Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CEO Compensation

Obama: Uniter or Divider?

You be the judge:



Me? I think you'd have to re-invent math to create a picture that didn't scream "divider" like that one does.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where's the Logic?

Meeting Without Pre-Conditions

These are really quite fun:



I'm sure arguments could be made about their accuracy, but I figure no matter what I do, they're at least twice as accurate as Leftist Heart Throb Jon Stewart.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I feel guilty about this

But sometimes I just can't help myself.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Really, Barack, it is far past time to man up.


So, it's all still Bush's fault. Trillions of Obama/Pelosi/Reid dollars later and he still says we're suffering from the failed policies (you remember those policies: the ones that took us to 14,000+ on the Dow) of the Bush administration.

There comes a point (and we are well past it) when the Chief Executive has to act the part. This is getting embarrassing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Will no one relieve me from this pesky job?

The pitiful whining from our new Chief Executive continues apace:

STEVE KROFT:What is the most frustrating part of the job?

BARACK OBAMA: (SIGH) The— the fact that— you are often confronted with bad choices that flow from less than optimal decisions made a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, when you weren't here. A lot of times, when things land at my desk— it's a choice between bad and worse. And as somebody pointed out to me— the only things that land on my desk are tough decisions. Because, if they were easy decisions, somebody down the food chain's already made them."


As the vernacular of today's youth would have it, "Well, Duh!"

I don't even know where to start with this. Should I start with the fact that Obama has never in his life had any meaningful executive experience? Was this fact not pointed out repeatedly during his campaign? Didn't Sarah Palin herself say that being an executive means having to make decisions rather than voting "present?" But no, that was deemed an unimportant and inconvenient distraction from Obama's real qualifications, which ultimately turned out to be his African-American heritage and the fact that he's not George Bush. Yes, what useful traits those have turned out to be, but unfortunately only in the area of aggrandizing and worshiping our new president.

Confronted by choices made during previous administrations?? I'm sorry, but how could he have not known that? It has been ever thus, up to and including his predecessor having to deal with the terrorist acts of 9/11 that were largely the result of Clinton's milquetoast response to the emerging threat. Clinton had plenty to deal with when he took over from Bush 41. Reagan had a horrible mess to contend with brought about by the abject failure of Carter's presidency. Those men, though, dealt with the situations they "inherited" without tiring us with adolescent sniveling about just how horrible the job of being Chief Executive is. Perhaps that was because all of those men had acted in an executive capacity before. "Wow," you say, "experience really does matter in the role of President of the United States? Who knew!" Well, I'll tell you who knew: 47% of those that voted knew.

So, President Obama, you're finally starting to realize that "A lot of times it's a choice between bad and worse?" You don't say! Perhaps you could ask George W. Bush about that. You remember him. He's the guy that was faced with extremely difficult decisions every single day, many of them involving issues that would be life or death to thousands of brave volunteer soldiers. He's the guy that had to decide what to do with suspected and/or proven terrorists captured on the battlefield or under suspicious circumstances. He's the man that had to decide to what lengths we should go to extract information from potential terrorists that could save thousands of innocent lives.

There's a difference, though, between the environment in which he had to make those decisions and the situation you're in: George Bush did not have the luxury of an adoring media, a rabidly partisan supporting Congress, and throngs of enthralled believers that would not second guess or harshly criticize every single decision, and often twist his words to give the impression that he was an ignorant, uncaring monster. You, President Obama, were one of those people. You spent at least two years telling anyone that would listen how horrible Bush's decisions and policies were. You were one of the worst demagogues of Bush "failure." You never once professed to recognize that Bush too was forced to decide between "bad" and "worse."

Yet you have the unmitigated gall to whine about the difficulties you face now? You're kidding, right? Maybe you should have listened when millions of voters tried to tell you that you weren't ready to make the tough decisions. Maybe you should listen as more and more people try to tell you that you still aren't ready to make the tough decisions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is, in fact, change, but it is NOT leadership.

Love him or hate him (and I know where the preponderance of opinion lies), George W. Bush was a leader. He made decisions based on merit and/or personal conviction, and what's more, he stood by those decisions. When raked across the coals by the media and the hyperventilating liberal punditry cabal in the form of lunatic rantings from the Olbermanneasque crowd, Bush responded exactly as a leader should: he ignored them. He did not lash out against private citizens, he did not encourage Congress to legislate tightly focused punitive taxes, he did not attempt to deflect blame for his own actions by demonizing corporations, and he did not blame problems that he "inherited" (9/11, Iraq, etc.) on the clearly culpable previous administration.

Obama has brought change with him to his Presidency. Now it is common to single out private citizens that voice opposition to his policies for public approbation. Now it is a daily occurrence to hear turgid, obfuscatory prose read from a prepared speech laying the blame for any failure on his part on the Bush administration. That is not leadership; that is cowardice. Ah, the audacity of hope. Atrocious and appalling, is it not?

So what are we left with? We now have a Chief Executive that "leads" by responding to headlines and polls. We've seen this before, of course, in the form on one William Jefferson Clinton, but I would contend that Obama has reached new heights of louche dealings with the press. He seems to believe that his "mandate" from the people, which in reality is nothing more than an indication of what a horrible candidate John McCain was, allows him to come forth with a ukase targeted against the devil du jour whenever the urge or political necessity hits him. This is not the leader that we needed. Nor, if I may be so bold, is it the change we were looking for.

'A' for effort, 'F' for credibility

These Nigerian spams are usually worth a chuckle, but this one is a laugh-a-minute extravaganza of ineptitude:

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001.
Website: www.fbi.gov
Date: 03/18/2009


ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY.


This is an official advice from the fbi foreign Remittance / telegraphic dept.,
it has come to our notice that the Central Bank of Nigeria district has released
10,500,000.00 US dollars into bank of America in your name as the beneficiary by
inheritance means.

The Central Bank of Nigeria knowing fully well that they do not have Enough
facilities to effect this payment from the united kingdom to your account, used
what is known as a secret diplomatic transit payment (s.t.d.p) to pay this fund
through wire transfer, they used this means to complete the payment. They are
still waiting for confirmation from you on the already Transferred funds which
were made in direct transfer so that they can do final crediting to your
account. Secret diplomatic payments are not made unless the funds are related to
terrorist activities why must your payment be made in secret transfer, if your
transaction is legitimate, if you are not a terrorist, then why did you not
receive the money directly into your account; so this is a pure coded means of
payment?

Records which we have had with this method of payment in the past has always
been related to terrorist acts, we do not want you to get into trouble as soon
as these funds reflect in your account in the U.S.A, so it is our duty as a
world wide commission to correct this little problem before this fund will be
credited into your personal account.

Due to the increased difficulty and unnecessary security by the American
authorities when funds come from outside of Europe, and the Middle East, the FBI
bank commission for Europe has stopped the transfer on its way to deliver
payment of $10,500,000.00 to debit your reserve account and pay you through a
secured diplomatic transit account (s.d.t.a). We govern and oversee funds
transfer for the World Bank and the rest of the world.

We advice you to contact us immediately, as the funds have been Stopped and are
being held in our custody, until you can be able to provide us with a diplomatic
immunity seal of transfer (dist) within 3 days from the world local bank that
authorize the transfer from where the funds was transferred from to certify that
the funds that you are about to receive from CBN are antiterrorist/drug free or
we shall have cause to cross and impound the Payment, we shall release the funds
immediately we receive this legal documents.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------

We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper Verifications and
proof from you to show that you are the rightful person to receive this fund,
because of the amount involve, we want to make sure that the money you are about
to receive is clean and legal . Be informed that the fund are now in United
State in your name, but right now we have ask the bank not to release the fund
to anybody that comes for it, unless we ask them to do so, because we have to
carry out our investigations first before releasing the fund to you. Note that
the fund is in the BANK OF AMERICA right now, but we have asked them not to
credit the fund to you yet, because we need a solid proof and Verifications from
you before releasing the funds.

So to this regards you are to re-assure and proof to us that what you are about
to receive is a clean money by sending to us (FBI) identification Record and
also Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer(DIST) to satisfy to us that the money
your about to receive is legitimate and real money. You are to forward the
documents to us immediately if you have it in your possession, if you don't have
it let us know so that we will direct and inform you where to obtain the
document and send to us so that we will ask the bank holding the funds, the Bank
Of America to go ahead Crediting your account immediately.

