Dec 18, 2009

Dear Senator -fill in the blank-


Dear Senator -fill in the blank-

This Christmas Eve,
as you cast your vote,
you need only remember one thing.

You serve at the pleasure of the people
- not the president.

Nov 30, 2009

A Letter to Sam's Club


December 1, 2009


Sam's Club
President and CEO Brian Cornell
608 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716

Dear Mr. Cornell:

I'm baaack! I haven't been a regular Sam's shopper for, oh... at least several years. Pretty much immediately after the Costco opened right over the hill from my home. Yeah, Costco has everything going for it. It is more conveniently located for me; it has lots of yummy delicious products, many of which your store doesn't carry or does, but with lesser quality; it is a newer, less run-down building with better product presentation; and perhaps, most importantly, Costco always has managers at the check-out making sure the lines don't get too long. They staff each check-out with a cashier and what used to be called a “bag-boy,” making the wait consistently under five minutes. When is the last time a Sam's shopper could say that, if ever?

At this point you may be wondering what brings me back to Sam's? It turns out you and Costco are a lot like the Republicans and Democrats right now. It isn't that you (or the Republicans) have done anything to attract me or my support... it is simply that Costco (or the Democrats) turns out to be a worse choice. You see, they published their November volume of “The Costco Connection” magazine with a surprisingly sinister picture of Al Gore on the cover – article by Al within, promoting his new book: Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.

I've been irritated for years with the both of you for not selling incandescent light bulbs. Having been a global warming skeptic from the beginning, I found it insulting that the places where I like to shop “in-bulk” and where I pay for a membership to shop “in-bulk”, I couldn't “bulk-up” my incandescent light bulb supply before the AGW hysterics outlaw them in 2014. Luckily Wal-mart sells them cheap. While you all are huddled shivering in your organically grown cotton blankets trying to read Our Choice by the buzzy blue light of your compact fluorescent bulbs, I'll be enjoying Man's Search for Meaning next to the warmth and light of my good old fashioned incandescents. I don't need a computer model to predict which of us will be enjoying life more.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a free-market capitalist through and through. I believe deeply in Costco's right to sell Gore's book and I'm betting Sam's will sell it too. I also believe Gore has the right to enrich himself by selling as many of his fear-mongering, manipulative and fraudulent books as possible to as many of the gullible who will buy them. I also believe deeply in freedom of religion, so I don't wish to keep Costco or anyone else from believing in discredited “science.” The problem comes when Gore, in collusion with Costco's marketing machinations, gets to promote destructive policies which directly affect me and the country I love ... like Cap and Trade, Gore's carbon indulgence dream come true... and the banning of incandescent light bulbs. That's when I choose to exercise my free-market right to cancel my Costco membership.

If you'll indulge me a moment longer, I'd like to offer a little constructive criticism. You can learn something from Costco about managing your check-outs. The best managers with whom I've worked were the ones “on the floor.” They knew what was happening at every moment and could make corrections real-time. You need to implement a policy like this. There are also several products I'd like to recommend to you: Del Monte canned apricots in jars (they're pretty on the shelf and delicious to eat); Jack's Special salsa; pea pods – not the carrot, broccoli, pea pod mix you currently offer; smaller packages of ground turkey (2.5 pound packages require the buyer to re-package for freezing); similarly, whole boneless skinless chicken breasts packaged individually, but sold in bundles of eight or ten; artisan bread; and finally, and most emphatically, milk chocolate covered almonds. Also, I was in a Sam's recently to buy Cheese Nips for my kid's church social and every box was crushed as if the palette had been dropped. Your product presentation is shabby, to put it bluntly. Fix it.

Sure, I've learned I can live without these things. But, I'm a Sam's Club member – why should I have to?

Sincerely,



Western Chauvinist

P.S. I can establish my credibility by proving I stopped shopping at Costco immediately upon receiving their Gore magazine, even before the AGW conspiracy was exposed by the whistle-blower who leaked the Hadley CRU emails and computer code.

P.P.S Do you offer a finder's fee for my having discovered a market-niche for Sam's? Of the six or eight women I've shared this with, they all thanked me because they were considering joining Costco and will now continue shopping at Sam's.

P.P.P.S This doesn't excuse you from improving your store. I've learned I can live without Costco, so I know I can live without Sam's.

Copy:

Sam's Club
Ignacio Perez-Lizaur, EVP Operations
Liz Kirkwood, SVP Finance

Costco
Jeffry Brotman, Chairman
James Sinegal, President and CEO
Richard DiCerchio, SEVP and COO
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027

Oct 19, 2009

One A Disciple of Voldemort, The Other of Mao?

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between representatives of evil and people working in the White House? Check out Barty Crouch, Jr., minion of Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter's arch-nemesis in case you didn't know), who exhibits some disturbing outward manifestations of his inner evil.



Here's another look at Barty's Dark Mark:


Now, watch Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, speaking at a prep-school graduation ceremony in June as presented by Glenn Beck.



Notice anything flicking - I mean, striking? Maybe someone should check Dunn's forearm. Oh wait, I think I've found it...



My apologies for jerking around your refined sensibilities between this and the previous post. I'm struggling myself to keep my eyes wide open in these freaky frightening times.

Happy Halloween?

Sep 19, 2009

Gods of the Copybook Headings


A now for something new to this blog... a Rudyard Kipling poem, linked by Anonymous in the comments on The Facts of Life are Conservative. Poetry is usually the domain of my sister at Looking Up, but this one seems so appropos to the times and the conservative FOL, I just had to share it. Thank you, Anonymous.



Gods of the Copybook Headings - Rudyard Kipling


As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place;
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:—
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Sep 11, 2009

In Remembrance


I've been reading the prose and poetry and watching the videos from 9/11/2001. It makes me remember that day – that beautiful hideous fall day when I was nurturing life and sickened by death. I was in early pregnancy with my youngest daughter. Her sister was three and at Montessori school that morning. When I picked her up early, her teacher asked me if I was right with God. I answered her honestly that I didn't have a relationship with Him.

That was eight years ago and He is at the center of my life now. My faith rings True for me. It is so TRUE, sometimes I can hardly bear the clamour. One commenter wrote about “hate” not being “justice” and how forgiveness and repentance are the answer. Not for me – not always. His faith is hollow in my opinion. My faith holds apparent contradictions as true and my life experience validates that truth.

Love and suffering are inextricable.

We are made in God's divine image and fallen.

Our love of God (good) necessitates our hatred of evil.

