The Death of Kim Jong-Il

My first reaction was "so what?" and "who cares?"  But then I read some of the things said about him in the "mainstream" American press: 

"Smart and ruthless."

"Diplomats who dealt with him describe Kim as shrewd and calculating."

"In a demented sort of way, brilliant."

"Tactically brilliant."

"A very cunning person and very smart person."

"Was profoundly important around the world."

They say ludicrous things like this, and then they wonder why fewer and fewer people of intelligence take them seriously.

Let's get the record clear.  Kim Jong-Il was nothing but a mass-murdering thug.  We don't know exactly how many of his own people he starved to death (there were famines in North Korea in both in 1990s and 2000s and the number dead may be in excess of 2 million), but there is nothing good to say about him.  He was only in power because his father was a sycophantic puppet that Joseph Stalin put in power when the Soviet Union established a communist government in the country.  Other than that, he had no more qualifications for office than Barack Obama had.

Don't expect anything to change in North Korea.  Kim Jong-un is probably as vapid and empty-headed as his father was.  He'll make a little noise every once in awhile, because babies like to cry and be noticed.  China isn't going to let North Korea do anything stupid. 

Enough time wasted on that.

I Hate Thomas Sowell

In an article he published two days ago, Sowell wrote: 

"Not only does gridlock allow the president to blame Republicans for not solving the financial crisis that his own runaway spending created, the inability to carry out as much government intervention in the economy as when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress means that the market can now recover on its own to some visible extent before the next election."  (Thomas Sowell, "Gridlock To The Rescue?")

He is exactly right.  If there HAS been any economic recovery this year, it's because Congress hasn't done anything to interfere in the economy!!  And if that continues to happen--gridlock--investors will become more emboldened to spend their money.  They certainly don't want to sit on it forever.  The "do-nothing Congress" that Obama berates is the very thing that might be his salvation in next year's election. 

Sowell goes on to make that very point.  If the economy does improve, the Obama propaganda machine--AKA the "mainstream media"--will fall all over itself giving Obama credit.  There are enough economic ignoramuses in the USA (about 99% of the population) to believe it.  And thus, he might get re-elected.

I don't really hate Thomas Sowell, of course.  He's one of the most brilliant, inciteful writers alive.  I'm just angry because I've been wanting, for weeks, to make the point he made, but (note my earlier post today), I've just been too busy to write about it.  So, since he published first, people are going to think I borrowed from him when actually it was he who was reading my mind....More to the point, great minds think alike....

I knew, when I saw the title of his article, before I even read it, what he was going to say.

Current Event Ramblings, December 15

It's been a while since I've posted so I thought I'd check in and let everyone know I'm doing fine.  It's been a very busy semester, much busier than I thought it would be here, but having a 6th class (the normal is 5 and that's what I'll have in the spring) has been taxing.  Since we didn't start classes until the middle of September, the semester won't end until January 12.  We have no days off for Christmas or New Year's.  The Chinese don't do Christmas, of course, at least as a holiday, but I was at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago, and there were Christmas decorations everywhere.  The only place on campus that's decorated is our building, and the Chinese are politically incorrect.  It's "Merry Christmas," not "Happy Holidays."  I don't imagine the Chinese care what Americans think, but I'm glad that they know what the holiday is.

There really hasn't been a whole lot I've wanted to comment on anyway.  In sports, the Astros new GM made his first move--he traded the team's best reliever for a shortstop who can't stay off the disabled list and a young, unproven pitcher who apparently doesn't have a lot of upside.  Jed Lowrie, the shortstop, has some potential, but he has to stay healthy.  We'll just have to wait and see if it's a good deal or not.  The Cowboys, after a few good weeks, have lapsed back into the mediocrity that best describes their team.  The losses the last two weeks were inexcusable.  I wish they would get Bill Cowher as head coach.  He'd light a fire under them, if anybody could.

On the political front, Newt Gingrich keeps hanging in against attacks from everywhere.  Even the "conservative" media is bashing him, trying to destroy him (does National Review really prefer Mitt Romney?).  Newt's a loose cannon, there's no doubt about that, but he's better than Romney, and he's light years ahead of Obama.  I wish Rick Santorum would bust out of the pack.  He's the best of the bunch; well, he and Michelle Bachmann.  But, for some reason, neither of them are getting much attention from voters.  I still think Romney will be the nominee, but Newt might steal it.  "Conventional wisdom" is that Newt can't beat Obama, but "conventional wisdom"--i.e., Washington establishment politcs--is not always right.  At the moment, anything could happen.  Obama is certainly vulnerable, but as the Democrats make more and more people dependent on government, it's going to be harder and harder for a decent candidate to win.  And don't forget that there are many people who will vote for Obama because of their hatred of Christianity.  Don't ever underestimate that feeling among many people. 

The Tim Tebow story is worth commenting on.  I haven't seen him play, and from what I can gather, he's not really a very good quarterback.  Of course, this is his first year as a starter, so he needs some time to develop.  All he does is win.  He's getting attention, of course, because he's a decent kid who makes no bones about his faith in Jesus.  Because of that the media hates his guts, and have been tearing him down incessantly, hoping he loses, or better yet, that they'll find him in bed with another man.  Jesus, naturally, had it exactly right:  "Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:19).  Again, Tebow is not a great quarterback--at least not statistically--but he's not the worst in the league, either.  But you never hear about any other lousy quarterbacks.  Tim Tebow makes liberalism look bad, because he is living proof that people can be decent, respectful, and live by a high moral standard.  And if people do that...they don't need liberalism.  Liberalism needs scum to survive, so it exalts it, supports it, and perpetuates it.  And tries to destroy anything, and anybody, who is decent.  Hang in there, Tim.

More Brilliance From Walter Williams

Here's Dr. Williams' latest article.  I simply must share it with you, and it needs to be spread as far and wide as possible.

Ending Income Inequality?

Benefiting from a hint from an article titled “Is Harry Potter Making You Poorer?”, written by my colleague Dr. John Goodman, president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, I’ve come up with an explanation and a way to end income inequality in America, possibly around the world. Joanne Rowling was a welfare mother in Edinburgh, Scotland. All that has changed. As the writer of the "Harry Potter" novels, having a net worth of $1 billion, she is the world’s wealthiest author. More importantly, she’s one of those dastardly 1-percenters condemned by the Occupy Wall Streeters and other leftists.

How did Rowling become so wealthy and unequal to the rest of us? The entire blame for this social injustice lies at the feet of the world’s children and their enabling parents. Rowling’s wealth is a direct result of more than 500 million "Harry Potter" book sales and movie receipts grossing more than $5 billion. In other words, the millions of “99-percenters” who individually plunk down $8 or $9 to attend a "Harry Potter" movie, $15 to buy a "Harry Potter" novel or $30 to buy a "Harry Potter" Blu-ray Disc are directly responsible for contributing to income inequality and wealth concentration that economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says “is incompatible with real democracy.” In other words, Rowling is not responsible for income inequality; it’s the people who purchase her works.

We just can’t blame the children for the unfairness of income inequality. Look at how Wal-Mart Stores generated wealth for the Walton family of Christy ($25 billion), Jim ($21 billion), Alice ($21 billion) and Robson ($21 billion). The Walton family’s wealth is not a result of ill-gotten gains, but the result of Wal-Mart’s revenue, $422 billion in 2010. The blame for this unjust concentration of wealth rests with those hundreds of millions of shoppers worldwide who voluntarily enter Wal-Mart premises and leave dollars, pounds and pesos [and yuan, I would add, MKL].

