Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obama Rising, Palin Falling

Or so the CBS news headline goes regarding a recent CNN poll tells us. It was posted by a "friend" on a certain popular social network, and "liked", of course, by several of his friends.   And so I read the story and went out and looked at the poll data.

When you get to the bottom of it, the data backing this PR-driven headline is that Palin, a non-encumbent, potential candidate who has not declared candidacy in a wide open field of potential candidates -- has had support by her party drop by 18 points in the last two years (down to a "measely" 49%). Meanwhile, Obama, the encumbent and presumed candidate has hand his support by his party rise by 2-5 points in the past few months, depending on which particular month you pick.   And these numbers fluctuate more like noise in the data, with no trending to the graph.

I'm shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. :-)

Of course if you pick Obama's approval rating over the same period as the one over which Palin's is measured, you find it has had a fairly similar fate to Palin's.

Obama rising, Palin falling. O.... kay.

Obviousman here says we're comparing apples to ... frankly, turnips here, struggling to come up with a headline to impress those who wait to see where the masses are headed before they decide where they should be headed.

Polls to create the desired headlines. Oh yeah, everybody does it (meaning both, or "all" sides). But it's one of many things that are wrong with the way we do things around here.

When I pointed this out, the response I got was "it's just a poll".

Actually, at least CBS thought it was "news" enough to write a story that went to the lengths described above to torture a headline out of it that would catch people's attention ... in a certain way.   And the "friend" who says it's "just a poll" when someone challenged the story thought it important enough to pass along (you don't think that kind of behavior has anything to do with CBS's story, do you?)

For someone who is supposedly totally irrelevant she sure gets brought up in headlines a lot -- in stories designed to tell us all how totally irrelevant she is.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Tumbleweeds

(note: Morgan, ignore this post.  It is basically a SNUL post.  ;-)  )

Queue "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" theme.  With jingling bells instead of the rattle-snake sound.

This is kind of a "keep alive" post to let people know I'm still here.  But my priorities change for a few weeks this time of year, and unless I'm really inspired by something, it gets mighty quiet around here. 

It's a bit of a ghost town around here.  But I'm sure after the new year I'll be more persistent. 

I take advantage of others' blogs during this time, as I seem to have time to comment on them.  So if you want to look at my "latest" non-post, comment post .... look no further than here

A significant number of my posts have started out as comments on other peoples' blogs.  But I'm in good company.  Bill Whittle's entire blogging career, which led to his book Silent America, Afterburner (archived at PJTV), and his current (excellent, Excellent, EXCELLENT) Firewall series.... started out as a couple of comments on (an older incarnation of) Rachel Lucas' blog.

I'll never be as famous as Bill.  Hell, I'll never be as famous as Morgan.  But my shingle's still here.  It just has Christmas Lights lining the edge right now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

God and Santa Claus

Over on another blog we, um... read.  And I'll leave it at that.

God & Santa Claus

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Left vs Left

A couple of good passages in a worthwhile post by one Daniel Greenfield on his Sultan Knish blog, speaking of the Assange saga.

The sheer perversity of this is that we are not looking at a showdown between a right wing Bush Administration and leftist activists. No, this is a confrontation between leftist activists in the Obama Administration and the State Department who want to use diplomacy to weaken American power and leftist activists like Assange who are obstructing them because their sole purpose is to sabotage America-- even when America is already sabotaging itself. It's a showdown between leftists who want to work within the system and leftist anarchists who want to smash the whole system.
and this
Getting power is only half the story. The left's problem has never been getting power, but using it. And the entire Wikileaks story is a reminder of how senselessly the left grasps power, men seizing it for their own self-glorification, only to bring it down on themselves over and over again. Because deep down in that basement of basements, there is no ideology, only ego. The rabid anti-Americanism is the ego reflex of the leftist manchild. In that deepest of basements, plans for the betterment of the world give way to conspiracy theories, to demons of greed, hate and envy. Those serpent entwined roots twist around themselves and strangle all that they create. And the only thing they breed is darkness. And more darkness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Things I Know #32

It's been a while since I've hit upon a "Thing I Know" worth adding to the list. But here it is:

32. If someone says he's "post ideological", that person is undoubtibly a leftist. They're the ones that believe in a single, multicultural culture, that value judgements are "bad", and, of course that since their ideology is "right", it isn't really an ideology.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revenue, Taxes, and "Fair Share" Redux

My reply to commenter BigVic on my previous post on the subject got too big to post in a comment.  So it gets its own post.

First, let's get the "value judgements" and hypocrite thing out of the way. I am not saying that anyone isn't free to "rail against" ... anything. Rail away, I do. What I am "railing against" here is the audacity of those who use the coercive power of government to restrict my liberty to engage in what may be self-destructive behavior. That is not hypocritical. It is fully consistent with what I believe.

True, I did assume that when you mentioned leaving out how the 51% gained their possessions that you were one of the pie people -- for if they didn't take it from someone else's piece, why would you care how they got it?

IMHO, Nobel prizes are overrated, being as much gauge of popularity of one's ideas at the time they are bestowed as anything else. And respected economists disagree vehemently over how things actually work. This is once again betrayed by the fact that you're still talking about models and theories as if they are fact. Milton Friedman used a model to ... "prove" ... this shows an inherent lack of understanding of scientific method.

Models don't prove anything. Evidence can support the accuracy of models, and good models can predict things with varying degrees of accuracy, but models never, ever "prove" anything. The sooner you understand this, the better your education will be. Take it from someone who figured that out after he graduated and wished he'd realized it sooner.

Besides, what you're saying he "proved" is that inflation is a monetary phenomenon. I think a fifth grader could have told you that without using a Dynamic Aggregate Supply model. Ok, maybe an 8th grader.

No, what I call "wealth" is the accumulation of property and/or the ability to obtain goods and/or services via trading what I have, or vouchers for what I have (money or credit against assumed future earnings). In aggregate, I suppose you change "I" to "We" or "They" and you have the equivalent of a "society's" wealth. But I tend to see the world first through the lens of the individual.

Not using the terms economists happen to use doesn't mean I have any less grasp of basic economics. As a matter of fact, I believe the fact that I can explain it without peppering it with academic jargon is an indication that I do actually have a grasp of it. If you can explain it to a fifth grader, you understand it. If you can't, it's quite possible that you just memorized the words some professor spewed out in a class somewhere.

"Giving" money to the rich is not what I was talking about. I was talking about "taking less" from them, or "not taking more" from them, whichever way you care to look at it (though I can see neither is the way you're accustomed to looking at it). Leaving more in the hands of those to whom it belonged in the first place is not "giving". And of course, it's not as simple as leaving them with x amount more gives you f(x) more jobs. One reason why economics will never be an exact "science" ... or a science at all ... is that humans are complex and have a bit of an unpredictable streak. Economics is at its core more the study of human behavior in the realm of motivations, needs, and desires than it is anything else. (the reason it can't ever be a real science is that it would be immoral to experiment on actual humans -- not that Marxists haven't been trying it for the last century).

