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The Rougblog

blogging in boxers

Updated: 2017-10-15T11:01:35.338-04:00


Wealth and Hurricanes


It was good news to hear that the Bransons were able to ride out hurricane Irma with neither injuries nor loss of life.  They survived the maelstrom by hunkering down in the family wine cellar surrounded by their Boone's Farm and MD 2020 collections. Wealth can do that for you.It can provide access to not only the private tropical locations that most of us can only dream about but also, in the event of an anthropologically caused climate warming event, can provide an alcohol stocked club house from which to experience the challenge.  Juan and Francoise, unfortunately living in poverty along the northern coast of Hispaniola, will spend their day clinging to a palm tree. That is the way of the world.  Wealth enhances life while poverty lays bare its fragility.From the Branson subterranean compound, billionaire Richard Branson's son Sam tweeted out his thankfulness for survival but also cautioned the world that it must tackle the issue of global climate change. It is a lofty goal to be sure and many people on Earth, and perhaps an even higher percentage of the wealthy certainly counting among them the Bransons, are highly motivated to make the change.   Fossil fuels and their spewing of carbon are the targets for most of these concerns.   As a result the entire ethanol industry has been born, refinery development has been all but stopped, pipelines carrying the fuels are protested, delayed and cancelled, drilling moratoriums are put in place, punitive taxes are put in place, the evolving coal industry is shuttered in many places, all the while alternative methods of energy are being explored...which might bring us right around to ethanol again.The designs of all of these programs is to do one thing...raise the cost of energy consumption. As it was explained to us by President Barack Obama, "energy costs must necessarily skyrocket."  As Hillary Clinton explained during her hapless limp toward the highest office in the land, she wanted to bankrupt the coal industry.Of course these are negative things to those who work in the coal mines, but they also have negative impacts on the users of electricity and, gasp, this includes most people who cannot afford to buy their own private islands.Richard Branson is the kind of guy I admire for the most part.  His vision has provided tens of thousands of jobs and paid million and tens of millions of dollars in taxes.   He is not an enemy of the poor, or shouldn't be, because the wealth he has generated has paved the way for a better life for many of those who don't even know who he is. To a point.  However, when the Richard Branson family attempts to increase the costs of energy consumption it also without exception retards the ability of millions of those less fortunate to generate the wealth that they will need in the future to do such things as pay electric bills, generate wealth, and hopefully someday, buy private islands.  Al Gore, owner of multiple private estates, charterer of private jets, producer of motion pictures, and perhaps the foremost proponent of AGW science, declares himself to be carbon neutral because of the carbon credits he routinely purchases.  I can't help but ask myself "wouldn't he be carbon negative if he just bought a bunch of carbon credits and left his bug butt at home?"  Maybe if he would try to be a positive influence instead of bragging about his neutrality he'd cut a more sympathetic pose.A buddy of mine, an embracer of Al Gore's reasoning, was adamant that the wealthy can afford to pay the price necessary to make the energy switch over.  One wonders (or I did) which rich person is going to step up to the gas pump and pay the $100 it takes to fill up his truck when gas goes to $5 per gallon?   Perhaps it is Al Gore himself, or might have been before he blew his budget on all the carbon credits.  Current global warming theorists demand a reduction in energy consumption and the only way to force that result is by making that consumption punitive to every person pulling up to th[...]

Driver's Licenses: A Progression


Does a driver's license have more than one purpose?

Certainly a license, issued by the state and earned by a driver proves that the holder has passed all the requirements to drive a vehicle in the state in which it was issued.  Endorsements on that license help to prove the holder's qualifications for operating different kinds of vehicles, their ability to haul cargo, and their capacity to understand all the applicable rules.

Too, the license helps to substantiate the holder's identity should he want to prove his legal age to purchase alcohol, enroll at a college, write an out of town check, or buy a casino's buffet with valuable earned credits!   (Of course, to prove a voter's identity with a driver's license would be too discriminatory.  Let's not go there.)

Driver's licenses also help to identify unconscious and deceased accident victims while indicating too their organ donor status. 

The purpose then, for the driver's license, is multifold.  None of the purposes of the driver's license have ever been arbitrary, though now its usage is beginning to waver on that front.

The People's State of California is considering a change to their driver's licenses that would include an X as a sex indicator.  This is one of the first of many steps being taken today to blur the definition of  the sex that was "assigned" at birth by God and that pesky swirl of chromosomes that make up our being.

Thankfully most identification cards eschew color photos of our junk and a person's sex is taken at the word of the holder.  However, when it comes to identifying the body of a person badly injured in an accident, in the absence of a junk shot, paramedics might have to rely on something a little more concrete than the fluidity of gender choice.

It is true also that in the years that elapse between the times that a driver's license picture is taken a person's looks can change.  Glasses are changed or discarded, hair color and length (and thickness in my case) change, older people shrink, and everybody lies on their weight anyway.   The blond haired, blue eyed, physically fit devil portrayed in the photo might actually look, well, a lot more like me when current events are taken into consideration.  (My junk is still M.)

The natural progression at play here makes identification potentially misleading in many situations and without purpose. 

In a woefully inadequate speech class (instructed by a woefully inept graduate assistant) we were given an assignment to speak to those in the rest of our class about who we were as individuals.

Wait for it....yes!  Collage time.

Beside the fact that I felt I had outgrown such an exercise by about 8th grade, we college frosh spent several class periods explaining to each other why some of us were going to be so successful (in pictures) while the most discerning among us figured out rather quickly why, despite the fact our building was covered in Virginia Creeper, we weren't actually attending an Ivy League school.  The collage was our identity and our junk could be whatever we wanted it to be.

I'm pretty sure that is where we are least until driver's licenses become completely obsolete and autonomous vehicles dominate the roads.  We won't need a license to ride in a self driving car, will we?

Still, identifications will remain relevant for the other purposes mentioned above, but the farther we wade into identity fluidity, the more a collage might actually be the better route for those negotiations at the casino buffet counter.   

