Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions

Many of my fellow bloggers are posting their resolutions.  Lame, though it may be, here's mine:


More of the same. Build on success, learn from failure. If this didn't work, try that. Brew more beer.






Happy New Year

What Am I Missing Here?

Big Sis is in Kabul, worried about the security of the Afghan border?  Really?  If I'm concerned about my border security, the United States is the last place I'm looking.

Hey, Janet!  You are failing miserably here in the US.  Maybe you should come and fix our southern border first?

Nah...that's just crazy-talk.

Tomorrow May Be The Worst Day of Your Life

Tomorrow, an unelected EPA begins regulating (alleged) Greenhouse Gas (while there are many, the chief bogeyman is Carbon Dioxide, CO2).  Currently, the only requirement is reporting the amount generated. Don't worry, you don't have to report what you exhale.  That may not come for years.

But this is not about (alleged) AGW.  I have come to the conclusion that in the religion of Environmentalism, fossil fuels are the Devil.  And don't kid yourselves, it is a religion.  Anything that requires changing the landscape ("scarring Gaia") or emitting really anything ("poisoning Gaia") must be stopped, then destroyed.  The "Angels" in this religion are solar and wind power.  Never mind that the materials required to make them are very direct-energy intensive.  That is, they require massive amounts of heat, generally from coal or a coal product to make.  Steel and glass are particularly energy-intensive.  The processes to manufacture semi-conductors required for control of solar and wind generation generate large amounts of toxic waste.  Plastics are toxic, ceramics require large scale energy. But the Eco-Priests and their flocks either don't know or don't care.  The Devil  must be destroyed.

Nor do the adherents care about jobs as the comments on the linked article make quite clear.  Their fealty to their religion is quite remarkable.  Christians should be such strong adherents. The cost of reporting (alleged) GHG - let's be honest here and call it CO2; no other (alleged) GHG is reported - is quite expensive.  Having seen it first-hand, the recordkeeping is quite onerous.  While my employer has a large staff to which this task has been assigned (in addition to their regular duties), many lack that luxury.  The proposed tax in CO2 emissions ranges from $20/ton to $80/ton.  Energy prices will "necessarily skyrocket".  Energy may remain plentiful, but unaffordable.  Americans average about 30 tons of CO2 per capita annually.  So you can expect your energy costs to increase by $600-$2400 per year.  But this is only the beginning.  The idea is to have you reduce your CO2 emissions to around 2 tons per year.  Good luck with that.  There will be the inevitable corruption and exemptions and your mileage may vary.

Rest assured that the Al Gores of this world will continue to have their huge estates, limos and private jets while you and I "freeze in the dark".

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Should Listen To This Guy Because......?

CNN or any other news organization is welcome to give this guy voice.  But he has no cred after reading this (I'm not sure he had cred before).


Kumi Naidoo is probably a reasonably smart guy.  He's also a "watermelon" - Green outside and Red inside.


"I recently returned to Amsterdam from the latest round of U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, and found this city of canals covered in snow. It was a beautiful sight. Yet rather than filling me with joy, it caused me concern.


Over the past few years, climate-change skeptics have repeatedly used cold snaps as proof that our planet is not heating up."


These are not "cold snaps".  Further, for NASA to claim 2010 as the "hottest on record" is absurd.  They made this claim with a month left in the year and had to have made that determination a month before.  


Naidoo continues to make unprovable claims:


"(O)ur planet is steadily heating up, a delicate set of climatic imbalances creates an increase in extreme weather events."


Dude...facts not in evidence.  He makes a claim that may-or-may-not be true.  Scientists have no clue how our climate works.  They have a bunch of computer models based on assumptions of how they think the climate works.  Said models have yet to model past climate with any accuracy.  Garbage In-Garbage Out.


"Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Joel Pett may have hit upon something with a cartoon he drew for last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. It shows a scientist addressing a large audience at a climate summit. A spectator at the left side of the panel asks his neighbor: "What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?" The answer emerges on the right side of the panel where the following list appears on a chalkboard: energy independence, preserve rainforest, sustainability, green jobs, livable cities, renewables, clean water and air, healthy children, etc., etc."


People don't die because they have cheap, plentiful energy.  Children are not healthy when they cook their food over dung and are unable to stay warm because the solar panels are covered with snow or the cold prevents the operation of the windmills.  Cities are "unlivable" because the "Progressives" make  them so by forcing out jobs with taxation and regulation. 


"Speaking with a Dutch friend, I commented that the snow -- which has caused great travel difficulties around Europe -- was at least a wonderful thing for children, who are out in force making snowmen. "Yes," he replied, but when I was growing up, winters were so cold the canals would freeze over every year, and we could skate on them. Last year was the first time this happened again in over a decade."


A decade is hardly a long enough period to establish the "fact" of (alleged) AGW.


Remember....heat waves are proof of (alleged) AGW.  So are frigid winters, snow storms, and every other weather event.  Except when "weather is not climate".


These people are absurd.



Monday, December 27, 2010

Rex Ryan And His Wife Like A Little Role Playing

Look...Rex Ryan and his wife are consenting adults.  If they like a little role-playing and have a foot thing, so what?

I'm not posting a link to the video and I'm not going to say any more about it.

What Has The Left Been "Right" About?