Basketball great LeBron James plays forward for the Miami Heat and earns $43 million for doing so. That puts him with those 1-percenters denounced by Wall Street occupiers. But who made LeBron a 1-percenter? It’s those children again, enabled by their fathers or some other significant male. Instead of children doing their homework and their fathers helping their wives with housework, they get into their cars, drive to a downtown arena and voluntarily plunk down $100 for tickets. The millions of people who watch LeBron play are the direct cause of LeBron's earning $43 million and are thereby responsible for “undermining the foundations of our democracy.”

Krugman laments in his Nov. 3 New York Times column “Oligarchy, American Style," “We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.” I’d ask Krugman this question: Who’s putting all the money in the hands of the few, and what do you think ought to be done to stop millions, perhaps billions, of people from using their money in ways that lead to high income and wealth concentration? In other words, I’d like Krugman to tell us what should be done to stop the millions of children who make Joanne Rowling rich, the millions who fork over their money to the benefit of LeBron James, and the hundreds of millions of people who shop at Wal-Mart.

I’d like to end this discussion with a bit of a personal note. The readers of this column know that I never make charges of racism. Rowling is an author, and so am I. In my opinion, my recently published book “Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” is far more important to society than any "Harry Potter" novel. I’d like to know what it is about me that explains why millions upon millions have not purchased my book and made me a billionaire author. Maybe Krugman and the Wall Street occupiers have the answer.

Current Event Ramblings, November 29

I've got a few minutes and thought I'd check in.  The world looks like it's going to hell in a handbasket, so I better write something before it does.....

I can't help but laugh at the Europeans.  Twice last century Germany almost destroyed Europe and now everybody over there is claiming that only the Germans can save it.  The whole European Union and "euro" idea was ridiculous in the first place.  It's sad in one sense.  The Europeans produced some of the greatest geniuses in history--before the 20th century.  But then they turned to socialism and have done nothing right since.  And this is the direction Obama and the Democrats is taking America.  This is stupidity gone to seed.  I mean, you don't even need to know history--this European mess is right before their eyes, and yet the Democrats insist on following the same course.  History in the making...

Barney Frank announced that he is not going to seek re-election next year.  This is good news for America, of course.  Few people have done more to destory the morals and economy of America than Barney Frank.  Make no mistake about it--the current recession lies heavily upon the Clinton administration, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank, with a dose of Republican gutlessness tossed in.  And, of course, it's been exacerbated by the Obama administration.  Massachusetts has given America the Kennedys and Barney Frank.  That state, which led the Revolution, has, in a great sense, led another one--a counter-revolution against the very principles they started.  It's almost strange how a collective can go from one extreme to another, but it's fairly common in history.

Newt Gingrich is the current flavor-of-the-month in the Republican presidential primary race.  A Washington Post blogger is asking for people to send him any dirt they know of on Newt Gingrich.  I don't know how long Newt will survive.  He actually may have a chance at the nomination, though I still think Romney will get it (but anything is possible in politics).  Gingrich's three marriages won't hurt him.  Hard for the Democrats to use that against him when their elder statesmen, whom they all idolize, is Bill Clinton.  As long as Gingrich stays clean morally, his marriage past shouldn't be an obstacle.  He's done--and said--a lot of stupid things in the past, but he's also the smartest of the candidates and he'd make mincemeat of Obama in a debate.  The Democrats know it--that's why they are begging for dirt on him.  Romney is still the choice of the "establishment"--Republicans and Democrats.

Interestingly, some Democrats are running scared and telling Obama to drop out and turn the party over to Hillary Clinton.  Forget it.

So, in summation:

--the Euro is about to collapse (but it won't because the Germans will save it);
--Iran is about to have the bomb, and only Israel seems to care (Obama doesn't);
--the Pakistanis are in a tizzy because of a NATO air strike (the Pakistanis admit they fired first; they are burning Obama in effigy, which might be the best thing that's happened to him recently);
--the KGB (Vladimir Putin) is fixing to be in power in Russia again;
--the lice-infested "Occupy" movements have begun to be an embarrassment to the Democrats so the media isn't covering them much any more;
--and a man was arrested for viewing child porn on a cross-country air flight from Salt Lake City to Boston.  It turns out he was a college professor who bought the computer with a government grant (i.e., taxpayer money).  Government money for education--right there absent from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, along with 99% of the rest of what the Founders didn't give Congress the power to do, but upon which it wastes the money of its constituents.  South, rise again, please...


A student came up to me after class this morning to ask a question about an upcoming exam.  I looked at her curiously and noticed that the glasses she wore didn't have any lenses.  I stuck my finger through the frame and asked her, "Why do your glasses not have any lenses?"

She kinda giggled and a friend of hers standing by replied, "Fashion."  I just shook my head.

Fifty years ago their grandparents were starving to death and now Chinese youth are worried about fashion...

"And You Think You Can Run a Country This Way?"

If you can spare a few minutes, go to the following link: 

The whole speech is good, but if you only listen to the first minute and a half, you'll hear more common sense than what has come out of the Obama administration or Democratic Party in the last generation.  But if you have 10 minutes to spare, watch the entire video.

Fruit Profits For Sale

I wasn't overly busy today, so I decided to head down to a nearby mall I had briefly visited a few weeks ago and wanted to see more of.  So I made the five-minute walk to the bus stop and paid the c. 15 cent fare for the 15 minute ride (it's about 15 cents to go anywhere, by bus, in this city of 4+ million people, though one will be lucky to get a seat).  I was a little hungry when I got to the mall, so I first stopped at KFC and had something to eat.  I paid a little less than $5 for a combo meal--two pieces of chicken, medium fries and coke, and a small ice cream cone afterwards.  I thought the price was a little high.  But I chose KFC over McDonald's or Subway, mainly because the latter was inexplicably closed.  Well, and I didn't see Mr. Pizza in time.  Anyway, after eating I ambled through the four-story structure, which was every bit as modern as any mall one would see in America.  And, like in the U.S., it was full of mostly women's clothing stores.  Not so many shoe stores and not too many electronics places; those are elsewhere.  However, when I took the escalator to the 2nd floor, the first shop I saw was "Crocs"--and yes, it sold...Crocs.  It was right around the corner from the Calvin Klein store, which wasn't too far from the Lee shop.  No GAP (thank goodness).  The sporting goods store had a nice picture of Kobe Bryant, wearing number 24 for some reason.  Canon and Sony had nice places, though rather small; again, there weren't a lot of electronics items on display.  The only place I saw any traditional Chinese clothing was in a wedding shop--a wedding dress.  Nobody here wears the traditional clothing any more, at least nobody I've seen in Dalian.  Nor do they any longer wear the little blue Mao suits and hats.  But anyway, it was quite a display, this mall in China, and all rather ho-hum now to the students at the college, many of whom tell me, "No, I don't especially like going shopping."  And it's the girls telling me that.

The one thing they haven't quite got a handle on yet, though, is English.  I saw one refreshment type restaurant (named "Aloha") that advertised on its banner "coffee, ice cream, meals, fruit profits."  Uh...I think you meant "fruit parfait", guys...

Or maybe they DID have it right....

Astros to the American League

The Associated Press is finally reporting what everybody already knew, i.e,. that Major League Baseball will only approve of the sale of the Astros to businessman Jim Crane if he agrees to move the club to the American League.  In other words, blackmail.  The deal is supposed to be announced in the next day or so.

It is what it is. 

Newt at the Top

There's a poll or two out there that now has Newt Gingrich leading the Republican race.  Watch now.  The media will start trying to destroy him.  In fact, they already are.  They simply got after him before I had time to write this post...

Current Event Ramblings, November 12

It's been a busy week so I've been limited in posting time, but I thought I'd check in this morning with a note or two....

