Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's not government of, by, and for the people--now it's who you know

Get a load of Democrat politics when they have no effective opposition: it is the Chicago machine writ large. Justice? Equality? Fairness? Transparency? No. Try Chicago pay-for-play machine politics, now at home in the White House with our President, Barack Obama.

"The Chicago Way" -- “Bond investors literally can’t afford to lend to unionized companies because it’s clear that current power in Washington will take the unions’ side, despite past bankruptcy law precedents that favor senior creditors. That means Washington’s actions in pushing for these bankruptcy verdicts to come out in favor of the unions will probably hurt unionized companies in the long run.”

(But whoever made any money betting that unions take the long view?)

"Partisan car dealership closings" -- "Evidence appears to be mounting that the Obama administration has systematically targeted for closing Chrysler dealers who contributed to Repubicans."

Sweet bully tactics.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor--has empathy?

How can you tell, when she blows off people discriminated against on the basis of race, and people who are extorted by petty dictators? Seems she has no problem with government pushing the little guy around. Where's the vaunted empathy for the little guy that you wanted in a Supreme Court nominee, President Obama?

UPDATE: Sotomayor's sexism and racism on display (via Ace of Spades HQ) at a speech in Berkeley in 2001. She's seems to be a moral relativist:

. . . there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

How do you define "better," Ms. Sotomayor?

UPDATE: "Judge Sotomayor should be made to explain the utterly indefensible comments she has made; having explained, she should be made to repudiate and apologize for them. It would be a signal victory if a liberal jurist were forced to admit that the law does not depend on the pigmentation of the people in the courtroom. And the spectacle would educate some Americans who haven't been paying attention to the realities of modern liberalism."

UPDATE: "What Barack Obama means by an 'empathetic' judge is one who has his or her thumb on the scale on behalf of politically favored groups. This is the opposite of the traditional view that a judge should be neutral, i.e., have equal empathy for all litigants."

UPDATE: History for children or amnesiacs: How and why the Dems blocked the previous Hispanic nominee (did you know there was one?)



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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Back when my Grandma was a little girl, they used to call it "Decoration Day" because they'd go and decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers...



This morning my daughter and I placed some flowers on the graves of two Civil War soldiers who fell, far from their homes, in a battle that took place near where we live now. Because we do not have any relatives buried near us whose graves we can visit today, we thought it was appropriate to honor these men, as a symbol of honoring all who made the ultimate sacrifice for the Union and for the survival of our country. They fought for the cause of freedom, paid the ultimate price, and died far from home, friends, and family. In fact, these two young men on whose graves we placed our flowers had been German immigrants who volunteered to fight for the sake of their adopted homeland, as I had discovered in the course of doing some historical research. For some reason they had never made it back north to be buried where they had originally stepped forward to volunteer their all.

To paraphrase that 1970 rock song, if you can't honor the ones you love, honor the ones you live near. To me, it is an honor to be able to honor any or all of these soldiers in whose debt I will forever remain. And I like to think that the dearly departed ones I love, spread across the U.S., may be honored by others like me and my daughter who remember our national duty today.

While at the cemetery I took a few photos of the surrounding gravestones. All had flags in front of them, placed by the local Scouts. The ones marking the graves of unknown soldiers are in some ways the most poignant. Each one marks the mystery of a now-unknown birth, childhood, life, family, death, and story, without even the scrap of a name remaining.



But the epitaph "U.S. Soldier" speaks volumes.

After we returned home, I uploaded the photos I'd taken to Findagrave.com. Volunteers working together can create memorials like this one, to fill the void, something unimaginable before the digital age. It is the least we civilians can do to help remember all that our service men and women have done for us over the life of our country.


A thank-you to all those, past and present, who serve our country in the military. As the saying goes, we (and our children) can sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. Long may the brave be remembered and honored in this country they continue to preserve.


