My vote is cast. There. My civic duty has been completed. I've tried my best to arrive at the best candidate for whom I should cast my vote and my vote has been legally cast and, hopefully, legally recorded. (The graphite pencils that were provided to fill out ballots that clearly indicated black or blue ink could be problematic.)
I am not the first to do so and I hope that countless generations of free Americans will cast similar votes before there is a last.
I've tried to vote in every general election since 1980 and in most of the primaries. Yes, I am an old fart. I did get turned away from the polls (DISENFRANCHISEMENT!) in Lewisville, Texas one year because my recent arrival from Coppell had not been conducted in an appropriate electoral fashion.
I did not have to travel to any precinct during any of those times under threat of gun, rocket or bicep. I was never hassled at any poll, exposed to unlawful propaganda at the polling place, or told to ignore my rights as a voting citizen.
This is not the case in many place around the world where it is rather routine to see men with guns offering effective dissuasion on the road to the polling place. Nearly half of this planet's habitable land is governed at the whim of a tyrant while nearly half of this planet's humans are governed by the threatened force of a tyrant's hand. (I include the affable Vladamir Putin among the tyrants--so sue me.)
Worldwide press clippings over the last 100 years should indicate to us the fortune we here in America have enjoyed. Most of us did not, and certainly I did not, suffer the Soviet or Maoist starvations, the gulags, or life behind the wall. I did not see the killing fields, witness the Bataan march, smell the choking air over Krakow, or ever fear a machete's chopping. My local sheriff's department does not hide for fear of a drug cartel's reprisals and my children learned in a school that was never threatened by fanatics. (Then they went to Michigan State where the jury remains out.)
While there used to be an insidious poll tax in some southern states, today there is none. In America, if you are a citizen and if you register, you may vote--despite whatever the Democrat Bull Connors wannabes would like.
With all apologies to Charles Dickens, it appears that from this perch of freedom, this truly is the best of times and the worst of times. Despite our victories and our advancements, America has long since reached and passed the pinnacle of liberty--an apex from which collective forces have finally decided that they will not allow individuals to enjoy more freedom and the fruits thereof.
America today, though blessed with benefits that most anyone else on Earth would gladly exchange for their own suffering existence, is facing a challenge from within from those who either suffer the guilt of have, or the sin of want.
It is this sad truth that I carried home from the polls today.
I have but one vote, anchored in my desire for freedom, with which to fight off the human frailties of guilt and envy. Today I cast it with a smile and some light banter at the precinct. (Thankfully no handcuffs presented themselves.)
Today, at least, under sunny skies and the absence of gunfire in the distance, was a great day to be an American. I hope my vote will help ensure many more such days.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
My vote is cast. There. My civic duty has been completed. I've tried my best to arrive at the best candidate for whom I should cast my vote and my vote has been legally cast and, hopefully, legally recorded. (The graphite pencils that were provided to fill out ballots that clearly indicated black or blue ink could be problematic.)
Monday, February 27, 2012
This from the Daily Mail:
Its hard to tell who was offended by this, though the offended undoubtedly do not include those who gobbled up the many gallons of overtly racist cream dairy products around Cambridge, Mass.
'On behalf of Ben & Jerry’s Boston Scoop Shops, we offer a heartfelt apology if anyone was offended by our handmade Linsanity flavour (sic) that we offered at our Harvard Square location,' a spokesman posted on @benandjerrys.
'We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities, and we are huge sports fans. We were swept up in the nationwide Linsanity momentum.
'Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin’s accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate. We try to demonstrate our commitment as a Boston-based, valued-led business and if we failed in this instance, we offer our sincere apologies,' the statement continued.
So, Ben and Jerry's, a liberal guided corporation if there ever was one, is now under the thumb of racism hunters for which B&J is sorely sorry. Yet, does anyone really believe that this product was envisioned and marketed for racist purposes? Is it the yellow swirls or is it the crumbled fortune cookies that make it racist?
Is the term Linsanity racist to begin with?
The charges are silly and any offense suffered is specious. The irony like the ice cream, however, is delicious.
Posted By Roug at 9:21 PM
Of all the candidates left standing in the GOP presidential primary race I find myself least sympathetic to Mitt Romney. He is a man who simply has not governed as a conservative during his time in office. His record is lengthy, broad, and very public. I wouldn't mind studying things for a few more weeks, but with Michigan voting tomorrow I need to make a decision now based upon the information available to me.
It is difficult to remain discerning at all times when it comes to these races. The media is decidedly against whomever the GOP selects in the primary process, negative campaign ads frolic frequently within the playground of dishonesty, and progressives are willing to launch any attack believing that desired ends will always justify any required means.
So, while I have done my best to discern whom I should support honestly and with diligence, I recognize that many of the attacks against Mitt are misguided in nature and actually border on the silly.
Romney's tenure at Bain Capital is one such example. Bain uses its resources to attempt to redirect failing companies toward financial viability. They take companies destined for the scrap heap, provide them with capital and management, refocus operations, and then hope for the best. Results are not always positive in these situations as many companies, doomed to fail prior to intervention, fail even after intervention.
Yet there are tales of success too. Staples is the most storied.