The scandal at Penn State University is horrendous and toppled one of the finest football coaches ever, Joe Paterno.  It's a shame this kind of stuff happens, but given the putrid slop that Hollywood pours out daily and the exaltation of politicians like Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, and Barney Frank, I'm not the least bit surprised.  You sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.  America has become a sex-saturated society, we never hear our leaders condemn it or urge the people to virtue and self-control, so we get what we deserve.  Yesterday in my classes here, I showed my students some videos of early 20th century American films, mainly Charlie Chaplin and The Three Stooges.  Nothing even remotely risque, just pure fun and comedy and the students loved it.  But democracy means appealing to the lowest common denominator in a society so that no one will feel left out.  Thus, trash becomes an acceptable form of entertainment.  And little boys get raped.  And then the leading lights express horror that such a thing could happen.  Tragic, but not surprising.

The Herman Cain saga continues.  He's been hurt by the accusations, but he hasn't been destroyed yet, and that has the liberal media beside itself.  As noted, a successful black conservative is the most dangerous political creature alive to liberalism because it's a denial of their whole racial philosophy.  Plus, if Cain becomes the nominee and gets even 20% of the black vote, Obama would be in serious trouble (he got 96%, I believe, in 2008).  So Cain has to go and the media will hound him till he's out.

In one sense, it doesn't matter because I never thought Cain had a chance of getting the nomination in the first place (and I still don't think he does).  The Republican establishment doesn't want him, every bit as badly as the liberal media.  The one who has benefited most from Cain's problems is Newt Gingrich, who is now 2nd or 3rd in the polls, depending upon which one you look at.  Gingrich is far and away the most intelligent of the Republican candidates; he can say or do something incredibly stupid sometimes, but that doesn't detract from the fact that his ideas are the most insightful of all the candidates.  His being an historian doesn't hurt; a President should be a good historian so that he can consult the past for what works and what doesn't (another failing of liberalism).  Our Founders were brilliant historians and that's why they were able to set up the best government that man had ever devised.  And it's been destroyed by ignoramuses.

Yet, for all his intelligence and knowledge, Newt has serious marriage baggage that will make it very difficult for him to win the nomination or the Presidency; in some ways, he makes Bill Clinton look virtuous.  Of course, adultery and harrassment doesn't matter to a Democrat--unless it's a Republican doing it.  Barney Frank can run a queer whorehouse out of his basement, Teddy Kennedy can harrass every woman in Washington, Bill Clinton can cheat on his wife and lie to a grand jury and it's no big deal.  But they'll try to fry a Republican if a woman even hints that one made her uncomfortable by the way he looked at her.  If Gingrich continues to rise in the polls, he'll be the next media target.  They've gone after Bachmann when she showed some promise, they blasted Perry when he was at the top of the polls, they've tried to atomize Herman Cain...Gingrich is next.  Because, you see, Romney must be the candidate.  Why?  Because he's the least frightening, he's John McCain II, and Obama can beat him.  And that's what it's all about.

This is amusing.  A communist Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund spokesman -- a communist commenting on Europe -- said, "I think if you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of their worn out welfare societies...I think the labor laws are outdated -- the labor laws induce sloth, indolence rather than hard working. The incentive system is totally out of whack."  The Commies get it and the socialists in Europe don't.  Actually, "communism" as any kind of economic or social system is totally defunct in China.  This society is more capitalistic right now than America.  The government is still a little too oppressive, but they've pretty well turned their people loose economically and it's showing.  Europe is in serious trouble and Obama and the Democrats seemed determined to take the United States down that road.  But it's all part of the moral degredation of America.  Some people are adulterers; some people are lazy parasites.  And the Democratic Party attracts them all with its "progressivism."  "Progressive."  What a hoot.  Calling a manure pile a rose doesn't make it one.

Cain and Sowell

Ha.  I told you, in my last post, that the media would ratchet up their attempts to destroy Herman Cain.  They've found a couple of bimbos who claim Cain "harrassed" them sexually so it's feast time against one of the biggest dangers to liberalism--a smart, successful, self-made, black, conservative Republican.  By his very presence, Herman Cain is a denial of everything the Democratic Party and liberalism believes about race.  Cain MUST be destroyed, and keep watching, the liberal media and Democrats are going to do everything they can to do just that.

Thomas Sowell hits the nail on the head again in his most recent article, "Democracy Versus Mob Rule."  I share it with you below:

In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.

Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these "protesters," and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.

Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education — and apparently the President of the United States thinks so too.

But if these loud mouths' inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.

Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some "protesters" were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things — and don't get arrested.

The difference is that I don't block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers' money.

Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is "Wall Street greed." But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, "greed" is no explanation whatever.

"Greed" says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.

If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers' money to people in Wall Street — or anywhere else — then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem. "Occupy Wall Street" hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue — or in the media or academia, for that matter.

Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted — and federal regulators' power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the "greed" of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.

As for the "top one percent" in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the "millionaires and billionaires" that Barack Obama talks about. You don't even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.

Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income — for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.

But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.

Current Event Ramblings, October 29

A couple of quick hits.  It's been a busy week:

Prediction:  there will be some violence in the streets in America before the 2012 election.  The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has gone nationwide, though not with overbearing strength, and there has already been some minor clashes in the streets.  There will be more because that's what the radical left does.  They have no moral standards, except the contingency of the moment.  Contrast that with the peacefulness of the Tea Party protests of a couple of years ago.

Herman Cain is holding his own near the top of the Republican polls and so the media is starting to go after him.  I said it would happen.  Any time a conservative candidate shows any lingering popularity, the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party, aka, the "mainstream" media will do all they can to destroy him or her.  They did it with Sarah Palin, of course.  After Michelle Bachmann won an early straw poll, they took after her.  Immediately after Rick Perry's entrance, and rise, he got lobotamized.  Now it's Herman Cain's turn, because he's remained at, or near, the top of the polls.  It's what liberals do--try to destroy reputations.  They've been doing it for a long time.

The seventh game of the World Series is going on as I write this.  The Rangers are trailing, 3-2, in the 4th inning.  They had their chance to win it--twice--last night, and couldn't get it done.  Nobody to blame but themselves if they end up losing it.  We'll see what they are made of over the last few innings.

Current Event Ramblings, October 23

Game 3 of the World Series is going on as I write this.  At the moment, the Rangers are trailing 8-6 in the 5th inning.  They are starting to hit, but they can't get anybody out.  Sounds like the Rangers of old.  They ought to be able to beat the Cardinals, but their pitching has been terrible in the playoffs and you win championships with pitching.  I'm not terribly optimistic.  I'm reminded of the Buffalo Bills, who lost four straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s.  Losing becomes a psychological mindset; something bad happens and you start thinking, "uh, oh, here we go again.  What's going to happen next?"  It's impossible for humans not to think that.  I hope that doesn't happen to the Rangers.  We'll see.

To show the incredible dominance of the liberal mindset in America, Herman Cain was forced to apologize for a suggestion he had about putting an electric fence all along the border with Mexico.  It's a brilliant idea, of course, and I've thought, for a long time, that such a fence was needed--about 12 feet high, with enough electricity in it, not to kill somebody, but to give them a pretty good mule-kick.  Put flashing red neon lights announcing the danger, plus loud speakers.  And then, station sufficient numbers of troops behind it just in case some people manage to get over (or under) it.  I think Cain's idea was to put enough voltage in the fence to kill, but that's not necessary--just to enough to keep people from climbing it.  The media went ballistic, of course, but then liberals want as many illegals in the country as possible, and then give them amnesty so they'll vote Democratic.  Cain had to crawfish, which I was sad to see.  Is there anybody left in America who has any guts at all?