Detroit, the Movie, Shoehorned into an Undeserved Context (Because I'm Like That)


Today I went to the theater and watched the movie Detroit.  It occurred to me after watching the film that we should painstakingly drag up historically ugly incidents, regardless of how they make us feel, in order to remember them and learn from them.  The movie attempts to document one of the ugliest of the incidents that took place during the riots of that hot summer of 1967.  It is one of many ugly stories contained within those several days of smoke and fire and bullets and bricks.  And blood.But why make such a film when the producers and director and actors must have known that delving into such a project would open old wounds?   The 1960s, we hope today, are far removed from today's modern society where, more or less, people of different skin tones and hair textures can mix and mingle with one another without creating great tension, fear and violence.If that is the case, and most people would say that it is, then why make it?  Would it not be better to just move along?What then is to be gained?I'm certain people of different proud races and of different experiences could have different reactions to the film.  A swastika wearing hammer skin might cheer for a racist and corrupted police officer while a BLM sympathizer might become ever more motivated to distrust police and call for the frying of more "bacon."  These are fringe people in fringe movements and do not speak for a vast majority of individuals in this country.I too came away with my own thoughts.During that summer of 1967 I was but nine years old and had not yet entered the fourth grade.  Northern Michigan, where I grew up, was 180 long miles from the tendrils of smoke that trailed across a sky easily visible to fans at Tiger Stadium. I'm not certain I even have any direct memories of the '67 riots as it occurred.  We didn't have 24 hour news channels in those days and I'm not even sure if we had a working television at that time in my life.  It was summer, I was probably playing Wiffle Ball or catching crickets.  So, all I know about it today is what I've gathered from reading, listening to other people talk about it, looking at some of the blackened storefronts many years ago, and now watching this movie.  Many of the landmarks of the riots were destroyed in the riots themselves, and many others, such as the Algiers Motel itself, have been removed in the time since.  Memories fade, oral history dies, and soon enough only the hardened documentation remains.  Now, ratcheted up by the Charlottesville incident where some Nazi goons who supposedly demonstrated to protect monuments that honor heroes of the old south, we have many others demanding that these same old monuments (and others with much more dubious attachments to racism) be relocated to museums or destroyed outright--their existence and location seemingly a cause of great discomfort for those that view or visit.I certainly understand this sentiment and perhaps some of this relocation (only) could still serve the purpose of remembrance and knowledge.  However, I'm not so certain that discomfort is altogether a bad thing here.Monuments themselves become a part of history.    Nathan Bedford Forrest, a southern general and an early member of the Ku Klux Klan, has had dozens of monuments raised in his honor over the years (not to mention a few pointed white hats.)  Should they be toppled and destroyed, or simply relocated to a museum that documents the Civil War?  My opinion might not be worth a lot given my age, color, and ignorance, but an art historian might use this occasion to say the fact that such monuments might have been erected to honor Forrest as late as the 1920s or 1930s or 1940s, (or even 2013!) could also tell us something about certain people in this country who were [...]

An Honest Discernment of Hatred


The last authentic episode of hate speech that I heard in my life was screamed by a young lad with a cavernous mouth toward his mother who had had just about enough of the whole opened yap thing.  It was embarrassing for her, the child's father, for me, and hopefully, after several years of reflection, for him.How do I know it was hate?  It was the intent, the volume, the passion.  And I, as the third party, a direct witness of the event, feel I am qualified to divine what the little snot was thinking at the time he expelled his snarling.  An hour later, of course, the rather volatile beast was once again settled down and interacting with those around him in a rather fragile but subdued truce.Perhaps it wasn't hate so much as it was immaturity and emotional trauma.  Who is to say?In today's political bump and run it has become solely for the listener to decide.  This is why the categorization of "hate speech" and "hate thought" and "hate crimes" are so dangerous to a free society--not because we embrace the hate that might be behind them, but because we do not want third parties to pass judgment on what might be the intent of such expression.There is no doubt that we have hate speech in today's society.  (We always have had.) Enter the likes of Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro, Heather MacDonald, Robert Spenser (not to be confused with Richard Spenser who hates to his heart's content) and Donald Trump.   Or, to today's progressives, anyone who might possess a conservative position or two on any number of difficult contemporary political issues.  As an example, there are few Americans today who are more honest about their beliefs than Ben Shapiro.  I've been reading his columns since he was an undergrad at Harvard.  I've been listening to his podcasts at the Daily Wire for well over a year.  His debates are reasoned and well documented, as is his history.  He is, according to some, the person most often targeted by the alt-right in its march toward a more regulated and homogenous society.  Ben, to his credit, refuses to shut up.  He is no hater even though he is cynically labeled as such by others.But the alt-right, perhaps the most pervasive spewers of hate in this country, is not a group who worries overmuch about the hate speech of others.  It is the progressive left that uses the terms of hate as tools to wield in attempts to silence their adversaries.  Both sides are illiberal and seek top down governments with the power to alienate and persecute those whose beliefs differ with their own.  While the alt-right totalitarians and their bird of a feather sympathizers are properly relegated to the outmost political fringe, their well-armed antifa totalitarian adversaries are granted wide berth by most politicians, a nearly uniform press, and by an entertainment establishment too afraid to be vocationally black-balled to stand up for freedom.   Donald Trump is a bumbling politician.  He is a woefully inept speaker.  His methods and tactics are ill advised.  His thin skin and quick temper make him an easy target for an activist press and his political adversaries, regardless of which political party they might belong to.  He is being criticized these days, and properly to some degree, for his seeming reluctance to disavow the actions of the Nazis in Charlottesville.  He claims to have no sympathy for those wearing jack-boots and driving vehicles into milling crowds, but his early statements tried to spread the blame equally in the one area where equality is not welcome.  And Trump is wrong about this.  There are those who weep at the destruction or removal of monuments to their southern heritage.  To my knowledge they were not the planners of this demonstration.  The groups behind this weekend's demonstration were dedicated not to their south[...]

A Christian Comments on the Country's Fraying Fabric


After watching another open incident of murderous idiocy display itself in Charlottesville this weekend, I have a few things to say.But first things first for a little context.  I am a Christian and therefore believe that violence for the sake of violence is wrong.  I care not who perpetuates it.  I am not a pacifist so I believe there are times when violence might be called for, but having grown up in the Mennonite tradition I find nearly all forms of violence in nearly all contexts to be wanting for justification.  So, who to blame for the latest carnage?  The roots of this calamity lie in progressivism in its many forms.  Progressivism has a large umbrella that casts a shadow over many movements, and two of these movements are Marxism/communism and national socialism or, as a historical progressive coined it, Nazism.  Nazis are not communists and vice versa.  Yet, all communists and all fascists are socialists.  The roots of these political philosophies lie in the shepherding of a small group of elites into positions of great political, economic and social power.  They each thrive by dividing the population into identity groups that can be pitted against one another and by design then, must levy the governing powers for restitution.  Both systems are tyrannical and oppose individual liberty.The individual is secondary in progressive thought.  Capitalism is anathema.  Personal property rights are attacked as standing in the way of "the greater good" or in opposition to "the will of the people."  The operational vehicle might differ between these socialist groupings, but their intent is to subvert the individual to the larger group.The communists/Marxists wield their power through a top-down and heavy handed government control over the means of production.  A bigwig thinks that black pants are suitable "for the people" and soon every person is wearing stylish black pants.  The government owns the factories.  It owns the cotton fields.  It owns the dye, the thread, the buttons, the zippers.  It transports these chosen components in its own trucks, driven by drivers in the government's employ, to the factory that it owns, and then has the components unloaded at the dock by black slacked government workers.  Everything works great until some enemy of the state wants a pair of blue jeans.  A good ruling fascist might also want his subjects to wear black slacks (they are a good match for the jack-boots.)  But, rather than try to direct every individual move along the chain of production, he merely rewards the companies or corporations who are most likely to toe the line.  He regulates those he dislikes and rewards those who seek favor.  Companies that cannot compete against well capitalized competitors drop out of the system and those that are left standing enjoy the high life.  Companies that operate in a fascist framework produce products more efficiently than those operating in a communist country might, but they also tend to produce private sector wealth disparities that are largely absent in communist countries,  The ruling classes are wealthy in either system.  They both redistribute wealth.  They both adhere to top-down thinking.  They both stomp on individuals who are trying their best to live lives of independence and prosperity.So, why the hate between these two groups that both seek the same top down power?We see today's leftist groupings standing side by side organizationally even though they oftentimes hold opposing (and often explosive) viewpoints.  This is how NEA members can stand beside African American parents at a rally when there is no organization in American that has damaged the educational system in the inner city as badly as has the NEA.  This is how wall-st[...]

