So I think I'll ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE.
Obama's answer for America: more of me
By JONAH GOLDBERG
Last Updated: 7:14 AM, January 28, 2010
Posted: 3:00 AM, January 28, 2010
There's a story of an ex hausted tenor at La Scala who, facing repeated cries of "Encore," responded that he couldn't go on. A man rose in the audience to say, "You'll keep singing until you get it right."
That seems to be the defining principle of the Obama administration -- whose response to every problem, every setback, every hiccup and challenge has been, simply, "more Obama."
Indeed, for people who aren't sticklers for political jargon, it will be a shock that last night was Obama's first State of the Union Address, since it was his third formal address to a joint session of Congress. Yet for all of the political déjà vu, what was most surprising last night was the degree to which Obama delivered even more of the same.
Washington graybeards and pundits have been insisting that Obama needs to "start over," "reboot" and "tack to the middle" after Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts. But Obama's response last night was to recommit himself to the agenda that has gotten him in so much trouble.
In fairness, the president took a French-bath of Clintonism before he took to his beloved TelePrompTer. He doused himself with the scent of the deficit-fighter and trade-promoter. He unveiled a slew of small, easy, applause-gathering proposals and populist appeals that he knows will go nowhere.
He also indulged in a lot of feel-your-pain pathos, trying to connect with the real Americans suffering from the recession and the misdeeds of a "Washington" that Obama seems to think is run by someone other than him.
But the eau-de-Clinton couldn't mask the stench -- and Obama, in his supreme arrogance, didn't really seem to care.
There was no "pivot to the center," no serious accounting for the Massachusetts miracle or his misfortunes. Instead, there was an innumerate, inaccurate and distinctly unpresidential whine -- blaming George W. Bush for nearly all of his problems (leaving out, among other things, that the Democrats have been controlling Congress and crafting budgets since 2006).
The White House insists that the new wave of populism created by Democratic governance is, in fact, the same populist wave that carried Obama to victory in 2008. In other words, Obama was elected president by the backlash against his own presidency.
This novel theory allows Obama to stick to his view that there's nothing wrong with his health-care plan, and anyone who feels differently hasn't heard or understood the president's explanations.
So, he not only implored Democrats not to "run for the hills" on the health-reform bill, but insisted that as "temperatures cool," hot-tempered opponents will, of course, realize they were wrong about the bill.
Obama began his presidency insisting that government is the answer to our problems. A year later, he still believes that the era of big government is upon us.
In the same speech in which he preened over a gallingly gimmicky "spending freeze," the president promised more jobs bills, more "investments" in schools, roads, trains and factories. He even reaffirmed his support for his carbon-tax legislation -- which would send far more jobs overseas than it would create here at home.
But Obama has a bigger problem: Aside from a few throwaway lines of self-deprecation, whenever he grew passionate, it was to blame others.
His predecessor topped his list, of course. But also everyone else who disagrees with him.
Obama insists that Americans need to muster the courage to agree with him, to sign on to his agenda. Just as at Omaha Beach and Bull Run, Americans need to show their mettle. "Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history's call." That "call" is the call of Obama.
"I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone." So come on, you slackers, fall into line.
He decried the politicians who are in "permanent campaign" mode -- the same week he brought into the White House his campaign manager.
Other politicians are vain, cowardly and insubstantial. They need the courage to change. Meanwhile, Obama is great the way he is.
That is the attitude that has gotten the president in so much trouble. And last night's State of the Union speech showed us that change really isn't easy, particularly for the president.
AP, Michael Kunzelman And Brett J. Blackledge, Associated Press Writers – 54 mins ago
NEW ORLEANS – The four men accused of trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phones share a common experience as young ideologues writing for conservative publications.
Federal authorities said two of the men posed as telephone workers wearing hard hats, tool belts and flourescent vests when they walked into the senator's office inside a federal building in New Orleans on Monday. The other two were accused of helping to organize the plan.
The most well-known of the suspects is James O'Keefe, a 25-year-old whose hidden-camera expose posing as a pimp with his prostitute infuriated the liberal group ACORN and made him a darling of conservatives.
Read the rest here.
The Lamestream media is gonna go NUTS over this! Notice the "Conservative Ties" comment in the headline? They make it sound like Al Qaeda!
The truth of the matter is far removed from the perception that has been created by the multitude of cop shows where in the end justice is always served. In fact, there are certain parts of our system that are as evil and destructive as anything ever devised by the most barbarous rulers in history.
Would it surprise you to discover that uniformed government thugs, once they’ve determined you’re their enemy, will lie or manufacture evidence, even if it means they condemn an innocent man?
