Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Mitt Isn't It!

It's Holy Week and there is a lot to do around Oklahomily Ranch so posting has been and will continue to be very light.

But I could not resist pointing out something to those conservative voters of any persuasion who might be thinking about 2012:

Mitt Romney, Hypocrite.

It's okay to make a mistake and learn from it. Mr. Romney wants to spin his Massachusetts disaster into something that it is not. Surely the Republicans can find someone a wee bit more conservative -- and honest -- to run against the Obamination.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stupak Caves; Get Ready for a Loss

Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak just caved on the "executive order option" so it is now quite likely that the Senate version of the health care reform bill will be passed before we sleep tonight.

With all due respect to the congressman, do you trust this president to keep his promise on the executive order when he has violated so many other promises?

Do you trust the federal courts to respect an executive order even if it is issued, especially since the language of a good executive order on forbidding the public financing of abortions will conflict with the language of the health care reform legislation?

Are you willing to answer to God when a future president issues an executive order canceling this one, if indeed, it comes to pass?

Between "Catholic" lawmakers Stupak and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who caved even without an empty promise from President Obama, I am just about ready to vomit. They may represent their districts -- then again, come election time, the voters may have other ideas -- but they do not represent traditional Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life.

For that matter, I have problems with many of the bishops who seem to have forgotten the difference between church and state on this and a few other "social justice" issues. There is no way you can justify support of this takeover of the health care system of the United States, this threat to force people to help their neighbor through the kindly ministrations of the Internal Revenue Service, the actual taking of property from people without their consent, through traditional Catholic teaching.

I realize that most readers aren't all that interested in this particular argument, and that's okay. What's important now will be the next great cause, at election time this year, to empty Congress of each and every House and Senate member who stood for this abomination. We can clean the House, every member of whom is up for election. We can go a long way toward purging the Senate, a third of whom are up for re-election.

Our elected leaders in Congress are violating the compact to heed our will. They are creating huge new taxes and entitlements by misrepresenting us. They deserve to be replaced.

We are losing today. We cannot afford to lose in the primaries and in November. May God strengthen us for the task.

Labels: , ,

'Collapse & Wreck'

No, I'm not writing about Cloward and Piven's strategy to collapse the U.S. government. You can and should read all that HERE.

Instead, I write of a game being played by juveniles in Philadelphia -- and who knows where else -- in which a group of youngsters identifies a target, preferably some one they think is homeless, and beat the crap out of them. More details:

Two residents of Southwest Philadelphia were injured - one of them seriously - in separate, recent attacks by youth engaging in a violent game they have dubbed "Catch and Wreck," police said tonight.

Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said tonight a 12-year-old girl has been charged with aggravated assault and related offenses in connection with an attack on a 42-year-old woman Friday night, and additional arrests are expected.

In the game, a group of children between the ages of nine and 15 congregating at the Finnegan Playground at 69th Street and Grovers Avenue beat, strike and stomp adults they believe may be homeless, Walker said. He said neither victim in the two attacks was homeless.

Vincent Poppa, 73, remains hospitalized at Methodist Hospital a full week after he was hit in the back of the head with a gun, knocked unconscious and stomped by a group of four or five male youths near the playground around 9 p.m. March 13.

Poppa, who suffered a heart attack either during or shortly after the beating, was on a ventilator until Friday afternoon, Walker said.


According to Walker, Poppa, a resident of a nearby senior citizens apartment complex, was attacked when he was returning from buying soda.

When he arrived at Methodist, medical personnel found footprints on Poppa's head and sneaker marks on his body.

"They were stomping him pretty hard," Walker said.

The second assault occurred Friday at 8:30 p.m. when a large group of male and female youths surrounded Belinda Moore, 42, as she took a shortcut through the playground on her way home from a cleaning job.

She was struck with sticks, punched and hit, but Moore managed to break free and run to a nearby home where a resident called 911.

Walker said Moore had injured a knee and hurt her head. She delayed seeking medical attention to help police in their investigation.

Police Friday night arrested a 12-year-old girl who hit Moore with a stick and were expecting to arrest at least two other girls and boy in connection with the attack on Moore.

The police are continuing their investigation into the attack on Poppa. Authorities believe there may have been other attacks that have not been reported.

This next part will make your blood run cold.

Walker said police learned about the "catch and wreck" game when they brought a large group of neighborhood youths to Southwest Detectives for questioning Friday night after Moore was assaulted.

