Saturday, December 31, 2011

My thoughts on Kim Jong Il's Funeral and the UN lowering the flag for his death

On one hand, judge not lest ye be judged; the West likes to claim they are in touch with Judeo Christian values, and yet I find myself judging the rest of the world all the time, even subconsciously, something I am never proud of doing and work hard to stop myself from doing, yet something I also notice is very pervasive. I agree it's a nice gesture to bridge-build with the North Korean people and maybe one day history will recall the UN's lowering of the flag as the first brick paved in a road to better relations between N Korea and the rest of the world. But, at the same time, I'm also kind of aggravated because the UN does exist on US soil and the US is its largest financial contributor. The US also believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and I feel that in a way, even though te US and the UN are NOT the same, I don't see the harm in upholding those ideals, I don't really see how any rational person could possibly have a problem with endeavouring to pursue these ideals, I don't see "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as controversial goals, and by the UN lowering its flag on US soil for N Korea, it's kind of telling man's most noble qualities, or at least telling those who believe it's worthwhile to try and achieve or embrace those qualities, that they aren't any better than the diametrically opposed ideals of repression and tyranny championed by Kim Jong Il. I don't think it's controversial for the UN to champion, foster, and embrace the best parts of humanity, the most noble qualities we as humans (not just as members of any particular country) can achieve, or to make a statement that it holds these values in higher regard than oppression. Life and liberty are always going to be better than death and oppression. there are some times morals aren't relative; there are some beliefs that are better than others, that represent a more evolved frame of mind; ideals whose ends result in better outcomes than others. However, this stance confuses me too, because it's kind of like we'd be treating N Korea like some wayward child that needs our guidance, and to disrespect their sovereignty like that is counter to our founding principles (save the GW Bush references, I know we haven't always adhered to them), and run counter to my personal beliefs as somebody who does try to be the best person I can be and embrace the best parts of my nature. So, I find myself in a conundrum, a very slippery slope. I think we have an obligation to let the world know many of us believe in principles of equality, freedom, and democracy, and that we don't tolerate brutal regimes who murder their own people and create misery solely by existing. At the same time, it's hard to adopt this stance without the accompanying condescension implicit in "we know better than you; here's how to do things if you want to be our friend. You are a misbehaving child who needs our discipline." I disagree with that, too. How do we show the world we hold idealism in regard without heavy-handing our way into their way of life? How do we encourage them to embrace freedom, equality, and opportunity without judging them implicitly? It's just a really slippery slope. I'm just going to hope smarter people than I, smarter, well-intentioned people, can answer these questions.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Try Occupying a Job

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement, organized and funded by Adbusters, a Canadian leftist organization (huh?), is a fetid swamp of human trash, eager to steal rather than earn their keep. Possessing an irrational hatred of the wealthiest 1% of the population, most of whom earned their money through hard work, ingenuity, or a combination of both, they believe these people are to be exterminated and vilified rather than emulated or imitated. Why is that? Because hard work is involved. Today's generation of people, especially college aged and early 20somethings, have an entitlement mentality never before seen in any recent generation. The idea of industriousness has earned the ire of these losers, who went to college to pursue idiotic degrees such as Women's Studies or Gender Relations, then expressed surprise at their inability to acquire a high-paying job right at the outset. Forget the idea of entry-level work, forget the idea that during a recession/weak economy it might be necessary to lower your expectations and buckle down for a few years, forget the idea that it's possible to make your own opportunities when you're fortunate enough to live in America, just complain that your student loan debt isn't being paid off by somebody else's dollars and if you complain loudly enough, with enough other losers, and without taking a shower for enough days, maybe the mainstream media will embrace your movement in an attempt to distract people from the president's ever increasing embarrassments during a tenure highlighted by gross incompetency, greed, selfishness, arrogance, and loathing. In this regard, it's very easy to see similarities between those in the movement, and their party leaders.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Target to San Diego Gay Group: Get off Our Property or We'll Sue You

The latest news coming out of San Diego's gay community is the lawsuit being filed against them by Target (the retailer). The pro gay-marriage group, Canvass for a Cause, has been picketing outside Target stores in response to the retailer's donation to a political candidate who is anti gay-marriage. Since the protestors were on private property, Target had them removed. A judge has ruled in Target's favor.

Typically, a furor has erupted in the wake of these events. The attorney for Canvass for a Cause is arguing that courts have traditionally held that the land outside department stores, retailers, etc., to be public domain, and that people have the right to assemble/free speech in public domain lands.

