Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finally, A Rational Voice for Progressives

I read an article in Raleigh's far-left leaning INDY magazine today, entitled "How the Democrats Lost Their Way." ( It includes possibly the best, most rational and concise (not short) explanation of contemporary "rank and file" progressive thought that I can recall ever seeing in one place. To gain a better appreciation of the progressive's world view, I highly recommend it. If you are a conservative, however, fair warning: you will subject yourself to some of the typically annoying Republican stereotypes and liberal elitist dogma. Still it's worth a read. Once finished, you can either come back and view my comments here, or at the end of the article. They follow:

Despite the plethora of mischaracterizations of conservatism herein, this article offers the most clear and succinct explanation of rank and file idealogical progressivism I think I have ever seen. There is much on which righties and lefties can agree. And that's important for a productive outcome. If these ideas were put forth boldly and in a straightforward manner by politicians and pundits as the author suggests, we could have rational debate. The American people could then decide for themselves whether they prefer to see the future America look more like the tepid and tumltuous European socialist states of today, or the rough and tumble libertarian capitalist "monster" that defined the American exceptionalism of our past. It's a fair debate. The problem is, global socialism requires America's capitalism to survive. If you remove the battleship from the bathtub, the water level falls for everyone. And whether or not rank and file progressives know it, or understand it, or admit it, the powers that lead them on the left have no ambition for a parochial American egalitarianism. They are focused on global management and redistribution in a utopian view that places a ruling elite in control of the world's resources and peoples. There is no upside to this for the US.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hypothetical Politics: "Jobs Created or Saved"

I've long maintained that liberals live in an alternate reality. Now, the evidence of their hallucinations is becoming ever more clear.

Here's the thing: Never before has an administration tried to take credit for "jobs saved." What kind of a metric is that? It is impossible to calculate or substantiate. What constititutes a "saved" job? One that would have been lost if it hadn't been saved? How do you measure a hypothetical?! How do you know if would have been lost if it wasn't?! Therefore, how was it saved? How was it calculated or counted? And since the "created or saved" numbers are always combined, exactly which were created and which were "saved?" You see, this is nothing more than a cynical manipulation. A phantom metric. A fabrication. A farce!

In this world of shadows and illusions, the cause and effect relationship is lost. There are no absolutes. We deal in feelings and dreams rather than facts and figures. Bits of data are related in irrational ways to invent unsubstatiated and unsubstantial crises and solutions solely for the purpose of manipulating people and property for personal and political gain. Hence, the sunny propaganda of the "Summer of Recovery" and the extolled virtues of jobs created and saved.

But if the Obama administration is to take credit for jobs that owe their salvation to TARP, bail-outs, stimuli ad nauseum, green jobs, healthcare reform, et. al., should they not also take blame for all those directly lost or destroyed as a consequence of their policies? It's only rational, of course.

From coast to coast business owners--employers--say they are not hiring due to uncertainty about the uncalulated or incalculable effects of Obama policies from healthcare to financial reform.

The investment class are camping their cash. Looming tax hikes and punitive policies that threaten to dramatically increase costs or dampen demand for an array of services and goods have paralyzed capital and created a menacing cloud of uncertainty over the economy. The demonizing of Wall Street and government takeover of industries (banking & credit, student loans, auto, and energy) have frozen capital and consumer markets leaving banks unwilling to lend, consumers unable to borrow, and pretty much everyone unmotivated to buy. And we have 7.2 million LOST jobs to show for it. Yet to listen to "right direction" Obama, Biden, and the progressive pudits in their tank, you'd think the "roaring tens" were in full swing. That's reality?

But the economic malaise isn't the only fantasy fueling foolish liberals. They've got a million of 'em like, we can 'absorb' terrorist attacks, wealth redistribution works, global warming is man-made and cap 'n trade will cure it, border enforcement is racist, 'green jobs' are the way out of recession, oil is evil, extending unemployment benefits creates jobs, the government can spend us out of recession, Social Security and government pensions are solvent and sustainable, Obamacare will cut healthcare costs, and capitalism is evil.

It's time to get a grip America. At best, you're being led by a bunch of hallucinagenic hippies on a romp through the eutopian tulips. At worst, you're being deliberately manipulated and systematically dismantled by malevolent marxists whose aim is global government by compulsively "redistributing" your wealth into the hands of the 2nd and 3rd worlds in the name of equality and charity; while THEY siphon the gravy off the top. Either way, the ends are the same. You lose, they win. Is that rational?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Voters Have Spoken...

