Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That is a relief!

Sure the economy is still in the can in spite of billions of dollars in deficit spending, several of our largest employers are in bankruptcy, the world is in turmoil over election rigging in Iran and the military deposing a puppet of Obama's BFF Hugo Chavez in Honduras. Sure the Iranians are still working on nuclear weapons, North Korea is too and has threatened to launch a missile in the general direction of Hawaii. Sure the Congress is passing bills left and right like the "cap-and-trade" legislation causing untold damage to our fragile economy, the threat of hyper-inflation is very real and we have looming over us the mother of all unfunded mandates in socialized medicine on the docket of the Congress.

No worries though, because our President is going out of his way to reassure homosexuals that he is their "champion"

Obama Pleads With Gays, Vows to Be 'Champion'

WASHINGTON -- Countering criticism that he's done little on gay rights, President Obama commemorated the 40th anniversary of the birth of the modern movement by welcoming its leaders to the White House and reaffirming his commitment to their top priorities.

"I want you to know: You have our support," Obama told members of the core Democratic constituency as he and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a cocktail-and-appetizer reception in the East Room for gay pride month. It's been some four decades since the police raid on New York City's gay Stonewall Inn that spurred gay rights activism across the country.

As activists work to change minds and change laws, Obama added: "I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you."

I guess the rest of us will have to fend for ourselves while paying for his profligate "stimulus" spending that is stimulating nothing but the size of the government.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are we living in the Weimar Republic?

Between World War I and World War II, Germany's government was known as the Weimar Republic. The Wiemar Republic is not well known, but it bears some eerie similarities to America today. From Wikipedia:

The Weimar Republic had some of the most serious economic problems ever experienced by any Western democracy in history. Rampant hyperinflation, massive unemployment and a large drop in living standards were primary factors. In 1923–1929 there was a short period of economic recovery, but the Great Depression of the 1930s led to a worldwide recession. Germany was particularly affected because it depended heavily on American loans. In 1926, about 2 million Germans were unemployed - this rose to around 6 million in 1932. Many blamed the Weimar Republic. This was made apparent when political parties on both right and left wanting to disband the Republic altogether made any democratic majority in Parliament impossible.

Sound familiar? The danger of hyperinflation is very real, caused by the government creating money out of thin air by issuing massive amounts of debt and deficit spending. Trillions of dollars not currently in circulation are being created to pay for the stimulus (which hasn't stimulated much) and various bailouts (which haven't done much except lead to a couple of enormous bankrupcties). There is a difference between spending tax revenues and massive deficit spending. We are led by a leader who is adored by the ruling class and who clearly has a messianic complex. I am pretty certain that President Obama is willing to do whatever he thinks is best for this country even if it is obviously going to be a disaster economically or flat our un-Constitutional because he has an incredibly inflated view of himself, bolstered by the press, of his historical significance even before he has accomplished anything. I am confident that he and his supporters are willing to justify just about anything in the name of change and progress.

The parallels are hardly exact, but we live in precarious economic times, tempers are running high, class warfare is state policy, the world stage is growing more dangerous. President Obama has no plan for the future except to spend more money and engage in "grip-n-grin" diplomacy with thugs and dictators. American institutions are collapsing right and left, with the accompanying uncertainty that makes people ripe for totalitarianism. If people get desperate enough, anything is possible. Who knows what will happen if North Korea launches a missile at Hawaii or if Iran's government collapses or if Pakistans government falls. We certainly do not have a leader who inspires confidence in anything except his own self-confidence.

We are living in scary times indeed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Subsidizing Sin

Apparently President Obama is going to announce major changes today that will extend benefits to homosexual “partners” of Federal employees. I am not sure what qualifies one as a “partner”. A couple of dates? Regardless, this move is going to add an expensive new benefit right to a small group of employees.

So what?

