the US has already been destroyed by the "Progressives" in the teens, late 20's, thirties, Johnston sixties, and now the final scoops of dirt are being thrown in on the grave by BO. Our media and academia LOVES "progressives". It might be better called "Progress in the destruction of America".

The once bright and proud "Shining City on a Hill", is essentially already "Canada South", or "Europe West" -- throw in immigration amnesty, and we are sort of "A Fascist Flavored Gangster Socialist State with a hint of Molson, Seal Meat and Salsa thrown in". The American left? They are PROUD to be "Canada South" or "Europe West" -- they found America to be "behind the times, hyper competitive (a bad thing for lefties), poor allocator of wealth (it ought to all be transferred to lefties) and just essentially "unfair". They have fixed all that.

Kill the Eagle -- we need a new national symbol. I'm thinking either "Road Kill" (maybe squashed Bald Eagle would be a good touch), or just a big Uncle Sam Pinata, where Uncle is a Mexican immigrant spewing inflated and useless dollars.





Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bathtub Pumps Fail

Townhall - Walter E. Williams - A Failed Obama Hero

As I've said before, putting a pump in a 1/2 full bathtub to pump water from one end to the other is not going to make it run over.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The BushTax Cut Myth

Brian Riedl: The Bush Tax Cuts and the Deficit Myth - WSJ.com

Good summary, the very important part is even shorter -- "It's the Spending, Stupid"
Putting this together, the budget deficit, historically 2.3% of GDP, is projected to leap to 8.3% of GDP by 2020 under current policies. This will result from Washington taxing at 0.2% of GDP above the historical average but spending 6.2% above its historical average.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Franken, The Felon's Choice

FOXNews.com - Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota, Study Finds

There is absolutely no excuse for this clown being even CLOSE to having been elected -- but it is only fitting that illegal votes by felons may well have put him over the top. The shame we get to live with for six years and likely longer is proof that MN doesn't deserve to have a political voice!

Cracker Intimidation

RealClearPolitics - Team Obama Turns Blind Eye to Voter Intimidation
"Cracker, you are about to be ruled by a black man," one of the New Black Panthers told a white voter. They taunted others as "white devils." A black couple who served as Republican poll watchers said they felt endangered when the Panthers called them "race traitors."
Why would a Community Organizer prosecute a Black Panther intimidating voters with a 3 foot billy club at a polling station? He wouldn't ... thus showing that BO is much more a Community Organizer than a president. 

The Ryan Roadmap

Republicans should embrace Paul Ryan's Road Map | Washington Examiner

I need to look at this in a lot more detail, but I really like Ryan. Reagan ran on a lot more specifics in '80 than most politicians, won, did a lot of what he said, and the rest is history. in '94, "The Contract With America" gave the Republicans not just a victory, but a way to hit the ground running -- it was enough to get the runaway spending of the time under control, kick off a rally (that did turn out to just be a bubble), and give us a few quarters of surpluses -- not bad.

As the article points out, the political temptation is always to just run against unpopular opposition. Republicans MUST resist this temptation! Bush thought that "triangulation to the left", the inverse of which was masterfully executed by Slick Willie after his '94 spanking (uh, no, not a spanking administered by Slick to some young thing ... "the election, stupid!").

Triangulation was a DISASTER for Bush -- Republican voters don't like political games. They hated the Drug Benefit and other spending. The base lost faith. When Slick went along with a balanced budget in the late '90s however, plus NAFTA and Welfare Reform, moderates flocked to him, and a lot of the Republican base was less than excited to remove him for Dole -- the principles cut both ways with the same voters.

NOTE: Same thing for military -- you didn't see Republican protesters for Kosovo, or Clinton's ineffectual responses to terrorism or Saddam's activities, nor do you see them protesting Afghanistan or Iraq now. Democrats? Kosovo and Clinton's actions in the '90s were fine with them -- Democrat can even do some military stuff, makes them seem "butch". Ton's of war protest and angst over Gitmo when Bush was President -- BO elected, still in Gitmo, not hinting may not be able to get out? Not a problem. Iraq, Afghanistan? Nary a concern as long as their party is in the WH. POLITICS, not principle drive Democrats -- "consistency is not an issue".

