Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quickies


A collection of blog posts and articles that grabbed our attention this past week.


If the absurdity of Keynesian economics is carried out to its logical conclusion, then what we really need to get the economy moving again is a new and improved war!

W.C. Varones has the details, here.



Temple of Mut has some very kind words for BwD and opines that The American People Passed Angry a Few Exits Ago.




Ran into 3 young ladies who were out visiting San Diego from Pittsburgh. Had to ask what they felt about the whole Ben Roethlisberger/Steelers situation. One of them resigned: "He's like a step child. Don't gotta love him. Just have to take care of him". OK, then.




Where's the oil? Why the Gulf oil spill is not as bad as the Valdez oil spill:

1. Deepwater oil is unusually light and degradable unlike the the black tar from the Valdez.
2. The Gulf of Mexico is much warmer than the Gulf of Alaska which has better allowed bacteria to break down the oil.
3. The flow of the Mississippi has pushed the oil away from the Gulf coast.
4. Mother Nature is incredibly resilient. There's a reason why the great outdoors are outside: Mother Nature is a bitch.

We suggest for his next official act, the President offer up himself to the cleansing waters of the Red Neck Riviera as it may have indeed saved his Presidency.




Pat Sajak for Game Show Czar, anybody?

My primary duty, if I understand correctly, will be to level the playing field when it comes to television game shows. Each show will be required to file forms with my office (gosh, I like the sound of that) indicating they’ve complied with our yet-to-be-fully-determined ground rules. We will monitor the audition process with an eye toward determining that special efforts have been made to recruit members of all groups, particularly those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the genre. (See, I’m already talking like a Czar!)

One helpful commenter added the suggestion of splitting the winnings among all contestants. Out: Equality of opportunity. In: Equality of outcome.



Michael Medved agrees with us: "Take our Country back" is a lame, tin-eared and truly undemocratic slogan.



via FaceBook: Some 60 years ago or so, North Koreans were warned about direct attacks on U.S. Marines "... for they will mob you with violence." Not to go Jay Nordlinger on everybody but that was about the coolest thing we read all week.


We're outta here for possibly the remainder of the day but you never know. Consider that a warning.

Video clip of the day

53 years in the making... on the set of Atlas Shrugged, the movie.

What I like about this book is the individual... the responsibility of the individual. That you are responsible for your own life, you are responsible for your own decisions. There is no sense of entitlement. Even if you are married or your brother is a wealthy or successful man - he doesn't owe you shit. Take responsibility. Make sure whatever you do, you own it. Own it!





Director, Paul Johansson was brought in at the last minute to salvage this $5 million production.

It does have a whiff of desperation about it. It's a shame but count us among those that are skeptical that Atlas Shrugged can be made into a movie let alone an entertaining one.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air


Last we heard from this guy, he was jamming at Rush Limbaugh's wedding. Then, earlier this week in Arizona, he took to task musicians who were boycotting performing in Arizona.

"We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists won't come here. They are f***wits! Let's face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what's the (expletive) with these people?"

An outstanding point on selective righteous indignation, we might add.

And he ignored calls to boycott Israel amid the Gaza floatilla controversy by playing in Tel Aviv last month. Not too shabby of a summer. Not too shabby, at all.

So, given all that, it's a no-brainer who are featured artist is going to be this week.

Ladies and Gentleman, from the Royal Opera House in London, it's Elton John performing "Philadelphia Freedom".



P.S. On a somewhat related note, one of our favorite bands Calexico, is coming to town in September. They're based out of Tucson and they're open border lefties. If FaceBook discussions are to be believed, we have a very bad feeling we will be proselytized to at the show regarding SB 1070. We're so not looking forward to that.

Shut up and play!

Going global

Meanwhile your intrepid host shocked his guests at dinner by opining that the U.S. minimum wage was in fact too high because it is a serious cause of unemployment. We'll see if I last two weeks.


Temple of Mut was over in Italy stirring things up back in June, now B-Daddy is a potential source of trans-national unrest down under. Check it out, here.

What are we fighting for?

The shocking and disturbing cover of Time magazine's current issue can be found here.

From Time's managing editor, Richard Stengel:

I thought long and hard about whether to put this image on the cover of TIME. First, I wanted to make sure of Aisha's safety and that she understood what it would mean to be on the cover. She knows that she will become a symbol of the price Afghan women have had to pay for the repressive ideology of the Taliban. We also confirmed that she is in a secret location protected by armed guards and sponsored by the NGO Women for Afghan Women. Aisha will head to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery sponsored by the Grossman Burn Foundation, a humanitarian organization in California. We are supporting that effort.

To paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, the United States Marines have done more for human rights around the planet than any other entity including the combined efforts of the world's human rights groups.

We struggle mightily with this. Come November it will have been 9 years of war in Afghanistan and currently, there is no end in sight. Self-defeating notions of time tables for withdrawal aside, we mean victory when we say end. We understand the hazards of nation-building (btw, the world is a better place without Sadaam Hussein in it) but when you are the most powerful nation on earth, to what degree do you turn a blind eye to evil? And make no mistake, the Taliban and al-Queda are evil.



He said, "I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘I support the troops, I want you out of there.’ Really? What have you done to support the troops? What have you done other than complain? Have you petitioned the halls of Congress? Have you written your representative? Have you asked the president to increase our pay, increase our benefits? That’s supporting the troops. Saying you want the troops out of Afghanistan by talking to no one of influence is wasting your time, and you’re a complainer. And you’re not supporting the troops.

"Do something for us. Call your senator, talk to your senator. Talk to your representative. If you want us to stay here and continue to fight this war on terror, tell your senator, tell your representative. If you don’t want us to fight this war on terror, and want us back home, call your representative, call your senator. Write them a letter. Say, 'I’m in your constituency, I want the soldiers gone.' Vote.


That from 1st Lt. Christopher Babcock of New Orleans who is currently serving in Afghanistan.




Babcock is an American soldier. He will do whatever is asked of him. God bless him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another vetting FAIL


Look, if you're going to populate the cabinet with tax cheats, why is it such a stretch to have a criminal as one of your White House props?

Charlottesville resident Leslie Macko was once employed at ACAC in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center. In April 2009, she lost her job as an aesthetician in the spa at ACAC.

President Barack Obama called on Congress last week to extend unemployment insurance. Macko stood next to the President of the United States as his example of the need to extend jobless benefits.

CBS19's Jessica Jaglois has learned that Macko was found guilty of prescription drug fraud in March 2009, one month before Macko lost her job at ACAC. She served a one year probationary sentence.

Macko joined two other unemployed people and President Obama at the podium for a speech designed to encourage lawmakers to extend jobless benefits.




And in other competency-related news today...
President Obama's choice to be the government's chief budget officer received a bonus of more than $900,000 from Citigroup Inc. last year -- after the Wall Street firm for which he worked received a massive taxpayer bailout.

The money was paid to Jacob Lew in January 2009, about two weeks before he joined the State Department as deputy secretary of state, according to a newly filed ethics form. The payout came on top of the already hefty $1.1 million Citigroup compensation package for 2008 that he reported last year.