Well let me introduce you to Len Savage. Read about his struggle with ATF in this article by James Bovard, and also in Len’s own words. This man is a straight up guy who became the target of a government agency, and now they’re slowly strangling his ability to make a living.
It's not like this is a recent phenomenon. In mid 2008, a propeller head professor named Teresa Ghilarducci spoke to a congressional subcommittee about this very idea. I guess someone has decided the time is right to go forward with their scheme.
We really have a gangster government these days at the local, state and national level. They're either trying to steal your 401k, or they're shaking you down like masked highwaymen by using police to generate revenue through ridiculous amounts of traffic fines.
First I want you to read Karl Denninger's Weekend Round Up. Take your time - read slowly - and really assess the implications of what he's saying. Your life and your family's lives may depend on it!
Now I want you to read this article entitled Identifying Sure Signs Of The Final Economic Plunge. Again... take your time and absorb the meat of it. It's not vital you understand every detail. It's enough to get the main points:
A. Things are bad and getting worse
B. You are being lied to by your government and its lapdog media
C. Economic laws, like laws of physics, cannot be ignored forever
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE! And it WILL happen here!
Of course... you can always take the blue pill and go back to sleep; happy and doomed in your self-imposed ignorance.
This is (see above) the model I bought, and if you’ll notice it has a barrel shroud.
When showing it to She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) she asked about the shroud. In the process of explaining to her its function, I remembered that gun-banning whacko congresswoman from NY Carolyn McCarthy. The congresswoman, in her near-total ignorance would ban barrel shrouds because they look sinister - never mind that they're actually a safety device. This has been around, but it sure bears watching again:
Why are they doing that?
They want to ENCOURAGE A CERTAIN ACT, i.e. send relief to Haiti.
Here’s the point: THEY KNOW that tax breaks encourage behavior! Conversely, tax burdens DISCOURAGE BEHAVIOR!
They KNOW cutting taxes would stimulate the economy!
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 45 mins ago
BEIJING – China rejected Friday a call by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the lifting of restrictions on the Internet in the communist country, denouncing her criticism as false and damaging to bilateral ties.
A state-run newspaper labeled the appeal from Washington as "information imperialism."
Clinton's speech Thursday elevated the issue of Internet freedom in the U.S. human rights agenda as never before. She urged China to investigate cyber intrusions that recently prompted search engine Google to threaten to pull out of the country.
"Regarding comments that contradict facts and harm China-U.S. relations, we are firmly opposed," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted Friday on the ministry's Web site.
"We urge the U.S. side to respect facts and stop using the so-called freedom of the Internet to make unjustified accusations against China," the statement said.
GR4U - Just to be crystal clear. I have nothing but disdain for those communist bastards (the Chinese that is), but with our own government quietly going forward with the "Fairness Doctrine" in an attempt to muzzle political speech on talk radio, it is clearly the height of hypocrisy for the US government to lecture ANYBODY on issues of free speech! You can sure tell that we've got rookies running the show eh?
My son is swollen with pride and tears of joy and humility are even now streaming down his face. And his old man, though having been through this before, is still struck at the awesome miracle of birth.
Our Thanks to Almighty God for his grace and goodness.
- Have you heard about this?
An American company called Trijicon makes some of the best rifle scopes in the world. And the owners of the company are devout Christians. Now as it happens, Trijicon has been selling these awesome rifle scopes to the US military for many years. And it also happens that they have Bible verse references buried in the model number that appears on each scope.
Oh the horror!!!
The troops on the front lines have known about this for years, and in fact many of them refer to guns with Trijicon scopes as “Jesus rifles”.
Super Duper Double Horror!!!
Well now, not only is our secular humanist and atheist government stridently against anything that might be construed as unconstitutional (unless it’s something they WANT, in which case – What Constitution?), but they are determined to cling to the ridiculous notion that we aren’t at war with Islam.
The fact is, we most certainly ARE at war with Islam, and only a fool would think that jihadist fighters from ANY Islamic country could give one hoot in hell about offending Christians with their heathen rhetoric.
So why the hell are WE worried about offending the very people we’re trying to kill?
The anti-Christian, God-hating Left in this country is absolutely going bonkers over the Jesus Rifles, and even my beloved Marine Corps is considering ending Trijicon’s contract to provide scopes!
So… for the sake of political correctness, we will undoubtedly:
- break our contract with Trijicon and throw a wonderful company into chaos, maybe even bankruptcy
- stop using one of the best rifle scopes in the world and thus deprive our troops of a fantastic tool they need to fight the war AGAINST ISLAM
- continue the practice of promoting Islam and vilifying Christianity to the sounds of mocking laughter from both our enemies AND our allies
These scopes aren’t cheap, but so help me God, by the end of this week, I’m going to buy one!