I hate the evil bastards who were the destroyers that day and I believe God gave them a non-stop direct flight to hell. I don't believe it because my heart tells me so, but because our sacred scripture does.
"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Exodus 20:7
He tells us He won't forgive those who commit evil in His name. He doesn't ask us to be the lamb to lie down for the lion. He asks us to take up our cross. Carrying the cross entails suffering in love, loving in forgiveness, gratitude in suffering and sometimes... sometimes even hating in righteousness. Let's roll.

Sep 3, 2009

The Facts of Life are Conservative

"The facts of life are conservative." - Margaret Thatcher

Whenever I hear that, I have a gut sense it is true, but I've been unable to explain why. The following is my attempt at clarity and argument.

Usually when we speak of the facts of life (FOL), we're talking about sex. Shhh...you know, explaining procreative sex to a pre-adolescent child. And as any good liberal knows, that isn't something one should entrust to conservatives! No, that's strictly a task for liberal establishment education. So, how can the FOL have any relationship to conservatism?

#1. Behavior has consequences.

The behavior may feel good, like sex, but it doesn't necessarily do good. Take the welfare state for instance. Liberals claim a monopoly on compassion. They want the state to help the poor and educate the ignorant and save the planet, blah, blah, blah. But, where the nanny state has prevailed, liberal policies have destroyed the character and culture of the people. For example, liberals couldn't have damaged black families in America any more than if they had set fire to their homes. Rising rates of out-of-wedlock births, abortions, black-on-black crime, incarceration, hip hop misogyny and more can all be attributed to liberal compassion. Compassion is the rationale for the reduction of standards applied to liberalism's victim groups. With friends like that...

Here's a consequence for you. The American value system, based on Judeo-Christian values of human worth and liberty, has created the most prosperous, freedom-loving, generous and moral nation the world has ever known. Just look at those white stars and crosses carpeting northern France as an example of American morality and generosity. But liberals don't promote American values. In many cases they oppose them. They want to take God off the coinage and are passionate about equality, which is inherently in tension with America's founding value of liberty. Culturally, we're reaping what liberals have sown because, out of their compassion, they try to mitigate against natural consequences and therefore fail to improve society or individuals.

#2. Life is not fair.

It isn't. And no amount of progressive government is going to fix it. This comes as a shock to the collectivists who read the Declaration of Independence ("...all men are created equal...") and think it calls for material equality. God creates us unequal, though all are of infinite worth as made in God's image. The two are apparent contradictions which our faith holds as simultaneously true. It is what the deist Thomas Jefferson meant, as Marxism hadn't been invented yet.

I can hear the liberal retort now. "But, life should be fair and we should do everything we can to make it so." There are two major arguments against this. The first is, in the process of being "fair" to one person, we almost always are unjust to someone else. For example, the Ricci case in which a white dyslexic firefighter studied hard and spent his money on tutoring and other aids to pass the test for promotion. He passed, but because no black candidates did, the city denied his promotion out of fear of lawsuits. The argument on behalf of the black candidates is that they tend to come from poor neighborhoods with inadequate schools. That isn't fair (and it can also be blamed on progressive governance), but it is also unjust to deny Ricci the promotion he earned. We're never going to fix injustice in the world with more injustice.

The second argument against "doing everything we can" is it is government's role is to secure our God-given liberties, not to equalize the outcomes. The black firefighters were free to have chosen Ricci's route - to have studied hard and sought help, but apparently they didn't as none of them passed the test.

At one time, this all would have been common sense, which leads to the third FOL.

#3. Common sense is indispensable

The indispensability of common sense shouldn't require explanation - it should be - um... common sense. Without it, people tend to act stupidly... even ivy league educated intellectuals. Perhaps, especially ivy league educated intellectuals. Foolishness is the product dispensed with most university diplomas. "I got my BA in Womens' Studies"; "I earned my Masters in Social Work"; "I have a degree in Environmental Architecture." Just fill in the blank with "Foolishness"and then try to get a job which doesn't include counting members of a frog species... in a swamp... at night. As college enrollments increase - common sense becomes increasingly uncommon.

There are enough examples of the lack of common sense these days to fill a large book. Examples of stupidity range from a family story about the hotel clerk who knocked on the door to a newlywed couple's suite at 2:00 a.m because she had mistakenly given them the wrong suite - to the current administration believing a debt crisis can be solved by spending trillions of borrowed dollars.

I confess, I feel my own common sense is impaired. Our society is like the proverbial frog in a pot of warm water and I admit, I'm having trouble determining when to jump. Of course, a large part of the problem is there is no obvious country of choice for a safe liberty-loving landing.

#4. There's no such thing as a free lunch -Milton Friedman.

Oh yeah... this is the one. This is the fact of life which completely baffles the Left. All together now... EVERYTHING HAS A COST! It is both a fact of life and codified in the conservation laws of physics.

I knew some granola hippie types who got turned onto a newfangled Scandinavian burial technique involving plastic bags and some sort of gas. It was supposed to be environmentally correct. I asked them, "Where does the gas come from?" After a few moments of awkward silence, we laughed it off and they decided their fall-back position was to try to get a permit to be buried in their compost pile instead.

The "no free lunch" FOL is essential to wisdom. It spans everything we know or are able to know about life from the most mundane to the most transcendent. It is timeless. It is Biblical. From Genesis, it is the lesson that the price for disobedience to God is death. For Adam, it is having to scratch sustenance out of unyielding earth rather than picking low-hanging fruit from trees in the Garden. For Eve, it is pain in childbirth. From the New Testament, the lesson is Christ the Redeemer. We do not have to live in condemnation anymore because Jesus went to the Cross and paid the Price for us. Amen!


And yet, listen to progressives. Some people believe - or pretend to believe - in "free" health care and "free" wind or solar energy and "free" college tuition... What they refuse to acknowledge is that the productive people working to provide "free" everything to everyone are going to stop being productive at some point and hop on the dole-wagon. And then everyone will pay the price. The Left is enamored with the idea of sustainability.Try this bumper sticker on them... Socialism is Unsustainable!

#5. Human nature is fallen.

This is probably the bottom line. The dark side of human nature is mean, greedy, controlling, lustful, lazy and selfish. It makes us want something for nothing. When we give into our dark nature, it makes us want everything for nothing. And progressive government is the serpent with the apple. Progressivism promises perfectibility at a bargain basement price. We can be as gods if we just eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. It is all so easy and our eyes will be opened.

Sure, there have been many millions of people who have transcended their basest human nature. Among the greatest were the Founding Fathers who recognized that, because man is fallen, no man can be entrusted with the unconstrained power of government over free citizens. They knew that man and society are not perfectible and so the role of government is necessarily limited to protecting individual liberty. This is the essence of the conservative facts of life.