It's not at all surprising that the left is up in arms about the recent electoral upset in Deleware that nominated conservative underdog Christine O'Donnell as the state's Republican US Senatorial candidate. After all, she soundly rousted the 40-year veteran Congressman, Mike Castle (also a popular former Governor for the state) a politician frequenly wooed by the entrenched establishment powers in Washington. The decisive victory underscores the power and effectiveness of the Tea Party movement in activating their base and the vibrant anti-incumbant sentiment that has old-guard elements in both parties shakin' in their boots.

What is surprising is that after the fact, conservative pundits and party leaders came out swinging as well. A cacophany of high-profile, so-called "conservative" Republicans like Karl Rove and even the revered Charles Krauthammer, not to mention a thundering herd of no-name talk show hosts, quickly repudiated the candidate and castigated Tea Partiers for selecting and "unelectable" Senate candidate.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Republican establishment was rocked by the upset. But I am rocked by the aftershock. Since when do we, WITHIN the party, so disrespect the clearly stated will of the majority of voters at the local level who chose their preferred candidate fairly under the legal and ethical terms of engagement?! It smacks of the same kind of intellectual snobbery and elitism that has become the hallmark of the American left. In effect, "You idiots! Just look what you've done." Democrats, however, are wise enough to shut up and show solidarity despite their internal discord.

The nature of INTERNAL party politics is that the debate comes BEFORE the election, not after the fact. Once the candidate is selected it's time to unite behind him or her, regardless of how dissatisfied you, personally, may be. The only appropriate response is, "the voters have spoken. Now how do we win?"

I'm not sure whether the backlash in this case (and others like Charlie Crist in FL or Joe Miller in Alaska) is a mere yelp by the wounded establishment in the GOP, or whether it reflects the need for some pundits to be seen as "fair minded" or impartial commentators. Perhaps it's a self-protection reflex for those fearful of being associated with the ignorant, trailer-trash, racist, religious zealot image of "right wing tea-baggers" that has been painted by the mainstream media; never mind the fact that such a creature is effectively a myth within the movement.

What I am sure of, is that such disunity and self-abuse is of no constructive value to the conservative cause, to the Republican party, to the candidates who won, or to the voters who courageously stepped up to the plate and pulled the lever to make an unconventional choice. Their action, when all was said and done, reflects exactly the kind of courage and activism in the electorate that is required in our republic to keep it vital, participatory, and FREE! It should be embraced, not condemned by the party leadership and the party faithful.

Liberals and the Democrat Party will prey upon this weakness and pry open the fissure while their own candidate, Chris Coons, a self-avowed Marxist and fellow Black Liberation Theology Anti-Capitalist (along with BHO) will go unscrutinized by the liberal media. Conservative pundits should be using their airtime to expose Coons for who and what he is--not to denegrate the Republican candidate and her supporters with petty complaints, demoralizing and dividing the base.

We've seen some of this same kind of Republican self-abuse in Nevada where greenhorn, Palin-backed Sharron Angle is taking on the formidable Goliath of the Senate, Harry Reid. An even more egregious example of this self-defeating behavior is on display in both Florida and Alaska. The candidates themselves, in a nauseating show of arrogant self-importance, have chosen to continue their races on their own, either as third-party or write-in candidates after primary voters soundly de-selected them from the ballot. I can almost hear Ursula bellowing, "You poor unfortunate souls! You dare oppose me?!"

It's time for Republicans to unite behind the candidates the people have chosen--whether you're enamoured with them, or not. If you want to armchair quarterback, do it after the general election when it's too late to do any real damage. You'll save yourself the embarrassment of being wrong, or be able to revel in "I told you so's" if you're proven right. But don't make your gloomy prophesies self-fulfilling! No candidate will please all the people. Each will be too conservative for some, too liberal for others, or have weaknesses that opponents will try to exploit. However, they ARE the people's choice. We can get behind them now, or let the Democrats dictate who our representatives will be and in what direction our republic will move. I'm not a staunch partisan. But I am a pragmatist. That's two-party politics in America and that's rational.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Truth...and ONLY THE TRUTH...Shall Make You Free

In our united quest for a better, freeer, more just Republic we must seek out and build on truth--whether or not it squares with our world view. Only in truth are we empowered to bring about unity and virtuous ends.

This morning I was made aware of an email which apparently has been circulating for years impuning the President (Obama) for expressing blatantly caustic and anti-American sentiments during an interview on a Sunday morning talk show. Among them:

"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides." And, "there are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression.." "The [National] anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing."

