Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A New Measuring Tool

I got to thinking about Charlie Rangel's proposed 50% tax rate on those earning above $500,000. Which led me to think that we are halfway to "From each according to their ability to each according to their needs."
The new scale would of course have to be called the Marx/Engels scale and can be used to evaluate our progress toward total wealth confiscation.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Coming Perfect Economic Disaster

I had posted before, why I thought the Democrats would be in trouble starting in 2010. But when you combine what Carol has to say about the problems with our local housing market with what I heard on Montana Public Radio on the same subject tonight, I think that we are in for bigger problems than anyone wants to acknowledge. People have been using the unjustified rise in sale value, as opposed to real value to take out home equity loans to buy all sorts of toys. One realtor that I knew told me of her client at a closing, having just purchased a house, inquiring when she could take out a home equity loan. How much equity in a home that you haven't even made a payment on yet?
As the expert on KFUM pointed out, we had been using our homes as a sort of ATM to draw cash out to buy things, which in turn spurred the economy. Now, there is no easy access to cash, and those who aren't being foreclosed on are sitting on their houses unwilling to sell until prices come back up to their expectations.
So, if you reduce the amount of money that was being injected into the economy (albeit false value, since the increase was driven more by speculation than actual improvements) will there not be a general slowing of the economy? After all, our spend, spend, spend habits are no longer sustainable.
Surely Congress is going to do something about this right? Unfortunately, yes they are. Dubbed the “Mother of All Tax Bills” by Rangel and embraced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who told reporters last Thursday that she “certainly” supports the tax increase, this monstrosity would raise taxes on everyone: from the very poor to the very rich and everyone in between. Well, there you go, Tax hikes for the wealthy, oh, and everyone else too.
Now as I understand it, Pelosi, et al., are shooting for a 50% marginal tax rate on those who earn $500,000 per year. Speaking selfishly, it seems as though the only impact that I am going to see is the increase in the rate that I pay now, and a return of the marriage penalty which will probably net a reduction in my disposable income of around 7%. And I don't make $500,000 a year. But 7% isn't so much is it? Except it's 7% that I won't be spending downtown.
Of course the kicker, is the proposal to increase the capital gains from 15% to 40%. It almost makes you wonder if it wouldn't be worthwhile to cash in your IRAs at the 25% penalty to avoid being hit with a jump in taxes by the time you retire. In addition, you can bet a whole lot of people are going to be bailing on the stock market with that kind of rate increase. Take that much money out of the market, and businesses have less money for improvements or hiring workers, resulting in even more of an economic slowdown. It will also result in a concomitant reduction in improving productivity, and as a result, further erosion in the value of the dollar. Thus making imported goods even more expensive, further reducing the amount of available money. Do you see where I am going here?
What about the people making $500,000 a year, they don't need all of that money do they? After all, there are people getting by on a lot less. But what happens to the money of the higher earning family? Right now, when you combine their federal with state and local taxes, they are probably netting around $250,000 per year, or roughly $20,000 per month. Well, that's quite a lot of money isn't it? Yes, but what do they do with it? So long as they aren't stuffing it in a mattress, they are buying things, which keeps businesses going, allowing them to hire workers. Or maybe they are investing, which allows businesses to invest in new technology and become more efficient, thus reducing the costs for everyone, not just the rich. But hey, this is about greed, not efficiency right? If Chairman Rangel's tax plan goes into effect, there will be even less money available to them.
So what you say? Well consider a plasma television set. Prices have plummeted dramatically in the last few years. Why? Could it be that the infusion of capital into research and development has led manufacturers to design, build and sell a better product at a lowered cost while still making a profit? Reduce that amount of capital, and the prices don't drop as much because it is harder to develop the research to improve the products.
So, the moral of the story is that the Republicans need to say that Democrats don't want you to have a 52" plasma TV. Of course, under Rangel's plan, even if you wanted one, you couldn't afford because you would be unemployed because your employer went out of business.
But at least you will have your unemployment check.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now this is disgusting

Take a look at this story alleging that Mexican separatists set the fires in California. The page layout and markings not to mention links look suitably authentic.

But as Jonah Goldberg from NRO pointed out:
The problem: It's a fake. The URL says "cnnheadliennews."

