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Archive for the ‘Long Shadows and Those Who Can’t Step Out Of Them’ Category

Mr. President:

Up until now, I have decided against writing about your astonishing lies you told to the American people over and over and over again to sell your signature piece of legislation, ObamaCare, to the American people, because I numbered among the roughly 49% of Americans who KNEW you were lying when you told the lies, and despite how brazenly you presumed at authority you never had.

I was part of the 49% of Americans asking where you got the authority to make the unilateral changes to the implementation of this law when Congress had not been dissolved or disbanded, and therefore still held their constitutional legislative powers.

I was one of many people who listened to your recent apology/attempt to gaslight the entire nation about what we all heard you say to us over and over and over again about “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.  Period”, and like so many others, I was disturbed by the otherworldliness of it.

But upon watching this testimony today,

and reading the transcript of your remarks at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting, especially this gem :

And it was that what was already going to be hard was operating within a very difficult political environment and we should have anticipated that that would create a rockier rollout than if Democrats and Republicans were both invested in success.

One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure and — and that makes, I think, the — the kind of iterative process of fixing glitches as they come up and finetuning the law more challenging.

I let both sink in.

First, while your pathological avoidance of accepting any responsibility for anything that goes wrong on your watch, and the army of drones willing to sacrifice their own credibility to help maintain that fragile illusion will no doubt object to me saying it this way, YOUR ADMINISTRATION KNEW that despite having passed a law that requires people to purchase a product, and yet the portal YOUR ADMINISTRATION created to help people purchase those products was deliberately made live, despite the fact that there was absolutely no chance of it EVER being able to accept a payment, because NO payment or accounting system had been built into the software.  NONE.  Even by government standards of incompetency and failure, this is a monumental lowering of the bar.  Now I’m sure that if we were in a forum where you would actually HAVE to respond to me, you would tell me how you didn’t know, it never came up in the meetings, the dog ate your homework, but it would all avoid a salient and undeniable fact:

You ASKED us for the job Mr. President.

While I’m sure Harry S. Truman’s desk sign got lost somewhere, the fact is that the buck DOES stop with you, no matter how much you try to worm and weasel your way out of that reality.  It is your responsibility because you are the leader, and as such are tasked with the responsibility of making it work.  And even if this were not true, as the head of the entity doing (or in this case failing) at the work, there is the matter of not just what you knew, but what you should have known, a legal concept you would be familiar with if you ever actually had to do work as a lawyer.  If the people YOU put in charge of this weren’t informing you of just how woefully unprepared they were, then as the leader, that doesn’t speak well of your judgement.

However, based on your remarks today, especially the excerpt above, and your previous statements and yes, lies, I can just as easily assume that you DID know and either your ego wouldn’t allow you to admit that government’s ambitions have finally outstripped its competence, or that you are so delusional that you cannot contemplate the thought that opposition to this mammoth usurpation of personal sovereignty is actually against the interests of the people who you claim to be helping, and therefore, the opposition doesn’t HAVE to be invested in your failure.

While we’re on that subject, a great many of us are bone-weary of hearing nothing but excuses and blaming others from the person we hired to sit in the big chair after he campaigned for the job.  Frankly, I’m not sure how a group of CEOs, people who understand the demands and responsibilities of leadership, and the consequences of failure, could even stand to be in the same room with you today.  But since your attention has undoubtedly strayed to ways you can improve your short game, I’ll cut to the chase.

I’m not alone when I say I’m not interested in your half-hearted apologies when yours lies were finally so obvious even Helen Keller asked “REALLY???”.  And strapping the lukewarm apology to another lie when delivering it was an act of a man person unworthy to occupy the office of President.  We don’t want anymore apologies.  We don’t want any more excuses.  No more executive orders; no more imperial edicts further warping and disfiguring the law you made your top priority so that you and your associates can escape the consequences of it.

We want your resignation,  and the resignations of everyone you enlisted in this repulsive power grab.  We want you to go play on the beach in Hawaii, and eat your waffle, play even more golf (is such a thing possible?) and stop trying to continue to drive the car further into the ditch.  We don’t want you to pick up a mop, since your attempt at cleaning this mess up has only made the stain larger.  In fact, the biggest favor your could do this nation in retirement, aside from building houses with Jimmy Carter and keeping your wishcasting to yourself is to eschew any use of the honorific “Mr. President”  in your ignominious retirement, just to save the rest of us the embarrassment of having lived in a country dumb enough to elect you twice, despite your extraordinary lack of experience, and inability to perform any of the tasks of the job we gave you.

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This week, Chris Matthews attempted to expand a lucrative franchise of fostering division and hatred in a manner befit of a panoply of “leaders” of the “African-American Community” when he assumed the mantle of authority to speak “On behalf of all white people“.

Now I’m not about to follow in his footsteps and make the same mistake. I can only speak for myself, and as a person who happens to be white (think physical characteristic and not identity), I assure you that Chris Matthews does not speak for me. If some of the reactions that I read yesterday are any indication, I’m not the only one who shares this opinion.

I’m not sure if the recent anniversary of the untimely death of Mary Jo Kopechne at the hands of one of his former associates was weighing a little too heavily on his conscience, causing him to have a little something extra before his broadcast, or years of seeing “RACISM!!!!” in everything from blacktop roads to the milk in his morning corn flakes has further strained his already tenuous grasp on reality. I prefer either of those options to rank cynicism and a weariness at seeing grievance hustlers like Al “I-perpetrated-a-fraud-and-got-away-with-it” Sharpton, and Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson make a very good living casting every event imaginable as an expression of racism and discrimination requiring them to “lead their communities”, and often demand apologies when none are owed from people who do not owe them, and deciding to give it a whirl himself.

Regardless, the media, and the usual suspects, which includes politicians, have done a fine job in turning Treyvon Martin’s death into something it never was: the result of racism.

