Friday, April 30, 2010

The Mountebank In Chief's Budget Cuts: See how it works

Thank you for reading this blog.

Traitor: Charlei Crist is the Judas from Florida

In what is a prime example of hubris, Charlie Crist, the governor or Florida turned GOP candidate for senator has changed party affiliation to independent due to the ass kicking he is taking from Marco Rubio.

Some may say this is a Specter or a Lieberman, but in those cases, they were ahead in the polls. Crist is not.

From Mark Ambinder from The Atlantic:

Here first: Charlie Crist, soon to be independent Senate candidate from Florida, tried to reach White House chief of staff Emanuel through intermediates. WH refuses to take the call. Dems plan big talent/money blitz for Kendrick Meek. BTW: Obama's approval rating in FL is in high 40s, per internal Dem polling.

Reaches out to the Rahminator? WTF? If you have to ask, it's all about Charlie. Hubris is god like pride. His actions show both hubris and his being a traitor. He can't go back on this. And while the darling of socially moderate republicans, his appeal will not translate into many democrat votes. As said above, Rahm and Co. are going for the big push for the democratic candidate, most likely in the hopes that Crist syphons enough votes from the Rubio camp to put Meek in office. What a sfacime. This guy joins the ranks of Specter, Stupak and Leach as strunza sfacimes.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pet Peeves:Why I hate car companies like VW and Ford (and others)

I used to like VW, I really did. My first car was a 1969 VW Fastback, and I have owned a 1991 Jetta, and 2001 Jetta, which I still own.

Recently, my wife opined that we should replace the 2001 Jetta as it has gotten a bit long in the tooth. Our other vehicle is a 2009 Suburban (don't get me started on that vehicle and company, as I'd like to throw Mary Sipes under a moving bus), so for a second vehicle, we'd want something a little better on gas, but still had some capacity. My wife wanted something a cute factor too.

We've been satisfied with VWs so far, so I looked into to buying a Jetta TDI Sport Wagon. I wanted one with a manual transmission. Not a big deal I thought, I'll contact Lithia VW to see what they have.

It seems Lithia does not order cars with manual transmissions. WTF? It's a VW, and they make cars with manual transmissions. I would know, I own one. There are only two VW dealers in Iowa that I know about. I went to the website for the one in Cedar Falls, and no go, although I have seen them carry cars with manual transmissions before. Not so with Lithia.

Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, I contacted VW to see if they could help me as well as complain a bit. You'd think they'd want someone to buy VW #4, wouldn't you? Well, below is the response I got from them:

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your e-mail asking about the availability of the Volkswagen brand in your area.  While our Volkswagen Information Center is available to provide general information on our vehicles, our system is not able to see which vehicles are in stock at individual dealerships.  It is for this reason that we encourage you to remain in contact with your dealer directly for updates pertaining to their
particular inventory.  Volkswagen dealerships are empowered to create policies and procedures suitable for their business needs, therefore, pricing, availability, and policies may vary.  

We truly hope that you are able to locate your model of interest, Jim.


Well, I have to say I was surprised. Then I wasn't, but I will explain a little later. I guess dealers are no more than glorified franchises like a local burger king. Still, it is in the best interests of the mother ship to make it's customers and potential customers happy. Telling me to work with a dealer whose only interest to sell me a car they have which is not one I want is the height of stupidity. I guess VW isn't hard up for business. It's their loss, but to be honest, none of the Japanese or American cars in this class do anything for me and it's become more and more for American cars not to come with manual transmissions. Most American cars are crap anyway, more on that later. Anyway, VW obviously doesn't want to sell me a car, and now I am reluctant to buy one from them.

As far as Fords go, when we were looking for a full size SUV, I wanted to get a Ford Expedition EL. Ford didn't take bailout money and that means something to me. I guess not Ford. No luck finding one then, and my local dealer, Stivers Ford, wouldn't try to locate one for me. Neither would the other dealers. So I bought a Suburban. I'd like to send Mary Sipes to Antarctica for eternity. This feminazi is responsible for taking what was the largest SUV extant, the car for big people and turned it into a car for women. Look her up. She made her male engineers wear skirts and heels when they were designing the 2007 and up truck platform so as the engineers to feel women's pain.

The result is a vehicle that is smaller inside than it need be. With the center console and door panel sticking out, I feel trapped in the vehicle. In fact, It I had an accident where I had to get out quickly, I'd be fucked. I have to duck a little to get in. Not so with older suburbans. Everything was scaled for smaller people. For a 4x4, it sits too low and has running boards (bad idea on an SUV or truck, take my word for it) and ground effects that make it necessary for me to jack up the vehicle to change the oil. I didn't have to do that with my 1984 K-10. Lets move on. It's a nearly 6000lb pig. It has inadequate gearing and an inadequate engine. The 5.3 has to be revved to get anything out of it and unless you do, it can't get out it's own way. A 6.2L engine should be standard with the duramax as an option. The transmission shifts like it has honey in it. Sloppy, not firm at all. 4L is a pain to get in. Lets be clear here: Whoever designed the electronic transfer case shift should be shot. A lever works every time. Not the dial. I have to put in in neutral, stop and hope it goes into 4L.