To recap:

#1. Behavior has consequences (and attempts to mitigate against them are ultimately cruel),

#2. Life is not fair (and nothing tried by progressive government makes it so),

#3. Common sense is indispensible (and increasingly uncommon),

#4. There is no such thing as a free lunch (ever - period),

#5. Human nature is fallen (which necessitates the weakest government possible while maintaining the rule of law and the sovereignty of free citizens).

Aug 19, 2009

Fail!

All you need to know about Obamacare:

The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

Neither option is good; ignorance is clearly preferable to the alternative.


Read all of "Obama Goes Postal" by Caroline Baum here.


Aug 12, 2009

Animal Piety


There is often a confluence of events I feel is inadequately explained by random chance. I've had such a week recently. It started on Dennis Prager's Ultimate Issues Hour, when he discussed the insignificance of intention. There is an idea in Judaism related to intention called the “yetzer” or urge. Jews believe we each have a good yetzer and a bad yetzer which exist simultaneously in us at all times. The simple example Prager gave was the cheesecake temptation. The good yetzer tells you not to eat it because it's bad for you while the bad yetzer says – “life is short, eat dessert first.”.

Prager told the story of visiting a friend's father, who was a rabbi, for some personal advice. The rabbi told him, “At my age, I have my bad yetzer pretty much under control. It's my good yetzer which gets me into trouble.” In other words, it doesn't really matter if your intentions are good or bad if the resulting fruit is rotten. You still get judged on the fruit. Therefore, wisdom is the ability to discern what will produce the good fruit, regardless of your intention.

Prager had a show later in the week in which he debunked the cliché, “the ends do not justify the means”. His argument was that about half the time the only way to justify the means is the good ends they produce. He gave the example of using a bazooka to rid a house of cockroaches (unjustified) versus ridding a house of terrorists (justified). And he used the real-world example of the atomic bombing of Japan to end WWII. Dennis took a call from a Catholic woman with a masters in theology arguing that evil means are always unjustified whatever the ends, based on Church teaching of the conditions for sin (evil in nature, knowledge of it, consent to it). She even told Prager that the means of the Polish Catholic woman (Irena), who slept with a married Nazi to save the lives of twelve Jews hidden in the basement, were evil. That is animal – or unholy - piety.

I'm not a scholar of Judaism, so I'm working out my own definition here. If we place human behavior on a spectrum from unholy (animal, primitive, common) to holy (godly, transcendent, set-apart), then animal piety is behavior (or belief) which preserves one's moral virtue at another's expense. I think imposing virtue on others, by force, also falls under animal piety. Examples would be: an unwillingness to kill an intruder to protect one's family from rape and murder; pacifism in the face of evil because war requires killing; redistribution of wealth to the poor by government force rather than voluntary charity; endorsing the noble lie (man made global warming is going to destroy the planet) to force some perceived virtue (going green) on others; the desire (and intent) to prosecute CIA interrogators for pouring water on the faces of murderous terrorists. In these difficult interesting times, the animal is running wild.

Unfortunately, some very prominent Catholics seem to be practicing animal piety. Actually, the most prominent Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI, makes statements which could be construed as promoting it in his latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth). At one point he says, “there is urgent need of a true world political authority...” to address the social justice issues. Let's hope he's referring to the Second Coming of Christ! This section of the encyclical is alarming in its utopianism. But, I suppose if the Church isn't directing our thoughts to an ideal of human relationships, it doesn't have much to say about anything. I'm not trying to bash or defend the pope's writings as I have only read some excerpts and commentary. I am concerned though that utopianism coming from the pope encourages fierce animal piety in others.

Take, for example, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who explains “Without a Doubt, Why Barack Obama Represents American Catholics better than the pope does.” Townsend is a potent agent on behalf of Obama's effort to re-brand the Catholic Church. She seems to be arguing that liberalism is what American Catholics practice, in which case, she is correct. Barack Obama better represents liberals than the pope. She is pleased that the Church supports unions, regulation of capitalist excesses, environmentalism and political activism (one must assume she's not thrilled about activism of the right-to-lifers). But the Church is wrong about women (especially in the clergy), gays, pro-choice Catholics' right to communion and birth control. It's all in the polls “... 54 percent of American Catholics find gay relationships to be morally acceptable, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.” Why, didn't 54% of Catholics vote for Obama in the last election?

Townsend is a typically petulant leftist. You can almost picture her “I want what I want and I want it now!” foot-stomping tantrum. I'm not going to take the space to specifically refute all her talking points. However, to claim that liberals are more pious than the pope, who leads the only institution on earth which proclaims the dignity of the human being from pre-birth (contra contraception, embryonic destruction for stem cell research and abortion) to natural death is the epitome of moral preening. To believe in Ms. Townsend's world view, one must believe that women priests, openly gay relationships with full blessings of the Church and state, full-throated Church support of abortion and Catholics who endorse it, and free love with free contraception and free of consequences would be better for the common good than the Magisterium's considered positions of two millennia. I can think of a few arguments against her, augmented by the facts of world history, but fine. Let's say she's right. Now she must answer why she continues to belong to a religion she finds so unjust. And how her piety doesn't hurt human beings and the uniquely Judeo-Christian social constructs from which she has benefited her entire life.

And then we have Fr. Richard Schiblin. He wrote an article for the Liguorian entitled, “Church Teaching and the Economic Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?” If you go read it, pack your duct tape. It is an anti-capitalist screed full of false statements and foolishness, such as “Capitalism has been the cause of excessive suffering, injustices, and fratricidal conflicts whose effects still persist.” No, Father Schiblin, capitalism is the system in which “the poor” have cell-phones and flat-screen TVs on which they may watch over 500 satellite channels while choosing not to buy health insurance because they qualify for “free” health care under Medicaid. Their health care is financed by the middle class who have a wine refrigerator as standard equipment under the counter of their newly remodeled kitchens. It is the system which, while not being entirely fair (only Al Gore and a few dozen other elites can afford a private jet), has the most people in human history living comfortably and as close to “liberty and justice for all” as has ever been achieved in the real world. But, never mind. The Obama government, with which I'm pretty certain Father Schiblin is well pleased, will forcibly ensure that no one is able to keep “for his exclusive use what he does not need when others lack necessities.” Well – except for Al Gore. He'll get to keep his jet because he needs it to go warn the world about global warming. Oh, and the system you advocate, Fr. Schiblin? That system is responsible for over 100,000,000 murders in the 20th century alone. Fr. Schiblin isn't just guilty of animal piety – he shows a deeply unattractive ingratitude for the blessings of liberty.

