Wednesday, March 21

The fight against Socialism

From another writer (slightly edited):
It appears almost impossible to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. In studying history I cannot recall it ever happening.

It may be that our task is impossible. Yet if we do not try, how will we know? If we do not try, it most certainly won't be done--and the Founders' Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

But I say this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist night. Instead our defiance will make a sound that people in the future will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

-- Mike Vanderboegh, The Lessons of Mumbai: Death Cults, the "Socialism of Imbeciles" and Refusing to Submit, 1 December 2008

Greece defaulted, but no lesson there.

Greece, which recently defaulted on its debt and almost broke up the Euro currency pool, had a ratio of debt-to GDP of 165 percent in 2011.

On our nation's current course, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that by 2040 our ratio of debt to GDP will be a staggering 194 percent.

But hey, massive federal deficits don't have any ill effects whatsoever.

Unless a Republican is president, of course. Then any deficit is absolutely horrible.

NYC bureaucrats ban food donations to homeless!

A New York City TV station reports that the city will no longer allow food to be donated to homeless people.

I felt certain this had to be a misunderstanding, but later in the linked article they got confirmation from the mayor himself:
Mayor Bloomberg...was unapologetic.

“For the things that we run because of all sorts of safety reasons, we just have a policy it is my understanding of not taking donations,” Bloomberg said.

According to the article this is a recent Bloomberg policy. But notice how Bloomberg tries to shift the origin of this policy to some earlier administration: "We just have a policy...." Like, ya know, it just, you know, happened, and there's nothing we can do about it.

This is insane--nanny government on steroids.

Reminds me of stories from the 90's about the FDA busting Americans returning from Mexico and bringing pharmaceutical drugs from that country to treat U.S. AIDs patients. The FDA's rationale was "You can't treat yourself with a drug we haven't approved, cuz who knows, it might not be safe!!

They were saying this to folks who had gotten a disease that at the time was almost universally fatal.

After thousands of busts, someone in the FDA finally realized how absurd that "reasoning" was, and how bad it was making the feds look, and they quietly backed off.

Kinda like TSA morons frisking six-year-olds at airport "security".

I can picture a day in the near future when some starving kid has managed to score a loaf of stale bread from a dumpster, and just as he's about to dig in, a squad of Health Police snatch the bread out of his hands and give him a summons for "intent to eat unapproved food."

This is sheer idiocy. I'm gonna suggest (mostly in jest) a law prescribing the death penalty to any bureaucrat who won't swear to not enforce stupid-ass regulations.

Sunday, March 18

U.S. Energy Dept warns of possible gas shortage by July?

Wanna hear a funny story?

Okay. "Gas prices--already at record levels--are expected to climb even higher, because large refineries in the northeast U.S. are having to close." (Story behind paywall. Copy here, from Fox.)

You may wonder why, if gas prices are at record levels, a company would be closing a refinery. You'd think profits would be soaring just as prices are, so they'd all be at full throttle.

Well, according to the WSJ the problem is that east coast refineries get most of their crude oil from overseas, and it's slightly more expensive than oil from the U.S. Since refinery profit margins have always been thin (surprised to hear that?), refineries in the midwest can deliver gasoline to the northeast that costs just a bit less. Thus the eastern refineries are being priced out of the market.

Yeah, I know it doesn't seem all that logical--because when gas runs short, you just know the price is gonna climb by at least a buck a gallon.

Then what will happen is that northeastern gas retailers will up their prices first--and the more affluent northeasterners will pay whatever is asked. That will produce shortages in the energy-rich midwest and southwest, as product flows to the highest bidder.

And the socialists/Dems/liberals/"progressives" will scream "It's a conspiracy!!!"

"It's dose eeeevil Rethuglicans!!"

"It's all Bush's fault!!"

"See? Capitalism punishes the little guy, so we need to destroy it!!"

"If only the Rethuglicans had cooperated with Barack, everything would be fine!! I mean, look how their insisting on Keystone totally forced Barack and his State Department to take time out to examine all the environmental issues again."

