Monthly Archives: March 2011

March Random Thoughts

This has to be one of the worst months in the history of the presidency. Remember when Rahm said “never let a crisis go to waste”? I will grant that there was a certain cynicism in that line, but the underlining premise is that every major problem is an opportunity to show leadership and push for what you believe in.

Japan. Radiation. Nuclear Power. Revolutions. Dissident Crackdowns. The Economy. The Budget. Anything. Obama has showed he is not a leader. Dictator in Egypt. Indifferent. Dictator in Libya. Eh. Then Bad. Then Must Go. Dictator in Syria. Good. Huh? I realize there are pragmatic issues to worry about that sometimes trump consistency. I realize we can’t take on the whole world at once. But could we at least demonstrate some sanity in our choices. I’m beginning to see that, as always, Republicans in Congress will never fight to defend the issues and ideals their constituents support.
So Sarah Palin’s show got $1.2 Million in pork from Alaska. Yeah she’s a real Tea Party reformer…oh wait no she’s just another cheap politician who will do anything for a dime.
I like Michelle Bachman, I don’t agree with her 100% of the time, but I like how she will not back down on what she believes in. That being said I hope she is not so impractical as to not realize that her exploratory committee and possible run is, at this point, going to only be symbolic (and at best a play for the V.P. position) as I just don’t see her getting enough general support (of course I would not be too disappointed if I was proven wrong here).
Run, Rudy, Run. We need you.
I am disappointed that Atlas Shrugged is not getting a large release on April 15. Follow this link, find out where it is playing near you and go see it. This movie needs to make enough that it gets a wide release if for no other reason than we need parts II and III made. http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/theaters

It warms the cockles of my heart to see that the SEIU is finally being rightfully compared to the mafia it is with this latest RICO suit. In just a couple of months my new book “Republicans and Reincarnation: The Conscience of a New Age Conservative” hits the shelves. Yay!!!! More information coming soon!!!

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Obama on Education: I don’t care if they ever learn anything

Does this man even actually understand the words that come out of his mouth? Are his speech writers just seeing how far they can go before he stops repeating whatever they put down? Are we witnessing what history will call the worst presidency ever? Okay, certainly I’m not a fan of the dipshit-in-chief, but what has he said to get me more riled up than usual? Well take a look at these highlights from a recent AP article:

President Barack Obama said Monday that students should take fewer standardized tests and school performance should be measured in other ways. Too much testing makes education boring for kids, he said […][Obama] said policymakers should find a test that “everybody agrees makes sense” and administer it in less pressure-packed atmospheres, potentially every few years instead of annually.[…] Obama said, schools should be judged on criteria other than student test performance, including attendance rate. “One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you’re not learning about the world, you’re not learning about different cultures, you’re not learning about science, you’re not learning about math,” the president said. “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and that’s not going to make education interesting.”[…]”And young people do well in stuff that they’re interested in,” Obama said. “They’re not going to do as well if it’s boring.”

Wow, he can repeat the teacher’s union party line really well. He clearly doesn’t know a single thing about education, but he can repeat the teacher’s union party line really well.

Let’s go over some of these really stupid ideas.

“Too much testing makes it boring” Too much? Standardized testing is supposed to be once a year. Up through middle school it should only be reading, writing and math. And then we need to only add science and social studies in high school. Four tests. Not that much time. Even if we do it twice a year, that’s what 8 days a year at most. 2 weeks of class time. And if they were better administered they would take even less time. I can teach a lot with 8 days of classroom time…but if teachers before me actually taught what they were supposed to and were held accountable for it when they didn’t (and hold back students who don’t pass) I would be saving at least a third of my classroom time that I usually have to waste covering issues that should have already been taught. Other than that it should be teachers giving smaller tests throughout the year to make sure that what they are teaching is getting through to the students. Grades on tests can be rewards and punishments, but the primary function of testing is to make sure that what you are teaching is working and that kids are learning. On a national level this shows which schools have good teachers and which do not, it also shows which teachers are really, really bad because if a single teacher has bad scores year after year where other teachers do not, I don’t think it’s kids…it’s probably the incredibly horrible teacher. (You know the teacher who is in the union which pays millions to Obama. No conflict of interest there. None.)

Or his concern with education being boring. Who the F!@# cares! Boring education has nothing to do with the subject matter. It has to do with the teacher. A good teacher can make any subject interesting. A bad teacher can’t make anything interesting. Tests have nothing to do with it. But again, Obama would have to have a synapse fire at some point. Ah, Obama seems to want the fun feel-gooderies where students are happy but learn nothing (at least they’re happy until they realize they actually need to learn some of those boring things to function in the real world).

“Less pressure packed” …uh, has this man been around bad teachers lately? You know the teachers who demand nothing of their students. And less pressure packed helps students how? Because it certainly doesn’t match that world out there where 1 out of 10 people don’t have a job…no pressure there at all. And less pressure will certainly prepare students for the real world (Not that Obama has ever lived in the real world). Now there is positive pressure (learn because this is relevant to your life from good teachers) and negative pressure (learn just the basics so they don’t fire me from bad teachers…bad teachers who can be fired if we have accurate data).

“Schools that are just teaching the test because then you’re not learning about the world, you’re not learning about different cultures, you’re not learning about science, you’re not learning about math”…First off how are you learning math and science unless you’re being tested…those are fairly fact based subjects and if you can’t master the basic facts you certainly can’t grasp any of the more advanced concepts. I love how reading doesn’t make his list…probably because if you can read then you can read his speeches and realize what a moron our President is. “Other cultures” not great literature (which covers all cultures) but specifically other cultures…because if you knew anything about American culture you’d be demanding this idiot and his teacher union backers be up on treason charges.

