L’Etat Radio, C’est Moi

October 27, 2010

Unchastened by the backlash caused by the firing of Juan Williams, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller is spurning the outcries to defund public radio and charging ahead full speed with her agenda.

Richly clad in robes that she believes are of more than Oriental splendour, she does not see that she is merely clutching close the tattered rags of a threadbare ideology. Instead, she promenades before her subjects, confidently wrapped in the righteousness of her cause, until a voice from the crowd calls out, “The NPR has no clothes on!”

Sadly, Ms. Schiller doesn’t realize care that a great many in her audience have just experienced the ultimate in cognitive dissonance: the firing of an NPR news analyst who consistently represented the best of the Left on conservative shows. This has causes an epiphany not just for Mr. Williams: ” I used to think the right was the intolerant side…” but for many regular NPR stations and their listeners, and one might think that Schiller would allow the furor to die down a bit before wreaking more havoc.

But Ms. Schiller, now unrobed to the world, goes blithely on her merry way. In an ongoing attempt to “re-invent journalism” Ms. Schiller said recently:

“We have the megaphone… And I would like to see us use that megaphone to expand the wonderful reporting that’s going out to our audiences to include not just NPR and public radio news and information, but news and information from all of the new not-for-profits.” 

Perhaps Mr. Soros will buy reporters for everyone, if asked politely.

As far back as last December, she said to her audience at a 2009 FTC panel discussion:

“This is not your grandfather’s radio. We are nimble, we engage our audience, we work with partners, we are eager to bring ever more like-minded partners into the public media,”

“Like-minded partners”… I wonder whom she means by that? And whom does she expect will pay for all her grandiose plans? Why, we the chumps, of course!

A document released earlier this year pitched a slew of taxes — on consumer electronics, television broadcasters and other entities — to publicly finance media, as well as the creation of a journalism wing for AmeriCorps and other funding mechanisms and tax breaks to prop up the industry. The FTC, though, said at the time that the document did not represent an endorsement of any of those ideas. [Of course it didn’t…]

In short, despite hitting an unfortunate speedbump named Juan Williams, Ms. Schiller is charging full speed ahead with plans to left-ify public radio even more. And she can’t see that her public is perhaps not quite as adoring as it once was; she’s still under the delusion that she’s clad in those invisible robes of almost Oriental splendour.

So tread softly, friends, lest Ms. Schiller be rudely awakened by harsh reality. Let’s just set her alarm for November 3.


It’s Time To Buy A Gun

October 25, 2010

I’ve never wanted to own a gun. In fact, in my former days as a liberal, I was one of those singing the mantra of gun control. Even as I morphed into a conservative adult, I still felt that there was no need for me to own a gun, but believed that was the right of all law-abiding citizens to keep and/or bear arms, should they choose to do so.

Saturday night, however, that all changed for me.

My dog and I became the targets for a drive-by shooting.  Cooper and I were walking in a well-lit downtown area of the peaceful, waterfront village known (ironically) as Safety Harbor. We were  next door to the renown “Safety Harbor Spa” which caters to the wealthy folks and wealthier corporations which love to spend lavishly on “conferences”.  Oprah Winfrey is rumored to visit there yearly. In other words, this was not a bad neighborhood where drive-by shootings happen.

Until now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks, NPR. We Get The Message

October 22, 2010

And the message is this: We are still under assault from our betters in the ruling class. You know, the Harvard educated, inside-the-beltway blatherers who wish to smother free speech completely with political correctness; who believe that Socialism really will work this time around, now that they’re in charge; who simply want to control our lives in all ways great (healthcare), small (lightbulbs), and everything in between.

They’ve already taken over the education system in this country, from pre-K through graduate school, and are busily leading our children and young adults down the path of liberalism toward Socialism. They’ve made that path look especially appealing to our youth, as the young are far more easily catechized than their more seasoned parents. We must take back our schools and colleges.

They’ve already subsumed most of the major news media. Fortunately in this day and age, there’s no way they can subjugate that army of Davids, the great unwashed, those bloggers in their jammies who continute to kick against the pricks, and with considerable success in many areas.