From the Injustice Department, headed by one of the biggest race hypocrites to draw breath in my memory, to the President himself, who again inserted himself into this controversy by pissing gasoline all over a fire stoked by these “leaders” for the last week, the meme is out there that racism is the reason a 17-year-old is dead, along with a law that was never invoked in the criminal case against the hispanic man who shot him. And it is being used to justify demonstrations among the perpetually grieved, and riots and property damage that make most law-abiding Americans less, not more, sympathetic to their cause. “Disgusted” is far too mild a word to describe my feelings about the rhetoric, the lies, the vitriol, and the complete disrespect for the law, and its processes that I have been witness to this last week.

I was born at the beginning of the 1970s. When I was a child, the attitudes of the previous generation were already being swept away, and, at least in my social circles, Dr. King’s dream about judging a man based on character instead of race seemed normal, rather than some sort of manifestation of backwards thinking. At least for a while. As I got older, I started to see racism firsthand. I saw it on my college campus (an inner-city campus), and in the workplace, where it was often implemented by law. And the more I saw, especially in the workplace, the more I came to question its effect on society. Perhaps the most telling moment was in law school. My Constitutional Law professor, who was black (and also preparing an Amicus brief for the Grutter case), and I got into it when we were discussing the infamous Bakke case. I committed the sin of reading the footnotes, and asking uncomfortable questions about the information they contained. The plaintiff, Bakke, had applied to get into Medical School at the University of California. Being a graduate program, the school only admitted a set number of students, most of whom were selected based on grades and test scores. I say “most”, because the school, as part of an affirmative action program, set aside a set number of seats for African-Americans, and lowered the standards for admission for them to qualify, which meant that Bakke, who was otherwise capable, and met the median standards, was eligible for even fewer of the available seats because of this policy. What got me going was in reading the footnotes, members of other minority groups apparently had no problems meeting the same standards applied to other applicants. In fact, Asians had consistently higher scores, according to the footnotes. I raised my hand, and asked why we continually lowered the bar for only one class of people. My professor responded that it was a remedial measure, enacted to make up for inequality that had been practiced before. I asked him if he thought medical school was the right place to perform such remediation. He asked what I meant. I told him “Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want MY doctor to be the guy who wouldn’t have qualified to get in to medical school if the bar hadn’t been deliberately lowered for him and others like him. The class’s reaction indicated that the logic was obvious. The professor’s reaction indicated that I struck a nerve. I was lucky to pass the class.

While this lowering of the bar has morphed into something less objective, and thus more repugnant, there have been some glimmers of hope, most notably, Justice O’Connor’s assertion in the Grutter case, which indicated that government wouldn’t keep the bar artificially low forever, and at some point in the future, it would no longer be necessary to have different standards for different skin colors. As I watched last week, I realized that the time for abandoning such measures has come and gone. Ambition has given way to entitlement, and remediation has given way to a bitter, permanently aggrieved mindset, which can only be cured by government dependency on what it takes from others to redistribute, and of course, the self-style and appointed “Community Leaders” who strike an indignant pose and utter demands and platitudes into every open microphone they see. And thanks to the single most divisive “Uniter” in almost a century, and his merry band of grifters, and thieves, it has gotten worse.

So what’s my point, you ask? It is something that needs saying, and I apologize for failing to say it sooner.

As a man who never owned slaves, and had to work for the things I have (and the things that government takes from me to give to others), I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who doesn’t take the breathtaking lawlessness currently practiced by the government as occasion to riot, to loot, and to commit mayhem, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who has witnessed 30 years of affirmative action/diversity destroy merit in our society, and in our civil service, while continually being lectured by academic pinheads constantly spouting such inanities as “Only white people can be racist”, or waxing poetic about “White Privilege”, like I never had to work for anything in my life, because all it took was knowing the secret handshake, and the password to be taken to the head of any line, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As a man who is sick and tired of having to deal with the aforementioned “Community Leaders” and those who feel compelled to feel and express “OUTRAGE!!!111!!!” on behalf of others by finding racism and racial intent in every turn of phrase, in every term, and in every idiom, rather than facing and dealing with the very real problems that face ALL OF US, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who never saw any reason to identify and characterize people based on their race, because I believe in and aspire to higher ideals, but who has had to listen to a constant drumbeat about it from people who inject it into everything, in order to bolster their continuous demands that I, and others like me need to do more, and to give more to improve the conditions of “their people”, rather than relying on them to strengthen and improve society by doing it themselves, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

I apologized earlier in this piece for not saying this sooner. I was somewhat reluctant to commit this to writing, as it would be very easy for the very people I never want to hear from again to characterize me as a racist, or maybe even a “creepy ass cracker”, but in the last few weeks, I’ve come to realize that it does not matter. No matter how deferential I am. No matter how much I go out of my way to not offend for offense’s sake, it will never be enough for the usual suspects, and their subjective damnations or mystic (and faulty) divinations of the content of my soul. I have witnessed a fundamental transformation, and it has made my country an uglier place, not a better one. That’s the only apology I offer. I waited too long to say it, and this country has waited too long to expect the perpetually aggrieved among us to sack up and contribute to society, or go shut the hell up, and go away. I used to think that the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” treatment given racism in the last three decades did much to take the sting out of the allegation. But when it is used to ruin careers, and drive a man acquitted of a crime (and who isn’t even white) into hiding, as the President again lowers himself to racial demagoguery, I start to think something no one should be thinking: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

If you agree with Tingles Matthews, The Wrong Reverend Sharpton, or the Wrong Reverend Jackson, and make racism your answer to everything, and apply it liberally to any person, group, or ideology which disagrees with you, have a care. It wouldn’t necessarily be a racial thing if good people decided they were sick of your shit, and acted accordingly. It’s past time for “communities” to dismiss their “leaders” and their “organizers”, and set to work on mending society, before we revert to a fractured land where unity is a thing of the past.