"They were all saying the same thing, laughing at us, like we didn't know what it meant," Walker said. "They said, 'It's something stupid we do for fun.'"

Police, he said, believe it's a new phenomenon.

"It's bizarre mindset these kids have developed," Walker said. "We're hoping we can nip it in the bud."

I hope so too, but I'm not encouraged when are government is promoting itself as the "one-stop solution" to all problems and thus will continue policies that fragment families and encourage dependency, which leads to young people having no good role models to emulate. We are dangerously close to "Clockwork Orange" territory here.


Prophetic Hit -- And It Didn't Take Long!

In my last post I bemoaned (bitched) that our culture has sunk so low that it will hold Wal Mart responsible for a juvenile racist remark made by a customer over a store intercom in Washington Township, N.J.

Two things this morning:

1. The arrested suspect was identified as a 16-year-old, reportedly charged with "harrassment and bias intimidation" whatever the hell that is. Want to bet he gets off with a hand slap?

2. As I collected ingredients for a hearty beef stew at my local Wal Mart, I overheard an employee being paged ... by a guy who was yelling very loudly from one of those swinging double doors that hide the stock rooms from the general public. "Telephone, Terry!" he yelled. As the worker approached, the assistant manager told him, you'll have to take it inside. They've disabled all the phones on the floor!"

Called it!

We are a long way from New Jersey but the command has been given from on high. Make sure there are no copycat crimes in a Wal Mart store, even though man-hours will be lost by employees having to "manually" page other departments, or by employees called away from their duty stations for phone calls.

Why? Because with the Gang of Progressive Thugs running our country you cannot be too careful. Your CEO might be called to testify before Congress as to your internal security workings, the state of your Diversity Training for employees, and who knows what else.

In a few years time we'll be damned lucky to find groceries on our store shelves.

Worth noting: Philly dot com's reporter could not bring herself to actually say "black people" in her lead, which is the phrase the youth had used. She corrected it to "African American." Folks, that's not journalism, that's political correctness and in this instance serves no purpose except to confuse someone who doesn't read the rest of the story. Can you imagine someone announcing politely that "all African Americans need to leave the store"?

The Gloucester County chapter of the NAACP -- the same organization that gave ex-White House communist "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones a national award a couple of weeks ago -- has now jumped into the fray, declaring that "similar, previous incidents" have taken place at the same Wal Mart. Gee, what are they implying? That Wal Mart encourages this sort of thing?

Or would logic suggest that the 16-year-old has struck before?

Oops! Can't use logic. Forgot.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Death of Our Culture & Common Sense

Earlier this week there was a report that someone ordered "all the black people" out of a Wal Mart store in New Jersey.

Naturally everyone was up in arms about it. Boycotts have ensued. Lawsuits have been threatened.

But it turns out that it was a customer who was responsible for "borrowing" one of the intercom phones and making the announcement. An arrest reportedly has been made.

Of course, now Wal Mart is taking heat for having its intercom phones "too accessible."

For crying out loud, is common sense completely dead? Under the social compact which has governed our society for, oh, the last hundred years or so, it was understood that non-employees keep their grubby little hands off store equipment. It was assumed that people were civilized enough to obey this little rule, and if anyone did violate it, the general assumption is that the individual would pay the consequences, not the store!

Anyone attempting the argument that Wal Mart should hide its intercom phones, or put security codes on them so that they cannot be used by any passing nitwit, is admitting that we now live in a culture so debased, so wantonly criminal and stupid, that everything must be child-proofed for ages one through 99.

That may be true, but a little tough love would cure it.

Labels: , ,

House Committee in Chaos; Emperor is Naked

The House Rules Committee "descended into chaos" today -- as described by Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York -- after committee member Henry Waxman, D-California, said:
"We're not going to 'deem' the bill passed. We're going to pass the Senate bill…I would be against the idea of 'deeming' something -- we either pass it or we don't."
It seems the emperor indeed is stark naked. Whether or not it uses the "Demon Pass" procedure, which is awkward and unconstitutional (a bad combination), the House is approving the Senate version of the health care bill "as is" and it will likely go to President Obama in that fashion.

Maybe, or maybe not, to be amended later. A leap of faith, in other words, for anyone who votes "yes" thinking that the bill will be improved on the Senate side.