A Winning Sales Pitch


It would be foolish for conservatives to ignore a demographic momentum that does not favor conservatism. While many celebrate the latest victory by a non-conservative on the national stage, it is this victory in itself that should leverage some caution with many of the celebrants. When the GOP gave primary voters a choice between several conservative presidential contestants and Donald Trump, it was The Donald whose scepter was raised in the end. Indeed, in a charging herd of pachyderms it could be said that Mr. Trump protected the left flank. And yet this leftward position was used as a springboard from which to attain the top rung of America’s historically most conservative party. In a Democrat Party election exercise that by design favored the Clinton royal family, the most energetic portion of that long lost party was in the camp of the neo-Marxist Bernie Sanders. Hillary may very well have ended up the victor of her party’s primary process on an even playing field, but the youth, the next generation of economically illiterate voters, favored Karl Sanders in huge numbers despite party insistence, machinations and propaganda. Finally, the popular vote in the presidential election went to the most progressive big party candidate remaining in the field. At the end of it all we cannot say that Mr. Trump will not govern with some conservative principles and I have been impressed with some of his appointments and comments since those sad moments in which he called Ted Cruz a liar, Ted’s wife an ugly addict, and his father a communist conspirator and political assassin. At least now we have a positive trend. Whatever Trump’s conservative positions might be at this particular point in time they seem to have been arrived at through whim rather than philosophy. Trump’s voting coalition was cobbled together in much the same way a windstorm throws debris on my front porch. Many traditional democrats voted Donald in an effort to stem the loss of American jobs. Many conservatives felt the tide of the party was sweeping too far leftward because of entrenched establishment party operatives and preferred a non-political candidate that at least had one foot outside the party’s corral. Many millions more felt a vote had to be cast for Trump because his loss would mean a corrupt career politician with no morals, ethics or honor would assume the highest office in the land. Finally, alt-righters voted for Donald because they have shit for brains. What resulted was a coalition of evangelical Christians who stood beside Neo-nazis who stood beside union workers who stood beside libertarians who in turn stood beside many nervous looking conservatives peering out of the corner of their rapidly blinking eyes. It was a tent just big enough to produce a victory. We must be a ‘big tent’ party say those strategists closely aligned to the party. But what big tents might provide in terms of the ability to enfold a larger divergence of opinion, by definition, it would also necessarily be willing to sell off chunks of its founding principles. For instance, a cohesive and coherent conservative party cannot promote both free markets and protectionism; the former having provided for more created wealth in the history of mankind than under any other type of system, while the latter has helped enslave the impoverished for centuries. The two positions are mutually exclusive and should not be part of the same big tent. The message of conservatism should be the selling point, not a position we are willing to parcel off in order to attract more voters. When we do this we end up with a larger party led by candidates with no investment in conservative courses of action. I give you Donald Trump. And before him Mitt Romney. And before him the (now) six times elected senator from Arizona, John McCain. Republicans in general and conservatives in specific are not good at selling t[...]

Rougblog Reboot


I’ve been away for a while as the struggles of aging and the demons of electronics conspired to force my silence.

My absence was neither easy nor intended to be permanent despite anything my former one-time reader was praying for when I dropped off the planet. So, I’m back but this return will be closer to an easing onto the service road rather than a break neck plunge onto the Autobahn. I don’t even have reliable internet at home yet.

It is my intent to take this sight as seriously as I ever have with posts on economics, politics, culture, current events, things that humor me and, of course, my total contempt for socialists.

One thing that makes it difficult for me to consistently power away at uncompensated writing is the feeling that I do so and no one listens. I know when someone travels to the site because the hit meter registers each solitary voyageur. However it is the commenting, either positive or negative, that provides the sole reward, at least until such time as I can leverage this free squawking into a paying gig.

I do encourage commenting but I’d prefer it not be dedicated to the assassination of my character however much my character deserves a good butt-kicking. I try to treat people respectfully in the comments but in my posts themselves a promise of restraint is off the table. I will only excoriate those who are public figures or those who wade into the pool first.

I talk the way I want to talk in my posts because I feel public officials and personalities are pretty much fair game. Don’t take it personally that I feel the wife-beater Sean Penn is a low life. Don’t get too insulted because, after all, you have the exact same right to start your own blog that no one reads too, just like this one.

I really enjoy input even if it is contrary to my own opinion. I’m also one who is willing to agree to disagree until I get personally insulted at which point I will either cry like a baby or come at you like a poo-flinging spider monkey. I don’t like it when those who comment refuse to play nice with each other.

Welcome back to the site. I’ll try to keep it interesting.

Michigan Entrepreneurs Still Active


Imagine my thrill at watching a wonderful lady several years my senior seek to make her fortune at an advanced age.  I’m a chicken whose spring passed many years ago and this lady was scratching worms from the summer soil long before I ever witnessed my first equinox.

I discovered the spirit of America knows no age limit.

I truly appreciate inventiveness and the entrepreneurial spirit because, among other reasons, I verily appreciate America and the American spirit.  America embraced the free market and capitalism at its founding and was willing to suffer decades of transition from the cash-poor/barter heavy society at the founding to one that burgeoned a slowly developed wealth as its first century waned.

And wealth is a wonderful thing for it is wealth, principally created by those who had a better idea, process or product, that produced a society largely capable of eliminating hunger, homelessness and disease.  This is not to say that there are none who suffer hunger or homelessness or disease in this country, but only that those who are willing and able to interject themselves into the mainstream economy are largely capable of living lives today that completely avoid toothless scurvy ‘neath a cardboard box.

Yet America’s embrace of the free market has done more than simply reduce malnourishment, homelessness and disease.  It has also helped to produce an American population entitled to a basic education, a very modest retirement, passable roads, protected landscapes, parks, libraries, and now, a disgustingly inefficient, impersonal and expensive heath care benefit.

Even beyond these supposedly deserved entitlements, we Americans have grown to expect reasonable access to groceries, health clubs, gas stations, auto parts stores, insurance agencies, pharmacies, theaters, restaurants, florists and the ever-necessary tattoo parlor/piercing studio.  (The former benefits, of course, made possible by the producers of the latter.)

