Speed Topics

Despotism By Any Other Name. Daniel Hannan is a member of the EU parliament from the UK and a thoughtful, articulate and outspoken conservative. Recently, he addressed the CPAC conference in Washington, DC with a stern and dire warning of the path that we are traveling on as a nation. His speech can be found HERE:

Daniel Hannan/CPAC

His words at CPAC dovetails with an op-ed piece that he wrote almost a year ago in March 2011 for the WSJ. His astute and prescient words still ring as true today.

If you repeat our mistakes, we know exactly what lies in store for you. — Daniel Hannan

We ignore his warning at our own peril.

It Is Better To Receive Than To Give. A twist on the old saw to be sure, but truer words have never been spoken, I assure you. Approximately 50% of our society is on the receiving end of things, in one form or another, from the federal government. Whether it’s inflated benefits from a lifetime of forced contributions (contributions plus presumed interest that only account for a fraction of what is received), subsidies in the form of housing and food or benefits like a monthly check in the mail for whatever reason, contemporary Americans are increasingly and sadly becoming more co-dependent upon government for their living. So it’s not unexpected when those who productively contribute to society (read: WORK) clamor for reforms and changes to the system to encourage (read: FORCE) others to toil and contribute as well that those who receive show their ire through demonstrations and other overt displays. A prime example is the “Occupy” movement with its numerous squatters campsites scattered throughout the country. This movement was a microcosm of “slacker nation” on full display for all to see and hear. Our nation was regaled with this nonsense for over three months in the fall and early winter of 2011 as the “Occupiers” took to public parks with their protests and succeeded to foul them with human waste and refuse. And we were also treated to an amusing hodgepodge of demands and proposals from a group of protestors who obviously have too much time on their hands and who haven’t worked in a meaningful way in far too long. But isn’t this what it’s like with American society writ large? Our nation is running up record debt and burdening ourselves with record deficits, and we all know that the party must end at some time (lest someone else turn off the lights for us) but we cannot bring ourselves to elect and command our representatives to do what is best for our nation — decrease spending. It is instructive to note that we will find the will to decrease spending on those things constitutionally-mandated, like the military, but we cannot find the will to even broach the subject of entitlement reform or benefit reduction. I guess it really is better to receive than it is to give…that is until there’s no more to receive or to give. But that’s where we are inexorably going as we’ve recently passed the 100% GDP point in our national debt; this number growing every day. With all the “receivers” out there and their high expectations (they voted, now they DEMAND results from Obama’s “stash!”), I imagine we all will have hell to pay when the gravy train derails and the goodies stop flowing. This will all be good, though. It took a long time to learn to be hopelessly co-dependent with the government, so it will take some time for those who are in some cases the results of multi-generational dependence to muster the initiative to go to work each day for their living. We better discover soon as a nation that it is better to give than to receive or else we will have no future to give to our children. And we will be despised by our heirs for our treachery and selfishness.

Obama’s Budget Jackpot! Barack Obama released his 2013 budget without much fanfare last week. As predicted, it maintains the spending tack that has been the hallmark of his past budgets. But critical analysis of the budget by the public at large was overhshadowed in the news by a bit of overt and controversial (to say the least) political maneuvering by Obama and HHS regarding Obamacare and “free” contraception as it relates to the Catholic Church. But as Mark Steyn points out in his brilliant opinion piece in the NRO this weekend, there is a telling component to this budget that is being little talked about:

My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on page 58 of their 500-page appendix on “Analytical Perspectives.” This is entitled “Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections.” It’s a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right-hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull, and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt’s space colony on the moon circa 2100. Just to emphasize, this isn’t the doom-laden dystopian fancy of a right-wing apocalyptic loon like me; it’s the official Oval Office version of where America’s headed. In the New York Times–approved “responsible budget” there is no attempt even to pretend to bend the debt curve into something approaching reentry with reality.

As for us doom-mongers, at the House Budget Committee on Thursday, Chairman Paul Ryan produced another chart, this time from the Congressional Budget Office, with an even steeper straight line showing debt rising to 900 percent of GDP and rocketing off the graph circa 2075. America’s treasury secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they’d run the numbers into the next millennium: “You could have taken it out to 3000 or to 4000” he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides. Has total societal collapse ever been such a non-stop laugh riot?

“Yeah, right.” replied Ryan. “We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.”  — Mark Steyn

The graph that Mark mentions does not simply suggest dereliction of duty by Obama and his financial functionaries, it illustrates it in a textbook manner. I have included a thumbnail of it for your viewing pleasure:

Critical analysis reveals that Chart 5-1 suggests two things: the first is that the Obama administration is under some delusion that we can somehow obliviously spend ourselves into penury without a flitting care in the world; and unfortunately the second is that that graph represents the pinnacle of inter-generational treachery whereby we are spending at such an irresponsible level that we are willfully burdening our children and their children’s children with our debt. This isn’t much of a legacy and birthright to pass on to future generations, huh? But what is all this debt as compared to the worship and adulation that one man, Barack Obama, can reap with his willful disregard of our nation’s future prosperity? Politics, and free rides, are indeed messy things.

The New Nominal. We are on the road to unsustainability at an unsustainably unsustainable rate of debt accumulation as a nation. This is no more evidenced than by our switch of scale when it comes to discussing the federal budget of the United States. We have now eclipse billions and have left that paltry magnitude in the ash heap of history. We are now blazing a new frontier into the domain of trillions. A trillion dollars may not seem like a lot to you, but to me that’s A LOT of walking around money. And considering that our national debt passed the 15 trillion dollar level, we are talking serious shekels here. I recently read a comparison where if we were to stack one million dollar bills atop each other that it would take a stack over a mile high to represent a trillion dollars. So, our present debt puts us safely into low Earth orbit.

How’s the view??