Obama is proported to have continued: "The National Anthem should be 'swapped' for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing'... " and further, "It's my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of waring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails - - - perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments."

A few minutes of research, not surprisingly, reveals this story to be a complete hoax that has it's roots, at least in part, in a piece of conservative satire by a columnist for the Arizona Conservative during then Senator Obama's Presidential campaign.

To bring unity out of the enmity and chaos that is American partisan politics today, we all must stop trading in inuendo, invective, half-truths, and outright lies. Seek the TRUTH! Gather the facts. Verify your sources and THEN form, propagate, and act upon your findings. There is much on which we can unite and agree. For us to succeed as a nation, we must come together on these vital eternal principles of truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. A body politic built on any other principle is destined to fail and to fall.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Libertarians & Conservative Republicans: United We Stand

I read this interesting (albeit verbose) article debating the merits of Libertarians uniting with "mainstream" Republicans.

Philosophically, I identify strongly with Libertarian principles. I first voted for Ron Paul in 1988. But I also maintain a so-called "Christian Conservative" bent in favor of a traditional definition of marriage; that the right to life is the preeminent right and that abortion is a blight on our society; that drug abuse is not victimless and therefore can legitimately be subject to appropriate limits and controls by the consent of the governed; and that in the spirit of the Founders, religious expression has a positive, if not necessary place in the public square. It saddens me that people who fundamentally agree on the big issues i.e. fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, limited government, states rights, etc. would be thwarted in their purpose by petty divisiveness and intellectual snobbery. Here's my response to the Article by Brink Lindsey:

"Oh boy! Sadly, this Libertarian's view carries the same condescending elitest stench that is characteristic of so many of the self-proclaimed "intellectuals" on the extreme left. Having "done the Libertarian thing," myself, some 30+ years ago and reading some of this article today, it's easy to see why the L party has gone nowhere since then. Success in returning the country to a free enterprise, capitalist, secular republic with a limited federal government will only happen when subsets on the right learn to work together.

Like it or not this is a two party country. From a pragmatic standpoint, that's not going to change anytime soon. Diminishing so-called Populist Conservativism by denegrating those who feel strongly about moral social values ALONG WITH libertarian socio-economic and Constitutional principles will only consign both to a permanent seat in the bleachers while progressives reform America into just another Euro-styled socialist state. Now is the time to unite in defense of the principles and policies upon which we can agree. Not to engage in intellectual snobbery and petty name calling. Lindsey may have some legitimate points, but his divided approach is disastrous both for Libertarians and mainstream Conservatives."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PEE-BO's Assault on Big Oil--Ingenious or Insane? The Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

I consider myself a rational person. I beleive my political convictions are based on a fairly clear understanding of the core principles upon which our unique republic was built. I'm not an historian, an economist, or a political scientist, but I am a well-informed, reasonably intelligent and at times active patriot who loves his country and the liberatian, free-enterprise, capitalist, and religious values enshrined in our founding documents and expressed so fruitfully in our history over the past 234 years. I have found that I can generally hold my own in a debate on points of principle and common sense. I can do it with pretty much anyone advancing an opposing view as long as the debate remains intellectually honest and doesn't weave too far into the lanes of legalism or sophistry. And I can do it because the ideas and principles of truth stand on their own.

But I may be loosing my cool rationale. I feel my blood beginning to boil! President Obama issued an edict collapsing a huge portion of America's oil industry in the form of a 6-month moratorium on ALL offshore drilling at depths of 500 ft. or more. While some measure of caution or inspection is reasonable in the wake of the gulf spill, this reaction is both extreme and devastating to the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans not to mention our already insufficient energy security. At least one district court judge (not to mention over 60% of Americans) agrees with me and struck down Obama's overreaching mandate.

Yet, in an act of defiant contempt for the legal system and the will of most Americans, Obama vows to both appeal the decision AND reword the executive order so he can issue it again!!! WHY??? Why would he persist in this irrational assault on an industry that has a remarkable record of safety and success (99.998%) and is so vital to regional and national economic interests--particularly at this time? This is TOTALLY irrational UNLESS...

Unless it's a deliberate attempt to harm this industry or this nation. Now I admit, that sounds like an absurd assertion--especially when directed at a campaign oil money hoe who's been uncovered in bed with BP and its flatmates. But what other conclusion can you draw when the measure is so unmeasured and destructive? That he merely wants to protect the environment from further damage? Well that sounds good. But can't he accomplish that without this draconian response? You don't ground all airplanes when one falls out of the sky. You may step up inspections, increase scruitiny, or tighten up loose regulations to ensure the safety of the other planes but you don't shut down all air traffic pending a 6-month investigation!

