February 15, 2011

Quotes

Jefferson, on debt

“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 debt
And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 03:50 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Quotes


February 11, 2011

Looking Ahead

Who knew?

Sarah Palin and I share a birthday.  Small world, eh?  Happy birthday, ma'am, and keep spreading the smaller-government message!

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 09:53 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Looking Ahead


August 16, 2010

Dissent

Those voices certainly don't speak for ME.

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Posted to category: Dissent


July 03, 2010

Second Amendment

Appropriate brag for the holiday...

I took my 11-year-old daughter to the range last month for the first time.  Once she got over her fear of the noise and flash, she demonstrated a knack for hitting the paper at about 5-7 yards. 

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!

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 09:27 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Second Amendment


Looking Ahead

I must remember to dust myself more often...

...so, I haven't been writing anything.  Not that a lot of things haven't been happening, of course.  I think we're all quite aware of just how swimmingly the Second Great Depression is going so far.

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.

Soapbox, ballot box, jury box.  These are the orderly means of addressing wrongs in our society.  I need to practice my soapbox more.
Soapbox, ballot box, jury box.  These are the orderly means of addressing wrongs in our society.  I need to practice my soapbox more.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 09:15 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Looking Ahead


June 28, 2010

Second Amendment

5-4, SCOTUS parses English and Constitution correctly.

The 2nd amendment--the one that guarantees the others--has been found to be an INDIVIDUAL right, and one that the states and cities of the United States cannot infringe upon. 

After all, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away!

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 09:35 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Second Amendment


March 05, 2009

Creeping Socialism

A picture is worth a thousand words, or a trillion dollars...

I don't have anything useful to add, so just go visit this excellent visual representation of what the U.S. Government is doing to its citizens.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 10:48 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Creeping Socialism


February 17, 2009

Quotes

Bipartisanship then and now

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. 

This is not bipartisanship.  This is the reality of single-party rule.   President Obama will sign this atrocity today in Denver, and our grandchildren will still be trying to pay for it.
This is not bipartisanship.  This is the reality of single-party rule.   President Obama will sign this atrocity today in Denver, and our grandchildren will still be trying to pay for it.

"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.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 08:55 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 09, 2009

Creeping Socialism

Stimu-Pork!

Congratulations, Democrats.  You got your 20-year wish list voted through, with a big helping of hysteria and fear-mongering publicity from the White House.  Our kids--and theirs yet unborn--will be paying for your pork for years to come!

Here's a hint:  irresponsible deficit spending caused the current crisis, how can anybody think the cure for it is MORE of the same?

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 07:49 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Creeping Socialism


January 20, 2009

Quotes

Sounds great, but how will it work?

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.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 12:42 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Quotes


December 29, 2008

Quotes

Hey, I agree completely

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.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 04:11 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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System

I'm not dead yet!

Yeah, no posts lately.  Recent...conversations...on twitter have led me to the conclusion that a post on "Man-caused Climate Change" is called for, but I want to get my ducks in a row first.  Meanwhile, the press is (almost literally) salivating at pictures of the President-Elect wandering around Hawaii shirtless.

Uhm, cult of personality much?

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Posted to category: System


November 25, 2008

Creeping Socialism

Bailouts, Banks, and Bull****

Someone better at high finance than I am has run the numbers and the current bailout-a-looza is the single largest bill the US has paid.

Ever.

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!

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 12:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Posted to category: Creeping Socialism


November 19, 2008

Second Amendment

Stimulate the Economy!

Today is National Ammo Day, so get on out there and stock up!

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 12:33 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Posted to category: Second Amendment


November 18, 2008

System

Let's see how bad the spam is

Comments have been opened to 'everybody,' as apparently mee.nu really really wants you to make a website even if you're only going to register to make comments.  Hopefully I won't regret this...

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 08:35 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Posted to category: System


November 17, 2008

Looking Ahead

A Modern Presidency?

In Gulliver's Travels, one of the places the hero visits is Laputa, a land where all those in power are accompanied by "Flappers."   These functionaries block the ears and mouths of the important and powerful with their flaps, permitting the powerful to fully occupy themselves with their thoughts.  When the Flapper thinks their person needs to hear something, they remove the ear block. 

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!

Welcome to the Twenty-First century and the first of many disruptive technologies that will greatly alter How Things Get Done.
Welcome to the Twenty-First century and the first of many disruptive technologies that will greatly alter How Things Get Done.  There will be more, and the more "in-touch" the officeholder, the more dependant they will be on them to function "normally."  It does all of us a disservice to immediately cripple a decision-maker by removing their tools.

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.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 06:55 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Posted to category: Looking Ahead


November 11, 2008

Quotes

Veterans Day 2008

We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

 -- attributed to George Orwell

Thank you, to all those who fight for our country.

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Posted to category: Quotes


November 08, 2008

Disgrace

It's the History Eraser button!

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, they would frequently edit photos by erasing people that had fallen from favor. A lineup of generals viewing a parade would suddenly have a gap in it. And that gap had always been there, according to them. George Orwell referenced this in 1984 in the main character's job at the Ministry of Truth. Usually, these erasures were clumsy, and many people had the original publications to compare to.

These days, Photoshop makes it easier to erase, but it's still not perfect.

For every skilled pixel-pusher trying to edit history, there are ten more ready to analyze every artifact, jaggy, and color blend. But on a website?
For every skilled pixel-pusher trying to edit history, there are ten more ready to analyze every artifact, jaggy, and color blend. But on a website?

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.
It's the Same Old Thing we've seen before, not "Change."
It's the Same Old Thing we've seen before, not "Change." What else will get swept down the memory hole over time?

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?

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 10:53 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Disgrace


November 07, 2008

Looking Ahead

...sometimes I despair

For whatever skill I have with words, Bill Whittle always manages to say it better.

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Posted to category: Looking Ahead


Looking Ahead

Rep. Flake's Way Out of the Wilderness

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)

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 09:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Posted to category: Looking Ahead


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