If Republicans just run against the unpopular Democrats, they are just "the lesser of two evils" -- Democrats are FOR "hope and change" ... Republicans are "against -- so what. Here is a bit more of what a reasonable way to run a national race here might be:

As ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Ryan was able to get the Congressional Budget Office to run the numbers in his plan. CBO concluded the plan would "make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent [and] lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP." Pretty impressive results, I'd say.








Mattress Economy

RealClearPolitics - Obama Economy Sends Americans to Their Mattresses

Short, direct, factual ... good article.

BO and the Democrats are very much on the way to achieving the kind of results that I and many others expected based on economic principles and history. Reality tends to be non-partisan. You reap what you sow -- Reagan changed the direction of the US 30 years ago, and we reaped over a quarter century of solid, world leading economic growth.

The Democrats took over congress in '06, and we began a left turn that became a hard left turn with BO's election in '08 -- and the reaping is already is already well under way.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

BO Picks Fear Over Hope

Mark McKinnon: Obama’s New Politics of Fear - The Daily Beast

I find the Breast to be slightly left of the standard MSM, not as far over as HuffPo. I must say that left folks that are willing to stand up and admit that the Democrat and BO tactics are at best only as bad as the worst of Republican tactics is something that deserves strong applause. The ONLY way we cut the current disaster shorter than DECADES is to figure out that BOTH political partys are ROTTEN with "progressive / statist vermin, and it is CRITICAL that we clean out BOTH partys and agree on some AMERICAN principles -- the Constitution as WRITTEN, Individual life, liberty and the PURSUIT (not the gaurantee) of Happiness ... one CITIZEN, one vote ...

Begala recognizes there ain't much water left in the "hope" well, so the plan is to poison what's left.  ‘Cause the numbers don’t look so good.



Friday, July 09, 2010

The Liberal Economic Mind

RealClearPolitics - David Brooks' Neo-Hooverite Plea

The study of the liberal mind is one of my guilty pleasures. They are avid writers, often extremely emotional and direct in their prose, somehow, apparently certain that no bumble headed conservative could be peeking in the open windows of their minds -- one almost feels voyeuristic.
The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has sounded the alarm on this in several recent columns - just as he warned that the initial Obama stimulus, while historically high, was inadequate to fully reverse the downturn that was the legacy of the Bush administration. Then as now, Krugman was pointed, not polite, in his criticism. And while the administration probably couldn't have passed a larger stimulus in 2009, it is today hard to deny
that the Nobel laureate accurately diagnosed the situation.
"It is today hard to deny"?  If the medieval barber calls for 2 quarts of blood to be let, but a mere two pints is let and the patient does not recover, does it become "hard to deny" that the barber was correct? To the liberal mind, yes. The fact that jobs and economic growth can be generated by government spending is MUCH more an article of faith to the liberal than a biblical young earth to a fundamentalist (derided later in the article). The fundamentalist is willing to allow a power and a universe to have power and majesty beyond the fundamentalist, the liberal is not -- HIS views MUST be correct.
The fact that Krugman can be prickly and Brooks is congenial can't be confused with the question of who is correct on the economic merits. Krugman clearly has that honor. Yet the Brooks position is on the verge of carrying the day, both across the Atlantic and in the midterms-wary policy debates in Congress. Last year's G-20 conference, led by Obama and then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, settled on a strategy of higher spending to spur demand and growth, to be followed by a fiscal tightening once the recovery was secure. This year's G-20, with a new Tory prime minister from Britain and German Chancellor Angela Merkel preaching Teutonic fiscal stringency, reversed field with a call to roll back spending.
Remember when the Europeans were totally right, along with BO, Shrum, the MSM and left that Iraq was a "lost cause"? How intelligent they were then, yet how stupid they are now that they deign to disagree with the holy economic writ of BO, Krugman and Bob. The entire world has been stupid for ages, for all that was ever required for economic success is the massive injection of huge sums of borrowed or printed money -- hopefully in concert with massive taxes on the most productive. Liberals have known this obvious truth forever, only complete fools can fail to see it.
First, Brooks denigrates "Demand Siders" for having too much trust in their models, which could "risk national insolvency." Never mind that the markets - with historically low yields on U.S. bonds - are telling us that American debt remains the safest investment in the world.
So, do we believe in markets or don't we? The stock market was over $14K ... until it wasn't. Then it was at like $6,500 ... then $11K. Guess what? ALL of those were a RELATIVE assessment of current and future values AT THAT POINT. What "historically low yeilds" means is that AT THE MOMENT, there isn't a better choice -- then there is, the markets will take those yields to historic highs just as quick.
For the medium and the longer term, as The Washington Post's Ezra Klein points out, simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule - instead of renewing them, as the supposed fiscal hawks in the GOP demand - would reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. But the same voices that oppose spending now to restore the economy will oppose asking for any sacrifice from those at the top, even in good times.
Only if you assume (as CBO does) that tax policy has no effect on the economy. That would mean that the people that pay the most in taxes are least affected by monetary incentives. Unsurprisingly, that turns out to not be the case which is why the CBO always vastly overestimates the "take" on a tax increase as well as the "cost" of a tax decrease.
The only answer that's coherent and convincing is to stimulate demand long enough and vigorously enough to restore business and consumer confidence, and move the nation back to full employment. But that won't work, Brooks opines, citing a New York Times-CBS poll showing that only 6 percent of Americans believe that the stimulus succeeded in actually creating jobs. He grudgingly allows that "maybe" this is wrong. Maybe? According to the Congressional Budget Office, as of the first quarter of this year, there were 2.8 million people at work because of the stimulus, economic growth was 4.5 percent higher than it otherwise would have been, and unemployment was 1.5 percent lower. Without that package, the country would have faced a longer, deeper recession - and perhaps a depression.
"The only answer that's coherent and convincing"? Usually, the "only answer" ... isn't. BO clearly stated that WITHOUT the stimulus, unemployment would go over 8% ... it went over 10% WITH it. When Bush made predictions that didn't come true, he wasn't just wrong, he was LYING -- but one thing was sure, the MSM would NEVER let us forget that his predictions were wrong. Actually, GOOD! They need to be exactly the same with BO. REMEMBER -- he was WRONG with his predictions about $800 Billion. Perhaps it would be wiser to question his pronouncements than to claim they are the ONLY answer that is "coherent and convincing". To you maybe, but then you are a closed minded liberal, more entrenched in your ideology than any young earth creationist.