Administration officials and members of Congress last year expressed outrage that executives at other bailed-out firms, such as American International Group Inc., awarded bonuses to top executives. State Department officials at the time steadfastly refused to say if Mr. Lew received a post-bailout bonus from Citigroup in response to inquiries from The Washington Times.

But Mr. Lew's latest financial disclosure report, provided by the State Department on Wednesday, makes clear that he did receive a significant windfall.

We suppose this is evidence of the strategy of flogging and demonizing the evil ways of Wall St. fat cats by employing.... Wall St. fat cats.

Your cultural red meat of the day...



... unless, that is, you own one.

iPad owners are "selfish elites" and critics are "independent geeks", according to a psychological study, the results of which were published in Wired.

According to Koelkebeck, owners are six-times more likely to be "...wealthy, well educated, power-hungry, over achieving, sophisticated, unkind and non-altruistic 30-50 year-olds." Yikes!

The analysis of the iPad owners led one to the inevitable conclusion that they are work-a-holics who, according to the test results yearned to have yet another screen in their lives that delivered an additional way to stay engage with the things they love the most.

The price tag helped keep iPad owners in the category of those able to spend money on non-essential items in the midst of the high unemployment and mortgage foreclosures.



Any way you look at it: Battle of the nerds

Ratas!

The citizens of Bell, CA, a city a few miles to the Southeast of downtown Los Angeles haven't taken kindly to the fact that some of their elected officials are pulling down salaries over $700,000.





Here's where we refrain from some snark regarding the racist elements of this mob.

Everything you saw and heard in that video rang familiar, did it not? The people are righteously exercised and for good cause.

"We have a historic moment right now to make change, do it right and have it replicated across the U.S."


It appears these folks are being quite ungovernable, no?

P.S. Thinking aloud: A large protest/rally in a working class community and who/what isn't present? It's hard to imagine the mayor and city manager, among others, were pulling down those salaries without some leverage.

H/T: Instaglen

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Texas two-step


Who says Texas brawn can't be matched by brain?

Part of being ungovernable is being clever as well.

Best combination of both you will read about all week is right here.

Headline of the day



From the L.A. Times:

SEIU Attacks Rival Union's Tentative Deal with L.A.


When speaking of the purple people beaters one can never be sure whether or not it is in the context of a physical act.

The 'Beaters are miffed over a potential deal brokered between the city and one of its unions, the 4,800 member Engineer and Architects Association and with respect to some concessions the 'Beaters view as "dangerous" in return for the Association getting some furlough days back.

Central to the negotiations is what the Association will be asked to kick in for their healthcare.

Under the proposed pact, workers in the engineers' union would pay $20 per doctor visit, up from $10. Its workers would no longer receive $15 per month to enhance their life insurance and disability insurance. And union employees would pay 5% of their monthly healthcare premiums, according to city officials.

Civilian city workers who rely on Kaiser Permanente currently pay nothing toward their premiums.


Exit question Pt. I: How many of you have health plans that are anywhere remotely as generous as this?

Exit question Pt. II: Does this not paint a picture of just how intractable the problem of state and city debt is when dealing with the compensation packages of the foot soldiers of the ruling class?

Dumbing down evil (UPDATED)


Whatever happened to grand evil? What happened to those who wanted to purify the human race through mass slaughter or those who wanted total world domination at the end of a bayonet? How sad our evil has become, how trivial. Where Margaret Sanger, the foundress of Planned Parenthood wished to eliminate the feedleminded through eugenics, the highest ambition of that organization is now to help us rut like hogs in a sty.


That from KT, our favorite moral scold, who has more on the sorry state of current affairs and how utilitarianism just isn't as sexy as it used to be.


(UPDATE #1):
File this one under: "Why blog when others are more capable than you". We liberated the below from the comment section. From KT:
ligneus left a comment on that post that brought up the issue of partial birth abortions and babies that survive abortions and Obama's position on both.

I'm considering a follow-up on that post, but I need to wait at least a day before I do it. Instead, I'll ask the question that's rolling around in my head right now:

What are we getting in exchange for jabbing babies' heads with scissors, sucking out their brains and crushing their skulls? Seriously, what are we buying with this? There are some great photos of an SS division preparing to smash the Warsaw ghetto out there on the 'net. At least the SS were trying to make the world safe for the Aryan master race. What are we buying when we let semi-aborted babies die alone in a laundry room because we don't want anyone to help them?

If you're going to sell your soul, shouldn't it be worth more?

Thanks for the link.



We'll take a crack at it: Um, we have no earthly clue.

The public face, at least, for justifying partial birth abortion is that restrictions on partial birth abortion are the proverbial camel's nose under the tent of abortion rights as a whole. If they won't let us puncture the skulls of the unborn and suck the brains out with a medical shop-vac then what other evils will be visited upon us by the conspiratorial religious-right?

But the statist-Left claim to personal autonomy and choice was always highly selective to begin with and that preserving unfettered partial birth abortion was the battle they fought the most ferociously was always mildly bizarre at best.

And now the statist-Left has forfeited any sort of ahem, moral high ground regarding personal autonomy/choice with their support of the passage of ObamaCare. Your healthcare is no longer yours but that of the stewardship by the likes of Dr. Donald Berwick.

So, no. We don't have a rational explanation either except for perhaps complete ideological inconsistency and/or hypocrisy. Perhaps in his third autobiography, the President and owner of a AAA rating from NARAL while a Senator can explain it to us.

Imagine the fits of rage some folks will be in when abortion services become rationed, as well, in order to bend the cost curve downward.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you. The woman, she should submit and do anything I ask her to do.

Now, here's a real heart-warming story that was alerted to us at The Corner with a post titled, "Sharia Creeps". Without context, be it known that creeps is in the intransitive verb form though the noun form would certainly qualify in this case, as well.

A woman brought suit against her Muslim husband for non-consensual sex and other abuses. The judge presiding in the case refused to find that there had been sexual assault or any other criminal misconduct because under Sharia law a wife cannot refuse her husband's request for sex. Here's the judge's reasoning:

This court does not feel that, under the circumstances, that this defendant had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault or to sexually contact the plaintiff when he did. The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.

Charmed, we're sure.

So, where did this all go down? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Perhaps England which is slowly losing its way in the West vs. East war with respect to assimilation and sharia law? No, no and no. This little marital dust-up and resulting sharia-friendly ruling by the judge went down in New Jersey.

The defendant employed the ol' I-didn't-know-I-could-knock-my-wife-around-and-force-myself-on-her-because-I'm-Muslim defense. And we'll be damned if it didn't work.

Thankfully, an appellate court reversed this ruling, stating that for the time being at least, the law of the land here in the states super cedes any sort of violent and misogynistic features of a cave-dwelling body of law that might by practiced abroad:

Defendant’s conduct in engaging in non consensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his religion permitted him to act as he did.

