Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Government in Action

Government in Action; Government Inaction
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: WI Labor Group Bans GOP from Holiday Parade

Article synopsis:
Wausau WI is going to have a Labor Day parade next week. The GOP is not going to be invited to participate by the parade organizers – apparently headed by labor unions – in the aftermath of Wisconsin’s public union hullabaloo last spring. The Mayor of Wausau has announced that if the GOP is barred from participating that the labor group can reimburse the city for the parade expenses.

Dry Your Eyes, Unions: The changes in law in Wisconsin have resulted in millions of dollars in savings to school districts in less than a year, which resulted in the rehiring of hundreds of recently laid-off teachers ... who had been laid off due to laws and policies from prior Democrat administrations. There has been no loss of benefits despite newly altered financing for them; public service unions in non-teaching sectors of government service have similarly grown in size.

For all the claims unions make that Republicans are anti-union, there is no evidence of it. For all the claims unions make that Democrats are pro-union, their policies were [and are] actively decimating union jobs – not to mention the rest of the jobs.

Conclusion: If the point of the unions’ parade pique is to demonstrate themselves to be small-minded boobs willing to shoot themselves in the foot, then they succeeded admirably. If the point was anything else ... they missed the target.

Headline: ATF Director Reassigned; US Attorney Out from ‘Fast And Furious’

Article synopsis:
Three of the four federal officials – the ATF Director, the US Attorney and the Assistant US Attorney for AZ – who blew the whistle on a Justice Department stupidity have been reassigned. The ATF Director’s reassignment comes with a demotion. The stupidity tattled upon, code-named ‘Fast and Furious’, was designed to run guns to drug cartels in Mexico to determine who is in the drug cartel. Congressional investigators are suggesting the reassignments are punishment for whistle-blowing and to protect Justice Department appointees – i.e., Shyster General Eric Holder. A US Attorney from Minnesota – a protégé of Holder’s – will replace the ATF Director.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: We already know who is in the Mexican drug cartels, we don’t need fancy ballistics tests on the bullets pulled from dead bodies to know who’s behind it. More to the point, so does Mexico know who’s in these drug rings; Mexico is the government responsible for dealing with them. Furthermore, Mexico did not ask for our help in this. Despite Mexico doing a genuinely lousy job of it, and which causes problems for us here in the US, we must respect their sovereignty. We don’t. We rarely have.

It’s not that I’m particularly concerned about Mexico’s inability to safeguard their own international prestige; once you join the brotherhood of nations you’re expected to be a big boy. Someone else insinuates itself into your country like the US has done to Mexico for, like, ever, then grow some cojones and respond in kind. Mexico typically does nothing but whine.

But from our perspective, how could anyone possibly imagine that giving automatic weapons to drug lords was a good idea? For all the accusations from the left that Bush was a cowboy, who was it that tried acting out the plot of a western? And a bad western at that?

Conclusion: Hiding those who tattled on the government in a bureaucratic rat-hole is such a government thing to do. Those “reassigned” should consider themselves lucky that they were not mere ATF agents; they’d have been fired for having integrity.

Headline: Anti-Tea Party e-Mail Leads to Slap on Wrist for Human Rights Investigator

Article synopsis:
A ‘Human Rights’ investigator for the State of Illinois was given a verbal reprimand for forwarding to coworkers, from his work email account, a Democrat-sponsored email sent by his sister which accuses the Tea Party of being a “dangerous, radical hate-monger” group. The investigator who was reprimanded called the action “petty as hell”, and indicated that if he’d known what would have happened he would have simply deleted the email to start with.

I don’t know which is more ridiculous: The state of Illinois has a Human Rights Department. And one of the investigators for this Human Rights Department has no clue that, first: partisan politics at work in a political job is unethical to begin with and, second, partisan politics which makes unfounded and libelous statements for political motive violates the very purpose of the job ... of being a Human Rights investigator.

And he has the gall to claim the reprimand was “bogus”?

He should have been fired. The only reason he wasn’t is because his work record was otherwise good. ...His work record as a Human Rights investigator ... for the state of Illinois.

Perhaps I am missing something, but I don’t recall that many totalitarian dictators ethnically cleansing Polish villages on the south side of Chicago that Illinois needs a Human Rights Department. Illinois surely has totalitarian dictators, but they tend to draw the line at rigging garbage collection contracts, trying to sell Senate seats, and appointing their wives and cousins to $275,000 a year jobs ... which is bad enough, but it doesn’t violate human rights.

Without scads of political prisoners in Illinois bearing thumbscrews, I find it difficult to fathom what an Illinois Human Rights Department investigator would spend his long days doing – when not forwarding emails from his sister. About the only thing I can think of is that the definition of “Human Rights” in the state of Illinois is very similar to what, for example, American muslims have been yapping about for a decade: it violates their “human rights” to have to endure people calling them terrorists or terrorist-enablers [in a nation which has free speech] when, really, only a very small portion of muslims fit that description. For the rest of the muslims the terms are unfounded and slanderous.

And if that’s the definition of “Human Rights” in the state of Illinois, then a Human Rights investigator who propagates emails describing Tea Partiers as “dangerous, radical hate-mongers” who “hate blacks” and “hate Latinos” and “hate gays” and “hate Muslims and have made many anti-Semitic statements” and even “hate Republicans” who might “cooperate with Obama” is very clearly bad at his job, either because he is maliciously inept, or because he has no clue what he is supposed to be doing.

Conclusion: Fire him, fire him now, and close the IL Department of Human Rights. We’ll consider opening it up again when the Mayor of Chicago orders execution squads to Gurnee and Oak Park. But not before.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quis Custodiet Custodes

Policing Police
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: No Plans to Cut Obama Vacation Short

Article Synopsis:
With hurricane Irene bearing down on the entire US east coast between Charleston SC and Cape Cod, the National Savior is continuing to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. He holds conference calls with his staff as needed, and the hardware stores on the island – which is within the forecast landing area for the storm – is sold out of batteries, flashlights, radios and other hurricane-preparation supplies. Obama is scheduled to end his vacation on Saturday, the day before Irene would hit Martha’s Vineyard – if it goes that direction.

Is it time to eat cake? What, again? 2005 was not so long ago that anyone except a political hack of the opposing party could fail to grasp the importance of not giving the impression of regal unconcern. While it’s unlikely in the extreme that Obama is any more unconcerned with Irene in 2011 than Bush was with Katrina in 2005, anyone with a memory of events prior to the last general election should be fully aware that emotional impressions during times of perceived danger linger more than almost everything else.

There is, quite literally, absolutely nothing Obama can do about Irene except what Bush did not do about Katrina: he can damn well get his ass out of his summer home and scowl for the cameras. Strike yet another serious pose for the sculptor of the Official Obama Memorial Statue and make Americans think that he’s concerned enough about them that he can put himself out for a few days.

Despite residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks evacuating as ordered – mostly, and which residents of New Orleans did not do – there’s going to be some daredevils and diehards who won’t. Some will drown, if only because some usually do. And because the Outer Banks are mainly populated by poor white folks who entertain the rich white folks with the summer cottages, we do not need some self-involved country music yokel with a political chip on his shoulder making asinine comments that “Obama hates crackers.”