Friday, March 16

New tax for pool owners

Didja hear the one about Eric Holder's (i.e. Obama's) Department of "Justice" deciding that starting today, all swimming pools that were "accessible to the public" would have to have wheelchair lifts to comply with the ADA?

After a huge outcry, they've now had second thoughts, and have announced a delay of 60 days "to give pool owners additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance."

To "address any misunderstandings," ya say?

Exactly what did we misunderstand, Sparky?

A lot commenters--some pool owners and some just folks who enjoy pools at hotels-- are pretty steamed about this. They reason that most pool owners would close rather than pay the extra cost for something that will only be used exceedingly rarely. They see this as a payoff to the lawyers--who always support Democrats with their cash.

A few see this as just one more piece in the dismantling of American life by Democrats (and a few big-government-loving RINOs).

Yep.

Tuesday, March 13

Why civilizations suddenly collapse

For the past couple of centuries historians have been pondering the question of why once-successful civilizations collapse--often with startling speed.

Wretchard at Pajamas Media suggests the reason is that the leaders of nations on the brink of disaster don't realize their civilization is in trouble, so they don't change the policies causing the problems. They're wedded to what they think is a winning formula —at least, it's certainly the formula that brought them to success — so it never occurs to them to do anything different.

Thus when an existential crisis arrives, they continue doing the same things that brought them to the brink of collapse--and are surprised when things don't get better.

The leaders of the European Union seem to be caught in this. They can't imagine the possibility that their policies are flawed; it's literally unthinkable. So all of their responses are merely variations of the known ‘winning formula.’

Commenter JMH at Wretchard's has a slightly different take: [I've edited a bit]
Some of our so-called "elites" surely see the doom coming. The problem is, the only way to avoid it would be to stop doing the things they have always been rewarded for. This would mean rejecting their old policies and boldly charting a new course.
They can’t bring themselves to do that.
Subconsciously they know they’re more lucky than good. They don’t have enough confidence to throw it all away and start from scratch. They didn’t start from scratch before – we’re not dealing with a first-generation elite who succeeded by their own efforts. We’re dealing with follow-ons--people who have weaseled their way into inheriting the manson someone else built.
They know how to weasel. But they have no idea how to build--and that truth must terrify them, even if only grasped unconsciously.
They figure the odds of coming through a paradigm shift on top of the heap aren’t any better than avoiding the doom they see coming. So, perhaps subconsciously, they deny the doom. They see it, but pretend not to. Because to admit it would mean having to make tough decisions, work hard, and likely lose their power and position.
They’d rather fly the plane into the ground than let someone else take the controls.
Wow.

Wednesday, March 7

million-dollar lottery winner still uses food stamps

Ever heard the phrase, "entitlement mentality?" Here's the poster child:

A gal in Michigan--on food stamps--won a million bucks in the lottery.

Bought a new home, new car, et cetera.

Continued to use her food stamp card.

As she explained it, she still doesn't have a job, so....isn't she entitled to take taxpayer bucks?

Clayton said she will keep using her Bridge card until the state cuts her off. She said it's because she deserves it.

"It's just hard, you know. I'm struggling," she said.

Poor, struggling million-dollar lottery winner.

Entitlement mentality. It's a Democrat/liberal/Obama/socialist/"progressive" thang.

Monday, March 5

Sandra Fluke

As most know by now, Sandra Fluke is a student at Georgetown's law school, and she recently appeared before a congressional committee convened by Democrat Nancy Pelosi to wail about how horribly unfair that Catholic university was to not pay for her contraceptives.

Which translates to: "It's, like totally reasonable for Barack and the Dems to force all employers to pay for contraceptives--including the so-called "morning-after pill," regardless of any religious objection they may have."

Now, I'm not a zealot on abortion. It's an incredibly conflicted question, and my heart goes out to anyone who has to grapple with it personally. So my objection--as that of most conservatives--is not to wider insurance coverage of any of the above, but rather to the gummint *forcing* employers to provide same.