But we can make some generalizations based on observations and our own human experience, and one consistent thing that we find in human behavior is that in general, the more one has, the more one is willing to risk. It's not that leaving more in the hands of those to whom it belongs directly causes them to go out and hire a few more people tomorrow, though that can happen. The bigger payoff is when that person or group of people decide to expand a business or perhaps start a new one, or perhaps a whole new industry which creates a whole slew of new jobs. Sure, some of them will go buy another yacht. But it's their money. Who am I to tell them what they must do with it?

As to restaurant workers, here's a little thought experiment. Suppose I go out and load a truck full of water and drive it around trying to sell it. In the Mississippi valley, where water supply is plentiful, I'd have a hard time selling it at all. Because it isn't worth anything to them. They have plenty. The demand is saturated with supply. I might have better luck in Arizona or New Mexico, though.

Now, suppose everybody cooked at home, and nobody went to restaurants. Well that was actually pretty much the case all over the country when my mother-in-law was young back in the WW-II days and before. There were few restaurants at all, and those were generally in hotels. But as America and Americans became wealthier, some people thought, "hey, what if I open a business where people actually come and we cook for them, serve them food, and clean up after them and ... they pay us to do it?"

At first it was just Mom and Pop and maybe a couple of the kids, but as the business became more popular, they needed more help. So they put out the word. "Hey, we need help. We'll pay this much."

And some people said, "yeah, I'll do that work for that much money." And so they were hired. That trade of labor for money (wealth vouchers) was worth more to him or her than whatever he or she was doing before, or they wouldn't have taken the job. Ergo, wealthier than before. And the restaurant owners got what they needed. They are also wealthier. They exchanged goods and services at a "price" agreeable to both. If it were not agreeable, they would not have agreed.

The new waitress didn't have a "right" to that job, and the restaurant owners didn't have a "right" to have labor supplied. It was a mutual agreement between free people.

The point here being that you get paid what your labor is worth to someone. You may do all the work in your restaurant where you cook and produce all the value ... but that's the point. What *is* that value? It is what someone will pay for it, and no more - no matter how hard you worked.

As to the Soviet Union's "fastest growing" there was, of course, the absorption of eastern bloc countries it had conquered (and their accumulated wealth, to be redistributed) from WWII, and from war reparations from Germany including equipment and industrial materials. Growth rates are funny things, too. A lot of times you can grow really fast from near zero to something quite a bit above zero, and still not be very big. I didn't say you can't grow an economy from zero by effectively enslaving a population. It also helps if you have a lot fewer mouths to feed when you, say, starve off a few million Ukrainians.  (Seems something like this happened in China, too.  Coincidence?)

When agricultural production dropped 23% in the Soviet Union during the second 5 year plan, they actually got it to go up by later by ... wait for it ... allowing peasants private plots to farm and allowing them to sell what they grew on them in the open market.

The sixth 5 year plan again discouraged the practice and ... funny thing.  Agricultural output went down again.  Weird!

If you're actually advocating moving to a system where people actually are literally forced to accept jobs they wouldn't otherwise agree to at prices fixed by "experts" in the government (with no *possible* chance of corruption, as an aside) -- I'm not going there with you. I'm squarely in the Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness camp. I know several people who lived under the Soviet and Chinese systems. Oddly, they don't have anything good to say about them.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Things Make You Go "Hmmmm"

This is interesting.

Phelps of the Westborough Baptist Church is apparently a Democrat.

Of course, I'm not saying that his views paint any other Democrats in a bad light -- far from it.  Every Democrat I know hates Westborough as much as I do.

On the other hand, if he were affiliated with, say, the Tea Party or the Republican Party or anyone on the political right at all, you know that the other side would be making the most of it as a giant, smearing paintbrush, with the huge megaphone they have by virtue of the fact that 80% of the media is on the other side.

"Tax Cuts" for The Rich

Boston Herald's Michael Graham comes up with a great illustration:

The tax deal Democrats keep claiming will “cut taxes for the rich” doesn’t cut taxes at all. It keeps rates the same. Unchanged. As in, “not lower than they are now.”

Of course I realize that tax rates are scheduled to rise, but not letting them rise isn’t a “cut” anywhere outside Washington. I’ve never seen an advertisement that said “C’mon down for big savings at the ‘We were going to raise prices but decided not to!’ sale!”
That there's pur-a-dee gold. :-)

What's Wrong With America II

On Fox this morning they warned the video of the shooting was "shocking" or "disturbing" before showing it.

What was disturbing was seing a bunch of grown men reduced to looking for places to hide in confused disbelief.

Imagine if we didn't have anti-gun laws that prohibit these board members from packing into the meeting room. Imagine if at least half of them (or even one of them) were armed. Imagine we lived in a culture where any potential "gunman" knew that would likely be the case.

We will never eliminate deadly weapons, or people who are willing to use them to do wrong. But deterrence works. We've disarmed ourselves, for the most part, as a society. And criminals, whether hardened or just whacked out ones who crave a momentary "high" of power before they go out ... know this and take advantage of it.

I give the head of the school board credit for asking if the others could leave -- that took some principle and fortitude -- guts -- and the woman who left and snuck back in with her purse and tried to whack the gun out of his hand from behind -- especially her.  She was thinking and acting.  That took guts.

Just imagine if she'd had a Lady Smith .357 revolver in that purse.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's Wrong With America

Michelle Obama the other day gave us a great example of what's wrong with America today when she opined publicly and psuedo-officially that in America ... obesity is a National Security Threat™.

Now ...Obesity, I'm not saying it's not a problem for more people than it used to be, don't get me wrong.  But the problem I'm talking about here is not obesity.

It's the fact that someone can say that obesity is a national security threat ... and expect that a significant portion of the population will take them seriously.

Loose, unenforced borders are a security threat. People who want to "fundamentally transform" America from its Constitutional base (be it by illegitimate  legislation and expansions of executive and judicial powers, or, say, pressure to move toward Sharia Law)  ... those are security threats.

But no.  There are eggheads and their "subjects" that will follow the "logic".
Mmmmm, let's see ... more Americans are fat than before, so more people joining the military are fat, and if you're too fat you can't fight  ... even though we're not supposed to call people "fat" ... I mean, that would be "insensitive".... ergo, America is weaker. Who can't see that?
(Never mind that it doesn't take a physically fit dude to guide a smart bomb to its target.)

No, fighting wars like they're criminal investigations against any alleged enemy combatant, not being able to wiretap calls from known enemy agents that come into or even pass through our territory, or self-flagellation while hostile nations develop nuclear weapons and borrowing 40% of our budget from unfriendly nations to indulge ourselves in opulent social programs ... $13 trillion debt and another $130 trillion in unfunded liabilities when our GDP is about $14 trillion annually ... no, those aren't threats.

It's cheeseburgers and pizza, man.

That and those damned Tea Partiers who are always blowing things up and shooting people down, slitting throats and all.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I Said, Only A Little Different

We were yacking about the second amendment yesterday, and today I went to Ann Althouse's house .... "Althouse" ... to see what it was that Morgan was talking about here ... and then I clicked a link that took me to a post where she was talking about what we were talking about yesterday.

Got all that?  Ann was doing something I try to do -- and that is, keep people from using the wrong arguments even if their conclusions are right.