More unknown soldiers:

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Unknown Confederate Soldier

Andersonville

Known only to God


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Saturday, May 23, 2009

View of the other side from here

I'm always interested in trying to figure out why my nice liberal friends and family members continue to think about politics, economics, and moral issues the way they do, and why they continue to hold their positions in light of current events. Some people question if liberals even do really think logically or if their views are just based on emotions and/or ignorance. Because I love my liberal friends, I keep reading, trying to figure them out (I have found it is much more threatening to our relationships to actually talk in depth with them about politics).

Here are two interesting pieces today on just this subject:

American Thinker: "How to Deprogram a Liberal in One Year Or Less"

Neo-Neocon: "Has America Gone Left?" (via American Digest). Her views are that liberals, in common with most Americans (which is why they are a majority of Americans?) are either too busy and/or too unmotivated (lazy, complacent) to be really informed. Or are we conservative/liberatarian types on the right acting unjustifiably superior about this? The thoughtful comments following this essay make up a very interesting discussion.

I like reading anecdotes about liberals changing their minds and worldviews, such as Bookworm often writes about. Reading such first-person fare is my equivalent to watching Oprah! on TV, which I never do.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, BigHollywood.com offers a safe place for conservative artists to virtually "hang out."

UPDATE: A former German "liberal" discovers he's a conservative and ventures out of the closet (via American Digest)



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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A different business climate under Obama

The culture of lawlessness being perpetrated by Barack Obama and the "reform"-minded anticapitalist Democrats has consequences, including dampening private and public investment. Anything the federal government can touch has now been shown to be, under the current administration, conceivably up for grabs as booty, or as a favor to a special interest to be plucked, or as a slap to be administered to an unfavored entity. Everybody now realizes this, and behavior changes accordingly. Our economy continues to languish instead of rebound precisely because of what Obama and Congress are doing. Although it is difficult to understand why supposedly well-educated adults in charge don't foresee such economic consequences to their actions (or perhaps they just don't care), one silver lining of this unpleasant turn of events is that more ordinary people now will see just what's going on and how undesirable (not to mention immoral) the consequences are.


UPDATE: "Letter from a Dodge Dealer" (via Ace, with after-comments by Mark Steyn). A different business climate indeed.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad tax policy leads to bad consequences

but how come Democrats never learn this lesson? For how many generations do they have to repeat "tax and spend"? For how many generations will we let them?

Maggie's Farm points out that New York State is hemhoraging "the evil rich" thanks to raising taxes yet again. ("Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich") Gee, what a surprise, that sometimes higher taxes yield lower revenues. Duh. I could have told them that. And I'm just a housewife.

California's going down the same drain. What a shame. They were once my favorite states.

How come not everybody realizes yet: put a Democrat-controlled government in power, everything goes sour?


UPDATE: Billionaire to New York: "Screw You"

UPDATE: Maryland's vanishing millionaires



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Ouch

Tendonitis in my typing hand.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Learning on the job

President Obama has a long way to go. Glenn Reynolds points out how, along with not appreciating how financial capital contributes to the economy, Mr. Obama seems not to appreciate how moral capital works in our country either:

Mr. Obama's "joke" might be grounds for firing if he were an IRS employee.


Yeah, that's not funny, unless you can't remember or never learned about Nixon's enemies list, or you feel you're granted some kind of special immunity because you're you and everything you want to do is just that much better than everybody else.

Galloping hubris! Or ignorance. Some choice.

UPDATE: Bookworm spots it as galloping hubris.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

How's that Federal stimulus plan working for ya?

Michelle Malkin reviews Big, Progressive Government "investment" spending so far. Efficacy, anyone? Evidence supporting the proposition that the spending was well-spent, or timely, or needed (or anything besides well-intentioned)?

But oh wait, liberals don't need evidence that what they do really works. They don't even have to worry about not causing harm. They just have to convince everyone they have good intentions--that they are superior beings with lofty goals--spending other people's money--with no fiscal accountability.

Nice work if you can get it.

UPDATE: Heh. I'd say the evidence against the competency of Congress and Obama to spend money or craft legislation wisely is piling up pretty high and deep.


