In a county of 100,000 people, the loss of 60 jobs would be a pittance. Heck, Carl Levin can kill that many jobs before breakfast. Jennifer Granholm could run that many people out of state over a power lunch.
In Oscoda County with a population of a bit over 9,000, the loss of 60 jobs is big news.
We truly are being blown away.
Friday, October 31, 2008
In a county of 100,000 people, the loss of 60 jobs would be a pittance. Heck, Carl Levin can kill that many jobs before breakfast. Jennifer Granholm could run that many people out of state over a power lunch.
The tightening election is not sitting too well with Erica Jong and friends.
"If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets."Or, so says Jong, who has decided to cast her lot with a candidate who has terrorist friends and advisers that actually contemplated having to eliminate 25,000,000 Americans whom they could not "reeducate" from their beliefs in capitalism.
Lucidity is not one of Jong's strengths though it is probably better than her writing ever was.
Posted By Roug at 7:45 AM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Please everyone, at least recognize and affirm what you are voting for before you cast a ballot. Our next candidate for President most likely will nominate two if not three judges to the US Supreme Court.
If you are content with this chilling practice, say so, and move on. If you are not content with the procedure and vote for Obama for other reasons, at least acknowledge the full measures for what you vote.
By law, if an aborted baby is born alive, both birth and death certificates must be issued. Ironically, the cause of death often listed for live aborted babies is ‘extreme prematurity’, which amount to a confession by doctors that they have caused this death. It is not uncommon for a live aborted baby to linger for an hour or two or even longer. One baby is reported to have lived for almost an entire eight-hour shift. Many of these babies are born completely healthy, for they are terminated at 40 weeks for the ‘health’ of the mother, and also in cases of rape or incest. Ever since Doe v Bolton (the companion case to Roe v Wade) the United States Supreme Court has adopted the definition of the World Health Organisation for ‘health’, defined as ‘any condition that might impact her physical, emotional, psychological or financial well being’.Few words can describe how this makes me feel though I admit having a scissors shoved into the base of your brain cannot be a real walk in the pare either.
So live birth abortion is permitted in many US states up to nine months for emotional (can’t cope), psychological (don’t want to cope) or financial (can’t afford it) reasons, effectively extending abortion to on demand.
When the aborted baby is born alive, he or she (for the baby can no longer be an ‘it’) receives what is known as ‘comfort care’, during which the baby is kept warm in a blanket until he/she dies. Parents (for that is what they are) may hold the baby if they wish. If they do not want to hold their dying aborted baby, a staff member cares for the baby (if they have time) until he/she dies. If staff do not have time, the baby is simply abandoned to die a slow, lingering death.
Perversely, the evil of child-killing is given spiritual trappings, with the option of baptism for the child who is killed. Hospitals provide baptismal certificates and gowns, and even a first-photo machine to record the birth.
All of which is cynically designed to make the parents (and medical staff?) feel better about the murder.
Posted By Roug at 1:28 PM
or, maybe not.
You just gotta love those bureaucrats in Lansing.
Everyone down there has noticed that our state is struggling. Seriously. They really have. I know they have noticed because they just recently raised our taxes in order to make their ends meet. But, what the doofuses that work there have not yet figured out is that their rulings and regulations do have a serious impact on the business that is conducted in this state. Well, maybe they have figured that out too but are more prone to callous arrogance than outright ignorance.
Even though they know the economy sucks, many of our rulers in Lansing don't seem to care too much, and why would they, they already have great jobs with great pay and the sort of lavish benefits package that those of us in the private sector can only dream about.
Rules and regulations get passed all the time that have serious impacts on private industry. This latest one might be the one that kills us.
By us, in this context, I am referring to Michigan's residential building industry, the industry in which I am employed. An industry that, I will add, is creeping along so slowly that construction companies, carpenters, suppliers, and manufacturers are suffering. (That is unless you happen to have a juicy government building contract somewhere.) There have been many lay offs and business closings. People have moved and more are considering moving. This includes me. (By the way, how much will I pay in Michigan income taxes after I am forced to move to Texas?)
In February of 2005, a collection of geniuses at the state decided that Michigan should be subject to Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code for energy efficiency. The Michigan Association of Home Builders filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of the change because, they said, that the new rules would not be cost effective, a requirement of making changes to the Single State Construction Code.
At that time, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk granted an injunction to the ruling. [link is to a cached article]
Draganchuk ruled that the builders' group would likely win its case on its merits and that home buyers and small builders could suffer irreparable harm if the new standards took effect before the issues were hashed out in a trial. That trial hasn't yet been scheduled.Well, Martin might be a horse's ass, but he was right about one thing, the 2005 injunction was not the end of the story.
The home builders sued the state Feb. 4, claiming a decision to incorporate a provision of the International Residential Code into the Michigan Uniform Energy Code would result in exorbitant cost add-ons for new construction and remodeling. The builders said it would take 22 years of energy savings for a home owner to recover those costs, while state law requires a seven-year payback.
The new standard could effectively price prospective home buyers out of the market, the group has argued. The builders argue a 998-square-foot ranch would cost $5,162 more to build, and a 1,629-square-foot colonial would have $6,346 in extra costs.
The state has argued its proposed energy code changes would meet the seven-year standard.
"On average, we found (net) benefits totaling $1,046 over seven years," said Tom Martin, director of the labor and economic growth department's Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs.
Martin rejected the builders' argument that changes to the energy code would slow home growth, saying that housing starts increased in both Wisconsin and Minnesota in the year after those states adopted a national energy code.
"We're disappointed," Martin said, when asked about Draganchuk's decision. "Both sides go into a preliminary hearing like this expecting to win. I don't believe this is the end of the story."