So what IS Obama up to? Why is he doing this with such brazen defiance? Why has he rebuffed the offers for help from other nations? Why take so long to approve Jindahl's sand barriers? Why has he engaged so slowly and so insufficiently to actually help solve this problem in the Gulf? What is he trying to pull?

And why is he lending $2 BILLION of scarce U.S. taxpayer dollars to Petrobras, the multi-billion dollar Brazillian "big oil" firm owned partly by puppetmaster, George Soros for expanded drilling in waters THREE TIMES THE DEPTH of the Deepwater Horizon disaster?! Who is to benefit from America's energy demise and how? What's wrong with this picture?

Maybe Obama is a genius with nothing personal to gain. Perhaps he tuly believes that collapsing American oil and advancing cap and trade will speed us on to a bright, beautiful future of windmills shushing in the breeze and corn powered cars popping down the motorway with their canola sheen sparkling in the globally cooler, carbon-diminshed, clear-aired summer sun. It's a lovely picture, indeed!

But the evidence is mounting that the real benficiaries of Obama's perverted policies are corrupt "inside traders" who stand to bilk billions of taxpayer dollars through unholy alliances between favored enterprises and federal force while the rest of us get "equalized" into oblivion. Perhaps that's the real genius of Chicagoland's "Community Organizer" and Marxist-in-Chief, Barrak Hussein Obama.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blind swipes at Tea Party reveal lockstep libs' hypocricy

Saw this post on SodaHead and had to comment, but since I wouldn't join and agree to get their newsletter, they won't post my comment. So here it is for your enlightenment and entertainment pleasure:

Travis J. Quibbert:
The Tea Party remains a loosely coalesced band of strict constitutionalists and fundamentalist Christians (that doesn't sound like any kind of party to me!), despite efforts to project the image of a cohesive force capable of defeating ... whatever. Republicans? Democrats? Reform? Whatever it is, well by golly they don't like it!

The greatest new development since their crushing defeat with regard to health care is their vague threats of Civil War Part Deux. Sorry, but we're not too worried. Actually, it sounds adorable! Imagine a ragtag group of seniors with Confederate caps, their Rascals all gassed up and rarin' to go! Doesn't that sound cute?

We won't ever get a clear list of actual things they want (and "not that" doesn't count), so what is it really that they believe? Take a look at the delusions of the Tea Party.
Guess your idea of a party is a welfare check, a long line at the underpaid, overworked doctor's office (and just about everywhere else), and a shorter, less prosperous, but more useful (to the state) existence. Sounds like a rip-snortin' good time, to me!
BTW, if "not that" doesn't count, how DO you explain Barak Obama? The big "O" is the quintessential NOT THAT; the anti-Bush--a guy who ran and won on virtually nothing else. Elected by idiots who quite literally knew nothing more about the man but chanted triumpantly on election day, "well at least he isn't Bush." Yeah, they got their dream-come-true! And a few are even still chanting. What a bargain, eh?
Ironic that the next Chief Executive (and I use the term loosely for Barak's sake) will most likely have won on the exact same platform; substitution: Barak=Bush.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Obama Takes Aim at Military for Pay Cuts

Talk about about OUTRAGE! The ONE thing (ok, maybe one of a handful) that the Federal Government *should* be spending money on--and potentially liberal amounts of it--is the one area they're threatening to cut. Why does Obama hate the US Military? Why would he threaten the pay of the valorous men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day to protect this country and its values (what's left of them)? Why?

Why does he use our money and squander our childrens' future on bank bail outs, auto industry bailouts, other pet government takeovers where he has no Constitutional authority to intervene; as well as sweetheart deals for the big unions who have greased his political palms, and other corporate cronies (such as the cynically scapegoated Goldman Sachs--their reward is coming) while using those palms to smack down our troops?

Who can defend this O-BS?! Look, I'm all for Federal budget cuts. Across the boards! I'd like to cut most of those people down to ZERO! But the military?! When the average letter carrier in the post office makes $80K?

You want to cut spending? Start by repealing that boondoggle healthcare entitlement that's going to, single-handedly, bankrupt the nation. Try freezing ALL federal payrolls--in fact all government spending. How about some meaningful pension reform so these blood sucking bureaucrats don't work for the government for a few years and then retire on 80% to 90% of their working pay? Can anyone say, "Greece?"