The attempt to provide themselves some sort of electoral "deniability" is presenting all sorts of parliamentary problems, and the American people are not fooled.

Not this time.

The Progressives may succeed in passing health care "reform" against the will of the American people, but they will pay a heavy price in November. And undoubtedly there will be so many constitutional challenges that even the socialist minions of the Obama administration may find it difficult to put the new regime into place.

The emperor has not yet swept away the last vestiges of the Republic, despite his "naked" power grab.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ObamaCare Would Kick Middle Class Where it Hurts

Who will suffer the most under ObamaCare?

Once rationing begins to kick in, everyone. But in the short run it looks like those who will be hit the hardest will be those in the middle class. In other words, the people President Obama promised to protect from his tax increases.

Scott Gottlieb, writing at the American Enterprise Institute today, explains:

Health reform will leave many of them newly priced out of a transformed market for health insurance.

The hardest hit won't be those earning more than $250,000 a year--the group that he says needs to "pay their fair share." Rather, it's families whose combined annual income is around $100,000 who could be crushed under this plan.

These folks will be too "rich" to qualify for ObamaCare's subsidies, but probably too poor to easily afford the pricey insurance that the president's plan forces them to buy.

Many of these $100K families will be obliged to buy a policy costing an average of $14,700 for the mid-level, "silver" health plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates. After income taxes, they'll be spending almost a quarter of their net income for health insurance.

That's what we used to say people would spend for their home. Of course, with the federal government planning its assault on home ownership by encouraging defaults and then "renting" from Uncle Sam, maybe this is where they expect your dollars to go.

Again, let me remind you that the U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government the power to force individual citizens to purchase a product, not even health care!

Why will this health insurance be so expensive? Gottlieb is happy to explain:

First, it limits most consumers to choosing only one of three basic health plans. (These will offer the same basic package of health benefits--the main difference is that the higher-premium plan has lower co-pays, while the lower-premium one has higher co-payments.) And even the cheapest option--the "bronze" plan--will start at about $12,500 for a family, says the CBO.

People buying insurance outside the workplace won't be able to shop around to find cheaper options: ObamaCare effectively outlaws that, because the president wants everyone to have the same package of generous benefits. It's a noble ideal--but it forces people to buy coverage that may be pricier than what they need, want or can afford.

I wonder: if I go to prison for not buying their health care, will I get free medical care there?

Labels: ,

Look Who's Promoting Fake Letters to the Editor!

The Obama gets caught promoting Astroturf in the nation's newspapers, with plagiarism not exactly discouraged.

The Tulsa World was one of the newspapers fooled into printing an Astroturf "letter to the editor."

Or does it just not care?

Labels: ,

Meanwhile, Off the Coast of Florida,

There's more than just health care going to hell in a hand basket.

In its lead editorial today, the Washington Times notes that the Russians are drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba.
The Obama administration is poised to ban offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf until 2012 or beyond. Meanwhile, Russia is making a bold strategic leap to begin drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. While the United States attempts to shift gears to alternative fuels to battle the purported evils of carbon emissions, Russia will erect oil derricks off the Cuban coast.
What are we doing about it?

Nothing. No, that's not exactly right. The Obama Administration is also poised to use the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions since Congress won't pass Obama's beloved Cap'n Tax bill. This is the program, you remember, under which "energy prices will necessarily skyrocket." (Obama's own words, not mine.)

There are also national security consequences to all this, as the editorial points out:

Russia more sensibly views energy primarily as a strategic resource. Energy is critical to Russia's economy, as fuel and as a source of profit through export. Russia also has used energy as a coercive diplomatic tool, shutting off natural gas piped to Eastern Europe in the middle of winter to make a point about how dependent the countries are that do business with the Russians.

Now Russia is using oil exploration to establish a new presence in the Western Hemisphere. It recently concluded four contracts securing oil-exploration rights in Cuba's economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A Russian-Cuban joint partnership will exploit oil found in the deep waters of the Gulf.

Cuba has rights to the area in which drilling will be conducted under an agreement the Carter administration recognized. From Russia's perspective, this is another way to gain leverage inside what traditionally has been America's sphere of influence. It may not be as dramatic as the Soviet Union attempting to use Cuba as a missile platform, but in the energy wars, the message is the same. Russia is projecting power into the Western Hemisphere while the United States retreats. The world will not tolerate a superpower that acts like a sidekick much longer.