Anyway, I further mused in the comments section of her blog.  A bit of a re-hash of my post from yesterday.  Somehow if we could combine that post (which was born as aa comment I'd left on Morgan's blog in the first place) and this comment I left at Ann's blog ... I think we'd have a pretty darned good post.

So ... the second amendment doesn't protect handguns because they're not mentioned. Got it.

It doesn't mention hunting or sport shooting, either -- so presumably those activities aren't protected by it either. But oddly, this is what lefties keep bringing up to "soothe" us.

"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

It doesn't say "the right of the people to bear arms for militia purposes shall not be infringed."

It does have that introductory clause that provides one important justification -- but again, if you're really going to try to sell us on the fact that the second amendment means we can go sports shooting or hunting and yet we can't keep one for our defense or the defense of others -- let's just remember that the amendment doesn't mention either of those.

What the main clause of the amendment says is:

"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

It is very general because it is meant to be very general. It is a general right. If they only meant for us to be able to keep ... and BEAR them ... for a set of specific purposes, it would have listed those purposes.

Hunting, sports shooting, and self-defense were clearly understood to be covered, as we didn't immediately start defining those away as invalid. The militia clause can only be interpreted then as an additional, "oh, by the way, and we definitely mean THIS, too". As in "in addition to" what's generally understood.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scope of the Second Amendment

I saw what this tool had to say in a video Morgan posted.

Since the scope of the second amendment isn’t specific, does that mean we can re-define it down to butter knives … or toothpicks?

Revisionists ignore the context from which the second amendment arose, and the arguments that were made at the time, and they just want to focus specifically on the wording and try to cast doubt and confusion to make their “solution” sound “reasonable”.

The second amendment, at the VERY least, should clearly cover self-defense. When you read the context of it’s development, it is also clear that offensive weapons would be needed to perform some of the tasks the founders had in mind for defending ourselves from oppresive government. I don’t have a problem with “machine guns” or “assault rifles”.

Nowhere in the second amendment does it even come close to talking about limiting use to sport shooting, — it doesn’t mention sport shooting at all. That doesn’t mean that sport shooting should be banned any more than it not mentioning hand guns or assault rifles means your right to keep and bear them can be infringed.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's Time

I think I got this ad on RCP yesterday.  Or some news site.

One of "My" Senators, Claire McCaskill's mug ... on the ad.

And it got me to thinking.... it's like "Change".  They came up with an, ahem, "DREAMy" name for an immigration bill, for one thing.  I suppose it allows illegal aliens to dream big, or something.

Now they're not telling me it's urgent, or how it will help America, or how much it will cost us, or talking about what some of the possible long-term effects might be.

It's just time to pass it.  It's on the schedule.   Last week, it was not time.  And next week they need to be on to something else, I suppose.  But just like it's time for your nap or it's time for dinner ... it's time to pass the DREAM Act, apparently.  It's just time.  Mom said.

If we don't, we're all a bunch of poopie-heads.  Because it was time.  And we didn't.  And we wouldn't want that.

Me, I'm not so sure. I mean, if the people who think we have two Houses and two Senates are for it... I have a few questions about it. (HT The Blaze)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Revenue, Taxes, and "Fair Share"

My mother in law is in her 90's. In her own personal life, she's a fiscal conservative. But she's and old-school FDR Progressive when it comes to the government.

Still, her husband did well, and she has enough money to easily get her through the rest of her life on her own. She frets over how much she spends, though, because she wants to leave some for my wife and the boys.   I appreciate that, but ...

We keep telling her, "It's your money. We are expecting nothing. Spend it."

This morning we had Fox and Friends on, and Geraldo Rivera ... who is often on as a guest -- was there plugging the compromise on the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts to only people making $1,000,000 a year or more, instead of the $250K limit the administration wants. He said hey, it would be a great compromise, and asked how you could justify not raising some taxes on people who make that much.

Then there was a segment on some millionaires and billionaires that are supposedly "begging" the government to raise their taxes (to whom I would like to say, "fine, write out a check to the IRS. in any amount you'd like.")

And yesterday I saw this from Morgan on Facebook:

"Tax cuts are not an expense. Anyone who says anything to the contrary, is selling male-bovine-used-food, period, end of story, full stop."
It was all rolling around in my mind, and I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm always looking for new, better ways to get the message across to people.  (I'm not sure I'll succeed here, but this blog often consists of me working my thoughts out "out loud".)

The attitude that the "we need to tax the rich more to pay for all this" crowd is that 1) we need all of this, and 2) we must get the money from some[one]where.

We keep getting the argument from the other side that "The Rich" aren't paying "their fair share". Well what is fair? Would it be, say, if the top 5% paid over half the taxes? Becuase that's what it is, currently.

My wife and I pay 25% of our income in Federal Income Tax. People making over $250K pay 33% of their income in Federal Income Tax. They pay 8% more of a much larger number. And people making over $375K pay 35% of their income in Federal Income Tax. So it sounds to me like they are already paying more than "their fair share".

But it's really not about "fair shares". It's about people wanting something, seeing someone who has the means to give them what they want, and getting their grubby hands on the levers of government power to force those other people to cough up more of their dough. Not only are they already giving more dough, they're giving a bigger percentage of their dough for the cause. At what point will it become "fair" if it is not "fair" now?

The answer is never.

That's because the question for the big government types is never, "what are people willing to pay for?", it's "who can we force to pay for this stuff we think we need?" Or, for the politicians, "Who can we force to pay for this stuff we promised people to get their votes?"   As long as they can get someone else to pay for their wants or for "their" lagesse .... they'll just keep taking more.

They're in a constant state of tax-mining. Constantly scouring the country for the next group of people they can convince 51% of America, or 51% of American politicians -- that it's ok to take more money from them, for whatever reason. They're too rich. They have "bad" habits. It's for their own "good". Those are the biggies. From whom can we take money such that the number of people who object will be sufficiently small or can be socially marginalized -- so that voting to take more of their money is politically feasible.

Smokers. Drinkers. Millionaires. People who consume too much sugar. Fat. Meat. Non-Green energy sources. It's not only more money they're looking for, it's more places to establish money streams.

Of course, then they talk about things like, as Morgan pointed out, tax cuts "costing" money. No ... spending costs money. The only way something can "cost" you money is if the money is already yours, and you spend it on something. But future tax revenues aren't already "the government's". Higher taxes on you cost you money, because the money was yours.

It won't cost us a dime if my mother-in-law spends all of her money. We might, at some future date, GET more money if she doesn't ... but that is not the same thing. We are not entitled to any of it, and we expect none of it. If she wants to give it to us, that's great. But it's her decision.

When "the rich" get to keep more of their money, they create more jobs and make more people rich by expanding the economy. And that's a great point -- but ultimately not the real underlying point. That point is that it's their money is not our money. We have no more right to it than they have to ours.

Taxes are necessary to run the State, no question about it. But the State should be thought of as sort of a necessary evil, and treated as such. When it wants money, we should be highly suspicious from the outset, and be stingy about letting the Government do things that can and should be done by private citizens and groups of private citizens.

Most social programs fall into that category.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This is why we love Sarah Palin

Not only is she not afraid to respond to her opponents' constant heckling, she knows how to do it and force them to rub their own noses in it.

A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that

Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.

