Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Tea Party Challenge

I spend a few minutes several days a week speaking with my parents. They are in their golden years and every Christmas that I can celebrate with them is another answer to a year's worth of prayers.

They are true blue (or is it red these days) Republicans. They have never voted anything but Republican (except for a few silly Stupak votes) for decades. It is my parents, and people like my parents, who are the biggest challenge for tea party enthusiasts.

Tea party folk such as myself needn't waste our breath trying to compel progressive democrats onto a path of economic sanity--these are people who truly believe that the socialist model is what is best. That same thirty percent of the population believes that wealth equals greed, that greed equals imperialism, and that imperialism convicts America of crimes that not only can never be forgiven, but will also cloud whatever maneuverings America might make in the future. To that thirty percent of the population, America is an ill-conceived sociopath that needs to be jailed or transformed--and socialism is the way to do so.

My parents are of a different lot. They believe in the goodness of America and the goodness of its people. They believe in the country's industriousness, the vision of its founders, and in the moral character of a country whose wealth makes it possible for its people to donate billions of dollars annually to survivors of disasters and plight around the world.

This morning my Mother was interested in who I think would become our next president. I sighed as these conversations always take a familiar turn. I was noncommittal only throwing out a name or two behind which I would gladly hold a banner. She replied with a familiar tenor, "I think Romney or Huckabee would be good."

Predictably, my face fell.

This is not to say that I believe that those two Republican stalwarts would not be more than a mite better than the typical stumblebums the Democrats put forward--I do believe they would be much better. Yet, if the tea party has meant anything to me and to others within the movement, Romney (a very good man) and Huckabee (another very good man) will do little to put the brakes on our American crisis; a crisis created by generations of do-good government bureaucrats who also thought they knew all the answers.

When it comes to selecting their next presidential candidate, Republicans must embrace a candidate whose philosophy on government and governing is different than the candidates they have been putting at the head of the ticket these last few election cycles.

In the last presidential election Republicans put most of their support behind big-stater "maverick" John McCain, big-stater Mike Huckabee, big-stater Mitt Romney, and big-stater Rudy Guiliani. The only small government Republican in the lot was the uninspired Fred Thompson who posed no serious risk to the establishment and bowed out around Valentine's Day.

Republican voters in the next presidential election, such as my parents, need to embrace candidates who believe in a smaller government and in a wise citizenry capable of solving most of its own problems. They should not pursue anyone among the stable of recent Republican candidates who feel the need to build a larger benevolent government with all the powers and resources necessary to solve the peoples' problems for them.

My parents have fond recollections of the Party of Reagan; a party that believed in the goodness of America. But in the long run, I'm afraid, that sentiment has compelled too many voters to choose candidates based on their party's legacy rather than on current party member philosophies.

I'm going to work on my parents. Will you work on yours?

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Religion?

What could be the possible cementing factor among nine men, all between the ages of 19 and 28, arrested this week for an alleged plot to blow shit up in the UK during the run up to Christmas? (Incidentally, I may have identified the only circumstance in which it is allowed to mention Christmas in a newspaper article--it being too offensive to identify around the holiday season among certain non-Christian people, that is, unless it happens to be the particular happy holiday motivating the blowing up a few Christians.)

Well, because the article is particularly informative in some aspects, we do know where the suspect are from--Cardiff, London, and Stoke-On-Trent. They all appear to be British! They all at least live in Britain. This is a relief, honestly, because we'd hate to worry about foreign elements in society. You go multiculturalism!

We know too that potential targets included the US embassy as well as political and religious figures within the UK. As it goes, many random Brits between the ages of 19 and 28 can be a bit touchy near the winter solstice.

Let's put on our thinking caps. What could possibly be the common denominator between Mohammed Moksudur Rahman Chowdhury, Shah Mohammed Lutfar Rahman, Gurukanth Desai, Omar Sharif Latif, Abdul Malik Miah, Nazam Hussain, Usman Khan, Mohibur Rahman, and Mohammed Shahjahan?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Verdict Is In

and as it turns out, the economic policies embraced by our Governor, the leaders of our largest industry, the labor unions, unelected regulators, and dipshit legislators who believe that employers want to do business in this state for the sake of sheer public advocacy were wrong.

In fact, this brave troop of seers has helped manage to make Michigan the only state in the union that actually lost population over this past decade; a ten year period in which the country as a whole gained nearly ten percent in population.

As it turns out, Michigan residents weren't quite so willing to wait around for the government blessed jobs of tomorrow.

Updated for clarity.

Offended!

I fear of living in a land where the act of offending someone else is a crime. To be honest, I don't much like having to be careful about uttering "Merry Christmas" to a Jew or an atheist either. It simply takes too much mental work, and besides, why should my own personal happiness over this wonderful season be subjugated to the whims of someone who gets hacked off over a nativity scene?

Oh, by golly, if I want to wish you holly, jolly Christmas this year, you had better have one, even if I do offer you the option, as an interpreter of what I'm saying, to interject Happy Holidays over top of my insensitive wishes. I can be a jerk that way.

So, I'll just kindly wish you a Merry Christmas and you can cordially wish me Happy Holidays! Neither of us needs to be offended over the ordeal, and honestly, someone who is so predisposed to offense should maybe lighten up a bit.

I believe in America that we are of a bit more hearty stock. Perhaps it was our nation's early embrace of the Melting Pot theme that has allowed us to develop as a people in a way that predisposes us to more or less get along.

A generation ago, today's American Catholics and Protestants living side by side from coast to coast would have taken up arms against each other in Northern Ireland. The French and Germans have stacked up millions of each others corpses along their common border over social and political differences, but in this country these old world national interests seem irrelevant. And the Baptists...okay, bad example. They still don't get along with anyone.

If we Americans sought out reasons to become offended over the behaviors and beliefs of others we wouldn't have to look very far--pants sag too far in the butt, too many people waste their time watching American Idol, and who can stand a New York Yankee fan anyway?

But most of us don't go around seeking to be offended. Most of us look at ourselves as being individuals who can operate and believe largely within our own decided parameters and we accept that others can look at themselves in the same way.

Which brings me to this:

The parents of a Muslim boy who attends a secondary school in La Línea, Cádiz province, have reported their son's teacher for an incident in the boy's geography class which the child said caused him offence as a Muslim.

The teacher, José Reyes Fernández, with more than 20 years in the profession, was explaining to the class how the cold climate in Trevélez, Granada province, aided in the curing of the village's most famous local product, jamón serrano. The boy told his teacher that hearing the word 'ham' in class was offensive to him because of his religion and asked his geography teacher to stop referring to the product which caused him offence.

El Mundo newspaper reports that the boy's parents then reported the teacher to both the National Police and to the courts. They placed a denuncia against the teacher for psychological ill-treatment in the context of xenophobia and racism.
This kid and his parents need to be offended once in a while. It will toughen them up.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carl Levin's Opinion Matters Most

The Senate Arms Services Committee, chaired by Michigan's own Carl Levin, has determined that it is just as important that the military attain an enlightened social construct as it is for it to kill America's enemies. (Word has it that next month the committee will consider making it mandatory for forces to stay under fire until all spent shell casings can be collected for a new battlefield recycling initiative.)

We're making a point people!

Passage of this bill is a victory for our military, which can now implement this change in a deliberate, responsible way. It’s a victory for our country, which has taken another step toward living up to our highest ideals. And it is a victory for thousands of brave men and women who now can serve the nation they love without having to conceal part of their identity.
I can agree that this is a victory for our gay service people. On the first two points however, I have a hard time buying in.

How exactly is this a victory for the military? It must now implement policies that embrace and protect the gay lifestyle when clearly a significant portion of combat troops are resistant to the change and while many military leaders themselves fear a loss of unit cohesion because of it. Shouldn't our military leaders have more important things to worry about?

When a victory for the military is measured by its social impact I think someone has lost track of what the purpose of a military is.

How can this be a victory for our country? By taking a step toward attainment of its highest ideals?

Our country has already taken unprecedented steps toward fighting wars in as moral a manner as possible. We use smart weaponry. We use explosives designed to destroy only the immediate target. We have enacted rules of engagement that place our own fighting forces at heightened risk in order to safeguard the lives of civilians. We bombard the airwaves and use large leaflet drops that inform both innocents and the enemy when we are planning to attack so that they are not caught in the maelstrom.