It looks to me like the creators of this site weren't trying to make a joke. It's not a parody, it's just simply disgusting.
It's bad enough that groups like Reuters and the National Review will fabricate stories. But some SOB wants to put the blame on Mexicans, and does a pretty clever job of it. If you didn't look at the URL, you could easily believe it is true.

Never believe everything. Always question even if you agree with it.


Matt Singer, taking a break from laundering money for George Soros, put up this piece about Paul Wellstone. Now, the line that I really liked was:
The second was Paul Wellstone's death and the subsequent hijacking of his death by the right-wing.

Excuse me? Doesn't he remember the "Memorial Service" which was so over the top that it turned off all of the independent voters? If the Right Wing actually did hijack that service, I have to stand in admiration of their ability to manipulate people.

Of course, another theory is that the Democrats did it to themselves.

Good Point

Jack at Western Word has a good piece on the failure of the Democrats to really accomplish anything except for investigating Bush.
But the line that caught my eye, that Tester was supposed to go to Washington to make it look "more like Montana," doesn't seem to have worked, since Jon has bought fully into the earmarks business.
But I suppose it's really not his fault. It would take someone with real strength of character to keep from being sucked into the ego massaging machine called Washington.

Jon just doesn't have that strength.

Great Job Carol!

Carol at Missoulaopolis has a great piece about the funding of Progressive States Network and Forward Montana. Mike adds to it at The Last Best Place as well.
Now, as a general rule, I am not that big on conspiracy theories, but where there is enough smoke, you start checking to see if the room is getting warmer. George Soros' influence on politics of the Left is starting to raise some concerns for me.
Remember Soros? He was the guy who broke the Bank of England, and absolutely destroyed the Indonesian currency, thereby resulting in widespread starvation in that country.
It may be that Soros is entirely altruistic, and has adopted much of the lines of thought of the Left. But one should also ask the question what else could it be? Is it possible that Soros has a financial stake in destroying the American economy?
I wondered about that back in 2006 when oil prices for no known reason started shooting through the roof. That was part of the Democratic platform to reduce the price of oil (and they have done such a great job) but they were going to go after the greedy oil companies. What if someone was purposely buying up oil contracts and sitting on them to artificially stimulate the price of oil? I know that it must be possible to track sales of contracts back in 2006, and I would be curious to learn if Soros had some sort of a hand in it, especially given his antipathy towards Bush, et. al.
Not that I am saying that it's true, but when you combine Soros' history with the amount of money he has thrown at his "foundations," well, you just gotta wonder.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Look Right

Mike, at the Last Best Place has done it again. I am amazed at his ability to compile all of these different authors and thoughts, and still have a real life.
My sympathies to his mother.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why the Left should be Afraid

Andy Hammond has a podcast about his journey from Left to becoming conservative. It kind of reminded me of my own journey from Yellow Dog Democrat to a small "l" libertarian. I know that there are more of us who spent our early years parroting that which we were told to believe. Then, little by little, we began to question some of the underlying assumptions as we moved through life until we started blogging as either conservative or libertarian.
Now for the reason of the title of this post: With the aging of the Baby Boomers, are we going to see more and more conservative/libertarians and less of the Left die hard zealots? Is the Left in danger of disappearing as we grow up? Is the Left primarily the vehicle for the young? Not to discount that there are older Lefties, Ted Kennedy comes to mind, but they were a product or at least a carryover of the Roosevelt years.
The one thing in their favor is going to be Social Security. Since so many of my generation has failed to put anything toward retirement, they are going to have to rely on the Social Security "Lock Box" which doesn't exist. Of course, the younger workers who are going to see a hike in their taxes may be less inclined to support their parents when they see what they will have to pay.
The disappearance of the Left would actually be bad in my mind. We need the Left to keep probing and testing to try and help people. Just like we need conservatives to rein in their excesses. Consider that the views of many conservatives are not that different from the then Left of the 60's.
Both sides are needed. Now if we can just get them to quit attacking, and start reasonable discussions, we might actually get somewhere.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Blog Added Redux

I usually use Dave Budge's links to naviguess around the Intertubes. He told me at the last MisConBlog meetup that he had pared it down by about 100 links. I told him that I hadn't noticed. But Dave's site is like a library catalog. You go there because it has everything, even if you don't need or want it. But it's a handy way to find things. Which finally leads me to my point: I have added Moorcat's Pragmatic Revolt to my blogroll.
Since the whole l'affair Moorcat blew up, I have found him to be intelligent and interesting, and unfairly being screwed over. He is interesting to me, in that he is almost quixotic in taking on the Dillon political cabal.
But quixotic is not the same as futile. When wrong is wrong, good citizens need to come forward to right it. Good luck Moorcat.