Oh and that teach to the test bullshit…here’s how that goes. Good teachers plan what they were going to plan anyway then look through the list of what is on the test and add the one or two things they missed. Good teachers teach. The test has little meaning to them. And strangely enough their students pass the test. Bad teachers however do teach to the test, probably because they are all about doing the bare minimum. And then at least a minimum is met…as opposed to absolutely no learning going on in the classrooms of bad teachers before there were tests that they were forced to meet. And strangely enough, the bad teachers still don’t do a good job of teaching their students. Probably because they’re bad teachers. But since the teachers unions are filled with bad teachers, that’s probably all Obama hears about.

“And young people do well in stuff that they’re interested in,” Obama said. “They’re not going to do as well if it’s boring.” Again, with the bullshit that we should make education fun, and not you know, relevant to living. He seems to care what children think about being in the classroom. Problem is that children are surprisingly childish and don’t always know what’s best for them. That’s why nature invented these things called grownups who make responsible decisions (one day if Obama tries really, really hard he may make a responsible decision). Maybe he should try worrying more about the adult that child will become…oh but that would take long term thinking, something that has never been seen in his instant gratification joke of a presidency.

I don’t care what they have to do, but the Republicans cannot allow this moron who knows less than nothing about education have any single bit of say in education policy. None.

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Laws the GOP should pass #19: A Series of Compromises #4 End Tenure

Here’s another compromise no sane person would deny. 1.) Get rid of teacher tenure. 2.) End all federal income taxes for all teachers…we can also skip the taxes on cops, firefighters and military personnel…IRS employees and other worthless excuses for humans can pay triple if we want to really be fair. I’ve already paid my taxes for the year, but as we get closer and closer to April 15th my vitriol against the IRS is likely going to build. Fair warning.

But back to my compromise. Laws the GOP should pass #19: A Series of Compromises #4

Tenure in public schools is one of the worst ideas you could possibly think of. Now, while tenure is a very important part of college as it protects the academic inquiry that is the responsibility of academia at that level, notice that tenure is a very difficult thing for any college professor to earn. However the “don’t get fired for three years and you have a lifelong job no matter how abysmal your performance” style of tenure used in public education is insane. I agree that there should probably be more protection for a teacher than having their contract being in danger every new school year, but that doesn’t mean that it applies to the performance of a teacher. I guarantee that a third of the teachers out there would be fired in a millisecond for gross incompetence if tenure were not protecting their utterly worthless asses. I’m serious, at least 33% of all teachers out there at bare minimum deserve to fired this very instant they are so bad at their jobs and so detrimental. I will remind you of that all important line in Waiting for ‘Superman’ that said we just fired the worst 6% of teachers we would be at the same level of Finland which is the top rated country in the world for education. (Oh, and in doing some research for this article I saw several liberals claiming that Waiting for ‘Superman’ said we should fire the worst 6-10% every year. Actually if we fire the idiots the first time and replace them with intelligent people then we wouldn’t have to fire nearly as many next year. Keep in mind it is often dealing with pathetically stupid colleagues that burns out a lot of good teachers. We just have to fire the morons once and keep them out). After all if a teacher is good at what they do, why do they need life long tenure…shouldn’t the track record of results allow them to keep or their job, or even in the worse cases, get a new one? Tenure only protects the idiots.

And for this we’re going to offer you more money. Give or take depending on your tax bracket this could come out to nearly a 40% raise because you won’t have to pay taxes. (And we should give the same income tax break to police, firefighters, and the military as they also serve an equally important public service…and I don’t think anyone’s budget is going to be broken by not collecting tax revenue from these sources. This will also attract a far higher quality of candidates into the teaching position as now the compensation is so much more appealing so it will now no longer be the bizarre dichotomy between 20% doing it not because of the money but because to them it ranks up there with breathing on the scale of things they need to do, and the other 80% who are looking for easy money and summers off. Now we can get some middle ground people who are actually interested in money, but also interested in earning that money.

Now let’s see who would oppose more money at the cost of being fired if you’re an idiot? Only idiots who only have a job because tenure keeps them from being fired. There is no other group that can reasonably defend tenure. My favorite people, the Teachers Unions (who are probably the only people in the universe to rank below IRS agents and defense lawyers …can you tell how much I hate the Teachers Unions) are the biggest defenders of tenure. I wonder why? It probably isn’t because all of their members are spectacular teachers as their propaganda would want you to believe.

Get rid of tenure, give teachers more money. No reasonable, intelligent, ethical human being could seriously be against this compromise.

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Some thoughts about taxes.