If anyone is underpaid in this nation, and particulary those paid directly out of the US Treasury--the pocket of the people--it's our military personnel. Over the last few years, some corrections have been made and military compensation has begun to approach a respectable level. Don't let the Obama Administration ream the troops. Contact your representatives and defend military pay. After all, it's the RATIONAL thing to do. For more on this story click here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Obama Art of Having It Both Ways

You gotta give the Obama Administration credit. What other President could preside over an INCREASE in unemployment and have the media lap dogs spin it as GOOD NEWS?! I remember when the unemployment rate under Bush rose from something like 4.4 to 4.9%. To listen to the media, you would have thought the sky was falling. I recall the reports. It was like Armageddon.

Not so with Obama. Today the unemployment rate is UP to 9.9%. just .2% below the highest level of this recession posted in October 2009. Yet, as far as the media is concerned--even on FOX News--this is a great day. Talk about the teflon magistrate! How does this guy manage to pull it off?! Only because his advocates own the press.

But there is a "legitimate" argument here. Here's the logic: Since jobs were added, more people were drawn into the labor market (looking for work) so the increase in the unemployment rate reflects the increase of people looking for work and not finding it.

Well, ok. Maybe so. That's pretty nuanced--something the main stream media works hard to avoid when  "analyzing" conservative policies and players preferring broad stereotypes and liberal templates. (Witness the recent Arizona illegal imigrant enforcement act branded "nazi" by countless liberal pundits.) Bush would never in a million years been handed such a trophe.

So what's the real story--the rational one? For the past 3 months job growth has been inching upward. According to an AP article in the Daily Finance, a net 290,000 jobs were added to the economy in April. That follows a revised upward 230,000 in March and about 39,000 in February. So it appears the job loss trend finally bottomed out in January and in the last three months we've added over a half-million jobs! That IS good news. More people are working. And Obama deserves some of the credit. But not nearly as much as he'll claim.

Here are the caveats as I see them:

1. If the unemployment rate was 9.7% and it's now 9.9% despite the addition of almost 300,000 jobs, it's safe to assume that the 9.7% "official" rate is laughably deflated. Millinos of uncounted unemployed workers are sitting on the sidelines. Some estimate the real unemployment rate, when those who have given up and are no longer actively searching are added to the mix, at upwards of 15%. That's a shocking number and a HUGE indictment of Obama's failed "stimulus" policies.

2. About 66,000 of the new jobs--nearly a quarter of them--are temporary government (census) workers. 45,000 more were in leisure and hospitatlity probably reflecting seasonal trends. Others are doubtless seasonal or temporary in nature as well, such as in construction and farming. So how much of this job growth is in reliably permanent employment reflecting real strength in the private economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and financial sectors remained flat and transportation and warehousing actully fell suggesting that those vital areas of the private economy that offer the greatest hope for real growth continue to stagnate.

3. Growing Federal bureaucracies portend more jobs yet more trouble ahead. With thousands of pages of controversial new legislation creating hundreds of new Federal departments and bureaus, much of the forseeable growth in employment will be in the public sector -- concentrated in Washington. That's great for those employed but lousy for the rest of us paying the bill. Government workers produce no real wealth. Their earnings do go into the private sector, but all they are being paid must first come out of that same pocket in the form of either taxes or debt. This is not stimulative. It removes capital from the private economy confiscating, rather than creating wealth. Government debt also removes dollars from the hands of investors raises the cost of capital, and inhibits growth on the private side.

In short, except for the jobs directly being created by the Federal Government to meet bureaucratic needs (and arguably even then) Obama's fiscal policy has done and is doing more to inhibit economic growth than to stimulate it. His corrupt bail outs, misdirected blame, and unbridled government expansion and debt have left capital and entrepreneurship in America in paralysis. And that's the ONLY place from which real growth and real jobs can come.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TARP recipients cut loans & boost pay...Surprise-Surprise!

And you thought capitalism was corrupt! Combine it with government largesse and voila! Corruption cubed! So the Federal Government first influences (some say forces) large banks to make more risky loans, then when the borrowers can't make their payments and the banking infrastructure begins to crumble under the weight, the government cries foul, demonizes the banks, and then bails them out with public funds effectively taking them over. Having escaped the natural consequences of their poor lending practices, the banks (with government oversight) use the TARP funds to shore up their balance sheets while tightening credit--who can blame them? Then they use their revived financial strength to pay their people more for their "pains." Everyone will blame them for that--justified or no. Finally, the government then demonizes them again for the sin of solidifying their structure in order to justify taking wholesale control or implementing suffocating regulations.