Hammond Report's New Look

Andy Hammond's The Hammond Report is sporting a new look, and I really like it. The newspaper format works better on a blog than a real newspaper. When I am reading the advertising supplement called the Missoulian, I always hate leaving the front page to go chasing after a story somewhere back in the paper. With Andy's site, you can just click on the link and back arrow to where you left off.
In the words of the Guiness spokesmen: Brilliant!

A clear view of Global Warming

Daniel Botkin writes in the Wall Street Journal that global warming hype is being overdone apparently for political purposes. As he mentions in his article, one of his colleagues said
"Wolves deceive their prey, don't they?" one said to me recently. Therefore, biologically, he said, we are justified in exaggerating to get society to change.

So, the global warming alarmists consider us to be prey? So much for the scientific consensus having any application to the debate (I know, there is no debate, but I am talking about the steps that are being taken to deal with global warming).
Botkin also talks about the use of computer modeling to justify the alarmism of the Gores or the world. In my last job in the military, I worked at a theater level wargaming facility. In conjunction with some smart programmers, we were able to set "dials" on the program that could change the expected result in order to test the staffs that were being trained. As a result, I really don't accept the use of computer modeling as definitive of prediction. Modeling requires trying to isolate as many variables as possible, assign to them the correct value or weight, and then run it to see what the result would be. Sometimes, we got wholly unexpected results and had to go back to figure out why.
Using computer models for climate change is curious to me because of the large number of variables, we can't predict accurately the weather two weeks out, but somehow we think that we can predict climate 100 years out. I know that climate is different than weather, but climate is the cumulative effect of weather. If the underlying premise of your proposition is wrong, it is highly unlikely that your proposition would be correct. But still, we are all in a panic about global warming.
What happens if the world does warm? There are going to be changes in which areas are arable, and which not. Some species may go extinct and others could thrive. But for humans, warming is preferable to cooling.
Scoop Montana had a posting on global warming that included in the comments a question by Colby Natale where he asks what happens if the global warming alarmists are wrong versus those who disagree with them. As Colby said:
We don't know for sure either way, but what are the stakes in both sides being wrong? If Rebecca is wrong, all that happens is that we throw some money away and waste some effort on saving energy and changing our habits; no blood no foul.

On the other hand, if you are Scoop - the repercussions could be much more dire. If global warming is real and we don't work to rectify it, we will be faced with any number of dangerous changes in the world. Floods that claim human habitat, loss of crops when we loss growing weather, animal extinction due to habitat loss, loss of water in third world nations, etc.

I am not stating those things WILL happen, but I am saying they might. Why take the chance that we are wrong with such possibly high stakes? That is what I never get. Why isn't it worth it to change our habits, drive more efficient cars, carpool etc if it MIGHT save us from such ends?

Why is resisting the possibility that the science of global warming is right so appealing to you when, if you are wrong, we are so screwed?

First off, are we screwed? Things will change, but they are always changing. The increase in desertification of the Sahara can be traced directly to the 1-2 inch increase in the height of the Himalayas every year blocking out the monsoons from the Indian Ocean. The increase in the desert is not as directly due to warming as other factors. But if we assign the growing desertification to Global Warming are we solving the real problem? And what about changes in growing seasons? One thousand years ago, the Vikings were cultivating crops on Greenland. It was the mini Ice age that happened from the 12th to the 15th centuries that changed it to the ice covered block that we know it as now. So maybe, global warming is returning to the norm that the earth should be at and trying to stop it is like King Cnute who demonstrated his lack of authority over nature in a most dramatic fashion.
But let's take Colby's example. "all that happens is that we throw some money away and waste some effort on saving energy and changing our habits; no blood no foul." Except that it will have a tremendous effect on those in the Third and Fourth World economies that are going to be affected the most. If you are happy with keeping them poor, then you want to reorient the world's economies. That is not a small price for being wrong.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Look Right and Be Amazed

Mike at the Last Best Place has another roundup of all of the Dextra blogs once again. I am always amazed that he has the time and the energy to provide all of the links and commentary to help people find what they are interested in. I can barely get inspired to put out a posting, and this guy is not just posting, but compending. Thanks Mike, you do a great job.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Montana's War Against the Poor