They almost completely encompass the gazillion-dollar entertainment industry. It is only recently that the technology has begun to allow for more independent points of view in the entertainment field: PJTV,  Declaration Entertainment and RightNetwork spring immediately to mind.

And they’ve completely taken over the energy and environmental movements: from the EPA controlling carbon emissions to diverting water from farms to protect supposedly endangered species to siphoning millions of government dollars to study things like bat conservation and the organ pipe cactus to the Sierra Club’s “stifling of dissent” and meddling in local, state, and national politics, to the reckless subsidizing of power sources which will never be able meet more than a fraction our energy needs. We need sane, sensible, and sustainable energy and environmental policy. And what we have is none of the above.

A Watershed Moment

The firing of Juan Williams at NPR is a turning point for our nation. Every one of us: conservative, liberal, independent, Tea Partier, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Pastafarian, whatever… Every. One. Of. Us. must decide: Is this what we really want? Has it really come to the point where a respected commentator and author and liberal and minority — or any one of us — can be summarily fired from his job for simply telling the truth?

It’s a watershed moment; and the lesson we must learn, and learn now, is that we must not stop. It’s just over a week until the elections and we must not quit. We can thank NPR for the wake-up call and continue as Winston Churchill said:

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Or in more modern parlance:


Give NPR Your Two Cents’ Worth

October 21, 2010

After the firing of Juan Williams, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller inadvertently let us all know the real reason she was sorry about the whole debacle:

“We’re profoundly sorry that this happened during fundraising week.” [emphasis mine]

Yeah, she said that. Classy, eh?

But don’t let NPR believe that you’re not thinking of their plight during their fundraising. Give them your two cents. Literally.

Because, honestly, that’s about all they’re worth these days.


A Modest Rebuttal, Tea Party Style

October 21, 2010


The headline of the article in my local newspaper says it all:
Tea Party a stammering, stuttering ruse“.

In a “Guest Commentary” by one Thomas P. Johnson, sandwiched in with ignorant, incorrect notions about debt under President Bush vs. massively increased debt under President Obama and the not-so-subtle accusation of racism inherent in the author’s statement that “Republican leadership responded viscerally to a new Black president…” we find the typical uninformed jeremiad about the Tea Party movement, in which Mr. Johnson repeats all the tired talking points he picked up from MSNBC and mainstream news outlets: we are a “sub text [sic] of the Republican Party”, we carry “racist signs”, we are “a creation of Dick Armey and Tom DeLay”, “a shadow of the RNC!!1!” and the like.

In short, in Mr. Johnson’s view, Tea Partiers are racist, dumb as a post, and being manipulated by shadowy politicians and lobbyists for nefarious purposes.

To begin with, Mr. Johnson, if you’re relying on the mainstream media to prove any of your points, you might want to reconsider.

For example, if you’re looking for stupid: Is it someone like Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who insisted that the phrase “separation of church and state” is contained nowhere in the First Amendment (it’s not)? Or is it her opponent, candidate Chris Coons, who sniggered at her perceived stupidity, while not being able himself to enumerate the five rights protected by that same amendment.

 Or perhaps it’s someone like Sarah Palin, who admonished a gathering of Tea Partiers in Nevada not to get overconfident, suggesting that they not “party like it’s 1773”, only to be mocked by the usual lefty blogs, as well as more mainstream types like Gwen Ifil of PBS, who subsequently tweeted to her eager followers: “Sarah Palin: party like it’s 1773! Ummm,” proving who the stupid one really is. (In case you’re a bit hazy on American history, the first Boston Tea Party took place in… that’s right, 1773.)

So let’s leave off with the “stupid”, shall we? Now, on to “racist!”

Just last week, the Washington Post wrote about a study done at the 9/12 rally:

“A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government’s economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events.”

I have attended the two Boston Tea Parties in the past two years, and found no evidence of racism at all, and before you try to make the point that the groups are made up of all white people, I will refer you to my blog posts on the subject, which are complete with photos and video of a racially diverse crowd.

Why, even our esteemed Vice President, Joe Biden, concurs that we are not a racist group, and says that President Obama agrees. And that little tidbit was reported by none other than the all-white guys at MSNBC back in July.

That takes care of “racist.”