What Smells Bad About BO

The Selective Modesty of Barack Obama - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online

I think Charles hits precisely what reeks about BO each and every time I listen to him. I really don't mind arrogance -- surgeons, fighter pilots, generals, CEOs, sports heroes ... pretty much anyone that has to make quick or large decisions, especially with the lives of others is going to have to have a large ego at least bordering on arrogant.

The odd thing is that nearly always, that ego "boils over" -- "their" family, country, profession, business, etc. is held in a place of super esteem at least nearly as high as their own. It is only fitting after all that a "great man" would be the leader of a "great country", or the head of "the worlds best company/hospital/surgery department, etc". One might almost think that one is impossible without the other. Egos that large have no choice but to be associated with "the best" (as seen of course from the heights of their great egos).

One might have thought it impossible for a country to elect a leader so out of touch with the very nation that he leads. Even Hitler at least had a very high opinion of the German Nation and People. I look at BO and continue to have the nasty feeling that Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot have been comfortably demonized for too long. Humanity has a nasty way of somehow being able to eclipse our past "worsts".

Some thing that bad could never happen here  -- yet I see the ACORNs, the voter intimidation, the machinations to control the election funds of others while he continues a constant campaign of his own and with the MSM's help, the blatant rewards and punishments of political allegiance with dollar figures never before breached, the blatant abuse of why we even have a Senate to take over our health care after the Brown election,  and most of all that self-superior, pedantic, tele-prompter read cadence, coldly manipulating mindless millions to some end that only BO, or some mystery behind the prompter really knows.

What would be the "final solution" of "hope and change"? A state where neither were needed? A state where neither were possible? A state where it was mandatory to "believe" ... in "hope and change"?

Short article, worth a read ... the last paragraph captures it for me.
Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama’s modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. But it is odd to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence — yet not of his own country’s.




Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Santa and Frank

Townhall - Santa and Frank

PJ O'Rourke does a much funnier version of the Democrats being Santa and the Republicans being god, but the effect is about the same. People in general, and especially post "New Deal" Americans love to get stuff under the assumption that "someone else will pay for it". Prior to Reagan, the Republicans always played the particularly bumbling Charlie Brown foil, and their unwillingness to constantly 100% fall on their butts to clean up the Democrats latest drunken spending orgy has brought the nation to what I believe to be beyond recovery -- in an time frame those of us 50 and older are likely to see.

We started scratching the surface of this grave with TR, took some big scoops out with Wilson, dug deep and wide with FDR, started lowering the casket with LBJ, shut the lid, folded the flag with Bush (love that bi-partisanship), and now BO is furiously pouring dirt in on the grave of the USA.

Sowell does a good job with the Lucy / Charlie Brown analogy though ... worth a read.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Foreign Praise for BO Leadership

With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932 - Telegraph

Well, actually, he isn't mentioned -- but why should he be? He figured all that had to be done was to borrow and spend a bunch of money and prosperity would be just around the corner. What's left now? Tax increases?

Here is the kind of an honest view you aren't likely to see from the American MSM:

Let us be honest. The US is still trapped in depression a full 18 months into zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and fiscal stimulus that has pushed the budget deficit above 10pc of GDP.

Remember '08? The "depression" word was regularly used by the MSM, as in "Bush Depression" -- once BO got in, we had to have a big stimulus to keep unemployment from rising about 8%. Much like the MSM created "Katrina Bush debacle", this was going to be GREAT -- BO would walk in to what they figured wasn't nearly as bad as what they had been saying, take charge, spend some money, and the "liberal success" that they had been waiting for ever since before Jimmy Carter would finally be theirs! Hope was high for their boy from Hope, Slick Willie, but he flamed out in less than two years and had to be rescued by a Republican congress -- earning his greatest fame in "Presidential Emissions".

The real world is just a bit more dangerous than MSM dreaming -- most likely we are very due for the big terrorist event that will precipitate the next massive drop of the economy and the emotions of Americans. Elect a clueless community organizer and kill your countrymen -- experience is the best, but often the most expensive teacher.



Dow 1K?

Strategies - Robert Prechter’s Market Forecast Says ‘Take Cover’ - NYTimes.com

This would pretty much insure BO being more remembered than Carter.


WSJ On Pessimissm

Op-Ed Columnist - The Pessimism Bubble and the Economy - NYTimes.com

Good to see that the WSJ connection with reality is solid enough for them to understand that things haven't been going so swimmingly since we began the "era of change" with the Democratic congressional takeover in '06, followed by the BOslide of '08. Their explanation? It's a "bubble" ... a "pessimism bubble".

How grim? Well, after the United States limped through five months of anemic “recovery,” last Friday brought news that our economy actually shed jobs in June, thanks to the expiration of more than 200,000 Census positions. It’s now been 30 months since the beginning of the recession, and it looks as if it could take another 30 or so to regain the level of employment we enjoyed in the autumn of 2007.

That is the potential "good news" ... the public seems to erroneously think it is worse than that.

Pessimism bubbles formed during America’s last two economic crises — the stagflation era in the late 1970s and the post-cold war recession that ushered Bill Clinton into the White House. Go back and read Jimmy Carter’s famous “malaise speech,” which liberals have lately been rehabilitating. With its warnings about retrenchment, rationing and a permanent energy crisis, it feels like a contemporary document. But it isn’t, and Carter’s prophecies were wrong: the grimmest speech any modern president has given was delivered just a few years before America kicked off a long era of impressive economic growth.

The tiny little post gulf-war recession was like the late '70s? The only real disaster parallel there is that folks were so spoiled that just that small little recession ushered in Slick Willie, but fortunately, we sobered up quick, and got Newt and company to right the ship two short years later. Let us pray that sobriety is as swift in 2010!





Saturday, July 03, 2010

Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell

I stand in awe of Sowell as an author. This is a 551 page economics book that is close to as concise as possible given the breadth of the subject, extremely readable, and I think "life-changing" in it's conveyance of what seem like, and really are, very simple facts of life that we actually understand when we see them, but are far too easy for humans to forget. I hope and believe that Sowell as found a way to imprint them indelibly in my tiny brain.

A mass of a few more quotes than I would usually do ....