These Documents are to be issued to you from the World Local Bank that
Authorized the transfer, so get back to us immediately if you don't have the
document so that we will inform you the particular place to obtain the document,
because we have come to realize that the fund was Authorized by (H.S.B.C) Bank
in London.

An FBI Identification Record and Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST.)
often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet, is a listing of
certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in
connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment,
naturalization, or military service.

These Condition Is Valid until 30th of March 2009 after we shall take actions on
Canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving of funds out of
Africa.

Guarantee: funds will be released on confirmation of the document.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------

Final Instruction;

1. Credit payment instruction: irrevocable credit guarantee.
2. Beneficiary has full power when validation is cleared.
3. Beneficiaries bank in U.S.A., can only release funds.
4. Upon confirmation from the world bank / united nations.
5. Bearers must clear bank protocol and validation request.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------

NOTE: We have asked for the above documents to make available the most complete
and up-to date records possible for the enhancement of public safety, welfare
and security of Society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy
rights. If you fail to provide the Documents to us, we will charge you with the
FBI and take our proper action against you for not proofing to us the legitimate
of the fund you are about to receive.

The United States Department of Justice Order 556-73 establishes rules and
regulations for the subject of an FBI Identification Record to obtain a copy of
his or her own Record for review. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Service
(CJIS) Division processes these requests to check illegal activities in U.S.A.

An individual may request a copy of his or her own FBI Identification Record for
personal review or to challenge information on the Record. Other reasons an
individual may request a copy of his or her own Identification Record may
include international adoption or to satisfy a requirement to live or work in a
foreign country or receive funds from another country, i.e. Diplomatic Immunity
Seal of Transfer, letter of good conduct, criminal history Background, etc.)

FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller, III


Absent all of the other mistakes, telling me that my new found money is safely awaiting me at the Bank of America?? LOL! I'd better get it out of there before the cabal of Dodd/Obama/Geithner find a way to tax 91% of it! Or, of course, before the bank collapses.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scary Pelosi and the 2nd "Stimulus"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she is open to introducing a second stimulus bill, but it's too early to determine the size of such a package and the timing on another major economic measure. “We have to keep the door open to see how it goes,” Pelosi told reporters Tuesday following a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on the economy.

This can mean:

- She is admitting that the first "stimulus," which was nothing more than a transparently packaged Liberal grab-bag of take-advantage spending, does nothing to address the actual problems in our economy,

- She has an entirely new list of pet Liberal projects that she wants to fund before the economy fixes itself, thereby losing further opportunity to "not let a crisis go to waste,"

- She is a complete and total idiot that does not know or care what the eventual results of this unconstrained spending spree are going to be.

Me? I vote for all three.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's all just so unfair!

Any parent, any elementary school teach, anyone at all that has had even minimal exposure to young children will know of the "it's not fair!" syndrome. Anything at all that does not live up to expectations or injures their delicate little sensitivities is declared stridently to not be fair. No problem is of their own making; things always happen to them, not by their own actions. Negative consequences resulting from their poor decisions are not their own fault, rather they are caused by the unfair actions of others.

Fortunately, most people outgrow that stage.

Not all do, though.

Allow me to illustrate the case of one who didn't with a parable.

Let's look at the case of young Barry. Barry spent two short years in an important job where he was, through the very nature of the work he was supposed to be doing, very well informed about the problems facing his employers. In fact, his job was to assist in solving those problems. Barry soon found that it was easier to blame the big boss for the problems rather than make any meaningful effort to solve them. Just as a child would, Barry blamed everyone but himself for the problems, but primarily he blamed the man currently in charge.

Sometime during the few short years when Barry should have been devoting his attention to learning the subtleties and intricacies of his very important job, Barry realized that he thought that he could avoid all of that hard, inconvenient work simply by telling anyone that would listen that the boss was an idiot that was doing everything completely wrong and that he, Barry, could do it better. Things were tough, and a lot of Barry's friends and co-workers were happy to listen, and in fact even encourage Barry to complain ever louder.

Barry soon began to believe that he did, in fact, know better than anyone else how things should be done. Barry began to believe that a diligent effort to learn how things really worked wasn't necessary. In his naivety, Barry actually started to believe that he really could make the important decisions and be a successful leader of a very complex organization. Barry's friends, desperate for a new boss and willing to do anything to get one of their own choosing, supported Barry's adolescent over confidence.

It came to pass that Barry, after a concerted two year effort of constant denigration of the current boss and scores of unrealistic promises to his friends and supporters, actually managed to get the top job.

Unfortunately for young Barry, the job turned out to be just as hard as everyone that wasn't caught up in the false optimism and fervor had tried to tell him. Barry soon found out that he had no clue whatsoever about how to solve the extremely complex problems now facing him. So, what did Barry do?

Barry cried about the unfairness of it all. Barry, who spent years striving to gain the job, the job that he should have known came with the baggage of almost unsurmountable problems, began to complain about the awful mess that he had "inherited." Ignoring the very apparent and very real fact that he had deliberately campaigned to be the man that would solve each and every one of these problems, Barry whined about his misfortune in having been saddled with all of these issues. Barry continued to blame the former boss for the failure of his desperate attempts to rectify the problems, many of which only made the problems worse.

Knowing that he had bitten off far more than he could chew, Barry began to lash out at former supporters that spoke out against some of his more egregiously bad decisions. He attempted to deflect blame for his poor performance onto people that were not even in positions of responsibility. All the while, Barry praised himself for his stellar performance. In his mind, Barry was convinced that only he knew what needed to be done, and anyone that disagreed must be a personal enemy that was wishing for him to fail, and therefore must be destroyed.


[End of Part 1]

Why might pilots be generally conservative?

I saw this on a pilot's blog in reference to the on-going debate over aviation user fees:

...the chanting among the mostly conservative aviation community about socialism, communism, traitorism, etc.

User Fees are a contentious issue as most pilots believe a number of fundamental things:

- Government aviation services are already paid for via a per-gallon fuel tax. This is the same line of thinking that motorists follow when they see a multi-billion Highway Spending Package emerging from our spendaholic Congress despite the fact that billions are collected by the government every year in the for of gasoline taxes.

- Just because the government promises that these fees will only apply to large general aviation airplanes such as business jets, there is no reason to believe that they will not trickle down to the private plane segment. In fact, there is ample reason to distrust the government on this topic because there are multitudinous historical examples to point at, and European/Canadian pilots have already been down this path to the detriment of the entire private aviation industry in those countries. As our government seems hell bent on following the failed European socialism model, there is no reason to believe that this will be any different. As our current government has shown a tendency to encourage rivalry between economic strata within our populace, there is every reason to believe that they will justify their demonization of private pilots as "making the rich pay their fair share for their toys."

- The cost of administering and collecting the fees through the creation of yet another bloated government agency will be so expensive that even a reasonable fee will soon grow into an exorbitant fee as revenues are swallowed by the government machine.

To oppose a change in policy that will very likely result in massive damage to an important industry and will also very likely cause loss of life as pilots attempt to work around fees by forgoing the use of government (or privatized) services whenever possible should not, in my opinion, be categorized as "chanting among the mostly conservative aviation community about socialism, communism, traitorism, etc." But that is not what I want to concentrate on.

I'm more interested in the contention that the piloting community is comprised primarily of people with a conservative viewpoint. I got to wondering if that was truly the case and if so, why that might be. I feel somewhat qualified to comment on this as I myself am a pilot, and I believe myself to be fairly conservative. I spent some time thinking about whether or not there is truly a relationship between being a pilot and having a conservative viewpoint, and I quickly decided that there probably is.

To consider what traits draw a person into wanting to fly an airplane, we have to first delineate the various reasons people want to fly. Some do it because it is an efficient way to travel, for the most part. Others do it simply for the enjoyment of flight. There are certainly cases of both, just as there are as many other reasons as there are pilots. If we go with the gross categories of "efficient travel" and "enjoys the flying," though, I can definitively say that I fall into the latter group. I fly because I love to fly.

That determined, we can then begin to investigate just what it is about flying my own airplane that appeals to me. There are, of course, hundreds of reasons. I like the mastery of the machine. I like the sensations of moving myself and the airplane in five degrees of freedom. But primary among the reasons are that I love the feeling of freedom to go where I want to go, when I want to go, with very few restrictions, I love the feeling that I am in nearly complete control of my destiny, I love the challenge of responding to an ever-changing environment, and I love the feeling that I will succeed or fail entirely on my own merits.