Obviously, I would have been even more impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t resist the temptation to turn a simple one word slip-of-the-tongue of mine into a major political headline. The one word slip occurred yesterday during one of my seven back-to-back interviews wherein I was privileged to speak to the American public about the important, world-changing issues before us.

If the media had bothered to actually listen to all of my remarks on Glenn Beck’s radio show, they would have noticed that I refer to South Korea as our ally throughout, that I corrected myself seconds after my slip-of-the-tongue, and that I made it abundantly clear that pressure should be put on China to restrict energy exports to the North Korean regime. The media could even have done due diligence and checked my previous statements on the subject, which have always been consistent, and in fact even ahead of the curve. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story? (And for that matter, why not just make up stories out of thin air – like the totally false hard news story which has run for three days now reporting that I lobbied the producers of “Dancing with the Stars” to cast a former Senate candidate on their show. That lie is further clear proof that the media completely makes things up without doing even rudimentary fact-checking.)
“Hope springs eternal” as the poet says. Let’s hope that perhaps, just maybe, they might get it right next time. When we the people are effective in holding America’s free press accountable for responsible and truthful reporting, then we shall all have even more to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
- Sarah Palin

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Go spend time with Family and/or Friends.  No politics today.  Life is all about the people.  Set some time aside and enjoy them.

Thanksgiving is a big, big deal at our house. Christmas only beats it by a nose. In some ways, I actually like Thanksgiving better.

When the wife and I started this … well, frankly, I started doing this and she joined me a few years later.  And it goes back to the feasts we had in my large family growing up, which often included other friends and aunts, uncles, and cousins.

To me, Thanksgiving is about Family, Friends, Tradition, and Food.  For all of which I'm thankful.  Especially about the family and the friends.  They are the true measure of wealth.

I grew up — for Part II of my childhood, in a poor (by American standards) household. But even before that, there wasn’t a lot of boxed food or pre-prepared stuff in the house. And I grew up cooking, taking over most of the evening cooking duties (and during the week all of the breakfast duties) from my mother, who was completely crippled with rhumetoid arthritis at 32.

I liked cooking. I don’t like it as much now, but mostly because it takes too much time and I have other things to do.  So Thanksgiving is an opportunity for me to practice that craft, and pour a lotta love into it for family and friends. At first, it was often just the wife, me, and stragglers in town who had nowhere else to go.  We've even had kidzdad here for Thanksgiving many times over the years when he was alone.  Because the kids like it better here. :-)  And he is their dad.

But back to the story.

I made the pies (down to the crust), bread, mashed potatoes, yams, dressing, and cranberry sauce from scratch. Gravy from the turkey. Real whipped cream that starts out as cream and gets whipped, with sugar added along the way. I’d start about 10 in the morning. Maybe 9. And we’d eat about 4. Big white chef’s apron. Several batches of dishes done. Wine sipped along the way….

I got everything geared toward a mood from a fire in the fireplace right down to the acoustic instrumental music mix I play quietly in the background (if you have access to Rhapsody, click here). There wasn’t even any football watched (though it’s ok if those interested go down to the family room to watch … but that hasn’t happened real often).

Over the years we’ve let a few more conveniences such as refrigerated pie crusts slip into the mix, but it’s still a lot of food prepared from the bottom up.

I love it. It’s an awesome holiday. Fork up some turkey and cranberry sauce, and lift a glass. If you listen very carefully, you’ll hear mine “tink” it.

Huzzah! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Fired" Up

This is some good stuff. This guy's a genius.

Fair Game

Watching the TeeVee tonight, an ad came on for a movie.  Hadn't heard of it, but it stuck out at me...

The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Los Angeles Times


The Huffington Post

and the gist of it was they all gave it rave reviews.   Huffington Post was mentioned last, but on the screen it visually came up in the middle of them all.

Now the only reason I payed any attention at all was the mention of The Huffington Post as something to, presumably, be taken as seriously as we're supposed to take those other established (and notoriously progressive) big names. 

Like I said, I saw it was for a movie, but they didn't say what it was about and I only saw a man and a woman... a blonde, behind the title, "Fair Game".

I asked aloud "did that say 'The Huffington Post'?"   The wife re-wound the recording.  Yup.  It did.  And we went back to our show.  I was curious as to why that name was being thrown in the middle, especially in light of the fact that Soros granted them money for "investigative" reporters.  Almost as if they're subtly trying to legitimize it in the eyes of Mainstream America.

And then I wondered, somwhere at the edge of my mind ... what is this movie about that they're all raving about.... and I flashed to the couple.   I'd bet it was Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson.  What was the name of that movie again?  The wife re-wound again, and we read "Fair Game".

Yup, that has to be it.  They want to make their version of the story the story of record in the minds of mainstream America.

I wonder if Rove has horns and a pitchfork in the movie?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The View

In which two washed-up commedians and a washed up TV anchorwoman famous for asking people what kind of tree they would be, along with a token conservative-ish former reality show star to gang up on ... pretend they are having intelligent discussions on current events.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not that we're in it for the att...

Ah, hell, we'll take it.

Yeah, my word for the day on Election Day was "Refudiate".

And apparently ABC News calls it the Word of the Year (they still do news at ABC?  Stossel left for Fox, and after that I'm all confused.  I thought it was the Disney Channel or something.  Oh, that's right, Tap-Tap still works there.)  Anyway, Morgan mused:
Maybe there are some heady celebrations being planned at the Philmon household as well.
Yup. Here in the Phillmon household, we’re partying like it’s 1773.

The wife and I watched Sarah Palin’s Alaska tonight, which we had recorded last night.

No, not riveting television, by any stretch of the imagination. But then, outside of a few shows like Survivorman and Man, Woman Wild — reality type shows really aren’t my cup ‘o tea.

Did I say tea? ;-) (seriously, can I plug those simple bumperstickers once again? I think they embody awesome. I’d like to see them everywhere.)

But it was interesting to see her interact with her family, the famous wall to block out Joe McGinniss’s snooping eyes).

The scenery's great.  I love mountains and wilderness. Denali would be Mecca for me. And even the wife isn't shy about observing aloud that she's pretty hot, and she doesn't mind Todd, either.  Plus I noticed Sarah is peppering the “interviews” with the very phrases that she has been ridiculed for — throwing it right back in their faces — one of the things I love most about her. It’s a big, symbolic flip off that shows they don’t get to her, which sends their heads fizzing like the “Pfffff” noise Morgan mentions.

I’ll watch every single damned one of them if I have to put toothpicks in my eyes to keep them open (which I won’t for the reasons mentioned above) just to keep those ratings as high as possible. Because that “Pfffff” sound? It’s the sound of catharsis (my favorite Dennis Miller word).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mike Pence for President?

I'll tell you what.  He gets it.

A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse: he will be thrown, and the nation along with him. The president solemnly swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He does not solemnly swear to ignore, overlook, supplement, or reinterpret it. Other than in a crisis of existence, such as the Civil War, amendment should be the sole means of circumventing the Constitution. For if a president joins the powers of his office to his own willful interpretation, he steps away from a government of laws and toward a government of men.

Seriously.  RTWT.  That's just a little taste of his grasp of what the presidency is supposed to be.  There's a lot more in that article.