This begs the question: How long before we start talking interstellar levels of debt using billion dollar bills as our reference? At some point it doesn’t matter. At some point the sheer magnitude of the debt number is so huge, it defies comprehension by an individual. But sit and think about this for a moment. One million dollars represents the average LIFETIME earnings of an average citizen (if said citizen is inclined to work in the first place.) There are approximately 150 million wage earners in the USA at the present time — a sad fact given our population is just a touch over 310 million folks. All things being left constant, if we were to give the government 100% of our earnings over our lifetimes, we could indeed service the debt…and perhaps have a little left over for paving roads and groping travelers at airports. But as in our discussion of Chart 5-1 previously, where does that leave our kids? If we are to do anything about this unsustainable debt and associated budget deficits (where our borrowing  from foreign adversaries to service it is out of control) we need to reject the “new nominal” that is being forced upon us by the government and this administration. The only reason we even discuss budgets at the 15 trillion dollar level is because we have become a hopeless welfare state, and engaged in a federal spending spree that would even make drunken Russian sailors blush. If we accept the new budgetary vocabulary, the new nominal as it were, then we cede our control and our comprehension of the magnitude of the problem. At some point, the problem becomes too large to adequately grasp because of its sheer size. It literally becomes the immoveable object. And if we are not careful, then we will be trapped beneath its crushing size and weight.

OWS — Obvious Willful Stupidity or Rebels Without a Clue? The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is being put forth as some kind of organic, serious protest over greed in the US and world financial sectors and capitalism in general. Somehow, between a sympathetic MSM and Progressive politicians who find a distracting simpatico with the tent, bongo drum and need-a-bath set, we are led to believe that this is a BIG movement, encompassing many millions of participants. But I’m loathe to count up more than several thousand die hard participants at any of the “events.” One thing is for sure — given that there is no cohesive aim or ambition, and the fact that many of the participants are willing to go on the record with inchoate ramblings — this is a put up rebellion. But put up by whom? And why? And why now? I believe those questions will become clear as time goes on because getting paid to camp out in an ever-increasing-in-filth outdoor venue soon becomes tiresome, and the continued prospect pales in comparison to the fold away bed in mom/dad’s living room. Besides, these fractious neo-hippies are unlikely to garner much support or sympathy from the average working Joe or Jane who has to actually work for a living to, in part, support the right of these selfish nutbars to continue to protest.

Solyndra. I think that the House has finally hit a nerve in the Obama administration with their investigation of the Solyndra scandal. There is something fishy afoot with the incredible sums of money involved in what increasingly appears this green-for-votes/political support scheme. That Solyndra was so very close to bankruptcy/insolvency, teetering on the edge as it were, and the administration saw fit to bankroll this outfit for over half a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money is both troubling and suspicious. I’m convinced that Solyndra represents the pinnacle of crony capitalism that is the hallmark of the corruption of the self-proclaimed “transparent” Obama administration and presidency. We’re being played for fools, and with their rejection of the House subpoena, Obama and his Corruptocrat cronies are thumbing their noses at the law and at us.

GOP Presidential Candidates. I’m presently underwhelmed by the current crop of GOP presidential candidates. Don’t get me wrong, for a staunch Republican and rock-ribbed conservative, there are some jewels in the rough. Like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Only Mr. Cain has gained any traction among the purported “conservative” candidates. But Newt has seen somewhat of a resurgence, climbing to 3rd place in most of the national polls, after Cain and Romney. And by the way, Mitt Romney needs us more than we need him. It may be “his turn” to be the GOP standard-bearer, but as a nation we don’t need the medicine that he’s offering. I firmly believe that he’s a go-along-to-get-along candidate, who will unfailingly support the tax-and-spend infrastructure…while making ceremonial and for show only cuts here and there. Of all the candidates, Santorum and Gingrich speak for constitutionalists and conservatives. Through past actions as legislators and through their words while on the stump, they have unflaggingly preached the need to tip the status quo on its head — even though it is to their detriment. I sure hope one of these two prevails in the tough slog ahead, but I’m not holding my breath. Now, don’t get me wrong. I really like Herman Cain and I think he’s a smart, experienced and articulate man. If he is the GOP candidate after the primary winnowing process, I will enthusiastically vote for him! What I don’t like is his 9-9-9 plan…

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan. There is so much that troubles me about Herman Cain;s 9-9-9 plan. But my primary objection is that by simply offering this plan, Mr. Cain unwittingly cedes the status quo to the tax-and-spend Progressives who have, for over a century now, conditioned Americans to being unwilling ATM machines for profligate political agendas and programs. See, since the turn of the last century we have become inured to being taxed in an extra-constitutional manner through legislative trickery and political duplicity. And although there is a marginal return on our investment in infrastructure and national security, the majority of our money is used as a votes-for-goodies slush fund by craven, self-serving pols. We don’t need GOP candidates offering up “plans”, like Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, to help support this profligacy. We need GOP candidates who are willing to play the iconoclast, and propose that before we do anything else, we will cut the federal budget by an ACTUAL 50% — including entitlements. We are taxing and spending our way into oblivion and obscurity as a nation. Restructuring how the government gets its financial fix is akin to debating, just after it struck the iceberg,  whether the Titanic will sink in 5 or 6 minutes. In the end, it doesn’t matter! It’s gonna sink anyway!! A tax and spend “plan” by any presidential candidate, least of all a GOP candidate, puts a willful or worse unwitting fig leaf on the root core problem. And if gives false hope that things will really change with a new administration. We need a candidate and a presidency willing to cut up the roots of the insidious government and make tough but necessary changes to the modus operandi of that government. Any plan that does not include this is really no plan at all.

It’s Anthropogenic Global Warming! Until it isn’t…or maybe it’s the scourge of Climate Change. Uh, nope. Or, perhaps it’s just the weather being the unpredictable weather. Hey, I think we’re onto something! An interesting tidbit from the cyclone and hurricane observers at Florida State University (Dr. Ryan Maue): Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that all manner of bad things, meteorologically-speaking, were going to befall us due to AGW and our continued use of all things CO2-producing. Who would have guessed that  the DIRE predictions of super-strong hurricanes and cyclones that made Katrina look like a kitten in comparison would be dashed…at least they’ve been if we’re to believe the good Dr. Maue. Oh well, maybe these things are caused by, now take a seat you climate scaremongers, THE VAGARIES OF THE RANDOM WEATHER!!! I dunno…seems like a theory to me.