Romney was the target of attacks by progressives because these efforts to save companies typically result in workers losing their jobs. Of course, if the company goes belly up without an intervention, job loses will amount to 100 percent of the workforce. Interventions are often necessary to save a company and workers, sadly, are sometimes discarded in favor of corporate viability.
This is a basic tenet of business management; a managing truth that still hasn't caught on at the US Postal Service or Amtrak. When businesses falter they must be redirected to remain viable. Governments do not operate in such a way. In government work employees are typically handed a lifetime contract at top dollar and with benefits the private sector could only dream of--these businesses are never considered nonviable and employees of these operations are therefore never expendable. Their staffs regardless of how bloated or redundant, are buoyed into the next year and decade and century through higher taxes, the government printing press, or borrowed Chinese money.
Attack Romney if you must over his management while in government, but there is no worthy reason to attack him over his stints at Bain Capital. It might actually prove beneficial for the country to have a man with a practical attitude toward management in the Oval Office. What would be wrong with the wholly owned business of the taxpayers (government) finally being operated efficiently, staffed properly, and with layer upon layer of redundancy removed?
This past weekend Mitt Romney made another gaffe according to pundits, pollsters and opponents. He talked about his four cars and his wife driving two Cadillacs. With every opponent of Mitt talking about his rich fat-cat social status, admitting such a circumstance might not be particularly wise for a presidential candidate, but why should such an admission be considered an admission at all or worthy of guilt? It ain't like he had a picture of himself taken with a doobie hanging out of his mouth. Unless his wife is trying to operate both vehicles at once while texting and eating a hamburger, I don't see any reason for the current panty twisting.
The opposite is true. In America we should applaud the creation of wealth. We don't mind when an auto worker buys a second home on some Northern Michigan lake or purchases a nice eighty acre hunting camp. (This even though one home should be enough and ten acres ought to be plenty.) And what about snowmobiles and ATVs? How many of those machines can a guy drive though the fields at once--and really does anyone really need those noise makers? Should those of us in the north get upset over this conspicuous display of opulence? Should we get hysterical when those same auto workers spend their gain in the restaurants and motels that dot Michigan's peninsulas? And how many people are eating tall stacks down at the local Coffee Shop? How many calories do these flatlanders actually need?
That seems to be what is going on among progressives and the more blockheaded among the GOP. Yet, why would any UAW member or supposed conservative ever discourage any businessman, bureaucrat or teacher for purchasing a product that they produce? Shouldn't they be twice as happy over selling two luxury vehicles to the spouse of a one percenter?
Class warfare is a signature tactic of today's left even if the leftist union population doesn't understand the ridiculousness of it. Back in the early 1990s, a too happy to compromise President George H.W. Bush signed off on a luxury tax designed to get rich yacht buyers, those wrapped in fur, and wearers of fine jewelry to pay their fair share. After the dust had cleared and after an estimated twenty five thousand boat building laborers lost their jobs, the tax was scrapped. (It should be noted too that the tax increase helped drop tax revenues on the sales of those particular products by 77%.)
Stick it to the rich. Demonize the rich. Attack the rich. Why? Because, even though it is demonstrably counterproductive and self-destructive, it makes a misguidedly vengeful and envious population feel better.
Tomorrow I am going to the polls and voting for Rick Santorum without hesitation--my only regret being that a more conservative candidate is not on the ballot. Mitt Romney has done enough during his governance to give me confidence in my understanding of his philosophy on the role of government. He likes it big and benevolent.
While my decision has led me away from Romney, it isn't because of any progressive and media driven Bain Capital or two Cadillac nonsense. We conservatives can vote with our brains. Let progressives operate on hysteria.
Posted By Roug at 12:50 PM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
We have had pointed out to us just how important purity is to the tea party wing of the Republican Party. We have been told that those seeking purity would destroy the party, would paint the party as extreme, and would lead to yet another defeat of the party of McCain come election day.
Well, here we are, at least a year after those initial claims of tea party intolerance, and the tea party wing has no candidate even close to "pure" remaining. The closest candidate to pure in my opinion at the start of this campaign was Michelle Bachmann. She is gone after having made little more than a blip. The second closest was probably Herman Cain, a man whose political experience was close to nil but who tempered that with a quest for freedom and individual responsibility. (He was too dangerous to the Democrats however and had to be stopped with trumped up accusations of infidelity, a badge of honor had it only been applied to the chest of a Democrat.) After that it was probably the dropped-out Rick Perry who remained the least unpure.
Today we are left with four candidates who do not even vaguely resemble what a "purist" would demand. The GOP candidate-darlings left standing are a country club collection of Cap and Traders, of TARP enthusiasts, of earmarkers, of tax raisers, of single payer health care lovers, of NCLB supporters, of minimum wage hikers and of comprehensive immigration reformers. This is not a purist field. Once again the tea party has been marginalized as the country drifts ever father off the cliff.
There is little doubt in this tea partier's mind that the reelection of Barack Obama will make it almost impossible to ever steer this once great republic back on course. We are farther in debt per capita than Greece has ever dreamed of being, and our current overlords plan on adding trillions more in debt over the coming years.
No remaining member of the GOP field has shown the mettle to make the exceedingly tough changes necessary to alter the course away from bankruptcy. Their political histories speak for themselves regardless of who might score a point or two at this or that debate.