It seems one aspect of animal piety is an unreasoning animal ignorance of that which is plainly true. Capitalism, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, is the worst system of economics around – apart from all the others. Perhaps Father Schiblin has a whole new system in mind. However, what he advocates sounds a whole lot like the old collectivism invented by Marx and applied by godless butchers like Stalin, Mao, Castro and Chavez. Bill Buckley hoped, with the death of the Soviet Union, we had reached the end of history, but it appears the animal pious among us keep resurrecting the powerful State to try to do what is expressly the work of the Body of Christ. It is tragic that any layperson should have to explain this to a priest. Such is the nature of animal piety.

Jul 23, 2009

King Julian



About Me

King Julian,
beloved leader and gifted whistler speaker, Lord President of the lemurs U.S.

Age: 48
Gender
: Male
Astrological Sign: Leo
Zodiac Year: Ox
Industry: Chicago Style Politics
Occupation: Supreme Leader
Location: Madagascar Kenya: Indonesia: United States

Interests

* Ruling the world
* Saul Alinsky
* statism
* Me
* unconstrained power
* the Living Constitution
* did I mention Me?
* public speaking
* professional whistling
* have you heard about Me?
* gardening (no, no - that's Michelle)

Favorite Movies

* Catch Me if You Can
* Fly Me to the Moon
* Madagascar
* Madagascar: Escape from 2 Africa
* Me and Marx
* Promise Me This
* Anyone but Me
* Rescue Me

Favorite Restaurant

* Mimi's Cafe (because it is all about Me Me - not you you)

Favorite Books

* Dreams of Me from My Father, by Me
* The Audacity of Me Hope, by Me
* Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky

Favorite Quotes by Me

"Hurry everybody, before we regain our senses."

"Let me be clear. I don't have all the facts."

"Please feel free to bask in my glow."

"I am the one you've been waiting for. I am the change you seek."

"It's me, King Julian. Which of you is attracted to me?"

"After much deep and profound brain things inside my head - I have decided to rule the world!"

"Yes, I can!"

"Let me be clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's."

"Wait, I have a plan. I've devised a cunning test to see if the U.S. can survive Me."

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

"C'mon everybody, let's go talk to the tyrants."

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

"The gods eat the sacrifice. They are grateful. They give me the water, then I give it to you! {Does it work?} No. I mean yes. Well, Rahm?"

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

"Oh, suddenly throwing a giraffe into a volcano to make water is crazy!"

"I don't know why the sacrifice didn't work. The science seems so solid."

"Bring me my nuts on a silver platter."

"Sorry - do you mind going back? This is first class. It's nothing personal it's just that I'm better than you."

"Whatever happened to the separation of the classes?" {I'm sure this whole democracy thing was just a fad. - Rahm}

"Soon we will put my excellent plan into action. All we have to do is wait until they are deep in their sleep... HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE?!"


May 19, 2009

Winnowing


It is a beautiful word, isn't it? Say it out loud. “Winnowing.” The act of separating the grain from the chaff, wherein the fruits of labor are sifted from the waste. The harvest is gathered and purified giving sustenance now and seeds for the next season. Gathered. Separated. Purified. A person unfamiliar with the term would never guess the underlying struggle, even violence, from the sound of the word: winnowing.

I haven't studied prophecy as some of my friends have. I'm such a baby Christian, my sword is more like a jabbing toothpick at this point – annoying, not dangerous. However, I know the prophets speak God's truth, especially to those who would rather not hear it. The truth we don't want to hear, perhaps particularly in the Christian churches, is God is winnowing.

This isn't just about faith. I find more and more that faith and politics intersect: the 2008 election, the economic crisis, the Notre Dame scandal, the “torture” debate, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, abortion, environmentalism, nuclear proliferation, Israel, terrorism, and on and on. The wind is blowing. Where do you sift out? Do you have the weight to fall with the other ripe, fruitful, life-sustaining grain? Or are you carried away on the wind because you are simply too enlightened a person to land in the heap?

I recently had an opinion published in the local Catholic paper. It has been a humbling experience. My opinion was heartfelt and impassioned, but I exploited a man's article to make my point and exaggerated my certainty to leave no room for argument. I still think the foundation of my opinion was correct – you must choose sides and should do so in good faith, not out of moral vanity - but my method wasn't very Christian. I regret.

And oddly, in that regret, I find substance. Living a Christian life is nothing if not struggle. If, in every interchange of significance, you're asking yourself, “what would Jesus do?”, your life isn't easy. You have many failures in a single day! And you find yourself praying for the Holy Spirit to just “possess me, man!” I need some serious help here.

Yet that constant self-assessment against such a high standard must eventually teach us something. I think it gives us heft. Why is Notre Dame honoring Barack Obama so scandalous to us? It is because the Church must stand for something separate from the culture that elected and celebrates the most anti-life president this country has ever known. Why do we think the previous administration did the right thing when it water-boarded three terrorists? Because it saved thousands of innocent lives. Would I be willing to perform water-boarding on a terrorist and risk the wrath of God? It is a moral struggle I'm willing to take-up for the sake of protecting innocent lives. Yes. And “yes” to giving gays all the dignity they deserve as human beings made in God's image while keeping marriage separate for one man and one woman. And “yes,” bury nuclear waste in my backyard! And “yes” support and defend the only nation in the Mideast where freedom of speech and religion prevail and all people are equal under the law – Israel – even if it means bombing Iran. Winnowing. Are you ripe with the weight of your ideas? Have you engaged in the struggle with morality and therefore, with God? Have you considered and reconsidered? Or do you hold a position mainly because it supports the lightness of your being?


Apr 22, 2009

Living in Denial - Or - Don't Worry, Be Happy!































You know how we live most of our lives in denial of death? Most of us have entirely accepted the idea of our mortality intellectually. But, we don't spend any significant amount of time thinking about it because part of us knows it will ruin our lives, right here, right now. I think this state of denial is a gift from God and who am I to turn it down? Since reverting to Catholicism, I've got some of that weird "at peace with death" thing going on, but that's a discussion for another time.

What I'd like to address now is something strange I've experienced since Obama became president. I'm not talking about since he was elected. I think I actually had a decent grip on reality at that point. I was resigned to the fact and still hoped, with lots of skepticism, he might surprise those of us who were convinced he was a hard-left radical with no proven leadership ability. It's confirmed - I was right to be skeptical. But, this is different. What I'm experiencing now is a post-inaugural defense mechanism.

