Archives for June 2011

Obama and class warfare

The election cycle is in full swing. It’s time to trash the opponent with inflammatory rhetoric.

No one would suggest Newt Gingrich was trying to be kind calling Obama the “most successful food stamp President in American history.”

But hey, if the shoe fits…

It also sounded harsh when Sarah Palin told us that Democrats want “death panels” for senior citizens as part of Obamacare.

Democrats prefer the more pleasant euphemism “end of life” planning.

Several Republican presidential contenders have made the misleading claim that Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare spending.  It’s a repackaged version of the school lunch program lie — it’s reductions to future spending, not necessary cuts to current spending.

Nobody has the guts to do that.

The biggest problem I have with the Democrat argument for Obamacare is that it is based on a fallacious assertion — that people will die unless the government offers health insurance.

You’re going to die with or without health insurance. Medicine might extend your life, but only for a relatively short while (in the big scheme of things).

It’s a foregone conclusion you’re going to die.   Not a question of “if” but “when.”

You don’t have to lie about Obamacare. Tell the truth.

It’s an unprecedented, egregious assault on personal freedom. Nudge, nudge, say no more.

Don’t worry; Democrats know how to fight back and they’re more than unfair.

They demagogue Republicans as wanting to starve children (by not buying them school lunch) or kill Grandma by cuts to Medicare (going so far to produce an ad where a Paul Ryan lookalike literally pushes a grandmother in a wheelchair off a cliff.)

The problem with the Democrat “Mediscare” claims is they have no credibility after ramming through Obamacare.

Obamacare does reduce future Medicare expenditures by $500 billion.

Democrats are cutting future Medicare spending  just like Republicans plan to do, and lying in denial.

The simple truth is spending cuts must be made somewhere.

Medicare is a good place to start. Social Security needs to be next.

For political gain, Obama is trying to go class warfare “retro”, back to the classic rich-versus-poor mantra that rails against prosperity.

He’s now pitting kids versus corporate jets.

Corporate jets?  He’s a genius!  Lear and Gulfstream — what perfect whipping boys!

Unless, of course, you happen to work for Lear or Gulfstream. Or, if you’re a pilot by profession.

Think about it — how many people even know someone who owns or flies in a corporate jet? 

Except

Though I don’t know him personally, Al Gore popped into my head when I tried to think of someone who owns a private jet.

A friend of mine told me he parked next to Al’s jet at the Memphis airport not long ago.

My friend doesn’t own the jet he flies.

Nevertheless, Al would probably like to stop him flying for a living.

After all, he isn’t Al’s pilot.

Al’s obviously not the least bit worried about his personal carbon footprint. Maybe he should work harder on his awful poetry and get his mind off climate fraud.

My biggest problem with Republicans is that too many of them lie to voters and vote like Democrats.

I do like the Tea Party people because I have indeed been Taxed Enough Already.

My biggest problems with Democrats is that most of them lie and spend taxpayer money like drunken sailors in a whorehouse on shore leave.

It’s not their money.  It’s mine and yours.

Here’s a few examples to illustrate my point about the lies of politics.

Regarding cuts to the school lunch program, it wasn’t actually cutting taxpayer money spent to buy free food for kids, but a reduction in the projected rate of future spending for inedible meals that get thrown out as often than eaten.

Has anybody ever liked a school lunch? I seldom ate the crap they served.

Is it cruel of me to suggest it’s not my responsibility to subsidize health insurance for someone I don’t even know?

Nobody gets a pass on death.

The only remaining question is whether medicine and treatment will buy you more quality time on Earth once doctors predict your death is imminent.

We simply cannot afford to give everyone in America all the medicine they think they need.

The person who thinks they need medicine also should have the money to pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong — medicines can buy up to 50 or more additional years of quality life.  I’m not suggesting they don’t serve a valuable purpose.

However, personal responsibility must factor into any equation calculating the extension of one’s life.

Yet if we allow the government to “manage” our health care by the redistribution of wealth, we are giving a bureaucracy the power to decide between life and death for individual citizens.

They will be able to decide to take the money from person “A” to extend the life of person “B”, while simultaneously denying “A” treatment because “A”s prognosis is not as good or “A” is older than “B”.

The idea is obscene. If it was slightly hard to follow, try substituting “Adam” for “A” and “Eve” for “B”.

It’s easy to envision the scenario where Adam is eighty and the government could save the life of an eight year old Eve by confiscating his wealth and redistributing it to Eve’s parents.