Purity is dead and the Republican establishment breathes a sigh of relief. Hopefully the nation can survive.
Posted By Roug at 1:20 PM
Friday, February 24, 2012
You know that $7,500 tax credit being used as a bribe to get wealthy Americans to buy the Chevy Volt? Well, it seems that another layer has been peeled from this particular onion.
When the purchaser of the Volt is a government entity (purchases that Barack Obama promised his benevolent government would make because it is the smart thing to do) that $7,500 credit does not get deposited back into the taxpayer's wallet. No. That $7,500 goes into the pocket of the dealership that administered the transaction.
What, dealerships don't already get enough of a commission on the sale of a $40,000 vehicle that they get to receive another seven large? And taxpayers aren't already sufficiently screwed by the billions of dollars they they will never get back--not only in the auto bailouts but in the green energy initiatives that our overlords seem so intent on saddling the rest of us with?
These bums in office and their armies of bureaucrats and regulators are fleecing the American public to a point beyond mathematically certain bankruptcy. I don't blame GM dealerships for accepting every slothful penny the government has tossed its way. Instead I blame a turncoat government that has tossed us aside like garbage in favor of their cronies like GM, GE, ADM, Chrysler and the UAW.
Posted By Roug at 7:06 PM
This is not about class warfare says Barack Obama, it is about fairness and what is good for the American people. This is about a struggling middle class, about more and more Americans needing government help while the richest of Americans amass a larger portion of all of America's wealth. This is about a small number of Americans not paying their fair share.
These cries are nothing new--simply insert another geographic area into the appropriate space and you will find it echoing earlier times.
The kulaks were the wealthiest of Russian farmers. They were therefore the enemies of the people and a target of the Soviets shortly after the communist revolution. Hundreds of thousands of kulaks were murdered by the 99% who demanded the wealth they had amassed. This slaughter of humans and with them the expertise needed to produce nourishment, has been blamed for the starvation of tens of millions of Soviet citizens who no longer able to eat the foods produced by their version of the evil one percent.
The definition of the kulaks was fluid depending on who was using the term and how badly one hated another. However, the Council of People's Commissars provided any one of these points as the criteria for being a kulak:
- use of hired labor
- ownership of a mill, a creamery (маслобойня, butter-making rig), other processing equipment, or a complex machine with a mechanical motor
- systematic renting out of agricultural equipment or facilities
- involvement in trade, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or "other sources of non-labor income".
Later, the Soviet state under Stalin established kulak quotas for arrest, after all, it had to make certain the people believed the Soviet state remained diligent in its war against greed. When a government official was short of his detained kulak quota he could get creative with arrests. Poor farmers who did not meet the traditional kulak definitions were executed or sent to the gulag to meet the desired numbers. Disliked neighbors were turned over to the authorities with little or no evidence.
Today's Democrat Party is fanning the flames of hatred toward the most productive and beneficial class of Americans. The wealthy pay the most taxes (the top one percent paying approximately 40 percent) produce the most goods, employ the most people, provides capital that develops new industries, and gives more money to private charity than any other group in America--for all of which they are despised by party stalwarts. Blaming the rich is always an easy thing to do particularly in an age when one believes that the creation of wealth is a zero-sum game.
Human nature has not changed since Adam and Eve strutted around the lush Garden of Eden. We would like to believe that today's refined man has evolved into a more gentle creature. Despite this, in the past century alone there has been multiple genocides in Europe, Asia and Africa. Muslim extremists throughout much of the world seek to convert, enslave or kill all infidels. Latin American drug cartels are responsible for the murders of tens of thousands south of our border. Syria shells its people (while getting political support from China, Russia and Iran.) Iran threatens Israel as it refines its nuclear program. A quick Arab spring begot a cold Arab winter where yesterday's liberated are today's torturers. North Korea hates everyone.
Promoting hatred of the evil one percent might seem like nothing more than political expediency but the long term effects of such tactics can be beyond brutal. We are, after all, only human.
Posted By Roug at 3:01 PM
Southeast Michigan today and the Detroit News offers us three wonderful examples of the corruption, mismanagement, and waste that seem to go hand in hand with progressive urban-based power politics.
This is not to say that there isn't corruption elsewhere or that it is not engaged in by centrist milquetoasts, but by definition, a conservative eschews the amassing of power through ever greater government and the money it attracts.
First, we have the Highland Park School District, located in a city largely surrounded by festering Detroit. It is a city that manages to blend the look and feel of a demilitarized zone with the urban accent of a burned out Reliant-K.
This week teachers in that school district might be working for free because the district has mismanaged itself right out of viability. The city itself has been devastated by business loss, population flight, and urban unrest--developments not atypical of most other Detroit urban neighborhoods. But it is not for a lack of revenue coming into the district. This year the district spent approximately $16,000 per student while the state average is closer to $9,000.
This from the Detroit News:
"The Highland Park School District has financially collapsed. There are no excuses for the bad decisions made by the adults in charge, but we had to act to protect the students," [House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall] Bolger said.$320,000 for a classroom of twenty students is clearly not enough money for the intellectually challenged (yet lovely) Gretchen Whitmer. If only the state could kick in a little more...
"We have a constitutional requirement to provide children with an education, but we have an even stronger moral obligation to protect them from adults who have put them in peril."
