Thursday, April 28, 2011

Short Hiatus

Family visiting the next few days.  Philmon will probably be scarce.  Your only hope is Jeffmon.  But it's springtime on the Jeffmon farm.  So don't count on it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Never, No-How, Not EVER

Had a long argument with a commenter a while back about the Obama birth certificate issue.  His insistence was that Hawaii doesn't ever release the "long form" ever, never, ever, for any reason, to anyone (unless they change the law).  The "But the Bell Rang" defense.

Well as far as I can see, no laws were changed, especially in light of this.

And yet, here it is:


Was that so hard?  What was the big deal?  Why so much time and effort?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Palin Bashing Echo Stop

Got caught up echo-stopping in another round of Sarah Palin bashing on what Morgan calls "The Hello Kitty of Bloggin", with one of his friends. And that friend responded to challenges to Palin's supposed stupidity with a link to this video, where she is asked to explain to a third grader what the job of Vice President entails.



The screaming response from the Palin haters is that the Vice President breaks ties in the Senate, and that's it -- as if Sarah Palin got it all wrong. And every third grader knows it, of course. And she sounded stupid doing it.

Of course, she WAS answering a 3rd grader. She said that he is in charge of the Senate and that he can get in there and mix it up and affect policy by doing so. You know, kind of like the President does with Congress and with the Senate. Only unlike the President, the Vice President is actually Officially a part of the Senate. And not just any part.

I remember this from when it came out. But it turns out so many times that Palin says something we're instructed to ridicule and laugh at and then it turns out she was actually right (but nobody in the MSM does a retraction).

So I go grab my handy dandy Constitution.
From Article 1, Section 3:


"The Vice President of the United States shall be the President of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided."

"Shall be the President of the Senate". Question for you snickerers. What is a President? What is the job of a President? If you are the President of something, aren't you "in charge" of it?
pres·i·dent /ˈprɛzɪdənt/
[prez-i-duhnt]
–noun
1. ( often initial capital letter ) the highest executive officer of a modern republic, as the Chief Executive of the United States.
2. an officer appointed or elected to preside over an organized body of persons.
3. the chief officer of a college, university, society, corporation, etc.
Again, Palin ridiculed for giving a supposedly ridiculous answer that turns out to be not so ridiculous. Sotomayor says Circuit Courts are "where policy is actually made", and she's still the Wise Latina™ and gets an enthusiastic pass and is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

Pattern continues.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oil Subsidies

Near as I can tell, "Oil Subsidies" are in fact, tax breaks.

Again, this argument that we're "giving" money to Oil Companies by not taxing them at as high a rate as we might otherwise assumes (1) That the Oil Companies' money belongs to the government and the government pays them to produce oil from those funds, and (2) that there would be as much revenue to tax at any rate from the oil companies if tax barriers to exploration and production were at those high rates.

Now I am in principle against "subsidies", which is in effect a redistributive thing in Phil's Dictionary.

But to hear the talking heads talk about it, this is what we're doing.  Taking money from people (A) and giving it to companies (B), because the government spent the money it was were "entitled to" from companies (B) and then didn't take as much from them as it thought it was entitled to take.

Are they getting a better deal than they need? Perhaps, and maybe this should be looked into.  But I imagine it has already, numerous times.  Even when Democrats controlled congress and didn't end them.  On the other hand, for example, in 2006, Oil Companies paid $138 billion in taxes to the IRS.  This does not include the sales tax they paid, nor the state fees they pay for being allowed to drill.  So it's not like the oil companies are making money and then we're just adding to it, which is how it sounds on TV.

They might just be making more money in gross than they would otherwise because theyre finding and producing more oil, thereby paying more in actual revenue at a lower tax rate than they would be paying if they were producing less at a higher tax rate.

And that doesn't even start to address how resulting gas prices affect the rest of the economy and boost production to be taxed and the extra revenue that produces.

You could argue me into pulling those tax breaks on principle alone, for sure.

But let's not call them "subsidies".

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Top Heavy Taxation and High Spending and Recessions

What gave the government the lowest revenues was a huge recession so there wasn't as much money to tax. Even property values took a tumble (arguably a huge part of what caused the recession ... over-inflated property prices in a top-heavy market with too many high-risk loans ... being traded as securities).

When the top 10% is paying over half the tax revenue in the country, and they make a lot of their money off of the market, business, and real-estate deals, it doesn't take much of a drop in their incomes to have a huge impact on revenues.

By spending way more money on way more things that the Federal Government was ever supposed to spend and relying on a small pool of the very wealthiest people to fund it, any dip in the economy is going to cause mind boggling deficits ... especially if you were deficit spending to begin with. Right now, for every $1 we spend, we are borrowing 40 cents, and we're spending 188 Million dollars an hour.