From a portion of a fax I received from the Michigan Association of Home Builders yesterday comes the latest:
Three and three-quarters years after it was first issued in February of 2005, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk has dissolved the injunction against the enforcement of Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code as the state's new energy code. This clears the way for the new energy code to go into effect. While it was in place the injunction reduced the construction cost of new homes by over $561,000,000 (561 million, 600 thousand dollars).This is not the kind of help that Michigan's building industry needs to be getting from our benevolent overlords in Lansing; stricter building codes that will increase the costs of residential building.
Posted By Roug at 1:05 PM
cross posted at Right Michigan
A college roommate of mine hung a poster on our dorm room wall for a total of two rather long and poorly decorated semesters. I didn't complain too much, it still looked better than the pile of empty pizza boxes in the corner. The poster depicted a 30s era gangster sitting on a comfy overstuffed chair with the words, "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
It is my ability to remember such minutiae that should make me a killer contestant on Jeopardy, but alas, has instead rendered me an unrelenting (and unrepentant) bore at the dinner table. And family reunions. And sporting events. Also, don't sit too close to me in church--both you and the pastor will appreciate it.
In many ways that gangster's attitude typifies the interpretative power that political operatives on the progressive left demand today. While I do believe that in many cases this has been manifested in poorly guided innocence, in most others it is the result of sinister motives, motives designed not only to dismiss offhandedly the arguments of rational opponents, but also to keep wayward thinking members of identity groups subservient to proper-thinking members of the group. These tactics can be valuable weapons in either shaming or financially intimidating through the threat of lawsuits, their political opponents into silence lest they be labeled something bad, like a racist, a homophobe, a sexist, or, worst of all, an unrelenting bore.
The gangster has demanded the sovereignty to interpret your words, thoughts, and wants in any way that he sees fit, and has demanded that his interpretation hold sway over your intent. Under such a surrender of intent, your words mean nothing outside of the nutshell that the gangster defines. If you cede such power to the gangster, what you mean, your words, your intent, your motivations, the foundation of your thoughts, will amount to nothing. And that is wholly the gangster's strategy. You will be held accountable not for what you try to convey, but for the interpretation he assigns to your words.
He will have given you your opinion.
Welcome to the world of progressive thought, the mindset that holds the upper hand in next week's election.
On October 21, Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist made the following comment:
The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.Of course what McCain and Palin had been doing was truthfully calling Barack Obama a socialist thinker.
J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.
Those freedom fighters included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the Civil Rights Movement; W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1909 helped found the NAACP which is still the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization; Paul Robeson, a famous singer, actor and political activist who in the 1930s became involved in national and international movements for better labor relations, peace and racial justice; and A. Philip Randolph, who founded and was the longtime head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leading advocate for civil rights for African Americans.
McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It set whites apart from those deemed unAmerican and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare.
Never mind that De Bois, Robeson, and Randolph were actually self acclaimed socialists. De Bois of the communist variety. In Diuguid's application, the actual truth of any of McCain's or Palin's statements are dismissed through an intentionally applied mischaracterization of the motivations behind the comments. By dismissing the speakers as falsely motivated, the truth can also be easily discarded.
In effect the argument becomes, "don't listen to them, they are racists!"
Diuguid, conveniently, is able to refuse an opportunity to defend Obama's socialist opinions. He doesn't want to have to do it for he has no plausible defense, and identity politics provides him the cover.
On October 9, James T. Harris made the following comments at a town hall meeting in Waukesha, Wis:
"I doubt that anyone in this room has taken, pardon me, the ass-whuppin' that I have taken for supporting you. Sir, I believe that in the next coming debate it is absolutely vital that you take it to Obama and that you hit him where it hurts. ACORN is out there, we have Reverend Wright, all of these shady characters that surrounded him. I am begging you, sir."Harris has been forced to endure his "ass-whuppin'" because he is black and because straying from the blessed path of group think progressivism is not allowed--at least not if one wants to keep his membership. Harris immediately became a sell-out, inauthentic, and a tool.
No where is the viciousness of identity politics more on display than in the feminist attacks against Sarah Palin who has displayed the audacity to not only declare that she is pro-life, but has actually proven it. Rochelle Riley wrote this on September 30:
Palin is setting the gender back by decades. The next time a woman runs for any national office, her opponents will have sound bites galore from the Palin ditz reel, the last time a woman ran.Gloria Steinem in the LA Times:
Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.In case no one was paying any attention, let me be the bearer of bad news. This country is becoming increasingly polar in its political discourse. As the polarization becomes more and more apparent, and as fringe elements attempt to rein in free speech in order to further their own causes, the intent of what we say and our ability to voice our opinions are taking on ever greater importance.
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with [Hillary] Clinton.
The Fairness Doctrine is already being brushed off. Google is hinting at an internet framework where blogs could be filtered for their quality and content. On several occasions the UN has suggested that it should take over the administration of the internet. Advocacy groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations are advancing thought and hate crime litigation as a way to intimidate or silence comments that they feel could be critical or offensive to Islam. While there has been no serious overture that I am aware of, there have been some discussions that may lead to proposals that would require that journalists and boring bloggers receive a license to jabber on about politics.
All of these types of initiatives are designed to control the public conversation in such a way that only the proper and accepted discourse, the one that is approved by those in power, will be available.
The best defense any of us can mount against this tyranny is to remain diligent and protective of our free speech--the right of which was granted to us by God and not by government. The battle may very well end in the chambers of the Supreme Court, but it must start at home and at school and at work, in our letters and our blogs, while shopping, singing and rolling the dice.
We own our words. They are the property of no one else.
Better we bored to silence by someone's free speech, than be forcibly silenced by those that refuse to be crossed.
Posted By Roug at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Ted Stevens, the Alaska Senator who declared his preference to being hauled out of the Senate chambers in a coffin rather than see his per pork projects denied passage, will perhaps be removed from the chambers for another reason.