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So I have some friends who are screaming about Snowden being a traitor. I have friends who are saying he’s a hero.

To my friends saying he’s a traitor: We’ve had an out-of-control, lawless federal government for the last 5 years, that has been allowed to do so without any real consequence. Sooner or later, it was bound to spill over from the top on to the cogs.

To my friends saying he’s a hero: MAYBE letting the cat out of the bag before the election might have made him a “hero”. He didn’t do that. He admitted to holding back because he thought Obama would be better with this stuff than Romney. So the knowledge of the citizenry of it was still subject to someone’s political considerations…his.

But the questions I want to hear asked and answered are:

1. Who, specifically, decided to use the 4th Amendment as toilet paper on this particular subject?

2. Are our intelligence agencies STILL wiping their butts with our privacy rights?

3. Why are we supposed to think that there were “other avenues” for spilling the beans that would actually be effective when Representative Issa has being “gathering” data on Fast and Furious for how many years?

4. How long before the various organs of government shift from tacitly acting on what it they are learning to openly acting on the knowledge?

5. Is NOTHING sacred? Is NOTHING to be retained by the citizens to themselves, but for the thoughts that they do not speak or write, or does the “terrible burden of governing” come with the expectation that the governors must know all in order to “keep us safe”? And if the answer to the last question is “Yes”, then how long before we the people are relieved of the terrible burden of having to make any choices?

I’d like to see some outrage from the likes of John Boener on the intrusion on our liberties, but I guess that was too much to ask.

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I can remember not too long ago having a conversation with someone about the unthinkable becoming mainstream if we as a society decide that there is no reason to oppose “gay” marriage.  I remember the anger and incredulity at the mere suggestion that it gets harder to deny everyone else with different tastes, like polygamy and polyandry, and incest and pedophilia, and beastiality…especially directed at the last three.  “Kids and animals can’t consent!” I was furiously admonished.  “It simply wouldn’t be acceptable!”

Except that I’ve started to see the arguments in favor of polygamy and polyandry if there is a right to “gay” marriage.  Arguments being seriously made and seriously discussed by serious people, who understand that if we accept that “consenting adults” can marry someone of the same sex, than there really is no argument to be made against multiple partners or spouses.  But at least we still aren’t going to mainstream incest and pedophilia, right?  Right? 

Wrong.

First, from a story about David Epstein, a political science professor at Columbia, who slept with his adult daughter for 3 years:

The political science professor at Columbia University, 46, allegedly slept with her between 2006 and 2009.

Epstein, who specialises in American politics and voting rights, is also said to have exchanged twisted text messages with the woman during their relationship.

Matthew Galluzzo, defending Epstein, has said that even though his daughter had emerged as a victim in the case, she could ‘best be described as an accomplice’.

He told ABCNews.com: ‘Academically, we are obviously all morally opposed to incest and rightfully so.

‘At the same time, there is an argument to be made in the Swiss case to let go what goes on privately in bedrooms.

‘It’s ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?

‘We have to figure out why some behaviour is tolerated and some is not.’

First, Attorney Galluzzo needs to be made to pull a Black’s Law Dictionary off the shelf in the court, and read aloud the definition of “consanguinity”.  Then he needs to be told in no uncertain terms by the judge that if he raises that “question” in his pleadings, he’s going to be on the wrong side of a Rule 11 sanction for making a frivolous argument, and as a result, he’s going to make a very generous donation to a fund for abused children.  The rest of the article raises a valid point about how the inequity in the relationship, whether between adults or not, should call into question the issue of “consent”, regardless of the protests that the predator and victim might make. 

In a society that hasn’t lost its collective mind and decided to make policy decisions based on genitals and gratification, anyone who uttered this aloud would be shamed and or beaten until they were put in the knowledge of the utter unacceptability of the question to begin with, or at least instilled with the firm knowledge that there really are limits to sexual behavior that should not be exceeded.  That said, we don’t live in that society, we live in the one where a popular President was allowed to seduce a very young intern and have sex with her in the Oval Office, and people saw nothing wrong with that, rationalizing it both as being a “private” matter, and something that if his wife wasn’t ripping his eyeballs out over, we couldn’t either.  We live in the society where self-styled feminists and feminist groups actually defended the man, despite the clear imbalance in power between the furniture and the wood polisher.  Because we live in that society, and because I haven’t read about Epstein losing his job, being rejected by friends and neighbors, and ejected from clubs, associations, and professional groups, AND because members of my tribe are daring to utter such things out loud without any obvious fear of sanction, I predict we’re going to hear more of this.  And that as we hear more of it, people’s opinions on it will soften, and those who oppose this behavior will be denounced as incestaphobic, or haters.

But that’s not the worst of it.  I’ve also been reading stories, first in the foreign press, suggesting that maybe pedophiles should be reconsidered, since shrinks are taking a look at their behavior and concluding that maybe it’s just a “normal” expression of sexuality.  At first, I took the ostrich approach, choosing to believe that his was just a manifestation of the europeons growing dhimitude.  And then I saw this piece today from the LA Times which talks about pedophilia being a “deep-seated predisposition that doesn’t change”.  After reading about the “research” being done, I decided that I did not feel better for having read the article.

Some of the new understanding of pedophilia comes from studies done on convicted sex criminals at the Center for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, where researchers use a procedure known as phallometry to identify men whose peak attraction is to children.

A man sits alone in a room viewing a series of images and listening to descriptions of various sexual acts with adults and children, male and female, while wearing a device that monitors blood flow to his penis.