My guess is that there is a 90% probability that Romney will get the Republican nomination and a better-than-even chance that Obama will be re-elected.  There are too many people dependent upon government now, and a sizable number above that who will vote liberal on social issues because of their hatred of Christianity.  The United States is almost to point of no return and the election of 2012 will go a long way in determining how much time there is left before that point is reached--if it hasn't already.

Warren Buffet was interviewed on CNBC recently (I think it was recently, I don't have the date) and came up with a decent idea, though not quite good enough.  He said he could end the deficit in five minutes.  "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."  The only thing askew about that is the "deficit of more than 3% of GDP."  That should read any time there is any deficit, period.  Congress should balance the budget, just like families have to do.  The only caveat to a Congressional balanced budget would be if Congress declared war on a country (like the Constitution requires) and money needed to be borrowed to pay for that.  Of course, there are plenty of good ideas out there to solve the country's problems, but very few of them, if any, are going to pass Congress.  Big government is the problem in America (big government is a problem, 100% of the time, in human history).  Problems are solved by human ingenuity, not by government, but human ingenuity can only be successful if allowed to create, innovate, and improvise--i.e., freedom--and such is the very antithesis of government.  "Greedy corporations" are not destroying the United States, except insomuch as they buy politiciains.  Huge corporations are actually a boon to any country because, via mass production, they provide goods and services at prices people want (they wouldn't be in business otherwise) and they employ countless millions of people (and pay them well enough so that those people have the money to purchase the goods and services offered by those corporations, and others).  It was Calvin Coolidge who said that business should stay in New York and government in Washington, and he was right.  Unfortunately, that's not what happens, but it's Washington that has the power to make laws and set the moral tone for the country with virtuous, industrious, frugal leadership.  A businessman cannot buy an honest politician.  Tragically, those last two words have virtually become an oxymoron.

World Series update.  The Rangers are now trailing 11-6 in the 6th inning after Albert Pujols just hit a 3-run homerun.  Why they even throw the ball within five feet of home plate when that man is at bat with runners on base,  I'll never know.  The Rangers did, and they paid the price.  I'm going to stop now before the score gets any worse.

How About "Occupy Hollywood"?

Here are some income figures for last year:

Oprah Winfrey--$290 million;
Tyler Perry--$130 million;
Jerry Bruckheimer--$113 million;
Lady Barf, I mean, Gaga--$90 million;
Howard Stern--$76 million.

The top CEO owner was Gregory Maffei of Liberty Mutual at $87 million.  Oracle's Lawrence Ellison earned $68 million, and McKesson's John Hammergren pulled in $24 million.  The average for the top 10 CEOs was $43 million, in comparison to the top 10 celebrities who averaged over $100 million.  (And, thanks again to Walter Williams for this information).

Why aren't the Hollywood millionaires being demonized instead of corporate CEOs?  Is that a question that I need to answer?

Obama and the liberals are certainly not going to bite the hand that feeds them.  Especially when the immoral rot that Hollywood pours out is exactly what liberals believe in.  Nobody attacks their own religion.

Current Events Ramblings, October 16

The Texas Rangers are going back to the World Series.  Good for them.  I think they've got a very good chance of winning it.  I hope so.

Recent headline:  "Obama Sends 100 US Troops to Uganda to Help Combat Lord's Resistance Army"

What in the world...?

How many of you have ever even heard of "Lord's Resistance Army"?  And Obama is wasting American tax dollars, spending money the government doesn't have, on an utterly worthless venture.  He did the same in Libya.

For you Bush-bashers, what's the difference between this and what George Bush did in Iraq?   Scale has nothing to do with it.  It's the principle of the thing.  If Obama can send 100 troops to Uganda (without Congress declaring war, as the Constitution authorizes), then he can send 200.  And if he can send 200, he can send 300.  And if he can send 300, he can send 1,000.  And if he can send 1,000, he can send 10,000...or 100,000...and keep them there as long as he wants to. 

I don't want anybody, any time, to say anything more to me about George W. Bush and Iraq.    At least I've heard of Sadam Hussein.  I haven't the faintest idea who is ruling Uganda.  If anybody even is ruling it.  And...why do they deserve one, thin, dime of American taxpayer money?

The United States is being overrun by millions of people who have come into the country illegally.  And Obama won't do one single, solitary thing about it--except fight as hard as he can against anybody who tries to.  But he'll waste American tax dollars defending some tinpot dictator on the back side of the moon against some other tinpot dictator from the back side of Mars. 

He needs to spend more time playing golf.  Like 7 days a week.

The "Occupy Wall Street" mob have got one thing right:  the government should never have bailed out the banks.  The government should never bail out anybody.  But I wonder how many of these protesters are on some kind of government welfare assistance.  They've got their hands out, taking taxpayer money, but protesting the banks doing the same thing.

And probably using their welfare checks to play the lottery, all the while decrying "corporate greed."

Nancy Pelosi...every time that woman opens her mouth, she says something stupid.  Recently, there was an abortion vote of some kind in the House, and Pelosi said that every Republican who voted against abortion voted to let "women die on the floor."

I'd be utterly embarassed to be a Democrat with that woman as a high ranking member of the party.

Hey, Nancy, 11 Democrats voted to let "women die on the floor," too.

And, Nancy, every Democrat who votes for abortion votes to let babies die in the womb.  Or to have some doctor suck their brains out.

Current Event Ramblings, October 13

Here's the headline by the Associated Press after Obama's "jobs bill" was defeated in the Senate:  "Senate Republicans Vote to Kill Obama's Jobs Bill‎".  There are only 48 Republicans in the Senate; there is no way in the world they could "kill Obama's jobs bill" if all the Democrats stuck together and voted for it.  But the AP blames the Republicans, which is exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did after the vote.  There's no liberal bias in the mainstream media, however.  Everybody knows that.

The Republican "establishment" desperately wants Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination for President.  The Republican people, apparently, want any Republican but Romney.  A poll came out today showing that Herman Cain now leads the race.  A few weeks ago, after Rick Perry first declared for the nomination, he immediately jumped ahead of Romney.  Perry faded and Cain has risen.  Mr. Cain has very eloquently articulated strong conservative views, and that plays well with the Republican base.  However, the Republican establishment is not in tune with the majority of the party's supporters.

For those who need a little explanation, the Republican "establishment" is the Washington-based party "leaders".  They are largely moderates, they get along well with the media and Democrats, they have very cushy social and political positions in Washington, and they don't want that disturbed by conservative outsiders.  They claim that they don't believe a strong conservative can win the national election (they made the same claim in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won).  They want a John McCain type, wimpy Republican, and Romney, who said in the most recent debate, "I can work with Democrats," fits the bill to a T.  (Folks, Democrats are not to be "worked with," they are to be defeated, because their policies are wrong.)  Romney, though more conservative than Obama, of course, is not as firmly to the right as the rest of the Republican field and so he doesn't give the "establishment" the willies.  They are going to throw as much money and support behind Romney as they can, and the good money is on him eventually winning the nomination.

Of course, the media doesn't want a strong conservative Republican candidate, either, for fear that he (or she) might win the general election.  Thus, so far, there has been no real "vetting" of Romney (there never has been any of Obama and there never will be); Bachmann and Perry have been lobotamized, and it's starting to happen to Cain and will only increase if he continues to show any possibility at all of actually winning the nomination.  At present, the media is trying to present the whole thing as a fait accompli, i.e., that Romney already has the nomination sewed up.  If/when he does clinch the nomination, they'll go after him then and do everything they can to destroy him to try to ensure Obama's re-election. 