Over at Legal Insurrection, a commenter made the claim that the Left has been "right" "for long before you were born".  I've been wondering what they have been "right" about.  Let's see:

  • The Left (Progressives) gave us the War on Poverty.  It was a continuation of "the dole" and has only resulted in the same poverty we have always seen.
  • Peace through appeasement.  Didn't work with Vietnam and has not worked since.  Not with the Soviets, not with NoKo, not with Iran, not with Russia.  The only thing lowering our defenses has done is made us defenseless.
  • Schools.  The whole idea that "self-esteem" comes before learning is absurd and has been shown to be so.  Our schools are an abject failure with teachers and administrators who are in it for their own gain.
  • "Environmental Protection":  Progressives gave us MTBE and ethanol, the idea that the environment never gets better, only worse (those who are my age know that is a lie), the idea that economic success is always in opposition to Gaia.  They believe humans are powerful enough to change the climate.  They believe that solar and wind power can meet all of Earth's energy needs, in spite of the math.
  • Keynesian Economics:  Obviously.
  • Single mothers:  The idea that men are obsolete, that a woman can have a child and a career without a man was absurd from the start.  Single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty.  I am reasonably certain there are other statistics that show adverse results for the children of single mothers.
Should I go on?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Natural Variability"

Remember, warmer winters are "Global Warming"...."Climate Change"...."Climate Disruption", while colder winters are "natural variability".

No, really.

H/T: WUWT

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Next President of the United States?

I hope so. H/T: JACG (again)








NAGs With Hooters

The Beer:  After Christmas, I will be getting the hardware I need to start all-grain brewing.  First up will probably be an easy Pale Ale.  But I also want to brew up a Bad Santa for next year.


The Bicycle:  I am taking my Trek Singletrak apart and cleaning it up for next spring.  I'm finding it's not that difficult.


The VRWC:


H/T: JACG.


In the category of Saturday Silliness, The National Association of Gals (NAG) has filed a complaint with Orange County officials, alleging two local Hooters restaurants exposed children to sexual entertainment.


This is nothing more than an attempt by the NAGs to stay relevant.  It isn't working.  They look laughable.  And that is what we should do.  Laugh at them.  


So share this with your friends, neighbors and acquaintances.  Right now, we all need a good laugh.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP

A former colleague took his own life yesterday.  I can't say we were friends; while we had worked together for a couple years, we were just getting to know each other better when he left for another employer about 18 months ago.  I do know that he told me he was as happy at that time as he had been.

I don't understand what it is in life that makes one feel that ending it is the only solution.  I  have never understood.  What I do know is that he left behind people much closer to him than I who wonder why and will always wonder what they could have done.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I May Be Repeating Myself Here

OK....here's the deal.


  • Sierra-Tango-Foxtrot-Uniform
  • If you are 50 years old or older, you get Social Security as it is now
  • If you are younger than 50 you can either stay in the current system or you can elect to take your current "account" (I realize there is no such thing, but bear with me) and all future payments and put them in a government-approved investment - I'm thinking government bonds.  Help the Federal Debt and get something back for it.
  • If you are not yet paying Social Security tax, you will take the government-approved investment program.
  • The general fund will ensure that all payouts are made as they should be for everyone who remains in the current system.
Now stop screaming "THEY ARE STEALING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY" and get back to some real work.

I am happy to bring you this public service.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Here Comes EPA

The Beer:  I believe it is time to start trying my hand at all-grain brewing.


The Bicycle:  The Univega is on the cleaned up, on the trainer and only groans a little when I get on.


The VRWC:


In the absence of Cap and Trade, EPA is already issuing requirements for (alleged) greenhouse gas emission reductions.  From Friday's Federal Register:



SUMMARY: The EPA is issuing a finding that the EPA-approved state 
implementation plans (SIP) of 13 states (comprising 15 state and local 
programs) are substantially inadequate to meet Clean Air Act (CAA) 
requirements because they do not apply Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD) requirements to greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting 
sources. In addition, EPA is issuing a ``SIP call'' for each of these 
states, which requires the state to revise its SIP as necessary to 
correct such inadequacies. Further, EPA is establishing a deadline for 
each state to submit its corrective SIP revision. These deadlines, 
which differ among the states, range from December 22, 2010, to 
December 1, 2011.

Generally, states have their own air emissions (Title V)permitting programs.  EPA is saying some of these are not adequate because they do not address (alleged) GHG.

Unusually, Wikipedia has a fairly succinct, accurate and straightforward summary of the EPA and regulation of GHG.

As I have stated multiple times before, this is politically motivated science and EPA out of control.  This will be our undoing if Congress does not defund these programs.

Payroll Tax Cuts

AP story today.

Right out of the box:

President Barack Obama's plan to cut payroll taxes for a year would provide big savings for many workers, but makes Social Security advocates nervous that it could jeopardize the retirement program's finances.


First and Foremost, it's not the plan of The Chosen One.  It was forced on him by the GOP.   Second, Social Security is not a retirement program and was never intended to be one.  When I started working, my paycheck showed a deduction for OASI - Old Age Supplemental Income.  That was the intention.  To supplement what you should have saved.


The government would borrow about $112 billion to make Social Security whole. Advocates and some lawmakers worry that relying on borrowed money to fund Social Security could eventually force it to compete with other federal programs for scarce dollars, leading to cuts.


