Monday, August 31, 2009

Obama the Partisan

Obama is always talking about and extolling the virtues of bipartisanship, and yet, to him, bipartisanship is merely the other side either going along with his wishes or shutting up and getting out of the way.

He's a hypocrite of the first order. And yet he is so worshiped by so many.

There's room at the top, they are telling you still.
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill.
John Lennon's "Working Class Hero"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cheney Defends Torture

According to the Los Angeles Times, former VP Cheney takes offense at recent inquiries into whether the CIA might have broken anti-torture laws.
The Times quotes the former VP:
I just think it's an outrageous political act that will do great damage long-term to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say.
However, the issue isn't if Obama's motives are political. They may well be (and probably are). The issue is did the CIA torture prisoners? In Cheney's lexicon, torture is just one of those "difficult decisions," and in his own words he wants the CIA to be able to do it freely "without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say" (i.e. without having to worry about consequences).

If Cheney can somehow prevent the looking into this issue, he and his cohorts can see to the complete suppression of all incriminating evidence. It makes me think of 1984:
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'
What Cheney doesn't like is that he doesn't control the present right now, and that's what he's pretty much all about: control, power.

Contrary to what he thinks, officials should have to worry about the consequences of their actions. It's when there is no worry at all that they become the most bestial. Which, I suppose, is exactly how Cheney wants it to be--so long as he's pulling the strings.

Note: If you read the whole Times article, you'll see near the end that Cheney says that he's OK with it if the interrogations were indeed illegal acts of torture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Tribute (of sorts) to Elmo

Yes, it's been too long since I've posted. Frankly, I've been a bit tired since my return from Seattle. Nonetheless, I have something for you--for you specifically if you are or have ever been a parent whose child/children went through the dreaded "Elmo phase."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grandma C. Rest in Peace

My grandmother died a few hours ago, shortly after I purchased a ticket to fly out to see her one last time. At least I won't have to see her in critical condition, but I will never see her again.

Food has tasted a bit bland since I heard the news. My wife says that it's grief. Who knew how bland grief tasted?

I would have pegged it for bitter.

She was a kind woman who spent the last several years battling several medical conditions. I hope her soul fares well, and I will miss her dearly.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Giving the House to the Bank

I'm rather tired of people who say that they are "giving the house to the bank" instead of just admitting that their home is in foreclosure.

They shouldn't phrase it in such a way to make it sound any less than the bank is seizing your house because they have failed to make payments on their mortgages. They're not "giving" the house away. It's being taken away.

I'm not degrading anyone because they've fallen on hard times. I'm just annoyed with this sweet little phrasing that makes it sound like it's a choice and no big deal. It is a big deal.

I'm also tired of the state complaining that it is losing revenues right and left. These past few months, I've seen dozens of street construction projects that were not necessary. When money is tight, you're supposed to watch your spending. Instead, I just watch the state spending, and spending, and spending. Hearing the state complain about revenues is like hearing a compulsive gambler complain about having to give his house to the bank.

I'm also irked by the notion uttered by politicians like Sen. Arlen Spector that those in vocal opposition to the government's health-care plan are not representative of the people. Yes, their are millions of Americans who do not have health care insurance, but this does not mean that they are not able to receive health care. Furthermore, these millions of uninsured Americans do not make up the majority of Americans, so perhaps it is politicians like Sen. Spector who are not representative of the people.

And now I tire.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama: Government Run Health-Care Will Suck (paraphrase)

At Free Advice, Bob links to this video showing Obama poorly defend his health care plan. To the argument that the so-called "public option" would threaten the solvency of private insurance companies, Obama says that insurance companies have nothing to worry about by comparing how the post office is always in trouble but private companies like FedEx and UPS thrive.

In other words, private companies shouldn't fear government competition because government competition sucks.

True, very true; however, government coercion remains to be feared, and this government is more coercive than ever before.

Opposition to Government-Run Health Care Heats Up

Claire McCaskill, a U.S. Senator from Missouri, faced an angry crowd recently as she stumped for government-managed health care.
McCaskill admonished the rowdy crowd, saying "I don't understand this rudeness. I honestly don't get it." (source: msnbc)
I'm certain that Lords Greenville, Townshend, North, and King George III uttered similar sentiments when the colonists protested the various acts of parliament that were designed to fleece the Americans in the decade prior to the American War for Independence.
Both loyal supporters of English authority and well-established colonial protest leaders underestimated the self-activating capacity of ordinary colonists. By the end of 1765 … people in the streets had astounded, dismayed, and frightened their social superiors. (Gary Nash, 59)
It is rather astounding when politicians react disbelievingly towards increased-tax opposition.