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer said she voted "no" because the state caused the district's problems by cutting education funding.
"We've got many school districts in Michigan that are in crises right now," Whitmer said. "What we're addressing today is a symptom of what ails our education system.
Just down the road and to the right, the majestic Guardian Building provides a fragile veneer to the corruption and mismanagement in Wayne County--the same county in which Highland Park lies. Here the administration of Robert Ficano, the long time progressive Wayne County Executive, has been frittering away a fortune to cronies and on speculative deals designed to do little more than protect the fiefdom of Mr. Ficano and line the pockets of his aides and associates.
The FBI is investigating and things are not looking good.
Again from the Detroit News:
The FBI's probe into Wayne County has broadened to include allegations a fired top political lieutenant to Executive Robert Ficano bought a list of registered voters with money intended for the poor.Poor? What poor?
Finally, a little story about the City of Detroit where benevolent city administrators of benevolent federal dollars funneled through a benevolent State of Michigan have been cited for waste and overall inefficiency.
According to a City Council internal memo obtained by The Detroit News, about $44 million was allocated to Detroit last year. About $9 million of that was block grant dollars and $35 million was for the weatherization program, which is intended to cut energy bills for low-income homeowners in Detroit. Nearly $1.8 million in block grant money and $15 million of weatherization grant money remain unspent.No wonder the size of government keeps expanding. It takes more and more dollars every year to fill the holes of corruption and inefficiency that burgeon whenever our civil overlords discover that they can spend, live off, and provide sustenance to family and friends by simply spreading around vast amounts of other peoples' money.
The memo says the state wants to create an authority to merge Detroit and Wayne County human services agencies, with a board that includes one-third of local elected officials.
"Due to alleged mismanagement, improper accounting and instances of criminal conduct that are still under federal investigation, the state will not be renewing its grant management contracts with Detroit DHS and will be taking the remaining funds away from DDHS," the memo reads.
It later adds, "The State indicated the change is essential because the State DHS … is ultimately on the hook for how the grant dollars are allocated and spent, and whether it's properly handled or not."
The memo offers no specific allegations, but the city's Department of Human Services came under fire for spending $182,000 on office furniture.
Gretchen Whitmer wants to shove more money into the tunnel, Robert Ficano and his staff would like to apply it where it can do their careers the most good, and city DHS officials stumble all over themselves to score some new furniture while the poor freeze their asses off in single pane houses.
When people spend their own money they make better decisions. Sadly, this hasn't happened in the HPSD, Wayne County, or the City of Detroit for decades.
Posted By Roug at 12:58 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
And wasn't that the point all along--getting consumers to reduce the amount of gasoline (and other energies) that they consume? After all, didn't then-candidate Obama tell us that energy prices had to necessarily skyrocket? Didn't he tell us that a slow increase in gas prices was a good thing? Didn't Sec. of Energy Stephen Chu admit his pining for European level gasoline prices? Didn't Interior Sec. Ken Salazar effectively (and illegally) remove millions of acres of approved offshore oil fields from exploration and drilling? Didn't Hillary Clinton's State Department, despite years of study and affected state approvals, put the kibosh on the Keystone Oil Pipeline in order to keep oil off the market?
Incidentally, this morning gasoline hit $4.59 a gallon in Oscoda County. (That's $1.15 a quart for those traveling short distances.)
And Barack Obama saw all this and said that it was good.
High prices are good because of the choices they force on people. This is the one economic truth that has permeated progressive politics--that is, except in the case of higher taxes which are truly designed to produce tons more revenue! So, except in the case of taxes, higher costs and prices will result in fewer purchases of the product in question.
Consumers, subjected to those beloved skyrocketing energy prices, will buy less of it. When faced with a shrinking disposable income, consumers make choices. They set priorities. They deny themselves pleasures for need of necessities. Once they buy a 4-pack of the new Chinese produced and Fred Upton mandated mercury engorged CFLs at the Home Depot, they will forgo McDonalds for fear of coasting back to Oscoda County on fumes.
And Barack Obama sees this and says that it is good.
One such consumer is my Dad. He is 92 years old, on a fixed income, too blind to safely drive, and an all around cheapskate--a condition that predates high oil prices. He doesn't need to go much of anywhere even though my Mom would like to get him out of the house once in a while.
Due to circumstances surrounding his age, disability, and a lifetime of vocations that left him less than wealthy in retirement, Dad finds himself in the bulls eye of the economic consequences of politically motivated high energy prices. After all, a man who needs to stay within a finite budget does not toss around dollars like certain presidential spouses do, you know, the ones that care little about the amount of fuel consumed during husbandless weekend ski trips to Colorado.
This summer due to skyrocketing gasoline prices, fewer people will be vacationing than in summers past and those that do vacation will generally be staying closer to home. This will not bode well for bed and breakfasts, novelty stores, or tourist attractions on and off the beaten path. While some people who would normally visit Europe during the summer might instead hit Mackinac Island, this change will not help airlines, taxi services, or Hare Krishna recruiters on a strict quota.
Businesses are going to be forced to pick the bones of fixed income consumers for survival at the same time that fixed income consumers will be picking the bones of their wallets. Any product shipped in America will become more expensive. Any product containing petroleum will become more expensive. Any company producing products normally purchased with disposable dollars will find it harder and harder to survive. Every one of these developments will force consumers into more wallet-sensitive choices.