Jimmy Carter set the stage, and now Obama is allowing the Russians to play on it. JFK must be spinning in his grave.

Labels: , ,

Have You Had Your Say Yet?

Will the Republic survive long enough to get us to the 2010 vote?

You have to worry when so many House Democrats are throwing their political lives away in a suicidal pact to give President Obama a victory on his signature issue, despite the fact

... that the American people overwhelmingly oppose the bill;

... that the American people loathe the corruption of bribery and shakedown threats used to coerce "yes" votes;

... that the American people are awake to the parliamentary chicanery of "Demonpass" ("deem and pass") that apparently will be used to give a quick okay to the abominable Senate health care bill.

This weekend could be the difference. If you haven't contacted your local member of congress yet, you can do so by going through the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cardinal George Fears the Health Care Pig

It's probably too little, too late, but at least Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has publicly scolded the so-called Catholic Health Association for its support of the health care reform bill that is on the verge of becoming the law of the land.

The CHA head, Sister Carol Keehan, issued a letter to lawmakers this week urging them to "quickly" pass the Senate health care reform bill that includes no prohibitions on the direct public funding of abortions.

So much for expecting a nun to uphold Catholic teaching.

Cardinal George says the bishops are puzzled that lawmakers have settled on the onerous Senate bill as the focus of their efforts.

We tried to warn you! You thought you could trust the Congress and the president when you can't even trust the people to whom you entrusted the operation of the nation's Catholic hospitals?

Here's what Cardinal George said on Monday, according to LifeSiteNews:

George pointed out the slew of flaws that the U.S. bishops find "deeply disturbing" in the Senate health bill, including its lack of conscience protections, Hyde-amendment protections against federal abortion funding, and the millions in new funds for Community Health Centers which will be available to fund abortions.

"It expands federal funding and the role of the federal government in the provision of abortion procedures," he explained. "In so doing, it forces all of us to become involved in an act that profoundly violates the conscience of many, the deliberate destruction of unwanted members of the human family still waiting to be born."

The cardinal directly disagreed with the Catholic Health Association's favorable assessment of the bill.

"This analysis of the flaws in the legislation is not completely shared by the leaders of the Catholic Health Association," stated George. "They believe, moreover, that the defects that they do recognize can be corrected after the passage of the final bill. The bishops, however, judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote.

"Assurances that the moral objections to the legislation can be met only after the bill is passed seem a little like asking us, in Midwestern parlance, to buy a pig in a poke."

I know that we are, for the moment at least, one the same side, but I would like for Cardinal George and the other Catholic bishops to consider some other questionable moral aspects of this or any other federal health care legislation.

1. We cannot abrogate our responsibility as individuals or as the Church to provide for the needs of the sick by passing it off to the government. This goes against the clear teaching of Christ.

2. It is immoral to force one's neighbor to pay for one's charitable impulses. The mandates in this legislation, and in the abomination of a government program that will follow, does just that. We use the power of the government, through threats of fines and jail sentences, to force others to do what we think is a good thing. The end does not justify the means, and you'd think the bishops would know this.

3. Socialized medicine has never been successful in any country where it has been attempted. Indeed, government health care's history is that of unmitigated disaster. Knowing this, is it moral to force Americans to follow the same path?

4. The U.S. Constitution does not permit the federal government the authority to force individuals to buy a product, even if it is in their best interest. Health care is a product. Is it moral to support legislation that violates the fundamental legal framework of a country, without amending that framework?

5. Is it moral to give away the authority of the Church to supervise and regulate its own health care ministries to bureaucrats who will not and never will be answerable to religious authority; indeed, will be duty bound to ignore and repudiate any attempts by religious authority to influence the delivery of medical care from those once-noble Catholic medical institutions?

By focusing on the narrow issues of conscience and abortion, the Catholic bishops indicated that they believed health care reform to be a "done deal" and so they merely tried to steer it into a less objectionable path.

If, instead, they had relied on First Principles and opposed federalizing health care as a matter of the greater morality of maintaining the Christian ownership of performing spiritual and corporate works of mercy, then we might not have come to this point.

The Progressives (and closet Marxists) are using "good intentions" to pave the road to a socialist Hell in which our nation will be, as Barack Hussein Obama predicted shortly before his election, "fundamentally transformed."