Conclusion: Bickering about the intellectual bankruptcy of Barama’s vacuous next-step-socialism is one thing, and should be the only thing. Pointless political diversion, especially when we know it’s likely to come, and why, is grossly irresponsible and needlessly divisive. It serves no purpose; don’t invite it.

Postscript: Six hours after writing this, Obama’s spokesman announced that he would be leaving Martha’s Vineyard a day early to deal with Irene – as if there was anything he could do about it. I’d like to think I had something to do with that, but I didn’t. It came two days too late with regard to the hurricane and even more days too late with regard to the earthquake in Virginia earlier in the week.

Headline: Creationism Debate Hits GOP Campaign

Article Synopsis:
The Texas governor, now in the primary race, was asked by a New Hampshire boy why he doesn’t “believe in science”. He replied that evolution is a theory that “has gaps in it”. Another contender replied that he believes scientists on evolution and global warming, both. Republican pollsters point out that only 8% of self-described Republicans accept evolution without “some divine intervention”.

Welcome to the 19th Century: It’s fine to be religious. Despite what atheists will say, everyone has irrational beliefs in their life, and religion is fundamentally no better or worse than believing your wife is the most beautiful woman, that the Phillies are the best baseball team, that country music sucks ass, or that anyone who is not religious is necessarily more rational than anyone who is.

But – and this is not even close to being rationally debatable – in every collision between science and religion, science has won and religion has lost. Take a hint. Learning how something happens has absolutely no bearing on the meaning behind what happened – and that meaning is what religion is all about. Republicans either need to drop their ultra-religious demographic, or their ultra-religious demographic needs to collectively cease inferring religious intent from within practical realities and scientific inquiry if the Republicans are going to remain politically relevant.

Besides, science is not something to “believe in”; it is, in fact, the antithesis of “belief”. It is built on systematic factual support rather than blind acceptance. This goes for evolution – which mostly follows the required scientific formula – as well as ‘global warming’ – which mostly does not. “Believing in science” requires that science be rendered into a religion.

Conclusion: Watch it, guys. It’s not enough to be a not-Obama. You need to be a rational not-Obama, for you are not going to be elected by Republicans. You will only be nominated by Republicans. If you get elected at all it will be by the same one-third of the country that is neither Democrat nor Republican – i.e., me – just like always.

Headline: Woman Who Recorded Cops Acquitted

Article Synopsis:
A stripper was groped by a Chicago cop responding to a “domestic disturbance”; the stripper filed a complaint with the Chicago Police department. Internal Affairs investigators didn’t want to investigate the groping, and the stripper recorded them saying so on her blackberry. She was charged with felony eavesdropping, which carries a 15 year sentence; the sentence is considerably shorter if it’s merely a regular person who’s been recorded. The ACLU took time from their busy schedule defending foreign combatants to disapprove of the IL law. The groping has yet to be investigated and the two Internal Affairs cops who didn’t investigate it were promoted.

As if Illinois needs any more of this: Cops the nation over, including those in Illinois, routinely record – audio and video, both – the free citizens of our free society they come into contact with, and these recordings are commonly used in court as evidence, not to mention as amusing Reality TV. But when citizens return the favor it becomes a crime? The arrogance is astounding.

And cops wonder why fewer and fewer people trust or respect them.

In a constitutional democratic republic the government has no rights, nor do those who operate as agents of the government while they are acting in an official capacity. The government and its agents only have authorities which are supposed to be extremely limited.

It is critical to keep tabs on those who operate in the citizens’ name while they are performing their jobs – it is the duty of a citizen in a democratic society. This is particularly true of the police; apart from the millions of clerkish and officious bureaucrats shuffling papers behind millions of desks, police are the principle interface between Power of Government and Free People Being Free. It is essential that they be trusted by those people to do nothing more than they are allowed to do. ...and nothing less than they are required to do. And not only because police have guns. When the police do more than allowed, or less than required, they are not doing their jobs; they are instead abusing their authority. The same goes for the officious bureaucrats, by the way.

Whether the abuse of authority is due to laziness, ineptitude or deliberate miscreancy is irrelevant. The result is the same regardless: the citizen is stripped of dignity, rights and freedom, and the government becomes abusive. Abusive governments, according to our own Declaration of Independence, have lost all moral legitimacy for their rule. This is a criticism that has been heard with greater frequency the last few decades, and levied against the US government and the government of the state of Illinois. Both for good reason.

Conclusion: Documenting our own government failing to do the job it’s required to do is not a crime; failure to do the job, though, should be a firing offense. Immediately.

On, Patriot!

The Last Refuge of a Dogmatist
©2011 Ross Williams

A small college in northern Indiana has decided that they will no longer play the National Anathema before their sporting events. They had just decided a few years ago to play it at all. Instead of the National Anathema, they will play America the Beautiful.

The college is Goshen College, a private, Mennonite liberal arts college in Goshen Indiana. Their structure and curriculum are fairly conservative as one might expect of a religious school started originally to teach Anabaptist seminarians. Anabaptists are among the generally pacifist denominations of the christian religion, and they felt that playing a song celebrating war didn’t support their institutional values. They have a very good point; it’s their value, they should promote it in ways they see fit.

Their move away from the National Anathema as described in a press report, though, has stirred a mixed bag of outrage among those who comment on things they don’t quite understand. Predictably, the subsequent discussion of this all-consuming subject is drawn along liberal versus conservative positions, taken up by the same Usual Suspects that typically participate in such things, and to my amusement.

Some conservatives see that a college is abandoning the National Anathema and read no further, and then they declare that the college is another bastion of liberal anti-Americanism. They don’t read that the college is pacifist by nature, nor that they only recently started playing The Scar Scrambled Blammer just a few years ago, or that they are using another patriotic song in its place – one that simply doesn’t glorify the wars they don’t like.

Other conservatives see the word ‘pacifist’ and make the leap from that single word to a remarkably detailed exposition on the liberalism of the school.

And at least one conservative seems to have read the entire [short] article and noted that it’s Goshen’s choice, but he sees insult to every veteran, demands loss of federal funding [which it doesn’t get anyway – it’s a private college], and hopes that all the college’s opponents would vote with their feet and walk off the field until they performed their patriotic duty to play a hideous song which describes, in tedious, stilted and pretentious language, a battle the US lost during a war the US lost, and that everyone thinks was won merely because no one was left alive in the fort to take the flag down from the pole.

That’s hyperbole; to be fair, they were hiding in the cellars and figured that the flag could fend for itself.

Part of the benefit of being neither [and both] liberal and conservative is that I can move between the two ideologies depending on whether the position it takes is rational. Of course, one of the drawbacks is that the braindeads who inhabit both the liberal and conservative ideologies cannot see that a philosophy which can move between liberal and conservative can be consistent. But that’s part of the problem with being a liberal or conservative: they are both trained to see the world in terms of black and white; if you aren’t with them you’re against them. Always. Anyone who switches sides at any point is inconsistent.

…because liberals and conservatives are hidebound to their ideology and not rationality. They both have their 2+2=22 moments; liberals tend to become drooling numbskulls whenever money is brought up, conservatives whenever someone sticks out from the crowd.

And because this subject is about someone who sticks out from the crowd rather than money, it’s the conservatives who are being the drooling numbskulls here, and liberals who are being rational.