Because Social Security in "on the books", we are de facto borrowing to fund it now.  It was put on the books to make  the budget deficit look smaller than it was and to allow the fund to be raided by politicians for their pet programs.



Social Security taxes "ought to be held sacrosanct," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security.
"When you start to signal that the (Social Security) tax levels are negotiable, you end up in long-term trouble, I think, in terms of making absolutely certain that the entitlement funding streams are secure," Pomeroy said.



I don't really have too much problem with the tax levels being "negotiable".  This is a program desperately in need of reform.  The current funding method is unsustainable both short and long term. 


At the wealthy end of the pay scale, workers making $106,800 — the maximum amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes — would see their payroll taxes reduced by $2,136. That worker's spouse could also get a payroll tax cut of up to $2,136, if he or she makes at least $106,800.


Now $106,800 is wealthy?  This is just a veiled attack on people who earn.  The term wealthy as used to  describe higher wage earners has become a perjorative and a way to demonize.  


"Worker contributions have successfully funded the program for 75 years and that critical linkage between contributions and benefits is what keeps Social Security a self-funded program."


This is just not true.  With the raiding of Social Security over the years, there is nothing but IOU's and whatever comes in immediately goes out (after The Beast gets it's cut).


The new Congress has a great opportunity to take control of the conversation and begin to move social Security to a sustainable footing.  Do it.

Teachers and Change

JSOnline talks about Teachers and Change.

My comments:

Teachers are the only employees I know of who can vote on their own raises (Our "rulers" not withstanding).  Teachers want to be known as "professionals", yet belong to a "labor union".  In my experience, teachers don't particularly care what their employers (taxpayers) have to say; they want what they want.  Teaching is a "closed profession".  That is, nobody cares what you know or how well you can teach it to others.  You better have that piece of paper that says  you are an "educator".  Teachers are (generally) not experts in the subject they teach.  The are experts in "education".  The idea that teachers are underpaid is ridiculous.  In many places, they start at a salary that would be the envy of many coming out of college into their first job.

I used to respect all teachers.  Then I started attending school board meetings.  Go to one and you will see what I mean.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

There is much hand-wringing in the media about these "tax cuts for the wealthy".  Bad news....

It's not a tax cut.  It's not reducing federal revenue one whit.  This is avoiding a massive tax increase.  We need to take charge of the conversation and make sure this is understood.

"It's the spending, stupid".

On Being Presidential

Rhetoric has always been part of politics.  It is the nature of the beast.  But I have never heard the kind of rhetoric (if it even is "rhetorical") that I hear from this President.  These are the kinds of things politicians have always been saying behind closed doors.  "Hostage takers", attacking his own party, "I won".

There has been no President in my lifetime who is so publicly thin-skinned.  This will get worse.

Taxing the Wealthy vs. Taking the "Working Class"

I heard it again tonight.  On Hannity, Joe Sestak ("Ih..did not offer a job to that guy Sexact...uh Sextact, I mean Sestak...so he would leave pull out...Ih mean..withdraw....from the primary") stated we need to give some relief to the "working class" and should therefore increase taxes on "the wealthy".  Hannity gave it a pass.  The correct response is for Hannity to ask whether or not Sestak thinks people who make over $250,000 a year "work" for a living or if they, instead won some sort of lottery...or maybe inherited their wealth?

This is "income tax".  It is a tax on money people earn.  Money people work for.  People increase their wealth by working for it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Changing The Education Paradigm

H/T: Jill at Potluck.





I receive the output of  the education factory in a work (industrial) setting and have to educate it again.  It is clear to me that the system is an abject failure.  I was struck by a couple things in this video:  First, the "Date of Manufacture" as the most important part of educating our children. Stunning in it's simplicity and setup for failure.  Why not treat the children as a "one-piece flow" system, whereby they move forward, not by their age, but by their progress.

Second, I was struck by the decline in Divergent Thinking through education.  We clearly tend to become set in our ways at an early age.  Few of us think "outside the box" at my age.

How much different (and better) can education be if we start to Change the Paradigm?

Give Blood, Get College

I appreciate the gesture and the desire to become legal United States citizens.  I really do.  Your parents came here illegally and you had nothing to do with it, so why should you be punished?  You're not hurting anyone, right?


Wrong.


There are people standing in line for years waiting to become citizens.  THEY are the ones who are being screwed here.  How would you feel if you were in their shoes?  You came here years ago, went through the process, waited your turn, only to find that if you had come here illegally, your children could pay the price just by going to college.  Subsidized by the US taxpayer.  Gosh, now THERE's some fairness for ya.


This is all for show.  Politically motivated and orchestrated.  Give a pint of blood to show what a good citizen you are?  I've given many pints of blood over my 54 years.  I never counted them, never really gave it much thought. Maybe I should be asking for....oh, I don't know....a reimbursement of my college tuition?  Six years back in my life for military service?  Maybe just a tax break.


No.  No to the DREAM Act, no to illegal immigrants and their children.  They show themselves in the full light of day and we do nothing.  


I want immigrants to come here.  Their distinctiveness becomes our own (to paraphrase The Borg).  But they cannot come here illegally.