Okay, that's not quite true. This post is based on Wulfgar who is in high dudgeon over the fact that his brother has been arrested for Driving While Suspended. Every state has similar laws, but this one in particular, the fact that if you are in arrears for your child support can lead the state to suspend your driver's license, seems to have him really going. He is blaming Bush (of course) and the post 9-11 Big Brother world that we live in. Trouble is, this law and its applications predate Bush. It was brought about by civic minded concerned citizens who wanted to make sure that dead beat dads were held to their court ordered child support. Another good example of well meaning intentions being used to screw over people.
I don't know Moorcat, nor all of the particulars of his situation, but I see it often enough. After spending $5-6,000 on a lawyer for a divorce, he is ordered to pay child support based on his income using a formula designed by the Child Support Enforcement Division. Everything is going along reasonably well, even though going through a divorce is devastating to both parties financially. But then - Whammo, your hours just got cut, or you are laid off, or whatever happens, your earnings are not what the court ordered child support payments are and you fall further and further behind.
Now, the law does provide that you can go to the court and argue a change in circumstances which requires that your child support be reduced. Providing of course that you can come up with the $1500 to $2,000 to pay a lawyer to do that. But you are broke, and the only free legal services are for the woman. As a man, you are basically screwed at this point.
Oh well, you work it out with the ex-wife, and she agrees to a reduced amount (if you are lucky), but then she goes to get AFDC. The fact that you are not paying all of the court ordered child support will be reported to the Child Support Enforcement Division who will then send you a letter and let you know that your license is going to be suspended. Sure enough, about a month later, you get a letter in the mail from the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles that says your license is suspended. and that after you make up the arrears in child support and pay the $100 license reinstatement fee, you can again legally drive.
In the mean time, you found another lower paying job, but you are at least making ends meet but you are not getting caught up with your arrears, but you are planning to do so.
One night after work, you stop off with your buddies and have a few beers. When you pull out of the parking lot, Officer Johnny Law is right behind you. The fact that you just pulled out of a bar is enough to pull you over, but this guy is good and he starts to follow you. While driving, you decide to call your new girlfriend and take your eyes off the road causing you to drift across the center line. You quickly correct, but it's too late, the lights from Johnny are on, and you're are pulled over. Johnny of course requests your Driver's License, proof of insurance and registration. You pull them all out and give them to the officer. He retreats to his patrol car where he runs your information, which comes back showing you suspended. He returns to your window, and asks if you have been drinking, and you admit to having two beers. The officer makes you get out and perform the field sobriety tests, which you have never done before, and you flunk. The officer is then going to offer the Preliminary Breath Test, and because of a storm coming through, you blow over .08. You are now under arrest, charged with DUI, and Driving While Suspended. Bail is set at $2000, which will cost you $300, which you will never see again, but at least you are out.
The next working day, you take time off from work (with no pay) and sit in court for three hours until you can enter Not Guilty pleas. Because you are poor, you will be assigned a public defender, who will read your police report, and think "Christ, the only thing missing is the Driving without Insurance to make the unholy trinity." After examining the facts, your Public Defender tells you that the fact that you drifted across the center line is enough for the stop, and all of the rest of the questions were legally valid. In other words, you are screwed.
You will later go to court, where if you have an experienced lawyer, he or she will argue to the judge that your suspension is a civil suspension, and so the mandatory two days in jail don't apply. The judge, however, is running for re-election, and she doesn't want to be seen as soft on crime, so she orders two days in jail anyways, a $1,000 fine for the DUI with $250 suspended, and another $1,000 with $500 suspended for the driving while suspended causing you to lose your job. She also orders you to attend the ACT classes, which will cost you another $500, and because your license was suspended, you are not to drive for another year. In addition, since you just took a conviction for DUI, your insurance company cancels your policy.
You complain to your defender, that her sentence makes it impossible to go to work and pay fines, child support or the ACT fees. To which your defender points out the obvious: They don't care.

Do you see a pattern here? If you are Bill Gates, the fines are no problem, and you can have your driver pick you up at home and take you to work. Of course in Montana, you could rely on the fantastic public transportation system that we have in order to get to work. Instead, we have a system that is designed to keep you poor. This is not just morally unjustified, it is impractical. In order to get to work to pay all of your obligations, you drive while suspended and without insurance. Further law breaking that if you are caught, will put you even further into the hole.
All of these laws have a valid societal interest, and are promoted by earnest, well meaning people. The trouble is, that in their application, they serve to create a permanent underclass, solve none of the problems, and cost a tremendous amount of money.