Making a delicately nuanced argument about the U.S. Constitution, former Republican congressman and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Tuesday that provisions to force Americans to buy health care or pay a fine are not legal and he will file a lawsuit if they become law.
In a memo sent to the House and Senate leadership, the attorney general called the mandate requiring Americans to get health care a "living tax" that unconstitutionally penalizes people for being inactive.
"Never before has Congress compelled Americans, under threat of government fines or taxes, to purchase an unwanted product or service simply as a constitution of existing in the country (a 'living tax')," McCollum wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., Minority Leader Mitch McCollum, R-Ky., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Pa., and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
According to the attorney general, a citizen's choice not to buy health insurance cannot rationally be construed as economic activity subject to the Commerce Clause.
"The Commerce Clause gives no authority for Congress to transform a citizen's individual choice to be inactive in the marketplace into a compulsion to purchase apparently unwanted insurance or be penalized," he wrote.
McCollum also said that taxes that are directly applied across the citizenry have to be "apportioned by the population of each state."
McCollum wrote that as attorney general of Florida he is in a position to file suit.
"While affected citizens of every state may pursue judicial relief from the individual mandate provisions, states have standing to sue the federal government to protect their sovereign and quasi-sovereign interests," he wrote.
GR4U - Hear! Hear!
Lincoln's Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838
'...At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.'
Thanks to Crusader Rabbit for this enlightening quote.
Cops brutalize fan... Fans whip Cop ass! What's not to like?
Too bad that here in America we don't have enough backbone to reassert ourselves over the "public servants" who have abused their power.
"Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse,"
Well that's a crock of bovine fecal matter General! I defy you or anyone else to point to one single scientific survey that demonstrates ANY value being attached to diversity!
Charlie Mitchener is a 61-year-old general building contractor with an office near Patrick Lane and Fort Apache in Las Vegas. He holds permits allowing him to legally carry concealed weapons in Nevada, Florida, and Utah.
Over the past three years, his office has been broken into five times. “Three of those occasions involved me interacting with Metro,” he wrote to me last week. “Each of the occasions began the same: my introduction, my presentation of my Nevada drivers license and my Concealed Firearms Permit. Prior to today, each Metro officer simply replied thank you, proceeded with his work and then when complete there was a conversation about firearms.”
Things were real different at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning Jan 3, however, when Mr. Mitchener called the Metropolitan Police Department to report the fifth break-in at his office.
“Vin, I hope I did not see the future this morning,” Charlie e-mailed me. “Today was drastically different.”
The responding officer was a lady cop, Officer J. Rogers, badge number 13525.
“Upon presentation of my CFP, the officer asked if I had the weapon on me to which I replied yes. She then said to spread my legs and put my hands behind my back. I complied and she then handcuffed me. While doing so, she said that she wanted to make certain “that we were all safe.”
Officer Rogers stripped Mr. Mitchener of the Glock 19 he was carrying, took the weapon and locked it in her patrol car.
Read the rest of this travesty here!
06 January, 2010
A tiny part of a tiny part of the population of the earth will set the terms for the future of all humans. A tiny part that is broken, spent out, and increasingly disillusioned. That sliver of humanity is the broken, spent out, and increasingly disillusioned American middle class, burdened with the task of spending all America out of catastrophe. When they break under the weight of desperate impossibility, how will the heartlands good citizens react, and what will they do?
According to the World Bank, there are 6,692,030,277 human beings on the earth. 308,108,741 of them live in the United States, about 4.6% of the total. Of these fortunate Americans, about 231,000,000 are of voting age. In general elections in history's greatest democracy, about half those eligible to vote actually do...115 million people. History's greatest democracy has only two options every election, a choice between two almost similar positions, and the winning option typically enjoys the support of only half of those who choose, approximately 60 million individuals.
For a scant 90 years, America has been the wealthiest, most powerful group of humans in all 20,000 years of recorded civilization. Decisions made by Americans can and do affect the lives of every other human on the planet, often for both present and future, good and bad. By brute force of American economics alone, a single, small 0.9% of the 6.6 billion people who call earth home set the agenda for each and every one of all the rest of us. Not even by force of arms has there ever been a time in glorious history when so few people dominated so many in so complete a way.
Centuries from now, historians will want to know whom these few people were, if only to understand how they lived and thought, and better know the cause of global events that shaped the world they live in. As we in our time grapple to understand who the powers were that made a Roman, a Roman, future thinkers will want to dissect the condition of the less than one per cent of all humanity who call themselves American, and who alone make America, America... and the earth, American as well.