"Different kinds of economies are essentially different ways of making decisions about the allocation of scarce resources."

"It is not money, but the volume of goods and services which determines whether a country is poverty stricken or prosperous".

"Economics is not simply a topic on which to express opinions or vent emotions. It is a systematic study of what happens when you do specific things in specific ways."

"But life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options. Economics is one of the ways of trying to make the most of those options."

"Knowledge is one of the most scarce of all resources and a pricing system economizes on it's use by forcing those with the most knowledge of their own particular situation to make bids for goods and resources based on that knowledge, rather than on their ability to influence other people in planning commissions, legislatures or royal palaces."

"What is at the heart of the fallacy of composition is that it ignores interactions among individuals, which can prevent what is true for one of them from being true for them all."

"The interaction that is ignored by those [advocating supposed "job saving policies"] is that everything the government spends is taken from somebody else. The 10,000 jobs saved in the widget industry may be at the cost of 15,000 jobs lost elsewhere in the economy by the governments taxing away the resources needed to keep those other jobs. The fallacy is not in believing that jobs can be saved in given industries or given sectors of the economy. The fallacy is in believing that these are net savings of jobs for the economy as a whole."

"Speculation is often misunderstood as being the same as gambling, when in fact it is the opposite of gambling. What gambling involves, whether it is in games of chance or in actions like playing Russian roulette, is creating a risk that would otherwise not exist, in order to profit or exhibit ones skill or lack of fear. What economic speculation involves is coping with an inherent risk in a way as to minimize it and leave it to be borne by whoever is best equipped to bear it."

"While capitalism has a visible cost--profit--that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost--inefficiency--that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy under capitalism. The fact that most goods are more widely affordable in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency."
I could go on, and on, and on ... it is a long but pithy book. The bottom line is that Sowell describes the principles of economics that exist, like gravity, no matter what we "want". What we "want" is in many ways irrelevant, and when we try to use faulty levers as a nation to gain it, we nearly always create perverse incentives that create different results. We may want the economic machine to produce more ice cream and less broccoli, or vice versa, but by our institutionalized slap-dash hammering at the controls, we are likely to get less of both, and a lot of something completely different -- likely neither fun or healthy.

Often, as in the first quote above, the point is "x is going to be done in any case", it is just a matter of "who / how". Decisions WILL be made on how to allocate the scarce resources -- either by someone that is hungry buying a product, by someone investing their money in hopes of return, by an executive looking to turn a profit, or by a lifetime employed government bureaucrat waiting for the clock to turn to 5.  The decision gets made, at best, we get to decide how.

Same thing with scarcity -- he makes the point that a government decree that everyone had a "right" to a beach front palace would do absolutely nothing for the availability of such. "And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?" What statists fail to realize is that this is often every bit as true for nations as it is for people.

Allocation of scarce resources and incentives -- it pretty much all comes down to that, but  it takes a mind like Sowell's to make that easy and understandable in a mere 551 pages. Don't settle for my poor words ... read it!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sacrosanct

Townhall - What a Sack of Sacrosanct

It's Ann, but she isn't very snarky here, and she is onto one of what I believe to be the core modern American problems -- liberals don't know any real Americans and know nothing about what America even is.

As Kagan herself described it, on the Upper West Side of New York where she grew up, "Nobody ever admitted to voting Republican." So, I guess you could say being a Democrat was "sacrosanct."

American liberalism has more in common with the Amish or radical Islam than it does with being an American. They hold THEIR "truths" to be so self-evident that they believe it impossible for any one with an ounce of brain matter to hold any other opinion.



Words Mean What I Say They Mean

Townhall - How to Spot a Legal Progressive

Super article, short, just read it. It covers the obvious -- progressives find that rights the constitution says nothing about (abortion) apply to all ... federal, state, city, but rights that the constitution directly enumerates (guns), are questionable at all levels.

How can you spot a legal progressive? A legal progressive is someone who believes rights that are not stated in the Constitution, but inferred or extrapolated, should be given more weight than rights plainly enumerated.

A legal progressive is someone who knows there is a fundamental constitutional right to gay marriage, for example, even though the Constitution says nothing directly about marriage, but that a law-abiding individual has no right to own a gun, even though the Constitution clearly states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."