Our government does not plan for rainy days. It buys today's votes with the next generation's money. And maybe the next one's, too.

We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

ESAD

Something my brothers and I used to say a lot when we were kids.  It's an acronym, used when you really wanted someone to go away, typically after they insulted you.  Eat solid waste And Die.

Morgan came up with a good analogy for a phenomenon I've been trying to put a finger on, but not trying hard enough to actually come up with something.

It's the "Eat Poo" Argument.
See, this arguing style has a way of flipping things upside-down — it turns the moderate side of the argument into the extreme side, and thus the extreme side into the moderate side. To rationally thinking people, “eat poo” is an extremist position. My ludicrous and silly example at the beginning of the post inverts the equation, and makes the poo-eating proposition look moderate and any attack upon it look extreme (assuming you’re dim enough to buy into it). Well, that is what the President is doing.
It ain't just the President, buddy.  But this is a part of that "Community Organizing" book of rules, so it just comes naturally to him.

The other side has been doing this for quite a long time.  It's not like I've never seen it from my side, but when I've seen that, it's usually been to point out the double standard.

It's good.

Go read.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BSIHORL, by Mark Steyn

For those of you not familiar with Morgan's acronym, that's "Best Sentence I've Heard Or Read Lately".  This one comes from Mark Steyn.  And it would make an excellent bumpersticker.
"The road to hell is paved with stimulus funding"
An excellent bumpersticker.

Here's another:
American Progress:  
Going into debt at 188 Million Dollars an Hour.
or instead of "Win the Future"
Buy the future.  On credit.
Let the kids worry about the bill.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Washington's Warning


Photo inspired by my friend Megan's work. Hers is better than mine.

Things I Know #34

#34.  If A is "political" and B is opposition to A, then B is also "political".

I find it funny that politicians are always accusing each other of doing things for political purposes.

Duh!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top Five Environmental Disasters That Didn't Happen

From ReasonTV.


Worth a Watch

Obama says signing statements are not within the Constitutional Power of the President. Then he says they are if he decides something in the bill is unconstitutional (which ... is ... un ... constitutional ... isn't it? Isn't that the purview of the Judicial branch?) And to further re-assure us that it won't be abused, he says he'll only use it if its unconstitutionality is "well-founded".



Congress voted to de-fund czars. Which is their role under the Constitution. I mean, the Democrats argued they could de-fund wars, so ... I guess it's unconstitutional to not pay Czars. Let me get my little pocket Constitution out here ...

Win The Future

Here's my first second crack at it.

I ordered 5. Click on it to enlarge to full size. Then right-click to Save-As.

Upload it to Makestickers.Com.  Order one or more.

And give some to your friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Palin's Speech, and Union Thuggery

Great speech, Sarah.




Oh man!  Win The Future?   WTF?   Why didn't I notice that? This calls for a bumpersticker.

And here's a good compilation of Union Thuggery from the fight over the Wisconson budget.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Breaking Down the Breakdown

MoveOn.Org put out an "ad" of sorts... "Big Mike Breaks it down" or something like that.  Where some MoveOn-er shows us how cool he can "break it down" with the music, and then does a snarky "ad" where he breaks down the Budget fight telling us .... it's confusing, huh?  Not so much. So he says.  Fortunately, cock-sure Big Mike engages in misplaced condescension and blatant misdirection to soothe the NeoLib soul.

James from our local Tea Party group sent me the link and said "where's our slick video?"  I sent him Bill Whittle's.   But I felt Big Mike's needed a response.

So here's a video fisk by yours truly.  Because I had to.


Interesting Tax Chart

Top bracket income tax and corporate tax from the beginning of income tax in 1913.


An exercise in “how to lie with statistics”.

When people say that taxes were higher under Reagan than they were under Clinton, they are right. What they’re wrong about is that Clinton had anything to do with that other than keeping them approximately as low as Reagan slashed them (from something like 68% to something near 25%.) One big drop in his first term, and another big one in his second.

So when people say “Taxes were low under Clinton” they are technically correct but their ultimate point is false. The economy under Clinton benefited from the huge Reagan tax cuts. G.H.W. Bush raised them a little bit, then Clinton raised them a little bit more, but neither brought them back up to anything like they were before Reagan took office. Note that G.W. Bush lowered them a tiny scoche.
It’s still true that the top 1% pays 38% of the taxes. Which should end all discussion of “paying their fair share”.

Note the other big tax cut under Kennedy in the 1960’s. I wish there were lines for the middle and low income brackets

-- Ah, here we go!  Data from the same site.


