Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This story would of course bring down any Republican congressman in 24 hours, but for a liberal congressman, "stuff happens".
Well done (and funny) coverage by IOWAHAWK in the link. I think that Congressman Weiner ought to contact OJ on the search for Nichole's killer. Like the Weiner Hacker, I'm sure he is still "at large" so to speak ... perhaps Rep Weiner looking in a mirror would aid in the search.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I've noted a new MSM device that seems to be designed to turn conservative statements into "lies" and liberal opinions into "facts". Much like lead into gold, it doesn't work if you have a brain you use for something beyond keeping your head from collapsing, but it explains why a lot of the left finds these "fact checkers" to very "factual".
After all, it fits their biases, so it MUST be TRUE! But, perhaps the left ought consider the old saw that "if it conforms to your biases, you ought to strongly consider that it is FALSE".
The fact that, as the Lichter study shows, "A majority of Democratic statements (54 percent) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18 percent of Republican statements," probably has more to do with how the statements were picked and the subjective bias of the fact checker involved than anything remotely empirical. Likewise, the fact that "a majority of Republican statements (52 percent) were rated as mostly or entirely false, compared to only 24 percent of Democratic statements" probably has more to do with spinning stories than it does with evaluating statements.A lot of what goes on in politics, economics, society, etc is a LONG way from "fact". The modern world is loaded with "statistical science" which is pretty much an oxymoron. How good is the economy? Like a lot of such things "it depends" -- what you use to measure it, which parts you give the most focus, how you deal with government vs private, young vs old, etc.
If you can get some "Fact Check Site" to take your cherished position as the "true way" to view the glass (half empty, half full, twice as big as it needs to be, etc) and call the other side liars. The advantage as always goes to the dominant culture -- millions of people that only listen to one side of the news get another way to have their biases confirmed and continue to live a comfortable life in the the thrall of "The Party".
Not a particularly well written article, but the authors are guys that I have enough respect for to read independently of their writing skills.
The fact is that America has lost it's way in so many ways, and NASA is just a small example. We need new leadership, we need a vision beyond the transfer of existing wealth from one pocket to another and general decline.
Space was once a REAL "Final Frontier". I guess I really am getting old -- I'm looking back at the space program of the 60's as "the good old days". Damn ... how did Ronald Reagan manage to remain optimistic and positive out into his 80's? Oh wait, he was Reagan -- he WAS the hope, and he still had the illusion of thinking that Carter was the worst president we would ever have!
Very Very well written and solid analysis. Read it!
Maybe Herman Cain is our only hope?
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The unions have definitely got their moneys worth out of BO. The real message here is that America is increasingly anti-Business. Less jobs, less wealth, less revenue -- say hello to Chicago style corrupt managed national decline!!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Here we have Krugman, alledgedly an economist and columnist for the "Paper of Record", the New York Times. Assured to be "unbiased" by NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, CNN, etc. The Wall Street Journal and Fox news are "biased". The real answer? ALL are biased, but falling into the trap of thinking that your biases are "truth" tends to deepen and widen the unacknowledged bias.
Here is a little quote from USA today before we begin -- http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-05-20-cover-generation-wealth_N.htm
Tungare is part of the wealthiest generation in American history — a group of 67 million people 55 and older who are so affluent that the gap between them and younger people increasingly is making the USA a nation of haves and haves-much-less.
Got that? One great way to divide the haves and have nots is by age. Seniors are richer. Way richer.
Much attention has focused on the multimillion-dollar paychecks of corporate chief executives and hedge fund managers, who've enjoyed windfalls at a time when the wages of ordinary workers have stagnated. But the graying of wealth and income may be the most important twist in the new inequality.Now let's hear what the ever-helpful Mr Krugman has to say about the issue:
Anyway, the truth is that older Americans really should fear Republican budget ideas — and not just because of that plan to dismantle Medicare. Given the realities of the federal budget, a party insisting that tax increases of any kind are off the table — as John Boehner, the speaker of the House, says they are — is, necessarily, a party demanding savage cuts in programs that serve older Americans.No Paul, the TRUTH is that older richer Americans need to look hard at taking benefits from poorer, younger and unborn Americans. The core of the Ryan plan is to turn Social Security and Medicare from a Ponzi scheme where everyone believes they can get more out than they put in, to a serious safety net program for the NEEDY ELDERLY. Because if the country goes bankrupt, the truly needy will be the ones hurt the worst. It is pretty hard to go back to work when you are sitting in a nursing home with no remaining living relatives.