Here is the so what. By extending the very generous benefit provisions of Federal employees to their homosexual “partners”, the tax payers of this nation are in essence subsidizing and giving tacit approval to something that many Americans find abhorrent. This is clearly a pandering move designed to pay back a generous and vocal political minority that has been growing frustrated over the pace of change. Homoseuxual activists have been taking steps lately to express their displeasure, and President Obama knows that he needs their money and their votes in 2012 if he wants to keep his job. It is also is one more step toward normalization, weaving homosexual behavior as just another normal feature of American society and taking another step down the path of complete abdication of any sort of morality. Tolerance is not the goal, normalization is. Until homosexuality is viewed in the same way as normal human sexuality and until marriage has been so redefined as to become meaningless, activists for homosexual normalization will continue to work tirelessly, knowing that momentum and apathy are on their side.

Smart homosexual activists know that massive changes are going to cause a backlash, so instead of sweeping moves they are killing morality with a death of a thousand cuts. A little here, a little there. Knock out one underpinning after another, and eventually through incremental changes and a soporific population we find ourselves abandoning any semblance of sanity and embracing utterly perversions as normal. More details are expected to be announced today, no doubt to fanfare and approving nods from the mainstream media. Also expect a number of references to how “progressive” this move is and how it contrasts with the mean-spirited Neanderthals of the Bush administration.

We are not far away from bread and circuses and an inevitable collapse.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Media bias? What media bias?!

ABC is going to host an Obama special on health care

ABC News will host an hour-long special on health care reform in the U.S. next Wednesday from the White House East Room -- a move that ABC is defending but critics are calling a surrender to the Obama administration's effort to control the debate.

The prime time special -- called "Questions for the President: Prescription for America" by ABC News -- will be a nationally televised event during which President Obama will answer questions presented by audience members selected by ABC News.
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But critics of Obama's health care reform are asking that they be allowed to voice their side of the national debate.

"In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this prime time infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers. President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime," Ken McKay, Chief of Staff for the Republican National Committee, wrote in a letter to ABC News President David Westin.

Can you imagine the outrage if Fox News had done something similar with President Bush? This is going to be nothing more than an informercial for socialized medicine dressed up as a town hall, except that all of the participants are going to be handpicked. You can be sure that no one is going to ask any hard questions that don't show up on Obama's teleprompter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

$100,000,000,000,000

That is a big number. It is also a very real number, representing the unfunded entitlements of the Federal government according to economist Arthur Laffer. In other words, $100 trillion of promises made by Uncle Sam to various recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, Social security, various pensions, etc. without a way to fund them. That number is so huge, so staggering that it boggles the mind and impedes conversations.

We desperately need to have a real, adult conversation here about that number. It is not getting smaller and it is not going away. No one wants to take a stand that will cost them reelection (or at least there are too few people to make a dent) and the public doesn’t seem to care as long as they perceive that they are going to get what is owed to them. The only options are all unpalatable and are going to make someone angry, so year after year our elected representatives punt on the issue so that they can stay in office, even though that means the problem is growing worse and being passed on to later generations until it blows up. It is like a $100 trillion hot potato.

The demographics in this country compound the problem. We are already seeing a massive generational shift. I read the other day that 78,000,000 baby boomers are starting to leave the work force and begin receiving benefits. Instead of putting money into the system in the form of tax revenue, they are taking money out in benefit payments. The birth rate has plummeted so we have a shrinking pool of workers to replace the ones that are retiring. The retirees are living longer and longer (although under Obamacare that will probably change). If you can picture the population of the United States on a giant teeter-totter with people contributing to the system on one side and people withdrawing from the system on the other, the weighting is rapidly shifting to the withdrawal side. The ratio of workers to retirees is heading in a bad direction and getting worse by the minute.

I fear that it is far too late for America. Birthrates cannot be turned around at the drop of a hat. The economy is in shambles and rapidly turning into a European style socialism that has been failing for decades (which has not dissuaded the Obama administration). Because of government tinkering, there are fewer and fewer decent paying jobs for low skilled workers. We are turning into a nation of Wal-Mart employees. Having people work at Wal-Mart is fine as long as other people are able to make decent wages and buy stuff. Thanks to indifferent management that refused to make hard decisions and unions that are only interested in keeping their coffers full and their bureaucrats employed, the American worker in 2009 finds himself priced out of competitiveness. With ridiculous wages and unsustainable benefit promises, the auto workers led the way to American industrial obsolescence. The days of the American worker as being the standard bearer are over. You can pay someone in India or China a fraction of the wages and get the same result. Conservatives have been waging a fighting retreat for decades to stop socialism but now we have run out of fortified positions and are in full retreat or surrender on a number of issues.