Tipping Point? There are incidents which occur that leave you scratching your head and make you think “What were they thinking?” There are other incidents that occur that make you think that we as a nation have reached a tipping point, and that perhaps the scale is weighted such that we are at a point of no return. Behold, a tipping point: Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search. Where has all logic and sanity gone in our government when an incident such as this may occur? It is abundantly clear that the TSA is no longer concerned just about our “safety,” whatever the hell that may be. No, I’m afraid that their intentions are more sinister at heart: They are gaining control over us! Now, I assume that we’re all still freeborn American men and women with certain inalienable rights: like those pesky attributes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. For example, situations like what happened with the ailing, 105 pound, wheelchair-bound, 95 year old woman in her “encounter” with the TSA are most handsomely covered in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Read that passage very carefully and tell me that what the TSA is presently doing in the name of “safety” has any constitutional basis whatsoever. I’ll cut immediately to the chase for you — it doesn’t. This unfortunate lady was subjected to an unreasonable search of her person, without the benefit of a court order and furthermore was humiliated in her having to remove a very personal hygiene product at the order of a TSA “official.” Benjamin Franklin was right when he opined so many years ago:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

His words ring true…as an ominous warning, even today.

Liberalism/Progressivism Has Failed. OKAY, it’s high time to start stating the obvious: that the precepts, agendas and programs that constitute the ideology called liberalism/Progressivism have failed. Spectacularly. Since the nascent probings of Progressivism by Teddy Roosevelt to the full-bore adoption of Progressive/socialist programs by Franklin Roosevelt, the US has suffered a great harm regardless of the “good” that all the hard-earned money spent on this ideology is alleged to have done. Regardless of the party line and the hype, we have come to the end. We are BROKE! There is no way to tax and spend our way out of the fiscal, social and moral abyss that we have backed ourselves into. For Americans, the FAILED ideology of liberalism/Progressivism isn’t the answer. It is the illness. The only way out of the present mess we find ourselves in is to re-adopt the prudent, frugal and austere precepts that are found in the Constitution. We must abandon our profligate and sinful ways and become the perfected society, based on constitutional and free-market principles, that we should be. I think that many Americans are waking from their profligate stupor; and they are realizing that the math that the Progressives espouse just doesn’t add up. There are no free rides, and you can’t get something for nothing (or almost nothing.) That taxing the “rich” only gives you the wages of sin (sloth, greed and envy) and that “helping” the poor with perpetual government alms and “charity” only breeds contempt and idleness from the “beneficiaries.” it’s time to shout the failure of this cancerous, unproductive ideology from the rooftops! “Liberalism/Progressivism is DEAD! Long live freedom and capitalism!!!”

Nothing New Under the Political Sun. It is indeed the silly season. Since the beginning of the 2012 presidential campaign we have seen the Dems/Progs/Libs ramp up their rhetoric and redouble their ad hominem attacks on the GOP candidates. One need to look no further than Michelle Bachmann for this political and media fold and spin job. Rep. Bachmann is truly a woman of substance. She has numerous scholastic, personal, business and political achievements to her credit. But unlike the Marxist Barack Obama, she is hated by the media and reviled by her political opponents for her strong conservative beliefs. See, regardless of the cries for more “civility” in the political discourse after the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Rep. Bachmann has been the recipient of some odious “scrutiny” for alleged gaffes and misstatements. In a recent interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked her if she was “a flake?” Rep. Bachmann is definitely not a flake…and such a question is both demeaning and insulting, regardless of Wallace’s intent. If the “flake” question by Wallace can be considered friendly fire, Ms. Bachmann had better steel herself for a fusillade of invective and insults that are now being dreamed up by the “civilized” left — from both media and politicians. Because the one thing we can count on is that there is NOTHING new under the political sun, particularly where desperate Democrats are concerned.

Morons, psychopaths and mental defectives…If you guessed I was talking about Obama supporters, then ding, ding, ding…you’re correct! I cannot imagine a group of more brain dead sheeple than those who presently give our rambling, bumbling POTUS high marks for performance. Rasmussen has him at 50% favorability in today’s poll. With ever-increasing unemployment numbers, inflation on the move upward, increasing oil/gasoline prices and the price of food at 10 year highs I would imagine that any other president would suffer some unfavorability. But his trusty minions in the lamestream media have kept Mr. Obama afloat in the churning seas of his own making. I’m hoping that Israel supporters of all religions will start to drag his favorability down to where it belongs (probably in the high 30′s) after they’ve had a chance to cogitate on his truly breathtaking treachery involving Mideast “peace” and his “return to 1967 borders” comment.

“Never can say goodbye.” Folks are clutching on to the notion of “free” healthcare in spite of the facts presented to them that Medicare will collapse in 2030 (according to the actuary of the CBO.  We know this because a majority of Americans polled are not in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to overhaul this bank-breaking behemoth federal program. But regardless of their reluctance to embrace Ryan’s proposed changes, or their wholesale buying of the negative hyperbole and outright lies being put forth by the Democrats against both Mr. Ryan and his proposal, something will need to be done to rein in the astronomical costs of this failing program. What will those who now clutch at this program do when it eventually fails? Leave it to their children or grandchildren to clean up the mess? Or worse, allow the country to default on its “promises” to Medicare recipients? It’s tough medicine to swallow, but something must be done. The Dems are demagoging this issue and making political hay with Ryan’s proposal and the support of it by many in the GOP. Granny gets rolled off the cliff…the GOP are uncaring and hard-hearted. Phooey!! But such are the conundrums that we face when we stray from the Constitution and roll out social programs that were never intended by the Framers. There are really only two choices…admit to ourselves that changes must be made, and grin and bear those changes, or…enable craven politicians to use Medicare as a political third-rail issue and see it eventually fail and produce dire financial consequences for our nation.

Barack Obama, The Tin (Ear) Man. There has probably never been another American president that has a tinnier ear for pomp, circumstance and protocol when it comes to interacting with other world leaders and notables than our current executive. He has an embarrassing track record of bowing to despots and dictators, speaking at inappropriate times, giving inappropriate or insulting gifts and “speechifying” in a manner that infuriates Americans, friends and allies alike. This latest gaffe, speaking over God Save The Queen, wasn’t covered much by the lamestream, but it was a world-class gaffe for a supposed first-string world leader. It was just another embarrassing and infuriating example of this president’s bull-in-the-china-shop approach to diplomacy and international relations. At this point in his term, I’m convinced that our friends and allies see the Obama’s as ebony hillbillies who are  not trainable in the diplomatic arts, and individuals who perhaps mean well, but just have a knack for getting things wrong.