We should not forget that it is the government skimming of cream off the surface of privately produced milk that makes all entitlements possible but it is the milk itself that is, it seems to many, an ever-flowing stream of torrential mammalian nectar.

Assumed limitless production of this magic elixir makes the vision of entitlements also nearly limitless. Teddy’s progressivism begat Wilson’s socialism begat FDR’s New Deal begat Johnson’s Great Society begat Nixon’s HUD begat Clinton’s CRA begat W’s prescription drug benefit/NCLB which begat Obama’s everything under the sun which will sire the…what can we imagine…exactly?

A little pushback, I feel, is in order.

So, I stood in admiration of this woman at a local BP in northern Michigan who was working to create the wealthpot from which future generations might enjoy what is, even to this day, a yet unimagined entitlement. Like the industrialists of old she was willing to take her hard-earned capital and invest it wisely in an economy where capital is king and industry, both personal and collective, is royalty.

She marched to the counter and used her Bridge Card to buy the most expensive gallon of milk she could find in the county but wisely saved her start-up capital to buy herself 10 Michigan Lotto tickets (all the state enjoyed profits of which will go to Michigan schools!)

It is the wealth the free market created that makes such shenanigans possible.  It is the unabated shenanigans that will lead to the collapse of our free market, one poor investment at a time.

An Employment Lament


Tens of thousands of physically able persons of employable age left the Michigan workforce during the age of Obama. While it isn't entirely fair to blame this all on Obama (lets face it, Jennifer Granholm did a reasonably good job of pushing them toward the employment door) it does seem peculiar, does it not, that the unemployment rate can actually fall as fewer jobs are created? Yet this is what happened for many months.

Indeed, the national and state unemployment rates have been on a slow decline over the past couple of years even though slogging job seekers were enjoying little success looking for employment. And, while I'm thinking about it, many of those lucky workers who found work found themselves underemployed by education and fractionally employed when measured against a forty hour work week. Yet, the unemployment rate fell.

And the press celebrated.

Wannabe workers wore out shoe soles beating the pavement. Their distant relatives developed carpel tunnel syndrome filling out their unemployment claims. Businesses that hired did so reluctantly. Many other businesses reluctantly didn't hire as they waited out the uncertainty brought on by a burgeoning regulatory bureaucracy.

None of this did the unemployed much good and they tired of looking for work. They became qualified for disability in record numbers. They retired early in record numbers. They decided they actually could survive on government benefits in record numbers. They started watching Alice reruns.

While the falling unemployment rate was celebrated by the media and helped a benevolent government lay plausible claim to a warming economic climate, people suffered. One hundred thousand newly created jobs month after month became "positive evidence of an expanding economy for the country." First time weekly jobless claims of 350,000 or so were again signs of a strengthening economy. Neither of these numbers is at all positive yet they were represented as such by a left leaning media adherent to government worship.

Unemployed Masters of Business Administration became Masters of Burger Flipping. Former sales managers became sales clerks. On the bright side, those with Women's Studies majors remained unemployed but now have more leisure time in which to protest a paternalistic society's war on women.

Now we are seeing the flip side. The underrepresented unemployment rate is beginning to rise even though a relatively larger number of jobs are being created, all this because the discouraged are once again seeking work.

Obama has already been reelected and many of his policies still aren't done damaging the work force. Obamacare is going to be disastrous, the EPAs war on coal and oil is going to be a brutal punishment for anyone trying to pay the bills and buy food on his own dime, while overarching intrusions into other formerly free markets will (and have) needlessly chill profits and their greatest byproduct--private sector jobs.

More people are already on public assistance than at any other time in American history and poverty rates are rising even as that unemployment rate begins to creep up again.

More road signs than ever point to Greece.

Self Explanatory Picture Assesses the State of US Foreign Policy


I found this little gem over at Doug Ross's place.

A Sleeker Rat Hole


I travel on a budget. I have to. My expense account will only pay for so much while I'm in the great city of Atlanta. When I first began traveling here my expense account was even smaller than it is now and it required of me some great maneuvering (and a bit of a strong stomach) to survive without picking up something questionable. The worst horror story I have is of a place called the Austell Inn, now, thankfully, under new management. I had stayed there on two prior occasions and each time had told myself I would never come back. So, of course, there I was on my third visit. I had the misfortune of visiting during the week of transition from a horrible and perhaps nonexistent management team to a team of naivete so beyond its capabilities it would today make John Kerry look magnificent in his duties of Sec. of State. Anyway, it was the final night of my stay and after working a typical twelve to fourteen hour day in the fair city I got back to my room to find no towels, no bathroom tissue, and the bed stripped with the bedding laying in a pile on the bed. I immediately marched down to the management office to claim a refund and, just so that you know I was marching on the moral high ground, I didn't even plan to complain about the spilled Chinese delivery in the elevator that had been there for two days or the disposable baby diapers that were hanging from the tree in front of my room that had been there for the duration of my stay. After all, this wasn't the Loews Anatole. I entered the office with steam coming from my ears and began lodging my list of complaints. Bedding, blah, dirty shower, blah, towels, blah, toilet tissue, blah blah. I was assured that management was truly sorry and that, when I came back next time, I wouldn't be subjected to the same poor conditions. Oh, he was sorry to say, the room rate was going up about $120 per week. Incidentally, there was no refund. Which brings me to Detroit's newest favorite dope, the swill peddling Rep. Gary Peters who wants to assure the federal government that the next time his fair city receives a bunch of federal grant money that the city will change its ways and spend that money wisely. If they will only give the city one more chance and spend some money on Detroit the habitual dysfunction will be miraculously replaced with efficiency. To assure this transition all the federal government has to do is create a federal interagency task force to watch the dollars so they don't just disappear in a puff of smoke like most of the last few billion did. I want to make sure I have this straight...a government now behind on its bills some $17,000,000,000.000.00 (if you don't count the $80,000,000,000,000.00 or so in unfunded liabilities) will become, if Peters has his way, the actuary-savior over Detroit's malfeasance. Or, put another way, removing local responsibility and control and transferring it hundreds of miles outside the city limits will somehow make it easier to scrutinize the next sludge removal contract while improving the preventative maintenance program for city ambulances, fire trucks and police cruisers. Or, put even another way, that same government $17,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and hundreds of miles away from the city of Detroit, will help create more efficiency and cost effectiveness by growing larger and throwing money down a sleeker rat hole. I didn't go back to the Austell Inn even though it was under new management. For all I know the linen is still stacked on the bed some three years later. And Detroit doesn't deserve one more federal dollar and no sane individual on Earth would ever write it another check. But in all fairness to Peters, he isn't suggesting that individuals give the city any more money. No, he is suggesting that the federal government [...]