And regarding the god-king's too-clever solution to the question--which is, not forcing employers to provide the coverage, but forcing every insurance carrier to provide it for free--one can only laugh at both the audacity of the munchkins who came up with this "brilliant compromise," and the stupidity of those voters who considered it to be one!

Can so many voters be dumb enough to fall for this?

Well, for Democrats/liberals/"progressives" the answer is, they didn't fall for it, but rather, support it enthusiastically.

So...they violate the Constitution yet again.

Again, for the record: I think it's self-evident that each person owns their own body, and is free to do with it as they wish. The point I'm objecting to is Sandra Fluke, Nan Pelosi, King Barack and his legion of Dem munchkins forcing employers to pay for X--whatever that may be. Or forcing insurance companies to provide X "for free"--which of course means we all pay for it.

That power is not in the Constitution. Period.

Sunday, March 4

God is not the same as Allah--not even close

When I was a kid I was fascinated by how adults seemed to believe that God and Allah were the same guy. To my child's mind this was obviously false on its face: the names were different, so....

Sometime later this mystery resolved itself: If there's only one Supreme Being, it shouldn't matter that different groups have different names for him.

But today a third path appeared: If the two groups of humans ascribe wildly different and conflicting attributes and goals for humans to their Supreme Being, then it's hard to see how those two Supremes could be the same after all.

The occasion was a speech by a mullah or other mucky-muck by name of Khan Yunis, in Gaza, on February 24, 2012. It was carried by Al-Aqsa TV.

We say loud and clear: The struggle for Palestine is a clear religious struggle between Islam and Zionism. It is a struggle between Truth and Falsehood, between Islam and heresy, between light and darkness, between good and evil.

We cannot possibly accept [the Al-Aqsa mosque] remaining under the control of those whom Allah described as a bunch of apes and pigs, the scholars of whom Allah describe as asses carrying books, or as a dog that pants when you beat it and pants when you don’t. [T]hese contemptible people cannot lord over the great people, these slaves cannot lord over the masters. The masters today are all the Muslims.

Okay, maybe it's just me but I'm just not seeing "God" as describing jews as "a bunch of apes and pigs," nor that He would describe jewish scholars as "a dog that pants when you beat it and pants when you don't."

Indeed, I can't imagine God talking about beating a poor dog. And then there's this description of Muslims as "masters"--again a very odd thing for God to say or instruct. One can only conclude--as many others have before--that God and Allah aren't the same at all.

Okay, I might be way slow coming to this particular party.

Friday, March 2

Dems actually taking credit for high gas prices??

With the price of gasoline at an all-time record high, the Lying Democrat Media is in full-out spin mode trying to tell you that Barky's policies--fully supported by the Democratic party--didn't have anything to do with this painful problem.

The tactics the Lying Media use are many and varied, and worth examining: They'll claim Republicans are wanting to eliminate our use of imported oil, and then say (reasonably) that this is absurd, to damage conservatives.

Although the Lying Media constantly wailed about high gas prices when Bush was in office, now they'll claim higher gas prices aren't any big deal because the economy is so much stronger than when Bush was president. (Like a lot of other things, high gas prices only matter when a Republican is president).

They'll claim higher gas prices are actually good, because you stupid Americans in flyover country shouldn't be driving so much anyway.

They'll claim higher prices don't matter because Americans are driving less now than a year ago--because so many have lost their jobs! (Yes, they actually say that!) Of course it's hard to square that argument with "the economy is doing great!" but then no one in the Lying Media has to worry about being consistent.

Lest you think I'm just making this up, here's a piece by one Daniel Gross, said to be economics editor at Yahoo Finance. (Yahoo is thoroughly leftist/Dem/liberal.) The title is "Limited Gas Pains: Why the U.S. is Better Able to Handle Higher Gas Prices."
the U.S. economy is better situated to handle higher gas prices than it was last year, four years ago [before King Barry took over], or ten years ago. The upshot: higher gas prices are going to hurt, and will be painful for many. But they won't torpedo the economy.