It has happened in other countries and it has without exception been a very bad thing for Christianity.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Short Life for a Short Man

Twenty-one-year-old PingPing is dead, of suspected heart problems.

Hailing from Mongolia, he was the world's shortest man. He hit the big time last year.

You can read all about him HERE. Pay no attention to the photo of the topless model in the newspaper he is reading.

May he rest in peace.

Labels: ,

Climate Scientists Turn to Hollywood?

Word is out that frustrated climate scientists -- who have seen public support for their alarmist cries fall after various scandals and various researchers admit that the world has cooled in the last 15 years -- are now turning to Hollywood for help in, uh, "educating" the public.

So what was "The Day After Tomorrow"?

But the story seems to indicate that it isn't just "scientists" who are looking to Hollywood, but "government scientists."

One effort, announced at the meeting, will recruit Hollywood to help scientists tell their stories. NAS and the University of Southern California will team up to draw on USC’s expertise in film, TV, websites, and video games. The partnership will be the first between a federal agency and a film school.

“Entertainment media has been pretty much untapped as far as science literacy goes,” Dr. Fink says. A huge portion of the public doesn’t go to science museums or watch science programming on TV, she says. “Those are the eyeballs we’re trying to capture.”

Did you catch the "partnership between a federal agency and a film school"?

The U.S. government teemed up with Hollywood during World War II to produce films. But that was a time of war and it wasn't hard to persuade most Americans that the fight was a just cause. Producing propaganda to convince a skeptical public that we need to let the government, perhaps even a world government, control our thermostats and tax us through higher energy prices, seems like the wrong thing to do in a free society.

Unless, of course, you have no intention of keeping your society free.

Labels: , ,

D.C. -- Does it Stand for District of Corruption?

Headline: "D.C. home to most cyber-criminals!"

WASHINGTON - Here's a factoid you might not know -- D.C. has the most cyber-criminals per capita: 116 for every 100,000 people.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center's 2009 Internet Crime Report ranks Maryland 19th (29.72 perpetrators per 100,000) and Virginia 28th (24.12 perpetrators per 100,000).

IC3, a joint effort of the National White Collar Crime Center and FBI, says Nevada and Washington hold the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

Why should anyone be surprised? The District of Columbia has become the home of some of the most innovative and heartless of criminal minds, a good number of them in government.

Need proof? Another headline: "House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it!"

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a round table discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

So much for the rule of law and the Constitution. So much for having respect for the people of the United States. If there is "transparency" in this, it is only that it is transparently fraudulent and evil.

No wonder Queen Nancy likes it.

Yeah, D.C. certainly is home to a lot of criminal minds.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The IRS Raids a Car Wash

The Sacramento Bee reports on an IRS raid on a local car wash in an attempt to recover the massive sum of ... four cents.

Actually, that's four cents, plus interest and penalties since 2006 totaling $202.35.

The owner claims he didn't even know he owed the four cents.

Just wait 'til the IRS gets to police the new health insurance mandate. Then we'll see some real fun!

Or had you forgotten about that little detail of ObamaCare?

Labels: ,

More Government Over-Reach: Broadband Plans!

Do we really need the FCC to develop a national broadband policy?
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to release a national broadband plan next week that will lay out an ambitious set of goals for broadband deployment and adoption.

The official version of the plan will be released at a commission meeting Tuesday, but FCC followers have seen the agency unveil several major thrusts of the plan in a series of speeches and briefings in recent weeks. In a mid-February speech, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski kicked off the announcements by saying it was the agency's goal to bring 100M bps (bits per second) broadband service to 100 million U.S. homes by about 2020.

Many members of the U.S. tech community have called for a national broadband policy for years, and Congress, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in early 2009, required the FCC to develop the plan.

That last bit was the Porkulus Bill, in case you've forgotten.

Do we really need the federal government to handle broadband as if it were a trip to the Moon? Hasn't private enterprise done a pretty good job of developing and spreading internet access over the last 15 years? Can Uncle Sugar do it any faster?

Not bloody damn likely, and the only real justification for turning the Hounds of FCC Hell loose on it is to eventually regulate and/or eliminate private enterprise so that the Progressives can control our information flow as well as our health care and energy supplies. If you hated dial-up (which was a necessary step on the way to better systems) just wait until the government must decide whether you qualify for ObamaConnect!