I am glad Stevens is on the way out. He long ago forgot, if he ever knew in the first place, what it meant to be a good steward of money belonging to the public. It is overspending buffoons like Stevens that helped to land our country in its state of almost insurmountable debt.
We will survive better without him.
Posted By Roug at 6:49 PM
As the snowball of the Obama campaign rolls downhill and gains both size and momentum, it is interesting to note the way in which the campaign has come to view itself. Narcissus gazing in a pool could not see himself any more clearly. It is in a position to dictate, and dictate it will. Access to The Obama will be controlled, and compliance with The Word will be demanded.
The latest example:
In an interview over the weekend, Joe Biden was asked to clarify the difference between Marx's "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and Obama's spreading the wealth comments.
Biden's answer was less than forthcoming. In fact, there was no answer. The question was answered with another question. "Are you serious?" And then laughter.
After the interview the station that conducted the interview was told that a previously scheduled interview with Jill Biden, Joe's wife, would not be held. Their reason? The station had conducted "an unprofessional interview" with Joe Biden.
Now, the Obama campaign is under no obligation to answer any question it does not want to, and it is obvious that the Obama campaign feels it is in its best interests to set ground rules on the type of questions that can be asked of their candidates for highest office, particularly for Biden, who has been in the Senate since the Egyptians invented papyrus. If Talkin' Joe hasn't figured out yet how to answer questions with candor, he isn't going to as Vice President.
It is clear that The Obama knows that not all of his opinions are shared by a large segment of the population. He may even believe that his opinions are not shared by a simple majority of the public and that he has been swept into the lead by the public's distaste for President Bush and also helped by a lackluster opponent. With the polls telling him that he has a solid lead there is no point in Obama fleshing out the finer points of his philosophy. Why take the chance? In football parlance, he is simply trying to keep the ball on the ground and running out the clock.
It is better for the Obama campaign if these sorts of questions remain unasked.
If members of the press refuse to play by the rules, they will be punished. Let the voters find out for themselves in their own time the answers to these unasked questions.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Jack Murtha, the slowly fossilizing Representative from Pennsylvania, a true remnant of the Jurassic Period, is bucking the rising tide in this election by struggling in a district that he should, under normal circumstances, be able to effortlessly win until he hardens into solid rock, transformed into a statue of his own likeness--his mouth noticeably closed.
It is precisely, however, because his mouth is not closed that the statue might never become; a victim of his own misapplied calculation of political infallibility. As it turns out, and as Jack is now learning, people don't like to be accused of things they are not guilty of. And, as Jack originally pointed out a couple of days ago, he thinks that voters in his district are racists. (In fairness, Murtha did backtrack on that harsh assessment and softened his words by instead calling them rednecks. If only Murtha knew what sort of ungrateful people rednecks truly are.)
It appears as if Mad Jack is now quite vulnerable.
Posted By Roug at 2:39 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer, and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill something like we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.In Baracky's system, 95% of all tax filers will receive a rebate. This greedy bar owner should consider paying the first guys for gracing his establishment.
The first 4 men, the lowest earners, would pay nothing.
The 5th would pay $1.
The 6th would pay $3.
The 7th would pay $7.
The 8th would pay $12.
The 9th would pay $18.
The 10th would pay $59.
These 10 men drank at the bar every day and were quite content with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
“Since you are all such good customers, I’m going to take $20 off of your bill every time you come in.”
So, their drinks went from $100 to $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay taxes so.
The first 4 men were still unaffected, they still drank for free.
But what about the other 6 men?
How could they divide this windfall so everyone got their fair share?
They originally wanted to divide it 6 ways, $3.33 a man, but if they did it that way, the 5th and 6th man would wind up getting paid to drink beer.
The owner suggested that they distribute the saving like they distributed the costs.
In the new scenario
The first 4 still paid nothing.
The 5th now also paid nothing.
The 6th dropped to $2 from $3, a 33% reduction.
The 7th dropped to $5 from $7, a 28% reduction.
The 8th dropped to $9 from $12, a 25% reduction.
The 9th dropped to $14 from $18, a 22% reduction.
The 10th dropped to $49 from $59, a 16% reduction.
Each of the 6 taxpayers was better off than they were before. The first 4 continued to drink for free.
When they left, they began to compare their savings.
I only got $1 out of the $20, said the 6th man.
Then he pointed at the 10th man, and said “But he got $10!”
The 5th man, now drinking for free, said “Yeah, I only saved $1 too, it is not fair he got 10 times what I did.”
The 7th man said “Why should I only get $2 back when he gets $10 back, the rich always get all the breaks!”
The first 4 men, in unison, said “Wait. We got nothing at all. Why are you exploiting the poor?”
The 9 men surrounded the 10th man and beat him up.
The next night, the first 9 men showed up for drinks. The 10th did not. They had their drinks, and when the bill came, they did not collectively have enough money to pay even half the bill.
Somehow, I bet Baracky would find a way to get a profit into the pockets of those that were not paying anything, and being oppressed by this unjust system of taxation.
Posted By Roug at 11:40 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
cross posted at Right Michigan
My Father's Father moved to Michigan in 1900. He was thirteen at the time of the journey and spent the exodus between Kokomo and Oscoda County driving a team of horses that would later provide much of the labor for the farmland that was purchased by his Father, my Great Grandfather, sight unseen.
In those days most of the land that would ultimately become farmland was not sitting there fallow, yearning for the plow. While much of the acreage had already been cleared by loggers in their rush to quickly produce timber, it was inconveniently accessible, much of it wet, and most of what remained was covered in tree stumps. Once the tree stumps had been removed by manpower, horse, and dynamite to reveal tillable land on the portion that was not swamp, the soil proved stony and less than spectacular.
The land he purchased came with no well, no septic, no picket fence, and no house, and most of the farms that did have existing houses on them still lacked the first three non-essentials. Farming was not an occupation of luxury. No living was ever carved from those early landscapes without the spending of buckets of sweat created by the toil of hardened hands. They knew this would be the case. And still they came.