The song itself was the theme song to the Anacreontic Society of London, a gentlemen’s club [the kind with overstuffed leather chairs and no women at all rather than the kind with barstools and dozens of un- and under-dressed trollops] which celebrated the classical poetry of mythic Greek booze-hounding; it was a drinking song set over the span of an octave and a half, and the tune was chosen only because it was handy and coincidentally fit the words.

The words are ridiculous; the inspiration behind them may have been nobly-intended, but once it was discovered that the flag remaining over Fort McHenry meant nothing it should have been quietly pulled out of circulation – for national integrity if nothing else. Perhaps the fact that Francis Scott Key was a loyyer explains why it wasn’t.

Patriotism is not synonymous with a song – playing it, singing it, or listening to it; nor is it synonymous with doffing your cap during the playing of a song, striking a particular pose, remaining silent, or any of the other reverential actions some people believe necessary. If someone believes that patriotism is synonymous with a song, then it shouldn’t really matter which song is used as long as it professes devotion to the same country the patriots are devoted to. And America the Beautiful certainly qualifies with regard to devotion to the United States of America. In the humble opinions of many people, including not surprisingly myself, it qualifies in a wholly better way ... though that is merely opinion.

Patriotism is further not synonymous with reciting a creed, whether it’s under god or not. There’s much to be said for the position, instead, that a truer patriotism – in this nation, at least, built as it is upon individual liberty over the imperious imposition of the state – is displayed by not reflexively joining the masses in standing, reciting, saluting and revering.

Samuel Johnson defined patriotism as the last refuge of a scoundrel; Ambrose Bierce redefined it as the first. Considering that the primary objections to not playing the National Anathema in favor of America the Beautiful are based on patriotism, it would seem that Bierce is more accurate than the esteemed Johnson once again. But once again, I’m going to claim the better description for myself: patriotism is, in this instance, a mindless conformity to an arbitrary and dogmatic ostentation, concluded without reflection or reason, and serving only as a platform by which to axiomatically denounce others for having a mind of their own and slightly different priorities.

Different priorities in life are annoying to some people, and are not well tolerated. By anyone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All’s Fair

All’s Fair
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Waters: Tea Party Can Go ‘Straight to Hell’

Article Synopsis:
California Democrat Congressman Maxine Waters, among the multitude of Democrats whining for “civility” following the shooting of Arizona Democrat Congressman Giffords by a looneytune, informed a group of her constituents at a job creation forum near Los Angeles that “the Tea Party can go straight to hell”. While acknowledging that this was tepid compared to other Democrats who have called them terrorists and jihadists, Tea Party leaders disapproved of Waters’ comment.

So how do you really feel, Maxine? It would appear that the only people required to be civil in this New Era of Civility is anyone who would criticize liberals, Democrats or [ironic term] “progressives”; they, though, are allowed to be as crass as they please. And they’ve been quite crass – and not only recently, either.

Of all the things this smacks of – hypocrisy, delusion, self-righteousness – it smacks most of desperation. This is not how a representative of a political philosophy needs to talk when he has an easy sell to the public. Commercials for products that beat the pants off their competition never mention the competition – in good terms or bad. A polite mention is free advertising for the competition; an impolite mention leaves an unnecessarily bad taste instead of minty fresh breath.

Conclusion: A clearly superior product which defames its competition, whether mouth wash or political philosophy, will be viewed by its consumers as a bully and an ass hole. Liberal politics is clearly not a clearly superior product any longer, and liberals are coming off as bullies and ass holes.

Headline: Standard & Poor’s President to Step Down

Article Synopsis:
He’ll be replaced by a Citigroup executive as he “pursues other interests”. S&P, along with all the other major ratings agencies, maintained AAA ratings of subprime mortgage securities guaranteed by the government’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loansharkers.

What the article doesn’t say, but should: The “other interests” being pursued is mainly to achieve separation between the S&P head honcho when it lowered the US bond rating and the company itself, for when the Justice Department investigates the circumstances of the lowered bond rating.

Also not mentioned is that the Citigroup from which S&P’s new president will come is the same Citigroup that was instrumental in implementing the government’s mandate to compel subprime loans through the failed and farcical policies of Fanny and Freddie.

Finally not mentioned is how much SEC pressure was brought upon ratings agencies – who are now suffering for their ratings policies – to maintain those ludicrous AAA ratings on what was privately known for well over a decade, and publically known for several years even by layman, as essentially fraudulent or otherwise criminal lending practices ... and that were required by law.

Conclusion: What’s another scapegoat in the grand scheme of things? He may well end up as Treasury Undersecretary for Fiduciary Bond Analysis.

Headline: FCC Drops ‘Fairness Doctrine’

Article Synopsis:
In 1949 the FCC demanded that political coverage on radio and television give substantially ‘equal time’ to opposing views. Liberals are complaining because of the dominance of conservative talk radio and conservatives are complaining because of the similar dominance of liberal print and television media. FCC claims they haven’t actively enforced this regulation in two decades. They cite media technology and competition for making the rule obsolete.

The sound of the other shoe falling: The “fairness doctrine” mainly meant having to dig up Republicans in Chicago in order to hold Mayoral debates, and the problem is that none could be found. Political “fairness” is ephemeral at best, non-existent at worst – as the Maxine Waters hootenanny above would suggest. But mostly it has been used to shoehorn marginal and embarrassing third-party candidates into presidential relevance. With the exception of Ross Perot in ’92 there hasn’t been a third party candidate worth including ... including Ross Perot in ‘96 – not even the Libertarians. And as a third-party voter who calls himself libertarian, that’s sad and pathetic.

What is saddest and most pathetic is that we are a two-party nation, and with the exception of Republicans in Chicago and little else all relevant viewpoints are included where necessary by default; the ‘fairness doctrine’ is, as the FCC says, obsolete. Yes, a US government regulatory agency is right about something – another ephemeral event. I’m sure it won’t last.

People will get their news from places which do not offend the listener’s sensibilities. And when liberals complain about conservative talk radio and Foxnews being conservative news outlets ... they’re correct. These are conservative news outlets. And when conservatives complain about most print and television media [less Foxnews] being liberal news outlets ... they’re also correct. They are liberal news outlets.

So what’s it mean when both liberals and conservatives are correct about the inherent biases in the media they gripe about? Nothing, that’s what.

First: ever has it been thus. William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, and the “yellow journalism” they gave us were not, themselves, the first occurrence of this phenomenon; media has been used for propagandizing to the popular opinion since the first pictogram on the first papyrus scroll. Second: as we’re seeing today in the marketplace of ideas, the availability of a philosophical viewpoint doesn’t matter a tinker’s dam when the philosophy doesn’t resonate with the audience it’s trying to convince.

Large-circulation daily newspapers are failing all over the country, going broke by the boatload. Large dailies are primarily liberal sounding boards serving large metropolitan areas ... which are predominantly liberal in voting pattern. In areas in which two dailies can be supported, the smaller conservative daily generally does better.

Liberal television national news outlets – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC – are scrambling for ratings while Foxnews beats them all. With ratings comes advertising; with advertising comes money. It’s not a coincidence that nearly everyone recognizes the names Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity while it’s only political junkies who know the name Keith Olbermann. [I had to look up all three as I pay no attention to any of them; but we’re talking generalities here and not my subjective specifics].