April is almost here. And with it comes April 15th which means two things…Atlas Shrugged is hitting theaters! (YAY!) and tax day (Boo!). And unless we remember the lessons of our cultural heritage the American Revolution and Robin Hood that means we will have to turn over money to those thieves known as the IRS agents. Which brings to mind some musing on recent events in tax policy… So apparently G.E. (also known as the other campaign contributor who Barrack shares a bed with more often than he does with Michelle) earned about $14 Billion in Profit (that’s right, that’s after they paid all they’re bills) and $5 Billion here in the U.S. alone. (One does wonder how much of that was earned on building faulty nuclear reactors.) And anyone want to guess how much their corporate tax bill was? A billion? No. Half a Billion? No. A million? No. … … … A thousand dollars? Nope. It was NOTHING. Absolutely nothing! Now I don’t support corporate taxes, I think they’re a form of double taxation, a hindrance on economic growth, a form of creeping socialism and destroys more money than they collect. That being said, if you’re going to have a tax then everyone has to pay it, otherwise exempting some people will give business with connections in politics advantages over businesses that don’t have said connections and worry about things like the quality of their product. Some would call this crony capitalism. But it’s not. Crony socialism might be a better word for it. Especially when you consider so much of that money that GE saved will go to help elect more uber-liberal politicians who will 1.) Give GE more breaks and 2). Screw the rest over with higher taxes and more government. (Why is it I’m becoming more convinced that it would be easier to make a RICO case against the DNC than against La Cosa Nostra?… oh probably because the mafia is no where near as corrupt, given that another big Dem contributor, SEIU, is actually in a RICO case right now.) Clearly with GE in mind two things need to be done. EVERY SINGLE TAX LOOPHOLE NEEDS TO STRIPPED FROM THE SYSTEM! All of them. No exceptions. And then we need to lower the rate. And then there is this story. Arizona is moving to a flat tax with no loopholes for personal income tax. (Sometimes I remember why I love living in this state.) This will mean more tax dollars for a lot of people…however, this will be an easier system and the benefit is that it is likely to draw in far more people with money and who make money thus guaranteeing an improved economy for the entire state, which means more money even for those having to shell out more to the state government. (And last time I checked my state taxes are deductable off my federal taxes, so I will actually not be paying a single cent more than I usually would). The state gets a better tax base, and more money from the current base, fixes funding problems (maybe they might even have enough money to deport illegals and help fund charter schools at the same per student level of those crappy public schools). I fail to see a problem here.

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Meditation of the Week

We continue the mediations on the first chakra this week with a chant. Yes there is chanting involved in these meditations—don’t roll your eyes. Everything in the universe nothing but little bits of vibrating energy. Hence certain sound can effect that vibration and help move that to a more desirable frequency. You should still visualize everything you want 2 to 3 times a day but for five minutes each day you should engage in this chant.

With your thumb and index finger connected, arms out to the side repeated the following sound for as long as you can for a single exhaled breath: LAM. That should be pronounced as three separate sounds, spend time on the sound of each letter, followed by a brief silence before you inhale and repeat the chant. Focus only on the sound and nothing else.

Five minutes in the morning. Every day this week—after that every five minutes every Monday will help focus the first chakra every week.

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Some question about our current actions in Libya

Now, I will not deny that I have advocated for intervention in Libya. I have. But I also believe that action that is not planned, deliberate and directed to a specific, thought out, objective can often cause more harm than good (the aftermath of WWI and Afghanistan are just two examples that come to mind). And I want the Libyan revolution to succeed, and I want our forces to play a positive roll in ousting Gaddafi and in helping to create a classically liberal democratic nation in Libya.
However…
Obama is not exactly instilling me with hope that he knows or even cares to fight a war the way it should be fought. But before I get to Obama, let me deal with people whom I find even more annoying…

Anti-War protesters. Talk about a worthless cross-section of humanity. This is one of the few groups that I can say I detest more than Atheists (although maybe not as much as the Westboro Baptist Church). Why do I hate anti-war protesters? Mainly because they’re morons! So you’re anti-war, here’s a newsflash morons; every human being on Earth who is sane is anti-war. However those of who are sane (i.e. not anti-war protesters) also realizes that as bad as war is, there happen to be some things worse than war. Tyranny, genocide, oppression, slavery, legally enforced misogyny, communism, fascism, reality TV. And because these things are far, far worse than war itself, the use of war to stop these things becomes the lesser of two evils.

Now does that mean to be opposed to any war means you’re an idiot? No. You can be opposed to any war on ethical grounds or on pragmatic grounds. The problem is that America hasn’t fought an ethically questionable war in over a century (even the few that do come up are in the minority). American’s don’t fight for conquests or to oppress (usually). We fight to protect our rights and we fight to protect the rights of others. Only a handful of countries in the last century have as spectacular a record for ethics in fighting wars as does America. So to claim that we fight for oil, or land, or “hegemony” (what kind of pompous ass uses words like that?) is so stupid it nearly borders on aid and comfort to the evils we are opposed.
And while there are pragmatic issues on whether or not we should be involved in a war (like we’re already spread too thin in two other countries) I’m not hearing this from the anti-war protesters. No, these people are attacking the use of military force because they believe that, at its heart, America is evil and needs to be stopped.

If you have legitimate objections to a war, raise them, they may be valid, if you are just against war period, you’re an idiot and the kind of person that allows dictators to thrive.

Now, onto my complaints against Obama and this current war. For any war to not be a waste of time it needs several things. A purpose. A plan for how to win the war. A plan for how to rebuild after the war. A leader.

Afghanistan and Iraq are miserable hellholes because Bush didn’t have a plan for how to rebuild. No plan whatsoever. But for better or worse we had the other three.

Obama doesn’t seem to know why we’re there. If it was to spread democracy we might have come in when the rebels had a chance. If it was oil we would just let Qadaffi stay in power and ignore the whole situation. If was for human rights we would have come in long ago. I want the spread of democracy. I want dictators to be destroyed. I’ll even take actions that further my goals but are not carried out for the same reason…but right now we don’t have a purpose, an objective, a mission, or a goal. We have a no fly zone over a country that doesn’t have an Air Force to speak of. Huh? Could we bomb somebody? Make it look like we’re doing something. Kaddafi has tanks. Could we at least bomb the hell out of those? Please. Do something. Anything.

A plan to win? We don’t even know why we’re going, nor does any other nation. So to hell with having any sort of plan of what to do. Goes without saying that a plan for rebuilding is not present or relevant if we’re not getting rid of Gaddafi.

How about a leader? It’s not a good sign when nobody wants to be in charge. It usually means that any project is failed when no one wants to be in charge even before it begins. Which is the saddest thing. If we went in and killed Kadaffi, destroyed the troops that were loyal to him (I get the feeling after he’s dead there won’t be as many as there are when he’s alive) and then send in NATO peacekeepers it wouldn’t be the hardest place in the world to modernize.