Interior. Cheap plastic, drab grey, chincy fake wood. The vehicle rattles in the winter like a tin can. Then there are the plastic bumpers that you have to worry about hitting snow banks when parking in the winter. Didn't need to worry about that with steel. I could go on. It wasn't worth the 40K+ I paid for it.

In an effort to make things easy or convenient, GM has made things worse, in some cases much worse, and it will get even more worse now that it is Obama Motors.

So here you have it. My guess in this case is that there is not enough competition in Iowa (this is a statement that can be applied to many things) and that businesses here have the false notion that people will buy local out of some sort of loyalty to local businesses. With the advent of the internet as a purchasing tool, they will find out that such an outdated and parochial attitude will go away and their competition could be anywhere in this country. That is my best bet if I want a particular car. Screw the local guy, as he doesn't want to earn my business. It's not guaranteed, and it shouldn't be.

So that is my pet peeve for the day. Sorry for the rant, but I am tired of parochial attitudes, I am tired of big corporate isolationism from its customers, and I am tired of compromising and not getting what I want. Want the dealer wants, or the sales should always be second. If you disagree, whose hard earned money is it anyway? It's not theirs.

Thank you for reading this blog.

If you like this, please go to My Motorrad and What's Under the hood.

Libertarian Politics Live: Mark Skoda of the Tea Party of Memphis discusses the N word controversy

On tonight’s show, we will be talking with another Tea Party guest. Mark Skoda, head of the Memphis Tea Party, and also with the Tea Party Federation, will discuss the Federation's investigation of allegations that Tea party used the n-word during protests over the healthcare bill. While these allegations have been reported as fact; the facts are that so far, there's no proof. No one ever caught the n-word on audio or video. So, the National Tea Party Federation is asking for proof. We will also be discussing violent, extremist and hateful behavior on the left, which of course, is all too common. Following that, Jim Lagnese and I will be doing an open phone segment and taking your calls, at 646-915-9887.

Gordon Brown and his "Joe The Plumber" Moment

I guess Gordie and Obama can have more to commiserate about now. What a jackass. No wonder England is sinking into the sea. With left wing fools like Gordie et al, they are doomed, but then again Labour has an unfair advantage. Where is Pat Condell when you need him?

Thank you for reading this blog.

American Terrorists: The Julie Bowen Twins

This woman has too much time on her hands and spends too much money at Starbucks. May be she should increase their allowance so they could afford a halfway decent motel.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Idiocy and Hypocrisy of the Left

I like Arizona Iced Tea. I really do. I used to like the indigo blue bottled ginseng iced tea. In fact, it's made in my home state of New York, and not only that, on Long Island where I grew up. That's why when I read the news today that opponents of the immigration law in Arizona have started a boycott of Arizona Iced Tea, I realized how far to the depths of stupidity the left has fallen.

Leftist twitter idiots twittered non-sense like this:

"Dear Arizona: If you don't change your immigration policy, I will have to stop drinking your enjoyable brand of iced tea," Twittered Jody Beth in Los Angeles.
"It is the drink of fascists," wrote Travis Nichols in Chicago.

It's no wonder they are driving us into the ground. With idiots like this, America will be finished in no time. Travis needs to get a life. Fascists?

Arizona Iced Tea was founded in Brooklyn, moved to Queens, and now just moved to a new $35 million headquarters in Nassau County, where I grew up. May be a old school Brooklyn style education is in order heeah, if you know whad I mean, ya heeah me?

I feel for the company as they make a good product and it's shame they have to be subjugated to this non-sense by feel good left wing stupid ass uneducated jackassery of human beings. I am sure Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will be calling for the CEO to resign and continue the boycott if he doesn't fork over millions in walking money to the Rainbow Coalition and The National Action Network. May be they'll extort a few thousand cases of Iced Tea from Don Vultaggio. I wonder what churches these reverends preach at, and in Armani suits no less. You also have to wonder how ministers can be pro-choice...I guess you have to belong to their church...The church of the dollar.

On the other hypocritical, idiotic and jackassery front, we have silence of the philanderer. Where is William Jefferson "I did not inhale nor did" Clinton on the issue of all these "illegal immigration protesters" destroying property, making boycott threats to companies that have nothing to do with Arizona and the physical violence no less? The Fornicator In Chief is no where to found. May be he's off doing cigar training with some other intern. You better watch it Bill, you are on borrowed time with that bypass. Too much excitement is not good for you.