Conservatives dominate talk radio and very successfully; several years ago liberals attempted to cobble together AirAmerica, the liberal radio response to Rush Limbaugh. It bombed, even in Chicago where conservatives can be counted on two liberal hands and a “progressive” foot and still have enough toes left over to tread political water.

Conclusion: “Fairness” is what people can intellectually swallow without gagging. Different gag reflexes arise at different times in every country, and the gag reflex over liberal nonsense is becoming more pronounced in this country at this time. That’s reality. There are not enough liberals around to justify the predominance of liberalism in print and television media – contraction and obsolescence will occur. There aren’t enough liberals because more people are realizing that the time of liberal solutions to systemic problems is fading. The only people who don’t realize it are liberals ... who are becoming desperate about it [see item one].

From The Shores of Tripoli

From The Shores of Tripoli
©2011 Ross Williams

Our third concurrent war is winding down now that Libya’s rebels have reached the capitol city. Khadafy’s son, ceremonial leader of Libya’s military, has apparently been captured – “arrested”, the news calls it; since when is war a law enforcement operation? This is the same affliction suffered by the ACLU and our brainless liberals which demand that the gentlemen caught shooting at our soldiers in a war zone need to be Mirandized and charged with disorderly conduct.

There’s no word yet, though, on the whereabouts of Khadafy himself. He should have taken Hugo Chavez up on the offer of asylum. He’d need to be smuggled out of Libya in a roll of Berber carpet at this point.

In the last few weeks of this one-week war, now in its fourth month, Khadafy had been getting rather desperate, even at one point making overtures to one of more groups of the pan-islamist yahoory that Libya was among the first state sponsors of before Reagan bombed his house and Dubya invaded Iraq. These are among the “freedom fighter” rebel groups currently shooting up Tripoli to depose him; they couldn’t be swayed to switch sides.

The impulse to look upon this turn of events as a great thing for humanity, let alone Mideast peace and stability, is great, to be sure. It’s also premature at the least, and likely misplaced altogether. It depends entirely who comes out on top in the power struggle to come. There is not one single, unified group of rebels named Libyan Rebels overthrowing Khadafy’s 40+ year reign. There’s multiple groups, possibly a dozen or more, of which it can reasonably be said that the only thing they agree on is that Khadafy has to go.

Several of these groups are going to be those whom we, in the insular and pious West, would call “terrorists”. But that doesn’t seem to matter much to that group of superficial foreign policy expert which has one class of PoliSci to their credit; Khadafy was a dictator and so he needed to go. Never mind that for the past decade he was benign to the interests of the West and the US. Never mind that for the decade prior to that he was effectively emasculated in his outrage toward the West. The superficial foreign policy wonk needs to believe that the true purpose of US foreign policy is to create a better life for the citizens of the world.

Sadly, Barama and most of his administration buys this sloppy line of thought, particularly when the dictator is either on our side or is impotent. Barama couldn’t wait to take it to Mubarak when Egyptians revolted and toppled him. As in Libya, several groups of those topplers are what we, in the insular and pious West, would call “terrorists”. But because Mubarak was a friend to the US while being a pseudo-elected dictator, it is far better in the mind of our president that he be replaced by a terrorist-enabling government than be left in place to continue being a dictator friendly with the United States.

Contrast that with our official response to the months’ long revolt in Syria. Assad junior is a dictator, but he is among the few notorious state sponsors of “terrorism”. We spent – by which I mean Barama spent – months ignoring the revolution in Syria.

In Syria, the only direction for the nation to go would be in a friendlier to the US direction, less strident about Israel, and stop financing “terrorists” and puppet-mastering Lebanon. While a benign, let alone friendly, Syria would be a longshot, it would be in our best interest to end the Assad government. So when the Syrian people revolt, Barry Hussein – naturally – remains silent.

In Libya we have a dictator whose best tyranny is behind him, and he’s been downright pleasant and cordial – all things considered, and by comparison – for over twenty years. If Khadafy’s government ends it’s even-odds that it would be replaced by a government that would revert Libya to being another state sponsor of “terrorism”. So when the Libyan people revolt, we – also naturally – join in and help the rebels with terrorist ties.

In Egypt we’ve had a government that has been friendly with the US and Israel since Carter’s days ... and it was even Jimmuh’s doing. Yes, Carter. Yes, that Carter. Carter! I know: go figure. The only direction a new Egyptian government could go is against us. But because Egypt only has a democratic veneer and was friendly with the US, the fact that its president was a dictator means that the United States – alas, also naturally – should go out of its way to assist Muslim Brotherhood in its overthrow by egging on the Egyptian people. Muslim Brotherhood, let’s remember, is not, not, not affiliated with “terrorists”; just ignore the RPGs behind the curtain.

It would be hard to imagine a Mideast policy more contrary to US interests than the one being implemented by our National Savior. Friends are hung out to dry, irrelevant nobodies are attacked, anti-American rabble-rousers are ignored ...

Conversely, it would be far too easy to wonder aloud which side Barama is on, here. But that question would be presumptuous and rude; it should go without saying that Barama is on our side and doing what he believes best for the US and its interests.

But that leaves the far scarier question: what side does he think the United States is on?

Friday, August 19, 2011

You’re Not the Boss of Me

You’re Not the Boss of Me
©2011 Ross Williams

The federal government refuses to enforce immigration laws, so Arizona passed a law to do it themselves. The law allows them to check driver’s licenses during the course of police interactions with individuals. The federal government had a fit over it claiming that Arizona was usurping their authority to enforce federal laws [which it’s not] and sued. Yet the federal government routinely ignores other states which do the same thing [because it’s not], and periodically – like when public sentiment demands it – embarks on federal-state cooperative immigration enforcement programs or simply cuts to the chase and cedes enforcement authority to the states outright.

But generally, the federal government ignores illegal immigration, preferring instead to instruct their Border Patrol agents to ignore a growing portion of those seen dashing from cactus to cactus in the desert southwest on their stop-n-go trek northward. This way, they can justify reporting fewer numbers of detained illegals to Congress and make it seem as if there is less of a problem than there really is. The CBP agents who tattled on their DHS organization in spilling this little political manipulation? They’re treated the same as TSA agents, also under DHS control, who tattle on TSA ... they’re fired.

DHS doesn’t like being criticized it would seem.

Once again, the government agent is allowed – and often instructed – to fail to do the job he was hired to do, but if he tells anyone about any agent failing to do his job, it’s a firing offense.

The depth of governmental dereliction is so great that it attempted to pass a law officially requiring a blind eye toward illegal residents. It has failed several times; most recently earlier this year. The latest attempt would not simply have ignored illegal immigrants, but it would require that Americans who held a job or changed jobs would be required to undergo the pestering E-Verify nonsense. If you’re not supposed to be in this country, you’re fine. But if you were born here and want to live and work here, you need to justify your existence.


At any rate, this Blind Eye law, officially called the DREAM Act – because the first dream of all newcomers to this country is to break laws and get away with it – has never been passed by Congress and has never been signed by the President. It is not federal law.

This has been annoying Obama to distraction for three years, and so he has recently instructed his Justice Department – led by Shyster General Eric Holder, who is suing Arizona for making an Arizona law duplicate the federal law Holder refuses to enforce – to treat all illegal aliens in federal custody as if the DREAM Act was law.

Congress says no, and the President says “Congress? Who is Congress?