There are about a thousand possible things we could do, least of all we should do, that would be better than this pointless dithering about who is in charge of a plan to do nothing. Actually coming out and saying we’re doing nothing would actually be better. This bizarre limbo state Obama has put our military in is beyond comprehension and certainly unforgivable for someone in the Oval Office.

I can only hope the Republican Party doesn’t completely blow this and nominate Palin, or some other idiot who will hand the office back to this moron for another 4 disastrous years.

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The silly idea that is Net Neutrality

So there has been a lot of talk about net neutrality (and even a few calls for me to explain what it is). Honestly this is out of my usual field as it’s a little more technical and a little less philosophical, and I think the videos I’m placing at the end do a wonderful job on their own of laying out the case against net neutrality but I will point out the two main reasons why “Net Neutrality” is an asinine concept.
The first is the argument that providers like Comcast, Cox, AT&T and any other internet provider has the ability to block their users from going to sites they don’t want their users to go to. Let’s say one of these had a deal with Google so they blocked down or at the very least slowed down service to Bing and Yahoo. Now while Google might be just the kind of evil empire of a corporation that would try for something like this…however those providers would be absolutely insane do that. Because any provider who did that would soon find itself blackballed by all the other providers and probably most of the other search engines. Just as the Cold War never came to a throwing nuclear war because both sides understood that no one would win from this, corporations, no matter how much they are after a quick buck, understand the concept of mutually assured destruction quite well and are not crazy enough to block content.
But liberals continue to whine that those evil, evil providers somehow will not act in their own best interest and will block sites they don’t want you to get to, and so we need laws to stop them from doing it, even though, you know, there has never been a single solitary example of this ever. Yes, let’s outlaw something someone has never done, never thought of doing, and never showed an inclination of doing (outside of China) and thereby giving the government power over the form of media that most of us now get our information from. (Because while we don’t trust our internet provider who has never done anything like this, the same government that tried a denial of service attack on Wikileaks can be completely trusted…and if you believe that please email me because I have some lovely bridges to sell you).
But, while giving the government more power over the media is always a bad idea, we also have something else to combat this problem if this insane situation ever came up. We have choice. If your phone company’s internet service decided to try and start to restrict your service, then get the internet through your cable company. If cable restricts service switch to satellite cable (and there’s more than one). If satellite cable is restricting service, there are about a dozen cell phone companies now that you can get the internet through. And there will never be a cabal between all these companies to deny you service because if those companies are so evil they would try something like this, then they are also evil enough to betray their fellow cabal members and get more customers by offering what customers want. There is not even the remotest chance of a monopoly coming into the internet (unless the government does get involved then the chances go up exponentially). The joys of the capitalistic system will keep this from ever becoming a problem even if one company does decide to go crazy.
So why does the government still want to regulate something that isn’t a problem? I can’t imagine that it would be to control a form of the media via outrageous regulation and requirement…no, not from the same people who want to force all media outlets to follow the fairness doctrine (i.e., toe the line for whatever party is in party in power, can’t possibly see how that could lead to problems).
And there is the 2nd part to net neutrality that basically boils down to the government’s inability to understand economics and that the general public is a bunch of whiners. There is a complaint that soon internet providers will charge you based on how much bandwidth you use. Bandwidth is the amount of information you download. Right now in the early stages certain providers are capping massive amounts of bandwidth with slightly higher prices after they pass a certain point. (Right now that cap is set at about downloading two DVD quality movies every day). Some people are upset about this and want the government to use Net Neutrality legislation to prevent internet providers from doing this. Why I’m not sure. If I use more electricity the electric company charges me more. If I use more water I get charged more. If talk on my phone for longer periods I get charged more. Why should internet usage be any different? Besides with the expansion of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Streaming and a dozen other media sites the amount of internet usage is about to skyrocket…and somebody has to pay for the needed improvements to the internet delivery infrastructure—shouldn’t the people who are using more be charged more for a utility?
In the end Net Neutrality is about as dumb as just about every other idea to come out of the Obama administration.


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Laws the GOP should pass #18: A series of compromises Part 3

Compromise Bill #3 Gay Marriage

Now I will admit I’m stealing from myself on this (I’ve mentioned this before in a previous blog and in my upcoming book Republicans and Reincarnation) but this is exactly the kind of compromise I’m suggesting the GOP make to ensure that it comes out ahead with the American public.