As the judge recognized, the case thus presents a conflict between the criminal law and religious precepts. In resolving this conflict, the judge determined to except defendant from the operation of the State’s statutes as the result of his religious beliefs. In doing so, the judge was mistaken.


We dodged that bullet. Shame that it actually had to be reversed on appeal. What does that tell us about how things are trending in this country?

And when internationalists inform us that we must look overseas to see how law is interpreted there, do you think this is what they had in mind?

Video clip of the day

Summer job? Not for these kids. As you will see, there are more important things to be pursued.

And as a palate-cleanser from the video we featured last night, there's no crotch-splitting hand rail skateboard fail, broken limbs or 10 yr.-olds dropping F-bombs. Just wholesome trick-shooting fun for the entire family.



H/T: Deadspin

Paging Dr. Berwick


It would appear that Dr. Donald Berwick's (President Obama's pick to head Medicare and Medicaid) beloved British health care system is in some trouble.






Some of the most common operations — including hip replacements and cataract surgery — will be rationed as part of attempts to save billions of pounds, despite government promises that front-line services would be protected.

How would you describe what is happening in the paragraph above? We think it's reasonable to assume given the language that is used and given the specific action that is taken to achieve the desired result, what is happening in that paragraph is "rationing".

Patients’ groups have described the measures as “astonishingly brutal”.

Eye surgery could delay hip operations An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered widespread cuts planned across the NHS, many of which have already been agreed by senior health service officials. They include:

* Restrictions on some of the most basic and common operations, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and orthodontic procedures.

* Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends.

* The closure of nursing homes for the elderly.

* A reduction in acute hospital beds, including those for the mentally ill, with targets to discourage GPs from sending patients to hospitals and reduce the number of people using accident and emergency departments.

* Tighter rationing of NHS funding for IVF treatment, and for surgery for obesity.

* Thousands of job losses at NHS hospitals, including 500 staff to go at a trust where cancer patients recently suffered delays in diagnosis and treatment because of staff shortages.

* Cost-cutting programmes in paediatric and maternity services, care of the elderly and services that provide respite breaks to long-term carers.


Again, rationing, delays, cuts, job losses, cost-cutting programs, reduction (of services), closure(s), not our words but theirs used to describe the inevitable results of government-managed health care.

When you declare particular goods and services as a right, why should it surprise anybody when those rights to which everyone is entitled start costing far more than they would if they were subject to market forces?

The nerve of the British pols to start denying British citizens their "rights".

Perhaps the Senate confirmation hearings for Dr. Berwick will provide the appropriate platform to get his reaction to what is happening over in England and to explain how it is the same thing will not be happening over here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Video clip of the day

Via Hot Air...

Actually, when we thought about it, what better represents the intellectual heft of the left than profanely repetitive abuse of the King's English employed by children, chronologically speaking and otherwise, a Keffiyeh (seriously, would it have killed these guys to leave out the international signal for anti-semetic, anti-capitalist, terrorist-coddling one-stop shopping than that goofy scarf?), some misrepresentation of the facts, joking about STDs and uh, yeah, profanely repetitive abuse of the King's English?

They're really, really cheezed off about the Gulf and BP. Here them roar (extreme NSFWoH warning):

Oil Spill Charity "F-Bomb-A-Thon" from UnF--kTheGulf.com on Vimeo.



Plunk down 13 bucks, feel smug about yourself and look like an ass. Again, perfect.

And because it's all about stretching your creative limits and improving your messaging, the makers of the video are planning another one which will feature... you got it, little kids dropping the F-bomb.

“We have another video in production right now. It uses the f-bomb and yup, little kids too. People should not be offended by using a crude word to help clean up this crude oil spill. What’s offensive is entire communities, economies and ecosystems destroyed. People need to get their priorities straight. Bring on the backlash. More attention is better for the cause. We’re using a bad word to do some good.”


We now feel as though we have actually lost I.Q. points for having watched that video. Our bad.

The Friday evening dump... and quote of the day

(one in a (semi)weekly series intended to shine some light on unsavory news being jettisoned from the White House or Capitol Hill right before the weekend)

"I would assume he would be someone we would want to hear from because he would have firsthand knowledge."


That from Iowa Democrat, Bruce Braley, in reference to Dept. of Treasury HMFIC, Timothy Geithner and the revelation made this past Friday regarding just what Goldman Sachs did with their share of the U.S. tax-payer funded TARP bailout.

Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public Friday night.
Goldman Sachs disclosed the list of companies to the Senate Finance Committee after a threat of subpoena from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia.

Asked the significance of the list, Grassley said, "I hope it's as simple as taxpayers deserve to know what happened to their money."

He added, "We thought originally we were bailing out AIG. Then later on ... we learned that the money flowed through AIG to a few big banks, and now we know that the money went from these few big banks to dozens of financial institutions all around the world."

Grassley said he was reserving judgment on the appropriateness of U.S. taxpayer money ending up overseas until he learns more about the 32 entities.


All told Goldman Sachs received $12.9 billion in bailout money to protect itself from the worthless AIG securities it held. But before it received the bailout, it had secured protection from outfits like Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley should AIG go under and lawmakers and regulators want to know why, if Goldman Sachs had private money lined up to stay afloat, was tax payer money being spent instead?

Shouldn't Goldman Sachs be expected to collect from those institutions "before they collect the taxpayers' dollars?" Grassley asked. "It's a little bit like a farmer, if you got crop insurance, you shouldn't be getting disaster aid."

Goldman had not disclosed the names of the counterparties it paid in late 2008 until Friday, despite repeated requests from Elizabeth Warren, chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel.


To date, AIG has received over $133 billion in tax-payer assistance.

Warren, in testimony Wednesday, said that the rescue of AIG "distorted the marketplace by turning AIG's risky bets into fully guaranteed transactions. Instead of forcing AIG and its counterparties to bear the costs of the company's failure, the government shifted those costs in full onto taxpayers."

Indeed. If the Wall St. big boys had each others' back then what was the need for the panic that set Bailout Nation into motion?

Somebody got played here and Grassley, Braley and Warren want to know what did Geithner, who was head of the New York Federal Reserve at the time the bailouts were structured in the fall of '08, know and when did he know it.

An attempt, made Friday, to contact Geithner through the White House's public information office was unsuccessful. Natch.

More unintended consequences in your health care

Good grief. We can barely make it through the weekend before we have yet another candidate for Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery... things we are finding out about ObamaCare after it has become the law of the land.

Some major health insurance companies have stopped issuing certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise.

The administration reacted sharply to the insurance pullback. "We're disappointed that a small number of insurance companies are taking this unwarranted and unnecessary step," said Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services department.

Starting later this year, the health care overhaul law requires insurers to accept children regardless of medical problems — a major early benefit of the complex legislation. Insurers are worried that parents will wait until kids get sick to sign them up, saddling the companies with unpredictable costs.

(italics, ours)

There is the very reasonable argument that has been made that this phenomena of health insurers dumping people from their health plans is not an unintended consequence whatsoever and that ObamaCare was written to have this happen to easier pave the way for the public option and a full government take-over of the nation's health care system.