With no home to live in, my Great Grandfather purchased the four walls of an abandoned home that stood in the already nearly deserted logging boomtown of McKinley on the AuSable River. As the timber forests waned to the bite of the ax, so too had McKinley succumbed to the industriousness of the loggers. McKinley, at the height of its existence in the late 1800s, was the largest town to have ever existed in Oscoda County. Shortly after the turn of the century however, most of its hovels stood vacant, their occupants having quickly moved on to live amongst other thinning forests of pine. It was one of these abandoned dwellings that would become an early home to my Grandfather's family.
With the help of his two teenage sons, my Great Grandfather disassembled the rough wood frame, sideboards, and roof, and transported the materials by wagon to his new property where the home was reassembled and tar papered, for luxury I suppose.
Twenty years after first entering Michigan, my Grandfather, having become a man himself and the father of his first daughter, bought his own farm of 200 acres where cows grazed, pigs slopped, and chickens roosted for nearly twenty five years under his care, and then under my Father's until he turned his last furrow in 1950--discouraged by that year's harvest, so poor it refused to produce even a windrow of hay.
The spread’s original 200 acres have since been whittled down to only 95. What remains to this day is rented to farmers who grow sweet alfalfa to be chewed by cows milked on other farms.
My Mother's Father moved to northern Michigan in 1906 from Canada, the son of a man who would later become the Amish Bishop in West Branch. As odd as it might sound, before the Amish considered electricity worldly, my Mother as a child enjoyed some of the first electricity available to anyone in the area. She still likes to brag that she used to be one of the "cutest little Amish girls around." Perhaps it was her vanity (but more likely it was as her marriage to my Father) that landed me in the Mennonite pews rather than attendant to Amish meetings every other Sunday. To this day I thank both her vanity and my parents marriage, just to be safe.
As Americans we each contain within our ancestry and family history a tapestry woven of life that makes us unique--a patchwork quilt of heritage and dreams that by comparison creates us all equally bland to the infinite quilt work that defines those who surround us. If I care to look back far enough, I am a bearded Canadian-English-Welsh-German-French Amish/Mennonite farmer inventor sawmill operator. My story is as pedestrian as it is unique. Not to burst your bubble, but so is yours.
It was not until 1931 that the term "The American Dream" was coined by James Truslow Adams though had it been forever unnamed it would still have resounded in the hearts of those that followed--that innate desire to achieve happiness through its judicious pursuit.
Over the past several decades, however, the American Dream has become somewhat less individually American and has adopted a more collectively European flavor. The pursuit of happiness, as it was referred to in the Declaration of Independence, amounted to an individual's desire to provide for himself as long as he did not illegally infringe on the pursuits and livelihoods of others.
Times have indeed changed.
To too many of today's Americans, the American Dream is no longer an individual pursuit achieved by a person's efforts and ability, but has instead become a deserved right of wealth, subsistence, comfort, education, transportation, child rearing and health provided by the collective, deliberately confiscated from other individuals to be enjoyed. These new thinking Americans still have an American Dream, but this one is slightly altered to include that notion of a good life provided to them, minus much of the effort.
As the times would dictate, leading in today's polls for President is a man who has effortlessly been allowed to shrug off the notion that individuals should be able to achieve outside of the collective. While his trusted friend stands atop an American flag, his mentors damn America, his employees commit voter registration fraud, and his advisers suck fortunes from tax subsidized enterprises, this candidate smiles and lectures to the adoring crowds that his is the plan that "provides" to thunderous applause.
Most of our ancestors worked their skin to the bone trying to claw an existence out of this land, its factories, its mines, and its commerce. Indeed, few ever achieved wealth as we would define it today, but nearly all of them improved their lives and those of their children through the pursuit of what it was that made them happy.
What incentive will the New American Dream provide?
Posted By Roug at 1:32 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
There are two great articles today that help to sum up the tenor of this election.
The first article by Orson Scott Card, with an assist to LGF, is about many of today's journalists and how they have systematically determined to forsake the classic tenets of their profession in order to sway an election. The second, by Thomas Sowell, discusses how so many people when given the truth about The Obama (as hard as that even is to find,) really don't want to be bothered with the facts to begin with.
Insult to injury? Most of the members of the first group belong solidly in the second.
Posted By Roug at 12:30 PM
Monday, October 20, 2008
The New York Times will leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking the truth on today's presidential candidates, that is, at least the old and mean warmonger ones that act just like Bush and attempt to obstruct the political progress of all things good, hopeful and changey. And their spouses.
Meanwhile, The Obama is able to hide behind a media erected protective curtain that promises to accuse all legitimate critics and criticism of his holiness with charges of racism, fascism, and Bush-lover! That curtain, sheer enough that the vision of hope and change can shine through, is strong enough to filter out all that irrelevant Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky, Khalid Al-Mansour, ACORN, and Michael Pfleger noise.
The New Party? Never mind. Get me some dirt on Cindy McCain and the plumber!
For the People!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Not only is it frowned upon to openly attack The Obama, but it is equally discouraged to sneakily ask The Obama a question that gets him to drop his shield of electability long enough to give a frank answer.
Joe Wurzelbacher, or Joe the Plumber, made that mistake this weekend in Ohio. Had The Obama answered Joe's concerns in his normal lawyerspeak of obfuscation there would be no in depth investigations led by the mass media into Joe's eligibility to vote, his taxes, his salary, his divorce, his licensure, or his desire to buy a company. He would not be mocked by the Huffington Post, be the subject of sneering remarks by Joe Biden, or be singled out as someone that business owners simply cannot relate to.
Not since Sarah Palin's tanning bed has the press been so riveted on the important issues so relevant to both VP candidacies and the building trades.