If market forces had been allowed to prevail, the banks never would have lowered their credit standards to begin with. Remember, government (public) "insurance" for higher risk loans coaxed lenders into those trecherous waters. Homebuyers would have had to have large/er down payments, better credit, and better ability to pay keeping high-risk loans out of the market. Banks would have seen fewer defaults and more solid balance sheets and profits. Yeah, fewer folks would have gotten into homes but they wouldn't be losing them now, either. And in the end, the economy would not have needed the "correction" it has now taken.

Sorry, it's NEVER rational to involve the government and "free money" into ANY industry. Regulation should be limited to protect consumers from criminal fraud, theft, and bodily injury (not risk) and government prop-ups should be outlawed. Ever. PERIOD. Businesses and industries who attempt to operate outside the laws of sound economics driven by demand, supply, competition, and value should fail.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Obama-esque financial reform is a bad idear

I'm gonna admit right out of the gate that I haven't done much homework on this one yet. But I'll fire a quick couple of shots over the bow as to why I think Obama-styled financial reform is yet another loser for all of us.

First, risk in the capital markets is a GOOD thing. By attempting to insulate consumers and investors from risk, the same will undertake such investments more carelessly relying on the government to "cover their sins" and do the due-diligence for them. Once again, as with healthcare, welfare, unemployment and a host of other programs, shifting the responsibility from the consumer/investor to the government aka "society" at large will only result in more cost and potentially more problems. Keep businesses accountable to their customers and competitors directly with appropriate laws and enforcement against misconduct and the free market will thrive.

Second, Obama is a power hog. He wants to suck up top-down (executive) control of EVERYTHING he can get his arrogant, progressive little paws on--because, of course, father knows best. Eventually (maybe sooner than you'd like), the Dems will be out of power. Ask yourselves this, lefties: Would you want Bush to have that kind of absolute control? If you give it to the big Zero, you're giving it to the next Bush just as surely. This is yet another attempt to demonize capitalism to both undermine and control it.

Third, here's another thousand-page bill that no one will read before it's passed and the consequences of which are unpredictable at best. Here's a suggestion: Identify the specific problem you wish to solve. See if the problem is already addressed in current law. If so, enforce it. If not, devise a rational, simple, common sense, bi-partisan solution and write a new law to fix it. Forget about "comprehensive" reforms. Solve specific problems one at a time. Leave out the earmarks and political horse trading. Pass a good law that everyone can understand and a solid majority can support.

Finally, Obama style statism (call it by whatever ism you choose) is a disaster for all except the rubes at the top; be they on the government or corporate side. It can only lead to more collusion between the state and the monied interests that the ruling party tends to favor. It means more big government intervention, more cost, more corruption, less efficiency, less profit, less innovation, lower quality, less responsiveness to the markets, more government dependence, less autonomy and independence, less opportunity for the regular guy, and more locked in power for the people who already possess it.

Whatever avarice you ascribe to capitalist corporate America, why would you ever think there's less of it in government?! The only problem is, public sector greed tends not to stop with the lust for riches. It seeks to control the lives and properties of others, as well.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Economics of Beer or bE-conomics

I found this on, of all places, a comment to a news article on Yahoo!. It's brilliant! Enjoy and understand...

A small lesson using our favorite American beverage... Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. (In case this isn't clear, it means that the "bottom" 70% of all citizens pay only 10% of all Federal taxes. Those in the top 10% of earners are paying almost 60% of the bill!)

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings) The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!' 'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!' The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction (even though it's the smallest proportional break). Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier. --David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Georgia.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Gotta Buy WHAT?!

Now wait just a minute. You're telling me I HAVE to buy health insurance? Really!? But what if I don't want to? What if I don't need it? What if I can't afford it--or I have other priorities? Say I'd rather self-insure; pay as I go? You, my fellow citizen, are going to use the full force and power of the United States government to MAKE me buy health insurance because YOU think it's better for everybody? Who do you think you are? What if I buy it but you don't like the brand I buy or you don't think I bought enough? Will you make me buy more? What's gonna stop you if we open this door?