It cost 1 billion dollars and four years to have .9% of the earth elect the President of the United States in 2008. It took a similar amount of time and money to be the guy that lost. Hundreds of millions more are expended to elect the 435 people who make up the United States Congress. No statistical analysis is required to understand that these are among the wealthiest and most privileged humans in all of history. A tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of the population of the planet. This, we are led to believe is democracy, and so this small sliver is at least nominally responsible to those few who elected them, and nobody else.
Like all great empires, America has a well-defined class structure. As a fedora on a table, at one brim is the thin cruel line of poverty and disenfranchisement, at the other brim another thin line of luxury and excess, and a middle where the head goes which has historically been the big, fat, American middle class. The middle class sets the agenda by dearth of weight, the luxury class promoting the agenda where and when it suits them. The lower class don't matter at all.
The great American middle class, then, at least nominally controls the fate of the planet. They do so by electing wealthy folks who pander to their interests, those wealthy folks whose interpretations of the middle class becomes policy. Future folks will want to understand how representative those interpretations were, and will want to see if changes in the middle class over time were responsible for changes in American policy towards the world.
If anything defines the great American middle class, it is the concept of the American Dream. The basic building block of the American Dream is the family - mom, dad, 2.4 kids and a dog. The "dream" part is the very American right to economic freedom, freedom to accumulate stuff. A box on a postage stamp in a sea of urban sprawl called home, a couple of cars, a good education for the kids, and unrestricted ability to consume as much surplus crap as possible. Americans define success completely in economic terms and then attach the flag, religion, and everything else to it. Without this absolute right to consume hordes of junk, there is no American Dream, and no middle class. There is left only a lower class, (whatever that is), and a powerful capitalist class existing as it always has throughout time, changing flags and philosophy depending on how the winds blow. Caesar, Czar, King, or CEO of Goldman Sachs.
The rise of the middle class at the end of the 19th century tracks the rise of wealth and power for most western, industrialized nations. Production, trade, and consumption of machine made goods became a near universal indicator of the rise of modern civilization. However, 40 years of crushing war amongst European powers stalled the growth for most, but emerging America remained unscathed, benefiting from the misdemeanours of a now dead age. History will fix the date of the birth of absolute America to the year 1914, the dawn of the American age to 1945, and no doubt, the golden era to the short period that began to erode in 1971. Of the time since, we the generation here and now and in the teeth of it, can only speculate.
In the summer of 1914, America was an outlier in a world of teetering monarchies, festering colonial empires, and rancid landed aristocracies. While the rest of the world fed its gold and its young to the insatiable maw of industrial war, Americans were building a dream from limitless resources and the economic opportunities of a conflict that left America unspoiled and prosperous. By the close of hostilities in 1945, with the capital of the planet spent and exhausted, America burst from the ruins to begin the greatest run of prosperity and innovation of all time. The American middle class exploded, living the dream so thoughtfully given to them over a generation of global war.
Powerhouse America imposed its vision of a liberal, free market democracy on the "free world" through the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. The United States became the world's greatest manufacturer of goods, trader of goods, and consumer of goods. Rebuilding the planet became a God given mission, the profits manna from heaven. The American dollar became the world's dollar. Freedom and cash registers rang.
But with the US greenback backed by gold, American economic expansion was limited to the bullion it horded. Wars in Korea and Viet Nam, and the massive expansion of "entitlements" with Social Security and Medicare among others, began to strain the American Dream. By the early 1970's the US had ceased to be an exporter of stuff, and the middle class began to buy increasingly cheaper stuff from abroad - at the expense of their own manufacturing and jobs. Given that the dream of freewheeling consumption was the bedrock of the burgeoning, voting middle class, politics insisted on a populist solution to the increasingly broke US economy. In 1971, Richard Nixon elected to abandon Bretton Woods, leave the gold standard, and America was free to print its way out of deficit and keep the dream alive.
At the same time as the US set the world awash in USD's, untold wealth and prosperity inflated its way through the massive baby boomer cohort. Women were entering the workforce in exponential numbers, soaking up inflated dollars with double incomes - and less expensive kids. American politics became a contest of pandering to the hedonistic desires of the American household, boom times embraced and fuelled by lax regulation and credit, busts fought off with the simple printing of even more money. Good times.
The American household saved 11% of its income in 1970, and had only 1.4% of its cash going to newfangled credit cards and auto loans. Everything else exchanged for clothes, appliances, food, houses, and shiny happy stuff, increasingly from overseas. Unknown to all, it was to be the high water mark for the middle class of America.