In fact, Joe's personal background has been delved into almost as completely by the mass media as has Bill Ayers' background, and the last time I checked, Toledo isn't even in The Obama's neighborhood. The MSM are so busy falling all over each other looking for dirt on Joe that the focus of their investigation has largely skipped over the answer to the question that Joe posed.
It was Obama's answer that is important, not that a common Joe finally asked the question.
Spreading the wealth for the common good has a familiar ring, doesn't it. But, let's not pay any attention to the man sitting behind that curtain.
Posted By Roug at 12:49 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Jeff Goldstein briefly summarizes last night's debate in an open thread update:
Jeff’s thoughts: Obama wins by virtue of not being forcibly escorted from the stage in handcuffs and leg irons.
– Which means that, sadly, his stay at the Hanoi Hilton wasn’t to be the last time John McCain would be beaten by a communist.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
cross posted at Right Michigan
Karl Marx was only paraphrasing Barack Obama when he said "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." I might have that turned around a bit, but you get my point.
If it were possible to overlook Marx's obvious misogyny, (you'd think a progressive could at least recognize a woman's contribution to society,) it would be easy to discern the innocent intent of a benevolent government. The caring government simply seeks to spread the wealth benefits of a successful economy on to all of the people equally. That some would shoulder an undue share of the burden is merely a consequence of privilege and incidental to a wholesome process overall. So, suck it up, bucko!
If this election is shaping up to be anything close to what the polls are currently telling us, the American public is pining for a new vision of America; that perfect situation where each individual is working diligently to better the lives of all Americans or, absent that, at least willing to cash in on the concept. Too bad for all of us that those founding fathers were such ignoramuses back when they had a chance to get it right the first time. Where was Chomsky when we needed him back in the late 1700s?
If the talking points are correct, for too long the ravages of capitalism and the free market have been guiltlessly tossed onto the backs of middle class workers and the underprivileged by greedy corporations, bankers, conservatives, oil men, drug companies, the wealthy, and Dick Cheney (who, after an even glancing review, is definitely guilty of the grand greed-trifecta and a woefully bad wielder of shotguns.) Of course, Dick Cheney is only one icon of greed. Sometimes greed, as we discovered this past weekend, is just as well personified by the local plumber.
Wealth is not being distributed evenly and only a small percentage of Americans control a vast majority of it. Tax cuts are being passed on to these same wealthy barons by entrenched bureaucrats who are on the take while the poor struggle.
Greed and deregulation have caused our current problems and it is time for the change of hope (or maybe it is the hope of change,) to steer our country back onto a course of new economic sanity. People motivated by selfishness should not be in charge. The reins of the economy need to be turned over to a better jockey, a benevolent and all-knowing government that, from its lofty saddle and bestowed with the necessary authority to make the changes we all hope for, can, by God, initiate in a new age of fairness, happiness, and financial equality.
Or so the argument goes, though often it is made with concise sentences and fewer commas.
As The Obama said himself this weekend, he isn't trying to punish anyone, he just thinks it is a good idea to spread the wealth around. And with taxation being patriotic and all, who are we to argue?
It is unfortunate, really, that this sort of intervention into the private sector by governments has already been tried countless times and has dismally failed on every occasion where it has been attempted. Every. Single. Time. In fact, it has been argued quite successfully that the problems we are experiencing today economically are the direct result of government already having its big fat nose right in the middle of the private sector trying to manipulate outcomes through taxing and spending policy. It would be easy to try and blame this robbery through taxation solely on the Democrats, but in truth the Republicans have to be held partially responsible for the huge increases in government spending and interventions of this decade, during much of which they controlled not only the White House but both houses of Congress. Odd that with such power comes such scrutiny.
Socialism has not failed everywhere it has been tried because a particular brand of intervention was mistakenly adopted or that slight mistakes were made in presentation or execution, but because these forays into private enterprise have to ignore human nature to succeed, and precisely because they ignore human nature, they are destined to fail.
When Obama is elected he will demand from Congress the legislation that allows him to enact the changes he has promised. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, also avowed socialists, will comply posthaste. The redistribution of wealth will become a means to an end. Trade barriers will be enacted to protect inefficient businesses while profitable businesses will be punished for their success. Individuals that generate wealth through hard work will be discouraged through punitive taxation while those occupying unskilled labor positions will be rewarded with a "living wage." Productivity will fall as will overall wealth. What is left of the wealth that remains will be spread about indiscriminately like cheap oleo. Just add a little generic ketchup and it won't taste all that bad.
What is completely lost on socialist planners is that if you want more of one kind of behavior you need to reward the behavior. If you want less of a certain type of behavior you need to discourage the behavior. Don't believe me? Start giving your dog a treat every time he has an accident on the carpet and observe how long it takes for the carpet to lose that fresh, factory smell.
Do you need a human example? Ask the local plumber if he is more likely to hire additional staff when profits shrink and the cost of each employee rises.
Socialism champions the most ridiculous of all solutions to predictable economic problems and Barack Obama is socialism's true champion. He wishes to encourage wealth by punishing it while he discourages poverty and dysfunction by rubbing it on the belly and handing it a delightful bacon flavored Snausage.
What could possibly go wrong with such a wonderfully planned strategy?
Apparently millions upon millions of voters either don't have a clue as to how these things work, are so enamored with change that they don't even care if they are embracing blatant socialism, or are already counting on something substantial in that government surplus Christmas stocking.
Me? Just to be safe, I'm going to stock up on wet wipes and put a carpet cleaner on layaway.
Posted By Roug at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I can barely wait for the brand new and completely factual (not to mention even-handed) movie about President Bush by Oliver Stone.
If the web ads are any indication, the movie will prove to be as historically reliable as Stone's highly regarded JFK. (Not that progressives will care much.)