Considering that, would it be any wonder if most pilots found that liberal political beliefs do not fit their viewpoints? Wouldn't it simply make sense that collectivism, nanny-ism, freedom from consequences, poor decision making, and over regulation would be anathema to them? Well, it does to me. I pride myself on the ability to not only make my own decisions but to live with the consequences as well. I'm proud that I have been able to succeed without an overbearing government moving obstacles out of my way. I cringe at the thought of government being the one to decide on winners or losers without any regard to the inherent unfairness involved.

No, I would not be at all surprised to find that the majority of the pool of people that choose to fly because of their love of doing it, and doing it well, are for the most part conservative in other aspects of their lives. And for whatever it's worth, I am opposed to user fees. Adamantly opposed. The reasons should be clear. It should also be clear that those reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with "socialism, communism, traitorism," and I deeply resent the implication that they do.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Plumbing the depths of my incredulity

There were plenty of times during Obama's campaign when I consoled myself with the idea that he would be lucky to get even 10% of his proposed socialistic redistributionist spending schemes accomplished. I was incredulous over the idea that any sane administration would attempt such a sea change in the very fabric upon which the two century success of our merit-based society is embroidered.

Even as billions of dollars were misdirected to liberal pet causes like ACORN and the other rogues galleries of far left organizations under the transparently false rubric of "stimulus" spending, I remained at least hopeful that sanity would prevail before irreversible damage was done to the long-term health of our nation.

I no longer feel that way. New piles of odoriferous government incursions into ever more personal aspects of our lives are now winding their way through a Congress that appears hell bent on the idea of enslaving all of us in their new socialist utopia. There does not appear to be any remaining hope whatsoever of stopping (or even slowing) this government leviathan. Healthcare is next, mortgage bailouts for the greedy, non-productive home "owner" are just over the horizon, and I strongly suspect we will also see legislation that will further erode the idea of rewarding success through personal effort with the passing of card-check laws. I also believe that we will soon see direct attacks leveled against dissent in the revival of the Fairness Doctrine, albeit under the disingenuous renaming of that unconstitutional and reprehensible edict as "diversity of ownership."

I have found that I no longer harbor any hope of even a modicum of sane behavior from either our congress or our president. I also hold out no hope for the judicial branch: we are only one Obama appointment to the Supreme Court away from an unassailable liberal socialist state, aided and abetted by the de facto fourth branch: the press.

If we had life boats on the good ship Titanic America, I'd be getting in line.

I have to confess that I have lost the battle to not develop a personal animosity for our new president. I tried, I truly tried, but his arrogance combined with his rank, amateurish incompetence have overwhelmed me. I believe that he cheapened his campaign by running against Sarah Palin and George Bush rather than his actual opponent, and I believe that he cheapens his presidency by running against Rush Limbaugh. I lost my personal battle to not harbor ill thoughts against Barack Obama himself, and I now find myself struggling mightily to not react in the same way against people that I know to have voted for him.

I still hope to win that battle, though. Sadly, that is the only hope that I still have.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I didn't accept the Fox News interview request



"Mean spirited?" Well, no, not in my opinion. I think it's more a scream of anger and frustration directed against our "elite" do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do government.

To add injury to insult, consider this:

Political Persecution: Audited For TaxCheatStamps.com:

Today I received a letter from the IRS that my 2007 tax returns are being audited. Less than one month after launching TaxCheatStamps.com.


Oh, could be coincidence I suppose. But as the Left likes to say, I question the timing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Free to a good home

Anyone that wants to market these, feel free:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why don't he write?

Well, to be honest, I have had to avert my attention for awhile. I can't adequately express how disappointed I am with the way our Hope & Change government is pursuing the same old "The Answer to Every Problem is to Grow the Government and Increase the Deficit" policies. I can't describe the sinking feeling in my gut that I get every time a member of the O/P/R cabal, and yes, I'm including you, Senator Christopher "In Bed With More Repugnant People Than Barney Frank" Dodd (D-Citibank), opens his/her duplicitous mouth to spew forth further faux justifications to cover their unconscionable pillaging of our Treasury to further their liberal agenda and buy their way into lifetime sinecures.

So, other than that I'm doing fine. How about you?

Monday, February 16, 2009

I said it before...

... and I'll say it again:



It's all in the name.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why there's a hollow feeling in my gut

As president, Barack Obama will restore the American people's trust in their government by making government more open and transparent. Obama will work to reform congressional rules to require all legislative sessions, including committee mark-ups and conference committees, to be conducted in public.

This is obviously yet another campaign promise cavalierly tossed aside by our soon-to-be Worst President Ever, but it's worse than that. Our congress is voting on a bill containing the most far-reaching, most expensive, and most egregiously socialist/liberal collection of wasteful spending ever, and none of them have even read it.

They. Haven't. Even. Read. It.

How can anyone, even a Democrat, vote for a bill that they haven't even read? What exactly are they being paid for? And more importantly, who is it exactly that they are there to represent??

Friday the 13th

There is a good chance that congress will vote on the so-called Stimulus Bill today. The bill will probably pass with no Republican support, other than a couple of RINO senators from the ultra-liberal coastal states. The reason for the complete lack of Republican support is that President Obama is not the uniter he promised to be. In fact, he is far more of a divider than the perpetually maligned George W. Bush ever was. Consider, if you will, the number of Democrats that voted to authorize the liberation of Iraq. That, folks, was bipartisanship, although the large majority of the democrats that voted in favor of it eventually changed their minds in light of political expediency. Or, if you will, became turncoats.

This "stimulus" bill is the polar opposite of a bipartisan effort. This bill was created solely by the rabid Democrats that for some unfathomable reason have been put in leadership positions for the Democratic party. I pity the millions of sane Democrats in our country; they must cringe at the idea of being part and parcel to the Reid/Pelosi leadership. Republican input on the development of the bill was not only unwelcome but forcefully and insultingly rebuffed. As such, the resulting bill is chock full of useless spending and even worse, government growth programs that will plague us for decades and quite possibly for the remainder of the still young 21st century.

One might wonder what became of that "smart young man" who was going to unite our lawmakers, who was going to go through each spending bill line by line looking for wasteful spending, who was going to usher in a new era of politics in Washington DC, and who was going to get a handle on the prolific spending and disastrous deficits of the Republican party. Where is he? Well, he never really existed. That fictional man was nothing more than a combination of media malfeasance and empty, disingenuous words. Oh, and an equally empty resume too.

We now have a president that skated into office based on a meaningless vote against an unpopular war and a grab bag of false promises. We now have a president that only answered one question honestly during the entire campaign. That question? Joe the Plumber's. Obama answered that question honestly: he is a socialist redistributionist. The answer to that question nearly derailed Obama's campaign, but the media (with help from Ohio governmental agencies) rode to the rescue. Their amassed forces were enough to discredit the questioner in the minds of gullible voters, successfully changing the debate from Obama's honest answer to Joe's "dishonest" question.

None of this matters now, of course. The bill is written, the congress will pass it, and the president will sign it. And despite the long-term damage that will result, not a single one of them will pay a political price for it. Why? Because we have spent the last few decades completely absolving more than half of the country from having any responsibility whatsoever to pay the bills incurred by federal spending. In fact, a very large number of them not only pay nothing at all, but receive government handouts. Those people could not care less about government debt; that's someone else's problem.

The someone else they are referring to is the collection of working class people euphemistically referred to as "the rich." Or, more accurately, "the evil rich." See, the only way to salve what little conscience these consumers have over the confiscation of earned wealth from the people that pay the vast majority of the taxes in this country is to demonize the wealth producers. Who are the purported villains behind this massive financial problem? No, not the Barney Franks and the Chris Dodds with their liberal policies that forced banks to make dangerous loans, not the dozens of legislators that accepted gobs of influence money from mortgage companies and pseudo-governmental agencies like Freddie and Fanny, and not the gullible and/or greedy people that took loans that they had to know that they could not afford to pay back. No, the accused villains are those evil CEOs. Now don't get me wrong, greed on the part of the executive management of banks and mortgage agencies surely played a part in this mess. Certainly there are complicit executives in those companies. But how does that fact seem to completely absolve Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the rest of our corrupt government? How is that allowed to happen?