Syria...a short reflection


By golly, that's the kind of foreign policy I want my country to pursue, a backtracked sleep induced befuddlement that ends up perfectly parked in front of the Motel 6 that even Clark Griswold would be proud of. And Jugears is there in the front seat declaring "we've made good time."

We don't want any more war. We certainly don't want any more war where our armed forces are required to fight on the side of al Qaeda. No national interest apparent. No unwavering proof that Assad has actually used chemical weapons (though certainly our supposed allies in this fight will use them if given the chance on those filthy Jews living just across the border.) Not. Going. To. End. Well.

We've made good time here indeed. Only one week out from shooting off a couple bottle rockets across the Syrian border in an attack of "unbelievably small" proportions, Vladdy Putin has managed to shove our Fearless Leader into a lunch sack size room of maneuverability. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Lurch is busy scurrying around trying to find someone else's medals to toss into the White House grass while Eric Holder, for his part, will settle at suing Texas.

It's as if a kindergarten class was placed in charge of our foreign policy just before nap time.

Putin, a classic tyrant of historic proportions is able to spout his KGB styled propaganda across American newsprint because our Commander in Chief is totally out of his element. Elections do matter after all. Even beyond the economics and the racial divide, beyond the fascism and central planning, beyond the tyranny and a departure from the rule of law, this country is being laughed at by the biggest ass on the world stage.

An "I told you so" at this point is totally gratuitous. Besides, Putin already said it.

What a sad day.

Your tax (and tuition) dollars at work


Methinks rape does not mean what he thinks it means. Full professor William Penn of MSU has made his judgment about Republicans. He has labeled them racist, rapists, userers and, come to think of it, he isn't too impressed with their complexions either. To the degree that they are human at all, GOPers have become neo-zombies having sucked their ill begotten wealth from its planet victim. It is an odd judgment coming from someone who can put in a 15 hour work week huddled warmly amongst like minded (and like challenged) peers pulling down $150,000 a year while also collecting some of the best employment benefits known to modern man. Penn teaches creative writing--a lofty profession to be sure. (Hey, I like me some fancy sugar-coated words as good as the next guy that happens to survive on three part time jobs while sending two kids to the same university at which Penn arrogantly scales his glittery soap box of judgment.) It's just that, well, perhaps Penn's students would be better served if he concentrated a bit more on the teaching writing aspect of his job and a bit less on glandular economics. But let's give Penn his due credit. He is, if nothing else, a brave, brave man. Just like those patriots of old who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in face of pure evil, he will not hesitate to jump in to offend whatever straw man he creates though, understandably, only outside of class. No offense is intended inside those hallowed halls. Well practiced college professors can look particularly brave when facing off against persons half their own age in an environment in which they have total control--just like George Washington! Incidentally, our academic hero isn't a scaredy cat either when it comes to bravely slathering himself with the riches created by those for whom he believes he holds in such utter contempt. What Penn labels rape is the creation of wealth that for the first time in human history has produced societies capable of purging starvation, eliminating disease, providing reliable heat and indoor plumbing in all of our homes, and creating cool apps for my droid--it can even finance the misguided economics lectures of creative writing professors who hopefully write better off the cuff than they speak in its absence. Make no mistake, the history of man on this planet is famine, starvation, pestilence, disease, tyranny, warmongering, human degradation and perhaps worst of all, Alice reruns. Wealth, what Penn seems to consider the fruit of rape, has virtually eliminated what we used to think of as poverty in this country. Sure, Bridge Card buyers might be malnourished, but its remarkable how many ill conceived calories a bag of greasy chips can contain sans any real nutritional value. It doesn't end there. Housing assistance. Utility assistance. Government provided daycare. Mass transit. Medicaid. Educational assistance. Obamaphones. A recent survey showed that 35 states provide welfare recipients more dollar value than they could get for themselves working 40 hours per week at minimum wage. When poverty used to mean no food in the cupboard and no food on the plate, poverty now more often means meals eaten in front of a big screen television while the kids text their friends. The working poor get poorer financing the dreams of regulators and benevolent overlords, the non-working poor lose what little incentive there ever was to do that old 9 to 5, all the while a barely working elitist at MSU can bravely call me a rapist while securely enshrouded within the impenetrable walls of tenure. (That would be 'tuition paying rapist' to you, Sir!) Tuition, to help put this in perspective, is over $350 per credit hour at that fine university which means, r[...]

Laughable Freep Columnist Exposes Her Inability to Reason


I don't blog much any more. I think that ranting daily about the same old things finally led to me exhausting everything I had to say.

Then, today happened. The Freep on this fine June day exposed me to some of the most mind numbingly disconnected journalism to ever grace the pages of that electronic rag.

Nancy Kaffer wants to know:

Why do moderate (or, at least, more traditional) GOP lawmakers continue to do backflips to appease the party’s most extreme wing? Anyone got an answer?

What events has this supposed journalist been covering lately?

The Tea Party is not party affiliated. While most would classify themselves as GOP members, most of them vote GOP because those dopes (the GOP establishment players) have at least historically given lip service to conservative causes before surrendering on nearly all counts. The GOP at least said it had the same belief system and principles as its conservative members. But, as debt crashed through $8 trillion, $10 trillion, $12 trillion and now sitting north of $16 trillion, garden variety lip service started coming with too big a price tag.

Tea party identifiers are abandoning the GOP in droves as presumed GOP leaders backslide on issue after issue. With huge blocks of salt, conservatives tolerated the big spending policies of George W. Bush because most of them believed in defending the country against terror. They didn't like W's big spending, but at least he would try and protect the country.

They hated No Child Left Behind. They hated the prescription drug benefit. They hated overreaches in regulation, expansions of federal department after department, and the sad hobbles placed on industries not blessed by government operative idealists. Bush was right on tax cuts and on a couple of other issues for which he was appreciated, but when he was wrong he was spectacularly wrong. And he was wrong a lot. And he was always called on it.

Bush operatives still permeate the national GOP and little Jeb is quickly rising to a level of potential GOP nominee. (Oh, I'll never vote for him.) Establishment Republicans control most party positions. Karl Rove, a man who has damaged the GOP as much as any man alive, has formed one of the largest and richest PACS for the purpose of denying tea party candidates the opportunity to make general election ballots.

Tea party favorites like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz are criticized by the likes of moderate "maverick" John McCain whenever they mark the conservative course. Lindsay Graham is a low-intelligence attack dog routinely invited on the Sunday morning talk show circuit where he can drop an attack or two on Mike Lee or Cruz or Palin.

Nancy Kaffer doesn't know the GOP or the tea party, but that is understandable as she is a journalist and a card-carrying member of the Democrat Party--of course, I repeat myself.

I'm not certain it makes much difference. The GOP is in disarray and has decided to cut its losses and embrace moderate/progressive ideology in favor of maintaining whatever small amount of political power it can muster. Principles aren't too important in this day and age for those in the GOP ruling class that want to cling to power.