Posted By Roug at 1:04 PM
Republicans at this juncture are looking to take a huge beating come the first week of November. An unpopular president, a faltering economy, a lackluster presidential nominee, and an in the tank media are all part of the mix. Add to that the political oddity that has the minority party in the Senate having more seats on the line than the Democrats and it is pretty easy to predict a solid swing farther to the left. Things are so bad, in fact, that Al Franken, a man with serious personality flaws and tax evasion issues in as many states as I've ever visited, is competitive against Norm Coleman in Minnesota.
Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard sums much of it up in his article Worst Case Scenario. In it he highlights only a few of the disastrous consequences that could be the result of an airtight liberal government.
h/t Power Line
Posted By Roug at 7:30 AM
Monday, October 13, 2008
Never has the selection of a homecoming queen sent so many tears falling so freely.via Protein Wisdom
Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School's homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman.
Posted By Roug at 8:39 PM
Just because Barack Obama has declared (despite his running mate's denials) that he will meet with Iran without any preconditions does not mean that Iran is as naive as The Obama when it comes to the practical application of diplomacy as a tool.
h/t Little Green Footballs
Posted By Roug at 7:45 AM
Friday, October 10, 2008
Barack Obama is an arch leftist whose assent to the presidency would be unprecedented. Never has a person with such progressive socialist ideals and questionable personal associations been so close to the most powerful position in the solar system.
This is proved by his brief voting record, his past and present personal associations, his religious adherence to the dogma of Jeremiah Wright and James Cone, the means in which he ascended to public office, his work history prior to public office, and his mentoring relationships before and during his college years. These are all established facts easily available in the public record.
The question to me is, why has it taken John McCain so long to try and exploit these associations? Yesterday, in Wisconsin, a questioner at a town hall style campaign event begged Senator McCain to make the obvious connection. The sad thing is, of course, that this exploitation should have started much earlier in the game--long before the charges could be plausibly dismissed by an already dismissive press and electorate as an act of desperation.
Had these associations been made earlier in the game, as conservatives have been screaming for, the truth might very well have started to resonate with voters. As with most things John McCain, John McCain knew best.
I am one of the many conservatives that was tepid to the nomination of John McCain based on many of his political beliefs. I do find myself wanting McCain to win because he is the lesser of two poor candidates and, until his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, I am not so certain I would even have voted for him at all. Right now, what I'm hearing from friends and reading on many conservative blogs is that McCain's biggest selling point is that he is not Barack Obama--apparently my opinion and attitude are not very lonely.
It is mind boggling to me that for the last few months of this campaign, up until this very late point in the process, it appears as if John McCain was unwilling to even take advantage of this most obvious of factors.
If the Republicans lose this election, and it is looking more and more like they will, they will have no one to blame but themselves and John McCain. If McCain wins it will be because he was carried to victory by people that deserved a better campaigner and candidate.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Last week I took some guff from an anonymous commenter who suggested I was a sexist for comparing a female columnist with a jilted high school drama queen. This after the columnist suggested that Sarah Palin was setting women back by decades.
I was, according to the commenter, making statements about Rochelle Riley, the columnist, based solely on my knowledge of her gender which, to some degree, is true. If the column had been written by Richard Riley I would have called him an hysterical punk. I'm not so sure that such comments are any more sexist than my selection of the proper pronoun to describe any particular drama queen or thug, but then again, I'm continually perplexed by past attempts by feminists to have manhole covers renamed personhole covers. I'm so last century.
However, as an opinionated blogger, I make no bones about who I support or what I think. Neither does Rochelle Riley. This fact makes us a deserving target when people disagree with us. If we don't like it we should quit writing. She can give up her huge salary writing for nationwide audiences and all the accolades that go with it, while I can start going to bed at a decent hour without Mom wondering why I turned out to be such a jerk.
This is not the case for news sources that supposedly embrace feminism and objectivity while at the same time doing everything within their power to steer the electorate toward their subscribed viewpoint through subtle and sometimes not so subtle propagandizing and, in this case, overt sexism.
One of the more blatant examples comes from a recent series of photographs published by Reuters. In the picture below, a young male supporter stares up at the VP nominee as if Palin is little more than a stripper on stage.
If Reuters presented itself as nothing more than an partisan tool of the left, this sort of thing would be understandable, if not any less objectionable. For Reuters to engage in this sort of promotion while still clinging to the shroud of objectivity is a misuse of the public trust.
But, when Barack Obama is elected president we will not see a Fairness Doctrine aimed at this sort of shenanigans. It will be directed to the one portion of the media that conservatives have a sound foothold--that of talk radio.
Let the change begin!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
American International Group, that now famous insurer that spent much of the past few months begging the government for tax dollars to the tune of $85,000,000,000 because its foolish executives were too stupid to run the operation properly, decided just a few days after it did receive its corporate welfare check to send a number of the executives from its largest life insurance company to the exclusive St. Regis resort in southern California.
The tab, which included $23,000 for spa treatments, totaled more than $440,000. President Bush is angry, but probably not angry enough to go knock on the door of the CEO.
I have an idea...send those dirty bastards a letter that demands a refund of a couple hundred mil or so because, when anyone asks for and receives money from the taxpayers to save their sorry butts from failure, they should not continue to operate their business as usual by laughing it up over caviar and foot rubs at the St. Regis.
It is time to bang some heads. Until that happens these whiz kids are just going to continue laughing at the taxpayers while celebrating the success of their glorious prank. Obviously the message was not received the first time around.
Posted By Roug at 5:32 PM
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
We are going to see in the next two to three weeks if John McCain was right or wrong in his campaign's erstwhile gentlemanly tactics in battling Barack Obama for the Presidency.