For a host of reasons, the world's largest consumer of gasoline [read: you stupid rubes drive way to damn much] is much less likely to be the victim of high gas prices than it was a few years ago. Here's why.

First, compared with 2007 and 2008, corporate and personal balance sheets are in much better shape, and hence better able to absorb rising costs.

Did you know your "personal balance sheet" was in much better shape than back when W was president? I didn't. Seems like that would be equivalent to saying we're better off than we were four years ago--but of course no one would believe that, so the author uses a phrase that doesn't immediately trigger a response of "bullshit."

Second, the U.S. is a bigger producer of oil than it was a few years ago.

Oh, I see. And how does that explain why higher gas prices shouldn't matter to us?

More money spent by consumers on gasoline means more money going into the pockets of oil producers — most of them overseas. But in the last few years, the U.S. domestic oil industry has experienced significant growth. So more of the money spent on more expensive oil will stay in the U.S.

Why that's wonderful! So when I pay $50 today to fill up my new, 32-mpg compact car, I won't feel bad at all!

Of course, spending more on gasoline means I won't have that cash to spend on food or other luxuries, but what the hell...it doesn't matter because that extra money on gas is staying right here in the good ol' USA, right? Well, half of it, anyway.

Third, Americans simply drive less, and use less gas, than they used to. Part of that can be ascribed to the fact that employment remains far below the 2007 peak. But on the aggregate, the U.S. economy has figured out how to move more goods and people around while driving fewer miles and using less gas. [Total oil use] was down again through the first 11 months of 2011, even though the economy and employment were growing.

See how neat that save was? "We're using less oil--hooray!" But this is largely due to a lousy economy under Barky and the Dems, and even we can't seriously claim otherwise, so we'll counter by saying the economy is growing. And of course you rubes can't tell whether it's growing or not, so we win.

Just like you couldn't prove Barky and the Dems were lying when they said 30 million jobs were "created or saved" due to that gargantuan "porkulus" bill.

Fourth, [new cars are more energy-efficient.] ...market pressure and the technology created by hybrid development is influencing traditional vehicles.

Well there ya go: All those billions Barky gave GM, plus that lovely taxpayer-funded subsidy of $7500 to everyone who buys a Volt, are paying off big-time...by "influencing traditional vehicles." See, before the Volt was built, automakers didn't care squat about gas mileage, so they routinely hid a half-ton of lead and scrap metal in various compartments around the car, since they knew consumers didn't care.

Fifth, more people have alternatives to driving than they did four years ago. When gas prices rise, ridership of mass transit usually rises in its traditional strongholds like New York, Washington, and Boston. But in the last several years, light rail systems have opened and expanded in many states. And that means more people around the country have alternatives to driving.
See there, ya stupid clingers? Why are you rubes in Omaha and Memphis and Pittsburgh and such complaining about high gas prices, when you could be riding zoomie new light-rail systems to work?

Of course, don't ask how much taxpayers are paying in subsidies for each passenger on those fabulous systems. 'Cuz that might show y'all what a gargantuan waste most of those systems actually are.

Here's the last 'graf of this amazing Obarky reelection propaganda piece:

This is not to say that rising gas prices won't pinch the budgets of many Americans, or that they won't filter into the economy via higher prices for services and fuel surcharges. They will. But given the changing shape of the U.S. economy over the last several years, the damage is likely to be less severe.

"The damage is likely to be less severe." Damn, that makes me feel soooo much better. In fact, next time I fill up my tank, instead of fretting about the high cost, I'm gonna be thinking about how high gas prices are going to do "less severe" damage to the overall economy than I previously thought.

And I'll think about the many Democrat-championed policies that brought us this lovely state of affairs: No drilling in ANWR or in promising areas off Florida and California, cancelled Gulf of Mexico drilling permits, EPA growling about fracking, loaning money to Brazil to develop their fields instead of developing U.S. fields...the list is long.

But hey, give the muzzie socialist four more years to work his magic. Things will *really* be great by the end of a second term.