After all, who would be heartless enough to leave the children of this country uninsured?

This would assume, though, this administration and House and Senate leadership being competent enough to actually game this out. Tough call.

What is not up for dispute is that 4 years prior to the ObamaCare "benefits" kicking in, we're all ready seeing it's negative consequences as health insurance providers are making rational business decisions at the expense of the American public.

Guaranteed, we will be seeing more and more of these negative consequences, intended or not, in the coming months and years on our way to the great ObamaCare roll out.

Moving towards the Bell curve

What's this? People demanding accountability and transparency from their elected leaders?

Several hundred angry residents from a modest blue-collar Los Angeles suburb marched Sunday to call for the resignation of the mayor and some City Council members in a protest sparked by the sky-high salaries of three recently departed administrators.

The residents of the city of Bell marched to Oscar's Korner Market and Carniceria, owned by Mayor Oscar Hernandez, then to his home, demanding that he reduce his own six-figure compensation or quit.

They then did the same with some members of the City Council, with many marchers wearing T-shirts that read "My city is more corrupt than your city."

"I don't think they are taking it seriously. And we're serious," event organizer and longtime Bell resident Nestor Valencia, 45, told the Los Angeles Times. "They need to resign."


This after the L.A. Times broke the story that Bell's city manager, police chief and assistant city manager were being paid annual salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars, most egregious among these was city manager Robert Rizzo who pulled down $787,637. All three resigned on Friday.

But proving that not all protestors demanding accountability, transparency and responsibility of their elected leaders are created equal, we've noticed a definite difference in the tone of the media coverage for the outrage expressed by the good citizens of Bell with that of some other protestors who will remain un-named.

It's all good. We're with the residents of Bell and we hope this sparks a revival of civic interest and activism there in Bell and beyond. What is playing out there represents a microcosm of the ruling class vs. the country class in Codevilla's essay. It's high time for this push back.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air (Special edition)


We got hooked watching the marathons of previous episodes on AMC. Tonight kicks off Season 4 of Mad Men. And, yes, we have it on firm authority that is was really all about that back in the day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from a martini shaker at the dry bar, its RjD2 performing "A Beautiful Mine"

You like apples?

Heard recently on the mid-term campaign trail:

“It’s a choice between the policies that led us into this mess and the policies that are leading us out of this mess. It’s a choice between falling backwards or moving forward.”


That's a rather odd statement made by the President considering that his domestic policies from stimuli and bailouts to Keynesian demand-sided gimmickry are merely extensions, though on a much grander scale, of Bush's policies.*

Have we mentioned that Gitmo is still open and that KSM and others of that ilk probably won't be making it to a civilian courtroom any time soon? And does the shameless pandering on Amnesty sound any different from what we were hearing 3 years ago?

And for those of you that belly-ached over the politicization of the Justice Department under the Bush administration, can you please explain what is happening over there now as well what was recently disclosed by the AP at the Department of Homeland Security?

For those of you that wanted Hopenchange how does it feel now knowing that Obama is merely Bush on human growth hormones?

Perhaps, now, if you are all honest with yourselves, what you were pissed off about during the Bush administration is that you didn't have enough Bush in your life because more Bush is precisely what you are getting.

How does that taste?


* Because we wanted to refrain from being any more cynical than this post already has been on a pleasant valley Sunday, let the record show that we didn't mention that we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Addendum #1: via Hot Air:

My God, what have I done?

A play-doh offensive update

It's pretty simple. Get yourself to the post office and pick up a 12"x12"x5" military flat rate box and then to your neighborhood Target, Long's Drugs, Walmart, whatever and fill it with school supplies and clothing. Crap that you probably hated getting for Christmas but would definitely make the day for a child in Afghanistan. OK, you can throw some toys in there also so that Afghani kid doesn't think Americans are a bunch of cheerless Scrooges.*




Said box will be sent to Camp Phoenix in Afghanistan where our troops will distribute these boxes and others like it to schools, villages and clinics in and around the Kabul area.

Our buddy Mongo has set up a FaceBook group with the details including the address/mailing information, here.

Other updates can be found here.

Supporting the troops is more than a bumper sticker.


* A colleague at work who has returned from Afghanistan working as a community affairs officer told us that while there is no shortage of soccer balls, what is really appreciated is pumps to keep them inflated. Just a hint.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quickies (UPDATED)


(please scroll to bottom for update)


A round up of articles and blog posts that have caught our eye over the past few days:



Leslie over at Temple of Mut warns: America is addicted to wars of distraction.

And with specific concern to the most recent flare-up over race relations, she is exactly right. The ruling class wants us to take our eyes off the ball and we can't afford that to happen as W.C. Varones confirmed with his post.

"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

Go to the link to find out who said it for, you know, the full "context".


Awwwww... Journolist lefties hate Keith Olbermann too.

Aside from the egregiousness of conspiring to smear and push an agenda at straight news sources, the take-away from the Journolist email disclosures is what a bunch of insufferable jerks these people are.


And speaking of Journolist lefties, Harrison over at his newly minted Capitol Commentary blows the lid off of the Journolist membership. You guessed it.... no Aleutians.


B-Daddy has an excellent post on the cynicism of using a toddler's death here in San Diego as an excuse to push a sales tax increase. Related at post: coming up with the finances for a new library and a shiny new city hall. City hall employees can work out of Quonset huts at Morley Field for all we care.

But it's all about civic pride, you say. Civic pride is an efficiently operated municipal government that does not try to guilt its constituents into a tax-hike. That and great breweries and a winning football team. We're two-thirds of the way there, now. Let's make this happen!


We're probably out for the rest of the day but may check back in with an update if anything piques our interest.


(UPDATE #1): We've been invaded?

The Cowles Mountain Corollary


Last month we were hiking up Cowles Mountain here in San Diego and observed something that concerned us and has us doubting we'll ever hike up Cowles Mountain again and, in fact, we may even speak out against hiking Cowles Mountain.

It all has to do with the people that hike that trail to the summit which is the highest in the city of San Diego and it has to do with the type of people they are. You see, the people that hike up Cowles Mountain are overwhelmingly white. Sure, there are a few Asians, Hispanics and even some blacks sprinkled into the mix but it's a decidedly monochromatic crew that is nearly void of any Aleutians. We don't think we need to remind anybody of what it says about a group that does not have sufficient representation of Aleutians as determined by the ubiquitous "they".

We are ashamed we did not come to this realization sooner. It never occurred to us the significance of the transgression with whom we might be consorting and it took days of soul-searching to ensure ourselves our hearts did not harbor the same sentiments of these so-called "hikers".

Looking back on it now, we're disgusted. If you're asking.... no, we never did wear a fanny pack but for a couple times a month we took up with these extremists and their SPF 30 and walking sticks. Walking sticks! A sure sign. Some tried to disguise themselves with pony-tails or even tie-die t-shirts but we know better now.