Now, when I read stuff like that, my mind starts racing.  “Who the hell comes up with this for a research topic?  Do they all sit around in a meeting and ask themselves “What can we study that will really make taxpayers ask ” I gave up a week at the beach to pay for THAT?”?”  And then the lawyer in me says “What the hell are these researchers doing with child porn in the first place, and who decided it would be good to show it to pedophiles?”” 

But the bigger problem is the way the findings are discussed in the article. 

Scientists at the Toronto center have uncovered a series of associations that suggest pedophilia has biological roots.

Among the most compelling findings is that 30% of pedophiles are left-handed or ambidextrous, triple the general rate. Because hand dominance is established through some combination of genetics and the environment of the womb, scientists see that association as a powerful indicator that something is different about pedophiles at birth.

“The only explanation is a physiological one,” said James Cantor, a leader of the research.

Heh.  “Born that way.”  It seems like we’ve heard this before.  And if it was used to justify one “sexual orientation”, then why not another, right?  I know, I know.  “Consent”.  But as the previous story indicates, some are already making excuses for one taboo.  Anyone paying attention over the last 40 years is kidding themselves if they read this and say “We protect children.  We make that a priority.”  Millions of children who didn’t consent to anything were murdered in the womb, and we allowed “privacy” to be a cloak for it, much as we have allowed “privacy” to be a cloak for institutionalizing the orbit of our genitals.  Gratification is king, and if killing a child has to be made subservient to it, then one has no reason to think that “consent” will protect children from being made victims at the hands of those we now make excuses for, any more than the idea that we can see the obvious distinction that marks the difference between someone else’s adult child and our own adult children.  Billy Jeff blurred the first line, aided and abetted by those who had the most reason to object, and people like this “professor” will blur the second.  Celebrating the commonality of it, and pretending at normalcy virtually guarantees that lust, and the apologetic “tolerance” that goes with it will overcome and eventually erase the squick factor.  Don’t even get me started on the apologists for bestiality.

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Or two tales of tyranny over talk, both with origins in Caul-i-forn-ya, the land of fruit and nuts, where you can have it all, and your neighbor will be the one billed for it…at least until they move away.

First up is actor Steven Webber, who very recently opined:

The scale of Right Wing sociopolitical sabotage necessitates a Nuremberg-scale trial for all the corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascist architects of our democracy’s current and most pressing misery. From the blatant Republican policy doublespeak emanating from think-tank sponsored word doctors to the outright obstruction and lies expectorated by Republican congressional representatives and senators, the very concept of governance can only be considered once the culprits are removed. Driven to real madness by unadulterated greed they have embraced an ideology, the success of which hinges upon the very ruin of this nation.

Disagree with the party in power?  Then you deserve to be tried and convicted by a jury of those who believe they are your betters.

As an idea, I can’t say it is remarkably original.  Dictators and tyrants have used kangaroo courts for centuries to determine that those who don’t see it their way are silenced.  What makes this funny, while still sad, tragic, and slightly demented is his accusations that Republicans are somehow the pawns of corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascists…and yet says NOTHING about the green energy giveaways to companies that take our money, then go bankrupt, without any consequence to those who profit from it, and his silence on GE’s chummy relationship with the Obama administration.  Still, if he were smart, then he wouldn’t lament the greed of those who want to KEEP their money while turning a blind eye to those who have been actively fomenting the envy and class warfare that have been growing under this administration’s careful husbandry…the envy and class warfare that divide a nation, and empower those who want you to believe that the only reason you don’t have the trappings of wealth are because those that do aren’t transferring enough of their wealth to you.  Still, such attitudes are often hallmarks of the mobocracies that are the end result of democracies like the ones that the President would like to fundamentally transform our republic into. 

The worst part of this is that if you believe in the exponential nature of stupidity, Mr. Dimbulb McPretend-For-A -Living isn’t the only one thinking that freedom he is enjoying shouldn’t be available to others who oppose his views, which is why those of us who have personally witnessed the unfathomable power of stupidity in large groups have no interest in further abrogating our Second Amendment rights, and also understand why we might “NEED” a magazine that holds more than seven rounds, or a firearm that has numerous utilitarian and tactical features.  I suppose we should thank him for displaying his totalitarianism so plainly, and demonstrating progressivism’s fundamental weakness, that being that it will brook no criticism, because when pressed, it cannot be defended, but instead, I’d prefer a lengthy explanation of why he isn’t brave enough to face an opposing viewpoint in the rhetorical arena with argument, or at least a “spirited debate”.  It’s the kind of thing that casts pretty strong doubt on the legitimacy of any of the left’s calls for a “national dialogue” on any exercise of freedom they’d prefer to squelch than see you exercise.  But enough of the visible tyrant looking to intimidate those he’d rather not face, and on to those who are open with their “SHUT UP!”, and try to justify it with a crass emotional pandering that is no friend of logic. 

Recently, professional golfer Phil Mikelson pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, inflaming the minders of the envy class when he mentioned in public that a combined federal and state income tax burden of 62-62% was taking just a bit too much of his earnings and that he might have to move.  Notable for his reaction to this, sports commentator Roland Martin came rushing to government’s rescue with this remark:

 “But here’s the deal: 98% of the country is saying “Phil, Shut Up.”  They would love to make $40,000,000 a year, they would love to win a golf tournament and make a million bucks.  He was right when he said “I should have kept my criticism to myself.” because he looks like a whiner.  And here’s another piece:  When he goes and plays in a golf tournament, you know what he wants?  He wants people out there to buy tickets to see him play.  He wants them to buy his golf clubs, and the clothes he wears.”