As long as she’s outside the womb, of course. Otherwise we would just pay for the abortion.

The slope becomes slippery rather quickly. What if there are two children dying, Eve from a Democrat family and a future Republican named Steve?

It’s not very difficult to envision the politically correct choice of the ruling party would receive favoritism.

Government should not and cannot have this much power.

It crosses the threshold where government ceases to serve the people and becomes our master.

The best way to get people away from depending on government is for them to believe things only get better when we become more self-sufficient and control our own destiny.

When public housing has amenities nicer than my neighborhood, I’m convinced the government is sending the wrong signal to the entitlement class.

It may already be too late.

Granite counter tops, spas and stainless steel appliances for “low income” families — really?

Check out the photo gallery!

Stop spending O.P.M. — other people’s money!

 

U2’s fair share

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that activists staged a violent protest during a recent concert by U2 in Glastonbury, England.

Security personnel at the show forcibly deflated a large balloon labeled “U Pay Your Tax 2” foisted by the protestors calling themselves Art Uncut.

U2 fan Gary Noble expressed shock and dismay at the unpleasant turn of events, saying

I love U2 but I think everyone should pay their taxes. The campaigners have a right to voice their opinion

Excuse me, but the members of U2 pay taxes — where they live.

If they didn’t, they would be in prison.

The anti-capitalist members of Art Uncut whined that “while Bono campaigns against poverty in the developing world, his group has avoided paying Irish taxes at a time when his austerity-hit country desperately needs money.”

The protesters conveniently forgot, but Tom Morgan in the SMH reported, “the members of U2 invested in a wide range of Dublin properties, including a luxury riverside hotel and a planned Norman Foster-designed skyscraper on the River Liffey. Plans for the “U2 Tower” were shelved when property prices collapsed in 2008.”

The moral of the story is no matter how much tax you pay, how much investment you put back into your native country,  or how much you donate of your time and money to charity, for these leeches it’s never enough.

Get a job!

These socialists are human parasites, wanting to bleed the productive members of society dry.

I would not be at all surprised to learn that in the collectivist minds of Art Uncut, the concert should have been free.

Maybe they even wanted U2 to pay them to come listen.

Thinking under pressure

Last night we held our scheduled meeting of WAG, the Writer’s Alliance of Georgia.

Beverly served as our lovely and gracious hostess, which means she set the evening’s agenda.

She challenged us to think under pressure.  A hat was passed containing ten slips of paper.

Each slip had both a number and the name of a celebrity or other famous figure in history. We were given ten minutes to think of something to write in the voice of the name on the slip.

I drew Henry VIII.

What could I think of to say as the famous king of England in ten minutes or less?

I gently edited the work to make it slightly more readable, but resisted the temptation to add any new lines except one I really wanted to add has been separated from the original work by parentheses.

This was the best I could do in the time allotted…

It’s not easy being a monarch.

My life’s ambition was to be a florist. (I’m particularly fond of peonies.)

It’s not easy holding the power of life and death over people.

It gets rather tedious after a while. I need to think of a new line besides “Off with his head!”

One doesn’t really get a choice in these matters. I inherited my throne.

To be sure, holding the crown does have its advantages.

When the church gave me problems about my wanting a divorce for a lack of an heir, I started my own.

If I wanted a new wife, I simply got rid of the old one.

It seems that I’ve got a thing for women named Catherine. I’m so fond of them, only one has had her head chopped off to date.

I rather liked Jane Seymour, but I never trusted her after that business with James Bond.

If my wife gave me a problem, I got a new one. Most often, the old one met Ed, my servant with the sharp axe.

Beheading saves alimony.

 

 

 

Mine are pretty wacky. Psychics, ghosts, NDEs and other phenomena are not part of church doctrine anywhere I have attended, but I believe these anomalies offer tangential evidence of the supernatural.

Therefore, I research them because they interest me and conform to my vision of the Big Picture.

Abuse of authority

I don’t enjoy writing about police abuse of their authority.

I don’t like watching it happen, either.

 

Judge Jose Longoria, village idiot

Hillary Clinton famously claimed “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Meet Jose Longoria, village idiot.

In his court, young mother Rosalina Gonzales recently pled guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child.

Her heinous crime?  Ms. Gonzales dared to spank her two year old daughter.

Prosecutors described the charge as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” Then why bother to prosecute?

Ms. Gonzales did not use a belt or bruise her child, but the spanking did apparently leave some red marks on the toddler’s rear end.