Having said that, we are renouncing Cowles Mountain hiking activities and the regular meetings that occur there on Saturdays, Sundays and the weekday late afternoons and evenings. It's high time to recognize these people for what they are. Hiking while white can no longer be tolerated.

Friday, July 23, 2010

... Read all about it!


Yo! One of the SLOBS (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers... featured in the right-hand margin) got picked up by the Daily Caller for his piece on the rather handsomely compensated public officials of Bell, CA. We'll link to the article at his home base.

Goooooooo.... now.

Congrats, Tim!

Radio KBwD is on the air


You know the band but you may not know the song.


Ladies and Gentlemen, from Dublin, Ireland and off their debut album, Boy, it's U2 performing "Electric Co."


All your health care are belong to us Pt. III

The hit machine that is Dr. Donald Berwick (President Obama's hopeful for heading up Medicare and Medicaid and who will now be subject to Senate confirmation) keeps on rolling (Pts. I and II can be found here).

If the terms "rationing", "regime" and fascist pig somehow offend you with respect to ObamaCare, we suggest you listen to the man himself.

Doc?

"For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained."

You can pretty much kiss medical innovation good bye because innovation costs money (with the hope of a return (see also, evil profits)) and we now worship at the altar of cost containment.

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

We love showing this quote and those similar made by other ObamaCare acolytes to women in our age group who have benefited from early detection. Let's just say that their reaction is usually less than favorable.

"I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."

"Health care has taken a century to learn how badly we need the best of Frederick Taylor [the father of scientific management]. If we can't standardize appropriate parts of our processes to absolute reliability, we cannot approach perfection."

"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."

"Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support."

"The U.K has people in charge of its health care—people with the clear duty and much of the authority to take on the challenge of changing the system as a whole. The U.S. does not."

Translation: All your health care no longer belongs to you. That physician-patient relationship? Forget it. Standardization is simply code for rationing. Rationing of medical goods and services that have passed through the bureaucratic wickets of Berwick's "people" who will, with missionary zeal, enforce equality over quality.


Follower update: Nickie Goomba and What Makes Us Right are in the house.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How's that transparency working out for you?


Well, the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department has sufficiently politicized his realm and ObamaCare will usher in the inevitable politicization of the Department of Health and Human Services along with Medicare and Medicaid, so who's next on the docket?

For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.

The department abandoned the practice after AP investigated. Inspectors from the department's Office of Inspector General quietly conducted interviews last week to determine whether political advisers acted improperly.

The Freedom of Information Act, the main tool forcing the government to be more open, is designed to be insulated from political considerations. Anyone who seeks information through the law is supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose confidential decision-making in certain areas.

But in July 2009, Homeland Security introduced a directive requiring a wide range of information to be vetted by political appointees for "awareness purposes," no matter who requested it.

Career employees were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano's political staff with information about the people who asked for records — such as where they lived, whether they were private citizens or reporters — and about the organizations where they worked.

If a member of Congress sought such documents, employees were told to specify Democrat or Republican.

This, despite President Barack Obama's statement that federal workers should "act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation" under FOIA, and Attorney General Eric Holder's assertion: "Unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles have no place in the new era of open government."

Excellent. Even when it's not his department, the miserable hack is somehow involved, even if peripherally.

Under the FOIA, people can request copies of government records without specifying why they want them nor are they required to provide any personal information about themselves other than their name and a suitable mailing address so those copies can be sent to them.

Anything related to an Obama regime policy priority, however, was subject to a review as was any information requested by lawmakers (Republicans, perhaps?), journalists, and activist and watchdog groups.

And irony of ironies, the internal DHS email request made by the AP for their investigation was submitted for review by the political advisers.


What grade would you give the regime for openness and transparency?

Gold is kind of like health care


Gracious. The hits just keep on coming. Yet another installment for our running archive Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery.... things we're finding out about ObamaCare after the legislation has passed.





Those already outraged by the president's health care legislation now have a new bone of contention -- a scarcely noticed tack-on provision to the law that puts gold coin buyers and sellers under closer government scrutiny.

The issue is rising to the fore just as gold coin dealers are attracting attention over sales tactics.

Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the scope of Form 1099. Currently, 1099 forms are used to track and report the miscellaneous income associated with services rendered by independent contractors or self-employed individuals.


And some perspective from the small business angle:

Pat Heller, who owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., deals with around 1,000 customers every week. Many are individuals looking to protect wealth in an uncertain economy, he said, while others are dealers like him.

With spot market prices for gold at nearly $1,200 an ounce, Heller estimates that he'll be filling out between 10,000 and 20,000 tax forms per year after the new law takes effect.

"I'll have to hire two full-time people just to track all this stuff, which cuts into my profitability," he said.


No one gives a damn about your profitability, Mr. Heller. Profits are evil. In fact, why are we fussing around so much about this. If gold is so popular, let's just declare it a right.

Affordable gold for everybody!

Graphic of the day

Let's take a break from all this seriousness, shall we, with... the history of nuclear bomb testing.





And, no, Kraftwerk did not provide the audio for this graphic.

Exit question: Considering our locale here in San Diego, how is it we're not glowing?


H/T: Information Dissemination

Your math equation of the day




Horribly inept Gulf oil spill response > Refudiate

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not so random thought of the day

Some reaction to the reactions to the Codevilla essay:

We've read where some people are perplexed that Codevilla did not come out and call the "country class" the "tea party". Before getting into what we think is the biggest reason Codevilla did not go there, let's first recognize had Codevilla labeled the country class as the tea party it would've been far too easy to write off his outstanding essay as a partisan political piece when it's no such thing but rather a cultural critique of current American society that is merely playing out through politics.

The biggest reason Codevilla did not do this is because the two simply do not equate to one another. If you consider yourself a tea partier then you most certainly are in the country class but the reverse will not necessarily hold true. We imagine there are some liberals out there that oppose conservative policies that are none the less appalled by the breadth and scope of Bailout Nation, that were horrified by the manner in which ObamaCare was shoved through sideways and are angered by the behavior of the Justice Department with respect to its handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and its hypocritical open-season policy on the state of Arizona.

We say "imagine" because we hope there are some of those liberals out there as we just haven't heard from any of them yet.

Well-meaning liberals that are not politically-connected and thus not the recipients of the spoils system are in the same boat as the rest of us - living in an America where the government-union elites and the legislative upper class at the federal, state and local levels - the "ruling class" as it were, is increasingly unaccountable to the electorate.

As Codevilla pointed out, perhaps no one moment better captured this attitude of arrogance and contempt than when Speaker Pelosi was asked by what authority did the Constitution have to mandate health insurance coverage. "Are you serious? Are you serious?" Serious as a heart attack, Madam Speaker. That she marveled at the chutzpah of someone actually calling into question her authority and legal jurisdiction was palpable.

So, while there is certainly some overlap, Codevilla's cultural essay was both wise and factually correct to not do anything so narrow and tone deaf as to equate the country class with the tea party.

Tales from Bailout Nation Pt. XXVI (UPDATED)

(please scroll down to bottom of post for update. Thanks.)