Yes, Roland, he does.  And whether you like it or not, he is a draw.  And as such, people will get paid to park cars for those who will come to see him play.  They will buy concessions from people at the courses.  They will rent local hotel rooms, and eat in local restaurants, and shop in local stores.  I know this.  I witnessed it at the Buick Open at the Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc for YEARS.  And when he plays well, people will want to buy his clubs, and his clothes, and those will in turn create more jobs.  He might not be a great businessman.  Many pro athletes aren’t.  But if he’s getting sound advice, then he has been told that taxes in excess of 60% are too high.  It takes away his incentive to do all he can in terms of business ventures, because at some point, government thinks he’s just made enough, so it is entitled to take what he’s earned and spend it inefficiently, and give it to groups and causes that he might NEVER decide to spend his own money on, some of which he might he diametrically opposed to. 

But the biggest disappointment is when Mikelson decided that he needed to apologize for speaking the truth.

My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.”

“I think it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

Why Phil?  Why does having the public’s attention because you’re a golfer disqualify you from speaking on the very real effects of bad policy decisions?  Why are you under such restraint when actors like Steven Weber and any number of other entertainers aren’t above using their celebrity to offer far less substantial, factual, or reasonable opinions with the clear intent of persuading their audiences.

And the idea that it is somehow insensitive to point out that confiscatory tax policy will lead you to make significant decisions for economic reasons is silly.  While those same people would undoubtedly like to have those problems, it never hurts for them to know that no matter how much money government will take from those “rich” people, it will never create the opportunity, or be multiplied in the same way as that money would if it was left in the economy.   Government may pay you a few more weeks of unemployment, but it can’t create a job that isn’t dependent on taking from someone else.  But the more insidious effect of this type of shutuppery is that while it may silence people like Mikelson, it can’t and won’t stop them from voting with their feet anyway.  And as Caul-i-fornians have been discovering, when enough of the “rich” leave because they’re tired of getting stuck with the check all the time, it doesn’t take long before you learn that you and your neighbors are the “rich”.  This could be avoided if we could have honest “conversations” and “dialogue” about such things, but instead, all we’ll be left with is some cynical pearl clutching, and the increasing cost of the welfare state sucking up opportunity and imposing the equality of misery.

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Facebook is both a blessing and a curse.

I love the fact that I can converse with people from all walks of life who, in their own way, “get it”.  The downside is that occasionally, I encounter people who think they do, but then either dodge the question or downplay the fact that they don’t know understand what they are claiming to fix.  Their answers are rooted in their good intentions, but like those they elect, they do not understand what they are breaking in the name of fixing.  Take this conversation with “Bill”, which is of course, not his real name.

 
Bill: Randy [the person whose wall it was], you set up the same straw men that the Republicans do. (And, re Gover Norquist, a man whose only line is never to raise taxes but never proposes a solution to current problems, is a whiner not worthy of the attention he unfortunately currently receives.) Yes, there are contradictions in our country, we have probably always been that way. The current stalemate in Washington is ridiculous and unfortunate, but that makes it incumbent on all of us to find solutions instead of simply trying to tear each other down. If you think the deficit is a problem, what is your solution? Should we cut expenses, and if so, what expenses? If you think social security and medicare are handouts, are you proposing that we all give them up (including yourself), and if so, what are you proposing for the poor, that they simply do without? These are serious questions, and the rantings of most people today (especially in Washington and on Sunday morning shows) contributes nothing to their resolution.
 
 
Me:  Find for me the part in the Federal Constitution that says it is the federal government’s job to take money from people who earn it, so that IT may decide WHO to help with it, HOW to help them, and TO WHAT DEGREE.

Your bonus question is to explain the morality of a government that allows its elected officials to empower and enrich themselves by fomenting Greed’s ugly and retarded sister, Envy, with notions such as “fairness” that require someone else to provide for you, and the idea that “Sometimes, You’ve just made enough.”

While we’re waiting, in answer to your question:

Yes. End Social Security and Medicare both. Not only did the Federal Government never have the authority to engage in such largesse, but the decades of mismanagement of BOTH programs have conclusively demonstrated that the Federal Government is simply incapable of being trusted to simply use the money it compells from us for the purposes for which it was collected in the first place.

Then follow with massive cuts to the EPA…its jurisdiction should be the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, MCTA, RCRA, and the Model Toxics Control Act ONLY. Strip it of its rule making authority.

Department of Education? Gone. Department of Energy? Gone.

Repeal the 16th Amendment. It has far exceeded the original scope and purpose, and has fed the beast that has engaged in gross usurpation and overreach for more than a century.

Repeal the 17th Amendment. This one amendment has done more to destroy federalism and the separation of powers than any other aspect of the federal government, as it took one of the parties in the federal power sharing arangment right out of the equation, making it much, much easier for the federal government to completely ignore the status of states as co-equal sovereigns with the Federal government, allowing the Feds to usurp state powers and impose unfunded mandates in return.

That would be a start.
 
Bill: BiW, I appreciate your clear statement of what you think needs to be done. What you state goes to the heart, I think, of what separates those who want an extremely small federal government and those who think the federal government can and should play a role in helping certain citizens of this country. If that is what the Republican Party thinks should be done, then I would appreciate the Party so stating instead of simply talking about “cutting spending” without being clear what it truly wants. The reason they don’t do that is that they know most Americans don’t want that and thus so stating these goals is political suicide (as well as the fact that I think no politician, of whatever stripe, ever really wants to cut spending). However, the simple fact is that the majority of Americans don’t want this to happen, so all the GOP in the House is doing now is being confrontational without making any positive suggestions for what can be done to the current situation. So, I pose the question to you: if Social Security and Medicare are not going to end, if the Departments of Education and Energy remain, as well as the 16th and 17th Amendments, then what do you suggest, or will you simply emigrate?
 
Me:  Actually, what “goes to the heart” of what separates those who want LIMITED GOVERNMENT and those who confuse welfare with charity is an understanding that the federal government has a very short list of powers enumated to it, with the rest of those powers being reserved to the states, which are smaller, and far more accountable to those who are most impacted by their policies, or to the people themselves, along with an understanding that the blueprint that has been totally distorted by more than a century of progressive meddling was the product not just of a careful study of the nature and history of government, but of the nature of man, and more importantly, a recognition that governments would be run by men who are by their nature susecptible to corruption by the opportunities that power and the money that follows it afford.