Now we must send a less effective fighting force into battle against a morally vacant enemy in order to achieve our country's highest social ideals.

All of this is done despite the fact that our enemies intentionally operate in the opposite manner. They target civilians, intentionally destroy public infrastructure, and they hide among civilian populations in direct contradiction of the Geneva Conventions. Oh, and on Wednesdays they kill gays for the evil of being gay. Why do they deserve the benefits of our social ideals?

True, when pressed into answering the questions of social engineers, many among the military brass have said that they believe that Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) is an albatross--that it is ineffective, and that it is unnecessary. However, many among them do not. At best the overall attitude is agnostic.

And yet, Carl Levin makes it sound as if the military has been chomping at the bit to initiate these new changes. If the military had truly been doing so it would have aggressively lobbied for a change in the rules themselves, and not relied on people like Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to do the sales work for them.

For the record, my personal opinion is that any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to aim and shoot and effectively kill our enemies. Any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to drive a transport. And any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to serve this country well and with honor.

But, what I think about the situation should be irrelevant. What you think about the situation should be irrelevant. And, honestly, what Carl Levin thinks about the situation should also be irrelevant. What should not be irrelevant is how the fighting men and women feel about the policy change. It is they, after all, who must face the enemy's fire, not me, you, Carl, or the gay activist lobby living in Washington. But, apparently, what Carl thinks is most important.

Clearly this should have been the military's decision to make. It should not be made by people like Carl Levin too willing to send an incohesive fighting force into oncoming enemy fire so that Jeffrey and Bruce can announce their plans to hook up after mess.

Doug Giles has more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who's the sucker now?

Coldest December weather in Atlanta since 1917.

And I brought a light jacket.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Georgia On My Mind

Tonight the old Buick is getting packed up with underwear and socks in preparation for another week of work in the Atlanta area.

Just, as I exit northern Michigan the first major winter storm of this season is forecast to be entering the area. Enjoy the snow!

Suckers.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Struggling Conservative Provides A Cell Phone Caution

Any one of you sons of bitches that sends me a text message will be tracked down and killed.

With Friends Like These...

it is so much easier to call myself an independent.

After all the bloodletting in the last midterm election season that knocked off dozens of establishment Republicans in both the primaries and the general election, we still have more old-school dolts carrying the GOP banner than Michael Moore has dimples rippling through his khaki Sansabelts.

In the past couple of days we have seen Fred Upton receive chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton's record is replete with votes that run not only contrary to free market ideas but many of his votes spoon disgustingly with those of some of the most progressive jackasses in all of congress.

Fred Upton is a man who believes the best ideas come, not from the millions of individuals who make up our society, but from the crowned heads within the American government who have the power to make people behave in a way that is best for society.

So, why should I possibly be disgusted that a GOP vote has elevated him to this chairmanship?

In the past few days we have seen Sen. Chuck Grassley step forward with a ringing endorsement of continued corn subsidies for the ethanol industry; a fraud industry entirely concocted within the craniums of silly politicians whose elections depended upon the support of deep pocketed crony capitalists.

Finally, these eight Republicans voted under the cover of bi-partisanship to help pass the DREAM Act through the House last night.

Cao
Castle
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Djou
Ehlers
Inglis
Ros-Lehtinen
They cast their votes with a clear conscience knowing that no Republican amendments were even allowed to be considered. Thankfully, most of these pinheads have either been ousted from office by angry tea partiers, or are leaving office voluntarily.

In a two party system we sometimes have to live with dirty socialist scumbag Republicans (not that I mean to insult bags filled mostly with scum) because uninformed voters keep returning these clowns to office election after election.

I applaud the tea party for the impact it has had on so many elections around the nation and for its struggle to inform otherwise ignorant voters. But, these recent political maneuverings on the part of remaining GOP leaders makes it all the more apparent that what was started by fed-up American taxpayers just two short years ago has yet a long and narrow path to follow.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Our ETS Can Pole Vault

Perhaps ETS cannot literally pole vault, mind you, but how else can you explain its ability to transport itself through an unlikely catacomb of walls, windows, and doors that provides a substantial barrier between a host and an unsuspecting victim?

Unlike some of the more famous historical plagues, this killer is not known to be carried by rats or fleas or mosquitoes. It is not incubated in the filth of leaking sewage, is not a byproduct of mold or mildew, and it does not worm its way into our bodies through compromised food sources.

Yet, its ability to penetrate through and around walls on seemingly nothing more than a wisp makes it responsible for endangering the health and safety of anyone who might happen to be casually and unintentionally exposed.

Fortunately, we the people can count on all levels of government to protect us from all hazard, and the Detroit Housing Commission may be next in line to take this killer head on. If early indications are accurate, the commission next week will take a bold step that could benefit the health of all those unfortunate souls who might otherwise be exposed to the dangers of ETS while living under a wonderfully maintained government provided tenement roof.

But, the Detroit Housing Commission is not marching into battle alone. It has the full backing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an agency whose acronym for years was assumed by many to actually stand for "Hell Upon Detroit." Not any more.

Because Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) can migrate between units in multifamily housing, causing respiratory illness, heart disease, cancer, and other adverse health effects in neighboring families, the Department is encouraging PHAs to adopt non-smoking policies. By reducing the public health risks associated with tobacco use, this notice will enhance the effectiveness of the Department’s efforts to provide increased public health protection for residents of public housing. Smoking is also an important source of fires and fire-related deaths and injuries.
Government owned tenements are apparently just another of a countless number of battle grounds in the never ending war between our benevolent government caregivers and the rights of individual citizens to live lives without a nagging Mom sitting on their shoulder.

While those living in government owned housing voluntarily cede many of their rights and responsibilities to the government itself, this exposes yet again one of the favorite tactics that bureaucrats have in wresting liberties away from individuals; that is, money with strings.

If you are going to enjoy the benefits of a public park, you had better not light up. If you are going to open a business that needs a license, you had better operate it in an approved manner. If you are going to use a public health care system, you had better put on that helmet. If you are going to build a home with a loan underwritten by a government agency, you had better put in an access ramp. And, if you are going to live in government housing, you had better walk off the property every time you want to grab a smoke.

Where will it end? Not all subsidized housing is government owned. Yet, if the government has franchise to control the behaviors of those who choose to live within the walls it wholly provides, could it not conceivably have the ability to control the behaviors of people that enjoy the benefits of housing units that accept reduced rent subsidies?

If that is the case, why can't the government force preferred behaviors onto those who purchased their home with a strings-attached loan guaranteed by government? Why can't it force behaviors on people who build their homes during a process that requires government inspection after government inspection before occupancy? Why can't it force behaviors on people who can only access their property through easement on public lands? On and on and on.

No, ETS cannot pole vault--it merely travels out the window of a smoker's flat, takes a hard right or left, travels horizontally down the walk for twenty feet or so, and then eddies through the windows or door of an unsuspecting non-smoking neighbor. All this while maintaining the power to kill!

No, I don't fear ETS's ability to transport itself by whatever means. What I do fear is a government intent upon transferring its benevolent power onto the rest of us by whatever conceivable means possible.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Nanny Assumes

"[...]This is really about supporting parental choice. Most parents don't want their kids to use their lunch money to buy junk food. They expect they'll use their lunch money to buy a balanced school meal."
Or, so saith Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

And yet, it is actually more than this. You see, while I want my children to make good choices with their money and their health (not just at school but everywhere that they go,) I also want to be entrusted with the franchise to parent my own children.

How is it that Ms. Wooten can so adamantly embrace what she conveniently feels I would want as a parent (so much so that she takes it upon herself to enforce my assumed attitude,) while at the same time she can so nonchalantly dispose of my larger concerns over a nanny state government that feels it can do anything it desires under the guise that it is what a "good parent" would want?

Such assumptions give Wooten and her ilk the unendorsed authority to enter into every facet of child rearing, while parents, both of the nurturing and neglectful types, are either left frustrated with the system created by the Wootens of the world, or left fully compliant with one that encouraged their abdication of responsible parenting to begin with.

h/t overlawyered

In the Best Interests of a Detroit Child

In the best interests of the child is a term most often raised when it comes to family court and child custody. It is a term that helps to describe how child advocates, both those within the legal system and those on the outside, attempt to arrive at legal judgments that most benefit the children.

It is also a system that on its face is too often turned on its head with advocates and judges routinely making decisions based on arbitrary factors such as sex of the parent, money, and which parent is most easily pacified. Best interest of the child?