What do you think? Here is a link to the whole story.

Top Headlines for Friday, March 25 2011

California GOP Elects First Openly Gay Board Member

Lost amidst all insider bickering, Haley Barbour question-dodging, press-banning and John Bolton sabre-rattling at the weekend California Republican convention was a bit of history:
Read more:

Senator Barbara Boxer gets up in GOP's face about Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood

GOProud Joins other Conservative Outfits in Effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner both Toasts Obamacare...and Pushes for Statewide Exemption to "save money."

Obama Administration Storied history with Inspectors General - Why Amtrak failed par the course

Sunday, March 20, 2011

As Usual, Eric Holder Offers Policy on Racial Lines Only

Much has been made in the media about bullying as of late. While Columbine really opened up the national discourse on the social ramifications of bullying, a resurgence of high-profile, violent scenarios have resulted in deaths, suicides, and jail time. While the faces have changed - these days, social media provides bullies a venue - the message is still the same: bullying affects kids. Whether you're a gay kid at Rutgers hooking up with somebody in his dorm room, whose roommate all the while has been feeding the video stream to the Internet, or you're a mother-daughter team masquerading as a facebook/myspace guy to bait a girl down the block, only to later tell her she should kill herself, the progression of bullying is something that needs to be analyzed to find a root, then addressed by the government. Unfortunately, that means Eric Holder.

The current administration's idea of dealing with bullying is essentially to apply the anti-discrimination laws of the 60s and 70s to school settings. This means reverse racism, of course. The anti discrimination/hate-crime laws focus on protecting things like sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation, or people with handicaps or disabilities, etc. If you're one of these golden ticket winners in the eyes of the Obama Administration, consider yourself protected....or, at least, able to pursue legal recourse. However - if you're, for example, a tubby straight white kid being bullied for being fat, or, a white kid being bullied by a black kid, or a black kid being bullied by another black kid, you're SOL (shit outta luck). Yet another hasty, ill-conceived bandaid from the Obama administration, these becoming the hallmark of his tenure as Worst President Ever. Sagging auto sales? Cash for Clunkers! Rising unemployment? Put 'em to work in the Census! Historic uprisings in the Arab world? Doddle and jetset for 30 days, then whimper out a tenuous co-sponsorship of a U.N. no-fly resolution.

I'll leave you with one thing to think about. The next time you're voting for something and you feel those awful stirrings of White Guilt™ in your belly, remember what it got you all the last time, as you're sitting with your child and his black eye and scarred psyche from being picked on by a student who gets bussed in from 3 counties away, in the waiting room of a government-owned doctor's office behind 450 illegal immigrants waiting to give birth for free, only to find out you can't afford the gas to drive home afterwards.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan's Stock Market is Going Nuclear

In the wake of that country's worst earthquake ever - recently upgraded to a moment magnitude of 9.0 from original estimates as low as the low 8's, then 8.8, then hovering around at 8.9, making it the 5th worst quaker in recorded history - the fallout included the usual victims: architectural damage, fires, power outages, tsunami; what nobody was banking on were implications in Japan's notoriously efficient and technologically advanced nuclear power infrastructure.

Unfortunately, catastrophic damage at the Futsushibidabubabidadudshubi (sic) Nuclear Power reactor near Sendai - a port city around 35N in the Northeastern part of Japan - has led to superheated fuel rods, increased radiation levels (as high as 25-30x normal levels in areas north of Tokyo), and a real shit-show for Tokyo Power Co. Plant workers even had to divert sea-water into the reactors as a last-ditch effort to prevent a worse melt-down, something that I have gathered from several articles over the last couple of days, is considered a very last-ditch effort to cool overheated fuel rods in the event that coolant is either depleted or cannot be accessed. For those of you novices in nuclear physics (morons!), the fuel rods are literally several meter long rods of nuclear material which become superheated due to radiation, then inserted into water to produce steam. The steam is what actually produces energy, not nuclear energy itself. Dumping sea-water into the core to cool them down, I would imagine, "fucks stuff up."