Charging this mother with any crime, much less a felony, is appalling. It’s a farce.

The meddlesome grandmother rushed the little girl to the emergency room merely because she’d been spanked. Did she panic, thinking the red marks were some sort of unusual allergic reaction?

Nothing about this story implies child abuse was involved, only parental discipline.

Yet in his wisdom, presiding Judge Jose Longoria admonished her and said,

You don’t spank children today. In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.

Then what do you do?  Read them a story?

Now the courts can even decree how to raise a child…

I remember as a young boy once being spanked by my father hard enough to leave bruises. I also remember that I richly deserved it.

I’d thrown an object at a moving car, then ran away. It was a toy plastic “Tony the Tiger” paw from a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

The cereal might be great, but it really isn’t a good idea to throw anything at a moving car.

My “friend” Alex ratted me out and my dad spanked me.

The fact I had no idea I could actually hit the car did not mitigate the fact I’d thrown something and hit an innocent driver’s car. I fully recovered, but I never forgot the lesson of that day.

Who knows? If I hadn’t learned my lesson at that impressionable age, I might have graduated to hurling bricks off bridges at passing traffic on the highway.

Is it ever a good idea to throw something at someone you don’t even know while they’re driving at high speed?

In a later incident sometime in high school, I distinctly remember one of the football coaches raised welts on my butt with a paddle for skipping class.

I wouldn’t call the episode “teen” abuse, either. I got caught breaking some rules that merited suspension.

I chose corporal punishment when offered the alternative. I didn’t want to be grounded before my date that weekend.

Now, this coach was very young and athletic. He had drilled holes in the paddle to improve its aerodynamics.

He wielded it two handed, like a baseball bat or samurai sword.  Three strikes and your fanny had difficulty sitting for the rest of the day. A paddling made a lasting impression.

I donned three pairs of gym shorts under my uniform pants to soften the blows. It helped a little. I managed to go out on my date.

Nevertheless, the long term residual effect of this latter paddling incident was so severely damaging, I’d forgotten about it completely — until I began writing this blog piece.

Don’t get me wrong; I learned to avoid getting caught for the same offense twice. And I still fondly remember the teacher who, frankly, tanned my butt.

As punishment for the “crime” of spanking her own daughter, Ms. Gonzales was sentenced to five years probation. She must take parenting classes and pay $50 extortion — I meant to say “fine” — to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Does this “judge” even have children? What gives any judge the right to tell us how to raise ours?

Children must be taught to respect authority.

First they learn to respect the authority of their parents to make decisions on behalf of the child. Built on that foundation,  they learn to respect authoritarians within society. They must also learn that actions have consequences.

If a mother or father yells “STOP!” at the top of their lungs and the child ignores them, the consequences could be trivial.

The child might simply delay a family outing or cause some minor inconvenience.

Or, the consequences could be severe. The child might race into a busy street to be run over by a car.

Were I to see a mother or father slap the fanny of a misbehaving child in the grocery store, I probably wouldn’t give it a second thought.

A slap to the face might be different. Some of it depends on the behavior of the child that merited the punishment.

And without that ability to consistently enforce their parental authority, how does the mother or father convince the child to listen and obey when the consequences of disobedience could be death?

Grandma will be the loser in the long haul. Courts show remarkable preference for biological rights over relationships, and when Mom does get custody she’s working to get now, the visits to see Grandma will probably come few and far between.

By undermining parental efforts, Judge Longoria threatens to create a new generation of miscreants that won’t have respect for any authority. He wants to be Daddy to us all.

He’d better be prepared to pay a hell of a lot in child support.

 

Poetic Al Gore

In case you weren’t aware, “Doctor” Al Gore branched into a new literary genre; he wrote a poem, included it in his book Our Choice: a plan to solve the climate crisis.

The plan in Al’s book is rather simple. It can be condensed into four words: give me your money.

If you’re interested in hearing Al read his own poem, click here.

Personally, I preferred Porter E. Porter’s “beat” version.  The bongos add a nice touch.

Only about five minutes of my life were wasted writing this poem in response to Al’s; my own lackluster effort to tell the real inconvenient truth.

I do not expect this throw away effort to be compared to one of my favorite poets, William Butler Yeats.  Al, neither are you equal to W.B. Yeats.

This is no “Lamentation of the Old Pensioner.”

Yeats’s poem still sends chills down my spine, more than 30 years after my first reading.