Not My Cuppa Tea! The NY-26 congressional race was an interesting political battle. In a race distinguished by the lackluster field of candidates of all parties… Democrat Kathy Hochul, the eventual winner, Republican Jane Corwin and “Tea party” candidate Jack Davis. Davis was actually a Democrat using the the Tea party moniker to compete in the general election. Democrat pundits are using this sole, obscure victory to indicate the public’s displeasure with Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal. But this race should give GOP candidates nationwide pause and chasten them to Democrat political treachery and chicanery. See, the Dems engaged in combination “divide and conquer” and “addition by subtraction” scheme to win this election. The addition of the ersatz Tea Party candidate Davis certainly siphoned prospective votes from Corwin. And since Hochul didn’t win by a plurality of the vote, or by a margin that was greater than the vote tally of Davis, then she really didn’t have a mandate…nor was there a clear mandate associated with her election. mark my words, candidates in the mold of Davis are going to crop-up nationwide in the 2012 election. GOP candidates are going to have to make a bigger deal of the duplicitous, phoney Tea party candidates as they appear…and educate their electorate as best as possible. Because the Democrats don’t care how they win — corpses, convicts or livestock voting, or by tricking serious conservative voters that a liberal Democrat candidate running is a serious Tea Party candidate. Let the games begin.

Didn’t You Know bin Laden is DEAD??? I think we’re seeing the framework of Barack Obama’s re-election plans come together, and it is a simple plan indeed. He is going to be the slayer of Osama. The defender of the Republic. I can just see the questions at the presidential debates:

  • Moderator: Mr. President, how do you explain the 9% unemployment and trillion dollar deficits to the average American voter?
  • Obama: Well, let me say this, I GOT OSAMA BIN LADEN!!! Ya know.
  • Moderator: Yes, Mr. President…grated. But what about the stifling regulations that are coming from the Obama administration?”
  • Obama: Well, I did KILL OSAMA BIN LADEN!!! That is a change we can believe in!
  • and so on…

The snuffing of Osama is going to wear thin real fast, I’m sure. But that won’t stop Obama from taking his share of victory laps, trying to extract maximum political advantage from his “courageous” decision. Now, indeed the president did eradicate this mad dog terrorist leader. But, contrary to the ecstasy being enjoyed by the unfortunate Joe Biden, snubbing Osama was the president’s job. He was supposed to get bin Laden if he could, dead or alive. And Biden’s eddic hyperbole aside, a courageous decision by a president is exemplified by Harry Truman’s truly mind-numbing decision to nuke two Japanese cities to aid in ending WWII. Truman’s decision is a model of courage and leadership. In comparison, what Obama did in regards to eliminating Osama was like taking out the White House trash.

Where’s The Outrage?? Well, the hypocrisy of the Democrats has been revealed in full glory with the renewal of the Patriot Act (PA.) Nary a sniff or grunt has been heard from the list of the usual congressional suspects who had no compunction in excoriating George W. Bush for his embrace of the PA after 9/11. But since Obama is the beneficiary of the renewal, then all is right in America…even though the renewed provisions, including overseas wiretaps, were seen as unconstitutional and intrusive when President Bush was POTUS. My question is: Where’s the outrage?? Cue the crickets.

Stating the Obvious. A big news tidbit over the past few days has been the fact that the Hispanic population in the US is now over 50 million. Well, duh! With an open southern border to Mexico, I’m surprised that this number isn’t bigger! The soft-skulls in the lamestream seem somehow enthralled with this population growth in the Hispanic community…seeing it as somehow a win for diversity. It would be if we had a secure border with orderly immigration. But embracing this unchecked population growth, knowing full well that a vast majority of it is due to illegal immigration is self-destructive to our nation and an odd display of encouragement by the supporters of this growth.

God Bless Joplin, MO. The people of Joplin had to endure an unspeakable tragedy. One minute they were experiencing a warm, mid-spring evening and the next, almost in the wink of an eye, their community was almost completely obliterated. It is heartening and encouraging to see neighbor-helping-neighbor in Joplin. These folks, who experienced utter devastation of their material possessions, didn’t wait for FEMA trucks or the federal government to come to their rescue. There were no “Rescue Me” signs and people just doing nothing. Although they lost EVERYTHING, most of the folks spent countless hours searching for family and neighbors, and helping to collect and pass out supplies to the other dazzled survivors. Post-Katrina New Orleans and post-tornado Joplin provide a perfect contrast between the two societies that we live among in the United States. New Orleans had too many folks dependent upon the largess of the federal government, unwilling to take charge and save themselves. Joplin, however, had folks who couldn’t care less if FEMA trucks and government assistance never came — because they have each-other. Gob bless those who were taken in this random act of nature’s fury…and God grant the survivors the grace and strength to endure and survive this disaster.

[BTW -- I'm baaaaaaack! And I will strive to have more regular postings from here on in!! enjoy!]

Labor of Love: The economic and employment situation must be dire indeed when the financial markets embrace, then rise on, an ADP report stating that 217,000 jobs were added in February over the 180,000 that were predicted. My math informs me that this represents an annual increment of 444,000 jobs. That works out to less than one-half of one percent of the total working population. If this news is somehow titillating to investors…and cause for an 8.78 point rise in the Dow, then things have become so irrational that my mattress or a hole in the woods is looking better and better as a place to park my 401k balance.

Belaboring Their Position: The protesters in Madison, WI have definitely wrung out their 15 minutes of fame. If I may speak for the average citizen (in whose class I am firmly entrenched), you have made your point, spoken your piece and worn out your welcome. The carnival that now exists in Madison, under the guise of decrying Draconian union “rights” truncation, has now become a forum for socialists and insurrectionists. Perhaps the teachers and union supporters are unwitting “useful idiots,” or perhaps they just don’t care. But I think there is some kind of mutually-beneficial arrangement between the unions and the socialists — their mission statements are essentially the same and their main aims (collectivization) are complementary.

Eric Holder — Attorney General for Blacks?: A recent comment by US Attorney General Eric Holder makes me wonder if he is really the legal defender of all Americans. In response to congressional questioning regarding the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute the Black panther’s case in Philadelphia, Holder replied:

“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.[emphasis added]

I don’t think that I have to remind Mr. Holder that his people are the American people. In his position, there cannot be any divisions based on race, class, ethnicity or sexual orientation. He is (supposed) to be the bulwark of the Constitution…and if we cannot trust his impartiality or neutral application of the law, then who can we trust. I cannot help but think if those same comments were made yesterday by a white Attorney General, that he/she would be a former Attorney General today.