But at least we can feel good about ourselves that we are doing something about dead beat dads and drunk driving.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This is the Reality Based Community?

So, Randi Rhodes falls down and is hurt. Somehow, the Left wing of this country believes that it is all part of some conspiracy.

My step father used to believe in the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Illuminati and other conspiracy theories. Like those at the above link, he sought meaning to his life by believing that others exercised some form of occult control which is the reason that he wasn't as successful as he thought he should have been.

The reality is, that organizing and keeping a conspiracy is beyond the ability of anyyone. Wishful paranoia, where you hope that there are enemies keeping you down is not a very useful life philosophy.

But it may be a useful political philosophy to keep the uninformed masses angry.

More Krugman idiocy.

Below, I made mention of the mendacity that is the former Enron advisor Paul Krugman. Then I came across this.
American Thinker is one of those hard to find spots on the Intertubes that is well worth the time to seek them out. And while I normally only link to cites, this is too rich to risk you not taking a look.
Paul Krugman, a man so wise that he alerted us to the looming economic disaster inherent in the very Bush Administration policies that have produced high growth, low unemployment, and a falling deficit, now explains why conservatives like me laugh at Al Gore's global warming theory campaign.

"...the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore [was], I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration."

So scientific skepticism is ruled out. That's very convenient for Krugman because global warming theory isn't holding up very well under examination. No mention of the British Court requiring a corrective message appear before Gore's film when it is force-fed to British school children. This enables Krugman to blithely write:

"The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right."

Krugman is good at suggesting those who disagree with him are villainous or obsessional. Check out this sneer at the work of AT contributor (and my friend) Monica Showalter, who exposed in the pages of Investors Business Daily the inconvenient truth that Soros entities have been funding James Hansen, a NASA official whose recent actions we have questioned.

Investor's Business Daily recently declared that the prominence of James Hansen, the NASA researcher who first made climate change a national issue two decades ago, is actually due to the nefarious schemes of - who else? - George Soros.

Krugman's attempts to marginalize those who follow the tradition of scientific skepticism will no doubt be lapped up by those readers who know about conservatives from what they read in the New York Times. But for anyone familiar with the actual arguments against global warming, they are laughably self-serving delusions.

I have come to believe that anyone who references Media Matters or Paul Krugman is either a fool or an idiot. To those who do reference them, I would welcome a contra argument.

If it could be done.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Krugman, Dionne and other idiots.

Jay Stevens clips some "interesting observations" from two liberal icons of the Misguided Senile Media. Krugman, the former Enron advisor, who then went on to a career with the New York Times, where he had been blissfully hidden for quite some time (but not long enough) and Dionne, who always give me the impression that he is going to start shrieking hysterically, are two people that I just cannot take seriously. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and try to consider their view as coming from a rational and thoughtful person. It just can't be done with these two "gentlemen."
And yet, Jay seems to think that their thinking is important.
All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate.

Well, there you go, those Republicans are doing character assassination. Hmm, I wonder why the Democrats never did this? Judge Bork, would you care to give an answer if you could, or any one of thousands of others since.
Then we get this:
Politics aside, the Graeme Frost case demonstrates the true depth of the health care crisis: every other advanced country has universal health insurance, but in America , insurance is now out of reach for many hard-working families, even if they have incomes some might call middle-class.

Excuse me? If some have found health insurance quotes of less than $400 per month for the family, why is that considered "out of reach for many hard-working families?" Now, it could be argued that with pre-existing conditions that the costs would be so much higher, and I would agree with them.
But WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY BUY IT BEFORE THE ACCIDENT? Oh, that's right, because the taxpayers can be counted on to pay for their greed (for putting the money in other places instead of health care insurance). What? How dare I call someone only making $45,000 greedy! It's easy, there are limited resources for everything. You make your choices.
In the Montana of my youth, if you needed help you could always count on your neighbors. But you didn't demand their help, and if you were really stupid, after awhile they would quit helping. Relying on natural selection to solve your problems. But somehow, we have created this mentality that someone else owes us, just because they may have something more than us. How this came about is still amazing to me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Have they no shame?