Note that bump about 1988.  Tax rate on the lowest income bracket went up a little, but at the same time the taxation threshold went from people making $3,000 to people making $28,750.  There are similar notable anomalies ... when the top bracket tax rate went from 25% to 63% in 1932, the income needed to be in that bracket went from $100K to $1M.  Over the next several years they bumped up the top rate to 81% but they bumped the income needed to $5M.  But in 1941 they dropped that income level to $200K and proceeded to crank up the top rate over the next few years to 94% by 1945.   So if you made $200K (taxable), you got to keep less than $20K.  Wow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Noonan Nails One

In all of the commentary after the President's Speech the other day after the weak spending cuts passed by the Republican majority (but the promise of real cuts over the next three years -- we'll see), Peggy Noonan really sums up what the president sounded like here.

The speech was intellectually incoherent. An administration that spent two years saying, essentially, that high spending is good is suddenly insisting high spending is catastrophic. The president appealed for bipartisan efforts but his manner and approach leave his appeals sounding like diktats. His attempts to seem above the fray leave him seeming distanced and unwilling to risk anything.


Most important, the speech signaled that the White House, after all this time, sees the question of spending as a partisan tool, a weapon to be deployed in an election, and not an actual crisis. This is disrespectful toward citizens who feel honest alarm.
And that really sums it up.   More and more of his speeches are coming off this way.   His explanations are becoming Kerry-esque.  I voted for the war before I voted against it. 

This is a man who believes in "wealth redistribution", and not only wealth redistribution here in the United States, but redistribution of wealth from the United States to other Colonial era countries, to make up for past alleged and percieved wrongs.  But I believe that there is a vindictive streak in him that doesn't see a whole lot of difference between knocking the U.S. a few notches and consider that as a boost of these other countries being bumped up a few notches.  This kind of logic was expressed in the speech when he said

The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.


Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, like homeownership or charitable giving, we cannot ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 while doing nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize.
Got that?  It's HIS (the federal government's) money.  All of it.  The government pays us. It's the only way it makes sense to call lower taxes Government Spending.

This is why the left is always contradicting itself.  It has rationalized up to be down, left to be right, weak to be strong, tax cuts to be spending, and spending (actually giving money to tax payers) to be tax cuts.  That's gotta be a confusing world to live in.  It's a wierd "balance sheet" world -- the kind that gets companies like Enron into trouble.   "Well, we'll just call this tax break an expenditure and this expenditure a tax break and put it in a different column and nobody'll be the wiser.  And if they are, what are they going to do?  We'll call them Extremist Tea Baggers.  That'll shut 'em up. "

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Moonbat Hyperbole of the Day

"If you got kids born right now, we're not gonna get out of this debt by the time they become an adult.  Do you want 'em to run around with no shoes, no clothes, and eatin' off the ground, and drinkin' water that's not safe?"  - Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Well she's right about that first part.  We're not.   Of course, her solution is to tax more and spend more.  And still leave us (and them, the children) with a $22 billion debt.   Which doesn't include the $130 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Innovate, Invest, Vision, Future.  That's going to be the Obama campaign mantra.  "Winning the Future".  With money that doesn't exist.

I love it how every time he brings up the fact that we're broke, she just comes back with "but we have to invest".  Invest what?

The Important Thing Is ...

When a journalist asks a question, and the interviewee's answer begins with, "Look, the important thing is ..."  you know they're not going to answer the question.

Do they think we're stupid?  I think they do.

This morning Gene Sperling of the White House's National Economic Council was asked a question this morning on tv, and as soon as he started his answer "Look, the important thing is ..." and right away I knew to expect bullsh*t talking points to follow in leiu of an answer.     Sure enough ...

Hey, it's free air time for campaigning.  And they know it.

One of the talking points was that Obama has put in a "concrete backstop" and that we will see the debt begin to fall as a percentage of our income.   (Yeah, that last part was hurriedly stated after a short pause.)

Of course that means inflation.  We will pay the debt down in dollars that are worth much less than the ones we borrowed were.  Our creditors will not be happy.  Neither will our shopping carts.

An interviewee from the other side came on and said that what Obama really means is that our projected debt would fall by perhaps $4 billion, but our actual debt would rise by $8 billion.   So we'll be $8 billion more in debt, but $4 billion less in debt than we thought we would be.  That's not "falling" debt.   Only in academia-land do we obfuscate a decrease in an increase trying to pass it off as an overall decrease.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Imagine

It's easy if you try
No facts below us
Numbers pulled from the sky
Imagine they're at companies
That don't exist today

You-hoo-hoo-oo

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
And I'll just call you "Tea Bagger"!
If you ask me where this comes from

Imagine there are people
Who ridicule "Faux News"
Without giving examples
Or other concrete clues
Published to fool you

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
And I'll just call you "Tea Bagger"!
If you ask me where this comes from

Imagine Saul Alinsky
What would he do today
If he were in the White House
Or had a lot of sway
Imagine Transformation
Justifies the means

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
And I'll just call you "Tea Bagger"!
If you ask me where this comes from

What's in YOUR lunchbox?

Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home

I hope there's such a backlash from the parents -- where ARE the parents??? Are we THAT far gone that we swallow (no pun intended, but I'll take it on principle) anything government officials tell us we must? Are we that ripe for the statist pickin's?

They. Work. For. Us.

I'd be at the next school board meeting with torches and pitchforks, and as many of my kids friends' parents I could muster.

Time was school systems were local and run by the people via the PTA and School Board.  But we have a bloated beaurocratic system where we allow un-elected "experts" to dictate policy.  The school boards point to the "experts" advice and say "we gotta do it, for the chilllllllllldren."

But read on, McDuff.  Now we see the corruption inherent in the system:

Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district's food provider, Chartwells-Thompson.
More taxpayer money to the school.  But really, something else is up here. (See, I read Alinsky, and I know how this all works).   I said to myself, "Self?  What's the chances that Chartwells-Thompson employees are SEIU?"

Service Employees International (Workers of the World Unite, it's not just a slogan anymore) Union.  Yeah. 

Woah, what's this here?
"A more robust expansion of school lunch, breakfast, summer feeding, child care and WIC (the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program) is critical to reducing hunger, ending childhood obesity and providing fair wages and healthcare for front line food service workers."

An estimated 400,000 workers prepare and serve lunch for school children in the U.S., including over 30 million students who rely on free or reduced-priced lunches for a healthy meal. "
Budda-bing.  Lookie here near the top of page 15.  How do you like that?  Chartwells does indeed contract with SEIU.

SEIU.  ACORN. Chicago.  Rathke.  Alinsky.  Ayers.  Obama. 

Nothing to see here.

Move along.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sharing the Pain

I ran across a cool blog today.  I'm a bit of a vinyl geek, and a music junkie.  And this guy at Recordo Obscura has some pretty neat stuff.  And some pretty awful stuff.  And yes, I have been known in the past to pick up an album just because it is an example of something awful.  It's almost like "I'd better buy it, because it's SO bad if I told anybody about it they'd think I was making it up!"

But oh... this is a gem.  It's an album of songs about how wonderful Unions are.  Here's a contest.  I made it 30 seconds before I had to stop it. Ok, 36 because I was almost to paralyzed by its awfulness before I could shut it off by clicking "pause".  I was shuddering like Kramer on Seinfeld.  It was like listening to a train wreck.  To some Soviet Marching tune.

With songs like

ILGWU Anthem
The Northeast
Little Machine
Join With Us
This Is A Strike
They Can't Win
Mr. Boss
There Has Come A New Day
It's So Different With A Union
Grow, Grow
... and that's just side 1 -- just ... oh my. 

Sorry, but misery does love company. :-)

Hearty hat tip to Mark the Wondergeek for unearthing that disturbing post.

Higher and Higher, Baby

It was $3.79 yesterday and this morning, but I the sign flickered as I took the shot.  And I was cruisin' by, so ...

I know.  It's gotta be Obama and his oil buddies and his Haliburton connections.  Right?

Bill O'Rielly Gets It





We haven't lost yet, but they have an awful lot of their chess pieces in very strategic places.

Diversion-sity

Front page of yesterday's paper, at the bottom.

Disturbances Prompt Diversity Effort at Stephens College

I glanced down at it on the counter, and rolled my eyes.  Here we go again.  Then I read the story.   A girl grabbed another girl's hair from behind and pounded the back of the victim's head with her fist 4 or 5 times.  Race isn't mentioned until later in the story, although the name of the alleged perp provided a decent tip-off early. 

But when it mentioned race, it was brought out that both girls are black.   Which is fine.  Girls will be girls, and I'm sure white girls and asian girls and all kinds of girls from all over the world have physically assaulted each other.  

Now the college president "stressed the diversity effort is not about race but about treating one another with respect".

Uh huh.

If this were two white girls, would it have prompted a "Diversity Effort"?  No.
If it were black on white, would it have? Maybe.
If it were white on black, would it have?  Oh yeah, and a whole lot more.

Which begs the question ... why is it that black on black prompted this "Diversity Effort"?

The best answer I can come up with is deliberately distract us from the fact that it was a black on black assault.  Why?  Because it doesn't fit the narrative.   Whites beat up minorities.  Whites are the perps, minorities are the victims.  That's the narrative.  We mustn't dilute the narrative.