I subscribe to the print edition of Hillsdale College's "Imprimis".   But you can read it on the net, too.   Some really good stuff out there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That Sinking Feeling

How long can I continue to convince myself that this isn't coming?

They Keynesians just won't pipe down and as a matter of fact they're just pressing the accelerator .

I don't see too many ... ok, any viable options for me. You can't eat gold, and I can't afford enough of it to make any sized hedge anyway. I can't grow enough food. I can't store enough food. Can I keep my house?  If so, can I heat it?

Democrats can't fix this, and their "fix" is making it worse. Republicans can't fix it either.  I'm more and more convinced the ship has sailed past the point of no return and Niagra Falls is the destination.

The only way out of this is for America to start making stuff that people need. Not want. Need.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

This is wierd, in a spooky way

Update: Thanks to  a heads up from tim. Looks like US Airways flight 808 to Hawaii.

Nice bit of research on the part of Liem Bahneman at "Time to Think". It's good to have alert people with a propensity toward scientific method out there!

Mysterious Missile Lights Up Sky Over Pacific.

Just off the coast of California, right north of the Catalinas.

I was talking to a friend the other night -- a friend who works in the power industry -- about the possibility of using EMP to take out most or all of our power grid, plus wipe out a lot of our electronics. You know, like the little computer in your car that it can't run without.

He was saying the scenario would be for three missile launches from OFF of each coast and one in the Gulf to go over the midwest.... with detonations at about 100,000 feet -- would be enough.

I have another friend in the power business who doesn't think it would be that devastating.

But ... eerie that after talking about this just last weekend, the next monday a mystery missile gets fired off of one of the coasts?

Test run? Or screw-up by our military?

Either way, consider this.  Remember that the 9/11 terrorists took flying classes -- but didn't seem interested in learning how to land.

N. Korea and Iran have nukes, but the word is their delivery systems suck and they couldn't hit anything with them.

What if they didn't need to actually HIT anything?  Say, sneak a boat to near our coastline, launch a missile and have it detonate at 100,000 feet?  What would be the effect of that?  Is it something we're prepared to deal with?

Update:  There is speculation it could be an airplane contrail. Well, I have an open mind about it, but it certainly would be an atypical one. et's just say I'm skeptical of that explanation but I'm willing to be convinced. It just looks too "plumey" and vertical. Most I've seen tend to be flatter.... this looks more cylindrical. But.... I've seen all kinds of phenomena that aren't what you'd expect. So I'll buy that it COULD be an airplane contrail. Maybe.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Speaking of Activism

I read Alinsky's book, "Rules for Radicals".  I read Obama's "Dreams From My Father".  I've read about Community Organizing™ in general.

And now I've read that Cloward and Piven paper Glenn Beck's been talking about for a year or so.

It's called "The Weight of the Poor - A Strategy to End Poverty".   It was in "The Nation" in 1966, when I was only 2 years old.   They had already been hard at work for years Dismantling America (Read the paper.  Also, read Sowell's excellent collection of columns.)

Now I've read a few articles from The Nation over the past few years, and it was clear that it's a very, very liberal (in the progressive sense) rag.   But man.  This is a blatant push for Soviet style Communist "rights".   And it is not a conspiracy.  It, like all the rest of this stuff, is right there out in the open.

And they're gettin' pretty bold these days.
(Frances Piven at the 2010 Brecht Forum  -- an openly Marxist forum held every year)

And here's an MSNBC host ... just not afraid at all to blurt it out and even chastise his liberal guests ...

Activism and Government

I stumbled across an acquaintance's facebook photo album entitled "The Best Signs from the Restoring Sanity and/or Fear" Rally held the weekend before the election.  Stewart, Colbert.  And a bunch of people gathered together to be seen gathering together and looking hep and cool, from what I can tell.

One of the signs had some arabic on it, and underneath it said "Relax, it just says McDonalds".  Another said "I Hate Taxes.  But I like roads and firemen and some cops and stop lights (except red ones) and national parks and the Coast Guard [etc etc]... so I pay them anyway"  then in small letters "oh yeah, and I hate war."   Yet another sign said "God Hates Figs - Mark 11:12-14".

Now everybody, and I mean everybody knows that this was a counter-rally to various Tea Party rallies and especially Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally (at which there were no signs to speak of outside of counter-ralliers and provocateurs).   The RTRSaoF hid behind comedy so that it could say pretty much anything it wanted about the new conservative activism that so upsets them and if anything were off the mark, they could just say "hey, it's comedy, lighten up".   But they want their ridicule to stand.

So these signs were clearly targeting what people in this crowd believed represented mainstream Tea Party core beliefs.

I figure next Tea Party Rally I go to, I should carry a sign with an American Flag on it and underneath it say "Relax, I just love America".   And of course, except for a few rabid, hard-core capital "L" Libertarians, nobody is arguing for no taxes.   But some taxes do not justify endless taxes -- the constant mining of The People for new sources of revenue.   The incessant hoovering of people's pockets and invading their homes with shop vac hoses slorking under couch cushions, or in our bank accounts and 401k's that have collected "enough" money.

Or maybe they'll just crank up the money printing presses to pay off government excess using the most insidious and non-progressive tax of all  -- inflation.

And as I put it on facebook -- everybody --- every Tea Partier as well as every God-Snubbing Atheist or Big Government Loving Progressive hates the Westborough Baptist Church.  So that sign is right out as well.

I stated that I really for the life of me couldn't figure out what the rally was about outside of ridiculing a caricature of people they knew little to nothing about, and his response was "I love the debate.  I think it was about restoring activism to the country."    To which I replied that activism is alive and well, but the side that's been doing most of the activism isn't happy that the other side has finally gotten into it as well and the stage no longer belongs exclusively to them.  (Plus their bad acting has now been exposed for what it is.)

Which got me to thinking about activism and limited government.

Activism for just causes is great.   And a lot of times you'll hear people saying "we're just raising awareness".  How innocuously noble.  But that isn't really the ultimate goal.   They know it, but they hope the average Joe doesn't and they'll learn JUST ENOUGH from the activists to vote in more government regulation ... the regulation the activists want.

If they just wanted money to fight AIDS or help AIDS victims,  their activism would ask people to donate money and time.  They would make people aware, and persuade those people to get involved in helping.  Start foundations and collection drives.   But that's not what they do.

Government is sanctioned force.  That's what it is.  In the end, outside of self-defense, the government is the only entity that's allowed to apply force to people to get them to behave a certain way.   Ergo, it is power.   And what special interest groups -- activist groups -- want, is for the government to use that power on their behalf to get what they want out of people whether the people want to give it to them or not.  They want their very own set of levers on the power of government.

