February 15, 2011
“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat in our drink, in our necessities and comforts, in our labors and in our amusements, for our callings and our creeds…our people.. must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live.. We have not time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our landholders, too…retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must…be contented with penury, obscurity and exile.. private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance.
This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering…And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debtAnd the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”
February 11, 2011
August 16, 2010
July 03, 2010
Her only remaining fear? The ejecting shells from the semi-auto .22 she was using would bounce off the wall of the stall and back at her. She wants to try a revolver next time. And wants that 'next time' to be sooner rather than later.
That's my girl!
The original point I was making with this blog...or at least intended to make...was to demonstrate how it was possible to disagree with someone without demonizing them. A trait the outspoken Left was singularly incapable of during 8 years of "Bushitler" jokes and crying-wolf "Facism!" It was suddenly "trendy" to make jokes about assassinating the President.
These days, I'm not feeling so civil. The inaction of the President and his office during several crises--the Deepwater Horizon spill being but the latest--has been, at best, negligent. The mass populist uprising of the Tea Parties seems poised to make their point at the ballot box in a few short months.
Unless, of course, the Black Panthers and SEIU get to control the ballots. I, personally, have no fear of that. King County here is all-mail voting. Yep, even if I don't trust it, the ONLY way I have to vote is to put it in the mail...and hope it doesn't get misplaced in a warehouse somewhere.
June 28, 2010
After all, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away!
March 05, 2009
February 17, 2009
Genuine bipartisanship, assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'
President Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006
Oddly enough, Congress didn't seem to get this memo. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid railroaded through a wish-list of social welfare programs [including rolling back the Clinton-era welfare reforms] in a hastily-drafted, pork-laden monstrosity calling itself "stimulus." House Republicans were not invited in the drafting, nor were they permitted to amend it in any significant way. Senate Republicans were similary frozen out once three votes could be bought to prevent a filibuster.
"But it's an emergency!" we have been told. Whenever I hear a salesman start telling me I have to act now, this special won't last--that's called high-pressure. He's lying to me. This is such a big emergency that as soon as the "compromise" bill went through on the same party-line vote as the original pieces, the President promptly took a long weekend off before today's signing ceremony/photo-op.
This bill isn't about "stimulus" or "the economy." It's about pork, political payoffs, and increasing the control of the State over businesses. Especially health--but that's a topic for another post.
February 09, 2009
Here's a hint: irresponsible deficit spending caused the current crisis, how can anybody think the cure for it is MORE of the same?
January 20, 2009
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
--President Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech
The problem being, IMAO, that there are many enemies out there who seek not co-existence, but annihilation of all that they disagree with--things like free speech, any religious belief different than theirs, women driving, voting or showing their faces in public.
December 29, 2008
If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
President-Elect Barack Obama, on visiting Sderot, Israel in July 2008.
Uhm, cult of personality much?
November 25, 2008
It beats the total cost of fighting World War II--including the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. It beats the lifetime cost of NASA. It absolutely overwhelms the total cost of Iraq, Vietnam and Korea together.
The root cause? Well-meaning but utterly idiotic legislation forcing lenders to assume higher risk to loan to people who couldn't otherwise afford a home. Because, after all, home ownership is a Right. The other factors all piled up on top of that single (Carter-era) premise.
And if the banks can't do it, the government will just have to buy them out and make it happen. Responsibilty? Bah, that's so nineteenth-century!
November 19, 2008
November 18, 2008
November 17, 2008
This, of course, is a satire on courtiers, bureaucrats, pages, messengers, lackeys, yes-men and sycophants that inevitably surround leaders. It is every bit as true today as when Swift wrote about it. Our President is incredibly busy and important, and cannot be bothered by such petty things as the actual unfiltered opinions of the people.
This leads me to the current hoo-rah about President-Elect Obama and his electronic leash. Err, I mean Crackberry. As with many of our executives in business and politics, he is extremely fond of his, using it throughout his day to keep on top of his schedule, contacts, and things that Must Be Remembered. Entire working styles have evolved around rapid access, fast emails and text-messaging, synched calendars, and so on.
Of course, It Must Go. Security risk, you know. Oh, and those pesky legal discovery laws. Would hate to have to explain the "missing 18 emails" some independant counsel wants to dig up. Besides, the REAL risk here is that he might accidentally be exposed to non-filtered, un-agenda-approved EXTERNAL INPUT. Not to go off into conspiracy-land, here, but if I'm a career apparatchik, that's the last thing I want to have happen!
It is time for a quick review of how our laws work and interact in the face of technology not even dreamt of when those laws were first written. A web-cam & microphone in every elected officials office? Insta-mail with 'smart' summarizers to 'poll' the public far better than Gallup can ever hope for? Automatic electric shock administration to the next Congresscritter using the word "bailout" ?
One thing is for sure, the future sure doesn't look like it used to.
November 11, 2008
November 08, 2008
These days, Photoshop makes it easier to erase, but it's still not perfect.
I direct your attention, Gentle Reader, to change.gov, a fast rename of the original Obama campaign site. Now it appears to be an official statement on the process of transition, and the plans of the incoming administration. Let us not quibble over the use of the .gov domain for what is not an "official government agency," nor over the "Office of the President-Elect." Instead, let's visit the "America Serves" section.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.
Sounds quite laudable, doesn't it? "encourage community service." Thing is, that's the second draft. Here's the original wording, emphasis is mine.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Now, drafting kids out of middle school and putting them to work is a separate topic unto itself, but suffice it to say, is not a good idea. Striking it out and saying "ok, that one isn't a good idea. How about volunteer instead?" would be a good approach.
Instead, President-elect Obama (or, rather, his team) erases it completely from the record. We never said any such thing! This is not a good way to build trust with the people you are supposed to lead.
Remember this proclivity to whitewash mistakes, and when your memory disagrees with "official history"...well, you'll have to decide who you trust more, won't you?
November 07, 2008
Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has some ideas on "what do Republicans do now?"
I suggest that we return to first principles. At the top of that list has to be a recommitment to limited government. After eight years of profligate spending and soaring deficits, voters can be forgiven for not knowing that limited government has long been the first article of faith for Republicans.
This appeals to me!
(H/T: The Volokh Conspiracy)
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