Fears of a Chernobyl-style meltdown (which experts, and yours truly, both feel is not a possible scenario, so don't worry) have translated to a real Chernobyl-style stock market meltdown. The Nissei - Japan's benchmark index, like our DOW or S&P, has shed 11%, up from a 14% sell-off earlier yesterday - making it the 2nd worst sell-off in that index's auspicious history. The 1st worst? Oct 2008, in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis. Of course, major sell-offs in one of the world's biggest economies spreads. The Hang Seng (china), as well as India's indices suffered, and the DOW went down about 187 points. This is not catastrophic by any standards, but, it shows how the world's economy has really integrated and globalized.

In any case, that's just the news I have time to share at 6:30 am before I have to leave for school. I would like anyone reading to offer a moment of silence, of prayer, of thought, whatever your preference, for the potentially tens of thousands of dead in Japan. GOd bless!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 members of Israeli West Bank Family have their throats slit - World shrugs

By now, I know enough to say, with conviction, that I will never know enough to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are perhaps, only a handful of other deep-reaching, long-lasting, controversial agreements which permeate every aspect of life, from diplomatic disagreement through full-blown cultural antagonism. Reports grounded in objective fact are nonexistent - too much passion exists on both sides. We hear that Palestinians murder Israelis in cold blood. We hear that Israelis fire missiles indiscriminately into Palestinian territory. We hear that neither side's claim to sovereignty is legal or should be recognized internationally. We hear Israelis are evil colonial imperialists, strong-arming their neighbors into submission with their nuclear arsenal and superior military. We hear that Palestinians unanimously support, harbor, and sympathize with Hamas. What we never hear, however, are serious and realistic intentions to forge a peace.

On the heels of Saturday's news piece, that 5 members of an Israeli family living in the West Bank had their throats slit as they slept, by suspected Palestinian militants, the international community is in a furor. A link to the original story is below, and it also follows up with Israel's planned response to add several hundred settlements in the West Bank - an obvious backtrack from their pledge to halt any further settlement until a mutually agreed upon plan had been reached - in order to secure the area.

All I can really say is - murdering a family in cold blood, in the middle of the night, to make any type of statement about politics, religion, government, or anything at all - is not the right way to do things. I get that both sides of this schism feel equally passionate about the core issues....but how can society purport to label itself "civilized" if this is how we handle things? So many people on comment boards, on other blogs, etc., seem to target one side or the other. Some say that Israelis deserve this due to their past treatment of Palestinians. Others say that Palestinians deserve retaliation for this. I say: stop disrespecting your neighbor. What is so important? What is the end goal? What does this accomplish? Maybe nobody should be allowed to reside in the West Bank - nary an iota of good news has ever come out of that region.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NPR serves up its own head on the Chopping Block!

Well, well, well, it's not everyday that I have to augment a post I put up about 12 hours earlier....but what a 12 hours it was. In the wake of NPR's VP of Bullshit Ron Schiller's embarassing exposition by Project Veritas' James O'Keefe, a conservative filmmaker, in the very recent past (just read the immediately preceding post), NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, which every media outlet EVER will make it a point to mention is of no relation to the former Schiller, has resigned.

Viv has been battling a proverbial shitstorm ever since the ouster of NPR Commentator Juan Williams over his "incendiary" comments, in which he claimed that Muslims in turbans on airplanes make him nervous (surprise!). But the comedy of errors that has ensued that fateful day has hammered nail after nail into NPR's coffin and essentially derailed any credibility the organization may have had to make a strong case for continued public funding. The push to de-fund NPR is no stranger, nor is it a novel concoction of the Tea Party. As some of you may recall, once in the early-mid 1990s, and once again in 2005, have members of Congress called for NPR's de-funding. For those not familiar with the controversy, a brief synopsis is as follows: many people, both in the American public, and in public service, believe that NPR has a left-wing, liberal slant. Whether or not that is true, of course, is open to interpretation; whether or not it matters is also contested. The belief is that due to the fact NPR and sister subsidiary PBS are partially subsidized by the American taxpayer, approximately 10% of the operating budget or so, that they automatically forfeit the right to "endorse" a political alignment or slant. I think that most people agree on that notion.

In any case, the current "hotly" conservative House of Representatives, pushed to electoral victory in part by the Tea Party, has renewed calls to defund NPR, and I'd say that at no other point in history has it looked like they have had this good a chance of making it happen. It was just this past Monday when Vivian Schiller had appeared to make her case for the continued congressional earmarking of NPR; now, Monday seems like a day from some alternate dimension. Vivian has resigned; Ron's out. The dominoes keep falling against them. Keep in mind, in the recent past alone, NPR has been pretty gaffe-tastic - from its erroneous reporting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' death (she survived) during the Tucson massacre, to the furor over Juan Williams' termination, which she even admitted happened "badly," though she did stand by her conviction, to the increasing cries of liberal bias NPR has endured during her two year tenure.