America may continue to chug along on inertia and accumulated wealth for a while but ultimately we are headed for decline and ruin because the American spirit that made this country the envy of the world has been sapped out of generation after generation until all that is left is a shell of former glory and millions of Americans addicted to entitlements.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Great quote comparing the U.S. government and GM

From Mark Steyn in National Review. The editorial is not about GM but I loved this quote:

Like General Motors, the U.S. government spends more than it makes, and has airily committed itself to ever more unsustainable levels of benefits. GM has about 95,000 workers but provides health benefits to a million people: It’s not a business enterprise, but a vast welfare plan with a tiny loss-making commercial sector. As GM goes, so goes America?

Quite true!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A naïve blast from the past!

Some things never change. The sun rises in the east. Seasons come and go. The Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cups. 1960’s liberals still live in a pot-induced state of reality avoidance. Exhibit A, hippie era liberal and erstwhile Presidential contender George McGovern’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, My Advice for Obama.

Every now and again, the real liberals like George McGovern come out of wherever old hippies go to retire and spout nonsense that was proven to be such decades ago. Mr. McGovern is convinced that the United States should cut out military budget in half, in half!, in the face of a world that is increasingly dangerous with numerous rogue states on the verge of gaining nuclear weapons unimpeded by the U.N. or the Obama Administration. We should then spend those funds to the tune of $250 billion not spent on national defense on a whole jar of liberal lollypops:

If we directed the $250 billion we could save annually into national health care, improved education, a better environment and restoring our infrastructure, the nation would be more secure, better employed and have a higher standard of life. Or the savings might be used for annual reductions in the national debt.

Uh, George? Sorry to point this out, but living in a smoldering nuclear wasteland, or under Chinese dictatorship or under sharia law is not going to lead to a “higher standard of life”. The government cannot improve our standard of living, it can only impede it. Socialized health care means worse health care for everyone, with lower quality and longer waits. Improved education means more money poured down the public school sinkhole, benefitting no one but the teachers unions. A “better environment” is code for a bunch of meaningless “green” jobs that will cost American countless real jobs.

Here is where reality makes a rude appearance.

What will prevent one of these rogue states from launching a nuke at the U.S., Israel or one of our allies?

The might of the United States military

What keeps China at bay from invading Taiwan or conquering other Asian nations in the name of spreading the revolution?

The might of the United States military

What keeps North Korea from invading South Korea?

The might of the United States military

What prevents Iran from attacking Israel and igniting a conflagration that would engulf the Middle East?

The might of the United States military

What checks the ambition of dictators like Castro and Obama’s BFF Hugo Chavez?

The might of the United States military

Mr. McGovern still lives in a fantasy world where we can decrease military spending precipitously and still remain secure from the predations of psychopaths. He actually uses the end of the Cold War as a support for his vision of national suicide.

In his second term, Ronald Reagan met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who proposed that the two countries end the Cold War and the arms race. Reagan agreed, and the danger of war between the two nuclear giants has since subsided.

You will notice please that Mr. McGovern gives Gorbachev the credit for this, as if he willingly laid down his arms just because he was a swell guy and in doing so soothed the savage beast that was warmonger Ronald Reagan. Alas reality, unfamiliar territory for Mr. McGovern, paints a very different tale.

Why did the Soviets agree to this? What drove them to the bargaining table and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union? Altruism? Revolutionary camaraderie? Nope.

The might of the United States military

Here is my advice to President Obama. Pat George McGovern on the head and send him back to whatever commune he came from with a bag of certified free trade coffee before he can convince anyone else to drink the mass suicide Koo-Aid of unilateral disarmament.