While at least legal lip service is given to the term in family, probate and circuit courts, no such whispers of "in the best interests of the child" are being entertained in the recent victory of the Detroit school board over its emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb.

But, this must all be put in context. Robert Bobb is, after all, an emergency financial manager. He did not come to serve in the Detroit School District in a time of peace, for the district's academic and financial track records had been dismal for years.

Need examples?

Detroit's school children ranked dead last in national standardized tests that pitted its students against those enrolled in other large publicly run school districts. Detroit's school district ranked dead last in graduation rates in the entire country coming in at only 25 percent, and many of those students that did manage to graduate from Detroit's crumbling educational system needed remedial education courses upon enrollment in college. To top all of that off, the district itself had churned up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt despite the fact that it had for years enjoyed special funding status among all of Michigan's school districts due to its sheer size. To put it frankly, the school board, administration, contractors and teachers of Detroit's public school system had fiddled with their children's educations while Rome burned--for many, many years.

Along came Robert Bobb. Appointed to the position of emergency financial manager by Governor Jennifer Granholm (a move that came way too late as far as I'm concerned,) Bobb hit the ground running and didn't bother to groom the egos of those who he determined were partially responsible for the district's demise.

He wrestled with school board members, he took on ineffective administrators, he attacked graft within the system, he shut down ongoing financial fraud schemes, he ended contracts, shut down schools, and he butted heads with the well entrenched Detroit unions. While every one of these head butts provided financial benefits to the district itself, few of the head knockings produced any friends among the wolves who had been protecting the hen house all along.

Bobb entered the Detroit scene with his eye firmly focused on finances, but it didn't take an airport scanner to see through the layers of academic deception that was the DPS. The test scores made it visible. The graduation rates made it visible. Feedback from recruiters at the college level made it visible. Bobb determined (as any sane person would) that the academic structure of the DPS was every bit of the failure that its financial structure was.

Bobb then began taking academic control from the people who had failed so miserably. He installed sweeping academic reforms for the district over the objections of those who had a track record of failure. He already had the enemies, but now he was making them even angrier.

Bobb's enemies sought the only recourse that they had--the courts. The courts in this instance had no reason to even consider what was in the best interests of the children. All the courts had to do was determine whether Bobb acted legally or not by stepping beyond his role of emergency financial manager.

The children? Never mind them.

Judge Wendy Baxter's ruling chastised Bobb for marginalizing the board's role, which she said exceeded his power. She noted, for instance, that Bobb would be within his rights to close a school for financial shortfalls, but not for academic performance.

In April, Baxter granted the school board an injunction to halt Bobb's authority over academic decisions. That order was overturned on appeal.

In Monday's ruling, she granted the board a permanent injunction, pointedly calling Bobb's academic plan "uninformed by the lack of education expertise."
Hmmm. Does she mean that Bobb's academic plan needs the educational expertise of those same outstanding educators that had helped lift the children of Detroit to the lofty academic perches of both the lowest test scores and the highest dropout rates in the entire nation?

The school board won while Bobb and the children lost. Now, whose best interests were served here?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Conference on Climate Change Begs Attendees to Be Inspired by Mesoamerican God Ixchel

I found some of the opening comments at the Cancun conference on global climate change very interesting. Christiana Figueres, herself a Costa Rican and also the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the name of Ixchel at the meeting.

From the Washington Post:

With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it's no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."

She called for "a balanced outcome" which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with "the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts."

"Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads," said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. "I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel."
This reminded me of an article I posted here a couple years ago. I think it is still worth while.
No one knows for sure how many people were sacrificed to the Earthen Gods of Mesoamerica.

In 1487, just a few years before savage Europeans were to begin their genocidal assault on the New World, the Aztecs themselves claimed to have sacrificed 80,400 victims over the course of only one four day festival. The claims of that celebration, in honor of the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, were spread far and wide on the tongues of the Aztecs who bathed in the glorification of blood and sacrifice. A more likely number, one not inflated by the ego of conspicuous sacrifice, a mere 2,000 to 10,000, were probably killed during the festivities, each one ceremoniously butchered on one of several specialized tables located at the top of the temple from where the body could be easily flung aside to carom down the bloody steps of the pyramid.

Estimates of the annual carnage are widely disputed, though Victor Davis Hanson has speculated that 20,000 is a plausible number while others have guessed that as many as one quarter of a million people were sacrificed annually. The author Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl has estimated that one in five children met his or her fate through ritualistic sacrifice, be it by knife or fire.

Sacrifice was not the burden of the captured soldier, slave or servant alone. According to legend, the King Cóxcox had his own daughter sacrificed and skinned at the founding of the city-state capital, Tenochtitlan, on the ruins of which Mexico City stands today. His example of selflessness helped serve as a model for generations.

The Gods of night (Tezcatlipoca,) sun (Huitzilopochtli,) rain (Tláloc,) and fire (Huehueteotl) were not easy to appease, and each, according to custom, demanded sufficient ceremony in death.

Huitzilopochtli would require his victims to:
[...] be placed on a sacrificial stone.[19] Then the priest would cut through the abdomen with an obsidian or flint blade.[20] The heart would be torn out still beating and held towards the sky in honor to the Sun-God [...]
Not to be spared the fear of pain and death, child sacrifices to Tláloc were only sufficient if the children wept on their way to final passage, their tears to be repaid by nourishing rains falling from temperamental skies onto a fragile Earth.

To the Aztecs, all life sprung from these protectorate Gods of Earth. Food, rain, sun, health and every other particle of good or distress was bestowed upon the Aztecs through Godly blessing or wrath. Life literally sprung from the Earth at the command of the Gods--the Earth was the ultimate source of life; penance and tribute were worthy and reasonable.

Humanity has an ugly ancient history, the Aztec chapter being but one of many. We would like to think that, at least in the Americas of today, that this sort of unconscionable loss of life is as deeply buried as most of the Aztec's cultural reminders.

Liking a thought does not make it true.

Today's Earth is worshiped to the same depth and breadth that the Earthen Gods were worshiped those few centuries ago just south of our border. Though the celebration of the death ritual may have changed, there is still a candid acceptance of what is necessary for the survival of our planet and its life giving essence, and that necessity, though absent of ceremony, demands the death of millions.

It is easy to point to Rachel Carson's writing of Silent Spring in 1962 as the gambit of the environmentalist movement. In her work, Carson, though falling short of demanding that DDT be totally banned, created a largely unfounded world wide hysteria over charges that the pesticide was harmful to human health, the environment, and birds. Shortly thereafter, DDT was banned in many countries. Malaria, dengue fever and typhus exploded.
With the help of DDT, the global malaria death rate--which had been 1,740 deaths per million in 1930--dropped more than 70 percent, to 480 per million in 1950.

Since Uganda stopped using DDT, however, malaria has ravaged the country. Government officials have decided to rebuff environmental activists and once again use it to combat malaria.

Niger Innis, spokesman for the U.S. branch of the Congress of Racial Equality, said, "Environmentalists always claim to be stakeholders. But every day that they succeed in delaying the use of DDT and other insecticides, another 3,000 to 5,000 people die from malaria. Those victims and the half billion who get this disease every year, who lie in bed shaking with convulsions, who can't work or go to school, who end up with permanent brain damage from malaria--they are the real stakeholders. It's their views that count."
Well, that depends on who you ask, for those championing environmentalism today pay little attention to the anonymous millions that die silently outside of camera range because of their advocacy. They still worship Earthen Gods, humankind a reasonable sacrifice, their faith killing millions of innocent people every year over the simple misfortune of having been born off the beaten dirt paths of a third world country.

DDT is but one example of a pervasive elitist attitude that devalues distant human life in the cause of environmentalism.
Dr. Charles Wurster, one of the major opponents of DDT, is reported to have said,

"People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this (referring to malaria deaths) is as good a way as any."
Today's hysteria over global warming and climate change, if alarmists are allowed to pursue their restrictive tactics, will claim millions of lives as its wealth choking mandates and regulations drive more and more people into poverty, ill health, and starvation.

As Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger travel back and forth between mansions, work, and conferences on private jets fueled, apparently, only on carbon credits, much of the rest of the world is starving--their diets shaved of calories so that my Buick can burn food instead of gasoline in its fuel tank.