My sister says she keeps thinking she's going to wake up from this nightmare. I can relate, but I realize now my state of mind is something more like how I handle death - or more accurately - how I live as if death isn't my ultimate end. Intellectually, I know our president is a sanctimonious poseur. And I also know we'll be lucky if the effects of who he is are merely devastating and not globally catastrophic. But, psychologically, my mind refuses to deal with the fact that this man goes into the Oval Office everyday when he's home from his latest apology tour and "rules the world!" I just don't go there. Yes - I read the news and listen to the arguments on talk radio. But, the only way I maintain my sanity is by processing this presidency as if it were an extended season of The West Wing. The Obamas live on a set which strongly resembles the White House. It simply can't be the same space recently occupied by the manifestly decent Bush family and before them some of the great leaders of our great and beloved nation. The Obamas travel the world meeting heads of state in the way Queen Elizabeth serves as a figurehead for Great Britain. It is all a very pleasant visual (for some), but without significance. There is an unreality to it and that's just fine with me. I'll deal with it when I absolutely have to - like death. Until then STUFF... IT... IN... THAT... BOX! And whatever you do - don't let it out. It could ruin your life.

P.S. The only time I experience a breakdown is when I consider what a betrayal his election is to our military. Aaaargh!

New World Order


Just had to share this from Canada's National Post. It made me laugh - out loud.

All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.

Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: "I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here's the future. The future is we have borders."

Just what does that mean, exactly?

Perhaps Ms. Napolitano isn't in on The Plan. She doesn't know her job protecting the borders is temporary, pending the One World Order lead by our Dear Leader, The One. Get it, Janet? The One.

Psst. Don't tell the Canadians. They seem a little tetchy about it.

Apr 16, 2009

Response to Reporting on Your Tea Party

I sent the following to my local paper, but I figure it probably applies to reporting on the tea parties nationwide. Feel free to copy anything you'd like to say to your local paper. I doubt any of them will be put into print, which is why I'm posting it here. Names have been changed to protect... me.

Thank you for your “report”, and I use the term loosely, on the local tea party rally Mr. Smith. We now know where you stand: firmly beside record deficit spending, which I'm guessing you decried during the Bush administration. How about a little perspective from inside the rally?

I was there and I saw two large “Don't Tread on Me” banners, not nearly enough to “outnumber” the American flags, one of which I acquired on my way into the park from people handing them out. Yes – there was talk of “righteous anger”, but contrary to the implication of your “report”, this was the most self-controlled, even good-humored, “angry” mob you'll ever see. When I was looking, the local police had their backs to us, suggesting they were more concerned about disruption from outside the tea party than from within it. The attendees were from every age group, with the majority being middle-aged, middle class Americans like me. Clearly, many of them had taken a break from work to attend as indicated by their business attire. Many others were, like me, representing our families who could not attend because they were at work and school.

Your suggestion that we were there to “rail against stimulus spending, budget deficits, mortgage relief and efforts to right the banking system” is creatively worded. You've learned well at the feet of the master, President Obama. Set-up that straw man and then bash it to pieces. Conservatives – or those of us “on the red end of the political spectrum” (more creative wording) - don't believe the government should do nothing in response to the financial crisis. We believe a tax holiday for individuals and small businesses would be incredibly stimulative. We don't believe individuals or corporations or governments overcome a debt crisis by going trillions of dollars into debt. Do you? We believe in consequences for bad behavior and poor decision-making and therefore, yes, we are against “mortgage relief” (taxpayer bailouts). We see two possible choices in the effort to “right the banking system”. First, relieve the banks of their toxic assets (which might, eventually, lead to a return on the taxpayers investment as it did for the RTC). Second, let the banks fail (which is bad for shareholders, but not so bad for taxpayers and depositors insured by the FDIC). The Obama administration is choosing to do neither. His plan is to prop up these zombie banks (not my original creative language) with taxpayer money for as long as... is there an end game? How does that plan sit with you and your children and your grandchildren? I admit, it makes me angry.

The huge cheer for JFK's “Ask not what your country can do for you...” quote wasn't despite him being a Democrat. It was because Obama is the anti-JFK: “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.” And don't try to shut us up with the race card. We'd love to have more, as the local black politician said “Americans who happen to be black” and JFK Democrats join us in this fight for our country's future. It's your future too, Mr. Smith.

Shame on the editorial staff for letting Mr. Smith's blatantly biased “reporting” be printed anywhere other than the opinion page.

Mar 28, 2009


This is my president.




This is my Savior.




One of them is wrong on Life.

The Other gets to judge.

Choose your side.

Secular Humanists against Innocent Humans

How else do you explain Obama's embryonic stem cell research decision wherein human embryos, or as The Anchoress calls them, “lives less obvious”, become the enemy? I just want someone who agrees with Obama's decision to explain why this is necessary given:
  1. Bush's policy did NOT prohibit privately funded embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), it simply limited federal funding to pre-existing stem cell lines. Bush was actually the first president to order federal funding for human ESCR. In fact, Obama de-funded research on alternatives to ESCR.
  2. While there have been NO therapies developed from embryonic stem cells, there have been 72 therapies - which are actually helping patients right now - developed from adult stem cells or umbilical cord stem cells. The “promise” of ESCR doesn't seem to be panning out.
  3. Technologies allowing stem cells to be developed from adult cells have made the destruction of “lives less obvious” gratuitous even if you don't find the practice morally repugnant. And, what did our president say about “respecting” the opinion of those who do? He will say anything.
  4. If ESCR is so promising, private companies would be eager to finance the research, which they're not. Besides, Californians have already committed six-billion tax dollars to the effort, including cloning.
The only answer seems to be that embryos – and even older in-utero children – are the enemy. Enemies to be destroyed at every opportunity – in the petri dish, in the womb and up to and including infanticide in the form of partial-birth abortion. The argument that only government can afford to fund projects leading to “miracle cures” is becoming – ahem – more difficult defend with each new trillion dollar “stimulus” package. I don't think the feds can afford the paper our money is printed on anymore. And I can name plenty of innovations and cures that weren't funded by the feds. Did you know the research leading to the polio vaccine was funded by the private charity, the March of Dimes?

Tookie Williams viciously murdered a Korean family - but, but (whine) he wrote children's books in prison!

While we're critiquing secular humanists for their anti-human positions, how about their sympathy for killers of all persuasions – terrorists and murderers? I hear the lawyers arguing for “fair” trials within the American judicial system for the Guantanamo “detainees”. We need to send 900 million dollars to Gaza to “rebuild” Hamas? Because common sense tells us that even if we don't send the money directly to Hamas, the fact that they won't need to fund repairs to roads, schools and hospitals means they'll have, oh, approximately 10 million to rebuild “defensive” tunnels they can use to import 890 million dollars worth of rocket parts. And what's with the candle-light vigils for murderers about to be executed? And now New Mexico and soon Colorado are overturning their death-penalty laws. The sympathy is always for the murderers, never for the maimed and murdered.