In 1971, American imports exceeded exports for the first time in modern history, by 2.6 billion dollars. At a time when a billion was a lot, America began paying to simply exist. Gross Public Debt had grown from 43 billion in 1940, to 381 billion by 1970. Within a single generation - the age of narcissism, the computer age, the age of globalization - the baby boomers of the American middle class had tilted the entire planets resources towards an unsustainable consumer culture. No longer living the dream, those alive just moments before Lehman Brothers listed over, rolled under, and disappeared below the waves of history, were fighting simply to keep the stuff they had.
The future had evaporated right before their shuttered eyes, and for over forty years.
The current version of the American middle class bears no resemblance at all to that of the end of the golden era in 1970. Forty years ago, Americans saved 11% of their earnings - which had evaporated by 2005, reaching the oxymoron of negative savings. Credit card debt shot from 1.4% to 15%. In the space of a generation, a single income family flush with cash, savings, and dreams had become a double income nightmare staggered with debt.
In 2008, there were more household bankruptcies than divorces.
The cost of crap fell and Wal Mart rose. Debt enslaved suburbanites now spend 32% less on clothing than they did a generation ago. 18% less on food, 52% less on appliances, and 24% less on cars. The middle class is consuming as voraciously as it ever has, however they have replaced sturdy $400.00 American Lawn Boy lawn mowers with $99.00 tin cans from China, and buy them now on credit. Some call that progress, others, value. In reality, it's inflation. The simple fact of the matter is Americans no longer have the disposable income to consume their way out of trouble, and that trouble lies in why it is the American middle class is broke, struggling, and increasingly angry.
At the same time that consumables were falling in price, the fixed portions of the American Dream began an exponential increase. Two incomes meant two cars - or three, or four - and despite the fact that cars were cheaper, the cost of cars to the two-income family rose by 52%. Houses got bigger, and mortgages increased 76% - with 10 million of them in various states of distress and foreclosure. Health insurance rose 76%, taxes 25%. Childcare was an expense nobody had a generation ago, but one that became essential with two adults working. The cost of education had increased - as did the length of time necessary to obtain that education. A ticket to the middle class that cost 12 years of school - grade one through high school - now includes daycare, preschool, grade school, high school, and then college. Americans must now pay for the additional time.
In 2005, that .09% of the earth that set the agenda for the planet was spending over 66% of its income on the fixed costs of the American dream alone, where it once spent less than a third. Or, to frame it in a way that defines the great problem, the American system that depends on rabid consumerism has left its heartland with exponentially decreasing amounts of disposable income, falling from 66% to 33% in a single lifetime. When George W Bush implored the middle class to spend its way out of the 9/11 chaos, in stunned and terrified whispers the American middle class muttered, "With what?"
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country"- Edward Bernays, 1928
"Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption.... We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate"- Victor Lebeau, 1947
"Too much consumption and too little investment, too many imports and too few exports. We have not been on a sustainable economic track and that has to be changed. But those changes don't come overnight, they don't come in a quarter, they don't come in a year. You can begin them but that is a process that takes time. If we don't make that adjustment and if we again pump up consumption, we will just walk into another crisis."- Paul Volker, 2009
“If you look around, you see how many people is out of work, number one, and you see how many people is in foreclosure or lost their homes or in default because they've lost their jobs, that tells you right there what the economy is doing.” - Middle Class American, 2009
A tiny part of a tiny part of the population of the earth had constructed a global economic architecture that sustained it in wealth and excess, security and predictability. In a scant forty years that wealth, excess, security, and predictability have proved to be entirely unsustainable. The approaching political climate of the American middle class will reflect the shock and desperation that may now be starting to manifest itself. How Americans react to their fast changing circumstance and what they will do about it will deeply affect the 95% of the earth's humans who are really only along for the ride.
In 2008, America gambled on hope, as hope is all it had. A new administration faced the growing catastrophe in the only way it could understand, frantically pumping in dollars to resuscitate a prostrate consumerism. An insane amount of debt piled up, the annual deficit soaring through $1,000,000,000.00. One trillion dollars. Absolutely none of it was used to purchase plasma TV's, hot tubs, or bling. The richest of Americans - as they always have - prospered along Wall Street and summered in the Hamptons while the drought stricken middle class waited for a rain that will never fall.
The American middle class will not spend its way out of disaster, if only because it can't. There are no savings. The house is worthless. The credit cards are gone. Jobs are disappearing. Today is bad and tomorrow looks worse. People are nervous, frightened, worried. They are behind in the mortgage, and struggle to make health insurance payments. All the while, they watch the stock market explode, the bonuses arrogantly roll on, and their government lie to their faces that the "recovery" is underway. China is booming, so is India and Brazil. Beneath the hope, patriotism, and the flag, the American middle class can feel it all slipping away.