Eventually, reality will force us to be honest. FICA and Medicare were Democratic programs to buy votes by making promises that it was known could not be kept and would bankrupt the nation. Krugman knows this, the Democrat elite knows that, but to them this isn't about anything but raw political power. They could care less about the fact that their path will hurt the neediest Americans the most of all, just as they care nothing about the fact that their poverty programs have destroyed the lives of millions of their supposed beneficiaries through broken families, addiction, and the loss of the cultural impetus to personal responsibility and work.
If Krugman DID want to do something about "the wealthy", he would do something like what Ryan and the Republicans are trying to do -- admit that the jig is up on vote buying programs, and it is time for those who have been responsible in life and saved for their golden years to pay. While I'm a little short of those actual golden years, I'd consider myself in that group. I'm one of the people that will pay for the Republican approach. What is up? Have I turned benevolent rather than evil as we all know conservatives are at their core?
Actually not. The Democrats programs are nearly guaranteed to give us hyperinflation, while I'm hedged to a degree, there is no way that is good news for my portfolio, let along my children's future. I've still got money in the market, and also money that I would like to see in bonds drawing interest. A bankrupt US is not going to make for great market conditions going forward. I'm getting older and will nearly certainly need more health care. Since someone has to pay for that and I'm certain it won't be the Democrats mythological super-rich, it is MUCH better if we can ratchet down the giveaways to those of us that have put away assets, broaden those that are paying down to say "$50K income", and focus assistance on the truly needy. That kind of approach is best able to give us some sanity.
While we are speaking of sanity, let those that can afford to pay for treatments that cost $100s of K in their 50's or 60's pay for them and have them -- just like they have their million dollar motorhomes to arrive in, or multimillion dollar planes. God bless them -- they can be the paying guinea pigs for the advanced stuff that can be available to the rest of us later.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
That party split was reflected in the poll: A whopping 94 percent of Republicans supported photo ID, compared to 64 percent of Democrats.
Any election reform -- so called -- needs to pass with broad bipartisan support," Dayton said last Friday. "So far that proposal has not met that test." In the Legislature, only two Democrats supported the bill.
Got that? Doesn't matter than 60% of your own party supports it, nor that 80% of the population does. No matter, Dayton knows better!
Democrats really need to change their name to PoS (Party of State) -- because that is what they are. They are Statists -- one party rule, and even in that one party, only the very elite rule. Note that their "elite" doesn't have to have much on the ball, with Dayton being a great example. He came by his money the old fashioned way -- he inherited it!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Ann is a law professor and Madison, brilliant and conservative -- and a cute blond to boot. Just the kind of woman that liberals really, really, really hate!!!
Yes, I DO remember how HORRIBLE it was for W to use anything about his handling of 9-11 in 2004 campaign. I'm CERTAIN the press is going to use exactly the same standard with BO!!!
This column points up how hard it is for communication to happen when people have vastly different models. As they look across the isle, both sides tend to be absolutely convinced that the the other side is completely out to lunch, "lying", saying things for only political purposes, etc. -- they simply can't imagine a reality that much different from theirs existing.
Reasonable economists can disagree about the effectiveness of the stimulus spending and whether it was worth the drag of the additional debt, but no reasonable economist argues that it hurt the economy in the short term.
Well that pretty much dismisses any potential for "reasonable disagreement"! Let's say that you are an alcoholic and someone gives you a massive amount of alcohol. There is NO WAY you could see that as harmful -- in your model it would be GREAT! If you are addicted to massive government spending, the reaction is quite similar. A business person or an investor looks at a Trillion here and a Trillion there of short term borrowing and goes "uh oh" -- and decides that gold, cash or inflation protected bonds might be a better investment than the stock market, or investing in a new business, or starting a new project, or hiring more people.