And, while Al and Arnold no doubt adopt a less calloused stance than some others in the environmental movement of today, there are countless proponents within the movement that strongly advocate zero population growth and population reduction--by whatever means.
The Seguin Gazette quotes [Dr. Eric R.] Pianka saying, “Every one of you who gets to survive has to bury nine.”

“[Disease] will control the scourge of humanity,” Pianka said in his March 3 speech. “We're looking forward to a huge collapse.” He said, “We've grown fat, apathetic and miserable,” and described the world as a “fat, human biomass.”
Of course, the environmental movement today is diverse and filled with many people who advocate environmental issues on Saturday, quickly followed by outspoken advocacy for the homeless, or battered women, or children in foster care on Sunday. Most environmentalists are not evil people and they do not celebrate human suffering.

However, most environmentalists engage, ignorant or not, in activities that are not consequence free, as most people of sub-Sahara Africa could easily attest. In the same tone of voice that environmentalists use to admonish the rest of us for daring to reproduce and survive on gasoline, it is our duty to admonish the environmentalists who ignorantly take part in the sacrificing of millions of people around the world to Earthen Gods.

Dying silently in some remote hut in Uganda doesn't have nearly the shock value that a corpse has while tumbling down the side of a stone pyramid.

Shouldn't it?
h/t Michelle Malkin

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Many in GOP Still Stupid on Ethanol

The wiser among us have been saying that ethanol is a hopeless endeavor to positively impact the environment. I know this for a fact because I have been saying it for some time.

It is also an endeavor that has accidentally caused food prices to rise, accidentally wasted precious water resources, accidentally lowered automobile efficiency, accidentally sucked billions of dollars out of the economy to keep heavily leveraged ethanol and corn producers viable, accidentally caused the starvation of millions of third world children, and accidentally, despite the blatherings of well intentioned bureaucrats that launched the programs and needlessly kept them operating for so many years, contributed to the increased spewing of one of the most lethal forms of greenhouse gas--that same one exhaled whenever an unfortunate human has the strength to gasp for another breath--CO2.

Even Algore recently admitted that the ethanol hoax that he had helped perpetrate (due to his inability to say no to the ethanol lobby) was ill founded. Now, if a skull as thick and densely packed as the cranium owned by that of one Albert Gore can get the picture, why cannot six Republican senators serving today grasp the same concept?

Why cannot these gentlemen, those supposedly grounded within the founding concepts of a political party dedicated to a smaller and less intrusive government, get the fact that when government hoists its own micro managerial constructs upon an otherwise fluid and efficient free market economy that what results is a mutated economic outcome amounting to a circus geek with dull eyes, a thickened forehead, and the nose of a chicken. (I used all the obvious facial features of Algore that I could think of.)

The tea party movement obviously has a long way to go if it is going to return sanity to a government so deeply leveraged into a failed bipartisan notion of liberal fascism.

I am going to continue to call myself an independent until the economically ignorant are either purged from the GOP, or until they decide to learn a thing or two. For which, I'm certain, they are bawling their eyes out.

Sigh.

An Apple That Fell Next To The Tree, Grabbed a Ladder, and Climbed Right Back Up

I present to you John Conyers III.

It's difficult to raise a child properly these days among the mean streets of Detroit.

Seriously, even if highly paid congressional staffers do your babysitting for you, even if the staffers run the kids to and from location, even if you let the gentle cherubs themselves jaunt around town inside taxpayer provided luxury Cadillacs with well stocked bars, it's still hard.


John III asks 'Is it too early to pop a bottle?' as he sits behind the wheel of a Cadillac I suspect might be being leased by the taxpayers.

Well, I have no idea what time of day it was when the picture was snapped, but with him being just twenty years old I'd say the bottle popping took place before he became of legal drinking age.

So, yeah, its at least a bit early.

By my count there are at least three laws being broken (if the bottle actually gets popped) in this one snapshot. Then again, I cannot tell if his seat belt is on.

Don't worry about any of this however. I'm certain that John I and his incarcerated wife will quickly take care of the problem by paying back any money owed for the vehicle's usage--because that will, like, totally erase the illegality of the whole incident.

Then they're going to have to chew the asses off all those staffers that allowed things to get so out of hand.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drop the Tomatoes and Put Your Hands Behind Your Head

The Food Safety Modernization Act is getting closer to a vote. It represents the typical sort of big-brother benevolence that in the end will do little to accomplish what it ostensibly purports to do but could, as a matter of design, turn my Mom, my cousin, my brother in law, and millions upon millions of Americans into criminals.

This tyrannical law puts all food production (yes, even food produced in your own garden) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Yep -- the very same people running the TSA and its naked body scanner / passenger groping programs.

This law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a "smuggler") for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmer's market.

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimentarius.

It would criminalize seed saving, turning backyard gardeners who save heirloom seeds into common criminals. This is obviously designed to give corporations like Monsanto a monopoly over seeds.

It would create an unreasonable paperwork burden that would put small food producers out of business, resulting in more power over the food supply shifting to large multinational corporations.
What we need in this country is more regulation.

Because, as everyone knows, there are no existing laws against raising filthy food teeming with e coli and selling it to an unsuspecting public as kosher.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Moments in Liability Avoidance

A Phoenix area golf course cautions us:

















from Free Range Kids via Overlawyered

Some Opinions about the Wikileak Leak

First from Watts Up With That--a post that questions the subjective application of rock-hard journalistic principles.

Secondly from Archbishop Cranmer who suggests that we shouldn't be very surprised that people talk about us behind our backs and that

[...]Wikileaks is a whistleblower’s website, and they appear to have an awful lot of whistles to blow. As these revelations reverberate around the world, it is evident that they serve a purpose.

It is worth considering what and whose.
At Volokh, David Bernstein points out that conspiracy theorists must be confounded by the leaks.
It’s quite a blow to conspiracy theorists, is it not, that the combined weight of two of their favor bogeymen, “the Zionists” and “the Arabs” haven’t been able to get the U.S. to take military action against Iran.
Finally, at Protein Wisdom, the OUTLAW himself ponders when it was that we stopped treating treason as treason.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ray Basham, D-Taylor, Knows the Legislature's Job

Mr. Basham, when having his nose rubbed in the fact that Michigan's relatively new anti-smoking law for bars and restaurants has reduced charity gaming revenues by nearly 25%, responded with this bit of wisdom:

"I would say to them, 'What are you doing to market to nonsmokers?'" said Basham, who pushed for years to get Michigan to adopt the ban. "The job of the Legislature is to protect public health, not to create a business plan for establishments that don't have a business plan."
Many bars and restaurants that have been profitable for decades are now showing similar decreases in revenues. (Oddly, they seemed to have successful business plans for all those years.)

Sadly, other people have been affected too. Employees at many of these establishments have seen their hours cut back as a result of the shortfall.

As it turns out, this is not Mr. Basham's fault either. He might say to them, What are you doing to make some money? Maybe you should get a second job or go find some cans for deposit money. After all, it is the job of the legislature to protect your health even though you chose specifically to work in an establishment that caters to smokers, and it is not our job to create a survival plan for employees that don't have a survival plan. Unless, of course, you need some food stamps...

Just so you know, it is neither Mr. Basham's fault nor that of his political brethren that nearly a million Michiganders have lost their jobs in the past ten years, that hundreds of companies have closed up shop or fled the state, that the unemployment rate here has rivaled the nation's highest for most of the last decade, and that whole industries are struggling for lack of a nurturing business climate.

After all, it is the job of the legislature to pursue the greater good for Michigan society, not to create a survival plan for businesses that have difficulty adapting to all the horse crap legislation that fascist morons seem to pass out of Lansing these days with the quivering speed of Chris Matthews' leg at an Obama speaking engagement.

With people like Ray Basham in charge it is a shock that anyone in Michigan still has a job. But if they didn't, it wouldn't be his fault.

The Nanny State Cometh

I marvel at the attempts made by government officials to control the lives of individual Americans in their routines of life.

We have bureaucrats that are more than willing to tell us how to operate our businesses, what to eat and drink, how to spend our leisure time, and how to treat those around us. We have countless government agencies whose sole purpose is to nudge individual Americans into herd behaviors that benefit whatever bureaucrats deem is the common good.