It's allowed to happen because the general public has been taught that private business men and corporations are evil, greedy, and bring no value whatsoever to our society. CEO salaries are presented by the Democrats and their friends in the media as unjustified, egregiously high, and nearly criminal and ripe for governmental regulation. I find it interesting, though, that people making every bit as much money in the sports and entertainment industries don't fall into the same class. We demonize the CEOs of the companies that bring us heat, light, food, medicine, and all of the necessities of life, while we idolize the celebrities that bring us, well..., nothing.

We're told that no CEO is worth that much money. We're told that they must have cheated or committed crimes against society to achieve their wealth. But ask yourself this: how much money did Oprah make last year? Or better yet, how much money has Alex Rodriguez made from his steroid-fueled success in playing what at the end of the day is a meaningless game? Where is the demonization of Oprah??

We are headed down a very dangerous path, a path that has been walked before to catastrophic result. We are walking headlong into a Socialist society led by a charismatic, power-hungry leader. We are allowing the productive members of our society to be classed as the cause of all of our problems. History shows us what comes next, but a large portion of us is willfully blind to the danger, or simply doesn't care for so long as the government will toss them $13 a week out of a trillion dollar spending package.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Catastrophe? Sez who?

Last night:

He (President Obama) pointed to such scenes as proof the country is in a "full-blown crisis" and needs a drastic government response. The president warned that a failure to act could "turn a crisis into a catastrophe," and urged lawmakers to get a bill to his desk without delay.


How often have you heard this? "There's not a moment to spare!" Or, "This deal is only good for today, so you must buy now!" I'm guessing that you, like me, have heard these high pressure sales tactics often enough that alarms go off in your head warning you that you are getting a bad deal forced upon you. It's a well known sales tactic to push hard for the close of the sale before the mark (you!) gets wise to what's going on. After a few times through this maneuver, you learn to just go home and think about it for a few days. In most cases you realize that the person urging you to rush to a decision has a vested interest in making the sale, whether it be a cash commission or some other compensation. You must ultimately base your final decision on the credibility of the person making the argument that time is of the essence.

Let's think about that question of credibility with regards to our young neophyte president. In other words, why should we believe his words of impending doom? Think back to the campaign promises that were made, and then think of the more recent past where we have seen each and every one of those promises tested against reality and found wanting. Seriously, I have seen New Years resolutions last longer than the promises that Obama made to us. Does this young man, this man that was so wrong about the war ("It's lost! Let's bring the troops home. Genocide isn't that big of a deal, just as long as you aren't the victims of it."), this man that has already proven his demagoguery about Gitmo, FISA, renditions, and other purported Bush malfeasance to be exactly what I suspect that it was: nothing more than disingenuous, opportunistic campaign rhetoric, does this man have the credibility to demand a trillion dollars NOW! and expect us to trust his word?

"Fine," you might say, "but this is different. The campaign is over, he won, so why would he lie about this?" Well, I've often heard an expression that I think provides a solid hint to a motive: "Follow the money." Look at the spending earmarks (I suppose they will have a name other than 'earmark', though, since we were promised that there would be no earmarks in this bill. This reminds me of another expression regarding things that quack like ducks...) in the proposed bill, and look at the timing for spending the funds. You will find massive handouts to Democratic pet causes (i.e. locked in voting groups) such as the service unions, education unions, and non-taxpayers looking for enrichment via massive entitlements. The timing of the spending conveniently runs through 2010, 2011, and 2012. Quick question: what happens in 2012 that might interest President Obama?

So there it is. We are being stampeded into spending a trillion or more dollars to create the false impression of a good economy that will last just long enough to aid with Obama's election to a second term. After that the money runs out and we're stuck with paying the piper, but because of term limits Obama couldn't care less about that. This "stimulus" is nothing more than the taxpayer funded aggrandizement of Barack Obama as our Savior, with (to him and his fellow travelers) the salutary effect of also pushing us permanently into the European model of a second rate Socialist country where the super majority of the citizenry is entirely dependent on a gigantic government to provide a subsistence level standard of living. The minority? They get to pay for it all with their hard work, only to find their own standard of living dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

Joe the Plumber tried to warn us, but 53% of us would not listen. I understand why, of course. The alternative, John McCain, was an abysmally bad candidate. It's possible, though, that he might have stood up to our ridiculously bad congress and forced them to create a better package, but I doubt it. Our government seems that it may have reached a tipping point where both parties and all four branches (I include the press as a branch of government now) are complicit in this massive new power grab.

Why would they do this? Simple. Follow the money. Oh, and consider one further Obama comment:

"Only government can save us." Isn't that somewhat (or, well, a whole lot) ironic when you consider that it was government that created this mess? When you consider that the power we've given to government to regulate the financial industries involved came with the responsibility to avoid this type of so-called catastrophe?

Yeah, I find that to be painfully ironic.

So, you're no doubt asking yourselves what can be done? Clearly there is at least some kind of problem here, and government simply has to do something. Well, why couldn't we try a lower risk/higher gain plan first:

Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, is pushing a better idea: The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START).

Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog caucus of occasionally conservative Democrats. His START plan is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website.


Doesn't that sound like a far better idea? An idea that better addresses the actual problem and has an exit clause if it actually succeeds in solving the problem? Sure it does. But the critical flaw, the single reason that it will go nowhere, is that it does nothing to help grow Obama's government. In other words, it doesn't address the issue most important to Obama and the Democratic majority congress: keeping them in their jobs.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More on that civil disobedience thing

I'd like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic and almost universally supportive feedback. This sudden attention to my lowly blog has been almost overwhelming. Right on the heels of the Instapundit link came a link from Michelle Malkin. Soon after that came a phone call from Fox News requesting an interview. And this, I think, is where I get off the publicity bus.

The idea is out there, and people will do with it what they will. It is obvious that I merely tapped into quite a lode of taxpayer resentment, and that is a good thing. Being interviewed by Fox News, though, is something I can do without. I know it sounds silly for a guy venting through a political blog to say that he's not looking for publicity, but to a large degree that is the case with me. This blog had maybe 400 hits across a five month period. I had four or five other bloggers that stopped by now and then, and we had nice little conversations. I enjoyed it; it was therapeutic.

I was OK with the Instapundit link; those folks drop in, read the post, and the vast majority of them move on. After a week or so, things taper off to a much more comfortable level. But being interviewed on Fox News is a very different situation. Witness what happened to Joe the Plumber for simply asking a question of then-candidate Obama. This is the nature of today's political discourse, and I'm pretty sure I want nothing to do with it. For me, it's enough to know that I am not alone in my frustration with our political class and their elitist attitudes. I don't need my two or three minutes of fame, and to be honest, I can't see anything good coming of it.

Don't get me wrong: I have no outstanding tax liens or missed child support payments to worry about. I just don't want the inevitable phone calls and letters. I used to write letters to the local newspaper, and when they were printed I could count on a phone call or letter from someone that disagreed with me but didn't consider the public forum of the newspaper to be a suitably direct way to share their opinions with me. I have to think that talking with Fox News would have the same effect, albeit 1000 times worse.

So, there it is. I will still write to this blog as the mood suits me, but I am not inclined to seek publicity for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why should I care?

It seems more and more likely that we will be saddled with a massive new government spending program as Congress embarks on its reenactment of an old Richard Pryor film, Brewster's Millions. The premise of the movie had something to do with a requirement that Pryor spend $30 million in 30 days without having anything at the end to show for it. I find this to be an apt analogy has Congress attempts to spend $1 trillion simply to be spending it. They neither want nor expect to get anything out of if, absent a massive enlargement of an already bloated government.

Public opinion is not behind this bill, although roughly 37% of us think it's just fine. Some of that percentage is surely simple partisanship: "if the Republicans are against it, them I'm for it." I also suspect that a good portion of those people support it because they think they will be on the receiving end of buckets of good 'ole free government money. In that they are probably correct, particularly if they belong to one of the liberal pet identity groups. Sure, they recognize that it's a lot of money, but they seem to be thinking "Why should I care?"

I believe that they are thinking that way because they pay no taxes themselves, so they think that they will not be on the hook for the tremendous cost of this spending orgy. I think they are sadly mistaken. There is simply no way that the government can throw away a trillion dollars that they don't have without causing a devaluation of the dollar. That doesn't even consider the further trillions that will be required to keep the newly bloated government going after the stimulus dollars are all spent. These people are going to find that the inevitable inflation and incumbent loss in buying power is going to hit them a lot harder than those that can better absorb such losses.