Or how about the humanists advocacy of population control for the purposes of saving the planet? “For whom?” one is tempted to ask. People are pollution. Haven't you heard? For any youngsters who need convincing, just have them watch Wall-E or read the Dr. Seuss rip-off “The Wumps”. Even the Barbie movies offer the new enlightenment. Barbie's new 'Thumbelina' is a morality tale about stopping a factory from being built to save Thumbelina's people (non-humans). Break out the magic unicorns! The only human progress humanists are interested in is human progress toward extinction.

And thanks for all the utopian dreams in complete denial of the human condition and the related policies which strangle the life out of the ambition and human endeavor of formerly free people. Don't you see, it's the “vision thing”? It's all in the Vision, man.

Mar 25, 2009

*BAM*! *THWACK*! *KAPOW*!

More strikes against the American republic by Democrats today:

U.S. to blame for much of Mexico violence: Clinton
(Reuters)

As if violence perpetrated by Mexican drug cartels isn't because Mexico is a failed state run by corrupt politicians and their enforcers. Mexico can't or won't even keep large portions of it's population from migrating to America to find work. Only the dying American economy can do that! Oh, and you won't miss the rationale in the article for the coming massive federal gun control. Apparently the cartels having taken to terrorist style beheadings - using smuggled guns, night-vision goggles and body armor?

Dollar dips on Gheitner's 'loose talk'
(Financial Times)
Here's an idea! Let's "reduce our reliance" on Gheitner to be able to head up the Treasury and fire his "grad student" a**! He should take his boss' advice and not say anything until he knows something about it.

Clinton: N. Korea Plan to Fire Missile 'Provocative'
(FoxNews)
While the North Koreans are loading up the launch site, Hillary says, "This provocative action in violation of the U.N. mandate will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences." I'm sure she's drafting a strongly worded letter as she speaks! And you know, the North Koreans are weally weally afwaid of Pwesident ("missile defense an unproven technology") Obama and Hillawy. I'm sure Dear Leader doesn't want to displease the Dear One.

As always, don't forget. Democrats love America just as much as you do!

Mar 24, 2009

Today's Body Blows

As in - what have the Obama administration and Democrats hit the American Republic with today.

U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms
(Washington Post)
But no, no - Obama isn't a socialist! Pah! You conservatives are just a bunch of Nazi fascist, homophobic, sexist, blood-thirsty, imperialist, intolerant name-callers!

U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

(Reuters)
Gee - think there's any conflict of interest in the government propping up news agencies responsible for reporting on the government? Actually, this may not be as bad as it sounds. It would be more honest if most newspapers operated under the same rules as NPR. They wouldn't have to keep up this absurd pretense of objectivity.

EPA Raises Heat on Emissions Debate
(The Wall Street Journal)
That's right. The EPA is recommending the government regulate CO2 as a pollutant. That's the same CO2 you release into the atmosphere every time you exhale. Hm. The new green bumper sticker: People are pollution!

Oh. And don't forget. Democrats love America just as much as you do!

Mar 20, 2009

The Lost Presidency of Barack Obama


It is tragic really. I know it is early to be making such a claim. But, the missed opportunities and lost potential are so disheartening.

Let's do a little John Lennon imagining...

Imagine if, during the transition phase, Obama's team laid out a plan to address the banking crisis. Let's say they planned a way to get the banks' toxic assets off the books. I'm not an economist, but I've heard and read several speaking on this as key to stabilizing the banking industry. I'm not saying the economy wouldn't have taken a dive. I'm saying a restoration of confidence by virtue of a plan to address the heart of the problem might have made the dive shallower and shorter term.

Imagine if, rather than allowing the widely despised demagogues Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to devise a spending package having almost nothing to do with stimulating productivity and economic growth, Obama's team had proposed a package including a tax holiday and supportive of small businesses. And then imagine the bipartisanship!

Imagine Obama proposing a quick-response regulatory agency which would have the job of assessing innovative financial instruments and advising Congress. Contrary to the claim Democrats love to make about this crisis being the fault of Republican deregulation, the real problem is virtually no regulation on new-fangled loan instruments devised by, shall we say, “creative” bankers. As the joke among economists goes, “a good regulator is only one crisis behind”.

Imagine if Obama had warmly welcomed Gordon Brown and kept the protocols of past presidents when greeting one of our strongest allies. How about a celebratory state dinner? How about gifts that were thoughtful? How about keeping the bust of Winston Churchill in a still prominent place if Obama didn't want it in the Oval Office? How about some graciousness – let alone common decency. Giving a nearly blind man a box of DVDs incompatible with British DVD players is appalling.

Imagine a president standing up to our long-term enemies in Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria and China? How about securing Poland from Russian tanks rolling across her plains? How about working with the Chinese to convince them of their self-interest in containing and eventually dismantling the North Korean concentration camp, rather than begging them to continue funding our ever expanding debt? How about loudly proclaiming our permanent alliance with Israel and warning anyone who messes with her that they will feel the full force of American wrath?

Imagine a president restraining his impulse to fix the environment, education and health care until the financial sector stabilizes, rather than “taking advantage of the crisis.”

Well. I guess we can imagine anything, but in this case, we're imagining a Republican president. Not Barack Hussein Obama.

Mar 4, 2009

The New Greed Problem?



I touched on greed versus self-interest in my post about Confidence and Objective Moral Standards, but Sheldon Richman is much more thorough in his piece The Goal is Freedom: All About Greed at the Foundation for Economic Education. And his commenter William Reed provides great clarity:

  • I have what I believe is a working definition of greed. It is sort of a Taoist definition. A Yin-Yang sort of phenomenon which is largely dependent upon one’s personal prosperity vantage point.

    When someone who has more than you wants more, they’re greedy.
    When someone who has less than you wants more, they’re ambitious.
    The two phenomena are actually one.

    As was brutally and irrefutably proved in the USSR, when you try to socialize your way out of greed, you inevitably end up destroying ambition into the bargain.

    I love Mr. Baird’s definition of greed as pursuit of self-interest through involuntary exchange. As noted by George Washington, “…Government is force!…” What a fertile environment for this type of exchange!

    The greed/ambition yin/yang phenomenon may be visualized as a magnet in the shape of a coin. Heads is the positive side, in this case ambition. Tails is the negative side, or greed.

    The difficulty arises when governments, over-privileged due to duped voters or oppressed peasants, is granted a sufficiency of power to attempt to separate greed from ambition in order to dispose of greed, while leaving ambition to thrive. As any student of physics can tell you, no matter how finely you slice our imaginary coin, every resulting slice will still have both a positive and a negative pole. But they sliced away with abandon in the good ol’ USSR, resulting in an ever weaker market force, until finally, greed and ambition had been decimated to such an extent as to be utterly ineffective as a wealth creator in what remained of the market. Ultimately the only meaningful expression of greed remained in the political apparatus, where greed for political control destroyed millions of lives. In a free market greed loses its bestiality, as described by Mr. Richman. In an all-powerful government it is given free rein. In any event, it is, as Mr. Richman so eloquently states, an inseparable, eternal characteristic of human nature. It may be largely tamed by a free market, but can never be excised from humanity. If it finds expression in our government, exercising powers beyond those expressly enumerated by our constitution, may God help us.