These are good choices according to the ruling party in Washington. These are also good choices to a few sympathetic Republicans--a couple of which are currently running to depose our reigning King.
What it all boils down to is this--keeping Dad home is now a goal of the US government. Let him eat day old cake.
And Barack Obama sees this and says that it is good. But Mom is pissed.
Posted By Roug at 1:37 PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The closing price of West Texas Crude today.
This despite an economy that has sputtered for the past four years, despite a weather trend that has graced most of the continental US with a warmer than average winter, despite higher than ever MsPG for American driven vehicles, and despite fewer actual driven miles over the past year in this once great land.
The American recovery cannot occur without inexpensive energy. When energy prices first began to pinch consumers in early 2008, democrats blamed the big oil companies while relentlessly trying to kill any and all fossil fuel production that it could. Democrat policies have closed coal fired power plants, have prevented the opening of clean coal power plants, have put offline plans for expansion of American shale oil, have stymied the Keystone pipeline, have left millions of acres of oil rich land untouchable for the oil industry, and have engaged in an illegal moratorium against offshore drilling in the gulf (a moratorium they will relax when enough exploration rigs move to foreign waters and cannot be called back.)
I already know many people who are no longer consuming products and services because they know that their fuel bills are going to eat up too much of their paychecks. Hamburgers remain uneaten, trinkets unpurchased, and movie seats unoccupied.
Billions of dollars are being sucked out of the pockets of consumers because of our disastrous energy and environmental policies. This is exactly what Barack Obama wants and said he wanted. This is exactly what Stephen Chu wants and said he wanted. This is exactly what Lisa P. Jackson wants and said that she wanted.
When gasoline gets to $5.00, $6.00, $7.00 and $8.00 per gallon, how much of your disposable income will evaporate into your gas tank instead of at other local businesses already on the precipice of closing?
Hope and change, baby, hope and change. Enjoy.
Posted By Roug at 3:32 PM
And yet this country has not operated in a capitalist bubble for decades. What is today decried as a failure of capitalism is in fact, more reflective of fascism--a system in which state blessed ideology is carried out by industry groups willing to implement those polices for suckle provided by government.
Companies willing to tote the government's line gain greater competitive advantages not only because of money received directly through government grant, but also because their competitors have to hurdle regulations put in place designed to hobble them. Companies and entire industries are allowed to survive despite their inherent inefficiencies even though true free market capitalism would have allowed them to die a quick death without intervention.
So, ethanol stays alive in order to provide a fuel that uses more energy in its manufacturing and transport than it actually produces. Chrysler stays alive (as a free gift to the UAW and Fiat) despite two government bailouts. Duke Energy gets theirs too.
Posted By Roug at 1:23 PM
There is fear in America. There is the gnashing of teeth. There are ravens sitting atop the weather vanes outside of progressive voters' windows.
It is an odd thing to watch, this hysterical response to a Christian perhaps earning the presidential nomination of the GOP. There was no such hysteria from progressives when Barack Obama, a twenty year member of Jeremiah Wright's congregation and an avowed born again Christian, won the nomination of today's American socialist party.
Perhaps this is because Obama more or less admitted during the campaign that he had no idea what Wright was blathering on about during all those years that he sat in the pews being elbowed by his enthusiastic though never-proud-of-America spouse. More likely it was the belief among progressives that Obama's constitutional scholarship would prevent him from ever (wink, wink) using assumed executive powers to subvert the Constitution toward his own favored outcomes.
I have no idea about the sincerity of Obama's core religious beliefs, but on the second point progressives certainly had it right, and it was the conservatives who should have been worried about the dismissal of the Constitution and an unprecedented executive power grab.
During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama spoke eloquently about his family and about the importance of family. He spoke about the importance of his religion, about community, and about service to others. Oddly, he completely forgot the presence of some guys in the neighborhood. He lamented the break up of the family and incidentally said that gay marriage was not something that he believed in though he favored civil unions. None of these comments shook up the American political landscape.
Things are a bit different this time around. Yesterday comments by Rick Santorum in West Michigan were enough to scorch the foreheads of progressive socialists. Santorum's sin was spending some time talking about traditional values and in particular, about the failures of the American family.
This apparently is taboo in 2012.
Statistics are statistics and to the dismay of liberals, Santorum knows a few of them. In today's America too many children are born out of wedlock. In today's America, too many children grow up in one parent households or in households where no parent is present at all. In today's America, too many families are plagued with the scourge of drugs and alcohol and Alice reruns.
In today's America too many children reach their schooling years with no adult outside of the school caring one whit whether the child attends class or learns anything at all. Sadly, too many of those parents who actually do seem to care about their children prove their parenting incompetence by sending little Sally and Johnny to school packing only a turkey sandwich, chips, a banana, and apple juice.
It is well known that poverty rates are much higher among children who grow up in one parent households. Children who grow up in one parent households are more likely to do drugs and drop out of school and are much more likely to live a life in poverty. Both the American legal system and the Jerry Springer show are choked with persons who grew up in broken families.
Mentioning these uncomfortable facts on the campaign trail breeds hysteria in progressives.