The past associations of Obama include cut and dried communists, anarchists, felons, utopian socialists, and racists. It should be no surprise that the main stream media has not explored these associations in full detail as it has proven over the past few months, even as Obama ran against Hillary Clinton, that it was solidly in support of an Obama candidacy. However, it appears as if the popularity and novelty of Sarah Palin and her matter of fact charges against Obama's past associations might make the press begin covering the known affiliations, even if they are only studied in faux detail ostensibly to discredit the charges.
John McCain has thus far run an anemic race bordering on political cowardice. His continued failure to point out the obviousness of Obama's past in lieu of a truth seeking press is tantamount to surrender. Perhaps McCain felt he could win the Presidency while not weakening his credentials as a consensus builder. Perhaps he naively hoped the press would clumsily stumble upon Obama's associations and be compelled to report vigorously. Perhaps he simply doesn't have the personality for such a fight.
Whatever the reason, his campaign has been a real stinker. Let us see if Sarah Palin can pull the tightened shroud off of the Democrat ticket despite a protesting press. The charges heaped on Palin will be ugly and unrelenting. She will go from simply being a stupid redneck ditz to being a dangerous tool of the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Hitler Commission to Deny The Obama his Rightly Deserved Status Among The Liberators of The People.
Off come the gloves. We need popcorn!
Update at 1:20 PM: And just this second, still on lunch even, I notice this post on Little Green Footballs: This is a Strategy?
If Palin can save the McCain campaign it might very well be over the objections of John McCain. Is he trying to lose?
Posted By Roug at 1:12 PM
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I will be making a quick trip into the local high school on Monday to assert to one of my employees, a public school teacher, that he is not to be politically propagandizing my children. He will be made aware that it is my job to brainwash my children, not those that work for me.
It seems that the trigonometry teacher was a viewer of the debates on Thursday night and was perceptibly irritated with one of the debaters, the current Governor of Alaska. He then proceeded to spend much of his classroom time on Friday vocalizing his distaste.
After my visit with the teacher, a visit in which I will not only remind him of his true classroom responsibilities but will also assert that he is full of crap up to his ears, I will be visiting with the principal as well.
I encourage every parent with a student in public schools to talk to your children on this subject. See how much classroom time is being spent on topic, and how much time and money are being wasted in attempts to mold your children toward one political position or another.
Our children are too important.
Posted By Roug at 10:43 AM
Friday, October 03, 2008
I was really more surprised a couple months ago when the polls showed that Michigan was in play to begin with.
This is, after all, the state that reelected Jennifer Granholm as Governor after her administration helped to chase across the border every job that wasn't literally nailed to the floor. This is the same state that is dominated by Detroit and southeast Michigan, a city so monolithic it could put Kwame Kilpatrick back in office despite ample proof he was little more than a thug with poor judgment (even by thug standards) and a larger geographic area so brazenly partisan that it will continue to elect people to Congress year after year like John Dingell, John Conyers, and Sander Levin until, seemingly, the only living people left in the area are John Dingell, John Conyers and Sander Levin.
Many of us are truly disappointed, but some of the people being left behind are refusing to give up.
Michigan voters seem primed for change, exactly by voting for the status quo.
Posted By Roug at 1:00 PM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
A man who has admitted sending death threats to conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
As of 9:00 PM tonight, there were 22 reader comments on the story.
Of those 22 comments that I could call negative toward either or both of the subjects of the article, Mohamad Fouad Abdallah and Schlussel herself, six comments specifically applied moral relativism to both parties and pronounced them both guilty, four only showed animus toward Schlussel, and two were solely supportive of Schlussel. No one criticized Abdallah alone. A number of other comments were directed toward other commentors or were otherwise irrelevant.
Debbie Schlussel is a lighting rod and she has staked out some pretty difficult territory. She is not in any way supportive of Hizbollah and she has said so. She has called out the Council on American Islamic Relations for being a front group and apologist for terrorist organizations. She has been critical of the INS and ICE as well as members of the Justice Department. She has had many unkind words for George Bush. She speaks gruffly about Islam, that nearly anonymous religion that adheres to texts that refer to the Jews as pigs and apes, and whose leaders routinely call for the destruction of Israel, deny the Holocaust, and praise the perpetrators of mass murder. As a Jew, I suppose, she does not care for that stuff too much.
She has blown a lot of whistles and she has made a lot of enemies. For her troubles, a good percentage of Free Press commenters believe that she is every bit as guilty for speaking her mind as is the man that threatened to rape and kill her.
Tolerance used to mean not doing violence to those with whom you disagreed. You could always speak your mind as long as you were not inciting violence or creating a dangerous situation. In this country, that right is bestowed on us by our creator, and therefore guaranteed by our Constitution. The concept is slowly changing as evidenced by this slice of Free Press readers. Tolerance is slowly coming to mean that those with opinions, those that would wish to do nothing but exercise their rights of free speech and demand the enforcement of existing law, must keep their mouths shut so that the violent and intolerant, those that would threaten or kill you, are not incited to do so.
Schlussel has never, that I am aware, incited or tried to incite violence against the Arab community in Michigan or anyone else. I read her blog perhaps monthly, so while I am not intimately familiar with everything she writes, I have read enough of what she has to say to get a good sampling. Has she ruffled feathers? Duh. Some feathers should be ruffled. There are times too when refusing to be quiet is the best defense from being forced to be quiet.
Debbie Schlussel has the right to speak her mind. Muslims have the right to debate her on the issues. When either party crosses that line and enters into threats and violence, they deserve to be punished. Schlussel has not. Abdallah has.
That so many cannot see the difference is sad and dangerous.
Posted By Roug at 9:00 PM
Followers of a certain mystery religion were responsible for no fewer than 196 separate terrorist attacks worldwide in the month of September according to the Religion of Peace. Members of this unidentified religion carried out attacks in Afghanistan, Algeria, India, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, the UK, and Yemen.
At least 992 people died while another 1,836 were wounded in the incidents. The largest attack killed 53 people and injured 257 at a hotel in Pakistan, while the second largest attack, this one in Somalia, murdered 42 innocents while injuring 60 more.