Crisis, Crisis and Gas Prices: Where is the outrage regarding the ever escalating gasoline prices at the pump? Oil futures are now trading at over $100 per barrel and pump prices are now exceeding $3.30 nationwide. In our present weak economy, these increases, like those seen in the spring and summer of 2008, can be a deal breaker for our fragile recovery. Certainly the reasons for the price increases can be found in the recent insurrections and instabilities in the Middle East. But there is also the 900 lb. gorilla in the room when it comes to the gasoline prices that Americans pay now and will pay in the future. This is the reluctance of the Obama administration to endorse and allow oil exploration and drilling on American soil or in American waters. It appears that Obama has been successfully indoctrinated by the greenies and global warmists…and it also appears that there will be no new meaningful oil exploration until the next GOP president takes control of the White House. Until that time (hopefully in 2012) we will be at the mercy and caprice of Middle eastern potentates and strongmen…and subjected to the vagaries of a quickly changing world political arena. As such, expect that gasoline prices might top out at $5.00 a gallon, and that your plans to lead a “normal” life might be placed on hold, accordingly.

Cowards at Home and Abroad: The fourteen still-AWOL Wisconsin senators should be dealt with harshly by the government of Wisconsin. As of today, the remaining GOP legislators have passed a resolution that fines these cowards $100 per day, after a two day continuance absence from the senate, that is set to start on Friday. This weak punitive measure follows the withholding of their pay and certain senatorial benefits like photocopying privileges. But these “punishments” to date have done nothing to loosen the intractability of the absent legislators. Something powerful and financially painful needs to be done to let these cowards know that they were elected to do all the people’s business, and not that of their favored unions special interests. Unfortunately, there are criminal cowards abroad who have murdered two US servicemen on board an airport bus in Germany. The gunman was reported to have cried “Allahu Akbar” or “Jihad, jihad” when he opened fire on the bus marked “US Air Force.” The gunman, identified as an ethnic Albanian, was subdued after his gun jammed. I guess cowards come in all forms, their cowardice manifests itself in all forms, and they exist in great abundance both here and abroad.

Give Me Liberty, or Just Go Ahead and Grope Me. There are a growing number of Americans who see the ridiculous screening techniques employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for what they really are. Unconstitutional. But that doesn’t stop the political lemmings and ‘Surrendercrats’ from knee-jerk supporting these measures as essential to the safety and security of American air travelers. For example, Emmett Tyrell, a columnist at Townhall.com blames Matt Drudge for the growing brouhaha regarding the airport grope-fests. He suggests that folks who object to the scans and pat downs are somehow hyper-sensitive, less-than-patriotic (after all, we’re at war!) and ersatz civil-libertarians. Gimme a break! The government, in the form of the TSA, has opted to ignore the Constitution in a wholesale manner. The Fourth Amendment guarantees us:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Mr. Tyrrell may wish to surrender his rights as easily as one breathes. But there are others, myself included, who do not wish this. And it is easy to forget when one’s mind is lost in thoughts of a socialist Utopia that one person may not relinquish or abridge the constitutional rights of others because of how they “feel” or what they believe. Or our rights may not be truncated even if the US is at war. The Constitution does not support Constitution Free Zones, or situational limitations of our rights “depending.” Mr. Tyrrell is free to walk into any airport, or into any building for that matter, and request to be searched. The remainder of us freeborn American citizens are guaranteed that we need not submit to hair-brained schemes and onerous searches, regardless of the good intentions put forward. This is of course true unless I’ve missed the memo and we finally live in a post-Constitution America, where the Congress and the government may give and take rights without our knowledge and consent.

In Massachusetts Being Illegal Isn’t Such a Bad Thing. After his re-election on Nov.2nd, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has become emboldened that his less than majority victory (he won with 49% of the vote) gives him a mandate to implement any scheme that he sees fit. This includes his recently announced plans to completely implement the recommendations contained in the so-called New Americans Agenda report that he commissioned during his first term. This includes his recently announced plans for granting in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Mr. Governor — with our state locked in the grasp of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with our state running a 2.5+ billion deficit and with the state cutting back on local aid to cash-strapped cities and towns do you really think it necessary to burden the already overburdened LEGAL taxpayers of Massachusetts with costly “benefits” to illegals? Regardless of your reasons, this plan to reward the minority and illegal alien constituency of the state’s population is infuriating and ill-timed. Regardless of your assumed mandate(s), Bay Stater’s want tax relief…and a state government that obeys the laws of the land. We want a governor who concentrates first-and-foremost on the hard-working, taxpaying legal citizens and their concerns before he turns his attention (and our resources) to the affairs of illegal aliens who invade our state.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving. The US House Democrats are apparently “stuck on stupid!” Yup, that’s right and the evidence to prove this condition is the recent re-election of Nancy Pelosi as the House Minority Leader. Or Commodore of the SS Clueless, as I’ll think of her for the foreseeable future. Having Nancy Pelosi, the woman who single-handedly wrought the recent election carnage upon the Dems, as the continued face of the liberal Democrats is a fantastic outcome for the conservatives in the House. No better differentiation of ideologies and actions could exist than between San-Fran Nan and the new majority Republicans who seek to return the US’s governance to constitutional compliance. This return will follow the rampant constitutional abuses by the Pelosi-led Congress, and the string of unconstitutional laws shepherded through the House by the then Majority leader Pelosi. It will be personally satisfying to watch this abrasive and offensive woman be relegate to essentially back-bencher status. She and her Democrat cohort had the chance to do some real good for the American people, but instead they chose to abuse their power and threaten our constitutional liberties. Having Ms. Pelosi around as the face of the failed Democrat agenda will be a good thing, and strong medicine to remind the Republicans that the voters mean business if Mr. Bohener cannot deliver on his promises. And she will be a reminder that the Congress should do our business and not the monkey business that Ms. Pelosi encouraged in the House.

Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA), Progressive/Marxist. In a stunning bit of unscripted candor, Sen,. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA) revealed his true inner feelings regarding the Constitution at a senate hearing this week. You can see the video HERE. According to Mr. Rockefeller:

“There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”

In these parts, we call that protected First Amendment speech. Your “little bug” aside, we plebes are free to listen to whatever news outlets that we see fit, and support those who we find have value. Somehow, the voter of West Virginia need to disabuse Mr. Rockefeller of his god complex — his knee-jerk reaction that he has the ability to implement his autocratic feelings by decree or diktat. Unfortunately, this predisposition to ignore the Constitution is deeply held by many of our elected representatives and legislators. They blatantly ignore their sacred obligation to support and defend the Constitution, and they substitute a raw contempt for the document (and our rights) in its place. Rockefeller’s outburst is yet another confirmation that elected office does not draw individuals to public service who represent the best of us. Rather, public service has become the place where individuals who are more interested in power and glory gravitate to. Hopefully the good voters in West Virginia wake up sufficiently in 2014 (a long way off) and “retire” the overly-patrician Mr. Rockefeller at the ballot box. At this point in our history, our country needs more George Washington’s than Jay Rockefeller’s representing us.

Inflation is Here! Inflation is Here! Despite the steadfast reluctance of the government to admit the obvious, inflation IS here. Anyone who purchases gasoline, energy or food know this fact, and knows it well. This news does not bode well for the average American consumer, whose finances are already stretched to their breaking points by the persistent economic downturn/recession. Nothing will kill off consumer confidence and personal financial stability like the prospective double whammy of consumer price inflation and the end of the Bush tax cuts. Folks teetering on the edge of financial ruin will topple over the edge and into the abyss. The government cannot alter reality by simply excluding inflationary factors or commodities from its assessments. By doing so they are only kidding themselves and lying to the American public. we need action — we need the Congress to renew the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, and we need Fed Chairman Bernanke to reconsider his foolhardy attempts to rescue the economy with quantitative easing (QE) — and economy hamstrung by over-regulation and anti-capitalist policies. Bernanke cannot do by printing money what Obama and the Democrats have failed to do over the past two years — get the hell out of the way and let the engine of American enterprise pull us out of the ditch and help us to speed away from our economic malaise.

California, Dreamin. I recently heard a joke: “Q: What’s the difference between the Titanic and California? A: The passengers on the Titanic didn’t vote to hit the iceberg!” That pretty much encapsulates the problems in California in a nutshell. The citizens of California strive to make the place some sort of misbegotten socialist/progressive Utopia, but they simply cannot afford the largess required to keep their Titanic away from the iceberg of financial ruin that awaits them. Simply put, they have far too many unproductive beneficiaries and not enough benefactors. They are like an addict or a drunk that has run out of money…they’re going to get that money by hook or by crook. And based on the election results from the local to the federal level this past election, where they eschewed conservative candidates and embraced pseudo-commies as their leaders, Golden Stater’s do not see themselves as having a problem. Everything is hunky dory…the status quo is just fine. So what if there are structural budgetary issues? So what if the state perpetually operates in deficit mode? “Hey man, chill!” But facing a bailout of misguided and mismanaged California, the remainder of Americans cannot afford to chill out. We must make sure that we inform our representatives that we don not want to bail out the crazy and out-of-touch Californians. They got themselves into this mess; they now need to buck up, bear up and get themselves out of it. Californians don’t need coddling and quick fixes (which will only encourage more bad behavior on their parts,) they need a sobering smack of reality to wake them from their torpor. They can try to be everything to everybody, but when the bill comes due they need to step up, face the music and accept the consequences. It will be tough to watch, but they cannot operate under the misconception that the laws of finance, logic and nature do not apply to them — regardless of how “kewl” that they think they are.