The Figures:
The CPB - Corporation for Public Broadcasting - is the parent of both NPR and PBS. This year alone, the CPB distributed approximately $470 million of federal dollars to the organizations. I have the same problem with NPR as I do with things like Amtrak - if these supposedly necessary, wonderful organizations can't survive in the free market without subsidies, why not let them go up against natural selection and let the chips fall where they may? The wonderful thing about a truly economically free market is that, (ideally), the best product with the most reasonable price ends up "winning." Why prop up a failing idea? I know the argument - that federal subsidies to NPR acts merely as "seed funding" which attracts private investment - but all we do have is theory. I know that $470 million dollars is literally less than a drop in the bucket when it comes to the freakishly brobdinagian deficits we hear about on a monthly basis these days, but every little bit counts, and we'll never know what will evolve unless we allow it to happen. I feel that the fear of "what might happen" isn't a valid reason to maintain a failing product, regardless if some people utilize it. Have hope in free enterprise - have hope in something! I will continue to update with any developments on this story. God Bless and good night all.

James O'Keefe Finally Makes NPR Wake Up to Half the US Population - Bye Ron Schiller!

Let's face it - despite the fact that NPR is funded, in significant part by "white, middle America," they haven't exactly had the most warm, friendly relationship with "white, middle America." NPR seems to pride itself for its hard-earned status as newsbastion to the erudite elite Left. See "Juan Williams firing" if you have any doubt about that - thoughtcrimes are punishable by termination.

James O'Keefe - the conservative founder of Project Veritas - is probably best remembered as the brainchild behind the 2009 ACORN and Planned Parenthood exposes, or perhaps the 2010 controversy behind Sen. Mary Landrieu's failed phone-tapping attempt (oops!) In any case, he videotaped NPR's Rob Schiller speaking with two prospective (fake) Muslim donors, and verbally tongue-lashed America's Tea Party movement, Christians, and right-wing constituency, which, if you remember, makes up about 50% of our country. While interpretations of the video differ - some believe that he didn't really say anything incriminating and stuck to pretty standard fundraising tactics, whereas others are appalled - what is certain is you're going to have a reaction one way or the other. Here is a link to the video:

NPR summarily dismissed Schiller - a far cry from the days of the ouster of Juan Williams. Could it be the pendulum is finally swinging in the other direction? I give NPR credit for respecting the beliefs of a major part of the American population and doing what it thought it had to do, instead of sweeping this under a rug, pretending it didn't happen, or skirting the issue until it went away.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Graydon Carter's Pet Can't Stay On Topic - How Vanity Fair's James Wolcott went from Piers Morgan to Sarah Palin in 2 minutes or less

Link to Full Article: I know it takes about 10 minutes to read, but this is, I promise you, the worst piece of "journalism" that has ever been published:

How does this happen? I know Graydon Carter has become the laughingstock of the publishing world, as Vanity Fair begs and pleads to hang on to dear life. It's becoming pretty obvious why. James Wolcott is, perhaps, the least objective journalist since Helen Thomas, who, thankfully, is only moments away from death. A piece he begins by talking about Piers Morgan fails to mention his name in the entire back 50% of the 3 page article.
Instead, not even functional as a paean to the Democratic party or liberals in general, it devolves into a hit-piece on Sarah Palin. It appears PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) has reared its head - at fucking Vanity Fair. I'm sorry - are you Newsweek?

Sarah Palin really needs to be researched as an alternative fuel, because Jesus f*ing Christ, people have been fueling their rage with her for over 2 yeaaaars. I *hate* Obama, like, I really, honestly hate him, and at least there are a million reasons to hate him....but even me, 2 years later, has mellowed out a bit. I barely mention his incompetency or laughable idiocy at all anymore. How does talking about Piers Morgan's desire to brand himself turn into a review of Sarah Palin's Alaska within two paragraphs? NO WONDER YOUR PUBLICATION IS BANKRUPT, GRAYDON. YOUR WRITERS HAVE ALREADY ALL SOLD OUT.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rats of a Feather: Ellsburg cries 'foul' on administration's handling of poor little Brandon Manning

"Queer Traitor"

Sorry Brandon, you'll get no sympathy from this gay guy. Being a yellow-bellied traitor is the worst thing a person can be, in my opinion, and because you're a mealy mouthed, failure of an Army queer, it doesn't single you out for any special treatment or any sympathy. I was so glad to hear that the Army, on Wednesday (yesterday), decided to levy an additional 22 offenses on you. I hope you're enjoying the brig. What do you think your parents think of you?

