March 2011

Yesterday, March 22, 2011, we celebrated an inauspicious anniversary in the United States. Unfortunately, yesterday was the first anniversary of the passage of Obamacare.

Obamacare represents the pinnacle of what a detached, megalomaniac legislature can do with unchecked power to a unengaged citizenry. It is possibly the worse contortion and distortion of the Constitution that has been or ever will be enacted as a law. We knew we were in trouble when the almost-lifelike Nancy Pelosi told us that the Congress would need to pass Obamacare before we could see what was in it.

Well, from all the bribes required to attain it’s passage to all the “Easter Eggs” hidden within its voluminous pages, we are indeed in trouble. And we won’t know how much trouble we’re in until the entire law is rolled out over the next few years. See, the tax levies begin NOW…but the real goodies don’t become available until 2015 and beyond. This staggering of taxes and “benefits” was a clever ploy by greedy Democrats to make the cost of Obamacare appear smaller than it actually was. And by delaying the roll out of this program with time, the damaging features of the bill could be ameliorated by the “good” being done for targeted special interest groups and minorities.

Hopefully the present Congress won’t take its eyes off the prize — the de-funding and eventual repeal of Obamacare — for a single moment. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that is more important to occupy their collective endeavors. Without Obamacare our country is in deep fiscal trouble. With Obamacare, our descent into the abyss of insolvency is accelerated at a much greater rate.

We certainly don’t need another Obamacare anniversary visited upon us. We need to replace this event with another more beneficial remembrance…the day Obamacare was torn up roots and all and then deposited in the trash bin of history.

Now that would be a day to celebrate!

There was a truly shocking multiple murder in Itamar in West Bbank of Israel [] this week. The US mainstream media gave this crime little play, so most folks may have missed this sad news all together. Most of the Fogel family, a family of Jewish settlers in the West bank, were slaughtered in their sleep by as-yet unidentified assailants. The victims Udi and Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children — aged 11, 4 and three months — were all stabbed to death as they slept in what has been described as a grisly crime scene in their home. Three of the children, aged 12, 8 and 2 survived and are in the custody of their grandparents.

Although no one has been identified as the attacker or attackers, there are rumblings of responsibility from the usual Palestinian circles. This act was yet another “reprisal” against Israel and her citizens for their courage to erect settlements on their own sovereign territory.

But underneath this veneer of legitimate protestation is the tacit barbarism of Islam. These murders are just another manifestation of the “Religion of Peace” as emboldened by the concept of democracy. Democracy is not the substitute for a for a humanistic, Judeo-Christian Constitution where all men and women are created equal with certain inalienable rights and liberties. No siree. Because the cloak of democracy allows the dirty little (once) secrets of the Maghreb to exist and flourish. The mobs of a democracy can become the murderers of a thugocracy if they use the precepts and biases of the like of Sharia Law. This is what happens in Muslim countries where fealty to theology is prized over fealty to human rights and liberties. In any modern, enlightened and humanistic society, these two concepts — Sharia and democracy are akin to a match and gasoline. One is the enabler of the other, and they live in a hateful symbiosis. Just ask the Jews in any Arab/Sharia country.

The slaughter of the Fogel family should not be seen as a random and heinous religious crime. It is the persistent reminder that in the eyes of Muslims, the Jews are the lowest of the low infidels. As such, a crime like this in Itamar represents the barbarism of the ‘democrats’ in (albeit disputed) Muslim territory. God help us all if we don’t learn from the sacrifice of the Fogel’s and open our eyes wide to the theocratic barbarity among us. Regardless of what exists in other regions around the world, we must be ever vigilant and quick to stamp out any foothold of this on our soil. We are America. We are not a democracy. We stand for something — the US Constitution. And it is tragic that we need the murder of innocents elsewhere to drive this point home.

German Chancellor Angel Merkel has started down a road to close ALL nuclear power plants presently operating in Germany based on the recent tsunami-based crisis in Japan. Merkel has begun the process to close the oldest plants as soon as possible.