Friday, December 3, 2010

H/T Gateway Pundit.  I absolutely cannot abide this woman.



Thanks, Claire.  No, really.  I mean, you went ahead and spent that $3 trillion over the last couple years and never paid for it.  And really, it's done SO much for the economy.  The won't-get-above-8%-unemployment is now the 9.8%-unemployment-is-the-new-norm.  Wow.  That's really great.  And you think you are entitled to more of our hard earned property because you and the rest of government are so incredibly inept?  You are more entitled to the property that I have earned than I am?

That tax code you complain about...you are a freakin' United States Senator.  You can fix that tax code any time you want.  Maybe have everyone pay, say...15% above a certain threshold of maybe... $20,000.  I don't know.  Maybe get some economic growth going and more money to the federal coffers.  But nah...that's just crazy talk.  We should continue to feed the beast that threatens to consume us.  We should continue to give money to a government that doesn't respect us, that continues to force us to do their will.

No, Claire.  The torches and pitchforks are coming for you.  Figuratively.  In 2012.

Food Police

The Beer:  The Liberty is nearly gone; the Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot is not far behind.  Both have been a delicious part of my nutritious life and Empress Michelle wouldn't want me partaking.


The Bicycle:  On the work stand waiting for an inside-project day between now and March.


The VRWC:  Gosh...this is a shock....no, really.


Here is the bizzaro-world comment of the entire piece:



Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says the bill is aimed at curbing daily or weekly bake sales or pizza fundraisers that become a regular part of kids' lunchtime routines. She says selling junk food can easily be substituted with nonfood fundraisers.
"These fundraisers are happening all the time," Wootan said. "It's a pizza sale one day, doughnuts the next... It's endless. This is really about supporting parental choice. Most parents don't want their kids to use their lunch money to buy junk food. They expect they'll use their lunch money to buy a balanced school meal."

In what UNIVERSE does that work?  What if I WANT my kid to have pizza and doughnuts every day?  But seriously, what's next?  Only organic food can be served at schools?  Children can no longer eat meals at home? They must eat the government-approved menu at school?

This is what we get in Lame Duck.  And Republicans voted for this abomination!  

Throw them all out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A "Sputnik Moment"?

Steven Chu thinks that the Chinese, putting up an infrastructure of inferior energy supplies is a "Sputnik Moment".  You remember the moment, right?  When we first heard the Soviets had placed a satellite in orbit and had the "high ground" in the Cold War?  It was widely believed that, if we did not match them, they would be able to "nuke us from orbit".  This compares....how?

GAWD!

Fuzzy Is In Fine Form

This piece is exceptional.  My concern is if we don't get control now, we will not recover to see this scenario.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Howard Dean On How Stupid You Are

Seriously, Howard?

We know what the 14th and 17th amendments say and understand what they mean.  The 14th was not intended to let illegals stay here with their anchor babies.  You can make that shit up all you want, but it's not true, Howard.  And I don't know WTF you are talking about with the 14th Amendment.  I haven't heard anyone say "get rid of it", at least not anyone who is serious about it.

"Fox Flooze"?  No bias there, Howard.  "We have a First Amendment which has served us well", but, gosh, people are too stupid now, so we will have to get rid of that whole deal.

No, Howard.  We're not stupid and we are not easily swayed (in your words "poisoned") by the media.  The Left has foisted it's bullshit on us for 50 years via the media with no outlets providing a different view.

Bring back the (un)"Fairness Doctrine"?  We know the Left's idea of "fair" and we don't like it, so bugger off, Howard.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Cognitive Dissonance (or just outright Hypocrisy) of the Left

The left is either Dissonantly Cognitive (that'll be 25 cents for that term, please - Starman pointed it out to me) or hypocritical or in denial, or just downright stupid.  As evidence I present the following (in no particular order other than as the thought occurs to me) according to the Leftists:


  • Big Government is good, Big Business is bad.  Tell that to those who were murdered by Stalin and Mao.
  • Research by industry is necessarily tainted, but research funded by Big Government, Big Environmental or Big Radical is not (see above).
  • People who come to this country illegally should be given immediate citizenship.  Those who come here legally must wait in line.
  • Anyone who criticizes President Obama or his policies must be racist and those who referred to President Bush as Hitler were "patriots" "speaking truth to power".
  • Big Government creates prosperity and Big Business only exploits "the workers".
  • The only people who actually perform work are "the working class".  Anyone who is not a union member is not "working class".
  • People are poor because they are underprivileged, while all the "evil rich" won some lottery.  Except leftists who are rich and poor people on the Right.  Poor people on the Right are that way because they are "stupid".
  • Everyone has a right to Healthcare, but no one has a right to their earnings.
  • Using X-ray scanners and pat-downs on grandma will keep us safer, but there is no reason to do so on women in burkas.
  • Christians are a threat to a democratic republic, but Muslims are not.
Feel free to add more.  There are plenty of examples.

All The Troubles In the World

Greece is in trouble.  Ireland is in trouble.  The EU is in trouble.  The United States is in trouble.  In fact, according to the CIA, 14 of 15 countries in the world are in some sort of economic disarray and running government deficits.  There is little in the way of recovery in most countries.  What appears to be the common theme here?

