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."