If you want your state to be extraordinarily generous with your wages, if the state constitution permits it, knock yourself out. The Federal government DOES. NOT. HAVE. THAT. AUTHORITY. PERIOD.

I can’t speak for the Republican Party, largely because of the fact that for most of my lifetime it has been a major disappointment to me. Many in it are afflicted with the same brand of incumbentitis as the Dims, and subscribe to the notion of “cutting spending” not because they believe in, or even understand the blueprint, but because those they rely on for votes understand on a visceral level that it is an essential component of what is required to deflate the government back into the confines of its PROPER sphere of influence, even if they do not understand or don’t bother to demand that the next steps also be part of the equation they are being sold at election time.

No, the reason they don’t do that is that they have no interest in relinquishing power than they were never meant to have in the first place, and because too large a portion of the population has had little or no actual instruction in the law and the philosophy that informed the law in the first place, so that they willingly trade their own sovereignty, and the accountablity that comes with it to a government that redistributes the wealth of others (after a not insignificant handling fee is subtracted, of course).

Actually, their current response is to recognize that no matter the perceived goodness of the Left’s intentions, welfare states aren’t free, and you cannot keep borrowing money in order to simply give it away. Well, some of them realize this, anyway. The rest are just as lost as the Dims, and will continue to be enacting new entitlements and “benefits” for their dependents even as the furniture is being reposessed from beneath them.

You aren’t paying attention, which is why it is difficult to take your question seriously. Social Security WILL end. It is going broke, and with current spending being what it is, Uncle Sam will not have the financial wherewithall to “save ” it when that day comes in just a few short years. Medicare was already on that same path BEFORE Obamacare raided it for 60 Billion Dollars it could ill-afford to lose. Most of the bureaucracy will be equally insolvent as montization of the debt results in hyperinflation, and interest payments on the debt exceed discretionary spending, even if the government is unwise enough to attempt confiscatory tax policies.

Now that’s TWO questions of your that I’ve answered. I believe you owe me some answers. Go back, re-read my prior comment, and answer the questions I asked you.
 
Bill: BiW, thanks for your interesting response. Not being a Constitutional lawyer, I cannot say where that document permits Congress the powers it has used, however, the final arbiter of that power, the Supreme Court, has upheld the New Deal and similar spending authority and thus these activities are not therefore unconstitutional. Whether that is “moral” or not, and whether fairness is the basis for government activities is not an easy question to answer. Because government is a creation of an imperfect species, homo sapiens, it is itself imperfect and always will be. Democracy is the least bad system because it entails the most compromise. It appears we both have a dim view of the capabilities of the Democratic and Republican parties to really address these issues. I doubt that either Social Security or Medicare will simply disappear, numerous economists would disagree on that point, and, even if they ran out of money, they would be numerous ways to restructure them to ensure their viability, even if in a different form. And I certainly doubt that the Republicans, if they were to come back into office, would do much to cut back or eliminate these programs (any more than they would eliminate the government giveaways to corporations and other of their supporters, as the Democrats do for unions and their supporters). Given that state of affairs, I tend to concentrate on what MIGHT be doable: a vastly simplified federal tax system, careful reductions to the federal budget (such as military spending, subsidies and tax benefits to large corporations, big agro, oil and gas), simplification of federal regulations, an end to the drug wars (with legalization and regulation of drugs) and so forth.Me: The court was acting under duress. Look up “The Switch In Time That Saved Nine” and FDR’s court packing scheme.

As for the morality that was the basis of our law, I suggest reading Blackstone.

And as far as cutting military spending goes, it is actually one of the Federal Government’s legitimate duties. 
 
Finally, we aren’t a democracy. The much maligned “old white guys” who drafted the blueprint had some very unflattering observations about democracies, which is why they set up a republic, so we could be a nation of laws and not men.

Your mistake isn’t unusual, but it can be corrected. Start with The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and Blackstone’s Commentaries.
 
Bill:  BiW, thank you for reminding me we are a republic. You cite worthy material to re-read, and your points are well taken, however, I don’t see how they help address the current political situation. We have to work with the system we currently have. I suppose one could just oppose everything and just hope the system collapses of its own weight (a tactic I sometimes think the Republicans now follow), but that is highly unpredictable and quite destructive. I would rather discuss what are the actual policies that we should pursue as a nation, rather than debate the “morality” of the past 100 years. That seems to me a more worthwhile, if harder, course to follow.
 
Me:  Or you could discover that many of the problems we have are the result of deviations from the blueprint undertaken by people who claimed to know better.
 
Much like today.
 
Welfare states do not work. The evidence clutters up the 20th century. Math also provides evidence, and nature of man also makes it clear…just watch what is going on with Greece. Keep doing what the Dims are doing here, and you’ll have front row seats here.
 
Bill:  Well, given that you seem to distrust both the Dems and the Reps, doesn’t seem like much can be done. Are there any countries in the world today that you think are doing it right?
 
Me:  Sure there is “much to be done”. It starts with educating people and weening them off of the error of believing that for every “problem”, government has a solution, and then SHOW them every point where government has gotten it wrong, which means dismantling a lot of myths that are taught to them by the “educational” system.