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Beware the Washington snake

Power Line's post entitled "Do You Believe in Magic?" outlines how Barack Obama pretends to explain how Americans will "pay" for his grand new comprehensive health care "reform" (socialized medicine). As the post says,

The [sustainable] approach to government spending in Obamaland is the imposition of a massive new government program expanding on such past successes as Medicare and Medicaid. The logic is Orwellian...
The [Wall Street] Journal expresses skepticism that the Obama Administration is smart enough to engineer more efficient medical practices out of D.C. Yet the budgetary challenges presented by Medicare and Medicaid are only the beginning....

The cynical tissue of lies offered as rationalization by the Obama administration to cover for its massive proposed spending increases and power grabs is, I hope, growing ever more obvious. Now even the head of the American Hospital Association can see how the "Obama magic" is pulled off. (He should've realized that nothing's sacred in politics.)

Health care factions interested in meeting as a "diversity of voices" at the Big Table with the President and his flunkeys, out of a delusion of grabbing a piece of the pie and acting in their own self-preservation in the coming shakeup, should take a cautious lesson from the experience of the 9/11 families who've been there, done that. Obama uses them and their good will and respect for the Office of President as useful tools for his "grip and grin" moments, and then will throw them under the bus. Everything and everyone can and will be used for political purposes, and then wrung out and tossed aside as necessary. But nothing can stop the "transformation of America" jaggernaut! Krauthammer called it perfectly last December:

Obama was quite serious when he said he was going to change the world. And now he has a national crisis, a personal mandate, a pliant Congress, a desperate public -- and, at his disposal, the greatest pot of money in galactic history. (I include here the extrasolar planets.)...

With the country clamoring for action and with all psychological barriers to government intervention obliterated (by the conservative party, no less), the stage is set for a young, ambitious, supremely confident president -- who sees himself as a world-historical figure before even having been sworn in -- to begin a restructuring of the American economy and the forging of a new relationship between government and people....

He intends to transform America. And he has the money, the mandate and the moxie to go for it.


He's going for it. Feel the Magic!


UPDATE: Now President Obama and the Democrats are worried about reforming Social Security and Medicare. Remember when President Bush tried to do that and the Democrats laughed at him and obstructed all of his efforts? Now that it's a Democrat administration, it's suddenly on their radar. What two-faced tools. That's not what I call governing for the good of the country.


UPDATE: "The Cost of Free Government Health Care" (via Maggie's Farm). Must reading for serious adults.




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Friday, May 15, 2009

What I'm reading

From John Galt's speech (and yes, I read the whole thing) in Chapter 7 of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (I've added the links to topical examples):

"You who are innocent enough to believe that the forces let loose in your world today are moved by greed for material plunder--the mystics' scramble for spoils is only a screen to conceal from their mind the nature of their motive. Wealth is a means of human life, and they clamor for wealth in imitation of living beings, to pretend to themselves that they desire to live. But their swinish indulgence in plundered luxury is not enjoyment, it is escape. They do not want to own your fortune, they want you to lose it; they do not want to succeed, they want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to die; they desire nothing, they hate existence, and they keep running, each trying not to learn that the object of his hatred is himself...

"It is a conspiracy of all those who seek, not to live, but to get away with living, those who seek to cut just one small corner of reality and are drawn, by feeling, to all the others who are busy cutting other corners--a conspiracy that unites by links of evasion all those who persue a zero as a value: the professor who, unable to think, takes pleasure in crippling the minds of his students, the businessman who, to protect his stagnation, takes pleasure in chaining the ability of competitors, the neurotic who, to defend his self-loathing, takes pleasure in defeating achievement, the mediocrity who takes pleasure in demolishing pleasure--and all their intellectual munition-makers, all those who preach that the immolation of virtue will transform vices into virtue. Death is the premise at the root of their theories, death is the goal of their actions in practice--and you are the last of their victims...."