In reality, it was a just fight involving two girls.   The fact that it prompted a "Diversity Effort" is probably the sole reason it ended up in the paper in the first place.   White neoliberals are so hyper-sensitized to race, they trample each other to get out front and publicly flog themeselves at the Altar of Political Correctness.  And apparently they'll do this even when no whites were involved.  Their little brains have been twisted to the point where they probably think "they" caused this.

Race will no longer be a big deal in this country the day we stop making a big deal out of it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Stretch

A friend recently asked me if I knew if the News Media was unionized.  Good question. I did find a Newspaper Guild.   Found one of their newsletters on line.  And in it, I saw this:

The Civil War was also about labor, and unions

Mark Gruenberg - Press Associates, Inc. - 08 Apr 2011
One hundred fifty years ago this month, on April 12, 1861, the Civil War officially began when Southern troops fired on Fort Sumter, the U.S. fort in the middle of the Charleston, S.C., harbor. In some ways, the Civil War could be seen as a war about workers -- and work. The war pitted one society based on “free soil, free labor and free men,” to use a political slogan of the times, against another based on slave labor.
Say, what?

This illustrates two things I've noticed over the years.  The Left are, ahem, "masters" at rationalization, and they're proud of it.  Large Latitude Logic Leapers, they are.  The other is this propensity to tie every cause to a cause upon which everyone agrees -- to try to put it under the same umbrella of inassailability.  Non-Union workers in a free market are ... slaves.  Got it?

Update: Oh, here's a new one.  Congressman Ed Markey (D) - Mass:

"... yesterday, they [the GOP] they passed a resolution to repeal -- the FCC's ability to ensure the openness of the internet." [..]


"So as time ticked down on Friday afternoon, the Republicans in Congress were trying to shut down the internet and the Federal government simultaneously."
Wow.  Republicans were trying to shut down the internet (by repealing regulations on it designed to let the government police content ... thus making it "more free" ... ??? ) -- which I'm sure would make all of their "greedy corporate sponsors" happy indeed!

He went on to say that the GOP is not only trying to destroy the World Wide Web, but "The Whole Wide World" as well.   Ah, discourse.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So you STILL say it's not a revolution?

Obama, during his campaign to SEIU:   Your agenda is my agenda.  Rather emphatic about it, too, if you watch the video.

And what is that agenda?   Have you read the Cloward and Piven strategy?  Ancient history?   Hmmm.  Here's Steve Lerner a couple of weeks ago.



Organizing.  Community Organizing.  Organizing for America.  When that word, "Organizing" shows up in the mouth of a leftist, you should take note.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Democracy

Hmmm.... this would make a good tagline. Saw it in a friend's email signature:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"   -- Benjamin Franklin
Update: As 6george0 astutely noted, with the word "lunch" in there does draw the quote's origins into question. Looks like the research says that there's no evidence that this quote came from Ben Franklin.  I had no idea when "lunch" came into the vernacular, although I do know that the mid day meal was often called "dinner" (actually in some circles it still is).  But as 6george0 adds ... it's a good quote, regardless of the source.

Learning to Teach

So I'm reading this article in our local paper, which speaks thusly:
For city educators, Chicago Quest is an important foray into 21st century thinking. Students will learn from video game designers and computer experts how to design and build their own video games, produce custom websites, podcast, blog, record and edit short films and connect with technology in meaningful and productive ways.

In an era of rigid standardized testing, city leaders say Quest is a novel approach to get today's wired 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds prepared for the technology-driven, global job market that awaits them.
and then goes on ...
"The only way we're going to catch up with the rest of the world is to reinvent how teaching and learning occurs," said Chicago Public Schools interim chief Terry Mazany. "That's why this is so vital. It's going to be an innovation engine for the district, and I'll strongly encourage the next leadership to keep them close and learn from them."
And my first thought was "who do we need to catch up with, and what are they doing?"

It's a good bet they're not learning how to blog and podcast and edit short films.  Not in school, anyway.   Could it possibly be that we're "behind" because we think making school "fun" by teaching stuff like this instead of math, reading, writing, and science?

I think the "only" way we're going to catch up with "the rest of the world" (yes, I'm so sure we're waaay behind everybody) is to expect something out of our students.   Teach them that a lot of what is necessary in life isn't fun, but you have to do it anyway.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Change Worshipers

Progressives do not like "ideology".   It is one of the words they have toxified over the years.

Which is, of course, ludicrous, because ideology is the best reason for doing anything.  I mean, aren't they the ones always saying "be true to yourself" and other such platitudes?  If you're not living your ideology, you're not being true, man.  And politics is all about ideology.  Why would we expect anything else?

But of course there are good ideologies.  And there are better ideologies.  And there are flawed ideolgies.  And really badly flawed ideologies.  And there are even evil ideologies.