So what they try to do instead is to try to get people to vote to have the government take other peoples' money and give it to their causes.  And such justifications will never, ever end.  And so the government, which is not efficient at pretty much anything gets assigned more and more roles, sucking more and more money out of more and more people for more and more causes and the government itself grows and has an interest in self-preservation.  So it never drops programs, and it can never become more efficient and save money because we'd be "taking money away" from the people the program was supposed to aid, restricts more and more activities from more and more people and eventually you have a bankrupt government that is all-authoritative and the ideals of Liberty and Self-Reliance and real charity are sacrificed on the altar of Social Progress.   The debt spirals out of control, and the countries enemies divide the spoils.   That's the endgame.  I used to think it couldn't happen.  And in the end, I think this is why it happens.  People think it can't -- like the unsinkable Titanic.  And so they drive the State full-speed ahead into the night through waters that have been known to have icebergs.   One little steering mistake, and bam!   The band's playing "Nearer My God To Thee" as people jump over the rails into the icy water, with the deafening sound of groaning, creaking, cracking metal piercing the night over people in half-empty life boats floating away in disbelief.


So we're buying $600,000,000,000 of our debt.  I hope we're not charging ourselves interest.  From what I can gather, this is pretty much us printing up money to pay what we owe, which means the value of the dollar goes down.  This also doesn't include, from what I understand, another $75,000,000,000 a month after that, for, I don't know how many months?

Don't believe me?  The Chinese are a bit concerned about it, since they own a bunch of our dollars which we're apparently going to be paying back with cheaper dollars.  And Business Insider has an interesting and somewhat alarming article about the fact that we're apparently pushing the bubble into the final bubble ... the inflation bubble.   Even Warren Buffett (and didn't he endorse Obama when Obama was pretending to be a fiscal conservative?) thinks every American should read this short book from 1975: When Money Dies.

Now I of course am still hoping for the best, but call me Officially just a little spooked.

Hyperinflation is a possibility, and Lord knows what happens if it takes off.  When Money Dies gives us a picture of what happened in Germany back in the 1920's, and it ain't pretty.  People starve.  People have to resort to nasty things.

I don't want to be one of them, if I can help it at all.

A buddy and I used to talk about possible, far-fetched but plausible ITSHTF (If The Shit Hits The Fan) scenarios where political factions start fighting and the state can't keep law and order ... for a few days to a few weeks or more, and the business of protecting the home, the family ... or worse having to forage for and hunt for food.  

But if hyperinflation, which we hadn't even considered because we had faith that our government wouldn't be stupid enough to try to go down that road ... if it happens, the spectrum of possibilities goes from maybe I keep my job, maybe everything collapses  ... but in either situation you're presented with the possibility of food prices going up faster than your income, or food merchants flat out unwilling to sell you food for dollars that will be worth much less by the time they get to spend them than they were when you bought the food.  I've been staring these things possibilities in the face, thinking "Nah .... that won't happen."   But evidence is mounting that we're just sauntering toward this possibility, and I'm no longer able to convince myself that there's really nothing to worry about.   And so ....

I blinked.

Basically, I'm going to keep some extra dried food around.  Nothing fancy, nothing diverse.  Something that will keep us alive perhaps long enough for things to stablize or long enough for us to try to figure out how we're going to cope in a new reality.   Rice.  Beans.  Salt.  Sugar.   Maybe flour, but I worry about the bugs that will hatch in the flour bags.  (looks like freezing for a few days and sealing can prevent this.)   If we do flour, then probably some powdered milk.  Perhaps some texturized soy protein.  And some unscented bleach for water sanitization in case things really, REALLY go south. The rice and beans alone I think you could live off of for a couple of months if you had to.  Not saying you'd emerge the picture of health, but at least there'd be a you to emerge.  And all of this stuff is relatively cheap, and except for the flour due to the bugs ... these things should keep for several years.  

If any of this happens.   The inflation is sure to happen.  I really don't see how it can't.   The ITSHTF scenario, maybe not.  Hopefully not.  But I really don't want to look back if it does happen and say "hey, if I'd just spent a couple hundred dollars back then, we might live through this."

But I can't help but laugh at myself and wonder if I should add tinfoil to my shopping list.  This is crazy shit.

Olberman Gets 4 day weekend

So what it really amounts to is that Olberman got a 4 day weekend for "breaking the rules" at NBC.


Blatherer In Chief

I turned on the boob toob this morning.  We flip it on for the weather, then switch over to Fox & Friends.  Because they're fun, and the ratings piss liberals off.  Hey, anything I can do to help.

This morning, I was met with a live broadcast of the Blatherer In Chief, playing teleprompter ping-pong, looking and sounding for all the world like a robot, spewing manufactured platitudes.  It all sounded something like: promoting a just and sustainable global international order, moving forward for legitimate reform, transforming the world through effective leadership and cooperation.  Together, we can lay the cornerstone for peaceful norms, while strengthening the bonds that tie us together in mutual goals.  Progress will not come through the paradigms of ideologies, but through forged pathways of new understandings based on Science and Reason. *

People were nodding off to the mechanical tennis match head-turns of the President. The Indian Prime Minister looked like he had to pee and was wondering when the speech would end.  Seriously, the upward-tilted chin, pointing left, then right, then left again was getting distracting.  Eventually I realized that I had the power to silence the Leader of the Free World in the palm of my hand, and pressed the mute button.   After a time the wife couldn't even stand the Prince of Smugness's image on the screen, and turned the whole thing off.

* Science™ and Reason™ are registered trademarks of Big Brother.

Liberal Wisdom

Maybe this will be a new post theme.   I was talking ... to that certain progressive family member ... about "wasting water".... we were actually talking about washing dishes.

And she said, "Water won't last forever you know."

I paused, and then responded, "No, actually, it pretty much will."

Hydrology.  Learn it.

Yeah, clean water supplies are a concern, and an important one.  But that's a pollution issue, not a overuse of dishwashing water issue.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Racist Tea Party Obviously Hates Hispanics and Blacks

Pat Gray: The racist, horrible, hateful Tea Party elected more minorities than Democrats did. Including Governor Sandoval in Nevada or was that -- yes, Nevada. First Hispanic governor. Brian Sandoval, Latino Republican. They elected him. New Mexico elected Susannah Martinez, nation's first Hispanic female governor. Florida, of course, elected Marco Rubio, son of a Cuban immigrant. And South Carolina elected Republican Nicky Hailey, state's first female, whose parents immigrated from India, as well as Tim Scott, the state's first black Republican Congressman. There's a few more. There's Allen West, the first black Republican elected to Congress from Florida. since a former slave served two terms in the 1870s. Two Latino republicans from Texas, Congressman Bill Flores and Francisco Canseco. It's awful. A racist bloodbath.


Since I've commented on the site of the progressive rag "The Nation", I'm on their mailing list.

This came in today:

Dear Nation Reader,

There's no disguising it—the results of the midterm elections were, with few exceptions, grim, as candidates who are intent on rolling back decades of economic and social progress were swept into office.

But this is no time to despair. It is time to stand and fight for a real debate about ideas and for small-d democracy. The Nation is committed to that work, and to ensuring that our truth-telling journalists lift their ideas into our country's all-too narrow debate.
Decades of economic and social progress?  I thought that had all been destroyed over the "previous 8 years" with George W. Bush and then that evil Republican congress under Clinton.

Plus, like I've always said, it all depends on whose definition of "progress" you go with.