That common good can be accomplished by protecting our environment from pollution, by protecting us all from activities suspected of contributing to man made global warming, by protecting us from any casual contact with cigarette smoke (or any of a thousand other substances,) by keeping people from either accidentally or purposefully ingesting any foods or drinks where short or long term ingestion thereof might cause cancer or obesity or high blood pressure in mice, by protecting particular classes of people from being disadvantaged or offended, or by keeping knuckle dragging conservatives from thinking the wrong thoughts.

Some bureaucrats these days hint at reining in certain uncooperative news channels, hobbling the blogosphere, and throwing cold water over the haters of talk radio. You see, it just isn't helpful to have government's ambitions painted in such an uncomely manner! They are, after all, here to protect.

This last election was, I think, at least a bit of an indication that many among us had seen enough. Many of us are tired of the intrusiveness of government. And, while most of us recognize that actions taken by individuals can be damaging to individuals, we believe that handcuffing individuals to the desired outcomes of the collective creates a society that intrinsically functions less successfully while it offers us less freedom.

While conservatives have helped to pull both wings of the legislative branch back closer to sanity, there is still a lot of work to do.

I offer you as an example, Rep. Jan Schakowski, D-Illinois, who won reelection into the upcoming house.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, the Illinois Congresswoman who informed the WSJ that I am a "cynical special interest" because I dared to participate in the upcoming midterm elections, is not content with rearranging your business and the Children's Product industry. Now she wants to redesign your new home.

Does she have good taste, you ask. Well, read on and see what you think of Jan Schakowsky as your architect or decorator.

Your home is your last refuge, right? Not if she gets her way -- but then again, she knows what's best for you! After all, a bigger government involved in every aspect of your life is a BETTER government. The estimable Ms. Schakowsky is the sponsor of HR 1408 Inclusive Home Design Act of 2009. In other words, this law-in-the-makings is her handiwork.
Read the article and then come back and answer the questions.

How comfortable do you feel in the local building department having the final say on whether your own personal home is accessible enough to the handicapped? Even if you are not handicapped. Even if no one in your family is handicapped. Even if the only person you know that is handicapped is someone that you don't like and don't want to visit you in the first place. Even if it costs you many thousands more in building costs.

Well, Jan Schakowsky knows best about these sorts of things and she is willing to use strings-attached government money to shackle you into compliance.
“any assistance that is provided or otherwise made available by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or any program or activity or such agencies, through any grant, loan, contract, or any other arrangement, after the expiration of the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, including . . . grants, subsidies, or any other funds . . . services of Federal personnel . . . any tax credit, mortgage or loan guarantee or insurance. . . .”

In other words, if you even brush against the federal government in constructing your new home, you are COVERED by this law. Tax credit for your new energy-efficient furnace? You’re IN. HUD loan refinance for a development of several homes? You’re IN. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac involved? You’re IN. Vet benefits? You’re IN. Inspected by a federal employee for some reason? You get the idea.
Tea party people are being vilified across the nation by progressive democrats for being haters, racists, unsophisticated, uneducated, greedy, morally suspect, and, to put it simply, stupid.

We are vilified by establishment republicans for being unsophisticated, uneducated, greedy, morally suspect, not politically pragmatic, and, to put it simply, stupid.

I might very well be stupid and I'll admit that political pragmatism has never been at the top of my strengths list. But I'm pretty certain I'm smart enough and practical enough to build my own home according to my own needs without Jan Schakowsky and her minions having the final say on all the final design touches.

h/t Overlawyered

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Of Course She Did

Governor Granholm has again pleaded with government leaders to give the chronically unemployed an extension in unemployment benefits.

Once again, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and family advocacy groups are pleading with Congress to extend unemployment benefits set to expire Nov. 30.

“Now is not the time to pull the rug out from those who need assistance to provide for their families,” Granholm wrote in a letter to House and Senate leaders in Washington, D.C.

While Granholm sees the denial of another extension as pulling the rug out from under struggling families, she appears to feel no such remorse for helping to pull the rug out from under a once strong state economy.

Granholm has been on a seven year campaign ostensibly to make Michigan less competitive in both the global and national market place.

Her policies have openly advocated higher employment costs in this state, higher taxation in this state, higher energy costs in this state, higher construction costs in this state, and more regressive regulations for the businesses and individuals unfortunate enough to live under her rule--all of which have helped to lengthen the unemployment lines among people who have seen their employers flee to states and countries where they are not treated as the enemy for the sin of operating profitably.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for you Jennifer. First, you cannot have employees without employers. Secondly, you cannot have employers without profits. Finally, you cannot have profits without a friendly business environment.

When the war on employers ends so will the need for perpetually extending unemployment benefits. Commencing this war effectively pulled the rug out from under those same people who had, once upon a time, a Michigan job.

Viability is Irrelevant

or so it would seem for worshipers of socialism who find themselves reluctant to live in countries that wish to remain solvent in the global economy.

Portugal is the latest example where strikers have effectively shut down factories, stalled public transportation, and closed the ports. This is supposed to make Portugal attractive to outside investors how, exactly?

* Nearly 80% of trains were not running, and bus and ferry links in Lisbon were disrupted, along with the metro service

* Both air traffic controllers and airport ground handling operators were on strike, meaning dozens of flights in and out of Lisbon had to be cancelled or rescheduled

* All of the country's ports were closed, according to the unions

* Fewer than 10% of the workforce at Volkswagen's Autoeuropa plant near Lisburn turned up for work, according to unions
Most of Portugal's back breaking debt is held outside of the country. That is, in the past it was able to convince foreign investors that it would be able to pay back its debt even though it was engaged in a campaign to oppressively constrict the private sector while turning the centralized government into the do-all end-all career choice for its woefully under productive workforce.

As a result of the country's economic policies, the economy has struggled to the point that the country (and those gullible foreign investors) fears it may not be able to meet its obligations and its only course of action is to rein in the costs that serve to make the country a human slab of uncompetitiveness.

Which sorta pisses off those who have reaped the benefits of these slatherings of largess. The mindset is that, regardless of consequences, "you will not cut our benefits!"

Makes you want to invest in Portugal, doesn't it? I'm certain Volkswagen is glad that it did.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Waiting On a $2500 Check from the DOE and NEA

The federal and state takeovers of local education are abject failures. And really, how surprising should it be that an education system that demands that most decisions be made hundreds or thousands of miles outside of the classroom would ultimately prove to be a disaster?

Spending on education at both the state and national levels has skyrocketed over the past few decades. As taxpayer money flowed to Lansing and Washington, the respective Departments of Education grew more and more bloated.

Studies were commissioned. Well meaning constituencies were rewarded for their votes. Advocates were given an ear.

Yet, despite all the bounty provided to distant classroom puppet masters and their minions, American children fell farther and farther behind those of other countries. Well intentioned bureaucrats set curricula, crowned instructors as qualified or unqualified, set nutritional standards, enacted one size fits all disciplinary regimens, and then elevated environmentalism and self-esteem to classroom worthy subjects. All that just scratches the surface.

We are in a different age now; an age where American children are expected to lag behind and where attempts to correct the problem come with target dates years into the future. A child entering middle school this year in many of our nation's struggling school districts has already been all but written off.

It is an odd circumstance (with a dash of unfortunate irony) that two of the most egregious pilfering organizations within our educational disaster are now asking locals for advice on assistance within the classroom.

WASH. D.C. — The U.S. Department of Education and the National Education Association want to continue tapping the brains of local educators to help solve classroom-based problems.

If the NEA Foundation finds that solution as the most responsive, that educator could land $2,500 in his or her wallet.
One wonders if these esteemed bureaucracies will award $2500 to each of those who will rightly suggest that the substantive solution to current educational problems could be found if the DOE and NEA (and other ineffectual collectives) would voluntarily cease to exist.

You know, take one FOR THE CHILDREN!

I predict that the battle cry of putting education back under local control will not garner much attention from those who have managed to stake their careers on a reverse flow of money.

I'm going to keep sounding my horn. Really, what else can a local guy be expected to do, that is, other than check the mailbox on a daily basis? I doubt they are listening, but I could sure use the $2500.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jenny, We're Still Waiting on those Jobs

We've spent the last several years in Michigan waiting on Jennifer Granholm's blessed green jobs of tomorrow. You know, the types of jobs that Ms. Granholm envisions will spring from the soil like mushrooms in feculent barnyard dirt if only we allow her to sufficiently manipulate the feedlot environment.