Now, would these be jobs created or saved?

The Treasury Department encouraged automakers seeking TARP funds to rapidly close their dealerships, even though the plan contributed no specific savings to the companies and caused job losses at a time of mounting unemployment, according to a scathing new audit published Monday.

The report focuses on the plans by Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. to rapidly reduce their number of dealerships by about 25 percent each, and the role that Treasury played in encouraging the automakers to do so quickly instead of over the course of five years.

The audit was prepared by Neil Barofsky, a former federal prosecutor who now serves as special inspector general for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Chrysler eliminated 789 dealerships in June 2009, and GM plans to wind down 1,454 dealerships by October of this year. The rationale behind those moves was that the old dealership network was too big, and that by closing some of the dealerships, the remaining ones would be more profitable and better positioned to re-invest in their businesses.

Chrysler and GM , part of the $81 billion auto industry bailout, were told by Treasury that their plans to spread out those closures was not acceptable, largely because the agency thought that the companies should take advantage of their bankruptcies and close their dealerships as quickly as possible, to avoid state franchise laws that would have made the gradual closing more difficult and more costly.

But Barofsky's report said that Treasury should have taken further steps to ensure that the speedy closures were truly necessary to save the automakers. It added that the agency should have considered whether the benefits to Chrysler and GM outweighed the cost to the economy of potentially tens of thousands of job losses.


And later from same article:

The report said the accelerated closures were encouraged even though they afforded no particular cost savings to the automakers and instead provided "amorphous" benefits, such as reduced incentive payments to dealerships and better customer service at the surviving sales outlets. Estimates of how much the closing would save the automakers were only developed after the decision to close them had been made.

The report also reveals that there wasn't widespread agreement on the plan. Some experts consulted by Treasury's auto team noted that the strategy of having fewer dealerships and concentrating on metro areas - the so-called "Toyota model" - wouldn't work for Chrysler and GM, which appeal to customers in rural areas where foreign cars are less popular.

(italics, ours)

Awesome. Among other sins, first the Feds screwed over the secured creditors in the bankruptcy cram down, then GM flat out lies about the repayment of their TARP loan which was doubled-down by Steve Rattner, former head of the Treasury's auto task force, double-talking his own way around the source of the TARP re-payments and now we find out Team O effectively axed thousands of jobs before they really even had a plan to move forward with dealership closures.


(UPDATE #1): We had seen her piece earlier in the day and in the comments B-Daddy reminded us of yet another egregious transgression in Team O's handling of the Chrysler and GM dealership shut-downs (goodness. it's like some sort of right-wing Journolist cabal). Michelle Malkin dug into Inspector General Barofsky's report and came up with this:

“no one from Treasury, the manufacturers or from anywhere else indicated that implementing a smaller or more gradual dealership termination plan would have resulted in the cataclysmic scenario spelled out in Treasury’s response; indeed, when asked explicitly whether the Auto Team could have left the dealerships out of the restructurings, Mr. Bloom, the current head of the Auto Team, confirmed that the Auto Team ‘could have left any one component (of the restructuring plan) alone,’ but that doing so would have been inconsistent with the President’s mandate for ‘shared sacrifice.’

(italics, ours)

There it is, again. That whole equality of outcome thing.

They knew they could've kept dealerships open but that did not square with the narrative of this administration. Jobs were lost because of a narrow-minded and bankrupt ideology.

This is the exact same philosophy that will dictate how ObamaCare will operate. It matters not if the product or service being provided is substandard or that its delivery makes no earthly sense, as long as it's portioned out by the ruling class in equal amounts, success will have been achieved.

Jobs, health, lives... mere objects to be tinkered with in making America a better place.

That didn't work out so well, did it? (UPDATED)

(please scroll to bottom of post for update)

Let's get straight to it. Left Coast Rebel has the full video of the axed USDA worker, Shirley Sherrod, in her presentation at an NAACP event where she allegedly makes her racist comments regarding a white farmer which caused her termination. Here's what we wrote in the comment section at LCR in an earlier post on this subject:

At this point, I don't feel comfortable with this. The video I saw cut off at what possibly may have been the "but..." moment. As if her narrative went from an act of bigotry to the realization that what she was doing was wrong. Except, if the realization part did indeed happen, we didn't see it.

If Breitbart edited the video in any way so that we did not get the full context then that is despicable as, for all we know, a dedicated civil servant was terminated.

If I am mistaken then so be it. This one, however, doesn't pass my gut check and is why I ran, instead, with goofy Brown Beret mama at the Angels game for my daily lefty racism/bigotry post.

At 18:45 begins the "but..." moment that did not make the original video that blew up on the internet on Monday.

Now, about these Alinsky tactics that many on the right, including ourselves, were so eager to embrace, especially after witnessing the guerrilla ops of James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles as they infiltrated Planned Parenthood offices: Be careful what you wish for. The left lives and dies by these tactics - we merely die because we can't afford screw-ups like that which Andrew Breitbart presented us.

The problem with adopting Alinsky tactics is precisely because in adopting Alinsky tactics you have explicitly bought into the mindset of the opposition. It is a mindset where everything you do, everything you say is informed by politics; that being the politics of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class warfare, grievances, victimhood, etc.

It is our contention that our conservative beliefs are apolitical by nature. In our mind, the embracing of conservatism is, in large part, to free the mind of the political road map by which to live your life. The Alinsky tactics represent a day after day grind of bending the individual will to the machinery of politics as dictated by the ruling class when what it is we are trying to accomplish is to free the individual from this crushing grind.

In the end, it's about ideas, not gotcha. Should real instances of racism be brought to light? Absolutely. But playing this game is a dangerous one because it detracts from the end goals of increased individual freedom and liberty and too easily lends itself to embarrassing and shameful instances like this.

Shirley Sherrod is no racist and deserves her job back.

Let's all chill out for a moment, spend some time with Friedman, Hayek and the Book of Proverbs and think about what were doing.


UPDATE #1: We understand Andrew Breitbart received the edited version of the video and did not edit it himself. This does not excuse him from what transpired after he released this video. His supporters will say that he merely threw the video out there so that we all could come to our own conclusions. Bull shit. The "context" provided was to smear this woman as a bigot. Breitbart should have demanded to see the full-length video when presented with the edited version.

Having said that, we're big fans of Andrew Breitbart and the work he has done to date in battling the statist left. He screwed up on this one, however, and he needs to make things right.

Re: the White House... who acted stupidly. Good lord. What a bunch of spineless creeps. Video shows up Monday, Sherrod is out Tuesday. Got due process? Not these guys.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All your health care are belong to us Pt. II

If you were to come up with reasons as to why to be very troubled regarding the coming of ObamaCare, you can go to fine places like the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute, both of whom (among others) which have been doing yeoman's work in compiling studies and figures debunking the claims of ObamaCare supporters.

But why go through all the trouble when one of the chief players in administering ObamaCare, the recess-appointed Dr. Donald Berwick, gives you all the ammunition that you need.