The current law declares that anyone caught in this country without proper paperwork is to be sent back home ... after a cursory glance at specifics by a court. The DREAM Act would exclude a whole range of illegals from being sent home by adding a substantial number of other considerations that a court would be required to review. Such as, are they in school? were they brought here by their parents when they were too young to defy parental authority? do they really, really, really want to stay anyhow?

Obama cannot require the courts to consider those extra exclusions, but the US Attorneys working for Shyster General Holder – who works for Obama – can very easily drop deportation actions against whomever it chooses. Which means that those who were elected to enforce our laws, and those who were appointed by them to faithfully represent the nation’s laws enacted in the name of We The People however misguidedly they may be, are willfully refusing to do their jobs. They are doing what they want to do instead.

The United States government, and the presidency thereof, is not supposed to be a sandbox.

This goes beyond the signing statement given by every President since James Monroe, and it’s even beyond the “interpretive” signing statements started by Reagan, peaking under Clinton, and only criticized under Dubya, where the President gives his ceremonial interpretation of the law signaling how he intends to enforce it. This is Obama taking a non-law and commanding it into being by decree. That’s a gall not even FDR possessed – though he came close. Andrew Jackson was the only US president to issue such dictatorial fiat – and on essentially the same topic, although it was in the other direction, compelling Cherokees living legally in the state of Georgia and the Carolinas to pack up and leave, being exiled to the dusty prairies of territorial Oklahoma … already full of other Indians.

Needless to say, Democrats in IL [and undoubtedly NY] are pleased with Obama’s decree: IL [and NY] has a state version of the DREAM Act, which usurps federal authorities by the bucketload in handing government benefits and entitlements to those here in this country illegally. And it would seem to be perfectly fine for state laws to usurp federal authority in defining who is entitled to receive federal benefits and entitlements, for Shyster General Holder has so far refused to sue IL [or NY] for enacting laws which assist illegal immigrants in breaking federal laws; to this point he and his President are only interested in suing those states which enact laws which seek to enforce the federal laws being broken – and unenforced when broken – by those illegal immigrants.

It’s good to be the King. Monarchical titles being forbidden in this country is just one more thing for them to ignore.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cabbage Stew

Into Each Economy a Little Market Must Fall
©2011 Ross Williams

Two weeks ago Standard & Poors famously – or not, depending on which pocket you put your Keynes in – lowered the bond rating on US treasuries from AAA to AA+, signaling to the world’s markets what the world’s markets had known for quite a while: that the world’s largest economy was operating in an unsustainable manner. The Obama administration, fresh from the bipartisan deal that gave the US $2.8trillion more in Monopoly Money to unsustainably spend, cried “No fair!” as they sucked their thumbs about it. Markets around the world tanked. Then splurged. Then tanked. Then splurged.

But mostly they tanked. Well-diversified 401ks dropped 10% by the time it was done.

Last week, another Wall Street rating agency – Fitch – declared that the US bond rating should still be AAA, and that they would leave their own rating alone. The Obama administration, citing Fitch, immediately declared that the S&P move was politically motivated. The markets were unconvinced and wallowed in malaise, suggesting that Fitch was attempting to curry favor with the US Government.

This week, Obama’s Justice Department announced that S&P is going to be audited. A surprise it is not to anyone who has watched how Washington works with Wall Street. The US Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission is run by individuals who grew up on Wall Street robbing widows and orphans of their life savings and penny-pensions.

Both parties do this, and Goldman-Sachs is the government’s favorite source for obtaining widow and orphan thieves. Among the primary benefits of this coziness is that when the government’s fiscal policies notoriously fail, as they did in ’08 from the decade-long mandate demanding mortgage lenders ignore bad credit, the government has a built-in fall guy: blame the fat-cats on Wall Street for actually doing what the government allows or, in the case of the Housing Bubble, what the government requires. Robbing widows and orphans is government policy, but when the widows and orphans catch on, it’s all Wall Street’s fault for doing it.

Cabbage, n., A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.

The cabbage is so called from Cabagius, a prince who on ascending the throne issued a decree appointing a High Council of Empire consisting of the members of his predecessor's Ministry and the cabbages in the royal garden. When any of his Majesty's measures of state policy miscarried conspicuously it was gravely announced that several members of the High Council had been beheaded, and his murmuring subjects were appeased. (1)
When Wall Street runs out of widows and orphans to fleece, the incoming administration levies fines on Wall Street firms, then selects the best widow and orphan fleecer to become the new Secretary of the Treasury, and the cycle continues unbroken.

While all this gaiety was going on, European economies started announcing that they have no economy to speak of, either. Or, well, rather, those European economies that were not already in well-known trouble started announcing that they had no economy to speak of, and that of course caused more Wall Street outfits to re-examine the health of the US economy ... which is $14.3trillion in debt with $2.8trillion of play money burning a hole in the Government Pocket [the ones it puts its Keynes in].

And no one, naturally, can guess what these Wall Street outfits found. Announced just this morning, and sure to be denounced by the Obama Administration by this afternoon as another “political” motivation, and as surprising as a black President in racist America, is a Morgan Stanley report that the United States is “dangerously close” to yet another recession. The first one was just so much fun.

This news is exactly what the financial world knows quite well but doesn’t talk about, and someone actually uttering the words, on top of Europe’s markets already reacting to European financial idiocy, has created a 5% drop in the markets by mid-morning. The US economy is the $17.1trillion elephant in the room.

Fitch, which believes debt of $17.1trillion is a safe AAA bet, meanwhile, just lowered the New Jersey bond rating from AA to AA- for running a $94billion debt. No, there’s no political motivation there at all. New Jersey is governored by a Republican highly and vocally critical of Obama, and there’s no doubt a group of Fitch executives looking to position themselves to jump into the slot currently held by bubblehead Tim Geithner, who’s on the hotseat for overseeing the Obama Administration’s thoroughly inept handling of what’s laughingly referred to as the US economy.

So, Wall Street executives are saying nothing that anyone [including the government] doesn’t already know, the government is publically shocked and offended by it, nitwit Americans who refuse to believe that their favorite politician of their favorite party would ever lie and manipulate loyal supporters are worked into a froth laying blame on Wall Street, the government appeases the foaming masses with formulistic investigation, and in the end those Wall Street executives who dared to say what everyone already knew will get promoted into the very government that used them as the scapegoat for their own hideously incompetent economic policies.

And a new crop of cabbage is sown.

1] Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Enemy Mine

The Enemy of My Enemy Can Be an Enemy
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Pentagon Considers Scrapping Traditional Pensions

Article synopsis
: Soldiers who serve for 20 years can “retire” from the military after 20 years at 50% pay. This carries a huge long-term financial burden for the nation and the Department of Defense is considering going to the 401k-style retirement that other government employees now have. Critics say that there may not be enough incentive to serve the nation without keeping the current retirement in place. Among the changes is that retirement would only be received after retirement age. Grandfathering may be involved.

Broke is Still Broke: Retiring beyond 20 years only increases the percentage of the base pay received. The percentage is calculated by the current pay scale and not the pay scale as it existed when the soldier retired. This means that a soldier can “retire” at the age of 38 – enlisted at 18 and twenty years in service – and by the time he’s 65 he could be making the same as a retired soldier that he did while he was a real soldier.