At the same time, you work to elect people who know better at your state and local levels. The change will come last at the Federal level, but it WILL come. Either when the current band of brigands spends themselves into irrelevancy, or if they give free reign to their beast’s rapacious appetites, and they reach a little too far into our pockets and lives and draw back bloody stumps, or we dodge both of those, and the pendulum swings back when the hippies aging badly die out, and their progeny reject their legacy because it has made Americans poorer in spirit and poorer financially for their excesses.And no, no country is doing it right. Canada at least is pursuing reasonably intelligent tax policy at the moment, and is enjoying a measure of economic prosperity because of it, but they are far too wedded to the hallmarks of the welfare state to be as successful and free as they could be. Their immigration policies are also destructive, and over the last thirty years, have largely disproved the “vertical mosaic” theory that they embraced in the 1960s._______________________________________________________________

 Asking  questions without ever listening to the answers.  Assuming that what has never worked before will work now.  Because they are the ones imposing it.  Much like the Obama cheerleaders who discovered with their first paychecks of the new year that they now have some skin in the game too.One complained to me that he could do better with his money than the government could.  I said “Welcome Brother!”

 

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And really, why wouldn’t they? He had it all. The pointed finger, wagging, wagging, wagging. Table banging like an angry thirsty toddler with an empty sippy cup. The cold command of facts that aren’t (Joe, Syria isn’t “five times bigger than Libya”; Syria’s area is 71,479 square miles, Libya’s is 679,359 square miles), the used car salesman smile, the panoply of smirks, and the wildly inappropriate laughter, like the crazy uncle finding humor in your cousin’s rape when it is brought up at Thanksgiving dinner. And of course, the clichéd “Folks…” trotted out every time he felt the need to appeal again for four more years of division, envy, and their steady hand on the rudder, keeping the ship of state pointed firmly at the falls. Add in a few brazenly bald-faced lies about the HHS mandate, completely undercut as Congressmen Ryan pointed out with his question about those institutions suing the Federal Government, and Biden’s invocation of the sacred “We Inherited” meme, which cause millions of Americans to erupt in shouts of “YOU AND YOUR BOSS ASKED FOR THE JOB. HELL, YOU BEGGED FOR IT, YOU DODDERING OLD FOOL! COWBOY UP, AND ADMIT YOUR FAILURE!”

in essence, if Joe had simply been candid with the people he apparently thinks so little of, it would have sounded like this:

“Folks, who are you gonna believe? The guys who couldn’t pass a budget while spending reached stratospheric levels, while forcing through a healthcare takeover that will ensure expensive, sub par medical care for every American, and who have done everything possible to blame everyone else imaginable for their failure, and who want you to believe that success is a finite outcome, that must be controlled and parcelled out by a government that doesn’t have to be subject to the effect of is decisions? Or the guys who want to fix the problems we can’t, and who have made it clear that they will take responsibility for their actions and the consequences?”

The choice is clear. Failure and dependence upon a kleptocratic government that will ensure two Americas, or a smaller, limited government in which people actually get to make their own decisions, and take responsibility for their own success and failure.

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If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” - President Barack Obama on NBC’s “Today,” February 2, 2009.

“Republican voters, if you ask them about my particular policy positions, often agree with me.”President Barack Obama in PARADE Magazine, August 31, 2012.

I don’t agree with him on much of anything, but then, I actually love America, and understand American Exceptionalism.  That said, I very much agreed with his first quote.  Too bad he reneged on our agreement.  Still, when you have nothing to offer but blame and excuses, rather than results, I can see where you might be so addled that you think that these are adequate bases for renewal of your contract.  However, I think the American people are about to hand you your pink slip.  Don’t view it as a setback, Mr. President.  You didn’t really like the job anyway, and now you can concentrate all of your attention on to your golf game and your third memoir, Car Crash: How I Destroyed A Great Economic Engine While Blaming Those Who Actually Know How To Drive.  That is, of course, if Bombing Billy Ayers will return your calls.  We know that writing is hard and I’m sure he has plenty of flags to step on while reliving the glory days of blowing up government buildings in his head.

So on this Laborless Labor Day, I can think of no better salute to a thin-skinned and ineffective man, who repeatedly has demonstrated a callous disregard to what the office requires, and an inability to man up and take responsibility for his own failures.  Today, on Empty Chair Day 2012,  millions of Americans will reproduce this view from the Oval Office on their own front lawns, just like I am. 


Enjoy retirement, Mr. President.  I hope it is as ignominious as the American People deserve.

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Since late in the last Presidential campaign, it has been in vogue for the chatterati and the self-appointed cognoscenti to tell us how any opposition or criticism of Candidate, then President Obama was racist, even in light of many rational and real reasons to dislike and oppose him. 

If anything, this chorus has gotten louder and more shrill, especially since it is getting increasingly difficult to pretend enormous debt incurred for little to no benefit was a good idea, or that the President’s grueling schedule of golf and fund-raisers in a stalled economy where the official (and fictional) unemployment numbers haven’t dipped below the 8% mark for his entire Presidency.  And having to whistle past the graveyard daily is clearly taking its toll on the most fervent water carriers, if Chrissy “Tingles” Matthews’ latest psychotic break from reality is any indication.  The situation has deteriorated to the point that the President either needs to plan a getaway for he and Tingles, so Chrissy can fulfill all of his fantasies for he and “the perfect President”, or the President needs to get a restraining order and authorize the Secret Service to shoot him on sight.

But when I saw this earlier this morning, it really drove home the projection and hypocrisy that has underscored the blatant racism of the people who have been screaming the loudest about the “racism” of Obama opponents.

I’m sorry that I had to waste 2:29 of your life that you’ll never get back.  But I think you probably get it now, too.  That nagging fact that we all witnessed, but people didn’t want to talk about: that hundreds of thousands of people voted for him not because of his great record (he has the thinnest resume of any President ever), not because of his comprehensive plans to fix the economy (paying of big donors and bundlers with taxpayer money and spendulous cash frittered away with pure undistilled bullshit about jobs “saved or created” is not a plan), but because he is BLACK, making his election somehow “historic” and “unprecedented”, two descriptions that history will also use, but not in a favorable way.