In any case - Ronald Ellsburg - the guy who released The Pentagon Papers to the NY Times in the 1970s, detailing secret information on America's involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1969, believes that Manning is being unfairly treated, and being singled out. I hope he gets a capitol offense slammed against him personally - conspiring with the enemy. In any event, I get a kick out of reading the liberal blogs where unkempt, overweight Left Coast basement dwellers decry Manning as a hero of unparalleled courage. What is brave about squealing? Your country comes first.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Union Rallies and Polite Discourse: Some Myths the Left Relies On

All across the country, pro-Union groups and Union supporters have rallied for "solidarity" with what's been going on in Wisconsin. Far be it from a Leftist to let any opportunity to incite class warfare go to waste, these gatherings have left civility behind faster than the Left abandoned the "Blame Bush" mantra...just kidding. In Lansing, MI, Union fomenters have resorted to violence. See my post about violence in Massachussetts from several days ago. This follows in pretty much the same vein.

A Tea Party member brought a camera along to capture the "civil" and "nonviolent" protest in Michigan.

See these videos regarding the protests in Madison, WI:

Calderon to U.S.: It's Your Fault Our Drug War is a Miserable Failure

Mexico's "Center-right" President, Felipe Calderon, was elected in 2006 and quickly made the priority of his administration the tackling of Mexico's gang-drug problem. Let the Leftist Chorus sing: "It's the West's fault Mexico has a gang and drug problem." Remember, the Europeans who settled America "stole" Mexico from the Europeans who settled Mexico. Sorry, Aztlan theorists. Plus, our standard of living and our success meant there is apparently less for Mexico to have. Moving back from my tangent. Calderon's struggle to reclaim vast tracts of Mexican territory lost to drug-peddling gangs resulted in approximately 36,000 lost souls in the last 4 years, including drug dealers, gang members, police, army, and civilians.

Calderon, slipping in the polls and facing the ire of his entire country for his abysmal handling of the situation and the rampant escalation of drug violence, is surely looking for a scapegoat, so he hopped on the most popular bandwagon of the last 100 years: Blame America. Let's go down a simple list of his cries:

1. "Americans have money and a huge appetite for drugs!"
2. "Americans don't have a ban on guns and are selling assault weapons to the gangs!"
3. "America isn't doing enough to help us!"
4. "America enforcing its borders and national sovereignty is causing Mexicans to turn to gangs and drug dealing!"

Sweetie, honey, save it. We already feed, clothe and house the bottom 25th percentile of your population - your derelict, undesirable border-hoppers. Try adding something to your GDP other than remittances. Felipe needs to be re-acquainted with the term "stop biting the hand that feeds you." He can't take care of his own constituents, so it somehow fell on our shoulders, because through some chutes-and-ladders convolution of logic, it's America's fault for Mexicans killing each other, in Mexico. Well, this violence has gotten so out of hand, it is spilling over onto American soil, and Americans are getting killed.

You know - no matter what America does, we never get a thank-you. We give the entire world handouts they don't deserve, we get nothing back except criticism and hatred. For one year, I want all the money that usually leaves our borders in terms of charity of any kind to stay in the country. Force all remittances to be spent on our GDP. I just want to see what would happen. I want to see what would happen if we stopped propping up the UN. Would Mistakeretary Ban-ki Moonbat flip out? Would we experience phenomenal growth? Of these things I'm not sure, but I am sure of this: if we keep giving people handouts and we get nothing back but disrespect, what do you think more money is going to do? I don't think we can afford to help Mexico, and I don't think we should, unless they let us do it on our terms. Mexico doesn't respect our sovereignty, but I'm sure our foreign aid, troops, and special ops would have to respect theirs.

The High Road is something America has always followed - that is more than I can say for the rest of the world. Mexico's war on drugs is a manifestation of a systemic, deeply rooted problem in their society. Until Calderon can figure out a way to generate economic prosperity with a plan that doesn't include shipping dirt-poor Mexicans to America to work illegally, drugs and gangs will proliferate. They are a product of poverty. The question is - just how morally impoverished is Calderon and his administration?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Invulnerable TSA employees find that they aren't above the law, after all

Link to the original story from reporter Dan Herbeck at The Buffalo News:

Here is the article posted in its entirety below:
BEGIN STORY ---------------

Updated: March 1, 2011, 4:16 PM

A federal Homeland Security employee who assisted in screening passengers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was arrested today on charges that she provided help to drug dealers at the airport.