In a nation consumed by politics, where pandering and lobbying are two sides of the same platitude, what will the increasingly angry gentle folks of Ohio, Iowa, and Florida demand of their philandering representatives in Washington? What form of instant remedy will some baseless political hack come to offer them as the snake oil for what ails them? How will those decisions come to dominate the lives of those in Canada, Ecuador, and Ghana?
In the distant future, historians will consider the rise, fall, and collapse of the great American Dream and conclude that was the cause of all that followed. None will be surprised at the all too human response of anger, frustration, and action in the teeth of injustice and inequality. After all, history is full of angry people who just weren't going to take it anymore. They will wonder only how it was we could not see it coming - how we could be so stupid to have blown it.
The coming fury of angry America is as palpable as it is silent. What will that tiny part of a tiny part of the earth's population do when the utter hopelessness of the situation washes over them and the tides of history curl around and bear them, inexorably, into the past?
What will they do?
Aetius Romulous Historian, Economist, Accountant, Writer, and blood sucking CEO. Born at the wrong end of the Baby Boom Generation - too late to enjoy the ride, too early to have missed it, and stuck in the middle with the mess. Aetius writes and blogs from his frozen perch atop the earth in Canada, spending the useful capital of a life not finished making sandwiches and fomenting revolution. It's a living.
Budget director blames old computers for ineffective government
By Ian Swanson - 01/14/10 02:56 PM ET
A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office.
This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama.
The public is getting a bad return on its tax dollars because government workers are operating with outdated technologies, Orszag said in a statement that kicked off a summit between Obama and dozens of corporate CEOs.
“Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home,” said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Now that’s no longer the case.
“The American people deserve better service from their government, and better return for their tax dollars.”
The White House release that included Orszag’s comments said one “specific source” of ineffective and inefficient government is the huge technology gap between the public and private sectors that results in billions of dollars in waste, slow and inadequate customer service and a lack of transparency about how dollars are spent.
Read the rest of this utter drivel - if you have a strong stomach!
Have you heard about the deal The Community Organizer reached with his union supporters last night? Look ... I've been telling you that this was on the way for three days. You could search high and low in the newspapers and on line and find very little to suggest what was going to happen ... but if you were listening to this show and reading my blog, you saw it coming.
The unions were at the White House telling Obama that they weren't going to support his health care takeover. And why not? Because Obama was going to pay for part of his takeover with a tax on what we're calling "Cadillac" health insurance plans. These are health insurance plans that go past the usual coverage by providing such things as dental and vision coverage.
Something had to be done to keep the unions on board. The Democrats are already facing a rough time in this year's elections and they certainly didn't need union members sitting on their hands on election day. So a deal had to be made. If it meant violating the concept of equal protection under the law ... well then, you do what you have to do; expecially if you're Barack Obama and you believe that your whole presidency rests on your ability to achieve the lifelong Democrat dream of seizing control of the American health care system.
Here's the deal they reached last night. If you're an ordinary citizen who has one of these "Cadillac" health care plan you will pay an excise tax on the plan. If you're an ordinary citizen who has a "Cadillac" plan, but you happen to be a union member, you will NOT pay the tax.
Can you believe this is happening in our country? The government tells you that you're going to have to pay a special tax on your health insurance plan .. unless, that is, you happen to be a union member - or if you happen to work for city or state government. Then you won't have to pay the tax.
I'll try to make this a bit more clear. You live at 123 Main Street. Your neighbor lives at 125 Main street. You're big pals. You drive a truck for one trucking company, your pal drives a similar truck for another company. Your families vacation together. Your kids play together every afternoon. Both of you earn pretty much the same salary and live in houses that are worth the same. You drive cars of equal value. You have similar dreams and aspirations for your two families. Both of you earn some pretty good bucks and you both have comprehensive health care plans - health care plans that the Democrats would call "Cadillac" plans. There is only one difference between you and your bud. The company you work for is not unionized. Your pal is a member of the Teamster's Union. So ... if Obama has his way with his so-called health insurance reform you will end up paying a tax on your health care plan. Your pal won't.
Is that the way you believe America should work? Should a politician come up with a new tax plan to generate some more revenue, and then chose some favored constituencies to be exempt from that plan?
Some idiot on Fox News this morning said that the union workers who are getting the break deserve the break because they have "high risk jobs." This girl worked for something called the Roosevelt Institute and had to be one of the most insiplidly ignorant people I've ever seen trying to fake intelligence in my life.
Elections have consequences. The election Tuesday in Massachusetts will have consequences. We really need to start paying attention.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 11, 2010
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,including section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-181), and in order to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments to protect our Nation and its people and property,it is hereby ordered as follows:Section 1. Council of Governors.