And because the retirement salary is payable immediately upon retiring, the soldier will receive retirement pay for commonly 40 years or more. The part of this which many people have found disagreeable is that once out of the service, the soldier usually finds a civilian job which pays significantly more than his soldier job paid, and he collects military retirement at the same time he’s collecting his salary. Then, he will often get a job for the civil service doing what he did in the military, thus collecting a government pension as well as a government paycheck ... which would qualify him for a second government pension. We called these “double dippers” when I was in the Air Farce.

So did the double dippers.

In any event, we don’t have the money to continue Business As Usual for the military either, and something needs to be done about it.

Conclusion: While most of the budget issues are going to be affecting the programs favored by liberals, this is one that is favored by conservatives. Tough. Belly up to the bar, sarge; there’s vinegar enough for everyone.

Headline: Multiple Attacks Rip Through Iraq

Article synopsis
: The muslim holy month of Ramadan was shattered by a series of bomb blasts set off by insurgents, the largest killing at least 33. The attacks are being blamed on America over its plan to vacate the country and leave a weak and ineffective Iraqi Security Force to protect the nation.

I get tired of having to say this: The purpose of war is to break things and kill people, not to restructure another nation. It is made impossible to effectively re-invent the conquered nation when the nature of the war is short and surgical, and not long and comprehensive; an unpacified population uniformly resists foreign occupation. This is particularly true in US wars, which have gotten exceedingly precise at the same time as Americans lost the collective stomach necessary for the prolonged – and brutal – occupation necessary to compel a restructured foreign nation. If we want to stay for a century, colonize, systematically obliterate villages that refuse to cooperate ... sure. If we want to cajole and persuade, act like we’re best buddies a week after we just got done shooting at everyone who moved ... no, it’ll never work. We end up wearing the targets instead.

Eight years after invading Iraq to depose the Sunni Ba’athist party led by Saddam Hussein, who was wreaking havoc on the civilian population, the Sunni Ba’athists are no longer in charge, but they’re still wreaking havoc on the civilian population – and American soldiers when they get a chance.

Without the stomach for the necessary realities of occupation, our wars must follow this formula:
1] march in
2] kick ass
3] get what we want
4] leave

No sticking around to rebuild, no helping anyone up, no dusting anyone off. If you piss us off, we’ll kick your ass and leave you with a bigger mess than you had before. Any other plan is doomed to failure, political recrimination, endless self-loathing, and ultimate national irrelevance.

Conclusion: It’s always going to be our fault regardless what happens. Leave or stay ... our fault. Invade in the first place or not ... our fault. When will the rest of you learn? It doesn’t matter what we do, so if we need to kick some other nation’s ass then we need to leave right after we’re done. We’re wrong either way, but we lose fewer soldiers.

Headline: Syrian Troops Fire on Fleeing Residents

Article synopsis
: In the 5-month uprising against Assad Junior’s government, Syria has killed hundreds, arrested thousands, and just recently added naval bombardment of its own cities to the fray. Foreign journalists are banned from the country and cellphone videos are about the only coverage that has gotten out.

Case In Point: The United States is being criticized around the world for not invading Syria to put down the other Sunni Ba’athist regime in the Middle East, largely by the same people who criticized us for invading Iraq and doing it the first time. I hate being right constantly, but it doesn’t matter what we do: we’re wrong. Some people can look at this and become paranoid, others simply conclude that being wrong goes with the territory of being the preeminent world power – which we currently are, though not for lack of trying not to.

In any event, Syria is one of close to a dozen Middle Eastern nations in one stage or another of revolt – including [but not limited to] Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Ethiopia and Somalia – in which one or more of the revolting groups is associated with the same strain of pan-islamist hooliganism that gives the world Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaida and Islamic Jihad.

Whereas Egypt was nominally ruled by a secular dictator not sanctioned by his local hotheads [and therefore a frequent target of same], Syria was and is the front-man for Hamas and Hezbollah. It is desirable – though possibly not rational – to believe that the quasi-revolutionists in Syria have nothing in mind other than to have elections so they can complain and bicker about politics the same as we do, but there is a strong faction in Syria that sees a generation of its failure to attack Israel as weakness and cowardice, no matter how many mortars they supply to Hamas.

So what we have in Syria is a battle between those who want the nation to continue supplying terror groups in a proxy war against Israel versus those who want a real war against Israel; those who “want democracy” do not necessarily desire peace with Israel, but simply wish to have the proxy-war/real war debate in public.

Conclusion: Once again, as was the case in Iraq after we deposed Hussein, and as should have been the case in Libya, when two groups of people who both hate us are too busy killing each other to actively hate us, the only one who can come out ahead is us ... if we let them continue to kill each other. It’s time to pull up the barcaloungers, get a tub of popcorn and a six pack of pop, and cheer them both on.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brother, Can You Spare a Yuan?

Brother, Can You Spare a Yuan?
© 2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Wisconsin Victory May Translate to Nation

Article Synopsis: After Wisconsin went Republican in 2010 and attempted to correct their own state debt problems, Democrats who tried taking their quorum and going [to someone else’s] home but lost the battle anyway pouted and tried to win the war by forcing recall elections on the principle Republican legislators who interfered with Democrats’ pet profligate policies. It didn’t work quite the way the Democrats wanted it to: Republicans still control the legislature and have no hope to reverse the legislation any time soon.

Just in Case You Need to Hear it Another Way: What part of this is too difficult for Democrats to get into their skulls? It’s not like there isn’t room in their heads, since they would seem to be effectively brainless. Dig it folks: STOP SPENDING MONEY.

Going after the governor next isn’t going to help. The only thing that will help is admitting that government cannot spend its citizens into prosperity; it doesn’t work ... it’s never worked any of the times it’s been attempted. Stop trying to jiggle the knobs already. It’s an inherently flawed idea that the sooner it dies the better off everyone will be.

Conclusion: The writing is on the wall. Despite the great lengths to which certain ideologues are desperately clinging to their fantasies of money-growing orchards, it isn’t real. Reality trumps fantasy every time.

Headline: USPS Asks to Lay Off 120K

Article Synopsis: Lose 120,000 jobs, or drastically restructure the benefits for the entire postal workforce. USPS officials are begging Congress to change laws requiring government health coverage and federal pensions, and allowing it to use private health and pension benefits. Last year, the Postal Service lost $8.5billion – a drop in the leaking federal bucket – and last quarter it lost $2.2billion. They need to save money somehow.

Third Time’s the Charm?: Okay, so we have a Constitutionally-required government program pleading with the rest of the government to please, please, pretty-please release it from its statutory obligation to provide government health coverage – the same sort that Obamacare is going to provide for the rest of us sooner or later – because that coverage is ... get ready for it ... too expensive, and the rest of the government, not to mention scads of “fellow Americans”, are too dim to understand that the reason two-thirds of us were against Obamacare in the first place, is because of anything other than “Obama is black”.

Greece, Spain, Italy [et al] are going broke due in no small part to their own government-provided health care costs; France has capitulated and has quietly been replacing their Mommy system with private insurance, Britain has been “studying” it because they acknowledge that Mommy systems don’t work anywhere other than on paper; our GAO has recently said that the pre-Obamacare figures were complete fantasy, that the cost of Obamacare would be more or less equal to the cost of the private system it would replace [it’s only a matter of time before they’ll admit to the “gotcha!” and concede that the cost will be far greater]; and now a government operation which has had an Obamacare system for decades is on its hands and knees begging to get out of it as the financial burden it is.