Minnetta Walker, 43, of Glenwood Avenue, was arrested this morning by agents from the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. She pleaded not guilty late this afternoon before Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr.

Police said she is alleged to have assisted "known drug traffickers" with information and with getting through airport security checkpoint.

"There have been some developments in an investigation at the airport. There has been an arrest," said Earl Gould, spokesman for the Buffalo FBI office.

Walker works for the Transportation Security Administration, a Homeland Security agency whose workers conduct the security screening of passengers and baggage passing through the Buffalo airport, law enforcement officials said.

TSA officials had no immediate comment on the arrest when contacted by The Buffalo News.

Walker has been watched and followed for months, after federal agents became aware of her alleged ties to Buffalo drug dealers, authorities told The News.

Top officials of the TSA in Buffalo assisted in the probe, as did U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement investigators and officers of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, who work at the airport.

NFTA Police Chief George Gast said he was aware of the arrest and the investigation.

"I can say that we have no evidence or indication that any other employees were involved," Gast said.

Walker, who told the judge she makes $40,000 a year at her airport job, said "no comment" when approached by a reporter after her court appearance.


What does this say to you? To me, this indicates that again, the TSA is coming under fire. Yes, of course, no job is full of 100% law-abiding people. However, it seems that the TSA is rapidly taking its place at the peak of the pantheon of bloated, corrupt government agencies - more evidence to avoid turning healthcare into a government job. When the TSA was founded - and it's hard to believe it was just 10 years ago - it had only a few hundred employees and a miniscule budget. It has since blown up over the years into an agency employing thousands and thousands of people, and its budget has likewise exploded. With all the complaints regarding the TSA lately, can they afford this latest flub? The idea that these people take such gleeful opportunities to molest you legally, and are assisting drug dealers on the side, is enraging. I motion to privatize American airport security. Taxpayers don't need to be subsidizing this nonsense.
Down with the TSA, down with legally sanctioned molestation, down with government-subsidized drug trafficking.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wisconsin Gov. Walker - Reagan in our Midst?

It's now week two of the Wisconsin Union-busting standoff, and the more I think about it, the more I believe that vestiges of Ronald Reagan can be seen in Gov Walker's actions...although with the whole uprising in the Middle East lately, I have to admit, I've been missing Reagan quite a bit in general. While any strong conservative with steadfast beliefs will echo Reagan, so few in power ever actually do.

The battle in Wisconsin is due to the fact that unions and their supporters don't want to give up collective bargaining as a concession. The Fleebagger Democrats from Wisconsin have escaped - mostly to my home state of Illinois - to avoid having to vote on the bill (Wiconsin only has 19 votes; they need 20) to postpone it from becoming law. You see - unions, and their supporters, like to believe that although they didn't invent the means of production, or start the company, but merely work for it, that their 6-12 months of trade learning should entitle them to enough compensation to run a company. They like to believe that they are invaluable, and invulnerable, and over the years, we as a society have allowed them to get this way. Let's think back to 1981 - a similar group of people, the air traffic controllers, thought they were invulnerable and invaluable. Mr. Reagan showed them otherwise. No man is invaluable - a man is only as valuable as how hard he is willing to work. When a man gets into his head that he is more important than he is, consequences and repercussions ensue. Governor Walker is simply enforcing these consequences, as Reagan did nearly 30 years ago. We need more strong conservatives in Washington and in our states. It's our job as members of society to positively reinforce the messages these strong leaders send.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Obama's Reading Reagan - Time to Walk the Walk

Much has been said about Obama's reading of Ronald Reagan's autobiography in the past couple of months. Quite a switch from Alinky, isn't he? While paying lip service to Ronald Reagan is one thing, do any of us actually believe the egotistical Obama has anything in common with Ronald Reagan? Does Will Smith have anything in common with Clark Gable?