    • Rally Envy. Al Sharpton is proving his irrelevance in all matters socio-political. He is also proving himself the consummate racist, as his opinion on Glen Beck’s “8/28: Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech suggests that Dr. King and his legacy belongs only to black Americans. He implies that because Beck invokes Dr. King’s memory that he (Beck) is somehow hijacking the civil rights movement and seeking to gratuitously use the memory of MLK for some sinister purpose. Not to be outdone, Sharpton is holding a counter rally on 8/28 in Washinton. Sharpton obviously missed the nub of Dr. King’s speech and his movement — that we are all the same, regardless of the color of our skin. But Sharpton operates in the racial victimization atmosphere — racism and race are his oxygen. Care to bet which rally will genuinely (and not hyped or diminished by the MSM) attract more attendees??
    • Congressional Knuckleheads, Redux. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has finally indicated what everyone suspected — that as author of the onerous Obamacare he didn’t read the entire bill. As a reply to a question from an attendee at a meeting in Libby, Montana (with Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), Baucus said: “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill. You know why? It’s statutory language,” Baucus said. “We hire experts.” Uh, Sen. Baucus, we really, really, really do want you to read every single page of each and every piece of legislation that comes before you for consideration. If you don’t want to be bothered “wasting” your time doing your job, then I’m sure there are plenty of serious candidates for the senate who would be glad to uphold their duly sworn constitutional duties and responsibilities.
    • Excellent, Schmexellent. Jerry Springer laid bare his lunacy on FOX’s “Hannity” show last evening when he declared with a perfectly straight face that Barack Obama was an “excellent” president. Even under the influence of the world’s strongest narcotic, and using any single or set of measurement metrics, Barack Obama never rises past mediocre in his performance as president. And mediocre would be a generous, finger on the scale, assessment. Poor deluded Springer and his ilk; they’ve invested so much hope capital in Obama and placed a large bet on his success, that they cannot accept reality. So Springer and the rabid Obamites substitute their version of reality for the original. I’ll I can say is GOOD LUCK TO THEM.
    • Politics With A Bullet. The EPA was considering a petition from apparently righteously crazy environmentalists to ban the lead in bullets. Apart from being a blatant end run around the 2nd Amendment, it presented a no-win situation to EPA administrator Carol Browner. Had she been crazy enough to take  up this matter (which it turns out was prohibited by 1976 congressional legislation), this would have guaranteed a complete rout of Democrats in the November elections — and perhaps lit a fire under the impeach Obama movement. But it appears that cooler and more discerning heads prevailed, and the EPA begged off this issue in almost record time.
      • Ship Ahoy! SOS!! If there wasn’t so much hubris and duplicity involved, I’d probably have a little more empathy for the Obama administration. Because the wheels are coming off that wagon in a big way, or nautically speaking, the good ship Obama has run aground. Between his sinking in opinion polls, the mutiny in the Democrat ranks and the once lock-step, fawning, liberal media starting to turn on him, Obama and his minions are in serious political trouble. Although the future of our country is affected by all this, it is definitely a well-deserved comeuppance for this man who believes — truly believes — he is a demigod. I’m finally on the HOPE and CHANGE bandwagon: I hope that the Republicans can take both the House and the Senate and bring Obama’s contrarian agenda to a grinding halt. There has been no president in history so deserving of the term “lame duck” as our, hopefully, Commander-In-Brief.
      • Useful Idiots. Yesterday’s declaration by the NAACP that the Tea Parties are racist (or at least have significant racist elements) is the opening shot in the official 2010 election season. The resorting to ad hominem attacks and making unsubstantiated, specious accusations are the hallmark and chief tool in the Democrat toolkit. It’s apparent that the Democrat powers-that-be see a potential advantage by scatter-casting the racist tag on their Republican opponents, and that the NAACP is just a group of useful idiots in achieving this end. However, I think that the average American voter is seething angry, and furthermore they see clean through the desperation tactics of the Democrats. The Democrats are going to have to live with the consequences of their past legislative actions (like the Porkulis, Obamacare, etc.) and resorting to distractions just ain’t gonna work.
      • A Stranger In These Parts. I’ve finally figured out why Obama has such a tough time relating to the average American citizen. He’s not one of us! To put it kindly, his upbringing was way outside the mainstream. He might have been born and partially raised in Hawaii, but he spent his formative years as a Muslim — in a predominantly Muslim country. while the rest of use were being imbued and inculcated in everything American, young Barry Soetoro was subjected to a culture that is tens of thousands of miles and hundreds of years separated from that of a “mainstream” American. As a result, he’s having a tough time relating to his country, even though he went to college and graduate school here. He is essentially a stranger in a strange country. By the way, a country that he somehow became the leader of. I take little comfort in the fact that I understand him as little as he understands me and my cohort.  Hopefully, this accidental president won’t be allowed to do much harm during his tenure, and hopefully we’ll pick our presidents more carefully in the future. (More on this topic to come!)
      • Whither Europe and the Euro?? Things have become awfully quiet on the financial front in Europe. The problems with the PIIGS and the Euro have suddenly become back-burner news over the span of four short weeks. Could it be a case of the calm before the storm? Or could it be an example of a tree falling in the woods with nobody to hear it? Whatever the case, if Europe does fall, it will take us with it. Because with all the spending like a drunken sailor (the Congress’ spending gives drunken sailors a bad name!) and the intergalactic-sized deficits here, our economy and our government’s finances are tottering at the edge of the abyss. I wish I could blame hyperbole on my feelings, but I’m too grounded in reality to become hyperbolic at such a grave and serious time in our history.
      • Clueless In California. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) recently became the poster boy for cluelessness. In a recent town hall meeting with his constituents, he claimed that he had not heard about the recent brouhaha regarding voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia during the 2008 elections. Please, Mr. Sherman — do us all a favor. You are obviously not very engaged in the goings on in our country, so call it a day — retire — ride off into the sunset with whatever scrap of credibility or dignity that you can.  Otherwise, I beg the voters of the California 27th to retire Mr. Sherman for your and his own good.
      • The Revenge of Obamacare, Part CCXVII! It seems like a week doesn’t go by when some new, and deleterious provision of Obamacare comes to light. And the newest affront to our sensibilities doesn’t even have to do with healthcare! No, it seems that a hidden and formerly obscure (until it’s passage) provision of Obamacare is the requirement for businesses to provide 1099 to vendors with whom they do more than $600 of business. My immediate question is: What the hell does this have to do with healthcare? It doesn’t, and it was one of the manifold ways that the desperate Democrats were trying to squeeze every penny that they could out of us citizens in order to pay for this monstrosity, and give them a favorable CBO report on “savings.” well, we now know those claims of savings to be a sham, but here we are left to deal with the collateral damage. As a small business owner, this new requirement is not only a nuisance, but it is a damper on my business. I will make damn sure that I just don’t procure more than $600 of anything with a single supplier. It will force me to keep track of my purchases and to spread my purchasing around. Because I will not be doing make work tasks, that prevent me from conducting real business, if I don’t have to.
      • A Month Late and 65 Spillion Gallons Short. (I love the “spillion” tag — thank you Matt Drudge!!) Well, Obama is kicking off his grand southern tour with yet another contrived stop at the Gulf Coast. He’s trying to work up some emotion and concern for the poor working lugs down there like you and me. I imagine we’re going to see several things over the next weeks and months — until the leaking well is finally capped via a relief well: a barrage of pictures and stories with a furrowed-brow, angry Obama rubbing elbows with the bayou locals. He’ll be picking up tar balls on beaches, excoriating BP for something or the other, and holding press conferences to demand “fair” and expedient compensation to the folks in the Gulf who have suffered so much already. You know, typical community organizer fare. But rest assured, our Fearless Leader doesn’t feel our pain. Never did, never will. He’s above all that — you know the earthly constraints of pain and fear and concern. I’m convinced that he isn’t amazed that apres his first visit that the oceans didn’t recede and the tar balls didn’t evaporate in a paroxysm of exultation. He’s still looking for fish to fry, asses to kick and photo ops where he can look deliberative, concerned and mui macho…and a resultant boost in his sagging approval ratings…so expect to see him front-and-center on a beach near you (if you live somewhere on the Gulf Coast) real soon.