That this fact cannot be seen by a political columnist like Nancy Kaffer says a lot about journalism today. When I said all i had to say I pretty much shut up. When Nancy has run out of things to say she just makes shit up.

New Path to an Old End


When did it become incomprehensible that a government would reach into your savings account and grab itself a fistful of cash when it has been reaching into your paycheck and grabbing fistfuls for decades?

Why do people feel the savings set aside is somehow sacred when the paycheck is fertile hunting grounds? They are, it seems to me, one and the same--a government helping itself to the productivity of its workers.

Last year the debate over a "wealth tax" was a top story in the UK. Knowing full well that a stagnant economy could never touch the staggering debt enjoyed by that country, UK politicians brought the wealth tax up to debate. Taking it one step further than debate, EU bureaucrats have decided that a tax on savings deposits in Greece would be an excellent way to help finance Greece's ever present extended hand for charity.

And then the uproar.

It isn't as if government hasn't been taking the money out of the people's pockets forever. It strictly represents a new strategy to pick that same pocket a bit deeper.

We all know what the EU was thinking...domestic Greek wealth is less than hearty while foreign entities, notably the Russian mob, has been taking advantage of Greece's lax banking regulations for years. Why not hit the Russians where it hurts at the same time helping mitigate the pain on the Greeks.

Don't sweat it folks, its only the Greeks and the Russians. At least today.

There is not enough annual income among the wealthy to even scratch the surface of the debts piled up by benevolent bureaucrats here and elsewhere. Without a serious attempt to roll back spending one of two things must occur; an increase in tax rates that dips ever lower into income scales, or the type of pickpocketing employed by the EU on Greek savings.

They want money and they have none of their own. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and the government has needs.

A Union Made Bed


Make no mistake that this was a war that the unions were pining for. They may have screwed up and misjudged the outcome, but they were hankerin' for a fight. Now they want a do over. They looked at Michigan's Gov. Rick Snyder and they believed the picture that his moderate to centrist portrait portrayed--he simply wanted all this arguing over Michigan's right-to-work nonsense to go away. He told more conservative leaning members of his own party to back off right to work and they obliged. He did not want any such legislation to reach his desk and it did not. But Snyder also made his position known to the unions. In trade for his stance on r-t-w, the union machine would not push for an amendment enshrining a closed shop mentality into the state's constitution. Michigan certainly did not need that in an age where job providers must seek business friendly climates in which to eke out a profit. While Snyder stayed his course during his first two years (disappointing me and many others,) the unions predictably saw blood in the water and reneged on their portion of the understanding. Unions loudly placed the ill-advised Proposition 2 onto the ballot while also putting their cumulative weights behind two other propositions. Sadly for the unions, this all occurred under a well focused spotlight. The voters of Michigan had tired of seeing an adversarial union work force attack the foundation of Michigan's competitiveness in the national and global marketplaces. Bleeding jobs, potential workers, and the family members that must tag along when Mommy and Daddy move elsewhere to collect a paycheck, Michigan saw its population drop over the decade past. The unemployed, underemployed and the newly moved flooded residential curbs with colorful for sale signs as school hallway traffic thinned. GM stayed afloat but by an ill advised government bailout. Chrysler was gift wrapped and presented to the Italians by the benevolent hand of the US government. The union dominated Detroit Public Schools racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while graduating about a quarter of its students. The union dominated city of Detroit, while fearing an emergency manager, riffled through so much cash that its city council members today are begging for a bailout of their own. Let's not forget union dominated Wayne County where democrat elected cronies toss around taxpayer graft like twist wrapped candies from the back of a parade float. In front of this disturbing backdrop a disgusted voting population saw a union that was, to borrow a contemporary campaign phrase, moving forward. They maneuvered themselves into a position, with the help of Jennifer Granholm, where they could collect millions of dollars in union dues from people for whom they neither negotiated for nor from whom they had received the nod of representation. I'm certain yet how that didn't amount to theft. They hinted at illegal strikes in school districts, picketed at universities where tuition levels are so high that many college age citizens can no longer afford to enroll, and put all their weight behind a divisive occupy movement that mocked productive citizens as heartily as it did personal hygiene. Amid loud raucous chants, bullying, obstruction, and the more than occasional expletive, the unions made their never slaked rage and never satisfied demands known! Too bad for them, it appears that along with the disgusted voters watching the slow to convince Governor had also pulled up a chair. The union championed Proposition 2 went down in flames and not without consequences. The unions wanted this fight. They nurtured it by stoking the flames of[...]

Our Pragmatism Runneth Over


What a sad political party the GOP has become. Foundationless. Directionless. Clueless. At least they're pragmatic!

Today the Republican Steering Committee decided that those within the party who disagree with establishment party ideals (i.e. none) must be pushed aside in favor of those within the party who have nothing new to add.

Among the punished is Justin Amash who decided, unpopularly with the establishment, that the Paul Ryan 40 year plan to reach a balanced budget was not aggressive enough.

Let's face it, the GOP is as unserious about dealing with this enormous debt as are the Democrats.

No More of that Of, By and For Crap


There is no Akin relativism here; this was not some GOP party candidate who opened his yap without thinking.  Nope, this is a finely crafted piece of progressive propaganda brought to you by the Democratic National Committee for their convention in Charlotte.

That stupid comment?  

"Government is the only thing that we all belong to."

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It looks like we need to change that old "of the people, by the people, for the people" axe to a more simple "over the people."

Benevolent progressives are so beholden to the government on which they hold the reins that they cannot even identify the animal that they are riding.