Romney might be the best chance Obama's got.  The Republican "base," which is basically Tea Party conservatives, are no more inspired by Mitt Romney than they were by John McCain.  If he does get the nomination, Romney is going to have to do what McCain did and select a strong conservative as his Vice-Presidential running mate.  That would energize the Tea Party people some.  The fear is that, with Romney as the nominee, a lot of Republicans would just stay at home and not vote, though I suspect most will get out and vote against Obama if not for Romney.  Any support I, personally, would give Romney would be almost as much anti-Obama as it would be pro-Romney.  His business experience is a plus; his having been elected governor of the People's Republic of Massachusetts doesn't inspire much faith in any conservative credentials he might attempt to espouse.  Incidentally, his being a Mormon is a total non-issue with me.  I'd rather have a decent Mormon as President than whatever comes out of that buffoon Jeremiah Wright's America-hating "church."

Still, I would prefer nearly any of the other candidates to Romney.  The media--again, trying to sway public thinking--is saying that many Republicans are disgruntled with the current field, and I suppose that's true, at least among some of the "establishment" types who see "Romneycare" as Obamacare Lite (hence, the push to get Chris Christie to run).  But I'm very satisfied with the current field, and I think nearly any of them would make fine Presidents, certainly better than Obama.  Keep in mind that the whole media/Republican "establishment" mindset is to convince you that a conservative Republican cannot win the general election.  Hence, Romney needs to be the nominee.  At present, things do lean strongly in his direction, but the primaries are still a few months off.  Nothing is set in concrete yet.

A few more words about Herman Cain.  He is an extremely intelligent man, probably the second most intelligent man in the Republican field, and so far, that intelligence hasn't gone to his head.  His biggest problem, of course (at least at face value), is that he has never served in any political position.  That may not be a bad thing; politicians got the United States into this current horrible mess and maybe it will take some non-politicians to lead the country out of it.  But, those of us (myself included) who have shouted loud and long about the "inexperience" of Barak Obama before he became President have left ourselves open to the same criticism of Herman Cain, if we support him.  He obviously has less political experience that Obama has/had.  But Cain does have "executive" experience, he has at least run something (in fact, has succeeded in many areas), and that is a positive on his resume'.  He  has no foreign affairs experience, of course; he's a businessman, and a very good one.  It's going to be hard for him to get the nomination and, if he does, to convince the American people he's more qualified than Barak Obama.  Running Godfather's Pizza and running the most powerful country in the world are not exactly the same thing. 

But I would argue that running Godfather's is a better qualification for the Presidency than running one's mouth as a "community organizer."

Current Events Ramblings, October 11

We had a holiday last week, no classes, but I stayed pretty busy working anyway.  The Chinese students here have never taken U. S. history or Western Civilization, so I'm having to adapt--and simplify--my course material somewhat.  Their English seems to be good enough that they understand what I say; they usually laugh when I crack a joke so I assume they understand me.  How much they are getting of it, I don't know.  Exams are coming up soon, so I'll find out.  I've been told that, over the years, about one-half the students, on average, flunk American history the first time they take it.  I can understand their difficulty--a new subject, a foreign teacher, an American textbook, college level work required of youth just out of high school.  It's a challenge for them, and me. 

Baseball.  I'm guardedly optimistic about the Texas Rangers' chances to win the World Series this year.  They lead the Tigers now, 2-0, and I do think they have the better team.  And I really think they match up well against either Milwaukee or St. Louis.  My biggest fear is that the team is from Texas.  "Texas" and "baseball" over the years--at least on the professional level--have mixed like oil and water.  I can't help but figure the Rangers will find a way to blow it.  But, frankly, of the four teams left, I believe they have the best team.  But the Cardinals are hot, so they are a concern.  It's an interesting October in Texas, baseball-wise, and that's a rarity.  There certainly isn't much to cheer about in football. 

As the reader might expect, I have absolutely no sympathy for the rodents who are "occupying" Wall Street, nor do I have the least bit of respect for their intelligence.  It's a bunch of propagandized, class war socialists, and there is no excuse for any of that any more.  150 years ago, it might have been undestandable.  The Industrial Revolution was young, it had a lot of "bugs" to iron out, and there was cause for reform.  But, after 200 years, the evidence is in.  Capitalism has been, far and away, the most successful economic system in history at relieving poverty and human misery, and the track record of socialism in the 20th century was exactly the opposite.  Look at the mess in Europe right now.  Look at what has happened, economically, in the Far East--Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore.  For all their hype about "communism," China is more capitalistic right now than America.  They tried socialism under Mao, and millions died.  Now this is an extremely prosperous country because, economically, the government has loosened the bonds significantly.  The problems America is having economically are not caused by capitalism but a retarding of it by the federal government!  Those idiots in New York ought to be camped on the White House lawn, telling Obama to get out of the economy and stay there.  But, they are too blind--I hate to use the word "stupid," but I must admit, it comes to mind--to see it.  And, again, there's no excuse for it any more.  Everywhere and everytime socialistic principles have been applied, they have failed, including America in the 1930s and in the last three years.  Socialism cannot work, for it violates the economic laws that are necessary to build a successful economy.  That is now historically proven fact.

But history teaches us that men learn nothing from history.  So the mindless camp out in a park in New York and berate the very thing that can give them economic salvation.  If that's what they really want, which, come to think of it, probably isn't.

Have you ever wondered why there seems to be more liberals in government than conservatives?  It's because liberals believe in the collective, and that means government, while conservatives believe in individual responsibility, which is the very antithesis of government.  A "pro-government conservative" is a contradiction of terms.

And with those thoughts, here are some from Ronald Reagan:

"The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:  If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

"Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them."

"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."

Viva Ronald Reagan.

"Social Security Disaster" and "The 'Hunger Hoax'"

The following is a great article just published by Dr. Walter Williams, one of my favorite writers.  For those who don't have a clear idea what a "Ponzi scheme" is, he explains it here, and also the disaster that Social Security has become.  Frankly, it's very aggravating.  I'm not sure his solution in the last paragraph is the best, but new ideas need to come forth, for the sake of young Americans who are getting royally ripped off by this typical government fraud.

And keep in mind, folks, this is the "progress" liberal Democratic "progressives" gave us in the 1930s--and want to give us more of.

Politicians who are principled enough to point out the fraud of Social Security, referring to it as a lie and Ponzi scheme, are under siege. Acknowledgment of Social Security’s problems is not the same as calling for the abandonment of its recipients. Instead, it’s a call to take actions now, while there’s time to avert a disaster. Let’s look at it.

The term was derived from the scheme created during the 1920s by Charles Ponzi, a poor but enterprising Italian immigrant. Here’s how it works. You persuade some people to give you their money to invest. After a while, you pay them a nice return, but the return doesn’t come from investments. What you pay them with comes from the money of other people whom you’ve persuaded to “invest” in your scheme. The scheme works so long as you can persuade greater and greater numbers of people to “invest” so that you can pay off earlier “investors.” After a while, Ponzi couldn’t find enough new investors, and his scheme collapsed. He was convicted of fraud and sent to prison.

The very first Social Security check went to Ida May Fuller in 1940. She paid just $24.75 in Social Security taxes but collected a total of $22,888.92 in benefits, getting back all she put into Social Security in a month. According to a Congressional Research Service report titled "Social Security Reform" (October 2002), by Geoffrey Kollmann and Dawn Nuschler, workers who retired in 1980 at age 65 got back all they put into Social Security, plus interest, in 2.8 years. Workers who retired at age 65 in 2002 will have to wait a total of 16.9 years to break even. For those retiring in 2020, it will take 20.9 years. Workers entering the labor force today won’t live long enough to get back even half of what they will put into Social Security. Social Security faces Ponzi’s problem, not enough new “investors.” In 1940, there were 160 workers paying into Social Security per retiree; today there are only 2.9 and falling.