Among her most notable achievements are the addition of business and profit killing regulations, an unyielding support for an unproductive and adversarial union dominated labor force, policies designed to keep the consumption of Michigan energy artificially high, and the fascist-dappling habit of blessing particular businesses and industries over their unfortunate competitors.

Each of these (and other) strategies are intended to put Michigan at the helm of tomorrow's job creation--what with today's jobs being relatively uncool.

The jobs she seeks are those that dance about within the confines of her own nearly empty cranium and not those that would naturally be created by unrelenting free-market forces. What Granholm's unwavering quest has helped to do is drive nearly a million Michiganders out of work, others out of state, and even more out of hope.

Granholm's strategy is really nothing more than a garden variety socialist's misguided attempt to wag the dog.

By and large, private businesses will locate in and invest within cities and states that allow them to grow profitably. (That is, those that don't receive a state franchise to produce something that the free-market cannot afford to produce on its own.) Private businesses will hire workers in areas where they can achieve a profitable status.

What Granholm either ignores or misunderstands is that hired employees (and the wages they collect) are simply byproducts of a profitable business environment and not a spontaneous formation in the furrows of her experiment.

Michigan is now stuck with an unemployment rate that has either rivaled the nation's worst or been the nation's worst for much of her disastrous administration. Jobs have not miraculously chased down her retrained workers. Hiring businesses have not sufficiently relocated here to take advantage of her green-jobs paradise. In fact, in ever larger numbers children born in Detroit, Lansing, and far reaches of the northern woods are now living and working in exotic locations such as Dallas, Casper, and Atlanta--their tax payments now being made to different cities and states. (No worry, those that stay here can always pay more.)

But, she reasons, when the jobs of tomorrow come knocking on our door we will be thankful. It will all have been worth it. Prosperity will return.

And yet, Forbes has an interesting take...maybe the unemployed are unemployed because they are looking for work in the wrong place.

Bad interviews or a lack of experience may not be the reason you can't land a job. Your location may be to blame.
People, go where the businesses are. They are not coming to you. Then again, I suppose you already know that.

If only Jennifer would figure it out.

In Michigan Once Again

I'm thrilled to be back in Michigan once again after another two week stint in Atlanta, and what a difference in climate a mere fourteen hours in the old Buick was able to expose.

Friday in Georgia was sunny with a light breeze, and about 70 degrees. Thin jackets were worn only by wimps as we he-men were in short sleeves exposing our ripped forearms. I arrived in Michigan to temperatures in the low 20s and a light breeze from the north capable of creating severe shrinkage among the most virile of men.

With this Michigander's self esteem now blown completely out of the water I'm going to take a hot shower.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Olbermann Suspended by MSNBC

Who walking on Earth these days has any doubt that Keith Olbermann is a shill for the left wing of the Democrat party? Really, who?

It appears that finally this bit of information has become known among the brass at NBC as they have suspended Mr. Eyebrows for making contributions to several democrat candidates and then inviting them onto his show.

When did MSNBC start giving a crap about objectivity in its programming? To whit, Tuesday night their wall to wall campaign coverage was paneled by Olbermann, bleeding heart liberal (and other MSNBC host) Rachel Maddow, Chris (I have a thrill running up my leg) Matthews, the self-avowed MSNBC socialist Lawrence O’Donnell, and left leaning Eugene Robinson.

While I am thoroughly enjoying the news that Olbermann is sitting out for a couple of days, the most hilarious thing for me is the idea that MSNBC is even bothering to go through the motions of trying to protect its own self-inflicted brand of implausible objectivity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My Confidence in the Independent Voter

Doesn't amount to very much.

I am not certain I have heard anything about independent voters that would make me feel confident that they will continue to reject the nannystate in 2012 regardless of their discontent with big government worshipers this time around.

Right now independent voters are being given a lot of credit for the anger in this country. We are told that independents have turned away from Barack Obama and the Democrat Party. We are told too that it was largely these independent voters that were responsible for helping buoy Obama in his campaign for the White House in 2008.

What I cannot fathom is how largely this same group of independents could take such radically disparate political stances within two years; first by emphatically embracing a self proclaimed ultra progressive candidate for president, and then seemingly tossing aside the promised socialist agenda for one that echoes the small government drums of the tea party.

This is not to say that I'm upset with independents for temporarily veering back toward sanity in government, but that conservatives who might very well reap the benefits of a fickle independent shift in the current mid-term elections had better do a phenomenal job of educating these fickle among us on economics, the founders' vision, and the spectacular success that is America if they want this to be more than a two-year bounce.

If conservatives want to truly nudge this country toward a more conservative course it had better do what it can to change independent voters into conservative ones.

Twenty four months is not a long time, and beginning tonight, the clock is ticking.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dan Rather Would be Proud

So much for that "semblance" of objectivity in political reporting.

Local CBS reporters in Alaska get caught in a plot to sabotage Joe Miller's senate campaign by creating and then circulating unfounded news through social media.

The Dan Rather legacy lives on at CBS.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The View Hostesses Should Not Invite the USPS to Appear

From the Freep:

The U.S. Postal Service says it's temporarily stopped accepting inbound international mail that's originating in Yemen.

The suspension is effective today and comes in response to the potential threat from suspicious packages arriving in the U.S. on international flights originating in Yemen.
Banning a package simply because it originates from a Muslim country is such bullshit! Not all Muslims are radical and certainly not all Muslim packages are packed with explosives.

No word yet on whether NPR will be firing the USPS over this outrage.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carbon Silliness

Hyundai has done it!

They've managed to produce a commercial for their gas drinking vehicles in which no gasoline was used during the production.

Writes Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That:

Honestly, I don’t see the point. It seems beyond ridiculous to make a zero carbon footprint commercial for cars that use gasoline. Note all the trucks, rental, and equipment vans surrounding the commercial shoot, now how did all those get there? Pedal power?

As the Election Nears

There were a lot of limousine GOP moderates who lamented the success of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's primary race for the US Senate.

Polls clearly show that O'Donnell is running far behind Democrat candidate Chris Coons and in a political landscape where Republicans are desperate to take majority in the US Senate, each and every seat is vitally important. Had Mike Castle, O'Donnell opponent in the Republican primary race, been the winner would the GOP have a better chance of taking majority in the Senate?

The answer is, of course, yes. The better question is, however, would conservatives in this country be better off had Castle, a cap and trade supporting, big taxing, stimulus grubbing business-as-usual politician been their general election candidate?

The answer is no.

O'Donnell is perhaps not the most sparkling of GOP candidates this year though, in truth, her candidacy has been treated unseriously by the media as a whole. What has to be admitted, however, is that she is a candidate that has made liberal Republicans take notice that there will be a political price to pay for providing progressive policymakers the cover of "bipartisanship" when government expanding votes pass though Congress and ultimately become law.

I think the predicted defeat of Christine O'Donnell is only half the concern it might once have been. Mike Castle and GOP establishment clingers are by far the biggest losers in the Delaware election. From the conservative perspective, all in all, I'd say its a wash.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obama's Energy Slight of Hand

Tucked neatly inside the first chapters of most books on economics is this truth...if you want to increase the demand (and price) of any commodity you simply need to reduce its supply.

If this administration is truly concerned about our crippled economy, why would it intentionally try and suck additional billions of dollars out of the pockets of consumers by artificially altering the supply of energy?

Joe Biden: The Vision

Via Popehat, Joe Biden declares his adoration for government vision.

“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive."
We can probably all agree that government involvement has helped to spur on certain industries or, more likely, certain businesses within certain industries. But what Joe doesn't seem to recognize is all of the potential advances that could have been made by unfettered private industry had not federal and state governments and their regulatory agencies made it more difficult for people to enter the industries in question.

How many new entry drug companies are being launched today? How many new automobile companies spring up these days when a century ago there were dozens that entered the market? Does the crippling cost of regulation keep potential genius level competitors on the sidelines in these and other industries?

If so, has a cure for cancer gone needlessly undiscovered? Has a viable sixty mile per gallon car died on the machine shop floor of an underfunded engineer?

Joe also neglects to mention government blessed domestic industries that have failed so completely that once regulated and incentivized they require millions or billions of dollars every year in taxpayer subsidies to stay afloat. Ethanol anyone? I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to see how this whole "green jobs" for the sake of "green jobs" business turns out.

And what about the dismal performance of once successful industries that now falter because of a special blend of government incompetence, bad policy, and the unintended consequences of benevolent regulation? Housing anyone? Banking? Timber? Furniture? Education? Gulf oil? The automobile? The internal combustion engine? Peanuts? Mohair? Tourism? You name it.

