Thursday, June 23, 2011

MLive Asks: Does West Michigan need more visible minority and gay faces to attract a creative class?

To which I have to ask, what in the heck is a gay face?

You know, gays have that certain...look. Really?

I mean, if I ever tried to define a "gay face" I would be ridiculed as homophobic and a hater. Yet, it would seem to be entirely reasonable for a whole class of artists to be attracted to a community that projects a look that we heterosexuals would be remiss to identify or, absent any obviousities, investigate.

Would it be wrong for masses of unemployed straight guys to pretend overt gayness in order to attract an expansion in the arts? If so, what exactly is overt gayness? Is it any more obvious that a gay face? Could such acting in itself be construed as anti-gay or would it be seen as an act of community bonding?

These are questions that only those in chosen identity groups should ask or answer and I renounce myself for the queries.

So, how long will we have to wait before a government sponsored job-training program is launched to attract any related industries?

Why We Are Here

What is too often forgotten when people consider the current situation our economy is in is that the brakes were being applied to growth and wealth creation even before Fannie May, Freddie Mac and AIG (among others) collapsed.

Months prior to the rest of us finding out that Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick had absconded with millions of taxpayer dollars as a reward for pimping insolvent home loans, the cost of energy was already climbing at a frenzied pace.

As a fill-up crashed through the $30, $40 and $50 barriers for those driving even pretend mostly plastic cars, consumers were already being forced to ponder the priorities of vacationing in upstate Michigan or putting away a little cash in order to be able to make it to work the following week.

And that was the plan.

If there is one certainty in this world, it is that elitist Americans hate them some wrong energy.

Energy that is inexpensive is considered wrong for America. Inexpensive energy by definition promotes the use of that energy. As such, energy a consumer can actually afford to painlessly use is part and parcel to the perceived problem. It had to be made more expensive!

The great American slowdown is, then, not a bug, but a price that has to be paid. While progressive politicians and sympathetic journalists alike lament the "unexpected" continuance of our economic malaise, the bright side is that not only has our energy thirst been somewhat slaked, but our carbon footprint has been downsized!

As Barack Obama promised in his run up to the presidential election "[energy] prices must necessarily skyrocket." He knew already, prior to his election, that his energy plan would raise energy prices, because it was necessary. His current energy secretary surmised that what needed to be done was to raise American gasoline prices to the levels suffered in Europe.

Our government's offensive against the American energy industry is a multi-pronged attack.

Obama's moratorium on offshore drilling has crippled employment along the Gulf coast while also driving a number of drilling rigs to waters off the coasts of other nations. (Not to worry, we'll be their biggest customer!)

While his EPA tries to put the kibosh to newly discovered west Texas oil fields, his EPA also tries to castrate an energy industry waiting to capitalize on tar sands, oil shale and natural gasa.

His new regulations against coal fired electrical plants are designed to raise electricity prices on those of us who now have the time to watch The View while anxiously awaiting our unemployment checks.

Interjected into the whole mix is the benevolent hand of a government that picks winners and losers among corporations that salivate at the ringing of a public bell.

A window company that buy into the government's ideology can expect a nice fat check to the detriment of its competition. Companies that agree to enter into the production of inefficient green energy can expect kickbacks that not only make the otherwise insolvent operations profitable, but can also ride their ill gotten profitability into a new and less competitive era once those companies who lost out on the blessings of government graft fall by the wayside.

A giant Michigan chemical companies that supports public/private partnerships in the development of solar energy might miraculously receive a huge grant to help develop facilities. A large national company that endorses the government's overall energy policies can inexplicably pay no corporate income taxes on billions of dollars in profits. And a corn ethanol industry that sprouted up at the behest of visionary bureaucrats can survive today because government dictates the use of its products while at the same time it bails out otherwise insolvent producers and growers. (Never you mind the rising cost of eggs.)

Ah, but it would be too easy to blame all of this on admitted progressives, for Republican voters share much of the blame. They have for far too long voted for members of the (R) party not knowing what the R stands for.

One such perpetually elected GOP whiz is former Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers who is joining with other foundationless Republicans in endorsing yet more government involvement in private enterprise in order to achieve their desired outcome.

In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, the 15 signatories – including recently retired Michigan Congressman Vernon Ehlers – say that to reduce dependence on foreign oil and maintain a clean environment, upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for 2017 to 2025 should be aggressive.
Ehlers is a nuclear physicist for God's sake. He is a brilliant man, and yet he either misunderstands economics entirely or has unfortunately recognized the breadth and depth of his own unmatched brilliance. Who needs the free market or capitalist principles when one can merely project his own brilliance upon others? Ehlers is a member of a vast army of foundationless Republicans that wear the proud colors of the GOP in much the same way that a nation of die hard basketball fans jumped onto the bandwagon of the Miami Heat, at least that is, until game six.