I think they will find out far too late that they should have cared.

How you know when the honeymoon is officially over

You have to dance around uncomfortable issues:



And if you're really awful at dancing, go sit in corner and pout. Ignoring the "What's wrong, Honey" question with the silent treatment or changing the subject? It's not going to work.

I don't think Jake will be getting any for awhile. (Any questions answered, that is. Get your minds out of the gutter, folks.)

Back to obscurity

It's tough when the party's over. The 11,000 unexpected guests from yesterday's Instalanche are gone and the house just seems so..... empty. Some will check in now and then, but most have moved on to the big party down the street, never to return. I'm proud of them all, though. 11,000+ visitors and 33 comments and not a single objectionable comment. Granted, the promotion of Geithner to the position he's in after the revelation of his rather obvious lack of fidelity to our shared burden is not in the least bit defensible, so I would have been somewhat surprised had anyone attempted to do so, but I've been on the Internet long enough to know that there is always someone that wants to pick a fight.

There were a couple of comments that pointed out that my little acts of intended vandalism do not count as civil disobedience. As a legal term, that may or may not be true, but I don't really see any reason to be pedantic about it. I suppose "non-violent protest" may be a better term for it, especially as I do not consider what I (and others, judging by the comments) will be doing to rise to the bravery shown by those that came before. People like Rosa Parks took far more risky actions than a small act of monetary vandalism entails, and the norms and mores of discriminatory society that she was protesting were far more important than my protest against a tax cheat sitting in a high government position. So, rest assured that I am aware of the scope (and ultimate futility, for that matter) of this gesture.

All of that being said, we have to start somewhere. We have to tell our elected legislators that we have had enough of their elitism, their unquenchable thirst for ever more power over us, and their abject failure to abide by the rules, laws, and regulations that they so cavalierly foist upon us, the very people that elected them to represent us. They need to understand that we are a sleeping giant, but that we can be awakened. They must know to their very cores that we Citizens acting as a group are to be respected, not herded. We are keenly aware of their hypocrisy, and we do not intend to sit silent while they endeavor to destroy our freedoms while granting themselves latitude to impose more and more shackles on our society.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Civil Disobedience



I think it's time for a comeback for civil disobedience. The only thing that angers me more than the rampant elitism and corruption in our government is that apparent tolerance for it that was demonstrated most recently with the appointment of what is almost certainly a tax cheat as the Treasury Secretary. Surely I am not alone in wondering why I am a big enough sap to pay tens of thousands of dollars in Federal taxes each and every year, while our Washington bureaucrats seem to get away consequence free with a pattern of cheating and fraud. And please, don't tell me Tom Daschle didn't get away with it. Sure, he lost his position for a cabinet position, but don't you think he will be laughing all the way back to his millions-a-year "consulting" gig? Will he be prosecuted for his fraud like I would be? Did he pay any penalties? No, and no.

Since my single, solitary vote is nothing more than a BB in a machine gun world, I intend to start practicing civil disobedience. In the case of Treasury Secretary Geithner, I am going to have a rubber stamp made that says "Tax Cheat!" in block letters. Every time I see a piece of paper currency with Geithner's signature on it, I am going to stamp over his name with my Tax Cheat stamp. Sure, this action is just as futile as my vote, but eventually maybe others will reach the same conclusion that I have: it is far past time to make our voices heard.

Update:

It looks like it's super easy and cheap to get a custom rubber stamp made. I was able to specify one at www.thestampmaker.com in just a couple of minutes, for a cost of $6.50 for a wooden handle manual stamp.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I don't blame Obama


I was hoping that there would come a time when I could say that. It helps me to feel that I am being at least as fair in my judgement of Obama as the left was in their treatment of Bush. Ok, that was a joke, since we all know how they  were.  But really, I am unclear as to how the tax problems crawling out from overturned rocks like so many roaches are Obama's fault. Sure, the vetting process should have caught these, but you have to keep in mind that these people are career cheaters and are sheltered by the close relationship between themselves and a complicit Washington cabal of quid pro quo compatriots.  They have been hiding these practices in the plain sight of an uncaring peer group for so long that it's nearly impossible to uncover their tracks.

My only criticism of Obama in these cases is the same criticism I had with Bush: it takes far too long to do the right thing and toss these crooks aside.  I think he will learn to get aggressively out in front of these issues, though, and hold these ethically challenged hypocrites to the higher standard that he promised during the campaign.

Or not. Time will tell.  

Update: 

The more I think about it, the more I grow somewhat irate with Obama's faux mea culpa. As I commented on The Black Sphere, 

If Obama were truly admitting to having made a mistake with Daschle, his first act of contrition would be to fire the even bigger cheat, Tim Geithner. That won't happen, you can be sure.

Obama's problem with picking a cabinet is his raw inexperience. He knows nothing about the jobs he is trying to fill, so, just as he did with Biden, he's trying to make "safe" picks from the vast pool of calcified and entrenched Washington insiders. It's going to be an on-going battle. While he himself somehow managed a perceived immaculate conception from the corrupt womb of Chicago politics, he is going to find that anyone he picks from the pool of Washington Corruptocrats is going to be tainted in one way or another.

In my opinion, Obama is the chihuahua that chased a garbage truck and now has no idea what to do with it now that he's caught it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Doing my taxes differently this year

That's it. I am done with the 1040, Schedule A, B, D, and a handful of other forms. My original plan with to get the TurboTax Extreme(tm) version this year, hoping that I would be able to use the Geithner/Rangel options to reduce my overall payment. Not now, though. I've found an even better way.

I'm doing my taxes on the new IRSForm 1040dem this year. It's even easier than the 1040EZ, the only IRS form that can be filled out with a crayon. With the 1040dem, you just take the form, wad it up, and throw it away. One caveat: you have to fill out a Schedule OOPS if you ever get nominated for a high visibility position, but the chances of that ever happening in my case are virtually nil. In other words, I have as much chance of being appointed to a powerful government position as the chance that a Democrat will actually pay his taxes.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm beginning to understand liberal anger

I have recently begun to understand the deep, visceral anger liberals held towards George W. Bush for liberating Iraq. They felt that our government was overstepping its authority by toppling a regime as a proactive defensive measure. I can empathize with their beliefs on this question as I too was a fence sitter - my opinion shifted back and forth any number of times. Where I parted with those folks, though, was after the decision was made and they began to actively agitate for surrender, no matter what the cost in lives. I chose the other path: to support our troops, their mission, and their Commander-in-Chief to my fullest. They, on the other hand, developed a burning and vocal anger towards their only recognized enemy: George W. Bush.

The reason I am more in tune with how that anger felt to them is the corrupt "stimulus" bill being ramrodded through a Democratic majority Congress. This bill is jammed full of ridiculous expenditures such as more than $4 billion targeted to liberal get-out-and-steal-the-vote organizations such as ACORN, a partisan group which is already under investigation for rampant election fraud. There's another $600 million for new cars for government employees. There are numerous examples of expenditures (condoms??) that not only don't stimulate anything in the economy, but ought not even be considered to be constitutional. The idea of my tax dollars going to those liberal pet projects offends me. But... I'm sure that's how opponents of the war felt, and I have to respect that this is just a matter of my ox being gored.

Naturally, I'm also concerned about the cost of the bill. I've seen various amounts bandied about, but let's just agree for the sake of argument that it's a cool trillion dollars. The number is simply staggering to me, and I have no idea how we're ever going to pay for it. The fact that Congress seems to think that it's just fine and nothing to worry about, combined with the promise to impose fiscal responsibility by candidate Obama which is clearly going to go unmet, has me quite ticked off.

As of today, there are those that hold out hope that a GOP filibuster in the Senate will halt the bill. I don't think that is what will happen. I predict one of two things will happen in the Senate. First, either John McCain or George Voinovich (or even more likely, both) will vote with the Democrats for cloture. Voinovich, because Ohio would stand to receive billions of dollars and he himself is a RINO. McCain will vote with the Democrats as revenge against the Republicans that stayed home on November 4th rather than vote for a candidate they despised. And, of course, because he is a RINO.