But once again, like "hate" and "racist", it's newspeak.  "Ideology" is now a substitute for "irrational".  One could see how a progressive might make that connection, since theirs is. :-)   But it's probably done subconsciously.  They've basically taken words that mean one thing, and rolled up a whole bunch of other things in it, thus obfuscating the meaning. They then repeatedly use them in the context of "ungood", and voila!  Toxified.

And that's just it.  If you read Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, he talks about change as if it is an end in itself.   I'm not kidding, and they do use that word "Change™" as a sacred word.  Thus "Change™" is an ideology. "Transform™ and "Transformation™" are two other words they use pretty much interchangably with "Change ™" and it all means "Revolution".  It's right there in the book.  "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."   I used to think that was a slam on Mao and Communism, but I don't think that's what John meant.  It basically meant if you want a revolution, you have to be subtle about it, or the resistance will be heavier.  Alinsky too this to heart.  And to the bank.

Everybody wants change.   All those vague polls that ask "Do you think the country is headed in the right direction?"   no matter who is president, no matter who's in congress.... it's always well over 50% think it is not headed in the right direction. But it's the loss of the American Spirit of "Yes I Can", thanks in large part to the Government telling us "no you can't, and it's not your fault.  We're here to help."  They say Change™ and we hear change.  The change each individual wants.  Which are often in conflict with what the guy standing next to him wants.   But change.  My change.  That's not so bad.  There are lots of things I'd like changed.  But none of it is going to be fixed by the government outside of the government getting out of the way.

It's not a revolution.  We're transforming.  Like a butterfly.  Pretty butterfly.  Don't you like pretty things?

Of course, "ideology" basically sums up what you think the world should be.   And they like to say they are non-ideological.  Which, of course, is a part of their oxymoronic ideology. Even their self ascribed title, "Progressive" implies that they know what is good (and thus what is not good).   "Moving forward".  Forward toward what?  Who gets to say which way is forward?  Especially since "forward" implies "the right way to go", which is all tied up in .... you guessed it, ideology.

This is Rich (Stopping Echoes)

...or at least be a damper on their reflection.

I was out on RCP which calls "Ryans" budget cuts "Fiscal Responsibility on the backs of the Vulnerable" (of course, you can count on the left to headline "World Ends.  Poor and Disabled Hardest Hit") .  From there I hit another story "Where are religious conservatives when you need them?"   with the outrageously clueless subtitle: "Religious conservatives profess to care about the poor, but when the poor need help most, they're nowhere in sight."  

It was that last bit that got me riled up.  Especially in light of this.  And the fact that the Religious have a well-known, long, long history of helping the poor.  Much longer than the Federal Government's.  Not only do they tend to give more in money, but they also put in their time as volunteers.  But to these people, if it didn't go through the Government, it doesn't count.

On the Stossel column, one commenter unwittingly made my argument for me when he said:
"Using the Salvation Army donations alone as a test to how much people give is completely bogus. I give to various philanthropic causes through online donations, and therefore withhold my change for the Salvation Army ringers." 
To which I was forced to reply:
And so is using support for government philanthropy to test how much people give.  Perhaps not everyone agrees with the agendas of these government programs, and that's why they vote against them.  This is EXACTLY why the government shouldn't be in the charity business.  It basically forces everyone to give to causes and organizations they might have philosophical problems with.  Besides, it's not the only test.  Apparently Arthur Brooks wrote a whole book on the topic.  I doubt it revolves around Stossel's Salvation Army test.
Speaking of one of those philosophical problems some people have -- one commenter on that "Where are Religious Conservatives When You Need Them?" article said:
"instead once the child has been born and there are expenses to pay, those anti-abortion zealots are against Aid to Families with Dependent Children (aka "welfare") because it is "unfair" or "too expensive."
to which I had to reply:
Uh, no. It's because 1) the government doesn't belong in the charity business, and 2) you get more of what you subsidize. If you make it harder on people to have children irresponsibly, fewer people will do it. If you make it easier on them, more people will do it.

But whether you make it harder or easier, if you believe it's murder, which they do -- "harder" doesn't justify killing. The government should butt out. Our local communities, churches, and other private charities will help like they always have. And they're harder to game. And it makes it harder for politicians to buy votes using Other People's Money.
And on one of them, a commenter also said:
Those conservatives say one thing but mean another. Bush Jr only claimed that so called Christian groups are the one's to help the poor with private money but turned around and gave them taxpayers money(grants) to pay those do-gooder's expense's. 
and back to my Echo Stopper Model ES-2000, now turned up to "11"....
You mean like when neoliberals say "Women's Health Care" when they mean "Abortion"? And "Transformation" when they mean "Revolution"? And "Investment" when they mean "borrow more money from tomorrow's children (who can't vote) to buy votes today from people who can"? 