Joe Biden is a big believer in big government. He is such a believer that he is unable to even curb his enthusiasm in the face of a government caused worst economic collapse in nearly one hundred years.

If government has such great vision Joe, why didn't it see a [heavily subsidized] freight train coming?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Intellectual Left Takes on Idiot Sarah Palin

Could that moose-gutting strumpet get any dumber?

Oh, never mind.

h/t Protein Wisdom, Ace

Liberal Tactics Displayed on The View

Whoopi Goldberg and that silly fat cow, Joy Behar, stalked off the stage of the View last week when Bill O'Reilly dared suggest that those who crashed their planes into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on 9-11 were Muslim.

"That is such bullshit!" cried Whoopi. "Moo" said Behar.

Over the din of the crowd Whoopi could also be heard yelling "Mr. McVeigh." Her voice is then drowned out by rising voices and the constant swishing of Behar's tail, but the gist of Whoopi's argument is that, while it was (self-proclaimed Muslim) non-Muslims that crashed their planes, it was a (self-proclaimed agnostic) Christian that bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

I know of few people with more than a passing brain cell that regularly watch The View or attribute to it any sort of political or intellectual honesty. The host, Barbara Walters, to her credit, was stoic enough to verbally slap down Behar and Goldberg for leaving the stage when their ability to debate fled them, but she failed to mention in her tongue lashing that Goldberg is little more than a fancy liar and Behar a silly fat cow.

But that is the way of the dishonest progressive mindset. Attribute words to those who do not speak them, ignore the words of those who do speak, and within that swirling context deliberately construct a false reality that crowns the obfuscators as the arbiter of truth, and her gassy pet cow.

I'm BAAAACK! (Temporarily)

I've been traveling to and from Atlanta now for the past several weeks. After my last trip I had four days here at home before I had to load up the car again for a return to Atlanta, and this time my stay at home might be for no more than two weeks.

Blogging while on the road has been impossible. And, during my short stays at home, I find myself questioning whether blogging is really worth the effort since I am unable to produce timely posts on much of anything too interesting. As my posting has waned so too has my readership.

During the past few months I've found myself severed from the Michigan political scene and have not been reconnected much of anywhere else. Jennifer Granholm's IQ may have miraculously spiked to 80 in my absence and I would be none the wiser. I'm currently more qualified to post on the aesthetics of my 95 Le Sabre's dash board than I am the Michigan governor's race.

I am going to try and blog during the next couple of weeks to see if the effort seems like a reasonable investment. Then, if I can make my laptop wireless capable in the next week or so I'll have the ability to blog occasionally on the road too.

We'll have to see what happens from there.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I arrived back into Oscoda County today after a three week stint absent internet access. It was three weeks that included a lot of hard work and over three thousand miles in the old Buick on my now too-flattened backside.

I ache and need sleep.

The trip home had its highlights. There was the Georgia broadcast of a local Atlanta citizen in trouble with the government for, gasp, growing and selling too much food produced on his own property.

There was the news report on Lexington, Kentucky's attempt to get its citizens to voluntarily adopt European style energy regulations on windows, doors, and who knows what else. You know, the kind that have not been seriously considered anywhere else in America. Then again, I suppose no serious attempt to herd people off the cliff can end successfully without a lone brave lemming out front.

There was also the conversation I had with a gentleman outside a hotel who carefully lit his cigarette outside the hotel's entrance in order to comply with the new local ordinance that makes smoking a criminal offense if it is committed within 25 feet from the entrance. He defiantly stood in a misty rain exactly 26 feet away from the front door--he'd measured.

I have one short week here in Michigan before I again venture out into a world where a job is available...that would be an out-of-state job of today and not one of the blessed jobs of Michigan's tomorrow that Jennifer Granholm would love me to have the patience to wait for.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Change of Scenery

I am leaving Michigan this weekend for several weeks to work in Atlanta. The job is very short term likely lasting only two to four weeks. I want to see a Braves' game, might visit the zoo, and, if the opportunity arises, I'll flip off that socialist tyrant wannabe Ted Turner and that Marxist hag wife of his.

I have been told that I will have access to a computer but I seriously doubt I'll do much blogging--what with my spare time already divided between geriatric fisticuffs and the frequent application of a glistening sheen of soothing Aloe Vera. Hey, I burn! (Besides, it ain't like I'm doing much blogging these days anyway.)

Enjoy my absence. Can one of you bums water my plants?

Go On, Guess

Take a wild guess as to which city in the world ranks number one in murder.

Is it in a war zone or one that experiences frequent bombings? Is it a city like Detroit or Chicago that has for years suffered from American decline? Is it a city torn apart by drugs or racial divides?

Or is it a budding social paradise but waiting on the anointed Leader to get his entire agenda into place?

h/t Power Line

I Haven't Seen This Much Blood Since an Unfortunate Junior High Basketball Accident

Caution to the wayward troll that ventures into Jeff Goldstein's lair.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Already Trillions in Debt, What's a Few Million More?

Just how stupid are the those in charge of our benevolent government?

Is broadband access in rural Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula worth spending $81 billion borrowed Chinese dollars when we already have over $100 trillion in debt and unfunded mandates sitting on the books?

But its stimulus dollars!

Oh, I guess its free then.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What You Intend Does Not Matter: Dr. Laura Edition

We have become a country where the speaker too often has lost the upper hand to the interpreter. That is, what we say and what me mean has become irrelevant to people who are willing to, in bad faith, misinterpret what is being communicated so that the interpreter can vilify the speaker for what he or she never uttered.

It is this sad state of affairs that allowed John Wiley Price the platform from which to call a fellow Dallas County Commissioner a racist for using the term "black hole" in a meeting.

This is how Bill Bennett was attacked for supposedly championing eugenics when he did no such thing, how Rush Limbaugh was attacked for his racism when he is no racist, and how the use of the word niggardly can be reason enough to get a person excoriated. None of these well documented situations in any way signify a racist attitude on the part of the speaker, yet mean spirited interpreters were allowed to completely twist the words of the utterer into a misshapen dialog that was then used as a reason to attack the speaker.

The results of such verbal acrobatics is a stifling of honest debate on a topic that, as Eric Holder wass quick to point out, we are cowards for not addressing.

We can add Dr. Laura Schlesinger to the list. During a conversation with a caller last week Dr. Laura said this:

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger.

I don’t get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing. Don’t hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don’t go away.
Is this the type of conversation that Eric Holder was calling for when he accused us of cowardice on race relations?

I think it is. And yet, Schlesinger is being pilloried. She is not being attacked for the intent of her comments but rather because she is a conservative and, because of her card-carrying inclusion within that group, her comments are being intentionally misinterpreted to expose an erstwhile unknown latent hostility toward blacks.

Charges of racism are used more often to silence well-intentioned non racists than they are to expose and attack true racists.

Schlesinger is packing in her radio show over the incident effective at the end of the year (if protesters don't get her sacked prior to that time.) Hey, that is the free market and if protesters can influence businesses through withholding money to advertisers, more power to them.

If we are ever going to arrive at a post-racial society we'd all better learn to listen honestly to what other people have to say. Otherwise Eric Holder will have every reason to point his finger at us again in the future.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Progressive Pie

I jumped to conclusions, for when I heard that Carl Levin had been attacked by a pie-wielding protester in Michigan, I assumed that it had been one of those crazed right-wing zealots that we hear so much about.

You know the ones. The ones that shout racial epitaphs at black congressmen. The ones that deliver death threats to politicians. The ones that spit. The ones that mean spiritedly call for Muslims to forgo their plans to build a mosque of triumph on the same plot of land where the landing gear of Mohammad Atta's plane came tumbling down.

Then I discovered the truth.

Hmmmm.

Maybe Ahlam M. Mohsen should build a pie stand in a dark corner of the Pepper's Cafe and Deli.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jackson to Deliver Same Tired Speech in Detroit

Jesse Jackson has been lobbying for good urban economic conditions for decades. He has battled for the little man, for the common man, for the disadvantaged man, for the union man, for the frustrated man. During those same decades, however, for all the sweat that has evaporated from his furrowed brow he has done nothing but promote destined to fail economic policies that have predictably resulted in crumbling urban islands devoid of plausible hope.