See, this is pretty extreme stuff. We're talking about the federal government walking into my home (or yours) and forcing me to buy something at the point of a gun. Hyperbole? No! Not really. Because to enforce this little gem they're gonna add 16,000 new IRS agents who will make it their business to verify whether or not you're writing checks to an insurance provider or receiving benefits through your employer or whatever. Then, if you're not, they'll have to have some kind of enforcement mechanism. They might take it out of your tax refund. Or if you owe no taxes or have no refund coming, they'll fine you. If you don't pay the fine they'll doubtless add penalties, fees, interest or whatever, and then, if you still don't buy the insurance or pay the fine, they'll have to attach your bank accounts, confiscate your property or send the police to haul you off to jail. They'll HAVE to or else the law will have no effect. Oh, but THAT would never happen! *wink wink* this cool with you? I mean, you're upset if the government wants to tap your phone if they deem it necessary to stop a terrorist attack. THAT bothers you. Is this any less of an invasion of your personal liberty and privacy? And while only those involved in nefarious activities should be apprehensive about being wire tapped, the healthcare police will now be surveiling EVERYONE to make sure we all have this one product that no one can live without! Or that it's unfair to live without. What?!

I'm a little amazed that so many Americans are yawning about the new, outrageous, unprecedented move on the part of the federal government to force citizens to purchase a product? No matter what the product is or what excuse they have for forcing you to buy it at the point of a gun. If you open this door, what's next? Birth control for people they don't think are fit to have kids? Diet pills for fat people? Dance lessons for the rythmically challenged?

And don't give me the argument about auto insurance. That's a straw man. First, auto insurance is NOT a federal mandate. It is mandated and enforced at the state level. Second, it is mandated in exchange for the privilege of driving as regulated by the several states. Third, you don't have to buy it. You can walk, ride a bike, bum rides, take a cab, or use public transit. You have a choice! And finally, it's clearly in your self-interest to purchase because driving is inherently a high-risk activity that carries a probability that you will, at some point, injure yourself or others incurring a financial liability that could be ruinous--the same kind of liability that drives most people to at least want health insurance.

Finally, the free market--yes, glorious capitalism--left unshackled by overly aggressive mandates, restrictions, and regulations A) has already given us the best healthcare in the world and B) will solve the cost and coverage issues with broader competition, TORT reform, innovative products and smart regulation targeted at specific cost and availability objectives. Comprehensive reform--a politically driven giant step towards the stated objective of a single payer system is not the answer for America. What say ye?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reaction to 15 Year Old's Abortion in Washington

This is a pretty sad and alarming story. A 15-year old child went to the health clinic at school and received a pregnacy test. When the test was positive, she was immediately "given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing." Further, she was told that if she kept the abortion to herself, there would be no cost. Perhaps most alarming of all, this child was a pro-life advocate and her mother stongly objected to the school's handling of the matter, although too late. She was denied the opportunity to counsel her daughter who was undoubtedly confused and afraid at the time--in no position to make such a profound life-changing decision without the benefit of abundant advice. Read the full article here:

Among the comments to the article were those who stated that the state acted appropriately because it has to protect children from abusive parents, and others who maintain that the state had the right to intervene because it will save health care and welfare dollars down the road. Interesting...

Here's my comment on the article:

This is shocking! So, because there's a chance that a given parent might react badly to a child who is pregnant, no other parents have the parental right or responsibility to counsel their children or influence their immature and/or potentially uninformed decisions? This sounds like a presumption of guilt towards parents--the assumption that children will be mistreated and need to be protected from the people who gave them life. (This innocent unborn would have benefitted from similar protection!) What other excuse is there for the secrecy? And how do you justify the bribe..."we'll pay if you don't tell?" Who did pay for this abortion? Who protected this child from the influence of the state that violated her core pro-life values? What kind of psychological, emotional, and spiritual damage is being done to her and her family? Sorry folks. This is an outrageous, upside-down perversion of terms like rights and protection. It's time to grow up, America! Start managing your own lives--and those of your underage children--and stop turning your responsibilities over to "the state."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great news! Job losses continue...only slower!

You gotta love this! Here's a classic example of the kind of lollipop liberal logic that is dragging America down to ruins: I got this amusing market update from JobBait yesterday:

Hi Bruce,

Our Job Market Report was updated today for the State trends by Industry. Here are a few observations:

Nationwide employment growth has been improving for the last 7 months. We're still losing jobs, but the losses are getting smaller. This is analogous to being sick - the fever broke 7 months ago and we're getting better, but we are not "well" yet. You can look at this two ways: 1) we're still sick, or 2) we're getting better. Both are true. It depends on whether you see the half-empty or half-full glass of water.