The countries currently experiencing some sort of recovery are either rich in natural resources, like Argentina or have a cost structure unencumbered by heavy regulation and social spending.  Those countries remaining in recession or experiencing low growth and large budget deficits have governments which heavily regulate and tax and provide large social programs for their people, such as government-provided pensions and socialized healthcare.  These are also countries that have used large government spending programs, running huge deficits to extract themselves from the current economic downturn.  This has been largely unsuccessful.

In the United  States, little was put toward the private sector, but was instead directed toward bailouts of Democrat constituencies (Wall Street and unions) and public works projects.  The number of government jobs and their pay has increased while the private sector has pulled back.  Growth is anemic.  Can we now say Keynesian Economics doesn't work?

The Left loves to talk about "The failed (economic) policies of the past 8 years", but the true case here is that this is a problem with the failed socioeconomic policies of the past 50 years.  Spending on social programs by governments has become unsustainable across the globe.  High taxes, low growth, staggering deficits and heavy regulation are stifling private sector growth.

Time for some "Change You Can (really) Believe In".

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dare to DREAM (Act)

The DREAM Act is nothing more than thinly disguised amnesty.  From a summary of the bill:


Purpose

The purpose of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation. Supporters of the DREAM Act believe it is vital not only to the people who would benefit from it, but also the United States as a whole. It would give an opportunity to undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the U.S. since they were young, a chance to contribute back to the country that has given so much to them and a chance to utilize their hard earned education and talents.

Would I qualify?

The following is a list of specific requirements one would need in order to qualify for the current version of the DREAM Act.
  • Must have entered the United States before the age of 16 (i.e. 15 and younger)
  • Must have been present in the United States for at least five (5) consecutive years prior to enactment of the bill
  • Must have graduated from a United States high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into an institution of higher education (i.e. college/university)
  • Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application
  • Must have good moral character

The argument here is that the children should not have to suffer for the sins of the parents.  If that is true, then should we not end all race-based programs?  Affirmative Action should end immediately with passage of this bill.  Why should I have to suffer the sins of my ancestors if they owned slaves or slaughtered Indians by the bushel?  Right?

Right?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Krugman on Ireland

Or maybe on something a little more potent?


I am going to stipulate to Krugman's assertions of fact here.



Then the bubble burst, and those banks faced huge losses. You might have expected those who lent money to the banks to share in the losses. After all, they were consenting adults, and if they failed to understand the risks they were taking that was nobody’s fault but their own. But, no, the Irish government stepped in to guarantee the banks’ debt, turning private losses into public obligations.
Before the bank bust, Ireland had little public debt. But with taxpayers suddenly on the hook for gigantic bank losses, even as revenues plunged, the nation’s creditworthiness was put in doubt. So Ireland tried to reassure the markets with a harsh program of spending cuts.
Step back for a minute and think about that. These debts were incurred, not to pay for public programs, but by private wheeler-dealers seeking nothing but their own profit. Yet ordinary Irish citizens are now bearing the burden of those debts.

In what way does the manner in which the debt was incurred matter here?  Publicly or privately incurred, taxpayer debt is taxpayer debt and is a commerce-killer.  I will also include here that this is little different (or maybe even no different) from the Wall St. bailouts, the bailouts of GM and Chrysler, the bailouts of underwater mortgagees and "cash for clunkers".  I'm not seeing Krugman against  these.  In fact, I believe he is "for" these expenditures.

I also argue that it is not the austerity that is depressing the Irish economy, but rather the debt.  That is, without the debt, there is no need for severe austerity measures.

The lesson for the US Economy is this:  1) Reduce the debt.  2) Avoid severe "austerity" measures (of course, reducing government spending is an achievable and desirable goal) and address the root cause by reforming entitlements.  At 50%+ of the Federal Budget, they are unsustainable and will prevent the Feds from performing their Constitutionally required functions (National Defense and Interstate Commerce). 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More Stupid Children Comments

The Beer:  The Winter Ale has gone well with venison chili on this Thanksgiving Day

The Bicycle:  It is now officially the end of the bicycling season and the start of the indoor eating training season.

The VRWC:  Ruth Marcus thinks we are all stupid children.  But the most inane part of this whole article is here:

Profiling based on assumptions -- that innocent-looking grannies or blond, blue-eyed teens pose no threat -- seems guaranteed to produce disaster as terrorists exploit these pre-conceptions.


How about if we pat down women in burkahs then?


I AM depressed.


Update:  Grand Inquisitor Janet wants more.

Weiner the Wiener

Democrat Anthony Weiner thinks incoming GOP Representatives should decline the Healthcare Package because they are against Obamacare.  But the congressional Healthcare Plan is not Obamacare.  If Weiner wants to "walk the walk", he'll enroll in Obamacare instead of the "Cadillac Plan" he gets as a member of Congress.

Otherwise, he's just a Wiener.
I'm not averse to this.

For over 225 years, the peacetime mission of the Navy has been to project power overseas.  The deterrent effect of a large and powerful navy has been understood since at least the Phoenicians around 500 BC.  More recently, the British, WWI Germany, WWII Japan, the Soviets and now China and India had or are constructing blue water navies.  All the more reason for the US to project that power on the high seas.

Be Thankful Every Day

From The Chicks

Happy Thanksgiving

In spite of what we may think sometimes, there is always plenty to be thankful for.  God is good and gracious to all of us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Krugman's Blood

Apparently, the Nobel-Prize-Winning Paul Krugman thinks we should"stay the curse"?