Republicans need to drop this defense of Marriage/against gay marriage bull. Really it helps no one. Marriage isn’t weakened or strengthened because of laws. It might be because people are no longer shamed in public for divorce, but you really don’t want to start legislating how people should be ashamed. That would be a Pandora’s Box you would never even want to conceive of opening. Ever!
Marriage is a beautiful institution. But strangely enough it’s a religious institution. What is the government doing regulating a religious institution? What is it doing giving tax benefits for a religious institution? Giving property and inheritance rights for a religious institution? I may not have the truly psychotic interpretation of the wall between Church and State that those idiot Atheists do, but this does seem to be intruding just a little too much of State intruding on Church. So here is what I propose:
We change every single reference to marriage in all law (from federal down to the most local) to civil unions. Any two legal adults, who are not related by blood, can engage in a civil union. You are allowed to engage in a civil union with only another legal adult. (I also assume there will need to be some kind of provision of living at same residence).
Doesn’t the “not related by blood” thing show I’m just making this marriage by another name? No. Most of the benefits that those proposing for gay-marriage (inheritance, custody of children) are that courts already give preference to family members.
Marriage will return to being a religious institution. If you can get your priest, rabbi, minister or whatever to marry you, great! If you don’t want to be married but just the civil union you can. Or vice versa.
Now we will have some changes come about in the way health care is dealt with. There can be no laws about forcing health care providers to give health care to the other partner of a civil union (If you want to have laws forcing coverage for the children of someone who gets coverage, the capitalist in me still has problems with this, but I also realize I can’t upset everything at once). However, it would be good business to offer rates for partner at reduced prices, which I’m sure will happen as the companies that offer such an incentive will have better business (especially since it would encourage people to have a civil union partner, which it has been shown in study after study that if you live with someone, even if you aren’t intimate you have fewer health problems).
For the same reasons there need to be really good tax incentives for entering into a civil union. I mean spectacular tax incentives. Why? Well to still encourage people to get married with is good for society as any social scientist will tell you. But this will also encourage people who are not married to get at least become better friends with each other, which is also an exceptionally important part of society (and becoming somewhat lacking in the modern world).
Now will business partners or roommates get civil unions for tax benefits or whatever other benefits come with it? Sure. But, do you really think people aren’t getting married for health insurance, tax benefits, or a green card right now? This may make civil unions a bit of a joke, but it actually won’t affect the strength of marriage in any negative way (in fact people who say they are married will likely have much stronger relationships because now they don’t see failed “marriages” all around them which cause negative psychological effects about their own marriage.)
Marriage is stronger, for the conservatives. Everyone is treated perfectly equal in the eyes of the law, for the liberals. A perfect compromise.

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Carter should be happy he won’t go down as the worst President ever

France and the UN are proving to be more ethical than the US.

That line alone should fill you with disgust. The fact that it’s true is even worse. France is calling for air strikes against Libya. The UN has approved them (and remember the UN Security Council has a long history of sheltering tyranny). Hillary Clinton appears to be demanding them behind the scenes (what kind of sick world are we in where a Clinton is our moral compass?)…

…and all this time Obama dithers. I am certainly not the first, nor will I be the last to point out that Obama’s recent behavior has been beyond pathetic, but it needs to be repeated.

I may not have approved of the cynicism of Rohm’s statement that you should never let a disaster go to waste, but Obama seems to be taking the exact opposite tack now.
Instead of appearing as leader, making a statement, doing something, ANYTHING about Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Japan (I could go on) we are only occasionally getting a sanctimonious statement here and there and nothing that even resembles action.

I will admit that often there are lots of moves and negotiations going on behind the scenes that the public doesn’t know about (Wikileaks more than proves this) but even if Obama is doing work behind the scenes (which I somehow doubt) he forgets that one of the chief tools and chief responsibilities of the presidency is the bully pulpit. A president needs to look presidential. A president needs to be there and say that ‘We are America, we will do what is right, we may not have all the answers but we will act as best we can.” Not, you know, talk about women’s history month in his radio address and fill out his pick for March Madness.

It is in times of stress of and disaster that people’s true character comes out. With nations in rebellion against tyranny, with Japan in desperate need of help, with our own problems here at home….what has this shown us about Obama’s character?

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Laws the GOP should pass:Compromise Bill #2 Let’s talk energy policy

When I planned this series I had originally intended to deal with nuclear energy this week. However despite the fact that it still remains the safest, cleanest, cheapest form of energy at present…I just don’t get the feeling people are willing to listen to a rational argument just yet. So I will let emotion die for a couple of weeks, and a return to sanity to prevail.

In the mean time I am going to stick to my theme of energy policy and advocate the following compromise:


We up the federal gas tax by 10 cents a gallon for a lift on all bans for drilling in all areas within the U.S (and lift useless red tape on refineries).

I can just hear the groans from both sides.
Let me deal with the leftist groans first. Now for this I would also put into the bill that if you cause any ecological problems the company responsible will pay not only for the full cleanup and damage to the local economy, but pay fines equal to twice what the ecological and economic damage is. If you don’t think they’ll put the best goddamn safety features they can think of in place to avoid that kind of destruction to their bottom line, you’re crazy. Further keep in mind it was your crazy liberal environmental whining that made us put platforms so far out from the shore line. If the platform in the gulf coast had only been a few hundred feet below sea level it would have been plugged within days if not hours. But no, the environmentalists drove the platforms so far off shore that it was thousands upon thousands of feet down and it was impossible to reach and fix. I think we should go back to drilling close to shore.
Oh and just shut up about your complaining about more drilling in Alaska. The area they want to drill in isn’t some pristine piece of beauty. It’s tundra. Boring, plain, ugly tundra. And the caribou like the heat from the pipelines. Shut up about Alaska drilling. Compared to what we’re doing right now it’s perfectly safe.

Now to deal with the complaints from conservatives.
First they’re going to whine that another 10 cents a gallon is more than the American public can afford. This would ignore the fact that I just radically increased the amount of oil available and just the news of this, as I recall from my knowledge of supply and demand, will probably drive back the cost of oil so much that gas will probably be at least 15 if not 50 cents per gallon cheaper. It pretty much pays for itself in the short run.
But it’s in the long run that it gets better. So much better.