In any case, it's hard to not think of Ronald Reagan with what has been going on the last few months in the Middle East, North Africa, and indeed, all over the Arab world. Reagan didn't shrink from Gaddafi in the 80s - he stood up to him and put him in his place. Compare Jimmy Carter - Obama's 70s doppelganger - and his approach to the Middle East after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, with Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Carter dilly dallied and didn't send US foreign diplomats over there to teach the foundling society in the wake of the Revolution how to install the foundations of democracy. Instead, radical imams quickly moved in to fill the power vacuum. Despite being a fringe group at the time, they were the best organized, and within a short period of time, they set up basically a Caliphate. We need to send in people to set up the infrastructure of a modern society - something I doubt Obama is going to be willing to do.

Gas Prices, Oil Prices, Libya, and Uprisings in the Arab World

As I'm sure many of you have noticed, drivers are being molested at the pump - again. Why can't oil prices do the same thing as Obama's approval ratings? Whenever somebody so much as sneezes between Morocco and India, the price per barrel of oil gets higher than Charlie Sheen. Not to downplay the uprisings and turbulence of the revolutions that have been going on these past few weeks, but we should really examine if there is any logic for the incredible surge in oil prices and the reduction in output.

The recent Libyan uprisings - and thank god, because who likes Muammar Gaddafi? - have caused a bit of sticker shock at the gas station this week. I did some checking. The International Energy Agency said that it estimates the Libyan crisis has caused a reduction of less than 1% in global production, or between 500,000 and 750,000 barrels per day. Okay, gotcha. So, since when does < 1% reduction in supply ~ 20% rise in price? If a store has 100 beanie babies left (alright, a bit dated of an analogy, I know) at $100 apiece, and one gets destroyed, do they charge $120 for the other 99? I'm sure the oil industry would like me to believe there is more that goes into it than that - but we've all passed 8th grade least I assume Obama has, but he won't release his academic records, so we'll just give him a pass.

In light of this insanity, it seems to me that it's safe to assume some asswipe investor simply rode the scaremongering express to GetRichQuick Land. That is one of the fundamental problems with no Wall Street reform. I don't care about risk management - nothing great comes with no risk. What I care about is the fact that such a HUGE fluctation is allowed to occur, relatively frequently, in the oil market when something happens. Even the most inane, inocuous things that logically make no sense bear huge implications on oil prices from time to time. Remember when fewer than 10% of the Gulf of Mexico's refining capacity went offline for about a whole 3 weeks during the 2005 hurricane season, but prices increased dramatically? To be honest, I'm still getting over how oil can be 400% more expensive than it was 10 years ago, but people have lots of excuses for how that's possible, but people also have theories about how Elvis is still alive too. It seems drought, rain, sun, clouds, heat, cold, political stability and instability alike all cause volatility in the oil market. I think something else is affecting oil prices - graft.

I'm not going to begrudge the Libyans getting the form of goverment they want. I don't think Gaddafi is good for their country, or the world. However, I would like to point out that whenever America does something for the world, we get scapegoated and maligned. Take, for example, our 2003 Invasion of Iraq to introduce a little-known concept called Democracy, to help augment it more than just the foothold that the often maligned Israel provides for it. [Insert gratuitous bashing of Halliburton and 3rd party security contractors here]. The next thing you know, America is the most horrible thing to ever happen to mother Gaia since mankind started raping and pillaging her for her resources (as liberals would have you believe). Yet, it's too much to ask for the Middle East to maintain oil output to stabilize the global economic recovery. We can't ask them for anything - but if they have an earthquake tomorrow, be ready and happy to fork over tens or hundreds of billions of dollars. Have you noticed how Secretary General Ban-ki Moonbat of the UN condescends at us about our cowboy diplomacy, our fossil fuel consumption, and eveything else about us, except when he needs money? Please take a moment to look up Mexican President Calderon's latest pass-the-buck tirade, blaming us for not doing enough to help him solve his drug-cartel problem.

If the world isn't going to let us drill for our own oil, they should make sure they produce enough of it for us. Period.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Angry Unions, Gravy Trains, Violence, Hate, and Abuse

I have to admit, even as a child, the term "union" conjured up images of surly burly men, blue-collar thugs throwing their weight around because of some investment into the idea that "might makes right." I see that currently, they aren't doing much to dispel this archetype. Let's visit the steps of Madison, Wisconsin's Capitol building, along with other capitols in an ever-growing number of states this past week.