Don't believe the spin from the pseudo-industry groups that are really fronts for socialist and progressive philanthropy. They talk a good game about America being "competitive in the global marketplace" but the first thing they want to do is kill off one of the big success stories of the last quarter century, our private internet technology companies.

Labels: ,

Bart Stupak Holding Firm Against ObamaCare

What you won't see in your daily newspaper: Quotes from Congressman Bart Stupak, pro-life Democrat from Michigan, detailing how low the Left is aiming in order to pass a health care bill that most Americans do not want.
Stupak says the other eleven are coming under “enormous” political pressure from both the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). “I am a definite ‘no’ vote,” he says. “I didn’t cave. The others are having both of their arms twisted, and we’re all getting pounded by our traditional Democratic supporters, like unions.”


“This has really reached an unhealthy stage,” Stupak says. “People are threatening ethics complaints on me. On the left, they’re really stepping it up. Every day, from Rachel Maddow to the Daily Kos, it keeps coming. Does it bother me? Sure. Does it change my position? No.”
Interviewed by National Review Online, Stupak says he can't see switching parties, but it's becoming very difficult to remain a Democrat. He says something very telling:
If Obamacare passes, Stupak says, it could signal the end of any meaningful role for pro-life Democrats within their own party. “It would be very, very hard for someone who is a right-to-life Democrat to run for office,” he says. “I won’t leave the party. I’m more comfortable here and still believe in a role within it for the right-to-life cause, but this bill will make being a pro-life Democrat much more difficult. They don’t even want to debate this issue. We’ll probably have to wait until the Republicans take back the majority to fix this.”
That will happen pretty quickly ObamaCare is rammed through, but it might be 2013 before it could be repealed, once President Obama is ousted.

Congressman Stupak said one of the arguments used to justify the abortion money in the Senate bill is that abortion will help control population. Seriously!
“If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”
May God have mercy on the United States of America!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Movies & Meat Thermometers

It's the kind of report that makes you wonder what's happened to our country.
The theater was packed for a 9 p.m. Saturday screening of the Martin Scorsese horror movie, "Shutter Island" when the victim complained about a woman near him who was using a cell phone during the show.

She and two men with her left the movie theater.

Two men returned a few minutes later and stabbed the victim, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. The victim was hospitalized but is expected to survive.

Two other people who attempted to help the victim were also injured in the altercation.

Sheriff's officials describe the suspects as black males. One man was wearing an orange hat with an orange jacket or jersey.
The first thought that comes to mind is "What kind of weird (or wired) nut-job brings a meat thermometer to the movie theater?" Or carries it with him in his car?

My second thought was a validation of sorts as to why I don't go see movies much anymore.
The social compact has broken down, even here in God's country. Rude behavior that, had it occurred, would not have been tolerated in years' past is now customary. Men and women of all ages talk on their cellphones or, almost as annoying, text one another, the ghostly blue light of their tiny little screens flickering on their faces and those of all others who are near. Or the guy behind you routinely kicks your chair at least once every two minutes just to let you know he's still alive and, well, kickin'.

When I do go to movies more often than not they are matinees when the crowds are thinner, although the inconsideration of some moviegoers often makes up for the lack of numbers. The other strategy is to pick a movie to which I am certain the lemmings are not lurching, or whatever it is that lemmings do. That's why I saw "Men Who Stare at Goats." (I thought it was pretty good, but then there were only five people in the theater, so I could give it my undivided attention.)

I used to see a lot of movies. I made up for a deprived childhood on the farm once I managed to find a career in the big city. Love movies, and still do. I've fallen out of love with movie audiences, however. So I do my movie watching at home. DVD and home theater systems and Orville Redenbacher give you everything you need to recreate the Big Screen experience, except Butterfinger candy and I'm not supposed to be eating those anyway. Plus having a remote control means the ability to visit a CLEAN restroom without missing any of the action!

Sure, you have to wait a few months for the movies to be released, but that gives me time to do my research and waste fewer entertainment dollars on cinematic garbage.

My only sadness this year was having the Oscars roll around and, even though the field was doubled from five to ten, I had not seen a single Best Picture nominee. My children, who have movie theater work experience, think I've lost it.

They could be right. But at least I don't have a meat thermometer sticking in my neck.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Jobless Benefits Nearly 2 Years Now!

When unemployment compensation extends to 99 weeks, is it time to declare it a "permanent entitlement"?