These poems, written by Al and me, are more like something that might have been written by Wile E. Coyote.

Please keep in mind that I only spent about five minutes on mine during lunch, as you read…

 

Ode to Al Gore

Climategate fraud

Peer-pressured reviews

An Inconvenient Truth, my butt

Vapid brains soak in  kool-aid

Feverish demands thirst for carbon taxes

Nobel rolls over in his grave

People flee the low-lying coast

Al steals a bargain on beachfront property

Powerpoint slideshows and hockey stick graphs

B.S. is shown in the classroom

Give me an Oscar, fool

Shadowy scientists

Hide the decline

Greed seeks your money

The blame of Chicken Little

On air is spewed

Cap and trade; the hour of fleecing has arrived

I am a tool

Patriotism, racism and illegal immigration

Last week while driving around Atlanta, I saw a new bumper sticker that made me chuckle at first.

I love my country, but I think it’s time we started seeing other people.

It then occurred to me the owner of this vehicle most likely meant this interpreted as protest of various efforts to draft laws attempting to consistently define how to treat the very serious problem of illegal immigration.  These laws have been proposed because the federal government has failed to secure our borders.

I have not forgotten that we are still in the midst of crisis in national security and a financial meltdown.

Our country faces imminent bankruptcy, but Nero fiddles while Rome is burning.

If given the opportunity I would say to this fellow motorist that it is not racist to support law enforcement and legal immigration, or to oppose illegal immigration.

If the driver in front of me really wants to “see other people” besides the legal residents and visitors to our country, let me remind him of the slogan of our locally based service provider….

Delta is ready when you are.

Why I Hate Government More Every Day

I prefer news to lift my spirits, but for every story like the one I just wrote about great sportsmanship in a college softball game, I come across at least two stories that frankly depress the hell out of me.

First comes this story of a SWAT team that invaded a private residence at 6:00 a.m. looking for defaulted debtors on a student loan.  In their infinite wisdom, the U.S Department of Education sent the SWAT team to the wrong address, where the cops detained an innocent man for six hours while they sorted out their mistake.

Then on the local front, I read where officials in College Park decreed certain canine breeds to be “dangerous dogs”requiring special registration for an annual $25 fee under the guise of “improving public safety.”

If you don’t enter my house without permission, my German Shepherd will not bite you. If you do trespass, you’re getting what you richly deserve — a bite taken out of your butt.

The public is perfectly safe.  Any burglar stupid enough to enter my house will be toast but taste like chicken.

No longer do the authorities wait until after a dog it has bitten someone to deem it dangerous.

Owners of pit bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds in College Park must pay this annual tax or they will face both fines and possible confiscation of their pet.

You know, I’m starting to believe in vampires.  The government is full of blood suckers!

True sportsmanship

In truth, most news stories depress me. The latest one to do so was the story where thieves in Massachusetts stole a wheelchair from a disabled dog.

Our world is often harsh and cruel. Some people we believe are human significantly worsen our human condition. What’s wrong with them? Do you really need a canine wheelchair that badly but can’t afford one?  People steal stuff they don’t even need or want, just for the thrill of stealing. Mindless stupidity.

Playing sports can be a wonderful means of escape from the drudge of our daily routine and the cruelty of our world. We may relax for a few hours of pleasant respite spent in purposeful exercise formed into game.

But as soon as we begin to organize ourselves into teams, it tends to bring out the worst in us. It is demonstrated most often by our competitive nature.

The desire to win for the group by any means necessary can lead to “taking one for the team.” Screw the individual player; if it’s a game, you might get away with legal homicide.

You’ve got an opening to take a blind hit on a player with the opposing team?  Hey, take him out.  It’s a cruel world.

Now, you’d hate it if the skate was on the other foot and you were the one in the cross hairs, but it’s dog eat dog, right?  Then you can steal the wheelchair because the dog won’t need it anymore.

You could have broken the guy’s neck or killed him, but it was a great opportunity for a cheap shot, wasn’t it? It’s all about winning for the team.

Or is it?

That inhuman mentality of the worst in sports is precisely why we all should sit up and take notice when  someone steps forward to do the right thing. Of course, it took a couple of women to show us men how it’s done…

Senior Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University had never hit a home run in her life.

She was probably as surprised as anyone when she connected for a three run shot in the second inning of the second game in a double header to help decide the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s softball championship.

“I’m more of a line drive hitter. I don’t hit for power,” Sara admitted.