This has been observed before, in various places and forms that all essentially match this bumpersticker wisdom:

If you voted for Obama last time to prove that you aren’t a racist, vote for Romney this time to prove that you’re not an idiot.

I’ve gotten to the point where statements like this leave me torn between a laugh and a tear.  It might be truly funny if it wasn’t so damn tragic.  I don’t know who I blame more…racists like Charles “Sex Machine” Blow, Eugene Robinson, Juan Williams, or those white liberals who think that black Americans are so incapable of making it on their own that they have to step in, and make the way for them…like all of NBC news, PBS, and the Democratic Party.   You know the ones.  They are the ones who keep telling us how blacks can’t.  How they can’t find a job without government.  How they can’t keep a job without government.  How they can’t make it without government even if they have a job.  How they can’t ever have a business of their own without government.  How they can’t get into college without government lowering the standards and expectations for them.  And then set out to prove it. 

Increasingly, I find that my overall irritation factor is turned up to 11 as this campaign season progresses.  This is a condition made worse by the fact that these shrill carnival barkers are half-right, and refuse to be honest with themselves or the rest of us about it.  Race is a factor in this campaign, just as it was in the last one.  But it is the largest factor to the ones screaming loudest about it.  But we also have been chided about avoiding a frank discussion of this factor, by someone who himself has chosen to hide from difficult questions and scrutiny behind the specious and unprovable claim of “RACISM!”.

Contrary to the opinion so often on the lips of the President’s biggest cheerleaders, I do find it sad that the first black American President is such a failure, and that such a milestone has to be tainted in that fashion.  I also find it sad that instead of being a man of character who overcomes race, he so eagerly uses it as a tool to divide, rather than unite.  The wasted potential is a tragedy beyond measure.

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Hero: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

I hope you all found something worthwhile in your Memorial Day Weekend.  I know I did in mine.  It was busy, and it seemed like I spent much of it on the run, but I still found time for the sober reflection that is the reason for the holiday, and heard an excellent sermon on Sunday about reflection and remembrance, the latter being important enough to be mentioned in the Bible more than 100 times.

Then later that evening, I got to watch Courageous, a movie about heroes who made a decision and a committment to be the heroes that every man should be.  My oldest son watched it with me, and we had a very good discussion about the various topics raised in the film.  It won’t be a candidate for an Academy Award, but I appreciate the fact that people like the producers of this film, and people like Tyler Perry are willing to make movies with small budgets, and short timelines to tell a story that encompasses values no longer embraced by the larger studios.

Then, Monday morning, we finally went to see The Avengers.  It didn’t disappoint, but then with Joss Whedon at the helm, it would have been an unpleasant surprise if it did.  What did surprise me was the insertion of some lines, and story developments that reflected some values that Hollywood hasn’t been too big on in recent years.  I suspect that this was allowed to happen because it was based on comic book heroes, and therefore. those values could be mocked by those who felt the need as childish or simplistic.  Sadly, I doubt the message will be received by the rest of Hollywood, much of which chalked the success of The Dark Knight up to “making the character dark”.  After all, the truth doesn’t fit the narrative.  It was an exhilarating experience to see a story unfold that allowed for sacrifice, determination, and redemption in the characters that didn’t leave me feeling as if the dreams of childhood were retconned by a society that feels an overwhelming urge to “reimagine” and redefine that which it finds itself opposed to.

It was a good weekend that was a celebration of the things that it should have been about, and I felt relaxed and ready when I went to work today.  Then I read about Chris Hayes’ shallow pontification over the weekend.  If, like me, you were busy having a good weekend, and decided not to shave points off of your IQ by watching MSNBC, let me fill you in on what Chris said in his show “Up With Chris Hayes” :

“I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war,”  he added that “there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers,” but that “it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

I know what you’re thinking.  I didn’t know that Butch Maddow had a brother either.  Yes, “Up With Chris Hayes” is a stupid name for television program, as it evokes images of this, which doesn’t really get me thinking “serious credibility” but in its own way, does make a certain sense.

The apology, as predictable as an afternoon rain shower in Florida, came less than 24 hours later, and underscored his focus and the true target of his remarks, demonstrating that he still didn’t understand why what he said was wrong. (Yes, Rutherford, I said “wrong” and not “offensive”.  Deal with it.  Or don’t.)

Regardless, Hayes issued an apology for his comments on Monday, saying that he was “deeply sorry” for the remarks. “As many have rightly pointed out, it’s very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots,” Hayes said in a statement. He said that he had made a mistake by conforming “to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war.”

While its fine to oppose war, secure in the knowledge that other will still join the military and lay down their own lives to keep yours safe, to fail to recognize that sacrifice for what it is, and deny them the very basic respect they deserve simply for having made the decision that you wouldn’t (for whatever reason) is the mark of an ingrate.  You don’t have to have done it yourself to recognize that signing up (or accepting selection) into a service that will take you far from home and most certainly put you in harm’s way to protect your nation and your loved ones, or to be a part of something much larger than one’s own self-interest and benefit is an act requiring the kind of courage that not everyone choses today.  The fact that one would choose to do it, either in the previous administration, or this one, indicates to me that they clearly see something obscured to the Chris Hayeses of the world, and reminds me of a famous movie speech delivered over a decade ago: 

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. “

There are many ways to be a hero.  Some will cast much longer shadows than others.  Some will do it by living up to their responsibilities, no matter how much they would prefer an eternal adolescence, and some will do it by exhibiting valor and great sacrifice, up to and including the one life they have to give, for their country, or for their fellow man.  That doesn’t always have to be a conscious decision to charge a machine gun, or exposing yourself to fire, because the first act comes with the decision to serve, and to be a target so that others won’t.  It isn’t glamorous, but then, it doesn’t lack conviction, either.

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