One of Santorum's most offending statements of the weekend:
"We know the devastation the family breakdown causes our society, yet you will never hear any politician run around and talk about it.It was as if Santorum had threatened to burn down city hall.
We can cut taxes, grow the economy, we can cut spending and ... reduce the size and scale of government, but it won't work unless the family starts … coming back together."
In comments at the Detroit News were some of these gems:
Santorum hates everybody: Protestants, non-married people, people who take birth control or God forbid seek pre-natal (sic) care, the blahs (he said he did not mean black people it came out blah people), people who send their kids to public schools, environmentalists, people who go to college aka "the elites" and people who support unions. ok. OBAMA LANDSLIDE 2012!Another:
West Michigan:Home of this state's branch of the American Taliban.And from a Ron Paul supporter:
ready for the christian version of sharia law?Of course, in terms of one's religious or social beliefs, if a President abides by the Constitution he must lead his administration lawfully and according to that document. Attacking Santorum as if he would not govern in such a way is to project onto conservatives the same sort of political maneuverings that are common among democrats in general and Barack Obama's administration in particular.
Rick Santorum has vowed that he will abide by the Constitution, and while Obama took an oath to do the same when he came into office, it is not something that he has allowed to hobble him during his three years of post-Constitutional tyranny. What progressives fear in Santorum is exactly what their guy has delivered in Obama; a routine flanking of Congress through regulation, the corralling of administrative tasks beyond congressional oversight, recess appointments when Congress is in session, a war fought without Congressional approval, and countless departmental overreaches that fly in the face of both Congressional approval and popular sentiment.
In fact, should Santorum be fortunate enough to win the GOP nomination and go on to an electoral victory, it will be Obama himself who will share much of the blame should Santorum decide to govern as Obama has--that is, largely outside of Congressional oversight.
So, why wouldn't progressives decry the possibility of a Santorum who says that he believes in a moral American society? Why wouldn't they quake in fear over the new American Taliban? After all, they sat by and applauded the Constitution's shredding and welcomed with open arms a sitting President's tendency to overreach--they are, in effect, the offensive line that opened the hole.
Don't get me wrong. I would have the same problem with Santorum as I do with Obama if he decided to govern in the same manner. As for his comments yesterday, if he desires the reestablishment of the American family (something that he can only do inspirationally, by the way, and cannot legislate or administer within the limits of the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold) what can it hurt, except of course, if he tries to govern unconstitutionally--a precedent that Obama should be proud of.
As a Christian, I want to live and believe in the way that I want to, and I want to live my life in freedom beyond the reaches of a federal government wanting the power to establish its own church and morality and then adamant about forcing me to abide by them. While these are my God given rights as recognized in the Constitution, it is these same rights that are under attack today--not by potential President Rick Santorum who has vowed to govern constitutionally, but in President Barack Obama who has shown no interest in doing so.
I do not fear the future American Taliban. I want to get the ones currently in office tossed out.
Posted By Roug at 10:20 AM
Monday, February 20, 2012
and it cheeses me off. Left wing computer hackers.
What is it about knuckle-dragging socialist progs that makes it their one desire to stomp out the free speech of those with whom they do not agree? It isn't enough that they have free airwaves on which to propagandize...CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and NPR come to mind.
Isn't it enough that they have a strangle hold on nearly all print media? New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Newsweek, Time, etc? Cable television gives you MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, HLN, etc., with the only counterbalance being the rather centrist Fox News.
And it isn't as if the left has a shortage of outlets on the internet either. Huffington Post, The Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, Media Matters, etc., while they do not dominate the internet, they certainly have a significant voice that goes toe to toe with the conservative viewpoint.
So, without a virtual monopoly on all forms of public discourse, some intellectually vacant control freak has decided to strip Jeff Goldstein of his first amendment rights because it would be too much to try and debate him within the printed pages of his blog. Too many people are being exposed to conservative thought...and we simply cannot have that.
Jeff will be back and it won't be too long, so suck on that. For all the time and effort spent on trying to keep Jeff temporarily silent, I think a hacker's time would be better spent on evaluating the personal demons behind his compulsive desire to silence others. And then rehab.
Posted By Roug at 10:33 AM
Monday, February 06, 2012
This time by M.I.A., an habitual provider of entertainment content you wouldn't want your six year old daughter to watch, who flipped off America during last night's Super Bowl half-time show. Incidentally, one would usually have to take a child to a rowdy beer joint to get flipped off on a Sunday night, so in that sense at least NBC is making responsible parenting that much easier.
I'm no lawyer, but it seems it would be easy enough to dissuade this sort of shenanigans by issuing an out clause by which the NFL/NBC could refuse payment to the so-called offending entertainer should said entertainer swear, flip off America, or expose a wayward boob while the kiddies are watching.
NBC, which has done nothing but promote pop culture, now has a bit of a quandary on its hands. How does it rein in the beast which they helped nurture? Perhaps it doesn't want to.