The first few times I read Atlas Shrugged, back in the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed to be a riproaring good yarn set in a world of science fiction. In the Age of Obama, it seems to be predicting a very real future incredibly now happening before our eyes.

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The Obama administration is corrupt

George Will points out the obvious, in a public forum:

The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

Isn't it pleasant to know that the President and the representatives our citizens have elected to the highest offices are ruining the country and what made it great?

More evidence of lawlessness:

"Documents Confirm Treasury Bullied Banks"

"Can Pelosi Survive?" (while being outed as a bald-faced liar)

"Chrysler and the Rule of Law"


All you folks who thought President Bush and Dick Cheney were running roughshod over the Constitution, what do you say now? Or do the ends justify the means for you?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

California voters not buying it

There may be revolt coming to California as bankruptcy looms (via Maggie's Farm):

Every business and almost all families have had to make painful cuts and downsize or postpone dreams.

But not the state government. And that has ignited the voter revolt underway that will culminate next week.

As California goes, so goes the Federal government? Stay tuned, eh?


BONUS: Letter of apology from a reformed former Berkeley liberal. Good reading!

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The government health care juggernaut, rolling your way

We won't know what hit us once the Feds and the Big Industry boys set their sights on nationalizing health care (for a big profit--for themselves):

The media will broadcast the propaganda; government will enact policy "by popular demand"; and the chosen corporation will profit at taxpayer expense.

Some very smart people have realized how to profit out of the fatal flaw of our current government system, by corruptly aligning corporatism with Big Government, to squeeze out competition. And it's the individual consumers who lose.

The far left, pro-union, anti-corporatists want a place at the powerholding table too, to screw over the individual consumers by driving out competition. Of course they masquerade as doctors and nurses who are friends of the little guy.


Unfortunately, "Live Free or Die" may soon become a quite literal proposition for your average American once health care is taken over by the government, and it is being decided for us all in Washington right now.

(Links via Instapundit and Power Line).

UPDATE: How Obamacare Will Affect Your Doctor (via Maggie's Farm)

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Buyers' remorse about having voted for Obama?

Some U.S. citizens are finally getting a glimmer of what they really voted for (via Maggie's Farm). I like this commenter's reasons for why people voted for him in the first place:

And I keep asking myself: how did all these supposedly intelligent people get so buffaloed?
Anonymous | 05.09.09 - 10:31 pm |


1. Obama's race.

2. Anger at the GOP, due to the Republicans' refusal to defend themselves and the lies of the corrupt media.

3. Anger at Bush for the same reasons.

4. The collapse of the education system, resulting in people not knowing history.

5. The American love of the new and different.

6. Americans go for the Democrats in tough economic times (see No. 4).

7. The American tendency to be impulsive and take chances based on feelings.

8. The corrupt media hiding Obama's many flaws.

9. The electorate's genuine desire for someone who would unite us and be post-partisan, which Obama promised he'd do.

10. McCain's terrible campaign, the worst part of which was his mishandling of Sarah Palin.

11. Oprah's support of Obama.

12. Hollywood's support of Obama.

13. The "hipness" factor that made people afraid to be dorks by rejecting Obama.

14. Five straight years of propaganda that Bush lied.

15. Obama's celebrity, which was unprecedented in a presidential candidate.
The United States is not just a mass of humanity with a third grade mentality. The intelligent, thoughtful, hard-nosed, gutsy, skilled, etc etc etc INDIVIDUALS who were building and sustaining the greatest economy in the world--- and driving nearly every other in the world--- ARE paying attention to what the Obama cult are doing. And the resistance to this criminal enterprise in the White House and the US Congress will be dismantled by voters in 2010.

Also, I am thoroughly convinced that the Obama cult cannot intimidate every judge in the United States. ...


While my faith in the intelligence and common sense of the majority of American citizens has been sorely tried over the last two decades, maybe we can still hope all is not yet lost.

BONUS THOUGHT NUGGET for the day. Click through to the link describing the challenge facing us in 2010 and 2012.





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What happens when your government runs your health care?