Dave Budge takes on the silliness of Jay Stevens for being outraged at the Free Republic for pointing out that the spokesman that the Democrats relied on, a twelve year old boy, to reply to Bush's veto of the excessive SCHIP bill, is part of at least a middle class family.

Some of the amusement, is when Jay says:
First, this particular family has nothing to do with whether CHIP is a good program. We don't know 'nuthin' about the family. Anecdotal evidence proves f*ck-all.

So, the Democrats have this twelve year old kid who asks to rebut Bush, and they just say, "Sure!" "We don't know 'nuthin' about this family?" Oh yes we do. We know that they are being cynically manipulated by the Democrats. We know that the Democrats are reverting to the old school, "It's for the children" argument, because so few people are willing to think or ask questions. And using children has worked so well for them. Remember all the kids that would start crying because they knew that they were going to be killed in a nuclear war started by Raygun? Those kids knew nothing about the real situation, but they were being scared unmercifully by the Democrats for political advantage.
But Jay's comments that:
You can pull this rhetorical bullsh*t, slime the folks getting CHIP as undeserving n'eer-do-wells sucking off the teat of government,
triggered something when I read this comment below Mark Steyn's quoted piece which pointed out the
faux outraged leftists accusing conservative bloggers of waging a “smear campaign:”

and further down:
Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley complains: “This is a perverse distraction from the issue at hand” and accuses questioners of attacking children.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Obviously the marching orders went out, and Jay and his ilk must realize how dangerous for their silly argument it is to be taking advantage of children in this way.

Child abuse I tell you!!

Have they no shame? In the final analysis, have they no sense of decency left?


The Rich Need to Pay Their Fair Share!!!

If the top 1% of the tax payers pay 90% of all taxes, as the TaxProf Blog says, then don't they deserve a tax cut? And if the top 25% of earners pay out 86%, kind of makes you wonder what the other 75% are doing.

Update: Montana Headlines does an excellent analysis about this question. I am sure that Wulfgar would appreciate it, when he gets his reading comprehensions scores up.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Patriotism is the Highest Form of Dissent

When Hillary screamed that "Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism" it gave me pause in that way when you know something is seriously wrong with what was said, but you don't want to take the time to parse it out. And like a low grade infection, it gnaws annoyingly at you, but you just don't take the time to deal with it.
Then, along comes the doctor who pours some iodine on it, and makes it go away. The good doctor wrote:
The great, truly patriotic reformers of American history have the country for what it is despite its flaws, which they dedicated themselves to amending. It's only of late, under the influence of Marxism and the tumult of the '60s (perhaps the Kennedy assassination, if you believe that guy's new book) in which you see large numbers of people expressing the loopy theoretical proposition that you can despise your country out of love for it, which seems to be the bottom line for a lot of petty university-educated intellectuals these days.

Another great mind that I hadn't considered said this:
The people who came to the United States to bomb the World Trade Center were wrong. . . . How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in tyranny. How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes.

I say to you, all of you, . . . there is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government. There is nothing heroic about turning your back on America, or ignoring your own responsibilities.
(Hat Tip to Instapundit.)

This problem often manifests itself in strange ways. Some are openly hostile to our soldiers, while others wallow in a form of manipulated self loathing even though they get it so completely wrong that they seem to be furthering enemy propaganda.

Others, come to the defense of soldiers only when it suits their cause. Yet they do not come to the side of any soldier who would offer support for what the soldiers are doing. In fact, they are more than willing to believe a fabulist, who has since recanted. Amusingly, in their efforts to avoid jingoism, some are becoming jingoistic in their anti-jingoism.

When nearly 20% of a major political party think that it would be a good idea for the US to lose the war, and the major leadership of that party remain mute, I have to wonder. Couple that silence with the news media, those "arbiters of information" who will jump on anything that looks bad, but ignore any good news has me concerned about their reliability.

I am willing to make a deal: I won't question anyone's patriotism, so long as they don't give me a reason to.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Death in the Family

I have always enjoyed Christopher Hitchens' writings. He wields the English language as a rapier in slashing apart weak thoughts and arguments. But this piece brought tears to my eyes.
Each of us may think that we are creatures of our own making as we stumble through life. Never realizing that what we might consider to be just a glancing blow at the most, leaves instead, an imprint of more magnitude than we had thought. The young man in the above link was just such a case. What he may not have appreciated, is that he has more than returned the favor to Hitchens.
The line that is quoted from his letters:

Anyone who knew me before I joined knows that I am quite aware and at times sympathetic to the arguments against the war in Iraq. If you think the only way a person could bring themselves to volunteer for this war is through sheer desperation or blind obedience then consider me the exception (though there are countless like me).… Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics.
(emphasis added.) touched me deeply, because, even after all these years, I know these men and women. Not these individuals, but their type. These people are the strength of our nation. They embody what is best in America. Which is probably why I get so ticked off when they are used and abused for political gain.