USPS is also asking to get out from its legal obligation to provide the same sort of unsustainable government pension that, for example, Wisconsin [above] recently got out from under, and that Democrats in Wisconsin threw themselves to the ground in a fit about. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work.

Conclusion: A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul. When the Pauls begin to outnumber the Peters, though, the Peters will soon become nonrobbable, either because they have long ago lost anything of value from years of being robbed, or because they have moved on to an environment where being Peter is not a punishable condition. Find a middle class in Venezuela after Chavez “won” the “election”. They’re either in Columbia or dead.

As of 2008, 47% of Americans with a job do not pay any federal income tax whatsoever – they are exempt. Forty-seven percent of Americans are Paul.

Headline: Dow Down 400 on French Bank Worry

Article Synopsis
: Half the countries in Europe are in the same predicament we’re in here, and France owns quite a lot of the debt owed by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, ... etc. If these countries go financially belly-up, France will be left holding the bag.

How Many Ways Do You Need to Hear It: It ain’t just us, folks. Governments cannot continue to spend money on programs for “social good” if it means that necessary functions go unfulfilled, or the nation’s citizens cannot comfortably afford it, or the government runs continual deficits into a pile of debt that would choke Bill Gates. That is a law of reality, and no amount of self-righteous boo-hooing, nor piously sniffing “Think of the children/old people/veterans/downtrodden” will ever change that.

No government is designed to turn a profit and it is unrealistic to expect any government to do so, but any government that fails to keep its debt low enough that its citizens can comfortably afford to pay it off at a moment’s notice is a government that is asking – veritably begging – to be dismantled brick by brick by its creditors and tossed into dusty history books. There’s a reason the Roman Empire fell to wandering gangs of German hooligans after 600 years of kicking their butts back into Germania: Rome could no longer afford to pay its army because they were too busy buying self-indulgence.

There’s a reason the Soviet Union no longer exists; it wasn’t merely socialist ideology that did them in. They could no longer afford socialism as it is inherently insolvent: it disincentivizes prosperity as “greed”, and promotes servility and sloth.

There’s a reason that China made an abrupt right-turn after the Soviet Union crumbled by relaxing government restrictions on privately-run businesses; they aren’t stupid, and they can read the writing on the wall even if it is Adam Smith’s greedy invisible hand holding the can of spray paint. No ideology is worth disintegrating over, and the ideologues would rather hold power than toe the line on the ideology. Maoist narcissism, like every other local brand of collectivist tripe, is self-destructive.

Conclusion: This isn’t going away until the world either devolves into the post-modern Dark Age long sought by environmental luddites where the survivors are left to squat naked in the mud stabbing at bugs with pointy sticks for dinner, or the dense brain-deads with their need for Mommy Government to provide them with everything finally get shouted down by those who understand that working for one’s own living is necessary if one actually wishes to live.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Arya Deaf?

Can You Hear Me Now?
© 2011 Ross Williams

From the news you’d think aliens had landed and were busy frying the planet’s major cities with their death rays, but all that happened is what had been both predicted and threatened for months. One of the bond rating agencies had warned the United States that if they didn’t stop spending money like water in a flood that they’d find their bonds downgraded.

And of course the US government didn’t listen, and of course Standard & Poor’s followed through on their warning, and now the whole financial world is running around with their hair on fire at the shock and surprise of it all.

It’s pathetic, and we should be humiliated for it, that Russia – led by Vladimir Putin, an unreconstructed hard-core communist attempting to lead a new quasi-capitalist nation out of its prior socialist debt – has to scold the US about its fiscal lunacy, but that’s exactly what happened. Did any of our nation’s top-shelf socialist wanna-bes in the White House and Senate pay attention even to that? to one of their ideological own saying “STOP SPENDING MONEY you don’t have and ruining it for the rest of the world”? No they did not.

Have they listened to China over the past several years – years – complaining about our spending habits? Have they even been observing China, the world’s largest socialist economy, as they expand and expand and expand by loosening government regulation and turning capitalist? Perish the thought.

Have they watched the social democracies of western Europe fall, one after another, into the dung pits of their own digging as they discover that, lo! and behold! what happens when you spend money that you don’t have and can’t earn because you give entitlements to people who often don’t even work for them is that you go into debt and at some point others will stop lending you money to give away “for free”? Have they ever contemplated that “free” when paid by the government isn’t free at all, and is actually more expensive since government is inherently inefficient? Have they even watched oil-rich Venezuela, being run [into the ground] by Hugo Chavez, folk hero for many of our nation’s brainless socialists, squandering their oil revenues on this very thing and running out of money in the process? Nope.

We didn’t listen to our own financial markets which have a thoroughly vested interest in the profitability of the US; we didn’t listen to those who’d just been down the Road to Socialist Profligacy only to find it a dead end. And we have the temerity to be offended that, first, S&P carried out their threat and that, second, it’ll cost us even more money that we don’t have as a result.

What part of STOP SPENDING MONEY is hard to understand?

The ballyhooed “debt deal” brokered by the National Savior and his ideological Senate merely made prior stupidity seem downright sage: it added 2.8 tr... tr... trillion dollars to the allowable funny-money the US is authorized to spend. The world’s financial markets, led by those in the US, indicated what they thought of it: they tanked. Wall Street responded with the worst week in their history since the 2008 chickens built by the Democrats’ laws demanding that mortgage lenders ignore the credit history of home buyers came back to roost.

The message was very clearly “STOP SPENDING MONEY” and all Congress and our big-eared President heard was “---- SPEND--- MONEY”. This was supposed to be good for the country because it signaled a bi-partisan solution to the debt issue: don’t worry about it, the bi-partisans assured us. If we are bi-partisanly foolish it’s good, but if we are in partisan deadlock because one partisan has a rational solution and the other partisan does not, that’s bad. And, yes it is bad … if we listen to the imbecile with the irrational solution.

When someone says 2+2=4 and someone else says 2+2=5, one person is correct and the other is not. When these two claim to represent the best interests of an entire nation, they are obliged to adopt the correct answer. Failure to adopt the correct answer, regardless of the politics, makes the nation wrong. And while most people interpret compromise as the best alternative in the face of intractable positions – which is to say 2+2=4.5 – it renders everyone wrong and signals that those who dropped the correct answer for the sake of meeting in the middle are whores.

The correct answer here is STOP SPENDING MONEY; this isn’t rationally debatable. It’s what Wall Street is telling us; it’s what the commodities market is telling us; it’s what our friends are telling us; it’s what we are busy telling Greece and Portugal [et al] to do in response to their own version of the same pickle. It’s even what we’re being scolded by foreign socialists to do. STOP SPENDING MONEY. Only one identifiable group of Americans arrived at this answer and hasn’t budged from it.

The Tea Party. Regardless of whatever else they may stand for or the political personalities insinuating themselves into the crowd, the Tea Party has the correct answer. STOP SPENDING MONEY.

The correct answer isn’t “Increase our credit limit and promise to think about not spending it all”. It’s STOP SPENDING MONEY.

The correct answer isn’t “Increase our credit limit because this type of problem is solved by spending even more than we have”. It’s STOP SPENDING MONEY.

What part of STOP SPENDING MONEY is unclear?