This decision is a prime example of the sad fact that politicians can take actions out of fear and/or ignorance that have wide ranging unintended national and economic consequences. Germany’s present nuclear power generation capacity is 20,339 megawatts, or 26.1% of the total national capacity. What will happen to Germany when this 26% capacity disappears from their power grid? What form of energy will be utilized by Germany to take up the slack left by the absence of nuclear power? Does Merkel think that magical windmills and space-hogging solar facilities will replace the significant power capacity as provided today by nuclear energy? These are all questions with no substantive answers for the German people.

All the panic and rash political decisions as a result of the Fukushima nuclear plant issues after the tsunami are simply Theater of the Absurd…and Theater of Political Desperation. The best thing we can do as the collective human race, regardless of national status, is learn from the Fukushima crisis. We need to learn what are the costs to human safety, what are the costs of decontamination and, finally, what are the costs to the nation from the loss of this power generating plant — with no viable backup for many years? The answers to these questions can then be used to then implement government regulations affecting new nuclear power plant construction that will prevent another Fukushima crisis. This would be a very prudent use of government energies, actions and plans.

Humans learn from our mistakes. If we fail to learn lessons from what happened at Fukushima, then we have truly let a crisis go to waste. Irrational actions by the likes of Angela Merkel in Germany might appeal to greenies and Luddites, but they cheat average German citizens from a safe, viable, clean and effective source of power generation for a long, long time. There can be no (NO) long-term national energy policy that may exist without the inclusion of nuclear power. For any leader or any government to claim otherwise is a lie and a sham.

Angel Merkel’s actions have shown that decisions for politically-correct motivations may appear at face value to be in the best interests of a nation or a people. But upon closer inspection, Ms. Merkel has ultimately returned Germany to a reliance on technologies, wind and solar, that are firmly rooted in the 15th century and that cannot provide sufficient power for Germany to remain a play on the worked economic stage. Because of a single crisis, surrounded by extreme fear-mongering by the international media, she is turning her back on an energy source that will provide all humans with cheap, safe and effective energy for centuries to come.

If that was Ms. Merkel’s intention, then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. If it wasn’t…then don’t bet on Germany any time soon. They will be going nowhere.

We are at a unique time in history. We are witnessing two meltdowns on different sides of the world: the nuclear reactor meltdown(s) as a result of the earth-shattering 9.1 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan; and the human, emotional meltdown by union protesters in Madison, Wisconsin.

The meltdown in Japan carries with it far graver consequences such as the release of radiation into the local environment or the release of quantities of radioactive steam and debris into the worldwide environment. Right now brave men and women struggle to contain and limit the damage that may be done by the nuclear reactors in various stages of thermal runaway at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in north eastern Japan. I’m sure that during the daunting process to manually add sea water and boric acid to the super-heated reactors (in order to kill the nuclear reactions in the reactor’s core) that many of the workers and emergency personnel are being subjected to tremendous doses of radiation. This is heroism and bravery of the first magnitude in this desperate struggle to achieve control over the tsunami-damaged reactors at the plant. I’m sure that many of these workers will suffer ill-effects and perhaps some will eventually die from radiation exposure because of their heroic efforts.

Now, let’s contrast the meltdown in Madison, Wisconsin with that in the Fukushima prefecture, Japan. Over the past few weeks the public sector unions have been on the warpath as a result of the Republican proposal to truncate and eliminate some of their collective bargaining powers as part of Governor Scott Walker’s sweeping “Budget Repair Bill.” There have been nonstop rallies in Madison, with a virtual occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol building until four days ago when the Republicans in the legislature voted to approve target legislation to just amend the public unions’ collective bargaining and several other union-related issues. Why was this legislative step necessary, and why couldn’t the Wisconsin senate vote on the entire Budget Repair Bill? Because the 14 Democrat senators fled the state and abandoned their duties as legislators, thus preventing the GOP senators from attaining a quorum per Wisconsin state law. So, the bill was broken up into pieces that did not affect appropriations (per Wisconsin law) and passed by the GOP senators that were present. It was then enacted in this piecemeal manner.