      • Calling All Crises! President Obama will make a full frontal assault on our airwaves this evening with (what I’m sure will be) an insightful and forceful speech on the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. Oops, there I said it…crisis. CRISIS!!! Be sure to listen very carefully to the doublespeak and innuendo that will flow from this political gusher this evening: Obama and the cap-and-tax Democrats see this awful Gulf disaster as the means to an end. Obama is about to lay new groundwork for his latest push to make anything with carbon in it so expensive as to be reviled by man. Yeah, right. Instead of tipping at windmills (both literally and figuratively) he should have paid more attention to science when he was in school. We NEED petroleum and petrochemicals. Period. We will need them as they spring from the ground until a time when we can synthesize them on a large scale basis in the lab and in refineries. Every living thing on Earth is based on carbon and lives via the carbon cycle. The social tinkerers who eschew this immutable truth are only fooling themselves or willfully trying to fool the rest of us. Mark my words — Obama will push, HARD, for cap-and-tax legislation and he will try to make it seem like we can just capriciously dump our petroleum-based economy for some pie-in-the-sky alternative. I don’t buy this foolish and self-destructive (and unbelievably expensive) rationale, and I sure hope the rest of America doesn’t swallow this as well. I for one won’t be watching this TelePrompTer-licious speaking engagement this evening. I’ll got better things to do: I’ll be watching The Deadliest Catch!
      • Is it Blue or Mad Dog Etheridge? The viral YouTube video of Bob (Bobby Ray) Etheridge’s (D-NC) dust up with alleged students who were trying to interview him on a Washington DC street is very enlightening, indeed. Everyone, US representative or not, is allowed to have a bad day. After all, we’re all human. We should throw out a Mulligan or two to our fellow man for minor transgressions. However Etheridge’s actions rise above mere petty and call into question the man’s temperament and judgment. His getting physical with the interviewer reveals something disturbing about his character — he seems to possess the “do you know who I am?” flaw that is so pervasive in Washington and for that matter in most political circles wherever they may be. Maybe it’s just me, but I think we need legislators who are more deferential towards the public, and more humble regarding the position that we’ve assigned them. Getting grabby and offensive with a stranger on the street, whose only sin was to ask a single question while equipped with a microphone and camera, is simply unacceptable behavior and should not be tolerated. I hope the voters of North Carolina’s 2nd district were watching the deportment of their Congressional representative closely. I know for sure that the rest of the country was.
      • Obamacare: Web of Deceit. As time passes, we are living the paradoxical situation that Nancy Pelosi foretold before the passage of Obamacare by the Democrats in Congress. She said that the Congress would have to pass this vile legislation before we could know what’s in it. And the prescient Madam Speaker was right on the money with that prognostication. It seems that every day we learn something new and troubling about Obamacare. The latest is that contrary to the claims by Obama, Reid and Pelosi, that our health insurance premiums will rise drastically and that we will most likely be forced off our present health insurance by employers forced to make cost containment decisions. And we are also facing a daily barrage of new ever-rising cost assessments for this program. Each new cost projection raises questions about the truthfulness and candor of our elected officials or their competence — perhaps both. But in the end, we are left with paying for their incompetence and duplicity in service to the concept that elections do indeed have consequences.
      • Slip Slidin’ Away…. The approval ratings of President Obama are, to be kind, tanking lately. According to Rasmussen, our Dear Leader is experiencing the inevitable rough spot that a many with no executive experience to speak of, a lousy message, poor political judgment, socialistic tendencies, an aloof manner and mannerisms, a detachment from the common man and a tin ear when it comes to the REAL issues that the citizens of the US hold near and dear to their hearts. Mr. President, make a note to yourself…if you want the next 2.5 years to go a little smoother, then you should cry uncle and moderate your world view and your ideology. Because you’ve been a catalyst for the impending doom of many Congressional Democrats come November with your intractable hard line stance and your fringe views of what it means to be an American. You’re insisting “ass-kicking post-American” and we’re screaming “made in America — we need jobs!!” I have a feeling it’s going to be rough sailing for you after the November elections essentially render you a lame duck for the remainder of your one and only term in office. You know what…the less damage that you can do to our great country while (unfortunately) you hold office, the better!
      • Mr. Popularity. It appears that the piper is playing for President Obama in regards to his out-of-the-mainstream programs and agenda. Today’s Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index puts Mr. Obama at -18 favorable to unfavorable and his overall approval rating at 44%. At these levels, he probably no longer has a mandate to lead. Rather than push for punitive “reforms” for Wall Street and the financial industry, he would be served best by heeding the cry of the electorate: “Jobs!” So far, his response to the average American has been akin to bidding them to eat cake. He’s put all his jobs and recovery eggs into the bloated, corrupt and contemptible Porkulis legislation. But other than care for his union buddies and close Democrat supporters, it has helped few others stay afloat. Mr. President, we don’t want extensions to unemployment, we  want JOBS. It’s not time to go back to the drawing board, eat a little humble pie and admit the obvious: That significant tax cuts for industry are the only stimulus that will jump start our economy. Period.
      • Leadership Without Leaders. The Gulf oil leak continues unabated. I’m of the mind that you can and can’t exclusively blame BP for this fiasco. They were driven into the deep waters of the Gulf by a government more intent on currying favor with vocal environmentalists and gleaning their votes. Imagine trying to button your shirt or tying your shoes if they were a mile away. Then imagine all this happening at crushing pressures under water. The routine task becomes extremely difficult and the unwieldy situation becomes the impossible endeavor. And capping a damaged well head becomes the drama we see unfolding day-by-day in the Gulf. It’s a damn shame that this administration and this Congress will use their considerable power to excoriate BP for something that they all share in the blame for. It’s also a damn shame that our purported Leader-In-Chief hasn’t exerted the leadership that is afforded by his position — by collecting the finest minds in the country to seek a swift solution to this vexing problem.
      • North Korea’s Power Spasm. It seems that the North Koreans, desperate for notice in a world preoccupied with other more important issues, is engaging in some insane saber rattling. In what seems to be a case of bellicose Tourette’s syndrome, the NK regime has allegedly drawn up war plans for imminent hostilities with its more pacific neighbor to the south. All these actions are in response to South Korea’s assertion that elements of the NK navy sank a SK naval vessel last month. The NK government vehemently denies the South’s allegations, despite all the evidence to the contrary supporting this claim. And thus we have the new escalation of the longstanding tensions between these two peninsular neighbors, and for now a war of words.  What worries me about this situation is the opportunity it presents for a convenient crisis for our desperate administration to become entangled with. I fear for the lives of the almost 30,000 troops stationed in SK and for the lives of the countless other troops who would be used as tools of warfare and cannon fodder to gain political points for a president whose popularity is sagging. Let’s hope this situation can be resolved with diplomacy, and without the needless insinuation of our troops, our blood and treasure, into this matter that neither benefits us nor involves us. This isn’t xenophobia or isolationism, it’s strictly common sense.

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