How many of us could say that at nineteen we were actually doing something for democracy and individual rights? And I mean this especially for those who seem to think promotion of a certain political agenda is the same thing. Don't insult these fine soldiers by equating that service with theirs.

Look at your own life, and see if you are worthy of those who serve. As I have said before, they serve without being servile.

God Bless each and every one of them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Spiralling Downward?

Earlier, I had posted why I thought the Democrats may be in trouble in 2010. Because of certain structural problems, I think that the Republicans are going to lose even more seats in Congress in 2008, unless they can change the perception that they are fiscally irresponsible.
So, let's all get ready for a future of President Clinton with a Democratic Congress in charge at least for a little while. But I am willing to make a prediction: It ain't going to be that easy for Hillary, and most of the problems are going to be coming from her Left. However you might feel about her, and I definitely do not want to listen to her cackle every day, she is shrewd enough to figure out the difference between campaigning and governing. She has recently appointed Michael O'Hanlon as her foreign policy adviser. You might have forgotten who he is, but he is one of two men from the Brookings Institute who said that the the surge is working. O'Hanlon was widely attacked for such heresy, mostly because it could have been perceived as verifying Bush, which is of course a total no-no.
So, Hillary is confident enough to disregard the Kos and MoveOn crowds. Why, you might ask? Because she has more than enough money she doesn't need their Dean dimes to get elected. And she needs to reassure the majority of Americans that she is not one of the Loony Left in order to get elected.
Of course, that doesn't apply in every election, and like here in Montana, in a close election, MoveOn can certainly have enough of an impact to get their candidate elected. But any candidate who wins, is going to have a MoveOn member whispering sic transit gloria, or as translated: We own you Baby!
Reinforced with their increased majority, the Democratic Party is going to be doing a sharp veer to the Left, and with it, the ruining of the right to private property, the economy, and just possibly, Western Civilization as we know it.

Nothing exceeds like excess.

More funnies

Scoop has a great piece that you just have to chuckle at.

Humor requires a certain element of truth. This clip is only too true.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oh, How Quickly They Forget

Left in the West has Baucus's newest campaign ad which ostensibly castigates Bush. I remember in 2002 when Max was busy trying to get every photo op with Bush that he could.

You don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

Update: I try to stay on top so that I am not duplicating other ideas that I want to post. But Mike at The Last Best Place beat me by about 20 Minutes.

To Mike, great minds and all that, even if I am 20 minutes behind you.

More Funnies

Fred Thompson has it right!

If brevity is the essence of wit, Fred has it.

The idea that equating a MoveOn ad attacking a serving General who is apolitical and what a political commentator says is ridiculous. As someone else I know is famous for writing:Stop writing stupid sh*t.

The desire to make them the same shows the shallowness of their argument.

The Source of Montana's Future Riches

In their never ending search for ways to create revenue for the government, Sen. Inouye is allowing the moratorium on the sales taxes for the Internet to expire. Since Montana does not have a sales tax, all we need is a new law guaranteeing the right to privacy, especially in commercial transactions, and a way to make Montana the point of sale, and Montana could get rich.

Too easy. It will never happen.

But you can bet that the Internet tax will prevail. Too much money to pass by.

I'm doing it for the Children.

Carol at Missoulaopolis links to an article that says that the SCHIP program will require 22 million new smokers by 2017.

Thank God. I am tired of the health Nazis who want to tell me that "Smoking kills."

So, if I don't smoke, I'll live forever?

Nah, I think that it is my personal responsibility to take care of the poor urchins whose parents are making up to $80,000 per year.

So, the next time that someone gives me grief for smoking, I will just have to ask them: "Why do you hate kids?"

I'm Baacck

After a hiatus, in which the aphorism "the only thing that justice has to do with the justice system, is the abuse of the name," is proved once again, I have returned to comment on some of the things that have passed since I have been tied up.