Posted By Roug at 12:52 PM
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
If you read only one opinion piece today make sure this is it.
Introducing himself to the nation at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama spoke not only of his black father, "born and raised in a small village in Kenya," but of his white mother, "born in a town . . . in Kansas" to a father who "worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression" before enlisting in military service "the day after Pearl Harbor." What brought them together was "a magical place, America," he said, adding, "I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage . . . knowing that . . . in no other country on earth, is my story even possible."Read the whole thing to be able to experience the hope and change.
Not only was Mr. Obama the real, living embodiment of America's racial diversity. He was a dazzling presence, outshining the party's nominee with his look, stage presence, oratorical mastery and the brilliance of his rhetoric. Nor was that all. This avatar of reconciliation talked of transcending divisions not just racial but political and ideological. He spoke lovingly of country and movingly of God and family in a way that had eluded the Democrats since their sharp turn to the Left when the party nominated George McGovern in 1972.
A hat tip to Protein Wisdom where Jeff's commentary is, of course, the best available.
cross posted at Right Michigan
This was both predictable and avoidable. This was not some previously undetected asteroid that suddenly appeared in our telescopes, one we were forced to sit silently by and watch as it slowly overtook us in our orbit, helpless to respond in any meaningful manner. Nope, this sucker was sitting there like a huge middle-of-the-forehead pimple on picture day--something that had to be aggressively ignored to overlook. Where, exactly, is Bruce Willis when we need him, or absent Willis, where do you think he put that box of medicated Oxy pads and the concealer?
The crisis we face today is more akin to a lumbering iceberg that practically has to be aimed at to be plowed into so directly. As Thomas Andrews explained to Captain Edward Smith on one fateful April night nearly 100 years ago, the sinking of the unsinkable ship he commanded was now a "mathematical certainty."
Of course, in those days, Smith didn't have all the technology available to him that today's captains have, nor did he have tens of thousands of people on his side, hired explicitly to spot avoidable hazards. Still, he floated atop the decks of the one of the most perfectly engineered ships to ever have been launched. He knew it. His crew knew it. His ship's owners knew it. So did the passengers. And, while Smith and his crew may have been overconfident and under prepared, at least the RMS Titanic's crew did have a very good chance of accidentally navigating its way through a sea of icebergs on its maiden and final voyage, regardless of how blind and irresponsibly they steamed onward. Remember too, it wasn't until after the ill fated ship had sustained a 300 foot gash in its hull that Thomas Andrews made his sober pronouncement.
That is not the case here. This was both predictable and avoidable. While some of the people we should be able to count on in such times accomplished the task of predicting, not one elected, appointed or hired person bothered to do the second and more important task of avoiding.
I do admit taking some liberty with the analogy. Because, the fact is, many experts are still divided as to whether our economy has actually hit an iceberg or not. What is certain is that the situation we are sitting in now, as stressing as it is and as dangerous as it might yet prove to be, had its seed planted many years ago by busybody captains that injected socialist utopian ideals into the free market economy. The outcome of their dalliances were predictable, and they were predicted.
Most notably, Alan Greenspan, George W. Bush, and John McCain made public warnings about the course that was set. Just as notably, Barney Frank, whose closest encounter with a profitable private venture amounted to a prostitution ring being run out of his apartment, spoke of the rock-solid foundation that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rested on. Score one for the Republicans.
The momentum that was begun in the Jimmy Carter administration and honed and tempered in the Clinton administration, became the Bush administration's problem in 2001. Regardless of the assurances the crackpot Barney Frank had to offer, Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. Whatever score the Republicans mustered by accurately predicting the upcoming crisis, they squandered it by not heeding their own warnings when they had a bulletproof opportunity to do so.
The Republicans can cast blame all they want at the Democrats and vice versa, what we have here are two political parties, one with vision too poor, and the other with constitution too weak, to take care of one of its most basic of responsibilities, that of protecting the people of the country that elected them to do so.
So, here we sit, and I honestly do not know what is the best route to take to get us out of this mess. As it turns out, enough experts have lined up on opposite sides of the issue to make me feel almost cerebral in my ignorance.
We might do nothing and thrive as a country by allowing the weakest of financial firms to fail as the free market would dictate, or we might do nothing and bring on what some are predicting to be a ten year deep depression. We might finance a bail out that would allow us to transition to a more stable financial environment while keeping our economy out of recession, or we might finance a bail out that cements our economy to a European vision of socialism, forever lethargic and poor performing--a place where ten per cent unemployment would be something to dream about.
I look at today's financial crisis with a lot of disgust and disappointment, and in truth, more of my disappointment is aimed at the Republicans than it is at the Democrats. More of my disgust? Hey, Barney, are you listening? Oh, and Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, did all those campaign contributions come in handy?
This does not mean that I think Republicans are more to blame here because there is enough blame here to slather around on both sides of the aisle. No, this means only that I hold so called conservatives to a higher standard--they are the party that says it prefers free market principles to drive the economy. I certainly am disgusted with Democrats that advocate the relentless push toward hard socialism, but when they do what they say they are going to do, how can I honestly be disappointed in their actions? I appreciate their honesty if not their intelligence.
Republicans? What else can I say other than that Contract With America looked pretty darn good on paper, at least before all that invisible ink faded.
Less than a week after the sinking of the Titanic, Thomas Andrews' father received a telegraph from New York that spoke of his son's final hours.
"INTERVIEW TITANIC'S OFFICERS. ALL UNANIMOUS THAT ANDREWS HEROIC UNTO DEATH, THINKING ONLY SAFETY OTHERS. EXTEND HEARTFELT SYMPATHY TO ALL."Andrew Thomas appears to have been the type of man that put his principles first. He might not have been cut out for politics.
Posted By Roug at 10:00 AM