He is at it again in advance of his appearance in the Motor City on August 28th. The appearance will include speeches, a march, and an attempt to once again expound on his beliefs--as if Americans hadn't already tired of having their noses rubbed into the underbelly of Detroit's urban decay.

The march marks the launch of the "Rebuild America" campaign, which aims to convince national leaders to enact policy that will promote the skills and talent of workers.

"With The Big Three, we've gone from making cars to shuffling cars," Jackson told the television station. "And the impact of that of course is massive unemployment, maybe three times the national average."
There are a number of things that we can expect Jackson to say. America's corporations are driven by greed. A small number of Americans are controlling more and more of the nation's wealth. America is largely racist. The American Dream is being denied to city dwellers through poor education, poor city services, and poor national planning.

A theme that we can confidently believe will not be addressed is how "national leaders" have made it difficult for corporations and other businesses to operate profitably in a global marketplace and how these same leaders and their minions have created atmospheres in which corporations are forced to flee across city, state, and national borders in order to remain viable and survive.

As a brazen socialist and anti-capitalist, Jesse Jackson is unwilling to fathom that wealth is not a naturally occurring resource. He is unwilling to believe that the major difference between the extravagantly wealthy and the miserably poor is not just dumb luck.

Businesses that lose money do not create jobs. Businesses that must work inefficiently in order to comply with crippling work rules and regulations are unable to compete on even terms with companies that are not so encumbered.

Businesses that make decisions on where to locate or expand must make those decisions not based solely on today's conditions, but must also consider the future decisions of 'national leaders' who routinely prostitute themselves in order to pack polling precincts on election night. They must weigh the future costs of mandated health care, retirement plans, family leave acts, punitive environmental regulations, zoning, tort run amok, union belligerence, Jennifer Granholm's green economy, and localized crime.

Jesse Jackson has an eye keen enough to detect the never ending and symptomatic oozing boil of poor economic policy, yet he is either incapable of diagnosing the disease behind the pock or too invested in his career of poverty pimping to care one way or the other.

In either case we're going to hear the same tired speech again.

Fear No Weevil

One of my fondest memories of childhood involved the summertime collection of monarch butterfly caterpillars and observing them as they grew, turned into chrysalises, and then later hatched. It was a mesmerizing experience watching each stately monarch break free of its pupae prison and slowly stretch out to become one of the world's most beautiful and colorful insects.

In the world of creepy crawlers a monarch butterfly could easily counterbalance the existence any ugly spider or odoriferous stink bug.

During the past several weeks I've been revisiting this childhood joy. I've been watching a half dozen milkweeds near my yard in hopes of spotting an early monarch caterpillar. I was thrilled when about ten days ago I noticed several of the gluttonous caterpillars.

Nearly every day since then I've walked to the milkweed patch to witness the caterpillars' progress. I found several more smaller ones during my subsequent visits that were almost impossible to detect--meanwhile, the original ones grew longer and fatter.

That was until yesterday. Before church I sauntered over to the driveway to visit my new friends. Every single one of the caterpillars had either disappeared altogether or was laying there dead.

Attached to two of the caterpillar corpses were several weevils who had punctured the caterpillar hides with their long ooze-sucking snouts. The caterpillars were deader than doornails and turning black.

I had always thought that monarch caterpillars were more or less protected from predators. By eating almost exclusively milkweed they bloated themselves on the white sap of the weed which is bitter, sticky and poisonous. This might come as a shock to Rougblog readers, but I had thought wrong.

There were at least two different types of weevils burrowed into the bodies of the caterpillars. Being a Christian, and this being a Sunday, I crushed the little bastards with a rock.

The next time I find healthy caterpillars near my house I'm going to collect them and put them in glass jars like I did when I was young. When they safely hatch they can fly free to lay eggs on milkweeds hopefully not infested with weevils.

I did some quick research on monarch predators and found that they are often the prey of wasps and birds. I did not find any accounts of weevils being the culprits.

I wonder if anyone else has any experience with these evil weevils.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Enabler In Chief

Who was really shocked at our President's endorsement of the proposed 9-11 mosque and community center near Ground Zero? The proposed structure is to be called Cordoba in recognition of an historical Islamic conquest.

"We must all recognise and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan, Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But let me be clear, as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practise their religion as anyone else in this country.

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are."

He told the group of US Congressmen, government officials and foreign dignitaries that America's tradition of religious tolerance distinguishes it from "our enemies".

"Al-Qaeda's cause is not Islam," he said, "it is a gross distortion of Islam".
In one respect I agree with Obama. I believe that the organization behind the mosque's construction has the legal right to build their monument to religious conquest on the same ground where the ashes of 9-11 victims settled.

But, should they do it, and more importantly, should we allow it to take place without loudly pronouncing that we understand completely what this project is ultimately all about and without lodging a strong moral protest against it?

Apparently Mr. Obama thinks so. We are not to say that "true" Muslims should erect their new mosque at a different location in the city. We are not to say out loud that the leadership behind the mosque's erection are being totally insensitive to the families of those who were murdered and to all American citizens who saw their country attacked for no reason other than Islam has failed through the centuries to purge itself of ravenous dickheads dedicated to murdering all of those who believe differently than they do--be they Christian, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, westerner, easterner, atheist, agnostic, homosexual, infidel, Sufi, Shiite, Sunni, Virgo or Gemini.

I do not believe that we can legally keep worshipers of Allah from building this mosque in NYC. I do, however, believe that we should do everything that we possibly can to convince the Muslim supporters of the project that they should not go forward.

Obama's mewling does nothing to send this message.

No politician should support the building of the mosque. No bureaucrat should grease the skids. No construction worker should agree to work on its foundation. No citizen should stand idly by as the walls go up.

Muslims celebrated in dozens of countries around the world as the towers fell, and those same ones will be giddy with delight if this mosque is ever built.

Robert Spenser says:
This is not a religious freedom issue. No one has ever understood the freedom of religion as granting an untrammeled license to build any structure anywhere, as long as it's religious. If the KKK announced plans to build a shrine at the site of the 16th Street Baptist Church, would Obama be talking about religious freedom?
If I were forced to hazard a guess I would say that this will never occur. I think that the project will ultimately prove to be too difficult for the planners to pull off. Being sensitive to the religions of others does not mean that we have to be patsies. We do not have to cower in front of those who want to subjugate us.

I wish the President realized this.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nanny-State in a Box

Just the latest in the never ending performance of crackpot progressives doing their best to control the lives of those whom they wish to rule.

God lets me eat what I want. Rajiv Bhatia, not so much.

Intenet Absence Creates Windfall

In an effort to trim back my personal finances amid the ruins of Michigan's Granholm depression, I made the difficult decision of canceling my internet account. I wisely discerned that I still had internet access at my on-again off-again employer and since I was already spending too much time jabbering about control freak socialists wanting to control my every movement for the purpose of making my life more healthy and enjoyable, I could afford some time away.

Alas, I have finally come to what should have been an obvious conclusion six weeks ago when I made that move of pure genius--that conducting a job search without internet access is next to impossible.

I suppose I should be thankful to progressive visionaries such as Al Gore who were so instrumental in developing our world wide web. At least with the 'tubes we victims of the economy that the likes of Gore worked so hard to create and sustain (Go Cap and Trade!) are able to seek out work in locations far away from the children we love, raised, and are loathe to leave.

In other excellent news, in the six weeks I was separated from my dial up account I saved about $18. To get reconnected to the internet I had to pay a reconnect fee of $15.

Three bucks saved.

Cha-ching!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Checking In

My reader has probably noticed that Rougblog entries of late have been sparse.

This lull in the action began as I prepared for the graduation of my daughter from high school, persisted through the planning and execution of the graduation party, and then continued as the job search heated up and I was called out of town for several, at the time, encouraging prospects. Alas, these prospects have produced bupkis for me and as a result I have decided to pare back some home expenses until I can get some regular dollars into my bank account.

Thus, I am currently without internet service at my house. If things get bad enough I might even have to stay out of the casino, cut back on the vodka, and start to avoid the strip clubs. But seriously, first things first.

Too much is going on politically in this country and state for me to stay silent too long. There are oil giants to punish into oblivion, union favors to curry, industries to bring into the fold, citizens to be forced into state favored behaviors, an ever-present cloven hoof to be pried out of the vice president's mouth, and yesteryear's villains to blame it all on.

Who could possibly want to miss all that?