  • Mar 3, 2009

    Paying Taxes is Patriotic...

    Our vice president (Joe Biden for the majority of Obama voters who don't know) told us so.


    video

    Finally! Conservatives can legitimately claim liberals aren't patriotic - by their own standard. See Obama's list of nominees/appointees who don't pay "their fair share of taxes":

    Timothy Gheitner - Treasury Secretary
    Nancy Killefer - Performance Czar (withdrawn)
    Tom Daschle - Director of Health and Human Services (withdrawn)
    Hilda Solis - Labor Secretary
    Ron Kirk - U.S. Trade Representative (pending)

    Did I miss anyone? I'll keep a space open for future appointments/updates.
    No wonder Democrats don't mind raising taxes on the rich - only rich Republicans pay them.

    Oh yeah - Charlie Rangel (D - NY) - Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax code. Lovely.


    Feb 26, 2009

    Obama Thanks Jews for Their Votes

    Now, mach schnell -
    *GET* UNDER* THE* BUS!
    !

    U.S. plans $900 million pledge for Gaza (Reuters)

    Jewish Leaders Blast Clinton

    Over Israel Criticism

    Hillary Pressuring Israel To Speed Up Aid To Gaza (CBS)

    And we thought it was bad when Democrats made blacks ride in the back of the bus.

    Update:

    Saudi Advocate to Run the
    National Intelligence Council?

    That's right. Chas Freeman is going to be editing the president's intelligence briefings. Let's throw the Chinese dissidents under the bus too, 'cause Freeman thinks the Red Chinese government was too restrained at Tiananmen.

    The "Honey, I Got a Bargain" Defense

    Look what you've done, you shameless shopaholic women! You've taught Obama's budget chief the "I Got a Bargain" defense. "I saved you so much money at the outlet stores today, Darling."

    Policy shift will avert $9 trillion deficit-Orszag

    Here's the "money" line:
    "All told we are showing $2.7 trillion in costs in this budget that were excluded from previous budgets and I think that is a mark of the honesty and responsibility contained in this document," (Reuters)
    I've come to realize we all, as individuals, at some point have to decide who we trust. The world is simply too big and complex to discern every truth for yourself. So, who do you trust for "honesty and responsibility"? President ("I'm not for Big Government") Obama and his minions, who seem to come up with a bigger lie every day, or someone like Alan Keyes.

    Feb 23, 2009

    Another knee-slapper!

    Obama Taps Biden to Oversee Stimulus Package Implementation

    "The fact that I'm asking my vice president to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and future to get this right," he said.

    Is he talking about this guy?


    That's not fair, you say? OK - here's the picture FoxNews put up with the story.

    Feel better?

    Feb 21, 2009

    He Says Without Irony...

    I've decided to start laughing at the Obama Amateur Hour Variety Show. We dissenters have no control, nothing really to fight back with except prayer and our 2010 vote. So, here tonight's entry for best joke of the day. Imagine our straight-man-in-chief, saying, less than a week after he signed the Piracy Act of 2009 (version 1) into law...
    ... he is determined to "get exploding deficits under control" and said his budget request is "sober in its assessments, honest in its accounting, and lays out in detail my strategy for investing in what we need, cutting what we don't, and restoring fiscal discipline." (Washington Post)
    Ahh ...[wipes tear from eye] that's a good one! BTW, his plan includes letting the Bush tax cuts lapse so that capital gains and "the wealthy" take a hit. He's also talking about raising corporate tax rates. Now, there are some proven methods of stimulating job creation for ya'! Oh, Barry... you card! Of course "killing" Iraqis and Afghanis by reducing our discretionary spending on the War on Terror is not going to be a euphemism for making them laugh really hard, but whatever.

    Break out the hammer and nails boys! Barry's going to try out every progressive theory in his first 100 days and we may finally be able to bury useful idiocy for good! He may take America with him, but at least we can have a good laugh before we go.

    On Confidence and Objective Moral Standards

    We hear a lot these days about restoring confidence to the markets. President Obama isn't making this easy with all his catastrophic talk. I mean that in both ways – talk of catastrophe and the catastrophic results in the markets and many American psyches every time he opens his mouth. But I think the problem is much bigger than the progressive agenda he and the Democrats are hurriedly implementing during the president's honeymoon. It is what they have already succeeded in doing to objective moral standards in this country – namely - eliminating them.

    First, I need to explain what I mean by objective moral standards. I'm talking biblical values here. I mean the system of ethics characterized in Judaism and further revealed in Christianity by the love and self-sacrifice of Jesus. America, as a Judeo-Christian culture, has lived most of its history with a social order based on the Bible as the word of God. Not subjective. Not what each person feels in his/her heart is right or wrong. Rather, what the Bible tells us God will use as a measure to decide our eternal destination. This is essential to understanding the American character as distinguished from other Western cultures in the last century. Unlike the rest of the West, we didn't lose sight of our ultimate accountability to God. That is, until the ascendancy of the Left in the 1960s.

    Since then, the rightness or goodness of behavior has become completely subjective. Each person gets to decide for himself what feels right. And the more tolerant one is has become the measure of one's goodness. So, for instance, to take a stand against public expressions of sexual deviance or even in favor of traditional values has become a moral flaw in character. And even worse, adherence to progressive values is almost compulsory for our young people. Since the Left took control of the education establishment, the media, the judiciary and now the government, what kid can stand for Judeo-Christian values against the onslaught of scorn and derision of his intolerance, which is the modern moral equivalent of mortal sin?

    So, how does this relate to confidence? Confidence in our markets, our institutions – our human relationships is a matter of trust. It has a lot to do with predictability. Can I predict how you will respond in a given situation and on what basis will I make my prediction? One thing I never predicted was the arguments against free market capitalism because of this newly discovered dark facet of human nature called greed. I've even heard conservatives nodding and yupping about “greed on Wall Street”. To which I say – one man's greed is another man's self interest. Surely I'm not the only conservative who understood capitalism to operate on a foundation of enlightened self-interest. As a worker, my goal is to exploit my employer by getting the most possible pay for my efforts. As an employer, my goal is to get the most effort from my employees for as little pay and benefits as the labor market allows. We all know the game and therefore trust that the outcome will be fair. We can predict behavior because we know everyone in the game is playing by the rules of self-interest. There is an underlying honesty in free market capitalism.