Yes, I agree the government shouldn't even give grants to charities, religious or otherwise. But Bush Jr's action was a step in the right direction, at least. Charity belongs in the hands of private citizens and private organizations where the people giving the money have more say in where it goes.

Tell me, are
YOU a "do-gooder" when you give money to the government (which will throw you in jail if you don't)? Or do you only use that term when the people doing the good spend their own time and resources under some religious affiliation? 
Blood.  Shooting.  Out.  Of. Eyes.

So You Still Say It's Not a Revolution?

People pick at the Tea Party and Glenn Beck, specifically, for "fear mongering" when they talk about the leftist revolution that is taking place.  Beck plays clip after clip of influential people on the left who are typically intimately tied to the current administration, and ask his audience "what more do you want"?

Enter a recent op-ed in the Huffington Post by Andy Stern, former SEIU President.  Mr. "Workers of the World Unite is not just a slogan anymore."  That same SEIU that shared offices with ACORN (both of which Wade Rathke started).  ACORN, for whom Obama taught and provided legal council.  Stern, who was the White House's most frequent vistor for the first two years of Obama's presidency.

American democracy has layers of power and responsibility, which James Madison rationalized in Federalist, no. 51 as a check against possible tyrannical rule. Our Founding Fathers saw fit to divide power between two strata -- state and federal. Then, within the federal structure, they codified a trifurcation of power to ensure that no single branch came to dominate government; and while power has ebbed and flowed between branches, the system of checks and balances has provided stability, and kept tyrannical rule at bay.


Now, however, in the midst of the transformative change of globalization and this third economic revolution, those layers have become an impediment to making the changes necessary to keep America competitive in the world economy. Today, America crawls along at a snail's pace.
Translation:  The Constitution stands in the way of our revolution.

Understand, "transformation" and "change" are calculated, soft-speak for "revolution".  It's all over their literature going way back, not the least of which is "Rules for Radicals".  "Change" = "Transformation" = "Revolution".   And "Transformative Change" ... just another way of putting it.

When we say that they don't like the Constitution. Or "I don't worry too much about the Constitution". That they, in fact, are trying to change America into something very un-American ... we are dismissed as "extremist" crackpots. And they just continue to say these things, out in the open, and they've set the environment to where few in the media (the strongest being Mr. Beck) will call them on it.

Ransom

Got this in a mailing from Tea Party Patriots and I thought it bore repeating.  Democrats are spinning the government shutdown as the "cruel" Republicans bowing to the "extremist" Tea Party are holding the budget (yeah, the one they didn't pass last September so they wouldn't have the massive spending vote on their records for the November election) "hostage" to their "ideology" (another word that has been Toxified.  Why is "ideology" bad in and of itself?  You gotta stand ... for something or you'll fall ... for anything.)

Here is the opposite "spin", which is much closer to the truth.  The Democrats are in effect saying:

"Pay the ransom! (allow us to continue massive government spending) or we stop paying the military!"

"Pay the ransom!  (allow us to continue massive government spending) or we won't mail you your IRS refund check!"

"Pay the ransom!  (allow us to continue massive government spending) or we will ruin the tourists' vacations who are going to DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival!"

"Pay the ransom!  (allow us to continue massive government spending) or we will close the National Parks and ruin family vacations!"
Which really sounds like a 5-year-old's tantrum to me.

Oddball Anniversary 44,454

Some bloggers post milestones and anniversaries.   Up until the last ... oh, year, there hasn't been much on those lines to post about here. 

I've often thought about waiting until the stat-counter rolls over an even number (lots of zeroes and a high-level digit change).  But I recently got curious about how long I have been around, and what my anniversary would be.  So I went back and checked.  We just missed celebrating our 8th anniversary here a week ago last Sunday.  And we're  (after this post) 27 posts away from 2,000, I just saw.

I started this thing mostly as a place to work out my thoughts, to vent, and maybe to start ripples that other, more popular blogs would pick up and spread further.  All of them have been important to me.  That third thing doesn't happen often, explicitly, but it has happened.  And when it has, it's been an idea I would have wanted to spread far and wide. And even if it doesn't happen in a more blatant way, I hope something someone read here will stick in their head, and this will happen:




(note: there's a sequel commercial that is fitting if someone happens to correct one of my facts.)

So anyway,  I suppose it's serving its purposes.

I can't remember exactly when I stuck the stat counter on here.  It was several years ago, but I don't know that it was at the beginning.  Still, considering the microscopic number of hits I was getting back then, "44,454" probably isn't too far off.