h/t Ace of Spades

Math, Sacrifice and Big Brother


 A Detroit News columnist accidentally unearths an economic truth:  Clearly, we have a national economic disaster at hand, unless you figure out that you can offset the rising gas price menace by packing your own lunch three days a month, or just buying the cheap scotch.It is true that a few cents here and there do not have a significant impact on many consumers.  While we do have to go to work with gasoline in our tanks, if we wish to offset the pittance of higher gas prices with a counterbalance of personal austerity, we can always cut back somewhere else.  The example in the article is great--it points out that the problem can be solved by carving out but three unnecessary restaurant meals a month (apparently sans tip.)  Voila!Solved, that is, for the gasoline consumer, but not so much for the restaurant owner and her employees.   If there are (as the unblemished source of all things referable, Wikipedia, has to say) 254.4 million registered vehicles in the United States these days, and each of these vehicles represents the loss of three restaurant meals per month, we are looking at 9,000,000,000 fewer meals eaten at restaurants around the nation each year.The fact is, whether the consumer voluntarily makes a choice to enter into personal austerity or whether the cutting back is mandated by idiotic government intervention into the free market, consumers, employers, and ultimately employees (or the unfortunately unemployed) suffer.  And lets be honest, just because Debbie Stabenow could maybe use a few less burgers over the course of twelve months, that doesn't necessarily mean that she wouldn't be foregoing a delicious salad.  Who are we to judge?It shouldn't be shocking to anyone that $20.28 a month can be easily compensated for by a gainfully employed columnist at a major metropolitan newspaper, after all such literati would likely have the disposable income necessary to hurdle such manageable obstacles. Or, for that matter, avoided by a buffoon-Senator whose hard-earned wages automatically rise to compensate for those pesky $20 per month price hikes that routinely befall humble and heavily-lipsticked public servants. However, I cannot help but wonder how easy it will be for the average waitress to make up that $20.28 per month, particularly when restaurant revenues shrink--what with baloney and cheese celebrating en vogue status.  And saving $20 a month won't get any easier on reduced hours especially with certain customers already tipping decidedly less than the full 15 percent.We also should not forget that while gasoline prices do affect our pocketbooks when we drive to work, they also have a big impact on every product that is transported by truck along America's highways.  Perhaps we'll all have to forgo a fourth meal.    So, screw the waitresses and cooks, the cashiers, the entry level custodians and just about every other unskilled laborer in this country who has to drive to work to collect a paycheck.  Let them buy a garage sale bike, apply at school for reduced-price lunches, or answer a government ad for food stamps--after all, we're just cutting back on three meals a month, buying cheaper scotch, staying out of the movie theater, vacationing less, going longer between oil changes and, my personal favorite, showering less while foregoing deodorants. Artificially high gasoline prices are easy to compensate for!  All you need is to do a little math, make some personal sacrifices, and beg big brother for a helping hand.It's the new American Drea[...]

Throwing Stones Inside a Glass House Isn't Very Smart Either


Let's be clear about one thing--this doofus Akin was never the pick of the tea party.  He was, in fact, the democrat's favored candidate to face Claire McCaskill in the Missouri senate race.

The Alaskan snowbilly Sarah Palin endorsed another primary candidate as did a number of other national and state (truly) conservative voices.  That being said, McCaskill is the embodiment of generic leftist talking points and would be the poorer option on the ballot were she facing off against a poorly garnished platter of slightly green cold cuts. 

But Todd Akin is no poor man's hors d'oeuvres--he is a Republican.   Which means that after he makes the mistake of uttering something dreadfully dumb he can expect to be excoriated by those of his own party with greater passion than those within the party of Claire McCaskill. 

Barack Obama (and McCaskill) has said so many dumb things about the economy, about the American Dream, about the military, about the motivations of others, about history, and about the country he leads that were he held to the same standard as Akin our dear leader would have been bullied out of his own slot on the ticket by about week three.  But no, only one major political party holds itself to that standard.  In fact, Obama can stand pat behind his belief that a baby who survives an abortion against the wishes of the mother can be killed after delivery--no vetting necessary.  No defense necessary.  Therefore, no apology necessary.

Not the republicans who seem to have turned into a party of losers displaying symptoms of Münchausen syndrome.

For democrats, no apology is ever expected for blatant serial stupidity while at the same time Akin's apology over his isolated absurd statements cannot suffice for any political party--never mind that his abortion position has been consistent all along and that his comments, regardless of their absurdity, fit within his well known opinion on abortion.. 

Am I angry with Akin for not stepping aside once the landslide began to fall on his head?  Ya, this is an important election and the timeliness of. this prolonged absurdity is disastrous.  He got baited into saying something dumb by a cheer leading media and he should have know better. I wish the incident had never occurred.

What pisses me off the most though is that the good old GOP rolled as many rocks down the hill as did the democrats.

This is not an election about abortion.  This is an election about the economy.  How we can allow stupid comments on the former to sway an election while we aggressively ignore stupid ones on the latter is beyond me.  Perhaps Karl Rove knows the answer. 

Heat Wave Musings


While driving through Kentucky on Friday I saw the exterior temperature soar to 103 degrees.  I hadn't been in that kind of heat since leaving Texas in 1994.  So, I cranked up the a/c another notch and comfortably stepped on the gas.  This is what a good dose of relative wealth will buy you--the ability to sidestep problems that are so destructive to those people and societies that are unable to purchase their way out of it.The media have been alarmed for some time about what to do with climate change.  Their deity, Al Gore, has helpfully suggested a return to the stone age, not literally mind you, but by advocating economic strategies that can lead to no other station.  We must include within these musings the shutting down of integral portions of our power grid, mandated cost increases that force consumers to choose smaller and less effective electric and gas powered machines, huge amounts of borrowed and taxpayer monies redistributed to crony agricultural capitalists who dine greedily at the public trough (see the latest agriculture bill), and mass transit initiatives designed to entice Grandma out of her Beemer and into a money losing and heavily subsidized bus sitting next to a guy with no deodorant.You'd think that the whole world has reached a boiling point. Yet, while the US suffers this year from triple digit heat, Europe is struggling with the flip side of that coin.  Many European watchers are concerned with the unseasonably cold and wet weather that might prove near ruin to the London Olympics starting up later this month.  Power failures have plagued the Midwest and East during this latest heat.  Storms last week knocked many electric customers offline while huge demands on the still operating portions of the power grid have industry analysts concerned.    Several dozen people have died in the US as a result of this blasted heat and with only moderate relief coming in the next day or two the number of deaths is likely to grow. Many Americans, including Mr. Gore, yearn for a more European like style of control over its citizenry.  While many good Americans are willing to voluntarily cut back on loathsome energy using devices, too many of the rest of us demand a car bigger than a refrigerator, a refrigerator bigger than a microwave, and a microwave bigger than a cellphone. All of which causes the former VP to gnash his well worn teeth inside his 15,000 square foot Tennessee home, that is, at least while he isn't gnashing them while jetting off to a climate change conference in the belly of a private jet. Heat waves come and go.  In the mid 90s those Europeans to whom our elitists are so enamored suffered through a little heat spell of their own.  When the dust had finally settled an estimated 60,000 people had succumbed to the blistering thermometer with an estimated 20,000 dying in French nursing homes alone.  (Hey America--does that make you quiver in anticipation of government controlled healthcare?) Air conditioning, it would seem, was not such a priority to those on our idol continent who, to this day, strain themselves attempting to control the temperature on the outside while they deny themselves the comfort of setting the thermostat just a little bit lower in the living room.Wealth is what makes America more easily able to sidestep widespread disaster. I can say this because I drive a wonderfully new 1998 Buick that possesses a kick-butt a/c unit. America's elites want to de[...]