Thomas Friedman (a man with whom I usually disagree with as I find his analysis of certain fields overly simplistic or just plain foolish, but in this case makes some very valid points) in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded makes some excellent points about why we do need to get away from oil. First he points out that most of the money we spend on oil goes to the Middle East where it goes to fund tyranny and terrorism. He presents a clear case that the more money most countries get from oil the less free and more tyrannical they are (we don’t really run this risk in the US because even if we opened up every potential field, oil would remain a small portion of the economy whereas in these countries it is the single largest sources of income). That for every gallon of gas you buy a few cents goes to fund terrorism (even if the oil it was made from came from the US because it’s the amount of oil consumed that fixes the prices, no matter where it’s bought or mined, and if you don’t buy oil from the Middle-East someone else will, and it’s your buying of oil that makes it have a high price). Now I will go even further and point out that for every dollar a terrorist has, I will almost bet you we have to spend at least $5 (probably a lot more) in military, Homeland security, DOJ, state and local police (this list could go on, not to mention the damage costs if the terrorists succeed) to combat what that one dollar could do.
A ten cent tax hike would drive people to consume less gas. It would force car companies to make cars that were more fuel efficient. I’m sorry but I have no doubt that cars could easily be 10-20% more efficient tomorrow if the public demanded it of car companies. This would in turn cause even less money, if only in a slight amount, going to fund these heinous acts. (Just ask where Kaddafi would be right now if he didn’t have oil money to fund his military.)

But Friedman points out that a tax hike has a second benefit beyond lowering the wealth of the worst nations on Earth. If you raise the cost of gas you make it easier for alternate fuel systems to come in.

(I’m going to simply use numbers here to make it easier, so don’t quote my numbers, quote the premise behind them.)

Let’s say that the bare minimum a gallon of gas is ever going to reach ever again is $2.00. That means any other form of energy for powering a car needs to be $1.99 for how much energy a gallon of gas creates to be efficient. Right now, that’s not the case. Yes, electric cars actually are more inefficient because the electricity that powers them is likely from a source that per mile you’re probably paying a little more. However, if you put another 10 cent tax on gas then to be efficient you have to reach $2.09. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but from a technical standpoint that’s a massive difference.

Now let’s say deal with, oh I don’t know, solar cells. (I could pick any form of energy production because the economic rules that apply here are the same but I wanted to focus on one possible form). Let’s say that you can get solar cell technology down to the $2.09 level so that it can be put on hybrids and electric cars or be put into production at plants to create energy to pump into those cars. It is a lot easier to get the technology down to the $2.09 level than the $1.99 level for it to become economically viable for even a small market (electric cars aren’t economically viable yet, people are paying more for a status symbol). But here is the interesting thing, once it become economically viable for a small market a funny thing happens called the economy of scale. Once it become economically viable on a small scale, everyone will buy it and the cost for producing the technology will drop like a rock and what was once $2.09 will suddenly drop to $1.50 at that point it is actually affordable to put those solar cells on the roof of your house thus lowering you monthly electric bills…and the electric bills of every company you buy stuff from which either means lower prices or they hire more people, both are good for the economy. Oh and as this becomes a more profitable market more R&D will be done in this field and the price will go even lower…this in turn will have a fascinating effect of lowering costs in all fields, so actually in this particular case a tax hike could result in lower prices. (And it means even less money for those oil nation tyrannies.) All we need to do is get over that initial hump of beating the most cost effective current source of energy, i.e., oil.

And for a while we’ll have more tax revenue coming in to pay off that pesky debt. Will there be some economic hurt in the short run? Yes, but not in the long run, which is always more important. And hey that extra oil drilling should defer a lot of the initial costs.

Democrats will get their tax hike. We get the drilling we want. A perfect compromise!

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Filed under Environmentalism, Laws the GOP should pass

Weekly Meditation

I’m a little late with this week’s meditation, but that’s okay because this one is going to need to take some time (like over a week’s worth of time).
We started clearing away the negative energy from the first chakra last week. Today we begin to build positive energy.
Make a list of every physical thing that you want. Take some time on this. Not every random whim but everything you want. In detail. Describe your dream house, all of its possessions, your dream job. How much money you want to have in reserve. Every major vacation, every building you want to visit, every piece of art you have always wanted to see. Not just a bucket list of things to do, but a wish list of everything you want. The car. The dream job. The clothes. The hobbies. Everything—in detail.
Take your time. Write it down. If it’s less than a page, then you’re either not trying or you’re a saint. (Look at a glass of water, if you can’t turn it into a cabernet, make it a longer more detailed list).
No human relationships. Those are important but we’re worrying about the physical now (that’s more the 3rd and 4th chakras anyway).
Now you need to spend 10 minutes a day envisioning what you want. Don’t think of it as a still frame. Imagine yourself in a movie, moving through your dream house, doing your dream job, on your dream vacation. Keep the image detailed and moving. 10 minutes a day minimum. Ideally work up to three times a day. For the next week and a half.

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Filed under Chakra, Meditation, Root Charka Abundance

More Blogs Coming

Sorry for the short hiatus (my usual brand of cynicism, polemics and satire is a little out place when the news only wants to cover a natural disaster), but there will be new up tomorrow. I promise.

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Filed under Uncategorized

More liberal lying and propaganda.

So uber-liberals released a propaganda hit piece entitled “Top 10 Worst Things about the Republicans’ Immoral Budget.”

This short article runs the gambit from naïve to lying to typical liberal hallucination that the rules of reality don’t apply to their plans. Let’s run down their list.

They claim that the GOP cuts would “1. Destroy 700,000 jobs, according to an independent economic analysis.”

They fail to mention that said “independent analysis” is by Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analystics. Zandi is one of the guys who came up with the 2009 stimulus package. You know the package that was supposed to improve the economy, but didn’t; the package that was supposed to create jobs, but didn’t; the package that was supposed to, in the long run, pay for itself, but didn’t. And aren’t these cuts going after a lot of that stimulus money? Oh yeah real “independent” research. “If you cut the plan I came up with it will hurt the economy, but I have no stake in this.”
The laws of basic economics tell me that within one year for every dollar you cut from the federal budget the private sector will create two. For every job you cut from the federal payrolls the private sector will be able to create two or more. It won’t be immediate. But taking a machete to this budget is the only way we are really going to get jobs

“ Zero out federal funding for National Public Radio and public television.”