True stories from people who've got true stories to tell at Faces of Government Health Care (via Michelle Malkin). Everyone, including those who want "free health care," "universal health care," or who otherwise advocate for single-payer schemes or for the government to be in care of medical services should check this out.

There's also this.

There are better ideas available. Many better alternatives to consider. TheDemocrats have no monopoly on reality or creativity when it comes to health care reform or anything else.

UPDATE: Single-payer health care is never cheap, and never free. This money comes right out of the pockets of Americans, and is money they can no longer spend on other things.


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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Lost Promise

How easily so much senseless tragedy could have all been avoided.

That was the day a piece of my heart died. I have a
big gaping hole and the pain is so horrible I don’t know how
I will get out of bed or get through the day. You spend hours
thinking about the “what if ’s” and feeling guilty. Why couldn’t
I save my daughter, why couldn’t I help her? She had all of the
tools: a loving family, a good education, information about
drugs and its dangers, but it was not enough. She had an illness
that was just too hard to overcome.

The more I reach out to find support from parents
like me, the more I learn just how widespread a problem drug
addiction is. If telling Jennifer’s story can open the eyes of just
one teen to its dangers, then Jennifer is still here, that bright
shinning star.


--From the story of Jennifer Lee, as written by her mother--just one of the many stories of people who have died from drugs at the website "A Vigil for Lost Promises."

Ryan was knowledgeable
about addictions and alcoholism.
He grew up knowing his father
preferred a beer can to him, his
brother and sister.

Ryan tried so hard, over
and over and over, to overcome
his increasing drug use. He sought
treatment on more than one occasion.
In May of 2004 when Ryan
was in the hospital from a pill and
alcohol overdose, he solemnly
promised me that if could not beat his problem, “this time”,
that he would go into long term treatment. ...

--From the story of Ryan Untz, who died at the age of 19, at the same website.


For some, no amount of youthful experimentation with drugs or alcohol goes unpunished, and they and their innocent families end up paying the ultimate price. For some, complete knowledge of the ways of addiction is not enough to save them from addiction (and from the trap addition leads to: death, insanity, or prison). For many, the first drink or pill is all it takes to eventually bring on the ultimate loss, though it never seems that way in the beginning. When one's friends are doing "harmless" drugs without apparent consequences and society deems it a "rite of passage" to adulthood, why should young people be worried? Then when they begin to worry, it is too late.

Only complete abstinence assures an avoidance of addiction. As Dirty Harry said, "How lucky do you feel, punk?" Those with addictive family genetics should feel very unlucky--unlucky enough to claim abstinence as a self-preserving lifestyle, even in the face of society's scorn, lack of understanding, and denial of the realities of addiction.

Nobody deserves the kind of pain addiction brings to its victims and their loved ones, and yet, generation after generation refuses to learn how to avoid the vicious epidemic. In fact, so many people don't even recognize the epidemic, until it is too late.


At this time of year of commencements and graduations, it is a happy thing to realize all the promise our young people have and show for the future--and it is an agonizing realization that some of them will or have already lost their promise, if and when they succumb to illegal or prescription drugs and/or alcohol as they try to step up into a life of adult responsibilities and decisions with life and death consequences.

Be careful out there, you beautiful young people. You have so much going for you, and so much to live for. So much ahead of you you don't even know. And so much to lose before you even get started.


In a related vein: College life, fraternities, sororities, hazing, binge drinking, and alcohol abuse, as dealt with in the new movie, "Haze." You can watch it here. Is it enough to tell people who think they are immortal, smart, wise, and untouchable, that life is more fragile and precious than they think?

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Something utterly charming for your Friday

that will bring a smile to your face. It did to mine! The Rhythm Bird.

Quote of the day

"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard--the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law--men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims--then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion--when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot...."


Prescient words of contemporary times from Francisco d'Anconia's speech on money, Chapter 2 ("The Aristocracy of Pull"), in Ayn Rand's masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged. Which I am re-reading again with even more admiration and pleasure than I expected.

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