These past few days have really illustrated the stupidity of the left. If there is one thing that is good that has come out of this is that I am hearing about more and more people  saying the quickest end to the immigration problem is to end the opportunities of illegal aliens. In my mind this would mean something like a severe fine for any employer that hires an illegal alien, knowingly or not. I would make the fine $1 Million per illegal alien. The vacuum caused by the hordes heading back south would offset any possibility of global warming for decades and we might actually see our hospitals recover, and other social services like schools and prisons also have a burden lifted.

No matter what happens, Arizona has become the lightning rod for the ills that are affecting this country. It comes down to world view. We have two major groups: Those that believe that the government, the state is responsible for our wants, and needs, and that natural rights include things that are entitlements. The other is the side of life, liberty, responsibility, the ownership of property and the ability to amass personal wealth from work. To put it succinctly, one side believes that need should be rewarded, the other side thinks ability should be rewarded. Which side are you on?

Thank you for reading this blog.

AG: Court Challenge Possible On Immigration Law

From Newsmax:

Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal government may challenge Arizona's new law on immigration.
The attorney general told reporters Tuesday that he fears Arizona's new law is subject to abuse.

At a news conference, Holder said that the Justice Department and the Homeland Security Department are in the midst of conducting a review of the state law.

The Arizona law requires state law enforcement officials to ask people for documentation if they are suspected to be in the country illegally.

The attorney general says a number of options are under consideration including the possibility of a court challenge.

Sen. John McCain says Arizona had to pass a tough immigration law because the Obama administration has failed to "secure our borders."

The Arizona Republican called the situation in his state "the worst I've ever seen," saying ineffective border enforcement has resulted in drugs pouring into the southwestern United States from Mexico.

McCain told CBS's "The Early Show" that over a million pounds of marijuana were intercepted on the border at Tucson just in the last year. He said he's talked to law enforcement officials and believes the new law can be implemented "without racial profiling."

Under the law set to take effect in late July or August, it would be a crime to be in the United States illegally.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Libertarian Politics Live: Judson Phillips of the Tea Party and Rita Marker INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCE ON EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE

We have two guests lined up for tonight; our first guest is Judson Phillips, a Nashville attorney and president of Tea Party nation. He's the guy who put on the Tea Party convention in February where Sarah Palin came to speak. Mr. Phillips will be discussing the Tea party nations' presidential straw poll, as well as their upcoming Las Vegas convention in July. We will also be talking about a conservative agenda for 2010 and beyond. Our second guest is also an attorney, Rita Marker, executive director of the INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCE ON EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE. Rita has a post up at the First Things blog in response to the new movie about Jack Kevorkian. We will be discussing opposition to euthanasia from a libertarian perspective; focusing particularly on issues of consent and coercion. Hosts are Andre Traversa and jim Lagnese

Call in at 646-915-9887

Thank you for reading this blog and listening to the show.

Whose country is this?

By Pat Buchanan at WND

With the support of 70 percent of its citizens, Arizona has ordered sheriffs and police to secure the border and remove illegal aliens, half a million of whom now reside there.

Arizona acted because the U.S. government has abdicated its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion and refuses to enforce America's immigration laws.

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," said Gov. Jan Brewer. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created an unacceptable situation."

We have a crisis in Arizona because we have a failed state in Washington.
What is the response of Barack Obama, who took an oath to see to it that federal laws are faithfully executed?

He is siding with the law-breakers. He is pandering to the ethnic lobbies. He is not berating a Mexican regime that aids and abets this invasion of the country of which he is commander in chief. Instead, he attacks the government of Arizona for trying to fill a gaping hole in law enforcement left by his own dereliction of duty.

He has denounced Arizona as "misguided." He has called on the Justice Department to ensure that Arizona's sheriffs and police do not violate anyone's civil rights. But he has said nothing about the rights of the people of Arizona who must deal with the costs of having hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers in their midst.

How's that for Andrew Jackson-style leadership?

Obama has done everything but his duty to enforce the law.

Undeniably, making it a state as well as a federal crime to be in this country illegally, and requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" is here illegally, is tough and burdensome. But what choice did Arizona have?

The state has a fiscal crisis caused in part by the burden of providing schooling and social welfare for illegals and their families, who consume far more in services than they pay in taxes and who continue to pour in. Even John McCain is now calling for 3,000 troops on the border.

Police officers and a prominent rancher have been murdered. There have been kidnappings believed to be tied to the Mexican drug cartels. There are nightly high-speed chases through the barrios where innocent people are constantly at risk.

If Arizona does not get control of the border and stop the invasion, U.S. citizens will stop coming to Arizona and will begin to depart, as they are already fleeing California.
What we are talking about here is the Balkanization and breakup of a nation into ethnic enclaves. A country that cannot control its borders isn't really a country anymore, Ronald Reagan reminded us.

The tasks that Arizonans are themselves undertaking are ones that belong by right, the Constitution and federal law to the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Homeland Security.