    Until the government arbitrarily changes the rules.
    Govt: Yes, you banks have been doing fine making money by loaning money, but we think you might be red-lining certain racial groups [as if it isn't in banks' self-interest to earn interest off of “certain racial groups'” money], so you're going to have to loan money to people who wouldn't otherwise meet your standards of risk. Stop verifying their income and employment and raise the debt to earnings ratios you've imposed on the borrowers or we'll see to it you get sued for discrimination!

    Banks: OK – we'll increase our risk as you request [demand/threaten], but we want some way to offset this risk that runs against our self-interest. So, you better find a way for us to sell-off these risky loans [to Fannie and Freddie which are conveniently backed by taxpayer guarantees] and make damn sure somebody wants to buy them [against their own self-interest].

    Fan/Fred/SEC [or whichever govt. entity]: We'll bundle some good loans with some bad ones and slap a triple-A rating on them and sell them to some investors [dupes] because the risk to their self-interest will be lowered [less apparent].
    Ta da! Government diddles with the free market self-interest driven system and WHAMO! Nobody can trust in anything anymore. See DJIA ticker since Obama's inauguration here.

    The predictability of our social order lies in tatters too. Who would have thought even ten years ago that gays would be fighting for same-sex marriage – and would be winning the fight by judicial fiat? Who knew environmentalism would be the new religion taught in schools starting in kindergarten? Who would have believed, when political correctness argued for civility in our discourse, it would end up doing such a disservice to truth, thereby decreasing the value of truth? I wasn't pleased by the election of Barack Obama in November, but I hoped he wouldn't be as bad at governing as conservatives predicted or as good as progressives hoped. Who would have guessed, that in just a month, he would offend or worry our allies, suck up to our enemies and trash the markets with his socialist economic policies? Do any of his friends have confidence in his ability to lead this nation? I think the only one with any confidence left in Obama is Obama himself. God help us.

    Do we go forth with confidence? If we had anything left to believe in, that might be possible. But progressives have convinced a majority to “believe in yourself” and without objective moral standards, that really means "believe in nothing". Progressives win. America loses confidence and so much more.

    Feb 14, 2009

    Buy the Numbers?

    OK – do this little exercise yourself if you don't trust me.

    $787,000,000,000 / 306,000,000 people = $2,571.90 per person

    That's the so-called stimulus package divided by roughly the number of people the US census bureau estimates right now – so, let's round our result to $2,600 per person. I'm afraid the Republicans are right. That just isn't much of a stimulus. But wait! That's debt per person – right? After all, we're not getting a check in the mail and if we did we'd still have to repay it eventually. Oh, maybe some of us will directly benefit from the Great O'Spendulus, aka the “American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARR) Act of 2009”. For instance, those people qualifying for government assistance in weatherizing their homes. Now, there's a role for the federal government the founders overlooked!

    So, here's my proposal to correct the problem. The government buys a Walmart gift card for every man, woman and child in the United States with the generous sum of $2,500 attached. Mine is a modest proposal, so I rounded down a little to save us all some debt. Why Walmart? Well, Wally World is already socialist in nature – limited choices at “fair” prices. And, you can buy almost anything there. Seniors can get their drugs... the kids can buy a variety of toys... liberals will find all their favorite Obama authored books and Bruce Springsteen CDs... conservatives can stock up on guns and ammo... why, if it is a superstore, the spendthrifts among us can even get food there! And think how stimulative it would be! Every manufacturer with products at Walmart would see revenues go through the roof. Toy makers, tire and hardware manufacturers, plant and food growers, drug makers... you name it! Jobs, jobs, jobs and not just at Walmart or whatever alphabet soup of government make-work programs Obama's team is yet to reveal. I'm a genius!

    Seriously though, this is my evidence that Obama doesn't want economic recovery. It took me less than ten minutes and less than a page to develop this idea that truly would be stimulative and less expensive than what the Democrats just did to this country in the so-called stimulus package. In just under a month, more than a 1,000 pages and some 787 billion dollars of debt, the Obama administration has planted our collective feet firmly on the road to serfdom.

    Why? I think there are many reasons. Perhaps first, because he can (as in “Si, se puede” or “Yes, we can”). He is a great deceiver – maybe The Great Deceiver. Did you hear what he said at the press conference about economists agreeing the New Deal type intervention was necessary?

    “Most economists, almost unanimously, recognize that even if philosophically you're wary of government intervening in the economy, when you have the kind of problem we have right now -- what started on Wall Street goes to Main Street, suddenly businesses can't get credit, they start carrying back their investment, they start laying off workers, workers start pulling back in terms of spending -- when you have that situation, that government is an important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy. We stand to lose about $1 trillion worth of demand this year and another trillion next year. And what that means is you've got this gaping hole in the economy. “

    Economists almost unanimously recognize that FDR's New Deal was a disaster which deepened and prolonged the Depression. Politicians argue for government introducing demand into the economy – economists argue for government unfettering the free market to let failing corporations fail and strong one's innovate, to increase efficiencies and let prices fluctuate according to nature's law of supply and demand. FDR's own treasury secretary, economist Henry Morgenthau Jr. spoke before Congress in 1939 and said,

    "We are spending more money than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot."
    But Obama is smooth and articulate. I bet he had 54% of the people listening convinced.

    He also said, “What got us into this mess is banks taking enormous, wild risks with other people’s money...” Here's a case of deception by not telling the whole truth. The government – specifically Democrats – instituted government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which, because they were backed with taxpayer's money (“other people's”), took enormous wild risks on bad loans. They did not originate them (they bought them and sold securities based on them), but the banks that did were responding to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which threatened them with anti-discrimination lawsuits if they didn't lend to high risk cases - as if all money isn't green. And who imposed the CRA? Democrats in government. Now, there's also the securities rating problem where GSEs trying to mitigate their risk by selling securities which bundled good loans with bad ones, managed to get their securities rated triple-A. I don't know who was responsible for allowing this part of the problem, but whether Republican or Democrat, I'm 99.99% sure government had something to do with it. But Barry would have us believe it is all the “banks” and “Wall Street” who are irresponsible and therefore, responsible. B.S.!

    Other reasons why our new president doesn't care about economic recovery:

    - more government dependency = greater Democrat power and influence

    - moral vanity and sanctimony = I'm so good and right, historical facts don't matter.

    I don't think I need to elaborate on these last two.

    Do you think there's any significance to the fact that Democrats passed the ARR Act (which I will henceforth call the Piracy Act of 2009) on Friday the 13th? Buy the numbers? You and your kids and your grandkids just did. $787,000,000,000 worth. Plus interest.