Some politicians claim that Social Security has a huge trust fund and is in good health. An uniformed public and a derelict news media don’t challenge that lie. Back in August, politicians were in a tizzy over raising the federal debt limit. In an effort to frighten seniors, President Barack Obama said in a CBS interview, "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it." Here’s how we reveal the trust fund lie: According to the Social Security Administration, it has a trust fund with $2.6 trillion in it. If those were real assets, then the Social Security Administration could have mailed checks out regardless of what Congress did about the debt limit. The reality is that the Social Security trust fund consists of government IOUs that have no real value at all and probably are not even worth the paper upon which they are printed.

I believe that a person who is 65 years old and has been forced into Social Security is owed something. But the question is, Who owes it to him? Congress has spent every penny of his Social Security “contribution.” Young workers have no obligation to be fleeced in order to make up for the dishonesty and dereliction of Congress. The tragedy is that most seniors just want their money and couldn't care less about whom Congress takes it from.

Here’s what might be a temporary fix: The federal government owns huge quantities of wasting assets -- assets that are not producing anything -- 650 million acres of land, almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. In exchange for those who choose to opt out of Social Security and forsake any future claim, why not pay them off with 40 or so acres of land? Doing so would give us breathing room to develop a free choice method to finance retirement.

And, I want to share the following article with my readers from Dr. Thomas Sowell, another brilliant writer (many of you many not know that both Drs. Williams and Sowell are black economists). I post this article not just because it is excellent, but also because Dr. Sowell mentions, and briefly discusses, the liberal "elite" that I so often write about. I want my readers to understand that I'm not the only one who recognizes that there are a substantial number of "leaders" in this country who think you and I are too stupid to run our own lives--and, admittedly, some people are. But, to this liberal elite, that stupidity stretches to everyone but themselves. They want to control your life and they want to use government to do it. People who read my posts are aware that I, frequently, make this point, and Dr. Sowell actually does, as well, in many of his writings. Indeed, he's written books about it. The following is entitled "The 'Hunger Hoax'".  Enjoy it, if you can.

"Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over 'hunger in America.'

Dan Rather opened a CBS Evening News broadcast in 1991 declaring, "one in eight American children is going hungry tonight." Newsweek, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with or without that unsubstantiated statistic.

When the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Agriculture examined people from a variety of income levels, however, they found no evidence of malnutrition among those in the lowest income brackets. Nor was there any significant difference in the intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from one income level to another.

That should have been the end of that hysteria. But the same "hunger in America" theme reappeared years later, when Senator John Edwards was running for Vice President. And others have resurrected that same claim, right up to the present day.

Ironically, the one demonstrable nutritional difference between the poor and others is that low-income women tend to be overweight more often than others. That may not seem like much to make a political issue, but politicians and the media have created hysteria over less.

The political left has turned obesity among low-income individuals into an argument that low-income people cannot afford nutritious food, and so have to resort to burgers and fries, pizzas and the like, which are more fattening and less healthful. But this attempt to salvage something from the "hunger in America" hoax collapses like a house of cards when you stop and think about it.

Burgers, pizzas and the like cost more than food that you can buy at a store and cook yourself. If you can afford junk food, you can certainly afford healthier food. An article in the New York Times of September 25th by Mark Bittman showed that you can cook a meal for four at half the cost of a meal from a burger restaurant. So far, so good. But then Mr. Bittman says that the problem is "to get people to see cooking as a joy." For this, he says, "we need action both cultural and political." In other words, the nanny state to the rescue!

Since when are adult human beings supposed to do only those things that are a joy? I don't find any particular joy in putting on my shoes. But I do it rather than go barefoot. I don't always find it a joy to drive a car, especially in bad weather, but I have to get from here to there.

An arrogant elite's condescension toward the people — treating them as children who have to be jollied along — is one of the poisonous problems of our time. It is at the heart of the nanny state and the promotion of a debilitating dependency that wins votes for politicians while weakening a society.

Those who see social problems as requiring high-minded people like themselves to come down from their Olympian heights to impose their superior wisdom on the rest of us, down in the valley, are behind such things as the hunger hoax, which is part of the larger poverty hoax.

We have now reached the point where the great majority of the people living below the official poverty level have such things as air-conditioning, microwave ovens, either videocassette recorders or DVD players, and own either a car or a truck.

Why are such people called "poor"? Because they meet the arbitrary criteria established by Washington bureaucrats. Depending on what criteria are used, you can have as much official poverty as you want, regardless of whether it bears any relationship to reality.

Those who believe in an expansive, nanny state government need a large number of people in "poverty" to justify their programs. They also need a large number of people dependent on government to provide the votes needed to keep the big nanny state going.

Politicians, welfare state bureaucrats and others have incentives to create or perpetuate hoaxes, whether about poverty in general or hunger in particular. The high cost to taxpayers is exceeded by the even higher cost of lost opportunities for fulfillment in their lives by those who succumb to the lure of a stagnant life of dependency."

On Why Governments Are In Such Debt

Here is a great quote from Walter Williams on why the governments in Europe and America are in such debt:

"What’s the common thread between Europe’s financial mess, particularly among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), and the financial mess in the U.S.? That question could be more easily answered if we asked instead: What’s necessary to cure the financial mess in Europe and the U.S.? If European governments and the U.S. Congress ceased the practice of giving people what they have not earned, budgets would be more than balanced. For government to guarantee a person a right to goods and services he has not earned, it must diminish someone else's right to what he has earned, simply because governments have no resources of their very own."  ("The Financial Mess in the US and Europe," 9/28/11)

It's so simple.  But politicians don't get votes unless they can promise to get people out of a mess that they (the politicians) created in the first place.  And that nearly always involves giving away somebody else's money.  And if somebody is incurably lazy, has no conscience about taking what another person has earned, or is too dumb to see through the "entitlement" demagoguery, then their vote can be bought. 

And countries end up in insoluable debt.

Current Events Ramblings, Sept. 28

We started classes last week and it has been extremely busy; the first couple of weeks always are.  I made a mistake right after I got here.  Nice guy that I am, when Liaoning Normal University asked me if I would help them out by teaching a history class for them, I said I would, but because I already had five courses scheduled, I wanted a smaller class of no more than 25 to 30 students.  Well, I walked into that class for the first time last week and there are over 75 students in there, which means I have over 230 students this semester in six classes.  The normal load for a community college is five classes, and frankly, that's too many.  The college is paying me a little extra for the sixth class, but not enough to justify 75 extra students.  They won't do that to me next term.

Otherwise, things are well.  We actually have a holiday already coming up next week; some kind of national holiday, I never have found out what it is.  I'll get caught up on some work, some reading, some sleeping, and some writing, and not necessarily in that order.

I haven't been able to follow current events too closely for the past couple of weeks, except to determine that Herman Cain and Rick Santorum appear to be the purest conservatives in the Republican field.  Cain, surprisingly, won a straw poll in Florida this past weekend.  I don't think he's got much chance of winning the nomination, but the Tea Party likes him and may swing behind him.  The good money for the nomination is on Romney, and while he would certainly be light years better than Obama, he isn't the best of the Republican field.  Unfortunately for Rick Perry, he isn't a silver-tongued orator, and so the media is starting to portray him as a stupid oaf, and the other candidates have jumped on his case for a couple of boners he pulled as governor of Texas.  Ron Paul would normally be my favorite candidate, but I don't like his "get out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately" position.  Goals need to be set in both countries (something that frankly wasn't, and hasn't been, done) and once those goals are accomplished, then you get out.  Otherwise, it looks like the country is just turning tail and running before it finishes the job, and that's just an open invitation for thugs around the world to believe America will wimp out again in the future.  Do what needs to be done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and get out.  And, at the same time, bring the troops home from Korea, Japan, Europe, and every place else in the world they are camped.  And put them on the border with Mexico.