In her excitement, she passed first base without touching the bag.  When she turned back, her right knee refused to cooperate.

Sara tore the ACL ligament and immediately dropped to the ground, writhing in excruciating pain.  She crawled back to first base and hugged the bag while umpire Jacob McChesney stared at her helplessly, wondering, what are we gonna do?

If any of her teammates touched Sara before she touched home, she would be ruled out. A substitute runner could only be awarded first base, the last she safely touched. Sara’s home run would be reduced to a two run single unless she crawled home. Rules of the game.

Mallory Holtman, a player from Central Washington, knew exactly what needed to happen.

Sara’s hit cleared the fence.  She deserved more than first base.  She had earned the right to touch them all.

Mallory is the leading home run hitter in conference history, so she knows a lot about touching them all. She approached the umpire and asked for permission to help.

It turns out that there’s absolutely nothing in the rulebook to prohibit a member of the opposing team from assisting an injured player around the bases.

So Mallory and teammate Liz Wallace carried Sara from first base to home plate, pausing to carefully touch her left toe to each bag as they circled the bases together.

Mallory and Liz were laughing, imagining the cheers and smiles they would receive when their job was done. After all, it’s only a game, right?

Mallory looked surprised, confused and a little disappointed as she said, “When I looked up, I didn’t see giant smiles and screams. I saw emotion and tears, and people crying.”

It’s a good thing I wasn’t in the stands, Mallory. You’d have been absolutely mortified to see me there, blubbering like a baby.

You are young and still quite naive.  You simply don’t realize how rare you are.

Winning isn’t everything, or the only thing, as Vince Lombardi once suggested.  He also said, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”

Only is the most strict sense  is that statement true.

True, that day Mallory, Liz and their teammates at Central Washington lost the game to Western Oregon 4-2 on the strength of Sara Tucholsky’s home run.

But they were not losers.

In her last ever at-bat, Sara propelled her school to its first conference championship. She earned a champion’s ring. That makes her a winner by any measure.

But Mallory Holtman is no good loser. She’s also a winner.  She and her teammates won by any measure of character.

How you play the game matters.

Warrantless searches

I drive down from Atlanta to Savannah periodically to visit my family.  Invariably I’ll pass by some poor soul having their car searched by the police. Sometimes I’ll pass a number of such stops on each leg of the trip.

In the past I have attributed the increased activity to police fundraising to support their local municipality, set my cruise control and drove through.  I figured I wouldn’t give the police a reason to stop me and didn’t have anything to worry about.

I often wondered what these people had done to merit police interest.

I’ve learned over time the answer is: nothing.

Apparently the police can make up any old excuse to pull you over and search your car.

What happened to probable cause, you ask?  What did happen to probable cause?

It no longer seems to exist.

The AJC has reported that former Atlanta Falcon Warrick Dunn was pulled over and searched by police south of Atlanta for absolutely no reason.

Dunn posted a series of tweets that said,

Got pulled over today by police outside of atl and they stopped me because he said my window tint was too dark. During the stop he ask a lot of personal questions and said I had the characteristic of people transporting drugs and guns. So he searched my car and he me a warning for my tint. I felt violated and I’ve had my car since 08 and never got pulled over for tint. That ruined my morning but not my spirit. I was Taken back because I think the reasoning was bad and they are trying to fill end of the month quotas. Also its a holiday weekend. Go figure. The funny thing is you can see inside because my tint is not dark.

The cops manufactured a thin excuse to pull Dunn over. According to his tweet, Dunn said the police more or less admitted that he’d been profiled.

What would have happened if someone that had been in the car had left a few grams of marijuana under the car seat that Dunn didn’t even know about? An innocent man would have ended up in jail.

It appears that the Supreme Court just gave the police carte blanche when it comes to warrantless searches.

They ruled that if the cops think they smell something illegal like marijuana coming from your house or apartment, the police may enter and search without a warrant. Presumably this reduction of power in the 4th Amendment now extends to your vehicle if the police think they have reason to search it.

But how are the cops smelling the pot in your car as you drive down the road?  Do they observe something you’ve done wrong and then call for the K-9 unit?

No, innocent people minding their own business and obeying the law are being stopped on suspicion of excess window tint.

Are you kidding me?

You mean to tell me that the TSA can’t profile Muslims from certain countries known to harbor terrorists, but the police can manufacture excuses to profile a law abiding former NFL star who still contributes much to the community?

Something is very wrong with this picture.

former NFL star Warrick Dunn