For its efforts, the Tea Party has been called terrorists – by their fellow Americans – and the S&P response of downgrading US debt has been termed “the Tea Party Downgrade” by world class mope and universal hypocrite John Kerry. He would seem to want to blame the whole world’s response to the US stupidity he was personally complicit in creating on the only American politicians who had the correct answer: STOP SPENDING MONEY.

It’s not that conspiracy theories are terribly unique in politics, but this one puts most of the typical conspiracy theories to shame. Whereas most require mere delusion, this requires a large dose of martyred megalomania on top of it. The Tea Party has been promoted from a Republican offshoot which doesn’t typically get respect even from mainstream Republicans [it’s not religiously zealous enough], to being the next contestant for Puppet Master following the tradition of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Masons, and the Knights Templar.

It’s not that S&P actually knows something about money and government debt; it’s not that the US markets and foreign markets do as well; nor is it that the socialists who tried [and failed] to prosper by spending every dime six times each know that government cannot spend itself to prosperity. It’s that the only group of politicians in the country to get the correct answer and stick to it are “terrorists” “wag[ing] jihad” on the US and have somehow gotten the entire world to go along with it.

Yeah. That’s likely.

What part of STOP SPENDING MONEY is too difficult to fathom?


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Non-Pregnant Pause

A Non-Pregnant Pause
© 2011 Ross Williams

Headline: One Dead, 76 Ill Due to Ground Turkey

Article Synopsis: Salmonella from ground turkey is responsible for these figures between March 7 and June 27 2011 – three and a half months – and over 26 states, according to the CDC. An academic worry-wart is complaining because this outbreak has spawned no USDA recalls when public safety is its primary function. Standard figures given: 3,000 food poisoning deaths a year in the US mostly among those with compromised health, 50 million exposed. CDC recommends cooking turkey completely.

The tempest in a stewpot: Unless the job of our government is to spread needless panic and fear, 76 people with diarrhea and nausea in three months, and only one dying from it, doesn’t even register as background noise in the data. As always, the numbers of those exposed during this “outbreak” undoubtedly number in the tens of thousands. No one knows exactly because people who do not get ill, or those who only have minor tummy troubles, don’t go to the doctor to test for food poisoning – they have better things to do.

Know what it’s called when tens of thousands are exposed to rocks falling from the sky, only 76 get hit and only one dies? I don’t know either, but it’s not a justification for a bunch of bureaucrats to order a recall of outer space.

Conclusion: Cook your damned food, already. Learn to follow a recipe and practice basic hygiene. Take care of yourself and no one will have to pay for some intrusive group of numskulls to do it for you – on everyone else’s dime.

Headline: Passengers Face Israeli-Style Behavior Screening

Article Synopsis: A new type of TSA security is going to be auditioned at Boston’s Logan International Airport, incorporating the behavioral assessment techniques that Israel has used for decades with 100% effectiveness. Basic principles of human psychology are going to be applied in a practical setting: TSA will actually talk with the people they “serve” rather than bossing them around and groping them; how the person responds to conversation will determine which further screening is indicated. This program, with 60 “advance trained officers”, will cost $1 billion.

But... but ... you said...: TSA has eternally resisted Israeli-style security, claiming that it would be unworkable in the US with its hundreds of airports; Israel has only one airport. TSA has claimed Israeli-style security is undignified, unconstitutional and, furthermore, doesn’t work because it employs the elementary law enforcement technique of profiling, which TSA maintains “doesn’t make good security sense”.

If Israel can watch the body language of passengers and determine who is hiding something, then we can do it. Israel didn’t use up the world’s allotment of competent people-persons. To claim that America’s hundreds of airports make this unworkable is to either declare that Israelis are smart and Americans are cretins, or that no one who’s smart would lower themselves to working for TSA – certainly few with any amount of shame work for TSA. Hollywood is full of out-of-work actors who have been trained to know body language. There’s a start.

People who know nothing about profiling will insist that profiling is synonymous with racism. You can only build a “profile” by using skin color, or religion, or some other largely irrelevant trait which is easy to denounce. And that’s ludicrous. You build a profile by knowing the crime you’re attempting to address and the traits of the people who commit them. People who would hijack a plane are nervous and twitchy, probably preoccupied and easily distracted, dry mouth, sweaty palms ... essentially, they have stage fright. They’re about to perform and they’re stressed out.

Passengers who are pissed about having to take off their shoes, offended or traumatized by being given the option to be porno-scanned, or groped, or arrested and held by local police after refusing to do either, or who are simply tired of the whole TSA trained ape charade and simply don’t have anything polite to say to them are not a danger to anyone. But that is about all that TSA ever bothers to see. And it hasn’t worked.

TSA would not have found Reid, because the “thing” he had was not on their list at the time; TSA would not have found Abdulmutalab because the place he stashed his “thing” wasn’t on their list of places to look; TSA didn’t find Noibi either time he went through security because they were so busy looking for “things” they couldn’t tell that he didn’t even have a valid boarding pass or a proper ID.

It’s not rocket science; even dimwits can read body language and there’s no shortage of dimwits at TSA – though they would seem to be confined to management. Those on the front lines are preoccupied with exercising unrestrained power.

Conclusion: 99% of all passengers will be passed merrily through this system with nothing more strenuous than enduring idle and banal chatter with an agent who, until last week, was little more than a government bully. Those ex-bullies in blue shirts should not be surprised to get a face full of residual rancor from passengers due to ten years of being treated worse than criminals by their own country, and they should keep in mind that such ire is indicative of nothing but how TSA operates. In the event that an American is pulled aside by this system to undergo an actual search, though, it should now be a trivially easy matter to send off a request for a search warrant to be rubber stamped by FISA judges – who are all still sitting as idle under Barama as they were under Bush; there is still no excuse for the complete disregard for our Constitutional rights by our own government.

Headline: Insurers Must Pay for Women’s Contraceptives

Article Synopsis: Starting on January 1st 2013, private health insurers must cover contraceptives, breast pumps, routine exams, and counseling for women – with no co-pay permitted. Other unspecified services must be covered as well. Health insurers are expected to recoup these costs by raising health insurance premiums for everyone. Experts predict that more employers will drop group coverage because of this; those which do not expect to downsize.

Piling on is so much fun: The government’s sense of timing is ironic if nothing else.

Just when there’s some sense in the government that Obamacare is a boondoggle based on the faulty notion that more government can fix the problems caused by excessive government, we get another round of excessive government being added to the already overloaded government control of health care: half the population is entitled to free services to be paid for, privately, by everyone else. Contraceptives are the main item in the article, but it’s those “routine exams” and unspecified services which spell trouble.

Since Obamacare is pinioned on the premise that private health insurance companies have come up with their premium basis all by themselves and not in any way due to idiot rules imposed by idiot government bureaucracies like this one, the conclusion that the government is determined to make private health insurance prohibitively expensive is hard to avoid. You don’t even need to be cynical to reach this conclusion anymore.

The demand for well-baby care of the seventies, which blossomed into the routine physicals and doctor visits being covered, which led to the lab tests being covered, has matured into a mandate that the female half of our country get essentially free healthcare. Pricing private health insurance out of the market by saddling it with requirements that fifty percent of its business must be given away can only lead to that single payer scheme where the government demands doctors treat patients and then won’t pay for it.

Conclusion: Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

And we’re going to get it ... in the shorts.