Posted By Roug at 11:23 AM
Sunday, February 05, 2012
From Jeff at Protein Wisdom:
Chalk up another victory for Mr Inevitable — marking the latest in a string of primaries or caucuses where the GOP primary voter has come out for the Republican candidate who supported the Obama stimulus and whose team worked with the Obama Administration on government-run health care and cap and trade; the Republican candidate who supported TARP and federal bailouts rather than allowing for the market system to work; the Republican candidate who believes in a government-run command-and-control economy — at least with respect to low-wage workers — through support of mandatory increases in federal minimum wage laws, and so stands at odds, from the perspective of basic economic theory, with free market capitalism; the Republican candidate who told one of his competitors that a government takeover of 1/6 of the economy against the will of the electorate was “nothing to get angry about”; the Republican candidate who has supported gun control and lied about an NRA endorsement; the Republican candidate who rejected Reagan and embraced the help and support of his friend and collaborator Teddy Kennedy; the Republican candidate who, while in Massachusetts, decided that the procedural niceties of a top-down state run health bureaucracy supersede First Amendment protections for religious freedom; the Republican candidate who believes capitalism exists to create jobs for the working man — and who therefore has decided to concentrate his campaign, as Obama has, on the “middle class,” in essence, accepting the Marxist framework for dividing up the citizenry into economic interest groups.This is why the tea party must take over the GOP with its own brand of authentic conservativism, because the old brand, the brand that GOP establishment is selling today, more closely resembles EU socialism than it does anything approaching American Reaganism.
There still is a modestly conservative candidate out there who, despite his flaws, would govern with a philosophy more in line with Reagan ideals than the ones favored by Teddy Kennedy's political near-clone. If only he could get a few Republicans to vote for him.
Posted By Roug at 10:17 PM
Friday, February 03, 2012
I am amazed at the populist Bible interpretations being tossed about today by officials who otherwise only think of religion at times when they wish to hobble it or when they desire a furtive strategy in which to get what they perceive to be a reluctant, low-intelligence audience, to fall in line.
This is how, in the same week that President Obama's HHS gave notice that it will become mandatory for all health insurance providers to grant free access to birth control and abortive services, that he could also come forward to lecture US citizens on the Godlike status of benevolent government.
Jesus would want high taxes. Jesus would demand that the rich give to government. Jesus would want you to pay forty percent more for good highways than is necessary (and Jesus would especially want government to erect signs glorifying its benevolence to passengers stuck in stop and go traffic in a Cincinnati construction zone.)
Jesus would deem whatever inclinations the government has to be those of near holiness. Holy bike paths. Holy bankrupt green energy companies. Holy Kirtland's Warbler viewing areas. Holy cowboy poetry gatherings. Holy studies on whether Chinese prostitutes practice safe sex. In fact, its almost a wonder why Jesus hasn't cast the anti-government anti-tax demons right out of our bodies! (These, I believe, are all religious theories Obama arrived at sitting next to his anti-American wife in a pew while completely ignoring the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.)
Yet, there is nothing even plausible about a government that routinely denies children the right to pray prior to sporting events also being a worthy vessel of God's charity.
Then again, none of this is even meant to be plausible to Obama's loyal minions. After all, these people can in theory celebrate a woman's right to choose to kill a just-born infant, that is, provided that it comes out feet first and the unwanted human tissue isn't thrown into a dumpster--'cause that would be illegal. This isn't a message for that crowd at all, for that crowd shares his selective cynicism. That crowd would gasp at and then lament the coming theocracy whenever George W. Bush would talk of God or Jesus, yet they didn't even bat an eye when Bill Clinton did it, and don't today when Obama does it. This occurs because they know this is not a message crafted for their sensitivities, and they know Obama is unserious about the particularities of the propaganda.
It is, however, meant to be plausible to Christians. And here he makes a mistke. He tries to project what he and his speech writers believe to be plausible Christianity onto an audience that knows what practicing not "God damn America" Christianity is all about. (Oddly, even in projecting Christianity they tend to overlook that rather obvious old saw--"thou shalt not covet" thing.)
When God told man to care for the widows and orphans, he told men to do so as individuals. He did not give man the latitude to pay dues to some faceless mob-club to take care of the responsibility for him. Yet, after many decades and ever creeping government offered benevolence, we have rendered unto Caesar the responsibility that God gave to us.
As a result of this, and the nature of government to ever expand, our government has become so providing that it has taken responsibility for the raising of children, the care of the elderly, and the benefaction of millions of able bodied Americans from cradle to grave in between. Not only have we taught millions of people how to be dependent on government, but we have taught even more millions of people that they can ignore those who are suffering because of their pitiful contributions to the erection of an even more pitiful government safety net.
And pitiful it is. Let us not forget, that not only is government charity immoral at its core, but from a practical standpoint, it is the worst vehicle ever invented to provide service.
Government requires that about three times more money be spent to achieve the same level of service provided privately. Why? Because it counts on seventy percent of all monies received to be eaten away through bureaucratic administration of the funds. A quarter, hand delivered to the local soup kitchen, has as much impact as a dollar sent to Washington that finally drips out of the spigot at the same kitchen. How much impact would the dollar have if it were hand delivered to the kitchen?
The immoral aspect of government benevolence is that it allows citizens a seemingly honorable excuse through which they can abdicate their God given command to care for orphans and widows. This is precisely why John Kerry can donate zero to charity all year long but can still feel himself a worthy spokesperson to lecture other Americans on how the rich are not paying their fair share. He has abdicated his personal responsibility by sloughing it off on government. He gave at the office.