Anyway, nobody knows yet who is going to get the Republican nomination, but the Republican "establishment" (i.e., the John McCain losers) want Romney.  Obama has been such a disaster the Republican might win by default.

A Sign That Intelligent Life Forms Do Actually Exist in California

From the Los Angeles Times, of all places:

"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on 'Macbeth'. The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words." 

-- columnist Burt Prelutsky, Los Angeles Times

However, no evidence yet exists that such intelligent life forms exist in Washington, D. C.

More Class Warfare

I'm not sure what's in this for Warren Buffet, but he's lying, and he knows he is.  Of course, he's a Democrat (most Wall Street moguls are), so that may have something to do with it.  Perhaps he's playing politics and trying to cover for the mistake he knows he made in voting for Barack Obama.

Obama:  "It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million."  It may be "wrong," but it's also not happening.

"But Buffet's only paying 15% tax rate," is the demogoguery, "and his secretary pays a higher rate than that."  The deomoguery comes from the fact that the comparison is of income tax rates versus capital gains tax rates.  When Buffet invests his money in a stock or something, and then shows a profit on it, he pays 15% as a capital gains rate.  But the money he's investing is after-tax dollars.  In other words, he's already paid taxes on that money, and at a higher rate than his secretary is paying.  The idea that a secretary, making $40,000, is paying a higher income tax rate than Warren Buffet, who's making gazillions, is just flat false.

Does Obama know this?  I don't know.  If he doesn't, he should, he's supposed to be the leader of the Free World.  If he does know it, then he's being diningenuous at best, lying at worst.  But it's the same thing Democratic Marxists have been doing for generations now--playing class warfare, class envy, creating resentment, division, and hatred among Americans--and this from the man who was supposed to "unite" us.  And it's not going to help the poor.  How is taxing somebody else, the only people who can provide you the job you need to get out of poverty, ultimately going to help you?  It might make you feel better that the rich, greedy so-and-so's are getting it stuck to them, but that's not going to put food on your table.  And again, all it is doing is preying upon the dark, seedy side of man--envy and jealousy.  Is this really the way to bring the country together, to create more jobs, to reduce unemployment, to encourage the innovation and initiative necessary to produce wealth and build a strong economy?  This is horrible.  But, it's the Democratic Party, it's what they believe, and it doesn't matter that it never has worked, and that it cannot work, because it violates every economic law regarding wealth and job creation.  There is no excuse for anybody preaching this any more since there is an overabundance of evidence now in of its utter failure.  I now live in a country that is unequivocal proof of that.  I just moved from a country, the northern half of which continues to flounder in abysmal human misery because it hangs on to Obama's "the government can solve every problem if you'll just give us your money" doctrine.  Obama is basing his whole re-election hopes on ignorance--the ignorance of enough American people--and on a slimy news media that will do everything it can to cover up the truth and keep it from being widespread.

Why?  Why are they doing this?  I've written it many times before but I'll keep doing it.  It's about power and freedom.  Free people, people who can take care of themselves, don't need government, and freedom is the greatest enemy of those who love power.  And thus the people who have created wealth, the innovators, the achievers, those who have succeeded via their own ability, initiative, and the personal use of private property--these are the enemy.  They are the enemy because they don't need government--except to protect them from thieves, a great number of which go to work in government.  Our Founding Fathers well knew this and tried to create a system to protect the industrious from the thieves, outside and inside government.  Unfortunately, they didn't succeed, but that's much of what the fight is all about today.

One thing Obama DOES know, and that's that he's not going to get $1.5 trillion in new taxes.  He couldn't even get that when he had a dominant Democratic Congress, he certainly isn't going to get it when the Republicanss control the House of Representatives.  But that doesn't matter to him.  He doesn't care if he gets that tax increase or not, because he's not trying to help the country, he's trying to win re-election.  And he's already sounding his theme:  the Republicans favor the "rich" over "the little guy."  Have you ever heard that one before?

Hey, Obama, IF it's true (and it's not), but if it's true that Buffet's secretary is paying taxes at a higher rate than Buffet himelf, then the answer is to lower her tax rate, not raise his!  Actually, the best answer would be to completely abolish the Marxist progressive income tax, but that thought will have to wait for another day.

Addendum:  I just finished the above article and happened to run across something interesting.  I bash the media a lot, and make no apologies for it, but when they do something good, they deserve accolades.  An AP writer named Stephen Olemacher has just published a piece entitled "FACT CHECK:  Are Rich Taxed Less Than Secretaries?"  He runs some pretty good numbers.  Here's the URL if you'd like to read the article:

I've noticed a couple of times recently that AP, normally so sycophantic towards Obama, has been getting on his case some, i.e., telling the truth.  Let's hope it continues, and I'll give credit where credit it due.

We need to abolish, completely abolish, the current tax code system to end the inequities that are indeed there--from the "looopholes" the "rich" can find to avoid paying taxes (I look for them, too), to the 46% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes.  It's obscene both ways.

Down, But Not Out

There is no question that things do not look good at the moment for President Obama in his hopes for re-election.  Yesterday, the Republicans won a special House election in Brooklyn, a seat held by Democrats for the last 90+ years.  Obama's numbers are down, there are a a lot of disgruntled Democrats and "independents," and with the economy floundering, Republicans have a right to be optimistic about their chances of winning back the Presidency next year.  Barack Obama is an incredibly incompetent President, but why this should surprise anyone is beyond me.  He was, far and away, the least qualified candidate any major political party has put forth for the presidency in the history of this country.  There was absolutely nothing in his background that came anywhere close to preparing him for the highest office in the land, and it is utterly appalling that he became President of the United States.  I knew this in 2008 because I know history and I understand liberalism, and thus I am not in the least bit surprised at how incompetent and inept he has been.  I fully expected it.  If Apple were to offer me the job replacing Steve Jobs, then that company should anticipate being in the toilet in a very short time.  The people of the United States should in no way be surprised at the current malaise of their country, given the qualifications and experience of the man whom they gave charge of it.  Fortunately, the President is not all-powerful and there are still some checks and balances on what he can do.  But, given all the circumstances and hedges that do, more or less, surround the President, I don't know how any one man could have made things any worse since January, 2009, than Barack Obama has made them.  He has taken what should have been a very brief economic downtick and stretched it out to the unforeseen future.  Overseas, he has alienated and angered our friends and cuddled up to our enemies.  His one domestic "success"--Obamacare--has businesses scared stiff because they don't know the ultimate cost of it, and his one foreign "success"--the killing of Osama bin Laden--was because of groundwork laid by George Bush and would never have happened if Obama had stuck to his campaign promises on what he intended to do in the Middle East.  So his only real "victory" came as a result of a broken promise.  He simply has no clue about what to do as President of the United States, any more than I would as CEO of a major corporation like Apple.

And, yet, I'm telling you right now, he COULD be re-elected.

People are suggesting that the 9.1% unemployment rate could spell doom for Obama.  And it might.  It's very possible that unemployment figures will remain, next year, about what they are now, but they could improve if Obama and Congress do what they should--or at least, if they'll do nothing.  Businesses are concerned about new taxes, regulations, Obamacare--just the uncertainly of what Obama is going to do and his history of, so far, doing everything wrong.  But if there is some indication that government will be quiet and even leave things as they are now, there might be some temptation to invest--businesses do want to make money, of course, and they need to invest to do that.  Obama is talking more taxes and "stimulus," which is the wrong thing, of course, and if he continues along that path, he can indeed go down to a crushing defeat.  Let's hope so.