How does this end? Mr. Obama is still talking about bipartisan outreach, and maybe if he caves in sufficiently he can avoid a federal shutdown this spring. But any respite would be only temporary; again, the G.O.P. is just not interested in helping a Democrat govern.


So if the GOP moves toward the Democrats, it's "bipartisan" and if Obama moves toward the Republicans, he "caves"?  A "bipartisan" effort of greater taxing and even greater spending got us here.  If it isn't stopped, it will be worse than metaphorical "blood".  It could be real blood.  Is that what Krugman wants?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Apocalypse Is Upon Us

Eugene Kane and I agree on something.

In this morning's column in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Mr. Kane discusses the topic of why Black boys don't get a good education.  If I am going to excoriate Mr. Kane in the past for what I considered race-baiting, I should give him credit when I see truth.

The premise is that Black boys do not get a good education because education is not a priority in their home.  To me, that has always been a no-brainer.  Look around you.  Nearly anyone who is chronically impoverished is also poorly educated.  It is the rare case where you see a PhD on food stamps.  Why are people uneducated when there is free K-12 schooling in this country?  No one of an intelligence above "impaired" (I can't think of another term at this point - it's still too early) should be uneducated.

So, Eugene Kane has identified the problem and we are in agreement.  What is the solution in the Black community?  Herein lies the main problem.  Generations of Black families in the 'hood are now uneducated and do not see education as a priority.  How is that overcome?  It is a problem for all of us, but I suggest only Black leadership will solve it; that part of Black society has long ago stopped listening to what Whitey had to say.

So, what are we left with?  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the "poverty pimps"?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eleven Days Post-Election

Charles Blow uses one poll to determine that Americans already have buyers remorse.  Blow and Pew miss a couple things here.  



  • We didn't vote for "Republicans".  We voted for smaller government and lower spending and taxation and we voted against the President and the one-party control of the Congress.  Obamacare and the threat of Cap & Trade and "Card Check" were very big drivers.
  • If the newly elected do not move in the direction of smaller government, we really are not going to care what party they belong to.  Recall how the GOP was resoundingly trounced in '06 and '08.  We will field candidates in the primaries and win.
  • We want Congress to work with the President when the policy is sound.  Otherwise, I'm ok with "The Party of Hell No".
No, we don't have buyers remorse.  What we have is too many "Progressives" remain in office.  That's why I'm unhappy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Disappointing Jim Stingl Column

I thought Stingl was smarter than this.

Dude...really...most of us voted for Walker to kill the train.  There is no empirical evidence the train will "create thousands of jobs" over the long term. It will create a number of construction jobs that might be of more use fixing the crumbling existing infrastructure, but any long-term jobs will more likely be in the 100's. Further, the $810 million isn't going to build the project.  It might purchase right-of-way, but that will be just about all.

But the biggest issue I have with the train is this:  I can get in my car and go where I want when I want; I don't need anyone's OK (except maybe Deekawife 3.0).  On a train, I need a ticket, ID (thanks, Patriot Act), probably a search and who knows what else.  The conspiracy theorist in me says this is just a means to attempt to control the movement of the population.

We have trains.  We've HAD trains.  There is no indication this will be true "high speed".  There is no indication there is an extensive ridership for it.  The economic, but more importantly the political hurdles to building said train are enormous, especially when one begins to destroy habitat and buy up land belonging to Lefties in Madison.  Want to build it?  Get committments from property owners first, then perform the Environmental Impact Study, then come back with a REAL number for construction $$$$$$$$$$$.  in the meantime, Stingl has nothing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Doesn't LOVE the Tone-Deafness of the Left?

The Beer:  The Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot is in the secondary and I hope to keg before the weekend.


The Bicycle:  When I say, "I'm only good for about 25 miles", that does NOT mean 40.


The VRWC:


Via RCP:


Katrina Vanden Heuvel goes tone-deaf for the tone-deaf, soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House.


Ms. K shills for Queen Nancy:



Pelosi knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish as speaker and she laid that agenda out clearly when I interviewed her in July 2008. Her three priority pieces of legislation—"Jobs, healthcare and energy."
And that's just what a politically diverse House Democratic caucus pulled off under her progressive leadership.
It passed a healthcare bill that included a public option, and taxed the wealthy rather than workers' benefits. And when the bill looked all but dead no one fought harder to revive it than she did. It passed a larger stimulus bill than the Senate and bolder jobs bills. And it passed an energy bill that capped carbon. In all, more than 400 House bills weren't even voted on by a meek Senate straitjacketed by the filibustering GOP and enough conservative Democratic accomplices.
Ok...here's the deal.  Nothing Pelosi did moved in the direction of jobs, making healthcare affordable or providing inexpensive and plentiful energy to the citizens of the United States.  The healthcare bill whether hers or the one finally passed did nothing to address cost.  It was and is nothing more than another attempt to buy votes with tax money.  No energy bill with a carbon cap is going to help bring about jobs.  Spain's experience has made that painfully clear as they become another EU member in a deep fiscal hole.
But one thing she didn't count on was a monolithic Party of No in the Senate. Like President Obama, she seemed to have some faith that there would be reasonable people across the aisle. "They'll have to search hard and long for some Republicans who will want to stand in the way of progress," she told me.
But she got that wrong. As a result, there is little appreciation for the legislation Pelosi managed to advance—legislation which would have moved this country forward and possibly preserved a Democratic majority in the House.
No, what Pelosi got wrong was the "Public of Hell No".  Had it not been for the public outccry over the Democrat  over-reach, certain GOP members would have gone along.  Republicans knew they were saving their own political skin by making Pelosi's Socialist agenda a combination of Kryptonite and Black Plague.
As Congress returns for its lame duck session, Pelosi can show her moxie by fighting for a stand alone extension of the middle-class tax cuts with no compromise on allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. She'd also be wise to expose Republican hypocrisies—like simultaneous demands for budget cuts and increased spending on an already bloated defense budget.
As the GOP is revealed for an agenda that is 80 percent indictment and 20 percent plan, Pelosi would be ready to strike as minority leader. Remember, this is the same woman who spoke out against the Iraq War resolution—citing a lack of evidence of any imminent threat—at a time when it was considered political suicide for anyone with party leadership ambitions. She would also be a savvy strategist as the Democrats work to hold the line against Republican efforts to repeal healthcare and financial reform.


"Bush tax cuts for the wealthy".  God,I am as tired of the Left's class warfare as I can be.  Who does Ms.K think pays income tax?  It ain't the freakin' poor!  Check what the National Taxpayers Union has here.  (As if the people who read this blog don't already know)  There is nothing stopping Ms.K from writing a check for an extra couple grand if she thinks the Feds need more money.  Bloated defense budget?  It is 4th in line these days, Katrina...after Social Security, Medicare and the INTEREST ON THE NATIONAL DEBT.  Of course this all depends on who you ask.  Healthcare and financial reform did nothing to help these numbers and financial reform appears to do nothing other than put the taxpayers on the hook for more risky business by Wall Street (look it up yourself.  My time is limited - I don't do this for a living).
In the end, it is Pelosi's tone-deafness that ended the "40-year reign" of the Leftists and prevented this country from falling into the European Socialist Democracy trap.  By all mean, have her lead the minority.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Obama's Hubris

The Beer:  Another concoction of leftovers named Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  The inspiration for the name is the blog of the same name.

The Bicycle:  It's getting cold, but there are still some opportunities to ride and tomorrow morning will be one of them.

The VRWC:  Chris at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot covers this pretty well.  The Left can't understand why we don't want Big Government to "take care of us".  Therefore, we must be stupid.  After all, who doesn't like Free Stuff, right?

Veteran's Day Parade

I attended the Milwaukee Veteran's Day Parade today (with Deekawife 3.0).  It was a really great day for a parade and it was well done, except for the sparse crowd.  I got the feeling that the only ones who give a $#!7 are veterans and their families.  It was profoundly disappointing.  Attending the parade doesn't make you "pro-war".  It simply honors those who did their duty, whether you agree or not.  A veteran with Veterans for Peace was soliciting for homeless vets and while I disagree greatly with VfP, I believe they are doing good with this particular cause.

The most difficult part was the passing of the "Gold Star Families".  These are people who gave up a loved one on our behalf.  I believe this is the second greatest sacrifice after that of the person killed in service.  These deserve our unending thanks.
From TownHall:





O'Donnell understands the position the Democrat/Socialist/Liberal/Progressive movement is in.  We need to understand as well.  "Blue Dogs" are not "Conservative"....at least not in the way we on the Right see it.  They remain party-loyal and will bend as required.  this is how we got Obamacare and may still get Cap & Trade in limp dick lame duck session.  If  you are voting for Blue dogs, you are still voting for the Leftist agenda.  Just remember that.

Congress and the Ultimate Power in Government

H/T Dad29

For years (maybe 234 of them) we have made a sport of blaming the President for everything, even though we know that all laws, spending and regulation originates in the House of Representatives.  Congress has to confirm Presidential appointees (not, it appears, Czars, though).  It's just much easier to blame the President.  He signs the bills and he makes the appointments.  This is exactly why we need to keep up the pressure on Congress not only in the repeal of Obamacare, but the reigning in of regulatory agencies - there is no provision in the Constitution for delegating the making of law, but that is what Congress has done via regulation - the appointment and confirmation of judges and others by the President who hold beliefs not in line with the Constitution and in ensuring that there is a Constitutional Authority for legislation.

It starts now.  Contact your Congressman, Senator, state elected official and or his or her replacement and make sure they understand what you want.  Attend school board, city council, county board meetings.  Yes, it takes time...and you don't have to attend every meeting, but you have to be informed and active.  One without the other is useless.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Election Day

My second opportunity to vote for President was in 1980.  After the disappointment with having to vote for Gerald Ford and having him lose on top of it, I was excited to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980.  This is the most excitement I've had in that long.  And in a mid-term it is the most excited I have ever been.  We have an opportunity that may never come again in my lifetime.  We can banish the leftist America-haters to the wilderness for a generation.  But this happens ONLY if we remain engaged and hold those we elect accountable for their actions.