Arizona has been compelled to assume the feds' role because the feds won't do their job. And for that dereliction of duty the buck stops on the desk of the president of the United States.
Why is Obama paralyzed? Why does he not enforce the law, even if he dislikes it, by punishing the businessmen who hire illegals and by sending the 12 million to 20 million illegals back home? President Eisenhower did it. Why won't he?

Because he is politically correct. Because he owes a big debt to the Hispanic lobby that helped deliver two-thirds of that vote in 2008. Though most citizens of Hispanic descent in Arizona want the border protected and the laws enforced, the Hispanic lobby demands that the law be changed.

Fair enough. But the nation rose up as one to reject the "path-to-citizenship" – i.e., amnesty – that the 2007 plan of George W. Bush, McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama envisioned.
Al Sharpton threatens to go to Phoenix and march in the streets against the new Arizona law. 

Let him go.

Let us see how many African-Americans, who are today frozen out of the 8 million jobs held by illegal aliens that might otherwise go to them or their children, will march to defend an invasion for which they are themselves paying the heaviest price.

Last year, while Americans were losing a net of 5 million jobs, the U.S. government – Bush and Obama both – issued 1,131,000 green cards to legal immigrants to come and take the jobs that did open up, a flood of immigrants equaled in only four other years in our history.

What are we doing to our own people?

Whose country is this, anyway?

America today has an establishment that, because it does not like the immigration laws, countenances and condones wholesale violation of those laws.

Nevertheless, under those laws, the U.S. government is obligated to deport illegal aliens and punish businesses that knowingly hire them.

This is not an option. It is an obligation.
Can anyone say Barack Obama is meeting that obligation?

Is Credit Indentured Servitude? A look at modern American peonage

Originally published here 09/06/08

I was reading a blog today about the economy and one of the commenters mentioned that americans were over extended with credit. In fact, I found out that they average credit card debt for a household is around $8600. The average mortgage debt is $192,000. That's probably between $800-900 billion in credit card debt and somewhere around $17 trillion in mortgage debt in this country. These numbers may be conservative as there are over 116 million households in the US. Can you say over extended?

Even with an annual foreclosure rate of 1%, that would mean around $178 billion disappears from the economy, mostly from mortgage debt. That's not small. But the real reason for this post is to illustrate how are economy is propped up by personal debt. I don't believe this is an accident. Credit cards were non-existent 25-30 years ago. Most people I knew did not have one. If you wanted to buy something, you'd pay cash for the most part, excluding cars, and homes. Mortgages tended to be 15-20 years, and car loans were 2-3 years. Today, we have mortgages out to 40 years and car loans beyond 6 years. The average car loan debt is now between $12-13,000.

Sometime after the last inflationary bubble at the end of the Carter administration, some economists must have figured that if banks loan more money out to people, and extend the terms of the loans, they could pump money into the economy causing it to grow. A different kind of trickle down economics. On the income side, salaries would be kept at a pace such that an equilibrium is kept between consumers ability to pay and the money lent out. There have been a couple instances where there were hiccups, and then the resultant bailouts, but it has enabled corporations to flourish at the expense of the debt incurred by the average household. Look at the growth of the stock market since 1980. Even with the ups and downs, you'd have to agree that is has grown tremendously, but now we are at another hiccup.

The problem is that we are having difficulty maintaining an equilibrium between this debt, income and economic growth. In the last several years, banks have really gone too far in extending credit, particularly with mortgages. This in turn pushed housing prices higher and people borrowed even more. It's not enough that people buy what they want, but also be able to buy things beyond their dreams. Call it greed. Now that the housing market is collapsing, people that over extended themselves are looking for relief as are some of the lending institutions. Personally, I say let them rot, it's the only way they will learn.

At this point I'd like to consider the political economy if you will of this situation. Jefferson was afraid of situations like this, particularly with the government borrowing money. He feared corruption through financiers and industrialists. In many ways Jefferson may have been clairvoyant. Much of the shell game economics we see started with Alexander Hamilton, who believed in assuming debt and pushing out the time in which to pay it, where as Jefferson was more agrarian in his approach, pay as you go. On one hand, Jefferson wanted America to be unique in that we did not have a society divided by political, social or economic classes. In Hamilton's approach, I believe he sought to find a solution to problems of paying debt after the Revolutionary War without causing a depression or succession of states. I also think his risk tolerance was quite a bit higher than Jefferson's. My point here is that there is a historical philosophical approach in our democracy regarding economics and this argument is nothing new. What is different in the present is that the common man is given access to capital so easily without earning it as he receives it. Capital obtained in such fashion presents itself for abuse.