What’s next?” Oh, right, all the rest of that stuff. Did you know that a study done just six months ago reported that 40% of Tea Partiers are either Democrats or Independents? So much for “shadow of the RNC.”

In short, we’re Americans. It’s a safe bet that you know quite a few of us, but due to your disdain of and antipathy toward us, we probably don’t feel comfortable sharing our views with you.

On average, we’re pretty bright. We’re a diverse, loosely organized group, with lots of differing ideas, and no specific platform other than a desire for limited government and fiscal responsibility, support of free enterprise, and a love of the Constitution.

And when we disagree with someone, we bring facts to the discussion, not thinly-veiled innuendo, vague denunciations, and unsubstantiated accusations.

Also: we can see November from our house.


The War Against Capitalism

October 20, 2010

Update: Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee is on the same wavelength today!

I scanned the headlines this morning of what my homepage (Comcast/Xfinity/whatever it is these days) considers to be news. In the rotating “Today’s Highlights” section I saw this:

It’s a very subtle ploy, that statement, “already making more money than most will earn in a lifetime.” Does it make you feel good? Glad for those billionaires, and proud of their enterprenurial spirit? Or does it make you feel slightly envious that these young kids will make more than you’ll ever see in your life? Yeah, me too.

The ongoing repetition (only slightly unpalatable in single instances) permeates society these days. It’s in the press, on television, online… all the time. Captialism is evil; tax the rich; make the rich pay their fair share; they’ll make more than you’ll see in a lifetime. It’s pernicious, it fosters an us-vs.-them mentality, and frequently it’s not all that subtle.

But let’s take a look at a few of the evil young capitalists on the list above, and see what makes them so awful:

  • Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of FaceBook
  • Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
  • John Arnold, Centaurus hedge fund manager
  • Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google

Just looking at those four young men, the companies they founded or inherited employ over 35,000 people. Combined, they have donated billions of dollars to various charities. How can this be undesirable?

Unlike the conventional wisdom of today, the world would not be richer if there were fewer rich people. On the contrary: everyone would be much poorer. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of jobs would not exist if inquiring minds didn’t create companies like Google and Yahoo!

Philanthropic entities would cease to exist if there were no more wealthy people. Of course charitable giving would continue, as we are a charitable nation, but the big philanthropies–like the Gates-Buffett Challenge–would be out of business (and again, fewer jobs).

Who would endow libraries, hospitals, universities, medical centers if those prosperous enough to do so ceased to be so?

In short, the world would be an infinitely poorer place if capitalism fell so far out of favor as to be actively discouraged, and if all our rich, millionaire, and billionaire citizens were to cease to exist (or simply to go elsewhere). But we’re not too far away from that right now.

Were that to occur, we’d be asking “Whatever happened to John Galt?”


We Are So Screwed…

October 17, 2010

I’m not kidding. As a nation, we’re well and truly screwed. Alan has written about this again and again, and it’s possible that people are finally starting to sit up and take notice. Another financial writer has been calling attention to our failing Social Security system. As far back as December, 2009, Gary North was pointing out the 800-pound gorilla in America with his article cleverly entitled, “U.S. Social Security Will Go Bankrupt in 2010“:

“We are floating down the fiscal river of no return. We are moving faster and faster. Some of us can hear the falls ahead. The sound gets louder and louder. But our companions on board say, “Let’s party!” They head for the dining room. After that, they will head for the slot machines.

“Americans respond favorably to these words: “Free” and “all you can eat.” That is what politicians promise.

“Either the falls will get us (deflationary depression) or else an explosion of the overheated engine will (hyperinflation).

“Our companions are still in the dining room or heading toward the slot machines. You and I should begin to move toward the lifeboats.”

Here’s the thing: Currently, we’re funding Social Security by dipping into its trust fund. The only problem is that trust fund shares can only be “sold” to the U.S. Treasury. And how is the Treasury doing lately? Better ask our expert head of the Treasury – Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner.

So what will eventually happen? As Mr. North predicted, either we’ll have deflation – not enough dollars and goods will become over-valued; or we’ll have hyperinflation – far too many dollars on the loose and the Benjamins will be virtually useless.