Go to Sipsey Street to read the whole thing, as well as Mike Vanderboegh's insights on the matter. I can almost imagine the Starwars' Imperial Stormtrooper music in the background as I read this thing!
Imagine the following. Assume that the world has collapsed into chaos, and among the many survivors are two individuals in particular: Survivor A and Survivor B. Survivor A has ten pairs of shoes stored for the collapse, while Survivor B has a thousand pairs of shoes socked away. Survivor A takes loving care of each pair, while Survivor B runs his shoes hard, wearing them out and then grabbing another off the shelf.
Question: After fifty years, how many shoes does each survivor have to pass on to his
Think hard. Hint: this is a trick question.
Go here for the answer.
Check it out:
Many are puzzled that Democrats persist in ramming unpopular and destructive legislation down our collective throats with no apparent concern for their plummeting poll numbers. A widespread belief is that the Democrats are committing political suicide and will be swept from one or both houses of Congress with unprecedented electoral losses next November. But since Democrat politicians rarely do things that will not ultimately benefit themselves, this column asked two weeks ago, "What do they know that we don't?"
Picture a household budget. Wages add to the wealth. Spending decreases it. If you spend more than you earn, you have three possible courses of action: a) you spend less, b) you earn more, or c) you borrow.
A government has one additional option that you don’t have: they can run the printing presses and make more worthless paper money, and hope people won’t catch on that it’s worthless.
Our government has completely ruled out any thought of decreasing spending. So they’ve been “earning” more (by taxing the living daylights out of society’s producers), but they’ve also been spending as if money grew on trees!
Where’d they get that money that is over and above all the additional taxes? Well they’ve borrowed money from everybody on the planet, but particularly our “friends” the Chinese.
The US gubmint borrows money by selling US T-bills at auction. And it’s a darn good thing that all our “friends” around the world are so willing to help us stay afloat in our scheme to eternally refinance our debt huh? If this keeps up, we could wall-paper the whole world with T-bills!
But what if the world’s investors ever get wise? I suspect the colloquial way of putting it would be that we’re up Sh*t Creek without a paddle.
Take a close look at the graph below. Someone is getting wise to the gubmint's game!
- C. M. Allen, 1974
I took Time magazine for many years, until I began to note its horrific leftist slant, and that was the end of that. Occasionally I will stumble across an issue somewhere and even a cursory glance reveals it’s only gotten worse not better.
That being said, I read a recent article in Time about the passenger’s role in subduing the terrorist on Flight 253 to Detroit on Christmas Day. I’ve got to give the author credit for some hard hitting commentary on:
- general government ineptness on everything it does
- referring to Obama’s comments on the incident as “blather”
- acknowledging that airline security is not secure
- pointing out that leveraging courage and dedication of the private citizen is the best course of action
It’s a pretty good read in general and I encourage you to read the whole thing. But if you need the executive summary, here is the “goodie”:
After the passengers of Flight 253 deplaned in Detroit, they were held in the baggage area for more than five hours until FBI agents interviewed them. They were not allowed to call their loved ones. They were given no food. When one of the pilots tried to use the bathroom before a bomb-sniffing dog had finished checking all the carry-on bags, an officer ordered him to sit down, according to passenger Alain Ghonda, who thought it odd. "He was the pilot. If he wanted to do anything, he could've crashed the plane." It was a metaphor for the rest of the country: Thank you for saving the day. Now go sit down.
I disagree that freedom is overrated. He's basically advocating the condition of becoming a sheep!
But I agree that people have willingly exchanged their freedom for security, and the result will be the loss of BOTH freedom AND security.
Why? Certainly not because freedom is overrated. It's because people have been programmed almost from birth to look to government to solve every problem in their lives. And now we've reached the point where there are legions of people who've never really experienced freedom, and don't know what they're missing.
Here's the stats on Florida:
Number of Licensees by Type as of November 30, 2009
From 1987 until November 30, 2009 there have been 167 licenses revoked because of improper use of a firearm.
Seems pretty quiet in Dodge City to me!
As hands are wrung in the aftermath of the near-tragedy on a Northwest Airlines flight approaching Detroit, a conversation from London’s Heathrow airport in 1986 comes to mind.
It consisted of an El Al security agent quizzing one Ann-Marie Doreen Murphy, a 32-year-old recent arrival in London from Sallynoggin, Ireland. While working as a chambermaid at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane Murphy met Nizar al-Hindawi, a far-leftist Palestinian who impregnated her. After instructing her to “get rid of the thing,” he abruptly changed his tune and insisted on immediate marriage in “the Holy Land.” He also insisted on their traveling separately.