The end result here is that we have a society that in effect is in indentured servitude except that there is no debtors prison for those that refuse to pay. There are social and economic penalties for individuals, but insofar as lending institutions, they seem to get off scott free. This still leaves the vast majority of people that pay their debts on time in a condition of peonage, as they will be paying off their credit card and mortgage debt for many years to come, and in some cases, after they are gone. Unfortunately, this fiscal philosophy has found it's way to the government, which is even in worse shape. I guess you can sum it up as the free lunch mentality. The problem is that there is an end to this as the system has limits. The only way out of this, at least I think that some believe this, is to add more debtors to the system. The only way to increase this is through immigration, legal, or illegal.

The problem with this is that illegal immigration has brought new problems that exacerbate the situation. The social costs of having people her illegally is staggering. Healthcare, schools, and crime take their toll. The answer to this part of the this new problem created is amnesty, in an effort to get them on board tax-wise. Banks have not lost step as they already offer credit to illegal aliens. The problem is, if they skip, how do you catch them? It's a total loss. The side effect of all of this is that there is now a political demographic that is more open to socialism and it is changing the expectations of our society. Of course politicians will give them what they want and are already anticipating the political clout of this newly created demographic. So much for the traditional melting pot.

Again, this leaves us at a turning point at the 2008 presidential election. Where are we going from here? Do we adhere to Jeffersonian principles, do we continue on the same path we currently are on or do we pursue a different, yet equally dangerous approach with socialism? Our current path is to take on more and more illegal immigrants. Insofar as credit is concerned, I see no changes in approach with continuing down the same path. Today, the government announced it is going to bailout Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Detroit car makers are already squealing that they want preferential loans to bail them out. I see this path as a steady decline fiscally, morally, and socially. With Obama's approach, government will be used to curtail wealth through taxation, with the additional burden of government mandated and managed entitlements. In our zero sum game, it's really redistribution of wealth. With the added taxation and continuation of debt among the average citizen, in essence, we will be in a peonage system, or indentured servitude that we will never get out of. Both the government and financial institutions with cooperation from industrial businesses will basically have the population by the balls. Over time, we will loose our self-sufficiency and perspective on responsibility; we will have traded our freedom for that which neither enriches us nor makes us any safer or better off individually.

A classical liberal or Jeffersonian approach would entail fiscal responsibility. You shouldn't spend more that you earn, and you should not receive what you have not earned. What are considered entitlements should never be rights. Part of the solution would be to curtail outrageous interest rates. The government could do this. What the government should not do is bail banks out, or other corporate entities. They will never learn their lesson in greed and/or poor judgement if they are bailed out time and time again. Corporate and industrial subsidies should end. Yes, lower the tax rate for corporations to 10%, but no more subsidies. Both individuals and corporations will be responsible if it is demanded of them. The federal government should have fewer responsibilities than it currently has. I wont get into it, as you can read it in my Bona Fides, but it is not impossible to cut back the federal government 25-33% and as I have said, I would settle for the abolition of the IRS.

Between the government and financial institutions, we have fastened a chain around our neck that has a 300 Lb steel ball at the end of the chain. We cannot blame this situation on anyone else than ourselves. We elect the corrupt individuals that indenture us to the government and we take it upon ourselves to live fiscally irresponsible. The only way out of this is through individual responsibility, self-sufficiency and a philosophy of personal liberty. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, these things can not be legislated, but are learned through education and experience, and are fomented through political, social and spiritual leadership. This is where America falls short. No matter what happens this November, even if the Obamessiah wins, people like myself will have our time again. It's the nature of revolution to come back again.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

So Much For Gary's Insistence On A Parliamentary-Like System

H/T John R. Lott

From the WSJ:
A ComRes telephone poll of 1,003 adults for ITV and the Independent newspaper, released late Monday, showed the Conservatives with 32%, the Liberal Democrats with 31% and Labour with 28%.

Labour's potential advantage—despite its flagging status in opinion polls—are prompting rivals to jockey for position. Mr. Clegg, for example, has complained of the prospect of unpopular Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown "squatting" in No. 10 without a voter mandate. In such a scenario, anger could spread from Labour's political rivals to the public, where steam is building to demand serious reforms to one of the world's oldest parliamentary democracies.

Labour owes its ability to hang on despite the weak economy to several advantages. Since Tony Blair's landslide victory in 1997, Labour has an advantage in the number of seats it holds in Parliament that is out of proportion to its share of the popular vote. In the last election in 2005, Labour won 36.2% of the votes but 56.5% of the seats in Parliament. The Conservatives won 33.2% of the votes but only 31.5% of the seats. The Liberal Democrats won almost one in four votes but fewer than one in 10 of the seats.

The result: Labour won three percentage points more of the vote than the Conservatives, but dominated Parliament with 355 seats to the Tories' 197. To overcome that advantage, political analysts estimate that the Conservatives will need to win around six percentage points more of the vote, just to overcome the disparity.

The chief reason for this is that Labour wins seats in Parliament with fewer votes. Labour-heavy Scotland and Wales have more seats compared with their population than Tory-leaning England. Even in England, Conservative constituencies are larger. The average Tory seat held 72,950 voters, and the average Labour seat 66,802 . . .