But don’t fret yet, because that’s not the bad news. That 800 pound Social Security gorilla suddenly looks like unicorns and rainbows and fuzzy bunnies compared with Medicare. Medicare is in at least five times worse shape than Social Security. And just how do the politicians solve the problem? They don’t. They simply pass the buck by cooking the books, having one broke gov’ment sector loan to another broke gov’ment sector, or they sell what will soon be worthless treasury bonds to other countries like China or Japan.

Not so long ago I was ranting to a friend about this because our country had sold $2 trillion to China and Japan and eight other countries. Well, I just checked… Now we owe $4 trillion to over 30 countries. That didn’t take long. My guess is that they’re waiting for the fire sale.

So what are our unfunded liabilities (which include Social Security, Medicare Part D, and Medicare in general)? According to the United States Federal Reserve, our total unfunded liabilities are over $110 trillion (or $110,000,000,000,000). Ah, for the good old days when I first started writing about this and the number was well under $100,000,000,000,000).

Numbers of this magnitude can be difficult to grasp. I watched Fox News the other day, and even their “financial experts” couldn’t get the numbers right. They screwed them up not once, but twice. One expert tried to explain that a trillion is a million billion. It is not. A trillion is a thousand billion.

  • One million is 1 x 106, or 1 followed by six zeroes. (Or 1,000 thousand…)
  • One billion is 1 x 109, or 1 followed by nine zeroes. (Or 1,000 million..)
  • One trillion is 1 x 1012, or 1 followed by 12 zeroes. (Or 1,000 billion…)

To put these number in some perspective:  Our own Milky Way galaxy holds about 400 billion stars or 400,000,000,000 which is 0.4 trillion, or just four-tenths of one trillion. If each star in our entire galaxy was one dollar, we’d need to create another 274 Milky Way galaxies just to cover our unfunded obligations.

To intellectually understand something is one thing. To absorb the impact and repercussions is entirely another.

I’m thinking we all should have goose bumps right about now.


Obama Finally Acknowledges Cole Anniversary

October 13, 2010


Late yesterday afternoon, the White House finally “remembered” that it was the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen. My guess is it was the reminder tweet from Michelle Malkin to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that did the trick:

Hurry up, @Presssec. Still time to issue WH statement acknowledging Cole bombing 10th anniversary – http://is.gd/fZ2en

So at 4:37pm yesterday, the White House finally put out a statement by the President commemorating briefly discussing the attack of ten years ago. In his four-whole-paragraph communique, the President mentions the following:

I will never forget meeting with some of the families of the victims of this bombing in February 2009. I am deeply grateful to them for their sacrifice, and their efforts to keep the memory of this tragic event alive in our nation’s conscience.

Wait… what? He met with the families of the victims less than three weeks after being sworn in as President? Why on earth would he do that?

Oh yes, that’s right. It was right after he announced the “closing” of Guantanamo and the dismissal of charges against the accused mastermind of the Cole bombing, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. It was one of Obama’s first acts of damage control after having shot himself in the foot by the dismissal of charges against al-Nashiri which took the families of the Cole victims by surprise.

In that February 6, 2009 meeting, Obama fed the families a bland pablum of the “nation’s conscience,” “tragic events”, “beginnings of dialogue”… According to the White House

“The President… explained why he believes that closing Guantanamo will make our nation safer and help ensure that those who are guilty receive swift and certain justice within a legal framework that is durable, and that helps America fight terrorism more effectively around the world.” [emphasis mine]

So 19 months after meeting with these families and assuring them that justice would be served, Obama nearly ignored a milestone anniversary, has still not prosecuted the case against the mastermind al-Nashiri, nor has he given the families the closure they rightly deserve. How’s that “swift and certain justice” worked out so far?

And in his haste to get out a belated statement yesterday, Obama forgot one small item. He didn’t actually mention the names of those lost in the attack. So, Mr. President, I’ll do it for you.

Never forget the names of Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter; Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow; Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis; Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna; Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn; Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels; Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto; Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Scott Owens; Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer; Seaman Joshua Langdon Parlett; Seaman Patrick Howard Roy; Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux; Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago; Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders; Seaman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr.; Ensign Andrew Triplett; and Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley.