The previous slow boil of the unionistas prior to the legislation’s passage has now gone into a super-critical meltdown after the deed. Not only are there huge protests (with the willing support of private sector unions, communists, anarchists and just plain old rabble-rousers like Jesse Jackson) but there are now promises of recall elections against a number the 18 GOP senators who meet the state’s recall criteria.

Governor Walker and the GOP legislature certainly stepped on a hornet’s nest with their legislative actions…which by the way were completely necessary if Wisconsin is to dig its way out of the fiscal mess left by decades of liberal/Progressive Democrat rule. The teachers unions are now reaping what they’ve sown. That being a popular blow-back from the average citizen tired of paying taxes and watching greedy unions suck up lavish pay and outlandish benefits as a result of past collective bargaining agreements….only to drive the state deeper into debt.

And not only have there been protests, there has been a general incivility that should perk up the PC liberals who were so concerned about public and political civility a mere month and a half ago when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was wounded in an armed assault in Tucson, Arizona. it should be pointed out that the incivility in Madison includes death threats, comparing the governor and legislators to Hitler and worse, damage to the Wisconsin state capitol building, vulgar and offensive language used by the protesters, unruliness and a general poor deportment by the protesters.

Yesterday, the 14 AWOL Democrat senators, who have since returned to a heroes welcome by the protesters, were feted in Madison for their “courage and bravery.” And the 14 have vowed to assist in the recall process for the eligible GOP senators. So much for fealty to oaths of office, I guess.

So…there you have it. A tale of two meltdowns. In Japan, a natural disaster has drawn out the very best of human endeavors, courage and heroism, in order to help save the people of northern Japan from the harmful effects of a toxic radiation leak. Bravery, courage, heroism and selflessness are the watchwords at the the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. And remember, the only thing the workers there stand to lose are their health or their lives.

But in Madison, Wisconsin we have see the lesser angels of human behavior on full public display. We have seen greedy union members act in a disgusting, self-serving manner. We have been witness to all manner of uncivil and cowardly behavior on the part of the protesters and the 14 Democrat senators who chose to abandon their responsibilities as well as their state in order to drag out the inevitable legislative conclusion. Why? Because, at the nub of all this the unions stand to lose power because they will have to re-certify membership each year, and they will not be able to automatically collect unions dues through deductions by the state…and the public sector union members (except for police and fire) will not be able to rake the taxpayers over the coals at each contract negotiation for outlandish demands, like the payment for Viagra in union health plans through collective bargaining.

On the one hand in Fukushima, Japan, we have courage, valor and heroism in the name of public safety. On the other hand in Madison, Wisconsin, we have greed, cowardice, lawlessness and thuggery in the name of self-aggrandizement. Based on history and their present day actions, it has become more apparent on a daily basis that most unions have served out their useful purpose and they should be relegated to the dustbin of history. We simply can’t tolerate the cost or the deplorable behavior in our society any more.

In the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last spring, the Obama administration put in place a deep water drilling moratorium. However, this moratorium was overturned by an appellate court judge…paving the way for drilling to begin once again. However, the Obama administration has a peculiar view of American prosperity and its relationship to energy. Rather than encourage business and financial growth by trying to lower the cost of coal, oil and natural gas, the decision makers within the administration seem hell-bent on insuring that the prices of these energy commodities rise relentlessly with time. Take the latest example of this policy by the Department of the Interior — Interior appeals oil drilling ruling. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar just about made it official that Interior will be appealing that ruling:

“The judge in this particular case in my view is wrong,” Salazar said. “And we will argue the case because I don’t believe that the court has the jurisdiction to basically tell the Department of Interior what my administrative responsibilities are.”

If you read Salazar’s statement carefully, this isn’t about oil and gas drilling, it’s about turf. The turf that Salazar and the Obama administration feel that they own. There seems to be an awful lot of foot dragging and red tape wielding in what is ostensibly a “careful” review of each drilling permit. Certainly nobody wants permits to be granted willy-nilly. But we also have an economy to care for and soaring energy prices dominated by foreign suppliers. And in light of the current world tensions, and those in the Middle East in particular, we are now being squeezed on the energy front. And that doesn’t help our fragile economy one bit.