It is discouraging that we cannot, as conservatives, make the effort to vet out even the most obvious of non-conservative stances among our own candidates. We have a full plate of candidates on the GOP side currently running for president, and yet the leader of that bunch of would-be nominees is an embracer of big-government solutions so vast it would make JFK blush.

Until the conservative movement is able to articulate effectively its message to not only the masses but to those who seemingly say they already identify with it, we will continue to languish within a society slowly losing its freedoms, its exceptionalism, its direction and, ultimately, its viability.

That we have not, to this point, is why we are here. That we may not in the near future is, most likely, why we would remain.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Finally, Anthony Weiner has spilled the beans and confessed to his inappropriate behavior. He betrayed his wife, he lied to the American people, he tried to blame the incident on those who made the evidence public, and he dragged a number of others into a feculent pool where only a betraying, lying and false witnessing politician should wade.

I don't give a hoot about Anthony Weiner's dilemma though I feel badly that those naive enough to hitch their wagon to him must suffer for his indiscretions.

He can stay in office for all I care. He doesn't belong to me--he is a Dem and that type of behavior is completely acceptable for a Democrat as far as I'm concerned. If he can hold onto his job--the simps in NYC are getting exactly what they deserve--a guy who is no more loyal to his wife than he would be to any one of his constituents.

Now, the next time a Republican does this sort of thing I'm going to be asking for his head on a plaque. As an independent that feels he was left by the Republican Party left over the past couple of decades, I still pine for the GOP of old, the GOP that tosses out horses' asses that look remarkably like Anthony Weiner.

San Fran Nan and her brain addled kin can demand that Republicans leave office whenever they foolishly text someone that they shouldn't. (Which they do.) Let her for all I care. I don't care what she says and the day that my actions bear in any way on her words is the day you might as well put a bullet in my aching skull.

After all, as conservatives, we expect more from those that represent us than do progressives.

Crossing Over

Bono enters the dark realm.

U2's Bono is what we would call a philanthropist. He has made his fortune and has, as a result, made efforts to steer the windfall of that fortune onto those who have not been as successful.

His charities are many but perhaps his best known is his work in Africa. Not only has Bono given millions to those on that continent, but he has teamed with others (even twisted a few arms) to maximize the financial efforts in toto.

Private giving and giving through taxation to the poor are two completely different things. One is divine, the other is a tragedy on multiple levels.

First of all, private charities are exponentially more efficient than are governmental agencies. Many private charities can (humbly) boast that over three quarters of the money that they collect is given directly to the cause. Government, by the time it has sucked out enough money to cover overpaid and inefficient bureaucracy, can brag about its contribution of about thirty percent.

Many conservatives lament what unending charity does to unquenchable recipients. I am of like mind. But, the most sinister thing about government benevolence is the long term impact it has on would be private givers.

With inefficient government taking on the role of wealth redistributor it has effectively allowed would be charitable givers to abdicate their moral responsibilities toward taking care of others. (Of course, with government taxation taking an ever larger bite out of earners' salaries there is substantially less money left over to give of freely, even if a person wanted to.)

Many a person depends on government to take care of others, and as long as they are taxpayers (never mind that about fifty percent of Americans pay no income taxes at all,) they feel that they have done their duty. Fail.

Which brings me back to Bono.

A tax protest group from Art Uncut will attend U2's performance on June 24 to campaign against the group's "convoluted" tax affairs, accusing them of avoiding taxes which could have helped exactly the sort of people Bono publicly cares about so dearly.

U2 moved a portion of their business affairs from Ireland to the Netherlands in 2006, reportedly in order to avoid a limit on lucrative tax breaks for artists in the republic.

The protest group have said that they do not intend to interrupt the band's performance, but hope to make sure their message is visible.

They plan to float a large bundle of cash from one section of the crowd under an Irish flag to another section under a Dutch flag. The message "Bono Pay Up" will be spelt (sic) out in lights.

An Art Uncut spokesperson said: "Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this world."
How many people has Bono employed? How many people have benefited from the charity of his free giving? How many others have been made aware of the plight of others through his many causes?

The cretin protesters would rather have government do their duty for them. It matters little to them that a quarter given privately does as much for the recipient as does a dollar taken forcibly from the pockets of the productive to be redistributed.

It is difficult to know who the protesters are, but I would hazard a guess that a good many of them work for government sponsored charities and therefore depend on Bono's taxes to grant them a paycheck.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Ignorance at the Top of the Teaching Profession

Are there any members of the MEA who teach (or understand) economics, history, or psychology?


If so, please explain to me how the MEA (and other teachers' unions) can spend its membership dues in a way that exposes its collective ignorance on these subjects so blatantly while not motivating any significant cries of protest from its membership?

If the membership of these huge and powerful unions truly believes that employers are the cause of our nation's economic strife, how can we ever expect the next generation of consumers, employees, and employers to to be any smarter than the horses' asses leading the MEA today?