The other thing that could happen is that the Democrats will win over the handful of GOP votes needed by adding tax cuts to the package. The Republicans will, to their ultimate regret, be unable to resist. Why will they regret it? They will regret it because Democrats are better politicians than the Republicans are. The Democrats will run campaign ads next year where they trumpet that their spending was intended to help out the lower and middle classes by directing Federal dollars their way, while the Evil Republicans cravenly increased the cost of the bill by holding out for more tax cuts for the rich.

So, it's a trillion dollars that will go to waste. I try to console myself with the idea that we spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and surely anti-war Democrats believed that that was too expensive. I try to convince myself that this is again just my ox being gored, but it just doesn't work. I can't help comparing what we got for our money before with what we can expect to get now. The billions spent in Afghanistan removed a regime that had directly attacked us, and surely would again. The billions spent in Iraq liberated 25 million people and removed a regime that may not have directly attacked us, but had repeatedly threatened to. And, as I believe, surely would have eventually.

The Democratic stimulus package has the opposite goal: it will spend a trillion dollars to enslave 100,000,000 America taxpayers to decades of debt with no discernible offsetting benefit at all. Yes, I now fully understand the anger one can feel towards their government. Fully.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A letter I sent to our local puppy-training paper

Once again our so-called Republican Senator, George Voinovich, has tossed aside any principles he may have to vote with his friends on the Democratic side of the Senate aisle. Despite almost irrefutable evidence that he cheated on his taxes for at least four years, Timothy Geithner, President Obama's nominee for the position of Secretary of the Treasury, received a vote of approval from Senator Voinovich.

While Geithner alleges that his underpayment of taxes owed to the IRS was a simple mistake, many less credulous Senators, including some Democrats, felt his explanations were far from honest or even remotely believable. Even when notified that he had failed to pay the correct amount of tax, Geithner only paid for the years that were still within the statute of limitations until, that is, he was nominated for a high-level position in the Obama administration. At that point he felt suddenly compelled to pay the remainder of what he owed.

President Obama promised us the most transparent and least corrupt administration ever, but we are already seeing that he will not even attempt to deliver on that promise. He has nominated, and George Voinovich has approved, a man that cheated on his taxes to a position that oversees the Internal Revenue Service.

Is this really the change we were hoping for?


They won't print it, of course. They haven't even reported on the nomination or the Senate vote. So, so typical.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How long will it sell?


There sure is a lot of "it's Bush's fault" emanating from the nascent Obama administration, most often taking the form of "it's so bollocksed up that it's going to take longer to fix than anticipated." Conveniently, the time period being proffered before we can expect to see the "damage" repaired extends into a second Obama term. Fool me once, shame on you...

This is a very convenient strategy, which explains why it is used so often by first term presidents. But how long can it be used? At some point, when do people start pushing back and say "enough is enough?"  Isn't there a particular risk to Obama that people will start to ask whether they wouldn't have been better off voting for a candidate with more experience? A candidate that wouldn't have been quite so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job? A candidate that knew better than to bite off more than (s)he could chew?

Because, you see, I'm already there. The progression has been accelerated by the complete and total lack of grace on the part of the Neophyte Executive.  He bashed the former president in his inaugural (CHANGE!!) speech, he bashes the former president on Whitehouse.gov, which is ostensibly The Web Site of the People, and he squelches debate on a trillion dollar spending bill by telling GOP legislators that "he won," and by attacking a private citizen that just happens to have a loyal following for his radio program.

I am not impressed.  Oddly enough, I never expected to be, but the pace at which President Obama has descended into the mire of "politics as usual" has surprised even me, despite the low level of expectation I had from the beginning. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama's "mandate"

I suppose it's normal for the winning side in a presidential election to feel validated in their choice of candidate, and there are also always those that want more than just the limited powers of the office; they also want their new president to be able to summarily push aside any opposition to his plans because of his "mandate" from the people. Most often, the argument for the existence of this mandate is the magnitude of the victory.

What they fail to realize is that the margin of victory does not indicate a mandate from the people to institute drastic policy changes. Rather, it indicates that the opposition fielded a horrendously bad candidate. This was true with Bush's supposed mandate after his defeat of the eminently unlikeable John Kerry, and it is equally true with Obama's victory over the despicable and duplicitous John McCain.

As an example of the causes for the abject undesirability of John McCain, consider this:

A joke made its way around the Capitol yesterday: How do you know the 2008 election is really over? Because John McCain is causing trouble for Republicans again.

Two and a half months removed from his defeat in the race for the presidency, colleagues say, McCain bears more resemblance to the unpredictable and frequently bipartisan lawmaker they have served with for decades than the man who ran an often scathing campaign against Barack Obama. In some instances, he's even carrying water for his former rival.

"Mac is back!" one of his devoted friends in the Senate declared as McCain walked into the chamber Wednesday to deliver his first speech of the 111th Congress: a blunt admonishment of Republicans delaying Hillary Rodham Clinton's confirmation as secretary of state.

"I remind all my colleagues: We had an election," McCain noted. "I think the message the American people are sending us now is they want us to work together, and get to work."


No, John, that is absolutely not the message the American people are sending. The message from very nearly half of the American people is that the Republican Party has so lost its way that it is firmly in need of a top-to-bottom restructuring. The voters are trying to tell the Republican Party that they have had it with the "go along to get along" policies of the milquetoast Republican leadership.

John McCain may think that 48% voted for him, but he is wrong. A large percentage of those people were, in fact, voting for Sarah Palin, who is by far the most vibrant Republican candidate to emerge in decades. They were voting for the future of the party, a future that does not include tired, ossified relics of the past such as Sen. McCain. The long-term viability of the GOP is dependent on out-of-touch plutocrats like McCain either moving aside of their own accord or being pushed aside by disaffected voters.

There's your mandate, Sen. McCain.

Obama almost-kinda-sorta closing of Gitmo

I have one question that I have not seen adequately answered in my perusal of internet punditry:

If military tribunals are inadequate and unconstitutional for suspected terrorists, why are they sufficient for our fellow citizens that are voluntarily serving us in our military?


Now, I do not believe for one second that Obama's proposed closing of the detention facility colloquially known as "Gitmo" will occur, or if it does it will simply be to a new location with the same net result for the detainees. Obama cannot and will not make the hard decision that he has promised. He simply cannot take the risk of being the one responsible for the release of a prisoner that subsequently plans and/or participates in a terrorist action that costs innocent lives. He cannot return detainees to their country of origin where they will surely be tortured and/or summarily executed. These are, of course, the same impossible choices that president Bush was faced with, and the current situation in Gitmo was the only solution possible. President Bush didn't like it either, I am quite sure.

So, what will he do? He will either do what Bush did, which was to just live with it as it is, or he will re-package the whole thing in liberal niceties and move it to a new venue. No other option exists that does not put him in a position of personal responsibility to the inevitable results. I have seen nothing in his behavior to date that would indicate to me that he is willing to take on the personal risk involved in any other course of action.

The facade is already beginning to slip....

From Politico:

President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

The president was quickly saved by a cameraman in the room who called out: “I’d like to say it one more time: ‘Mr. President.’ ”


The last sentence says it all. Obsequious subservience in the press - that's the new standard? Well, it is a change, but not the one we've been waiting for.

Media-created Perceptions

Media-created perceptions: they don't work with me. I am immune to the press and their Jedi mind tricks. Despite years of relentless effort to convince me that George W. Bush was an illiterate, genocidal sock puppet under the control of an evil consortium of oil companies, Halliburton, and Vice President Cheney, I never bought into it.

Similarly, the press will not be able to convince me that our new president, with his oratory style of delivering meaningless platitudes and empty promises with the fervor of a southern Baptist minister, is anything more than a small dog that chased a large car, caught it, and now has no idea what to do with it.

Rather, my judgment of President Obama will be based on his actions and their results, not his melodious words. My opinion will also be formulated by watching Obama's reactions to the consequences of his decisions. His predecessor stood by his decisions and never succumbed to the temptation to lay blame on others. In fact, he was so loyal to his people that it was a bit of a weakness. Obama on the other hand seems to always be able to find a staffer or former associate (or former president, for that matter) to take the blame for any adverse events or consequences to his words or (in)actions.

This is not to discount the benefits of being able to rally the public behind your cause. Quite the opposite, in fact. The inability to sell his ideas to the general public over the din of our malicious press was a primary reason for Bush's abysmal approval ratings. That said, words must be backed by actions or they are meaningless. Forceful words must be backed by forceful leadership. Bush had the traits of a strong leader. Only time will tell if Obama is capable of the same.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A trillion dollar stimulus package?