So, it becomes more apparent day-by-day that the United States does not have a workable or reasonable energy policy. Furthermore, the Obama administration appears to be trapped in the clutches of the greenies and the global warmists when it comes to energy. During his presidential campaign, Obama so much as said that he wants to make electricity, coal and gasoline more expensive in order to discourage their consumption and force people to renewable energy sources. Well, based on the soaring gasoline prices over the past three weeks I say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, Mr. Obama!

But forcing the American people into penury or maddeningly difficult financial times through buying expensive foreign energy is not an acceptable energy policy. Neither is foot dragging and fault finding with every source of energy within American sovereign areas. Mr. Obama and his administration may bade us to buy expensive hybrid vehicles that provide short range transportation on an overnight charge. A charge, which by the way comes from a coal or natural gas fired power plant. But that is not a policy. It is a fantasy diktat from individuals who are either blissfully or willfully ignorant of the intricacies of our present and future energy infrastructure.

With his solar, wind and hybrid vehicle energy policy, Obama and his minions should just as well chant “Pay, suckers, pay!” because for the foreseeable future that’s what we’ll be doing at the gas pumps, when heating oil is delivered and when our utility bills arrive. And because our national energy policy is so woefully inadequate and short-sighted, that’s what we will do for the long haul. Pay and pay and pay.

That’s a shame, and totally unnecessary for citizens to endure. If Obama would just acquire a single ounce of real caring for his fellow Americans, then he might convert the “Pay, suckers, pay” into “Drill, baby, drill!” That conversion in agenda might mean that he loses some face…but such as it goes with a position of leadership. We don’t need self-serving hubris and obstructionism based on lip service to special environmental interests, we need a road to prosperity and jobs. Both of which we lack under the present energy agenda.

Drill, baby, drill…before it’s too late.

The government released its highly anticipated unemployment numbers yesterday for February 2011, and the result was that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9%. This is the lowest unemployment number in over two years, and President Obama and his administration seized upon this good news to take their share of “credit” for the decrease.

However lost in all this adulation and self back-slapping were the Gallup employment figures for the same time period. Gallup tells a markedly different story, with an unemployment rate of 10.3% and an underemployment rate of 19.9%. The Gallup numbers paint a less-than-rosy picture of unemployment…and also show a troubling upward trend. Amazingly, I didn’t hear so much as a whisper in the media regarding the Gallup numbers, but I heard the administration and their willing media touts essentially blowing vuvuzelas in support of the lower Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers. For some reason the divergent Gallup and BLS numbers didn’t stop the Infotainment sector (Lame Stream Media) from wholeheartedly embracing the BLS numbers without so much as a question or a hint of skepticism.

Please, Call me skeptical! I’m beginning to distrust almost everything that this administration says or information that it has a hand in releasing. We’ve seen in the past how easily numbers or statistics may be manipulated for pure political gainsay. And, how encouraging numbers released one month, be they financial or employment-related, may be revised to a more accurate (and disappointing) level in the next…with little media fanfare attending the more dour revision.

As for me, I think that Gallup doesn’t have a dog in the fight…their motivation is to maintain their reputation of accuracy — a hallmark of prestige for their organization. So, I’ll put more stock in their numbers over those that would be released then used as a political shoehorn to aide giving us four more years of the flaccid and ineffectual Barack Obama. The only person that benefits from an exaggerated or overly optimistic unemployment rate at this time is our hapless POTUS. Because if the unemployment (UE) rate is as Gallup suggest, more people are suffering in joblessness.

Right now, the lamestream media and the Obama administration have got us conditioned such that we’re grading the “deadness” of the corpse that is our economy. They would have us believe that our dead economy is showing signs of life…it’s only “slightly” dead because the UE rate came in at 8.9%. Well, dead is dead…it doesn’t matter what you call it so long as the economic corpse is still on the wrong side of the grass, even at an 8.9% UE rate!

In either case…using BLS or Gallup statistics, the numbers are dire. And claims by Obama of “progress” (and the use of any decline as a tacit endorsement of his brilliant economic agenda) cannot paint this awful situation with a more rosy color.

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.