Also astounding was the vandalism on representative David Scott's office sign.

I'm not quite certain what message the perpetrators intended, for I'm not able to see the connection between this debate and the infamous Nazi symbol. Perhaps it was made by educated (albeit foolish) well-wishers (before the Nazis adopted the swastika, it symbolized good luck). Then again, I'll bet that the perpetrators are indeed supporters of Scott and the government's health care plan, their aim being to portray their opposition as members of a fringe hate-group--as if only ignorant thugs could possibly disapprove of the government's plans.

If the swastika is indeed the work of a defiant opposition, then I am rather upset because it does nothing to help those of us who oppose the government reasonably. But of course, anyone who thinks that the swastika is a great symbol is too much of an idiot to know any better.

Friday, August 07, 2009

My Birthday Tomorrow

When my wife asks me what I want for my birthday, I usually announce something too expensive as my primary wish. That way, my second choice looks way more attractive and plausible.

P.S. Breathe a word of this to my wife, and you're toast.

P.P.S. Yeah, I'm talking to you.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Obama and Historic Approval Ratings

There is much talk of how Obama's approval numbers have been declining some, that while he is still liked as a person, many are becoming less and less content with his policies. Now we have all these Obama people jumping around, desperate to explain all of this, as if lower (that's lower, not low) approval ratings now will destroy his historical legacy.

Before Obama's supporters give themselves ulcers, they should pay attention to American history, enought to see that the most disliked--and most destructive--president in history is still considered one of the best.

Abraham Lincoln was so disliked (both as a man and for his policies) that eleven states seceded from the Union and sacrificed an entire generation of their young men (and a great many of their older men as well) in hopes of being independent of the man and his policies.

Rest assured, Obamanites, history can still look fondly upon your man, even if he gets lower approval ratings and even if he wrecks the hell out of the country (look out, Atlanta).

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Learned Man Came to See Me Once--By Stephen Crane

This poem feels so current...
A learned man came to me once.
He said, "I know the way, -- come."
And I was overjoyed at this.
Together we hastened.
Soon, too soon, were we
Where my eyes were useless,
And I knew not the ways of my feet.
I clung to the hand of my friend;
But at last he cried, "I am lost."
--Stephen Crane
Was Crane foreseeing America's waltz into Obamanomics?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You Owe No Taxes

I just read that (terrible) actor Nicholas Cage "owes" the federal government 6.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties.

However,"owe" is the wrong verb.

Since the federal government does not solicit your consent for its "services," you are under no moral obligation to pay it anything. Your legal obligation to pay has the moral equivalent to your obligation to pay a mugger.

The fact that we are taxed by elected representatives does not change the fact that I have not consented to be taxed. Imagine that some guy just up and mowed your lawn (badly) and presented you with a $1000 bill. You'd be outraged. You'd point out what a crappy job he did, how ridiculously expensive is his fee, and on top of everything that you never gave the guy permission. He cannot justify his bill by saying, "Well, I asked your neighbors, and they said it was OK."

If you don't pay taxes, then the government will bring upon you much harm. That means that you had better pay your taxes, but it doesn't mean that you owe them.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Obama Already Is Taxing the Middle Class

The New York Times reports that Obama plans to stick to his pledge not to increase the middle class's tax burden.

Sorry folks, have you looked at our government's policies? All this spending, money from nothing. What do you think are the consequences?

Inflation, an "invisible" form of taxation.

As our dollar weakens, we become poorer. The result is much the same as if the government simply took more dollars in taxes.

Every dollar spent by the government has to come from taxpayers. If it's not taxed directly or borrowed (e.g. bonds), then it hits us as inflation.

Obama's reckless spending policies make him potentially one of the worst presidents in regards to easing the middle class's burden.

But Obama will blame everything on eight years of Bush, and most of his supporters will buy it and cry, "Four legs good; two legs better!"

"Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss."
--The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Saturday, August 01, 2009

No Stimulus?

On Friday, a local newspaper published with the headline "No Stimulus for Cops," and it was about how puzzled local leaders are that they didn't get any federal money for police.

What in the hell does that mean? We should be "stimulating" the police industry? We already have a massive (and massively expensive) program installed to "stimulate" the police industry.

It's called the drug war. It keeps crime high in cities so that citizens demand police.

Spending money on more police will not "stimulate" anything,

Bill of Rights