In a nutshell, this is what I think about the bipartisan plans to piss away a trillion dollars on liberal wish-list projects that would never make it through the regular approval channels of even our spend-like-drunken-sailors congress:

"Trying to jump start our over-leveraged economy by throwing a trillion dollars of wasteful spending at it is like trying to jump start a car with an empty gas tank by using a 24V battery: it will go through the motions for awhile, but it will never run on its own."

You may quote me on that.

Aspirations

From The Corner at National Review:

Obama and the Aspirations of Black Kids [Peter Kirsanow]
During the course of the presidential campaign the media sporadically asked young blacks what effect the Obama candidacy had on their aspirations. Similar interviews were broadcast on Inauguration Day.

The responses were fairly uniform: The Obama candidacy/presidency revealed that blacks could achieve anything. New horizons had been opened.


I'm not black, and as such I have no idea whatsoever what living with such a limited view of my prospects would be like. That said, I do not believe the country needed the election of Barack Obama to show black children what they could achieve. What the country needed was a press that celebrated the ascendancy of a black man to a leadership position. Previous examples, such as Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, abound. To the Democrats and the press, however, those examples simply weren't presentable as valid role models because they are (or were, in at least one case) conservative Republicans, and were therefore to be mocked, belittled, and vilified by the Democrats and their fellow travellers in the press. These children could and should have been presented with these role models years ago. It is the party of diversity and tolerance that prevented it from happening.

Now the Democrats have their black hero, a man that they will credit with having shown the light to those behind him. They have a black man that toes their line and shares their beliefs, and therefore can be used as a bright, shining light of an equality that already existed, just not in the flavor that they preferred. I have been saying it for years, and I will say it again: liberal Democrats have no true interest in diversity at all; they instead are in search of multi-hued conformity.

Still, at the end of the day this is a good thing. Perhaps now people will get over their perceptions of limited opportunity and begin to strive for better lives for themselves, rather than become mired in their mistaken belief that they cannot attain greatness in this country. Perhaps.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The false perception of intellect

We've all seen it to some degree or another. Most commonly it appears when some Hollywood star or starlet holds forth on a difficult and important subject, and his or her utterances are treated as some kind of epiphany from a God-like genius. Why is that? Why would a high school dropout's opinion be given any more credence that anyone else's? I hereby postulate a theory: it is easier to act intelligent than it is to be intelligent. A large percentage of our population can't tell the difference between acting intelligent and being intelligent, so those that are very good actors enjoy a level of credibility that they by no means deserve.

Consider this quote from Thomas Sowell (yes, I go to that well quite often):

A sense of logic underlies a sense of humor.


Now, I know I'm going out on a limb when I equate a sense of logic with intelligence, but I don't think it is too much of a stretch to state that a sense of logic is at least a form of intelligence. Work with me on this one, if only for the sake of seeing where I am headed with this.

I watched a documentary about the inner sanctums of the White House last night, and part of it involved interviews with the former tenant, George W. Bush. I was taken aback by the lucidity and humor President Bush wielded in extemporaneous speaking, even more so when I reflected back on his utter inability to correctly read a sentence from a prepared speech. The quickness of his verbal wit reminded me of the Sowell quote above, and it showed me that President Bush, despite years of the incessant media yammering about his stupidity, is actually quite intelligent.

I was also struck by how Bush is the polar opposite of the new tenant. President Obama has a (media created) reputation for being quite intelligent based on his ability to read a prepared speech. Away from the dais, though, he stammers and uh's his way through sentences, and I have yet to hear him say anything even remotely funny. I'm left wondering if my theory holds true and if Obama's owes the credibility he seems to have with a majority of our population simply to the fact that he is a better actor.

Time will tell, I suppose. Really, it's just a theory.

A promise President Obama intends to honor

From Politico:

The new White House website unveiled by President Barack Obama’s team Tuesday includes a shot at former President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Under the “agenda” portion of the site regarding Katrina, it reads: “President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.”


Unable or unwilling to keep his own promises, chief amongst them the promise to deliver us from exactly this type of finger pointing and petty snark, Obama is now promising to honor a promise made by the Bush administration.

Personally, this is a promise that I'd prefer be allowed to go unfulfilled. I think it is a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars to rebuild a natural-disaster-in-waiting. The so-called failure of government has already been addressed, of course, with the election of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal to replace the corrupt and incompetent Kathleen Blanco. Unfortunately, they're still stuck with Ray "What Buses?" Nagin; perhaps President Obama can do something about that if he's so interested in the well-being of New Orleans.

"Yes, Daddy. As you say, Daddy."

This is why I think that life under an Obama administration is going to be just like moving back in with your parents:

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.


Now, I am assuming that President Obama was not referring to the "petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas" of his own party, although I believe that he should have been. No, what he is doing here is trivializing the beliefs of Conservatives and Republicans. The inevitable policy debates have not yet begun and he has accused those that disagree with him of being whiny, childish infants.

Frankly, I've had quite enough of "Do as I say, not as I do" from Democrats and Republicans alike. If President Obama cannot respect the fact that we are entitled to differences of opinion on major policy decisions, he is starting off on the path of another four years of bitter division and partisanship. I'm pretty sure that this is not the Change we were Hoping for.

"Repairing the damage"

President Obama used a portion of his inaugural speech to back peddle on some of his more lofty campaign promises, which was really just the culmination of a two month long effort to "reduce expectations." Implicit in his speech was the idea that Bush's administration had made such an mess of things that it might take more than one term for Obama to get things right.

That put me in mind of this quote from the venerable Thomas Sowell:

A politician with good rhetorical skills can create a new Garden of Eden in people's minds, though only in their minds. However, that is sufficient, if that vision or illusion can be kept alive until election day, and its failure to materialize afterwards can be explained away by the obstruction of villains.


Do you see the pattern here? Unrealistic promises made during a two year campaign, sold to a credulous populace hungry for a fresh face in Washington with soaring rhetoric and faux passion, but in the end impossible to fulfill. What to do, what to do...

Easy! Preemptively blame the failure to bring about the promised liberal Utopia on Bush. Why not? No one has ever gone wrong in this country by blaming the reviled President Bush.

This is the Change we were looking for?

"Now I have a President"

I've seen a lot of this in Twitter heard it around the office: "Now I finally have a President," or "Obama is my President." The implication here is obvious: the persons involved are saying that they did not recognize George W. Bush as their President.

I responded to one on Twitter: "Obama is my president comments: so was the last guy, and shame on you for not knowing that. I've had 10 of them, if I liked 'em or not."

This was a reply received from a young woman in New York: "we're all entitled to our feelings. mine happen to be that i in no way felt represented by gwb, and i do by obama. don't hate."

I replied, "It's not hate, it's that I have a military background. We didn't pick & choose our C-in-C. All presidents were our president."

It's that last sentence that I think is the most important. People that believe it is the function of the President to represent them as individuals are mistaken, in my opinion. That's (ostensibly, but that's a subject for another posting) the function of the House of Representatives. The President's function is to the represent the interests of the nation as a whole. No one will agree with every decision made by the President, and many will disagree with every decision made by the President. None of that matters at an individual level. Our nation is a consortium of 300,000,000 interests, beliefs, and desires. Our nation is represented as a whole by the individual selected through a free election. Our nation, and every single one of its citizens as a collective, is represented by its President, whether any individual citizen supports him (or her, someday) or not.

This is the strength of our country, and it saddens me to see people refusing to acknowledge the validity of the decision made by the country as a whole. It divides us, and the divided are easily conquered.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The problem with my over active sense of fairness

I've been aware of it for years: I have an over active sense of fair play. I can't tolerate cheaters, liars, self-aggrandizing braggarts, and posers. Naturally, these are the traits that define a politician. It's only normal that I find national politics and the personalities involved to be repellent and obnoxious. It's worse than just politics, though. It pervades both my work and personal lives.

Here's an example: I once worked with a software developer that had a difficult bug to find and requested my assistance. I worked on his problem and eventually resolved it. I later overheard him telling his manager that he had fixed that pesky bug. That happened 20 years ago. He popped up on my LinkedIn the other day, requesting that I approve him as a friend, or whatever they call it. I stewed it over for a few days, then decided to ignore his request. Yes, long time to hold a grudge over something that small, but I just don't want to be associated with someone I have known to be dishonest and unfair.