All murdered 10 years ago on the U.S.S. Cole. All still waiting for justice.


Nice Work If You Can Get It

October 12, 2010

As a stong supporter of the Tea Party movement and a self-proclaimed “Mama Grizzly,” I understand the importance of ridding our government of entrenched incumbancy which leads mainly to greed, entitlement, and corruption. Thus we see Tea Parties calling for term limits to root out those clinging bitterly to their power base.

Because we might as well face it: being in Congress is a good gig. The pay is pretty sweet, and gets better the longer you stay, what with automatic cost of living increases and all. Leadership positions pay better than rank-and-file, of course. But even as a lowly freshman Rep, you get a personal staffing allowance, expenses, and of course, franking priviliges! You also get travel benefits (both foreign and domestic) and, depending on your seniority, can frequently bring along family members on junkets er, Congressional delegations. Plus there are recesses galore–even more than teachers get!

In short, it’s nice work if you can get it. And these days, you can get it if you try.

As a small-government Conservative, however, I take exception to the Tea Party’s notion that term limits are the only solution which will rid us of these meddlesome priests of legislation. Term limits smack of nanny-statism, implying that we the people are too stupid to vote out the venal, the corrupt, and the incompetent. And while that may in fact be a fair cop, perhaps we deserve what we get until we smarten up and vote in some fresh blood.

As an antidote to term limits and lifetime incumbencies, why not simply defund Congress? A Congressman, asking to be elected in order to earn a small stipend, with no retirement benefits and no other emoluments to reward his behavior, won’t be able to afford to be a public servant for very long, and thus after a term or two would go back to being whatever s/he was before: lawyer, lobbyist, administrator, whatever.

In fact, making Congress a low-paying job would likely bring our legislators closer to “the people.” Why, if we do enough, they may actually qualify for food stamps, just like nearly 40 million of their fellow Americans–and they won’t even have to give up their soda!

Face it. Congress isn’t going to change unless we the people force it to. The media won’t help; they have a vested interest in keeping the Old Guard in charge.

It’s up to us to make that change, and we can either do it by insisting that Big Brother protect us from our own stupidity, or we can man up and get the job done ourselves. By voting out the entrenched grime of decades, we can vote in new men and women with new (old) ideas about public service to the nation.

But we can’t have it both ways. We’re either a term-limited nanny state, or we’re that vibrant Republic, the shining city on the hill.

What’s it going to be, Tea Partiers?


Out of the Blue (State)

October 7, 2010

As a follow-up to my post of yesterday on the shenannigans of Massachusetts policicians (and their spouses), here’s another Blue State pol, albeit at a more local level, who must think that Mass voters are stupid.

Suzanne Bump is the former Secretary of Labor and Economic Development for MA Gov. “Coupe” Deval Patrick, and the current Dem nominee for State Auditor in Massachusetts. She and her husband own two homes. One is in the western Mass town of Housatonic, and the other is in South Boston. Somehow, Ms. Bump has deluded herself into thinking that she can register both homes as primary residences.

Mind you, she claims that she is following both the letter and the spirit of the law when claiming that:

  1. Her South Boston residence is her “principal” residence, and apparently has received tax reduction available for such residences since 2006 (which has saved her nearly $6,000); and
  2. Her Housatonic home is her “primary” residence, and has been since 2002, when she registered to vote there, thereby avoiding the extra assessment on non-resident home-owners. This has saved her $300-$400 per year.

While Ms. Bump apparently sees no discrepancy in this duplicity, her first instinct when asked about it was to deny all knowledge of it:

“Last Saturday, when the Globe first asked Bump why she and her husband claimed a residential tax break in Boston, as well, she said she had no knowledge of it.”

After more mature reflection, however, she changed her story:

“A few minutes later, she said: “It is reasonable to expect that at the time the decision was made, I was aware of it. But years later, I don’t recall the details.’

The chutzpah is amazing. Year after hear, Ms. Bump and her husband have claimed money on two separate primary/principal residences, and yet not only does she not recall the details, but she is sure she is well within the law in her actions in scamming as much money as she can out of a state that is nearly broke.

This is the woman who wants to be our State Auditor. She’s either a genius or an idiot. I’m just not sure which.