As Newt so adroitly put it the other night when Greta Van Sustren pointed out that Obama delivered on change, and people wanted change ...
 "If somebody offers you a chance to go to Disney World and you get all excited - and they promise to take you to Disney World, and then they didn't quite tell you that by the way the way they're going to get there is they're going to crash the plane into the park ..... ?  The fact that they were going to take you to Disney World may not have been quite as attractive as you thought."
"Change".  I was stunned to see that someone could win over America on such a transparently meaningless word.   All it means is "not this".   I'm sorry, there are a lot of places in the world I don't want to be like.  I need something more concrete than "not this".

Thomas Sowell put it rather well talking about another mushily vague word....

"If there is ever a contest to pick which word has done the most damage to people's thinking, and to actions to carry out that thinking, my nomination would be the word "fair." It is a word thrown around by far more people than have ever bothered to even try to define it.

This mushy vagueness may be a big handicap in logic but it is a big advantage in politics. All sorts of people, with very different notions about what is or is not fair, can be mobilized behind this nice-sounding word, in utter disregard of the fact that they mean very different things when they use that word."

Word for Today

Yankophobia:  The fear of Americans.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

California ... ?

What the hell were you thinking?????

As Glenn Beck put it ... don't you need to be high (pass 19) before you elect this guy?

George Will's Take on the Obamacrats' reaction

Pretty good, really.

Actually, as the distilled essence of progressivism, he should feel ratified by Tuesday's repudiation. The point of progressivism is that the people must progress up from their backwardness. They cannot do so unless they are pulled toward the light by a government composed of the enlightened - experts coolly devoted to facts and science.

The progressive agenda is actually legitimated by the incomprehension and anger it elicits: If the people do not resent and resist what is being done on their behalf, what is being done is not properly ambitious. If it is comprehensible to its intended beneficiaries, it is the work of insufficiently advanced thinkers.

Of course the masses do not understand that the only flaw of the stimulus was its frugality, and that Obamacare's myriad coercions are akin to benevolent parental discipline. If the masses understood what progressives understand, would progressives represent a real vanguard of progress?

Of course the progressive agenda must make infinitely elastic the restraints imposed by the Founders' Constitution and its principles of limited government. Moving up from them - from the Founders and their anachronistic principles - is the definition of progress.

It explains much.


I know it's been pointed out before ... but ... just sayin'.

Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Kristi Noem, Christine O'Donnell, Dana Loesch, Janine Turner, Michelle Malkin, Star Parker, Nikki Haley, and of course ... Daphne.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Well, that was good

Not great, but good.   Biggest disappointments of the evening:  Boxer and Reid, for sure.   6 more years of Boxer looking down her snooty nose at people who treat her with respect by calling her "ma'am".  That's "Senator ma'am" to you.
Reid -- I'm sorry, I just can't help but think crooked, crooked corruption.   Dude's just slimy.   And anything that touches SEIU just has disgusting green goo all over it.

Here in Missouri, the only real disappointment was HSUS's Prop B ... not an immediate threat to anyone but some dog breeders, but nonetheless one of those foot-in-the-door pieces of legislation where people with good intentions vote for bad policy.

The Columbia taser ban was duly stomped.  Robin Carnahan was defeated -- though nobody I know was particularly happy about voting for Blunt.

The best news is that the California Chihuaua (sorry, that's just what her nervous body language and startled eyes that can't seem to look straight at anything for any length of time reminds me of) is out and Boehner is in as House Speaker.   Also, Rand Paul was extremely good, symbolic news.

A day or two of faux conciliatory rhetoric ...

Our job is far from finished. 

Well, it will never be "finished".  The price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance, and we have fallen behind on our payments.  We just cut a  deal with the debt broker, but we have some serious catching up to do.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Oh.... My ... God... this is funny

Second City caught up with some folks at the Stewart/Colbert Rally "to Restore Sanity and/or Fear"  (aren't they so clever to come up with that innovative ironic funny ok, really, really stupid name.

Here's how up on things you need to be to get on your morally superior high horse.  [snicker]

Keynsian. Too rich!

Oh.  And sanity.  Yeah.  Lots of sanity there. 

Here's another:

And for those of you outside of CA, Prop 19 is the Legalize Pot proposition.  Which personally, I'd vote for on civil liberties grounds.  So duuuuuhuuuuude and I have at least something in common.  Of course, that guy is a perfect example of why Morgan probably voted against it.

Update on The Car in the Ditch Analogy

Ramirez. No surprise there. Excellent.

Again With the "Ha Ha, She said 'Death Panels'"

Smart, edumacated people in the know "know" that Sarah Palin's an idiot because she said there were "death panels" "in the bill" (she didn't, but we'll let that slide) and of course, the words "Death Panel" never appear anywhere in the bill so she obviously doesn't know what she's talking about. This Reid Wilson article in the National Journal does it again:

"The bill passed on Sunday, March 21. Democrats were convinced their party would benefit from a fuller explanation of the bill's contents. But Republicans made effective arguments, pollsters said, that the health care reform overhaul contained lurking passages worthy of suspicion, from Sarah Palin's inaccurate "death panels" to the more widely accepted claim, advanced by virtually every Republican candidate running this year, that the bill represents an unwanted takeover of private health care plans by the federal government."

I bring this up again only because a commenter going by "Grizzled" had an awesome comeback to it.   I've been saying this in a much more dry manner -- that conservatives argue consequences while progressives argue weasely words.  Grizzled said:

You can call it anything you like, "Terminal Savings", "Adjusted Quality Limits", or "The Cuddly Puppy Treatment", it's obvious that end of life care will be rationed; i.e. death panels.

Update:  In my copy of TIA Daily, in a not completly related topic, I see a better, more succinct way of describing the difference between what is literally in a bill and what the effects or consequences would be.

Implicit vs Explicit.

Implicitly, the bill pointed toward an entity that would have power to decide whether or not "life sustaining" treatment would be given.   Explicitly, it spoke of no such entity being created to do exactly that thing.  Though it did speak of state authorities with the authority to sign off on "life sustaining" treatment.

Which presumably means they'd also have the authority not to.

The Dems and their cohorts spoke of what the bill didn't explicity say.   Palin and other opponents spoke of what processes it implicitly outlined.   Since the bill didn't say "Death Panel" or describe the formation of some board to make these decisions, the Dems feel that Palin was "proven" wrong.

Which is hogwash.  The very opposite of awesomesauce.

Word for the Day

refudiate \ri-ˈfyü-dē-ˌāt\  1. To reject an opponent's arguments as untrue or unjust 2.  to refuse to accept -- giving argument or evidence. 3. To divorce or separate formally from because it is untrue or incorrect.
I voted.   I voted extra hard.  I darkened my ovals darker and oval-er.  Just for added emphasis.

I like Sarah's word.   You know, all of us, in the course of speaking, have unintentionally combined words -- usually when you have two words that mean approximately the same thing and you're trying to figure out which one to use and you change your mind while speaking one of them.  Everybody does it.  Bush, Palin, you, me, Obama ...

I also love what Palin and others did with the word as soon as the hecklers started heckling it.  She kept using it, but on purpose --even emphasizing it --  to rub their faces in it.  Sometimes not showing fear is the way to go.  Palin has an instinct for this that the rest of us can learn from.

Today I voted to refudiate.   To refudiate the idea that this is a fringe or extremist movement.  To refudiate the idea that America wants this health care bill, this increase in government size, this movement further toward the nanny state.   I voted to refudiate the idea that "We Are All Socialists Now".