This personal viewpoint is why I have such a problem with the way we're taxed by our government. Unfairness abounds in the entire process. I have to spend hours and hours every year stressing over the complexity of accounting for every penny earned, saved, or lost to an organization that has not been able to balance their own books. At the end of the process, I'm rewarded with the knowledge that I have paid more tax than 95% of the country. Is it any wonder that I become livid with rage when I hear some politician telling me that I am not paying my fair share because, you see, I think I am already paying far more than my fair share.

All of this is to say that I find myself in an uncomfortable position with regards to President Obama. On the one hand, every single promise he made during his campaign was repulsive to me. Ever-larger handouts to the hands-out crowd, surrender in Iraq while on the cusp of victory, elevating the postures of vile dictators by giving them the unjustified attention that they crave, and every other far-left idea his base was clamoring for. He deliberately misrepresented statements from his competition, he gracelessly tossed aside former compatriots in the interest of political expediency, and he not only reneged one his promise to fore go campaign spending limits but exacerbated that reversal by collecting millions of dollars without any fraud controls in place whatsoever.

On the other hand, now that the election is won he is softening his stance on some of his more onerous stances. Gitmo may take awhile to close down, ostensibly because an absentee Senator could not possibly have known what he knows now. The same 16 month retreat from Iraq two years ago is still 16 months, but the thing is just about done now so that should be painless. He's extending a hand to McCain, no doubt in the hopes of The Maverick giving Harry Reid his filibuster-proof majority. So, in effect, he has moved close enough to the center to be wildly annoying to me, but not dangerous.

Here's the crux of the problem: he can't win with me. If he delivers on his campaign promises, I will be opposed to him because he is dangerously naive. But if he basically runs the same administration McCain would have and retains some decent portion of the more successful Bush policies, I will despise him as a lying cheater that succeeded by running a do-anything, say-anything campaign. In other words, for being a cheater, liar, self-aggrandizing braggart, and a poser.

That's just politics, as they say, despite Obama's promise to bring us a new kind of politics. Just another broken promise, I say. No matter what he does as President, I won't be accepting him as a friend on my LinkedIn account.

Democrats: The Party of Leading by Example

Item:
The crowd packed on the west side of the Capitol grounds serenaded President Bush in mocking fashion when he took to the inaugural stage alongside Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good-bye," a section of the crowd chanted.

The crowd packed immediately below the podium received Bush in stony silence when he took his seat on the stage surrounding the podium where Barack Obama was scheduled to take the oath office to become the 44th president of the United States.

The jeers are among the final public feedback Bush will receive as president.


Item:
With 11 million Americans out of work and trillions of dollars lost in the stock market's tumble, Obama emphasized that his biggest challenge is to repair the tattered economy left behind by outgoing President George W. Bush.
"Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed," Obama said in an undisguised shot at Bush administration policies. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America."


Item:
Obama called for a political truce in Washington to end "the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."


Way to show your class, Obama and followers. You've spent eight years tearing down an American President, you've finally got the most liberal president in the history of our country, a man so liberal that he couldn't even wait to be sworn in before throwing a trillion dollars at every liberal's pet causes, all in the name of stimulating an economy being ruined by decades of liberal policies, and you can't even be good sports about it. You mock the departing president, Obama continues to point his naive finger-of-blame at the wrong man.

Yet... he has the nerve to ask that all of these sins be forgiven now in the interest of "Change" and "Patriotism", as long as he gets the last punch in. It wasn't risky or difficult, of course, since the outgoing president has been exemplary in his refusal to react in kind. For eight long years of being vilified, mocked, denigrated, and called every despicable name under the sun, he still takes the high road. This is leading by example, a concept apparently completely foreign to our new president and our existing congress. Really, don't get me started on congress!

Compare the above to this:

Item:
Bush — following tradition — left a note for Obama in the top drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the theme of the message — which Bush wrote on Monday — was similar to what he has said since election night: that Obama is about to begin a "fabulous new chapter" in the United States, and that he wishes him well.


All reports indicate that the departing White House staff left all of the 'O' keys on the keyboards too.

I am neither Republican nor Democrat, but when forced to choose between the two, I will nearly always side with the Republicans. The Democratic Party is the party of intolerance of any views but their own, a party that defines "freedom" as the freedom to make others follow their Democratic liberal ideals. The Democrats are the party of re-defining words to suit their purposes: "Hero," used to describe a malingerer like John Kerry; "Choice" to mean mandatory abortion, "Ethics" to mean facing no consequences when caught with their hands in the public cookie jar; "Patriotism" to mean treasonous activities used to destroy the credibility of our nation; and "Partisanship" to mean capitulating to their demands.

Obama and the Democratic party need to reacquaint themselves with the Golden Rule: Treat Presidents of the other party as you would have a President from your party treated. Failing that, at least have the grace to comport yourselves as adults at your victory party.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet the New Double Standard, Same as the old Clintonian Double Standard

In the interest of fairness, I've been trying to hold off on formulating an initial opinion on the Obama presidency until such time as he is actually, well, President. I'd say today is close enough to the end of the transition period that I can reflect back on it and share a few personal observations. First and foremost, it appears that any hopes that I had been harboring that Obama would be held to the same standards that Bush was are going to go unfulfilled. The evidence of an extreme double standard is already stacking up.

I first became aware of this as Obama was selecting candidates for his cabinet and associated positions. Promises of a break from the old K-Street to 1200 PennAve casting model which brought professional lobbyists into positions of more direct influence died without much of a whimper, the press reporting in more of an "Oh, isn't that cute" manner.

Other examples are not the least bit hard to come by. "I will close Gitmo on the first day" has become "Hey, this is really rather complicated - I might need some more time." Now don't get me wrong: I've never bought into the press hype about Gitmo being no better than Saddam's torture rooms. I've read articles penned by people that actually went to Gitmo and provided more truthful and rational descriptions than the "run with the pack" press. I think it's perfectly fine to hold the current tenants until such time as they are no longer a threat as long as they are provided form of judiciary hearing. The fact that it is a military hearing does not bother me in the least; it's the same judicial process our soldiers would go through, or near enough to it to suit me.

My problem is not with Obama's new ostensible recognition that perhaps Gitmo is the best solution to a difficult issue. No, I welcome that. My problem is the duplicity. Obama spent two years decrying our efforts there, not to mention his efforts to force us into an ignominious surrender and ensuing defeat in Iraq. As a Senator, had he ever attempted to, you know, act in that capacity, he would have had access to every bit of data needed to fully understand why Gitmo is what it is. In fact, he could have gone there, at no cost to himself. He had to know that things there were not as described by the Bush-hating press. Yet he still used Gitmo as an issue with which to bludgeon our president and, more importantly, demean our military.

Sure, that's just politics as usual. But you see, there was one promise made by candidate Obama that he could have fulfilled without depending on a recalcitrant Congress: a change to the way we do political campaigning. Instead, he followed the same tired path, and along the way set new low standards for corruption in campaign contributions (lax or non-existent verification of credit card contributions), cherry-picking and decontextualization of statements (we'll be fighting a war in Iraq for 100 years), and slimy tactics (ask Hillary). The double standard applied by the press swept all of this under the rug and they now proclaim in their reporting that the Obama Campaign was the cleanest ever.

Still, that's water under the bridge. We will turn the page tomorrow and let bygones be bygones. Perhaps the press and blogosphere will take a fresher and more critical look at the actions of President Obama. Or, perhaps not. They sure don't seem to be nearly as upset with a $100 million plus inauguration (with $15 million being plundered from FEMA emergency funds) as they were with Bush's $40 million soirée just four short years ago.

Oh, and do you remember how Bush was going to create a fascist, dictator state? How he wouldn't relinquish control at the end of his term(s)? About how the evil Republicans would rule us all, forever and ever, Amen? How about this, then:

HJ 5 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. J. RES. 5

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 2009

Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

‘Article--

‘The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.’.




You will no doubt be shocked, shocked to learn that the sponsor of this bill is Rep. Jose Serrano, Democratic Representative from the 16th NY district.

I simply cannot wait to hear the press reporting on this bill, but for what should be obvious reasons I suspect that it might be a good idea to not hold my breath. It will surely be drowned out by the cacophonic screams over any pardons the departing president has the temerity to make. Puerto Rican terrorists? Sure! On-the-lam felon? Why not! Scooter Libby? TRAVESTY!!