This past week, union workers and their advocates have been in a furor over Gov. Walker of Wisconsin and his legislature's attempt to severly curtail the union gravy-train of benefits, as well as rescind the ability for unions to collectively bargain - that is, modify their contracts whenever they are up for renewal by demanding ever-more generous concessions. The typical arguments - or usual suspects as I call them - have reared their heads. I'd like to underscore a list of the most commonly offered arguments advanced by unions and their supporters:

1. Without unions, there would be no 40 hour work week, no lunch breaks, and no livable wages.

2. The Republicans are trying to take our rights away.

3. The Republicans are at the mythical behest of the evil Koch brothers and other wealthy, limited-government advocates.

4. Without unions, there would be a greater income disparity between women and men, minorities and non-minorities.

Well, here is what I have to say about these points.

1. You're right, unions are responsible for the creation of the 40 hour work week and a livable wage. However, now government ensures workers' rights. We don't need you anymore.

2. What rights? The Constitution doesn't enumerate any rights you specifically have that nobody else does. You're right to a pension you didn't contribute to, funded by my tax dollars? Is that what you mean?

3. Just because Republicans receive donations from corporations doesn't make them behest to anybody. Answer me why union donations, and dues collected from members, always only go to democratic candidates? Could it be Big Labor is at the behest of the Democratic Party?

4. Women make less than men because statistically, women take off more time from work. They do things like have children/maternity leave, they're far more likely to call off work to take care of domestic issues, such as a sick child, and overall, their work output and hours-worked end up being fewer than men. Statistically speaking. As for the minority argument - stop race-baiting. People get paid for how qualified they are. A minority member in a skilled labor job is compensated the same.

Answer me this. If Person A goes to college, then graduate school, gets an advanced degree, and makes $XXX,000 dollars, and has to pay back $200k of student loans, in addition to their own pension and healthcare, why should Person B, who spent 6 months apprenticing a trade with a maximul educational attainment of high school make close to Person A, and make Person A subsidize their retirement and healthcare costs while having to pay for their own? Are those the "rights" you feel are threatened? I think, the bottom line is, maybe some union members aren't very educated, and have only one skill, but feel that their 6 months-1 year of trade-apprenticeship should entitle them to enough compensate to support a family and retire comfortably. Life is about working hard. If you don't want to work hard - and I have lived long enough to realize that some people have a VERY different idea of what "hard work" is than others - you don't get much back. It's that simple. You don't get to put in less work and reap the same benefit. I'd never expect to make as much as somebody with 8 years of post-HS education if I myself had zero or 2. Again - statistically speaking.

Since Republicans are so evil, why don't you ask Bill Clinton and the Democrats who signed NAFTA into law why they did that? Ask your democrat friends about globalization, and the shipping of your vastly overpaid job overseas so it can be done by foreigners for pennies on the dollar. But make sure you keep funnelling your dues into their coffers.

Lastly, but most importantly - I'd like to bring up the horrific examples of media-ignored double standards. When Jared Laughner went on his terrible rampage, before the bodies even hit the floor (no disrespect to the victims), Democrats were pointing fingers at Republicans in the civil discourse that erupted immediately after. "It makes perfect sense," I read on one liberal blog. "I'm praying to god this wasn't a rethuglican, but I'm not holding my breath" read another comment. When the dust cleared, and it turned out that it was not the work of a Republican, did anybody bat an eyelash or apologize? No, it was back-to-usual. Katie Couric must have been pissed she didn't have a story. Another example: the tea party. Years later, not a single instance of racism, homophobia, violence, or general misanthropy from any one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have attended the thousands of rallies, but god forbid we go a week without hearing something about how violent we are. Sarah Palin, the left's favorite sinner, came under nonstop reproach for her at-the-time already forgotten poster showing targets over states with (D) congresscritters to vote out of office at the November 2010 Midterms. Ignore the fact Democratic candidates released dozens of similar posters of the sort. HOWEVER: let's flash forward to the present, where democratic congressmen advocate "getting a little bloody" at union solidatory rallies - and his constituents took him up on it. Look at what's happening at the Massachussetts State house - pro-union thugs hurting people, then MsNBC fill-in commentators for Ed Schultz validate their behavior, discussing how these "old, elderly" 45-65 year olds have had their time, eliciting responses from his co-hosts like "we're just a few funerals away from good government." Imagine some burly, piece of filth 20something Southie rube tossing some 50+ year old man into a wall, hitting him, unleashing a torrent of curse words at him, destroying his American flag and screaming at him to leave.

When it comes to Obama's Era of Civility, apparently everybody but Obama and his supporters were supposed to get on board.