Dr. Berwick, the floor is all yours (Pt. I is here):

"A progressive policy regime will control and rationalize financing—control supply."

The man is absolutely obsessed with rationing.

"The unaided human mind, and the acts of the individual, cannot assure excellence. Health care is a system, and its performance is a systemic property."

Again, you're too stupid to figure out complicated stuff like health care. Let "the machine" do it for you.

"And it's important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like."

"Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues."

It's not really about "health" at all but rather about nearly every damn thing else. It's time to embrace the notion that ObamaCare really isn't about providing excellent health care but instead providing crappy health care as long as its provided equally.

We don't want to hear any static when we use the terms "rationing", "regime" and yes, "fascist" when describing ObamaCare when the big dogs of the ObamaCare regime use the exact same language or describe their vision of ObamaCare in manner that is synonymous with our chosen terms.

Again, a shout-out to our liberal friends and supposed fans of ObamaCare. Is Dr. Berwick's vision of health care in this country similar to yours?

The Bay State: once again the health care bell cow

Since this is yet more wonderful news we are finding out after the ObamaCare legislation has been passed, this qualifies for Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery.

Remember, folks, if it is happening to the Massachusetts health care sector you can pretty much bet on it happening to the rest of us when all the "benefits" of ObamaCare start kicking in.

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead, a trend that, some analysts say, could eventually weigh heavily on the state’s already-stressed budget.

Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employees.

In Sandwich, business consultant Bill Fields said he has been hired by small businesses to enroll about 400 workers in state-subsidized care since April, because the company owners said they could no longer afford to provide coverage. Fields said that is by far the largest number he has handled in such a short time.

“They are giving up out of frustration,’’ Fields said of the employers. “Most of them are very compassionate but they simply can’t afford health insurance any more.’’

Compassion and a couple of bucks might get you a cup of coffee but as the employers of Massachusetts are quickly finding out, paying the $300 fine instead of covering their employees to the tune of an order of magnitude more than the fine just makes more business sense, compassion be damned.

This, even after Romneycare which was signed into law in 2006 included incentives for employers to provide coverage to low income workers.

Word around the campfire is that Congressional liberals that were not initially onboard with ObamaCare because it did not include the single-payer/public option were convinced otherwise because of this perverse incentive built into ObamaCare whereby businesses saw the option of paying the fine preferable to providing health care for their employees and thus dumping them into a public health plan.

The single-payer model is the defacto endgame here, even though it was never expressly written into the legislation.

H/T: Hot Air

You just don't know what's good for you

They've got the House, Senate, Oval Office and by every measure, the media and yet Joey B. whines never mindful of the high irony content of what he's saying.

W.C. Varones has more here and who also reminds us that the ruling class thinks that the ruling class is doing a damn fine job.

Take us out to the ball game

Lots of fun for the entire family last week up at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA where a group of folks gathered to show their support for Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law.

And, er, joining them were a couple from the Brown Berets, a Latino supremacy group.



A couple of things struck us about what you just watched: a) the protesters were ready for the Brown Berets. They got veritable curb side valet service from beginning to end. And b) after hearing and seeing this woman, you will know that she has at least two things in common with Helen Thomas.

via Gateway Pundit with a H/T to Instaglen

Monday, July 19, 2010

Love, hate and speech


You'd be pleased to find out that Europe's myriad of human rights organizations aren't too keen on free speech rights. You see, free speech contains power and power is something that the ruling class is loathe to part with in any form or matter.

We didn't know much of the history of hate speech laws but we assume it should not be a huge surprise to learn that the largely arbitrary and vaguely-worded hate speech laws ginned-up at the U.N. over the decades were very popular with Soviet bloc states and 3rd world countries ruled by autocrats.

By empowering an active civil society, freedom of expression can thus be said to include its own safety valve against hatred, propaganda, and racism. There is no clear evidence that hate-speech laws foster a higher degree of racial and religious tolerance or help eradicate racism, and it is in any case both condescending and oppressive for the government to presume it knows which views and information its citizens can be trusted to express. Allowing the unquestionably racist and bigoted to speak their minds does not imply official endorsement of their views, just as declining to criminalize adultery does not imply state endorsement. Racism, religious hatred, and homophobia can and must be combated through an open and unfettered debate. When confronted with genuine hatred, it is perfectly possible — and morally imperative — to heed Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s warning that “indifference is not an option” without resorting to coercion and thought control.


Did you get that? Don't let the government dictate to you what is and is not hate speech. Much like the current regulatory regime is picking winners and losers in the market place so do hate speech laws proffer special treatment upon its chosen "victims".

Don't fall for it. Be ungovernable.

The best way to combat hate speech is, in reality, via a robust freedom of expression. Bring the full arsenal of logic, reason, ridicule, mockery and love afforded by our 1st amendment to the battle.

Embrace the hatred of hate speech laws.

Redux?


From the Wall St. Journal:

Fannie Mae,(...) launched an initiative in January that allows some first-time home buyers to get a loan with a down payment of as little as $1,000. Securities firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a brokerage operation jointly owned by Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., is offering some clients home-equity credit lines of as much as $2.5 million.

Credit-card issuers mailed 84.8 million offers of plastic to U.S. subprime borrowers in the first six months of this year, up from 43.7 million a year earlier, estimates research firm Synovate. Nearly 8% of loans for new cars in the latest quarter went to borrowers with the lowest range of credit scores, up from 6.2% in (...)'s fourth quarter, according to J.D. Power & Associates and Fair Isaac Corp.

(deletions, ours)

So when was this written? 3 years ago? Maybe 5? How about last week.

What does this tell us possibly about the financial reform bill's ability to address sub-prime lending and too big too fail?

It would appear that, at least on the surface, there has not been a fundamental change to how business will be done on Wall Street and that the large financial institutions know that Bailout Nation is here to stay.

The best thing you'll read this week (UPDATED...again)


(please scroll to bottom for update)


We feel duty-bound to draw your attention to a fantastic piece written by Angelo M. Codevilla for the The American Spectator titled, "America's Ruling Class - And the Perils of Revolution".

We've written before in these pages that in our lifetime, there has not been a greater rift between the ruling class and the rest of us which Codevilla terms "the country class" as there is at this very momemt. Codevilla takes his time in explaining why and how it is we got to this point and what is to come.

It's a tremedously well-written essay that brought to mind some of our favorite contemporary writers as it contained the sage probity of Victor Davis Hanson, the historical context of George Will, the humorous contempt of P.J. O'Rourke and the unshakeable faith in American exceptionalism of Tom Wolfe.

It's a long read but well worth the time. As such, we're debating excerpting portions of it but one thing did catch our eye as it related to another item we saw over the weekend.


From Codevilla's pseudo-manifesto:

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.


And this from Russell K. Nieli:

Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. "Being an officer or winning awards" for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, "has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions." Excelling in these activities "is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission."


Exit question: How are all those Ivy League educations littered throughout Wall Street, Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. working out for America?