There are those who are going to laugh again and say that this is not a word and it only shows our ignorance.   To them I say this:
You are angry.  I understand.  And when you're angry, sometimes you don't think clearly.  You cling to the Language of the Past™, when you need to move forward. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Things Considered

Welcome readers from House of Eratosthenes and Right Wing News!  And thanks to Morgan for the link.  Sit a spell.  Poke around.  The beer is cold, the musings crunchy.   Think of them as pretzels.

Just an idea that came to me over the weekend, brought to life...

Yeah, I couldn't help myself. :-)

This after I took a stab at illustrating Morgan's NOW&IHAPBEY post .... This is for all the concerned liberals who can't seem to practice what they preach.

(why is it that the first thing that comes to mind when I read NOW&IHAPBEY is "Don't Worry, Be Happy"?)

Not One Word, and I Hope a Polar Bear Eats You!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I was afraid of that Mr. President

The President still thinks we're just don't understand what he's done for us.  I agree with the rest of the pudits who say that oh yes, we do understand it all too well and we don't like it.

Start paying attention about 5:15 into this clip.

Obama: "We have ... done things that some folks don't know about."

Reallllly? That doesn't sound good.

Stewart: "What have you done that we don't know about? Are you planning a surprise party for us?!"

Well, he did tell us he was working on a revloution "transformation". You know... Change we didn't ask enough questions about...

Anyway, the rest of the clip, the Rock Star waving, "thank you! thank you! thank you!" ... and the message This has been really hard, and that being said, we've done a whole lot and people just don't appreciate us.

No. No we don't.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Money Hole

I know. Lotta videos lately. This one apparently from a couple of years ago from The Onion. Gotta love The Onion.

I can't eff'ing believe this!!!!!!!!

Here’s an interesting thing being kicked about on Capitol Hill.

I mean, on some level I’m not surprised, since my eyes have been opened to the fact that government is a hungry monster with an ever-growing appetite that is constantly looking for more lunch money to steal, like a school-bully crack-addict.

It is a myth that the funds we pay into social security are sitting there, invested in markets and things to grow for us and be there for our retirement (actually, it never would have been enough anyway, it was meant as an insurance program to help people who somehow couldn’t afford retirement to get by after they could no longer work … but I digress.)

No, politicians decided long ago that it would be safe to use all that money that would otherwise just be sitting around for other pet projects to sell to the public and thus buy re-election votes for all the wonderful things they “gave” you using money you thought you were “giving” them for something else.  They'll just use the next generation's money to fund this generation's social security, and if we run out of their money, well, pass it on to the next.

Well now that that’s totally bankrupt, and Medicare is bankrupt, and we’re in debt to our eyeballs to the point where we’ve begun to “buy” our own debt … apparently some politicians and academic policy wonks are saying “heeeyyyy!!! Look at all that money laying around in people’s private retirement plans and IRA’s!!!! Mmmmm. Muunnnnn-nnnney.”

Now, to come up with a plan to grab that cash in the name of “protecting” it and “insuring” it will be there for people and “leveraging” and … buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. End result, Government has control over it. And we all know (or we should by now, anyway) know what happens when government has money in it’s pockets today. Of course, it finds all kinds of wonderful ways to spend it, and then some. Like they did with that Social Security money they were saving for us. But don’t worry. We’ll take GOOOOOOOD care of it.

Did I show you my deed for swampland in Florida?

Not Paying Attention? You Wish!

Great David Harsanyi article on the Tea Party's eyes being wide open.

;"Not Paying Attention?   You Wish!

This is the sound of desperation

The President is in a rut.

What is this incoherent drivel about a car and a ditch?  The ditch!  With the car!  And the slurpees!  

This analogy is just ... not only lame, but it's long, and tedious, and it keeps getting longer, and everybody's eyes are glazing over.  And here's Al Franken, taking it another 10 miles down the ditch.

Bush "Jumped out of the car" in January, 2009? Wasn't he Constitutionally prohibited from driving the car anymore? This is getting completly inane.

And they were sipping a slurpee! It think it was cherry flavored! Cherry for all the red ink they put us in! And before we started pushin', we loaded the trunk with 300 gallons of cherry kool-aid, for the road, you know!  Because it's hard work! And we knew we'd get thirsty! And our shoes... our shoes are all covered in this mud... and it's heavy, heavy mud ... mud from the ditch ... that the car is in!  And we're workin' hard. In the ditch!  'Cause we're the Workers of the World! Uniting! Against the slurpee drinkers! On the top of the ditch!

I hope he keeps it up. Because this can do nothing but drag them down further.  This is what the King of Eloquence and Enlightened HopeyChanginess has been reduced to.  There is political hay to be made here with the strained nature of this odd strategy.

This is something that will live in parodies of Obama for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Titles of Nobility

In my America, this would be THE most effective ad in the attempt to evict "Senator" Boxer's royal behind from her royal seat.


How Government Hinders Us

Just ran across an example from my own life.

I used to use a styptic pencil to quickly stop bleeding from shaving nicks and other minor surface bleeds.  Several years ago I ran across a product, Nik+Aid, which is essentially a styptic ball-point pen.  With a really big ball-point.  It was more convenient, faster, didn't break, and it worked great.  It lasted quite some time, apparently.

We recently ran out, and my wife and I (she used it too) have been looking for it all over and can't find it.

So I recently looked it up to see if I could find some for sale on the web.

I found this:

The manufacturer of Nik+Aid stopped making it. Here's their explanation as to why (from an inquiry by another befuddled customer):
Thank you for your inquiry and your kind comments regarding Nik+Aid . Unfortunately The U.S. FDA has changed the requirements on the OTC category that Nik+Aid falls under and they have asked us to prove (via clinical trials), that Nik+Aid meets its claim to "stop bleeding fast". The time off the market that it would have taken and the expense involved were beyond our budget. Therefore a decision was made almost 3 years ago to discontinue.

Unfortunately we do not have any inventory left and I don't know of any retailer anywhere that does. I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. I have saved your email and you will be contacted if we find a way to bring it back to market. While we are still approved in Canada, our market penetration was not big enough at the time of the FDA's request to make up the volume needed to make the product viable. We are looking for an entity with deeper pockets and resources than ours who wants to pick up where we left off. If you or an entity you know of has an interest we'd be happy to talk.

Thank you again.

Steve Cohen
Leib Research
So in the government's valiant effort to protect us, a great product is off the market because they didn't have the money to spend on "clinical trials" to prove that the product "stops bleeds fast".

Well, see, if it didn't, you'd buy it once, it wouldn't work, and you wouldn't buy it again. Plus word would get around, and people wouldn't buy it anymore, and the product would die.  This is the way it's supposed to work.

Fact of the matter is, I used it, and it worked great on me.  It worked great on my wife.  And I imagine it worked great on just about everbody else who ever used it.

Thus the FDA squelches new products, and keeps competition down for up and comer competitors.  It probably keeps other people from even trying because of superfluous and expensive regulation.  It costs jobs.  It costs competition (which leads to lower prices and better products).  And it costs jobs.

Not sayin' all regulation is bad.  But overregulation is definitely bad.  And here's a good example.