This is how Joe Biden can scrape together about two percent of his magnificent salary to give to charities directly. Biden feels completely exonerated of all charges that he is a two-bit skin flint and abdicator of his God given responsibilities to the parentless and spouseless, because his government, who he pays taxes to, is taking care of all of that for him. It is something that his government club membership takes care of. He too gave at the office.
We have taught people to be dependent on one hand while on the other we've taught many of those who remain to let someone else worry about it.
This was the message of Barack Obama yesterday when he merged the concept of government giving and religion. It is a message that can only be true after government becomes God. For many it has.
Posted By Roug at 1:04 PM
Thursday, February 02, 2012
From the February 1st newsprint edition of the -- Oscoda County Herald (article not available online):
District Health Department No. 2 health educator Tracey Wood, citing the American Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control 2012" report, said Michigan received an "F" for tobacco prevention and control funding, with the state spending only $1.8 million annually to help people stop smoking and keep children from starting.One point eight million bucks really doesn't sound like very much money for a state that is in the midst of receiving about $280 million per year for 26 years as a result of a lawsuit against evil tobacco companies that made huge profits while saddling benevolent states like Michigan with billions of dollars worth of socialized medicine debts.
"With additional funding, the state could provide more and larger grants to local health departments and other community agencies to implement evidence-based programming throughout the state," she said. "In addition expanding funding would allow for more affordable and accessible quit services for those who want to quit.
When states are funded at the levels recommended by the CDC, adult and youth tobacco use rates decline, lives are saved, health is improved, and the state saves money."
While I am a detractor of governments attempting to either cajole or punish citizens into more favored behaviors, I am still curious as to what happened to the tobacco windfall that has come Michigan's way if such a small amount of it is being aimed at health care costs--after all, wasn't that much of the point behind the lawsuit to begin with?
A quick search landed me at the Mackinac Center and an article by Jack McHugh written at the end of 2009:
When the settlement was announced in late 1998, it was like chum dumped into shark-infested waters: Hungry special interests began circling the state Capitol.So here we are early in 2012 with government agencies and benevolent NGOs lamenting a lack of funds to fight the evils of tobacco. (An evil, incidentally, that the state benefits from the sale of to the tune of twenty cents per cancer stick.)
Setting the money away in a "rainy day" fund was never in the political cards — the political rewards for feeding the sharks were just too attractive to lawmakers. Gov. John Engler recognized this and forestalled the frenzy by proposing to use most of the revenue to pay for college scholarships for students who did well on the state's MEAP test. Most of the balance went to Medicaid health care programs.
But the sharks began nibbling around the edges. In 2005, the Legislature created the "21st Century Jobs Fund" business subsidy program, a hodge-podge of spending with little oversight. To pay for it they borrowed $400 million against future tobacco settlement proceeds.
To avoid spending cuts in the 2007 budget, the Legislature approved another $415 million in borrowing against future tobacco money. In 2008 they pulled out this same credit card, using it to buy $60 million in tourism ads (the "Pure Michigan" and related campaigns).
If only Michigan had any money to fight the evils of tobacco. Can't we sue anybody?
Posted By Roug at 4:45 PM
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Okay, I admit it, I watched the second installment of "The War Room with Jennifer Granholm." (Don't give me a hard time about my judgment, watching it was punishment enough.)
Honestly, I always thought that Granholm was a poor public speaker. Her most famous line "In five years your going to be blown away" was as uninspiring in salesmanship as ultimately were the results of her product. (She does get five points for not overselling!) Even as governor, when she stood behind teleprompters and was thus able to avoid the frequent mangling of words, (something she could not do during either of her first two shows) I found her voice and cadence tentative.
She seemed very uncomfortable, particularly standing beside the discussion table with her guests; something that appeared to discomfort everyone. She looks at the wrong camera frequently, and demonstrably speaks with her hands when she has a trouble finding the right words--one of these times she's going to accidentally poke some poor guest's eye out.
I assume that within a week or two a lot of nervous tics will be ironed out and, for Jenny's sake, that the discussion table gets scrapped for something that doesn't look like it belongs at an open bar mingler.
To Granholm's credit, I believe that Granholm wants her show to be more mainstream Democrat than the ultra-left blathering idiot Olbermann and the raging Cenk Uygur. As evidence, she managed to find herself one professing Republican guest (Jillian Manus) but of the ilk that Dems are most famous for unearthing--those that during the last election cycle voted for Obama rather than leave the top of their ballot blank or write in a palatable candidate of their own professed party.
There was significant buildup and promotion for "The War Room With Jennifer Granholm." It was going to be fresh, hard hitting and was purported to be the fleshing out of a lineup of hosts on Current that could rival that of Fox News' nightly stable. It might have been fresh but it was far short of hard-hitting and it will remain so until the potholes get filled.
My guess is that Democrats so far are disappointed with the show but that they hold out hope that the bugs will become smoothed out over the short term. I believe this because, as a long time detractor of Granholm, I was giddy with the awfulness of the show's production and performance.
Time will tell if it significantly improves. My guess is that, over time, it has to. Maybe I'll watch again in a couple of weeks to see if things have changed. Let's just consider it my own little form of self flagellation.
Posted By Roug at 2:54 PM