So, therefore, "unreasonable" -- it is impossible for the author of this column to imagine a world where the government is a 1/3 part of a 10+ Trillion dollar economy, so when the other 2/3s of the economy see the government being run by an insane clown posse, they reduce their investments in growth on the assumption that "there has to be something coming in the future for the business climate than BO, Nancy and Harry. But then, it is simply "unreasonable" to think like that.
During the early 1980s, taxes were cut and public debt ballooned, from 26 percent of GDP in 1980 to 40 percent by 1986. In 1993, taxes were increased (and spending cut); debt as a share of the economy fell, from 49 percent to 33 percent. In 2001 and 2003, taxes were cut. By the time President Obama took office, debt had climbed to 40 percent of GDP.
Some taxes were cut and others were raised. Revenue went UP -- but so did spending, by a lot more. The cause of ALL our deficits since at least '80 has been SPENDING!! Our revenue as a percentage of GDP has been flat. The government is a drunk to end all drunks -- a drunk can only drink so much, the government can spend an UNLIMITED amount of money, and that is what it keeps doing and is projected to do forever. Only it won't -- because while how much liberals want to spend is without limit, the capacity of the nation to carry pending and debt IS LIMITED.
Listening to Boehner, I began to think the country suffers from two deficits: the gap between spending and revenue, and the one between reality and ideology. The first cannot be solved unless we find some way of at least narrowing the second.
Yes, there is A LOT of "ideology" around. I'm reminded of the Reagan quote; "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; It is that they know so much that isn't so". One might add that they are always absolutely certain they the right answer as well -- MORE, MORE, MORE .... MORE GOVERNMENT!!!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Good little column -- we have lost our dynamism.
The result is this: There are probably more idle men now than at any time since the Great Depression, and this time the problem is mostly structural, not cyclical. These men will find it hard to attract spouses. Many will pick up habits that have a corrosive cultural influence on those around them. The country will not benefit from their potential abilities.
So those arrogant uncompromising Republicans were at it even back in 1856! To think that we could have had a nice tidy compromise on slavery with those more sophisticated Democrats! Could a Republican even get away with writing something like this? The Democrats were the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and a "nothing special America". Religion? I don't think so -- LIMITED GOVERNMENT !!! That is what made America exceptional -- and the loss of that is what has been killing America.
The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.
Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter. And yet clearly America must change fundamentally or continue to decline. It could begin by junking a phase that reeks of arrogance and discourages compromise. American exceptionalism ought to be called American narcissism. We look perfect only to ourselves.
This reminded me of some folks at our table one night on a cruise last fall. It was obviously they were filthy rich -- guy was a retired upper level exec from some big corporation and in the chit chat it was clear they had a home in Aspen CO as well as Palm Springs. They were huge BO supporters and all things liberal, and as per usual I didn't follow this guys advice of "just keeping quiet".
It was pretty clear the guy hadn't been in much "give and take" in awhile -- probably a lot more used to decreeing his views and everyone agreeing with him. He got flustered on the tax problem while I was asserting things about our taxes, and he was asserting "that couldn't be". We had the benefit of actually doing our own taxes, which he didn't -- his accountant and lawyer did his, and it finally came to light that his assets were "in a trust". When I asked him "If you are so in favor of higher taxes, why would you put your assets in a trust?".
"Well, **MY** taxes are too high -- that is what trusts are FOR! He was smart enough to be angry that he had been caught with his liberal pants down, although I'm sure it won't change a thing -- facts rarely do for liberals. Taxes are for the "rubes" ... the small business owners, the two income familes that don't make enough to qualify for the trusts.
"Redneck" is as good a description as any. "I'm pround of my prejudice even if it has been proven to be counterproductive"!
Monday, May 02, 2011
If it is written by PJ O'Rourke, it is likely good. If it isn't good, it is even more than likely funny. Even if it is neither, it is probably snarky and cynical and somehow a guilty pleasure, so worthy of your time in any case.
I love his out of the box thinking in this one -- just read the whole thing, I don't want to ruin the conclusion!