And this is a problem? If it is of any value the private sector will keep what NPR and PBS produce…but I have a feeling none of them really value any of the crap they put out that much. Let people decide whether they want to listen or watch, and advertisers and/or private donation will keep the good stuff alive.

“ Cut $1.3 billion from community health centers–which will deprive more than three million low-income people of health care over the next few months.”

The amount of money we put into health care is so obscene 1.3 billion won’t put a dent in these programs. Further notice Moveon’s own words “community health centers.” Now stop me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t there be less overhead, less wastes, less beauracracy, more efficiency, more involvement and better service if the community and community money were being put into these centers. …Oh but that would deprive the monolith that is massive government in Washington of control…and wack-jobs at Moveon wouldn’t stand for any challenge to rule of divine right that is Washington bureaucracy.

“ Cut nearly a billion dollars in food and health care assistance to pregnant women, new moms, and children. “

Again a billion isn’t that much when we’re talking about these programs….and you mean we will stop encouraging people to have litters of children because the government will always pay…what a terrible idea. And if we must have programs like these, again, wouldn’t they be better to be run by state, county or city government?

“Kick more than 200,000 children out of pre-school by cutting funds for Head Start. “

How about this, given that every legitimate study I’ve ever seen shows Head Start doesn’t work at all, why stop at 200,000. Let’s abandon this useless, feel good program that provide no real results.

“Force states to fire 65,000 teachers and aides, dramatically increasing class sizes, thanks to education cuts. “

Hmm….if we got rid of “last hired, first fired” policies (you know the ones those Unions love) I’m sure there are easily 65,000 beyond inept teachers out there that need to fired. Hell, there are more than 65,000. And if we just got rid of the 65,000 worst teachers it would actually mean less stress for the remaining teachers even if classroom size went up because they wouldn’t have to spend so much time un-teaching incorrect information the morons taught, or catching up students because the loser teachers didn’t teach anything.

“Cut some or all financial aid for 9.4 million low- and middle-income college students. “

You remember the housing bubble. The government pumps money into a system and it drives the prices into the stratosphere of insanity. Same thing has happened with college tuition. It’s a bubble that’s about to burst. Eliminating this measly 9.4 million is the first step to seeing college tuition drop like a rock which will actually make it more feasible for middle and even lower class students to afford college.

“ Slash $1.6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, a cut that experts say would “send shockwaves” through cancer research, likely result in cuts to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research, and cause job losses. “

Was the government the only one funding research? Nope, we still have the private sector doing that. Research and progress will continue.

“End the only federal family planning program, including cutting all federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to support cancer screenings and other women’s health care.”

What you really mean is that the taxpayers won’t be paying for abortions which even most people who support the right to abortion don’t support.

And finally

“Send 10,000 low-income veterans into homelessness by cutting in half the number of veterans who get housing vouchers this year.”

10,000? How much you want to bet many of these people when forced to will go live with family or get a roommate or work harder and get a second job. Will some people wind up on the street, perhaps? But the key argument Moveon uses is a website that lists how many homeless veterans there already are. If you read the article it seems that they think every homeless person who says they’re a veteran is a veteran. Now I have no doubt there are homeless veterans, but I think exploits of service are more vastly over reported by the homeless than they are by John Kerry.

Keep in mind the way the government tracks homelessness is very bizarre. If you don’t own or pay rent, you’re homeless. Every college grad who is living with their parents a year after they graduate…they’re homeless according to the way the government and I’m sure Moveon is tracking this.

Now if you want a real top 10 list of the most immoral parts in this proposed budget:
1. No change in Social Security retirement age.
2. No reduction of Social Security benefits.
3. No cuts in Medicaid
4. No cuts in Medicare
5. No cuts in Congressional compensation
6. No cuts in federal employee compensation
7. No defunding of the Department of Agriculture
8. No cuts to useless military R&D that even the Pentagon doesn’t want
9. No massive cuts in discretionary spending.
10. No 10% across the board to every single program.

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Filed under Budget, Debt, Evils of Liberalism

What do to about Libya? Part II

Well, first off, while I’m usually always willing to take down a dictator by force, believe it or not I am not going to be arguing for anybody to send an army to Libya. I advocate this policy for two reasons. First, no country I particularly trust has all of their forces available, what with Afghanistan still an issue and Ahmadinejad and Kim Jung Il always being more than willing to play the psycho card it’s not like there are a lot of free standing armies available. (And while the French aren’t overly committed right now, I don’t trust Sarkozy growing a spine is particularly indicative of the entire French population).

The second reason military forces shouldn’t be sent is that the Libyan people have already started their revolution, and it will create stronger psychological dedication to making sure the revolution does not just result in another dictator. People value what they have to sacrifice for, and if we just go in and do it for them it will not create the ground work necessary for a successful nation in the future (see Afghanistan). However, that doesn’t mean we can’t have strafing runs on Qadaffi’s tanks and other armored fortifications to even the playing field. Nor does it mean we can’t send in the Rangers/SEALS/Deltas or SAS to get rid of the nut job dictator himself. And I’m all for giving help—not winning it for them, but giving help. Will we do it? No. Obama’s a gutless wonder. Will Cameron, Sarkozy, or Merkel. Quite possibly! And if they do I applaud their actions.