Millions of Americans have been forced to rely on unemployment payments for extended periods as the nation struggles through its longest period of high joblessness in a generation, and critics are taking aim, saying that the Depression-era program created as a temporary bridge for laid-off workers is turning into an expensive entitlement.

About 11.4 million out-of-work people now collect unemployment compensation, at a cost of $10 billion a month. Half of them have been receiving payments for more than six months, the usual insurance limit. But under multiple extensions enacted by the federal government in response to the downturn, workers can collect the payments for as long as 99 weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates -- the longest period since the program's inception.

Six months is 26 weeks. That was the old measure of what was considered the usual length of time that it would take to find a new job. A modern measurement of how difficult the "Job Creation" situation has become is that we now pay jobless benefits nearly four times as long -- almost a full two years.

And yet we know that there are thousands of unemployed being dropped from the lists of those considered actively looking for work -- a handy statistical tool that allows the administration to claim that the unemployment rate is better than it actually is. How bad is our economy? Look on the labels of practically everything you purchase. If you can find anything "Made in the U.S.A." count yourself lucky.

You can pass all the "Jobs Bills" you want that merely extend unemployment benefits and that will not alter the fact that America produces less and less stuff. It will take a hell of a lot more "Avatars" earning billions to make up for the financial drain, the stuff coming in versus the money flowing out.

How much of this situation is the Progressive drive to kill off the free enterprise system through a combination of weakening the dollar, preventing the use of American resources (especially energy), and the aggressive push for "globalization" is fodder for thought and I will let you do your own pondering.

But until Washington realizes that it cannot create real "stuff producing" jobs, and that it can only impede the real economy unless it decides to get out of the way, there is no reason for optimism.

Worse, turning over one-sixth of our economy (health care) for federal bureaucrats is not going to help one little bit. It will be the straw that breaks the back of the economic camel.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 08, 2010

America: Too 'Exceptional' to Fail, or Not?

There's an interesting thread over at The Corner on National Review Online, which I will distill down to this:

America is so "exceptional" that it can weather even the Perfect Socialist Storm: Yes or No?

Exceptional means that the Creator has set aside certain historical realities for the United States because it was founded on godly principles.

I'm a big believer in American exceptionalism, but I also believe that "thou shall not put the Lord thy God to the rest" and that's pretty much what we've spent the last fifty years trying to do. But not every conservative agrees, and thus we have the interesting argument.

(Whether we have time for this argument as the Progressives gear up for the final push toward Government Medicine is another question altogether!)

Anyhoo, I would encourage you to wander over and catch some of it. Since I happen to agree with him, I especially recommend THIS POST by Mark Steyn, the Canadian who seems to value the traditional United States virtues much more than most of our citizens do.

His money quote: "I think U.S. conservatives are too complacent about — the impact of Big Government on free peoples." He goes on to explain why.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Which is Worse: Lying to the Press, or Spying on Law Abiding Citizens?

A strange and disturbing report from the City by the Bay:

Park Officer Posed as Another, Lied to Press

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 05, 2010

A New $10 Tax on Foreign Tourists

How do you get more people to vacation in the United States?

Charge 'em a new fee!

The president has signed into law another one of his Progressive brain trusts' gems: The reason tourism has dropped off over the past decade (a statistic that might need some investigation to see how the numbers have been twisted) is because we don't have a Federal Advertising Program.

You know, like the one they have in France.

So each foreign guest will be charged $10 so that we can have a new bureaucracy, and just so no one will feel left out, the law will require "matching contributions" from the private sector, as yet unspecified in how this will work. Given the way the Obama administration handles the private sector, expect the program to go into mandatory gear soon.

While I seriously doubt an extra $10 will keep too many would-be tourists from visiting America, I don't think it's a good idea. If the new "corporation" comes up with commercials as brilliant as the current campaign for the census, tourism will probably nose dive. Bureaucrats are tone deaf to true salesmanship. But maybe they are right; perhaps there are people in the world who have not heard of the United States of America.

The bigger question is whether there is any aspect of American life too great or too small to be left unexamined and unmolested by our Progressive leaders.

The question for the reasoning American citizen is this: Is this new law going to lead to greater freedom and less government regulation?

A second question: Do we really want the federal camel's nose under the tourism tent?

Finally, what do you think the Founding Fathers would have thought of this?