Walking to Greece


Barack Obama has singlehandedly created well over 4,000,000 jobs since he took office amid the worst economic maelstrom in the history of the solar system.  Granted, most of them are czars with the few left over being on Michelle's personal staff, but we shouldn't pick at every little thing especially when there is a people to enslave.Four million is a big number.  Seriously, multiply it by a thousand and you get the much larger (though mysteriously less important) number of dollars that the US borrows each and every day to spend above and beyond what it can afford.  Our country wastes more money on needless shit than the GDP of most nations on Earth.  But needless is in the eye of the beholder.  We absolutely need the green energy sector because sooner or later the wind turbines in mid-Michigan will begin to spin. Yesterday they were sadly lazy in the middle of a heat advisory.  Meanwhile, coal plants, the low cost and guaranteed round-the-clock alternative to those stone still wind blades are being necessarily bankrupted by an administration and EPA who believes a once exceptional country should get used to its new station in the world==one less affluent and a bit more sweaty staying at the Howard Johnsons.  Obama sits atop a federal government complex dedicated to regulation and the curtailment of wealth in the hands of a few and this can only result in the stifling of an economyfully otherwise capable of lifing all boats on a rising tide if it is left to grow sans hobbles.  But that is not the aim of this administration.  After some five trillion dollars in additional assumed debt steered to the pet projects of bureaucrats, the latest jobs report released this week showed an additional 80,000 jobs having been created for the month of June. Incidentally, it takes in the neighborhood of 300,000 jobs every month just to break even given population growth, and it takes a heck of a lot more than that to have tax revenues increase sufficiently to compensate for the flooding tide of baby boomers hoping to cash in on Social Security before that albatross goes belly up too. However undaunted by that rather sour report, Barack Obama has hailed the June jobs numbers as another step in the right direction--another step in a long line of unwavering steps that has helped the US economy remain exactly stagnant with substandard GDP growth, substandard job expansion, substandard manufacturing and housing activity, and substandard consumer confidence.  Barack Obama has been in office for 41 months.  Measuring optimistically this economy has created on average about 120,000 jobs per month since he has been in office.  In all fairness to our dear leader, Barack Obama jumped aboard the con with our ship greatly off course.  In all fairness to our dear leader's detractors, Barack Obama agreed with every policy that sent the vessel toward the rocks and has been spouting disastrous orders from the helm ever since.  While I would not blame Obama for everything that got us into this mess, after a while his assumed innocence has to become less important than his incompetence in trying to turn things around.  Sooner or later we will have earned some positive results, right?  After all, this is being financed by our grandchildren. With an election coming up we are left in a very precarious situation.  Those on the left point to Obama's innocence in the matter while complicit[...]

Lie? Big Lie? Who is the liar?


PolitiFact awarded it the Lie of the Year for 2009.  Now, let's not over complicate things--PolitiFact is no more an enlightened arbiter of truth versus lie than is my dachshund, but rather a sole proprietary concoction of the St. Petersberg Times.

Of course, to give the Times a bit of a break, the term "Death Panel" was a colloquialism so in a literal sense it was abjectly false, sort of like saying "there are a trillion stars in the sky" is a lie because who can really count that high?  So the Times stepped to the plate, made its award, and forever stamped Sarah Palin with the tag of liar regardless of what the true intent of her words were.

Well, out of Great Britain we are getting a snifter of what Ms. Palin's lie and all the associated ado were really about as an expert in the NHS has estimated that about 130,000 people annually have their lives ended prematurely at the hands of their benevolent overlords.

While there may have been no single death panel overseeing the starving of Grandma or of Great Uncle Angus dying of thirst, they are currently both pushing up daisies.  Oh, they as well as 129,998 others in just the last year.

Obamacare might not refer to death panels.  Obama himself, the economic genius he has proven to be, might not even believe that the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans per year is the only conceivable outcome of his signature supported legislation.  Yet, there is nothing in the law that reduces the costs of health care, it simply adds onerous regulations and myriad boards and committees and commissions.  In effect it caps total spending on health care while making per item procedures more expensive.  So, when the money runs out and the feeding tube gets disconnected, Aunt Edna can clutch her rosary and be thankful that a death panel doesn't exist. 

h/t Bruce at QandO

Georgia Professor Groping For Answers


What could possibly have occurred that might cast doubt onto the integrity of the University of Georgia or one of its professors?  Sometimes there simply is no clear answer.
"I am deeply remorseful for anything I may have done to bring any kind of doubt to the integrity of the university and myself," 
What deep-felt remorse.  

While the professor doesn't sound too certain himself of what he "may have done" that could result is damaging the reputation of himself and his employer, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the professor probably shouldn't have placed an escort ad in a magazine, rented a hotel room, met a potential client dressed in drag, called himself "Sasha," and negotiated a half-hour price for sexual services to be performed on undercover authorities.

That may have been it.

When he figures it out perhaps he'll get back to us.


Freep and MLive: Uneducated Legislators Hating on Higher Ed


An editorial headline caught my attention this morning over at the Detroit Free Press.  Lawmakers playing politics with higher ed budget should go back to school.  The headline caught my eye because it hints that budgetary considerations are little more than offensive moves on a checkerboard.  I reject the notion that balancing the budget according to the requirements of the state consitution is merely playing politics with the budget. Upon reading the article I decided I wanted to go a couple of steps farther in my criticism.What is lost on these journalism souls is that every dollar spent in Michigan has to be balanced with a dollar of revenue.  When a buck is tossed out the window in order to pay for the lavish benefits of a bloated state government, that dollar must come from somewhere; from the pocket of a tax payer.  If that same dollar was not given to cover a portion of the dental benefits of a secretary working at the DOT, it could have been allocated toward higher education, or could have been put on a Bridge Card, or could have helped to pay for a Pure Michigan ad playing down here in Georgia, or could have been used to help bail out another generation of corrupted Detroit politicians.  Heck, even a couple of stellar journalists ought to be able to figure that one out.Alas, it appears as if some jouralists are little bothered by the suffering of tax payers.  Taxpayers in Michigan it would seem are cash cows to be milked by benevolent bureaucrats at the cheering insistence of journalists such as Brian Dickerson at the Freep and the woefully untalented Susan Demas at Mlive.Dickerson's regurgitated point appears to be little more than echoed drivel of Demas who writes that too many Michigan legislators are not college educated and that this could be why money is not flowing like milk and honey onto the heads of educators at our state operated colleges and universities. But no one wanted to talk about why lawmakers really don't want to shell out for universities.The fact is, too many of this current crop of Republican lawmakers don't give a fig about our universities, which they regard as little more than liberal indoctrination factories whizzing away your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.A group like BLM -- whose political action committees give the vast majority of donations to Republican candidates -- can't really be expected to talk about that inconvenient fact, however.The hostility to higher ed might have something to do with the fact that almost 30 percent of Michigan legislators don't even have a college degree themselves -- putting us 31st in the nation, according to a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education.But perhaps things aren't quite as easy as Dicerson and Demas envision.  Perhaps there is not a never ending gush at end of the tax revenue pipe.  Perhaps the constitution hobbles legislators from slathering every line item in the budget with dreamed for millions. The well educated Dickerson and the well educated Demas might be supreme in their abilities to propagate leftist dogma, but they are not wizards when it comes to economics.   For decades the state of Michigan subsidized the educations of tens of thousands of college graduates who left this state to make their fortunes in Texas, New York, Virginia and elsewhere.  They took our tax m[...]