But he does have a bit of history on his side.  Franklin Roosevelt easily ranks as one of the two or three worst Presidents in American history--he is largely to blame for the economic mess the government is now in because it was he who began this massive welfare state.  Other Presidents have simply built onto it.  But...FDR was elected to the Presidency four times, and twice when the unemployment rate was far higher than it is now.  FDR, for all his economic stupidity, was a master politician.  Economic reality and political impressions are two widely different things.  Obama might lose because of the former.  But if he can read his teleprompter as effectively as he did in 2008, or--more appropriately--if enough people can be demogogued by his sycophantic liberal media, he could win again.  This is not a one man show here.  Obama's going to have the might of the Democratic Party machine--and that media--behind him.  They were able to sell him in 2008.  They might be able to do it again.  We're still 14 months away from the election, and that's plenty of time to give the Republicans an opportunity to do something really idiotic, too--like nominate another John McCain.  So it's far from over.

And there's one thing, above all, that Obama can pin his hopes upon and that scares me more than anything else...never, NEVER underestimate the stupidity of a democratic electorate.

Why Raising Taxes on the Rich Won't Work

In President Obama's "jobs bill" (which, as of this writing, no Democrat has introduced into Congress yet), the word "tax" is found over 230 times.  His plan, as it's always been, is to raise taxes on "the rich" to pay for more government spending. 

It won't work.  It never has.

Why?  For many reasons, but I mention only one in this post.  It won't work because the rich won't pay those taxes.  They'll just shove the money into bonds or other tax exempt securities and not have pay any tax.  Or, as likely and maybe even more desirable due to the ease of electronic transfers in a globalized economy, they'll just transfer the money to foreign countries, many of which are inviting them to do so in order to obtain the investment money to build their own economies.  Folks, the rich aren't stupid; they didn't get rich by giving their money to the government, and they know it.  And they also know that government spending is not the way to grow an economy.  Indeed, if government spending could produce economic growth, the United States would have a booming economy with more jobs than even the illegal aliens could fill.  The wealthiest people in America will be the ones least hurt by a tax increase; those who will suffer most are the lower and middle-class people who won't be able to find jobs because the investments aren't there, and they don't have an easy option of moving overseas to find employment.  Some of us have been able to do that--but it wasn't my first choice.  But small businesses like restaurants, shoes and clothing stores, computer shops--those entitities that create and provide most of the jobs in America--aren't easily able to transfer overseas and are most liable to be hit and hurt by Obama tax increases.  Any growth in income for these businesses, which should be reinvested to provide more employment and greater growth, will be gobbled up in Obama taxes.  So where's the incentive to work hard and provide more jobs, goods, and services?

There certainly needs to be some serious reform of the tax code, but the solution is, and it always will be, government needs to cut spending!  If I'm personally spending more money than I'm taking in, then I need to readjust my budget and bring it into line with my income--not go out, put a gun to somebody's head, and steal their money.  Only government can do that and get away with it.

If Obama is really serious about "stimulating" the American economy, then, instead of trying to raise taxes on the wealthy Americans, he will lower them and encourage them to invest their money, not in securities or overseas ventures, but into business and jobs for the American people. 

Now whether Obama knows this or not, I don't know, but it's irrelevant.  The Democratic party bases its entire economic theory on Marxist class warfare, i.e., they are the "defenders" of the working people, protecting them from the greedy "rich."  It's great politics, but lousy economics.  It's also hypocritical because I guarantee you Democratic campaign coffers are not filled by millions of $5 donations from poor people.  But if political power comes by keeping people poor and dependent, then there are an awful, awful lot of politicians who are more than willing to play that game.  And you can start at the very top of the current American political food chain.

"Rising Poverty Rate Shows Holes in Safety Net"

A U.S. census report said that, currently, almost 1 in 6 Americans are "living in poverty." The title of this post is MSNBC’s headline informing us of that grim news. A few comments seem appropriate.

The government, of course, defines who is living in poverty, and that is determined by a certain level of income. That, in itself, is fallacious. People move above and below the "official" poverty line all the time; that movement is very fluid and a lot of crossover takes place. But I would also insist that not everybody below a certain income is living in "poverty." Back in 1994-95, I returned to graduate school full-time and we lived off what Debbie made. Officially, her income was "below" the poverty line, but I don’t recall us ever bemoaning the fact that we were "living in poverty." It was a choice we made, for the time being and for a certain cause. We aren’t the only people like that.

Of course, our situation doesn’t describe everybody whose income is "below" the poverty line, but I do think it’s fair to note that a lot of that current 15.1% might be there by their own choice and not because the government hasn’t provided them enough benefits. Debbie and I didn’t take one thin dime of government money when I was in graduate school. We didn’t even think about it. Neither of us considered it somebody else’s responsibility to support me while I went back to school. I didn’t think I was "entitled" to other people’s hard-earned money. But then, I’ve never considered myself a "victim" of anything, either.

But further, I find MSNBC’s headline a fascinating insight into liberal thinking. Rising poverty indicates that government isn’t doing enough—there are "holes" in the "safety net." Obviously, to the liberals at MSNBC (and that’s a redundancy), those "holes" must be filled by more government programs. I know this is liberal thinking because when I first saw that the "poverty rate" had risen, I didn’t think of the "safety net" at all; I thought of the two things God has provided mankind to lift us and keep us out of poverty—marriage and hard work. Liberalism is doing everything it can to destroy the former (unless the two wanting to be "married" are of the same sex), and can anybody tell me the last time you heard a liberal say, "If you want to get out of poverty, quit fornicating and having babies out of wedlock and go out and get a job"? Frankly, I’d like to hear a few more Republicans have the guts to stand up and say it.

It’s important to realize, however, that MSNBC is trying to set the stage for the coming debate. If MSNBC has its way, the debate over "ending poverty" in America won’t be couched in terms of marriage and hard work, but on the government not doing enough. As the election nears, liberals will trot out a ton of sad sack cases of people (mostly single mothers) who don’t have health care, who can’t find a job, who are about to lose their homes, etc. etc. etc., and the answer, of course, will be more government money. The hard-hearted Republicans, who care only about the rich, want to cut the programs that would help these poor, defenseless poverty-enslaved souls. Another four years for Obama is what’s needed (let’s ignore the fact that this high poverty rate is during his administration and after two years of solid Democratic control of Congress). Anyway, what MSNBC is doing is nothing new and to be totally expected, and many Americans are no longer fooled by it.

I certainly believe in helping the poor, those who are truly down on their luck and need a hand to get their lives back on track. But that’s not the government’s job and never has been, and the inability of government to do it is a matter of historical record. How many TRILLIONS of dollars have been spent on the "safety net" over the last generation—and the poverty rate is still in double digits, and has been rising in recent years. Just for comparison’s sake, in 1964, right before all of Lyndon Johnson’s "Great Society" "war on poverty" measures had been passed, the poverty rate was 19%. Forty-three years and countless trillions later, the poverty rate is 15.1%--trillions of dollars spent to lower the rate 4 percentage points (incidentally, the rate in 1959 was over 22%, so it had been dropping before the Great Society programs). This is one of the clearest examples of the utter, complete failure of liberal doctrine—economically AND morally, for it is certainly immoral to propagate ideas and programs that engender vice, "victimhood," and dependence, and to keep people under the thumb of an elite whose sole reason for existence is the power they get by creating classes of people dependent upon them.

The best answer to the "poverty" problem starts with virtue, not money.