But more importantly than getting rid of the dictator is setting the ground work for a lasting democratic, secular, Classically Liberal representative government in Libya (or anywhere for that matter). The international community needs to make it very clear from the moment Qadaffi is toppled, that Libya has a choice. They can go their own way back into a dictatorship or some kind of psycho Taliban-style theocracy and be shunned and embargoed by the entire world to the point where they envy North Korea…or they can be lavished with aid, infrastructure repair and help (again, I could swear we had some people in this country who needed a job). Tax breaks will be given to any company from any nation that wishes to invest in this new Libya. And for this help all they have to do is guarantee a secular government, that representative authority chosen through democratic means (and probably outside observers for a decade or so), that women are constitutionally acknowledged as the equals of men, that protection of religion and freedom of speech are guaranteed, and that all the other freedoms and liberties that these people are fighting for are protected. Also, a promise by treaty that once Libya is stable enough to spare troops and money that they too will help rebuild the next nation that chooses to go from tyranny to democracy.

Now some things we also have to offer in addition to Marshall Plan style rebuilding is, among other things, military support on the borders of Libya until they build up the their own forces enough to defend their own borders. One thing we should all have learned from the last ten years is the military dangers (Afghanistan and Iraq) and economic dangers (just look South) that come up with unprotected borders.

I think Libya is the right place to focus on right now because if we can create a stable Liberal nation bordering Tunisia and Egypt (which already borders another Liberal democracy in Israel) this will help to bring these other two nations out of tyranny (yes, Egypt is still under a military tyranny, just because Mubarak left it doesn’t mean anything changed) and into a Classically Liberal model which defends the rights of the people.

Will this put us further behind on paying off our debt? Yes. But it will create a new bastion of economic development, which in turn will help the economies of every country that deals with it.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Laws the GOP should pass, The French

What to do with Libya? Part I: We first need to figure out what to do in Afghanistan.

Now I’m going to be the first to admit that Libya is not an area of expertise for me (yes I’m actually admitting I don’t know something), so I will preface this that specifics of the culture or the current situation could change.

But the question remains, what do to with Libya?
Actually this is a two part question, because before we answer what should we do with Libya and its revolution is what can we do? And right now that is just about nothing. Why? Because, we’re in Afghanistan.

Now to be honest I supported the invasion of Afghanistan. I thought it was the right thing to do. This was a country that had been on its way to becoming a western nation in the 1970’s and was first under the oppressive rule of the Soviets and then under the oppressive rule of the Taliban. I thought we owed this to Afghanistan. First because we had abandoned them in the 70’s when Carter did less than nothing to help them fend off the Soviets and then we didn’t help them recover after they drove out the Soviets (remember the last scene’s of Charlie Wilson’s War)?

The problem is that I assumed we had a plan. (I also assumed we also had a plan in Iraq). I had this silly idea that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department all have these thick files full of “What if we invade this country…” that covered everything from the likely invasion of Iraq to highly unlikely invasion of Canada. I thought we had a plan and contingency plans and thought all the way from the first landing to leaving a fully functional democracy behind us. I thought all the money we spend on think tanks was for something. I mean we clearly have outlines with how we developed Germany and Japan and the rest of the Marshall Plan’s success.

Boy was I wrong.
I was left feeling like Bruce Willis in Armageddon being told he’s the best plan they could come up with to save the world: “And this is the best that you can – that the-the government, the *U.S. government* can come up with? I mean, you-you’re NASA for cryin’ out loud, you put a man on the moon, you’re geniuses! You-you’re the guys that think this shit up! I’m sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking shit up and somebody backing them up! You’re telling me you don’t have a backup plan; that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world’s hope, that’s what you’re telling me?”

We apparently had really good military plans. We beat both the Taliban and Saddam’s army in record time. But the Bush administration’s plans seem to have read: (1) Beat opposition forces, (2) Democracy magically springs up.

So we really botched in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, while I don’t think Iraq is a complete loss, it’s still nowhere near as stable as it possibly could be. But as much as I think not leaving a permanent presence in Iraq is a mistake, actually going back in right now would be an even bigger one. Which leaves Afghanistan.

So we’re stuck with either two options. (You will notice that Obama’s I don’t really know what I’m doing here plan is not on the list). Either (1) we admit that we’ve really f—ed up so badly that there is nothing we can do at present to fix this situation and leave. On our way out burn every poppy field, carpet bomb every Taliban controlled area, and shoot every politician we know is on the take so that we can give the Afghani people a chance, but other than that leave; or we can (2) redouble our efforts, continue to worry about the military side, but also send a massive amount of workers over to Afghanistan to build a fully functional first world infrastructure and the services needed to maintain that life style. (I’m talking, roads, plumbing, electrical grids, hospitals, schools, public transportation systems, the whole nine yards of first world infrastructure). The first problem to this is where would we get the people needed for such a massive project? This is the easier one to answer—we reassign the entire Peace Corp to Afghanistan and, well, I recall that there were some unemployed people here in America looking for a job. The second problem to this is, of course, money. And I have no idea where would get the money for this. (I am however, open to ending Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare to pay for this as a stable nation would yield far better results for the world in general than paying off the whiners and losers of America). Regrettably I think we have dug ourselves such a hole in Afghanistan right now that option 2 would be throwing good money after bad. If we had started with option 2 right after we went in to Afghanistan it might have taken 10 years for it to work. However, between Bush and Obama, given how much we’ve ruined any good will we might have had in Afghanistan it would take us another 3 decades to do this right. As remiss as I am to say this, we need to offer every woman who wants to leave a ticket to the U.S. for asylum reasons and go with option 1. Maybe if we give them 10 years on their own they can pull themselves out enough that we can go back with only aid and support and help them return the near first world status they had back in the 70’s—but right now we’ve botched this so much it’s next to hopeless.

Now if the entire international community was willing to go in on option 1, it might work. But even for the theoretical nature of my blogs, that seems a bit unlikely.

So if we aren’t busy in Afghanistan, we can actually worry about Libya (and Egypt, and Tunisia, and the Sudan, and, well you get the point)…
…to be continued.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Libya, Long Term Thinking