Ah yes, how times have changed! The liberals HATED Seal Team 6 under Bush. Now? Oh, now, trapsing into other countries and terminating with extreme prejudice is just peachy! Consistency? IT IS NOT AN ISSUE!!! How many times must it be repeated?
Hersh then went on to describe a second area of extra-legal operations: the Joint Special Operations Command. “It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently,” he explained. “They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. … Congress has no oversight of it.”
“It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on,” Hersh stated. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.”
Some of the detainees who confirmed the courier’s nickname were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” the CIA’s formal name for what is now widely viewed as torture. This adds a moral ambiguity to a story that is otherwise one of triumphal retribution and justice.
Ah, "moral ambiguity". I thought we 1oo% knew that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were always ineffective? In fact, rather than "widely viewed as torture", we have been told they ARE torture. We tend to NOT be told that every one of those Seal team members have been "waterboarded" as part of their training. Do we "torture" our own troops?
One might say there is a certain "moral ambiguity" in reporters, Democratic congresswomen and others that very firmly said one thing on Gitmo, waterboarding, and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya when W was in office, but are now quite sanguine about it all with BO in the WH!
Sunday, May 01, 2011
There is no question that the aging Boomers, of which I am one, are entering that phase of life when it is human to long for yesteryear. My father, being of leftward list, seemed to enter his phase at about 40, or maybe it was the day that he heard that I had a job at IBM, I can't recall. Thankfully he is still "wisting away" at age 84 for all things pre-computer, pre-big medical advances, and maybe most of all pre-Reagan. (just to be clear, not a spelling error of "wasting", a bad pun on "wistful").
I found this article to be a very interesting short read, and it links off to a bunch of books and articles that look like they would also be interesting. The conclusion is that the left thinks of the America of the late 50's and 60's as "the pinnacle" -- the time they wish to see again.
There is a lot of humor there -- the right has been heavily lambasted at various times and various quarters for "pining for the non-existent halcyon days of Father Knows Best", "Powder Wigs and Slavery", or "The 19th Century".
Liberals always have a lot of trouble with naming. They used to be "progressives", but when the Fascist Progressives of the day, Mussolini and Hitler feel into a bit of disrepute, that was out. About the same time it was getting to be questionable to directly declare yourself to be "communist", or even a "socialist" (Given NAZI was short for "National Socialist". It became hard to figure out what to call someone that was for maximizing state control in general, and specifically using state power to loot the productive of society. After some no doubt interesting thought, they stole "liberal" from those who want less government and more liberty, and used the fog of WWII to tag Nazi Germany -- clearly NOT a "liberal" state as being "right".
Just a short review for those that forget and fall prey to the media / academic obfuscation. LEFT is STATE CONTROL -- dictatorship, monarchy, communism, facism, etc. RIGHT is Chaos, Anarchy -- No government at all. "The state of nature". Our nation was founded as "Center Right", just enough government ("Leviathan") to keep life from being "Solitary, Nasty, Brutish and Short" and to provide the basic framework for productivity and growth -- private property and rule of law.
In theory, there should be no such thing as "progressive nostalgia", because "progressives" claim that the arc of history is upward -- we are way "smarter" today than our founding fathers, Moses, Aristotle, St Augustine, and no doubt god from their perspective -- if there was one. An actual progressive believes in the future, or they believe in nothing -- there is no "master plan", we are "blessed" by a cold and uncaring random universe that luckily instituted "directed evolutionary progress". A benign process created through randomness where "progress" is always better than "conservation" -- or "nostalgia".
In any case, a good little read with more than a few references off to things which also look interesting. One of the things I most frequently run across to add credence to the general time scale of the nostalgia is the yearning for Uncle Walter. It seems that what the left wants most is a world where "news" is what comes out of the mouth of a "head lefty spokesman" and by doing so, is converted to "facual, unbiased holy writ". My view is the core lefty nostalgia is for the suppression of alternative political thought. They dream of a time where the questioning of lefty dogma is a death sentence -- if not physically, at least intellectually. Their recent views on the "Birthers", as well as those apostates who would ever question the divine nature of Global Warming is reminiscent of such high points of history as The Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials -- all be it in intellectual clothing to date.