I'd say at least half of those have been in the last two years, maybe 18 months.  Things have picked up significantly around here, and I have some regular commenters like "small tee" tim, cylarz, severian, and of course ... Morgan, my oldest innernettubes friend from the blogger world.

It looks to me like about 20 people make it a point to stop by here about every day. And another 20-40 more random visitors drop by in addition to that. Sometimes we'll get a huge spike when one of those ideas I talked about above gets picked up by someone else, but it usually settles back down to a level maybe one or two readers higher after that. I'm good with that. I'm no Plato. Maybe Pla-Doh :-)   But it's still good for me, even if nobody reads it.
"Yes it's quite insane
I think it hurts my brain
But it cleans me out
And then I can go on"
              -- Jimmy Buffett

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Perhaps Obama's lost Jon Stewart

Just possibly.

You tend to wish the worst on your enemies

Ghadaffi sent a letter to our illustrious president.  In it, among other things, he wrote:
"We have been hurt more morally (than) physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you [..] Despite all this, you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne."

Oh, I see now. That's TOTALLY different

But not in the direction of further justification.

Shamelessly heisted from Lonewolf Archer.


I think I like that blog.

Heh.

Found in a comment over at Big Hollywood:

Maybe to stimulate the economy, we could buy old, ugly cars and cover them with bumper stickers. The liberals will be jealous that they didn't think of it first...oh, wait...
This is one reason I try to stick to the "One Bumpersticker At a Time" rule. Though my "Support the Troops" magnet doesn't count. Nor does my Teapot sticker.  It really doesn't "say" anything.

And ok, my Rocky Mountain National Park sticker.  So it's more of a guideline.

Hey, there's still more car than sticker showing!  :-)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I Found a New Word: "Toxification"

Well, it's new to me, anyway.

While researching the issues of the 10th amendment and nullification, a panel member on a video I was watching was referring to the charges of "Neo-Confederate!!!!!" or "Raaaaaaaaaacist!!!" that are hurleld back at you as soon as you bring it up in the presence of a neoliberal.  (Ha!  I also just made a new word.  "Neo-Liberal"  ... to contrast with "Classical Liberal".  I like it.  I shall use it henceforth!)

Of course, this word, "Toxification" ultimately is just one of the methods neoliberals employ to get you to Shut Up.  It occurred to me that this method is used not only to keep people from talking, but also to keep people from listening.

What has been "toxified" by the Left?  Things like:
  • Fox News
  • Talk Radio
  • Tea Party
  • Christian
  • States' Rights
Over the weekend my future daughter-in-law was reading news on her phone and mentioned it was from "Fox News".  That same family member we've brought up before piped up and said "You're reading Fox News?   Oh, no!"

Followed by the "I hate any biased reporting" ... completely ignoring the fact that she'd cut out an article by E.J. Dionne to send to a friend.)

People "toxify" things to keep you from referring to or defending them.  Or even from checking them out at all.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Cynical

I have a theory.  I may not be the only person to hold it, but I haven't seen it put out there as a serious question yet.

People on the right and the left are questioning Obama's excursion into Libya.  Why a new war in a country that just about everyone admits isn't one of our "vital interests"?  Why a war against this tyrant when a war against Saddam Hussein was villified?  Why wasn't Congress consulted, even if the U.N. wanted it?

Well I think one theory wraps it up pretty nicely.

It was a calculated campaign move.   A dumb one, to be sure.  And one that may cost him the election he hoped it would help him win.

I know this sounds cynical, but consider who we are talking about here. He's a big ego, a giant projected hologram. The big show is what it's all about. And winning is everything.

See, the way I figure it, Obama saw an opportunity to launch a U.N. sanctioned war  that would be quick, decisive, likely to have very few American casualties, and remove a dictator.  This would be used to contrast with the previous leadership which "took us" to two wars without U.N. Security Coucil approval and thus "illegal" by "world" standards, and wars which cost American lives and were ugly and bloody and long, and of course fought for oil and profit. And unlike Bush's, this one would be an obvious success.  This is how to run a war.   I am strong, efficient, humanitarian, and most of all, a strong and worthy Commander in Chief. 

Vote for me.

His clever “exit strategy”, especially if it all goes bad is to “hand it over” to NATO. Only NATO is us.
 


The Dems will try to convince us it’s not. I don’t think it’ll work. The glitter of the golden tongue has worn off. If Khadaffi stays, Obama looks bad. If he goes and the regime is Islamist or lawless and/or there’s mass slaughter by the victors… Obama looks bad.

If it’s replaced by anything even sort of like a Western Democracy, Obama might save face if it doesn’t take too long. Anybody taking bets?

Mine is that this was a bad calculation that will do him in in the end.