(UPDATE #1): Codevilla's essay is absolutely blowing up around the internet and on the airwaves. Wanted to link you to The Liberator Today and B-Daddy's thoughts here as well as Left Coast Rebel who has the entire essay posted at his site (that's totally cheating, Tim ;)).

(UPDATE #2): The conservative equivalent of the cover of The Rolling Stone chimes in on Codevilla's essay here describing the situation as due to what we like to refer to as the West Potomac virus.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quickies


A round-up of articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week:


Left Coast Rebel has the details on yet more racism within the tea party movement, here.



So let's get this straight: The Feds raid work places and turn the illegals they find out onto the street without deporting them. Now we have illegals roaming around without any means of supporting themselves. How's that for compassion? B-Daddy has more on the incoherency of our federal immigration policy.



Guardian columnist thinks George Steinbrenner was like the Iraq War or something.



And WaPo columnist whines that we really do need the estate tax because... the government needs the money.




Charles Krauthammer on the Wall St. reform bill:

Well, the place to start when asking what it means is to see what Senator Dodd, the chairman, the author of this said a month ago about the bill: "This is about as important as it gets. It deals with every aspect of our lives." And then he adds: "No one will know until this actually is in place how it works." Well, that gives you a lot of confidence!

The fact is there are hundreds of regulations that are going to be as a result of the bill that have not been written. They are going to be lobbied and litigated. The big banks who have the big lobby operations and the big lawyering operations are going to have the upper hand here. Every comma, every adjective will carry hundreds of billions of dollars worth of importance over time.

(itlalics, ours)

If you aren't at the table then you are on the menu.

The more we read of and about this bill, the more we are convinced that it has less to do with actual reform and more to do with the further entrenchment of crony capitalism, corporatism, carve-outs and any number of other alliterative maladies.
A fitting way to end his Congressional career for Chris Dodd, we think we all could agree.




And finally, the question if unions will ever abide by any degree of outsourcing is answered:

Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.

Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.

Priceless

Deadspin commenters... they'll be here all week.


Writes Deadspin:

Michigan Stadium, opening after renovations, will again be the nation's largest with a capacity of 109,901. They've still got a ways to go to catch Pyongyang's RĊ­ngrado May Day Stadium, which seats 150,000.



Steve U:
Of course, attendance at Rungrado only approaches capacity on Dollar Dog Night.

Babcocksure:
wow, 109,901, that's amazing...I didn't know you could fit that many arrogant douchebags in one place.

bevraj ofchoice:
Finally, the UAW brass have a suitable site for their company softball games.

FavreFAIL:
Well on one hand you have a secretive, chaotically run regime with millions of feverishly devoted followers who worship it as though it were deity, and on the other you have North Korea.

don't-forget-where-you-:
Seats 109,901? Are they renaming it the Palindrome?




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Video clip of the day

Obama critics Olby, Tingles, Ed Schultz, James Carville and some other dude we don't recognize explained by the ramblings of noted phrenologist, Janeane Garofalo.

Summer time reading


The 10th and final installment of Walter Russell Mead's essay: "The Top Ten Things We Learned From the Global Economic Meltdown".

10. The politicization of economic governance is dangerous business.


The economic system we’ve built depends heavily on a small number of global financial firms who necessarily enjoy close links to national governments. Because of their power and their wealth (and also because they are sometimes ‘too big to fail’), these firms can potentially control the laws that govern their behavior and the regulators who enforce them. In the United States there has been a lot of attention paid to the close relations between current and former executives at Goldman Sachs and the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The finance-government nexus in the US has its counterparts in other countries as well. These close connections, and the obvious danger of conflict of interest, have gotten a lot of attention — as well they should.

But the problem of regulatory capture is much greater and more deeply entwined with our current economic structure than this one case. The rise in the economic importance of the state during the twentieth century–however necessary and in many ways benign this role may have been at various points along the way–inevitably brings politicized governance and regulation in its wake in ways that make bubbles, panics and crashes both more destructive and more likely.

To take one important example, when government workers make up a substantial portion of the electorate, they can influence their own wages and pensions by voting as a bloc. They can — and they do. California, Illinois and Greece have a lot in common.

But even this is just the tip of the iceberg. The increased economic role of the state naturally and inevitably multiplies conflicts of interest and creates moral hazard. American housing policy, widely and correctly blamed as a major contributing factor to the crisis of 2008, was an outstanding example. The combination of interest groups — consumers who wanted cheap loans and rising house prices, banks who wanted a safe and profitable business model, contractors and other businesses with a stake in the home-building industry, cities and towns whose tax bases increase with rapid growth, advocates for the poor who wanted to improve the access of marginalized groups to the Great American Wealth Machine of home ownership — put them all together and there was an irresistible political force driving the United States real estate market and the financial system into more and more dangerous territory. The housing bubble wasn’t an accident; it was the result of decades of national policy and we worked very hard and spent lots of money to make that bubble as big and as dangerous as it turned out to be.

“Vote yourself a farm!” was a slogan of those who campaigned for the Homestead Act that gave free farmland in the west to anyone willing to settle it. Farm subsidies from the Homestead Act through price supports helped cause the Dust Bowl catastrophe and the great agricultural depression of the 1930s by encouraging over-investment in farming and the creation of marginal farmsteads. The crash was more brutal because government support had inflated the bubble past what would otherwise have been its ‘natural’ size.

“Vote yourself a home!” has been our national motto for the last fifty years and today Americans are as addicted to the home mortgage deduction (and the even less justifiable deductions for second mortgages and home equity loans) as Greeks are to early retirement and government employment. Political popularity makes the policies harder to change — but no less damaging and destructive.

There is no easy way out of these problems. Global markets need sophisticated firms and large firms can manage risks and survive shocks that smaller ones can’t. Civil servants do not and should not lose the right to vote when they take government jobs. The decision to favor home ownership on social and political grounds is one that politicians can properly make, and there is a lot to be said for policies that have helped millions of American families acquire substantial equity over the years.

Yet it is clear that the mix of democracy and capitalism is a dangerous if necessary brew; after decades in which we failed to think the costs and risks through, we are now suffering the consequences of policies that create dangerously perverse incentives in both political and economic spheres. Reducing damaging but popular forms of state intervention in the economy while ensuring the state retains the authority and the ability to provide the effective legal and regulatory frameworks without which no modern economy can flourish is the fiendishly difficult and delicate task which Europeans and Americans alike must now undertake.

(italics, ours)

Don't count on this Wall St. reform bill to come anywhere close to striking that fine balance. We hate to look like Know Nothings but really... what more do you need to know about this particular piece of legislation than the fact it was written by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank?

Look for crony capitalism and "corporatism" once hated by that near-extinct animal known as "liberal" to become further entrenched by this bill.

Our blog buddy, Harrison, has a nice round-up of quotes and goings ons from Frank and Dodd that will only prove our point, here.

P.S. The image we have been using for this series is an allegorical painting by Hendrik Gerritsz Pot circa 1940 depicting Tulip Mania which many believe to be the first speculative bubble.