Rand Paul wins in Kentucky.  There's a great start.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

H/T to Chris at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot:

No surprise here.  I've said before that this batch Democrats will use Limp Dick Lame Duck Session to foist as much of their Socialist agenda on us, bankrupt the country be damned.  And I promise they will come back in the 2012 campaign to claim it is our fault the economy is still in the ditch.  Conservatives need to scream about this NOW, not later.  The Democrats will do what they are going to do, but we need to be sure the electorate understands what is happening here.

Let's Not Make That Mistake

I've been watching some videos of confrontations between TEA Party members and Democrats who are incensed at their presence.  There are several of them and it is usually one lefty and a bunch of people from our side.  The Lefty goes bonkers and our side allows it.  In one in particular I saw today, a single Black man is enraged that a rally is going on in his neighborhood.  It is an excellent chance to turn someone, or at least move them along that journey.  There is a risk of violence involved, but simple enough for one person to walk up to the man and begin a rational dialog.  I've done it...in particular with a Black union member at a TEA Party rally on Milwaukee's lakefront last year.  He and other Union members were protesting.  I just engaged him.  Most people who are against us don't even know the issues.  They know what they are told by the media and others.  We cannot allow those who oppose us to control the conversation.  It is the only way we win long term.

Hearts and minds.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interesting Email from OFA

I just received an email from our friends at Organizing for America. I'd love to know where they bought my email address.



Organizing for America
Friend --

It's important that we know when you plan to cast your ballot Tuesday so we can make smart decisions about who to call and which doors to knock.

And if you make a plan and let us know today, we'll send you a reminder and help you stick with it, even if you end up running late or are busier than you expected.

Where will you be before you head to the polls? What will you be up to? And most importantly: When are you planning to vote on Election Day?

When will you vote?Before 11:00 a.m.Between 11:00 and 2:00Between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m.After 5:00 p.m.I already voted

http://my.barackobama.com/PlanYourVote

Thanks,

Organizing for America




Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

This email was sent to: soliver571@gmail.com

Update Address / Email | Unsubscribe



I never subscribed to OFA. Never even close. Excuse me if I think something nefarious is afoot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mequon-Thiensville School Board Meeting

Outmanned by teachers, but not outgunned. As usual, they had snarky comments regarding our concerns and assumed they would have their way because it's what teachers want.

After discussing the adjustments to the 2010/2011 budget (revenue neutral), Superintendent Dr. Desmond Means opened the business end discussing the 2011/2012 budget forecast. His take is that since 80% of the budget is personnel costs, it is time to talk real money and real concessions from teachers.

M/T teachers have averaged 3.43% annual increase in compensation over the last 5 years; a number private sector employees haven't seen. The tax levy has increased 1.49% over the same period, leaving a structural deficit. Teachers need to accept a multi-year pay freeze and cost-of-living over the forseeable future. this is the only way the school gets back on even footing. You can cut all the programs you want; at 80% of the budget, the only way one gets any traction is addressing compensation.

Interestingly enough, the next topic was a new program - 4k kindergarten. I saw the rationale for this all based on "it's for the kids". First, the structural deficit was just the topic and now we are going to add a program? The treasurer indicated it would improve the deficit because they would have further taxing authority. What part of the "we are taxed to death" argument did she not hear? further, there WILL be less state aid. I don't care who is elected. There is no money. The argument that it helps the children transition to 5k is irrelevant. Then why not a 3k program to help transition to 4k? And parents (mostly teachers) are more than happy to tax the residents for the benefit of 140 children? Are these same parents willing to go to a one-income setting in order to stay home and teach their own children? I'm guessing not. This new program would be irresponsible at this time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wasserman-Schultz is a Liar

H/T Gateway Pundit:

She talks about all the things that Ron Klein is for and they are all the things with which the majority of the American people disagree. And how "TEA Party extremists express themselves"? She is trying to claim she's been to the rally? She's a lying witch with a capital "B". I shouldn't be shocked by this, but I am. Burnings in effigy? Blackface? Swastikas? She is unbelievable in her willingness to lie. The extremism is on the Left.



Volt Fraud At Government Motors - Investors.com

Volt Fraud At Government Motors - Investors.com

No big surprise here.

George Soros' War Against Fox News - Investors.com

George Soros' War Against Fox News - Investors.com

I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people are just now getting to know the name "George Soros", but he has been actively using his billions to not only influence US, but world politics for years. There is very little unbiased historical information outside of Wikipedia, so take the things I am saying here with the proverbial grain of salt.

Soros appears to be heavily influenced by his early life during the Nazi occupation of Hungary:

The Jewish Council asked the little kids to hand out the deportation notices. I was told to go to the Jewish Council. And there I was given these small slips of paper...It said report to the rabbi seminary at 9 a.m....And I was given this list of names. I took this piece of paper to my father. He instantly recognized it. This was a list of Hungarian Jewish lawyers. He said, "You deliver the slips of paper and tell the people that if they report they will be deported."

There is much more at the Wiki link, including his 1992 Black Wednesday participation, "Open Society", "Media Matters", etc. Soros is a devout Leftist and the leading bankroller of all things Leftist. He is also 80 years old.

Edit 0600, 10/24/2010: A telling line from Wikipedia:

Victor Niederhoffer said of Soros: "Most of all, George believed even then in a mixed economy, one with a strong central international government (emphasis mine) to correct for the excesses of self-interest."