Gary, who posts at Libertarian Republican is always preaching how we need to emulate the English System of representative government. I'd like to link to one of his rantings, but Wes or Eric, in their haste in redoing Libertarian Republican, deleted all user comments. So much for the upgrade. May it's a feature and not a bug.

Anyway, as we can see, the english system has some serious flaws.

Thank you for reading this blog.

The Iron Lady Got It Right

From Margaret Thatcher's last House of Commons Speech on November 22, 1990, where she addresses income inequality and a single currency.

H/T Taxing Tennessee and the ever prescient Carpe Diem. I have to say you have to love the brits grit. At least they used to have it.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Our current Economic Mess: In Search of a Metaphor...

From the Libertarian Republican:

by Clifford F. Thies

Last year, the Obama administration was claiming credit for “slowing down the rate of job loss.” This year, it is striving for “a soft landing.” This is not a good metaphor. It creates the image of an economy whose descent has reached terminal velocity, like a skydiver whose parachute has failed, who – upon reaching terminal velocity – attempts to survive impact by achieving a soft landing.

In other metaphors that were attempted last year, we were looking for a “V”-shaped recovery as opposed to a “U”-shaped one. In a “V”-shaped recovery, the economy falls hard, and then recovers sharply. The last time we had a “V”-shaped recovery was when Ronald Reagan was President. That recovery resulted in Reagan’s landside re-election in 1984. In a “U”-shaped recovery, the economy lingers in recession for a while before beginning to recover. But, in 2009, we got neither a “V”-shaped nor a “U”-shaped recovery. Instead, we got an “L”-shaped economy. Now, with softening demand and the risk of inflation, we face the prospect of a “W”-shaped economy, sometimes characterized as a “double-dip” recession.

Also in 2009, Congress passed the trillion dollar “stimulus package” requested by the administration. This was one of a series of trillion dollar deals, including bail-outs for government agencies and private-sector financial institutions, for those behind on their mortgages and their student loans, cash for clunkers, leave no public school teacher behind, the umpteenth extension of unemployment benefits, etc., etc. These trillion dollar deals were supposed to prevent the unemployment rate from reaching 8 percent (oh my!). And, instead of the unemployment rate reaching 8 percent (oh my!), it reached 10 percent.

The “stimulus package,” I suppose, was not supposed to work like Viagra: you know, relatively quickly. Instead, it’s supposed to work like Cialis: “when the moment is right.”

Thus, the search for the right metaphor continues. Richard Nixon dealt with “inflation psychology.” Gerald Ford with “stagflation.” Jimmy Carter, “malaise.” What metaphor will characterize the economic woes of the current administration? How about the “Giant Slalom Economy,” where the economy weaves back and forth while on a downhill slide? Or, the “Chinese Water Torture Economy,” where the steady trickle of bad news turns everybody so fatalistically pessimistic that nobody is willing to invest in a new or expanding business? Or, the “Down is Up Economy,” where, after a while, double-digit unemployment becomes normal. With a “Down is Up Economy,” President Obama could be viewed as a Great President, like Franklin D. Roosevelt who demonstrated leadership during an eight-year period, from 1933 to 1941, when the unemployment rate continued above 10 percent.

If a “Down is Up Economy” seems far-fetched, simply recall the “Up is Down Economy” of 2006. Back then, the Democrats were calling an economy with only 5 percent unemployment and with no inflation, “the worst economy since the Great Depression.” That year, the Democrats took over the Congress and two years later the White House as well.

Dr. Thies is the Eldon R. Lindsay Chair of Free Enterprise & Professor of Economics and Finance, Shenandoah University, Virginia

Sunday, April 25, 2010

National Election Song

This is to be played in all election booths this fall.

H/T to Idaho (High Plains Drifter)

Thank you for reading this blog.

Man Arrested For Legally Carrying A Gun

James Goldberg of Glastonbury Connecticut was recently arrested for carrying a gun at a local Chili's restaurant. While he was later released because he was legally carrying the gun, it underscores the public's ignorance when it comes to carry laws and also the importance, in a general sense, that people who do carry, whether open or concealed, need to know if a certain place allows the possession of a gun on their premises. In this case, it is not clear if chili's has a prohibition, but there are establishments in my locale that do proscribe the carrying of weapons, like the Merle Hay Mall. They state it plainly on signs. While I disagree with them, it is their right.

Connecticut is one of 13 states that allow open carry with restrictions. According to The Free Library, others are Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

States that offer open carry without licenses or restrictions are Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont, Kentucky and Virginia.

Read the complete story at World Net Daily.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Privacy Issues From The Private Sector

More privacy issues in the private sector. Earlier in the week I commented on Wellmark Blue Cross' non-smoking policy that extends to current employees off work activities.

Now we see that Google is logging people's MAC addresses and SSIDs in the process of doing Google Street Views.

Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.
Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he's "horrified" by the discovery.
"I am appalled… I call upon Google to delete previously unlawfully collected personal data on the wireless network immediately and stop the rides for Street View," according to German broadcaster ARD.
Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user's connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.
Other companies have logged broadcasting WLAN networks and published the information. By contrast Google has not published the WLAN map, or Street View in Germany; Google hopes to launch the service by the end of the year.

While some will say this information can be gotten by anyone in the area of networks with simple equipment, the key here is that it is being collected by an international firm with no oversight about how the information is used or even what gets collected. I have to wonder if comrade Brin and company have nefarious intentions. Remember, Google had been complicit with china in some of it's privacy practices or should I as violation thereof. Anything for a buck? Or is it sympathetic? Whatever the case Google comes across as a digital voyeur in the very least. I wouldn't trust them. Can you imagine a future where they will sell people's information to the highest bidder, who in turn wants to compromise someone's ambitions? It would make the cloak and dagger crap in DC much easier.

People used to complain that Microsoft was the dark force and evil. Right below our noses Google with it's friendly child-like multicolored corporate logo has positioned itself as the big brother of the future. Can we ever go back? Will we want to? Privacy has become an archaic word that seems to have lost it's original meaning.

Another company I wouldn't work for, for any amount of money.

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Rasmussen Results Tell The Story

With all the hoopla and hand wringing going on about the immigration bill just passed in Arizona, a Rasmussen poll shows that 70% of Arizonans support the bill.

This is no surprise. While the hollywood and left wing set decry the law, they do not have to live in Arizona where the consequences of illegal immigration are mote dire than getting your landscaping done cheaply.

There are real dire consequences there, like murder, rape and robbery, and also the toll on social services like healthcare and education. We are talking about illegal aliens. A wave of Obama's magic wand with amnesty will not change the negative impact on our society. All it will do is legitimize an underclass and create a constituency for democrats. No matter what they say, that is the real reason behind amnesty.

Arizona is the first to put it's foot down, with Sheriff Joe Arpaio leading the charge. I expect other states to follow suit.

For the record, The Right Guy believes legal immigration is a good thing. All of us got here from immigration, including so called native americans. The culture we have had was one of excellence, freedom and responsibility coupled with opportunity. This means we welcome those that take initiative, work hard, obey the laws, and live here responsibly. The reward is that people from other countries not only live a better life here and contribute, but they also move up socio-economically. This doesn't happen so well in other countries. Furthermore, allowing illegal immigration or granting amnesty does not send the best here. There is no standard, just that if you can walk across a desert, you can come here. What about a Korean Physicist or Indian Computer Scientist that does everything by the book and has to wait years? It's hardly just or fair to give someone a leg up just because they live next door and it suits the democrats political purposes.

The bottom line is that while we need to adjust our immigration laws to allow more people to come and live here permanently, and to get the best, we also have a responsibility to those already here to ensure public safety, and justice to those who do things by the book. American Exceptionalism demands that we do so, not lay out our flag as a door mat to those who couldn't give a shit.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Brother Comes To The Private Sector in Des Moines

In effort to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the cost of healthcare, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa has decided for its workers and future workers to call it quits.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is sending that message to potential employees in a policy that will go into effect June 1.

The insurer will "require applicants to assert that they are tobacco-free in order to be considered for a position," said Rob Schweers, spokesman for Wellmark, which employs approximately 1,600 people in Des Moines and another 200 throughout the rest of the state.

Wellmark is asking existing employees to stop using tobacco by Oct. 1. The new policy also prohibits any smoking during work hours, including scheduled breaks and during lunch.

While The Right Guy believes that businesses can set standards as to what can be done on work property and on work time, I also believe that what you do off hours is your own business. Of course new employees will know ahead of time what the deal is, and therefore not apply or work for the company if they so chose based on the policy, it is onerous to expect that current employees quit smoking, not matter "the good intent" and "greater good" the company believes it is doing.

This is one more example of organizations, such as the government and private enterprise, infringing on people's privacy and personal lives. What's next? Alcohol? Weight? Driving too fast? How about wearing a helmet if they ride a motorcycle? Too many children? I can see these do gooders and big brother advocates pushing such agendas in government and private enterprise. It would seem that feudalism is creeping back into our society, a modern combination feudalism, socialism and authoritarianism.

"We're most concerned about the health of our employees, but we do know health care costs are higher for people who smoke," he said. "It is our hope that this policy provides incentive for people to quit, which will result in a healthier, more productive work force."

Well Rob, I hope you wear it well. Your fabian views will not serve you well in the long run as you will cut out a sizable portion of the population that wouldn't work there not only because they do not smoke, but also because your company is oppressive, arrogant, and socialist. I know I wouldn't work there for any amount of money.