If improvements continue at this rate, the nationwide employment growth rate will be positive by this Summer and we will be adding jobs.

Mark Hovind

Ha! What are these guys smokin'? Sincerely? Gimme a break! Here's my response:


I don't know who you are, but that BS behind your name is well-deserved. How do you justify positioning the slowing of job shrinkage as “growth?” There is no growth rate. Or, I guess if you insist on using the term growth, it’s still a NEGATIVE rate. In other words, nothing is improving—it’s just that the rate of decline is slowing. Be ye an optimist or a pessimist, the glass is still getting emptier. The fever is still climbing albeit at a slower pace. The patient is getting sicker, not better. If "improvements" continue at this rate, the patient will DIE! Plain and simple.

Honestly, you sound like a lacky for the Obama Administration. Here's a hint: Just report on the numbers. Somehow, we'll figure it out from there. When the net job loss rate shrinks to zero and we start ADDING new jobs back into the economy, THEN you can say the fever has broken and we're getting better. On your website you promise to shoot straight. Live up to it!

B. Ackerman

Now, I don't know this guy from Adam. Apparently, he's some kind of Executive Employment Coach. I'm sure he's just trying to put an encouraging word our there for his clients and followers. But this is the kind of lollipop logic that is fruit-flying the country! The twisted, anti-capitalist economic policies of the United States stink like rotting potatoes. They are ensuring our demise by lifting up corrupt and bloated government over and above the creative ingenuity of individual, self-interested, free and independent people. The Federal government, in particular, is the pathogen not the cure to our employment and economic ills.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seasons of Home

Born among the children of the flowers
The spring of life seems safe in the womb of family love—
But too soon the changes come.
Secretly unsettled in a world of shifting illusions
Like the tiny craft unshackled from its moorings
Set adrift on a quiet, seething sea;
And the chasm widens silently.

Innocent childhood gives way
To the summer of turbulent youth
Unbridled and unsure;
Uncommon and unappreciated;
Unconventional and alone.
Summer colors darken as storm shadows fall
Making sure-footed pathways disappear beneath--
As the brush strokes begin.

Summer swelters and the uncompassed artist
Seeks respite—the cool, comforting breezes
Of family and home. He cries out, but there is no wind
To carry his voice. No echo in the smothered air.
Only a mother’s constant, unconditional affection
Breathe fleeting whispers of comfort
As the bottle and brush become
The roof and door.

But even summer’s homeless torment fades as
As a new season beckons from a distant shore.
Palm trees and manatee replace the moose and pine;
White sands, the snows of crusted peaks.
Somehow, the storm tossed craft innocently,
Unexpectedly drifts home.

Early autumn cat-birds the
Work of spring breathing new life!
Youth’s tempestuous passions transform as
The certainty of love settles in.
Images enliven as home and occupant possess each other
Feeding the mind’s fertile eye and
The spirit’s generous wit.
Life’s canvass emerges in resplendent view
With a bold new pallet of deep and vibrant, soul satisfying color.

But autumn’s Indian summer fades too soon and leaves begin to fall.
At first almost unnoticed and finally as a torrent from a cloudless sky.
Winter’s whistling winds chill the air and still the artist’s brush.
But the certainty of spring looms evermore as the wanderer
Travels Home.

In loving memory of the triumphant life of The Artist Kip (Ackerman)
March 23, 1960 - February 19, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Human-caused Global Warming: You Decide!

Here's a dose of important data relative to the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) theory. It will be well for all Americans and others around the world to wise up. UK Columnist Sheds Light on Global Warming. Check it out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Obama's Answer to Terror: Work Harder - Do Better

In the wake of the nearly catastrophic Christmas Day, "Testicle Terrorist" bombing attempt aboard Northwest flight 253, and after 5 separate speeches or press conferences on national security and the Islamo-terrorist threat, the best and the worst President Obama could offer is essentially this: It was NOT a failure of systems, infrastructure, or intelligence ("Thank you, President Bush") but rather a failure to perform; i.e. connect the dots, share information and ACT on the intelligence at hand.

As usual, the Top Water Pistol, corralled his charisma and managed to sound tough on terror, but was characterictalistically long on form and short on substance. His answer? Scold the operatives in the trenches and shame them into working harder and faster. Inspiring!

Let's face it, Obama got swamped by this one as he has by just about every other real-world tidal disturbance that's come his way. The First Dude is clearly in way over his head. He and his socialist administration is much more adept at re-engineering America in the image of their collectivist eutopian heros that they are at actually running anything or solving a single problem.