Murphy, later described by the prosecutor as a “simple, unsophisticated Irish lass and a Catholic,” accepted unquestioningly Hindawi’s arrangements for her to fly to Israel on El Al on April 17. She also accepted a wheeled suitcase with a false bottom containing nearly 2 kilograms of Semtex, a powerful plastic explosive, and she agreed to be coached by him to answer questions posed by airport security.
Murphy successfully passed through the standard Heathrow security inspection and reached the gate with her bag, where an El Al agent questioned her. As reconstructed by Neil C. Livingstone and David Halevy in Washingtonian magazine, he started by asking whether she had packed her bags herself. She replied in the negative. Then:
“What is the purpose of your trip to Israel?” Recalling Hindawi’s instructions, Murphy answered,
“For a vacation.”
“Are you married, Miss Murphy?” “No.”
“Traveling alone?” “Yes.”
“Is this your first trip abroad?” “Yes.”
“Do you have relatives in Israel?” “No.”
“Are you going to meet someone in Israel?” “No.
“Has your vacation been planned for a long time?” “No.”
“Where will you stay while you’re in Israel?” “The Tel Aviv Hilton.”
“How much money do you have with you?” “Fifty pounds.” The Hilton at that time costing at least £70 a night, he asked:
“Do you have a credit card?” “Oh, yes,” she replied, showing him an i.d. for cashing checks.
That did it, and the agent sent her bag for additional inspection, where the bombing apparatus was discovered.
Had El Al followed the usual Western security procedures, 375 lives would surely have been lost somewhere over Austria. The bombing plot came to light, in other words, through a non-technical intervention, relying on conversation, perception, common sense, and (yes) profiling. The agent focused on the passenger, not the weaponry. Israeli counterterrorism takes passengers’ identities into account; accordingly, Arabs endure an especially tough inspection. “In Israel, security comes first,” David Harris of the American Jewish Committee explains.
Obvious as this sounds, overconfidence, political correctness, and legal liability render such an approach impossible anywhere else in the West. In the United States, for example, one month after 9/11, the Department of Transportation issued guidelines forbidding its personnel from generalizing “about the propensity of members of any racial, ethnic, religious, or national origin group to engage in unlawful activity.” (Wear a hijab, I semi-jokingly advise women wanting to avoid secondary screening at airport security.)
Worse yet, consider the panicky Mickey-Mouse, and embarrassing steps the U.S. Transportation Security Administration implemented hours after the Detroit bombing attempt: no crew announcements “concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks,” and disabling all passenger communications services. During a flight’s final hour, passengers may not stand up, access carry-on baggage, nor “have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap.”
Some crews went yet further, keeping cabin lights on throughout the night while turning off the in-flight entertainment, prohibiting all electronic devices, and, during the final hour, requiring passengers to keep hands visible and neither eat nor drink. Things got so bad, the Associated Press reports, “A demand by one attendant that no one could read anything … elicited gasps of disbelief and howls of laughter.”
Widely criticized for these Clouseau-like measures, TSA eventually decided to add “enhanced screening” for travelers passing through or originating from fourteen “countries of interest” – as though one’s choice of departure airport indicates a propensity for suicide bombing.
The TSA engages in “security theater” – bumbling pretend-steps that treat all passengers equally rather than risk offending anyone by focusing, say, on religion. The alternative approach is Israelification, defined by Toronto’s Star newspaper as “a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.”
Which do we want – theatrics or safety?
Presently we have a block of voters that support the current president, no matter what! I am convinced that black Americans would support Obama, even if he were drop his pants and defecate right there in front of the White House press corps! Of course the press would also support such a crappy endeavor because they’ve invested so much effort in his rise to power. After all the disastrous policies he's enacted in his first year, black support for Obama remains a solid 90%!!!
But blacks, having voted for the skin color of the current president, have an even bigger stake in his success. No matter what Obama does or doesn’t do for blacks, they will support him because in their eyes he’s one of them. It matters not that his roots aren't American, and it matters not if his policies are causing economic chaos that falls heavily on lower class America, and thus heavily on blacks. I can tell you dear reader, that regardless of how I felt toward Ronald Reagan, if he had done the things that Obama has done, my support for him would have vanished in less time than it takes to tell about it!
So here’s my question: Has Obama taken a hand in the selection of his protection detail, with a thought towards their personal loyalty being utterly dependable?
Kinda looks like it huh…
Note: I shouldn't have to say this, but in today's racially charged times, I want to point out that my utter hatred of Obongo is NOT in any way based on his skin color. It is based on his policies and his warped ideology that I see as a threat to the America I love. I would vote for the following black men and women for any office they choose to run for:
Walter E. Williams
edited to add Will Grigg
We get the government we deserve.