I also want to say that I do not smoke, I do wear a helmet when I ride, and I have lost a lot of weight, although I do like to go fast, make a lot of kids. Freedom is at stake, and these arrogant progressive bastards need to be pushed back at every instance. Where is the ACLU when you need them? They are noticeably absent when it involves activities that are deemed politically incorrect, like smoking, guns rights, etc. Obviously they are off tilting at windmills.

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Radical Muslims now specifically targetting libertarians: Death Threats to South Park creators

by Eric Dondero

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are longtime self-proclaimed "libertarians." Indeed, Parker is actually a registered Libertarian Party member. They are friends of Reason Magazine. And they have used explicit libertarian themes in numerous episodes.

In the early 2000s, a movement was born out of their series, called "South Park Republicans." They are described as center-right Republicans, mostly suburban fans of the show, with moderate libertarian-leanings. There was even a book released by author Brian C. Anderson called "South Park Conservatives."

And now, like European Free Speech advocating Cartoonists, they have been specifically targeted with a serious Death Threat from a major Islamic Website.

From "'South Park' Creators Could Face Retribution for Depicting Muhammad, Website Warns" :

A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of "South Park" that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week. posted the warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "South Park," which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit. The Web posting also included a graphic photo of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered in 2004 after making a documentary on violence against Muslim women.

We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show," the posting reads. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."

Reaching by phone early Tuesday, Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the author of the post, said he wrote the entry to "raise awareness." He said the grisly photograph of van Gogh was meant to "explain the severity" of what Parker and Stone did by mocking Muhammad.

"It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," al Amrikee said,
Ironically, both Parker and Stone were guest speakers at a conference in Amsterdam in 2006 on the topic of Free Speech Rights, sponsored by Reason. Editor Nick Gillespie said at the time:

One of the reasons we were interested in having a conference in Amsterdam is that it’s not only the birthplace of tolerance but the site of one of the most brutal crimes related to free speech in recent memory: the 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was stabbed to death in the street after making a 10-minute film critical of Islam’s treatment of women.
Parker commented to Reason in a resulting interview, Dec. 2006 isue:
This is what happened. I was on my honeymoon in Disney World. I turned on the television, and there were thousands of rioting Muslims, and the caption said, “Muslims enraged over cartoon.” And I said, “Oh, shit. What did we do?”

We actually did an episode five years ago with Muhammad in it. It was an episode called “Super Best Friends,” and Muhammad had super powers and turned himself into a beaver and then killed Abraham Lincoln. I thought, “They finally just saw it, and they’re all pissed off.” But no, it was those other cartoons that they were mad about.
Reached for a comment, Gillespie told Libertarian Republican yesterday:
To say that semi-veiled death threats against the creators of a cartoon show that spoofed Mohammed demonstrates the need for an Islamic reformation is self-evident. The threats, especially the invocation of the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh by a religious nutbar, should shame all serious Muslims the same way the pope's behavior in sexual-abuse scandals shames true Catholics. Whether religious or secular, ideologies that try to suppress dissent and free expression through violence always lose, and always make themselves more abjectly pathetic on the road to the dustbin of history.
Editor's Note - Michael W. Dean contributed to this story.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elderly Des Moines Woman Stops Burglar In His Tracks

An 89 year old Des Moines woman was confronted by the burglar at 5:30am as he bashed in the front door of her home.

Armed with a .22 calibre pistol, Mrs. Turner fired off a shot that missed, but stopped Nelson McAlpine from doing proceeding any further. Mrs. Turner had pulled the trigger a second time, but the pistol failed to discharge. Oh well.

Mrs. Turner said the burglar "was pulling at his shorts and talking crazy...By then he was pounding on the coffee table."

Turner said the man kept repeating, "It's not daylight, it's not daylight."

"I told him Jesus and I would go outside with him and make the daylight come," Turner said.

Obviously the guy was nuts, but Mrs. Turner has a sense of humor too. I guess living for 89 years will do that.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Lori Lavorato issued a caution about the use of deadly force.

Turner "took the course of action she felt she had to," Lavorato said. "By no means do we condone shooting at a burglar. But she could have become a victim in a situation like that."

Obviously Lavorato is at best misinformed. You don't condone shooting at a burglar in your own home? What planet do you live on Lavorato? Planet Obama I suppose. I expect such talk from the people's republic of New York, from whence I have come. Of course such authoritarian philosophy doesn't necessarily resonate with all in law enforcement.

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone, who has been in office for 19 years, said he could probably count on one hand the number of times a home-owner has fired a gun at an intruder.
"You have no duty to retreat inside your own home," Sarcone said. "Force has to be commensurate with the threat. What would a reasonable person in her position do?"

Mr. Sarcone, at least you have some common sense. The intruder broke down her door at 5:30am. May be Ms Lavorato can find better work doing PR for the Humane Society or PETA. Or better yet, teach people on how to be victims. May be a the victim should give a bouquet a flowers next time?

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