Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Coming Out" And The Culture Of Celebrity

     I am a 50 year old blogger, I am white and I am an avid golfer. I realize that "coming out" like this takes courage, but no one else was being first, so I had to step up and do it. I realize this places me in a position to be ridiculed, mocked and discriminated against for my love of the game of golf. But I am willing to suffer the slings and arrows of golf-haters everywhere in order to give hope and courage to all those other avid golfers who have wanted to "come out", but were afraid. My goal in "coming out" is to show that someone can be a professional blogger, and still be an avid golfer. My fervent hope is that someday we will live in a country where there will be no prejudice against avid golfers.
     Yesterday, NBA center Jason Collins made a similar statement to the one above, announcing his homosexuality. Making him the first active player in any of the four major professional sports to be openly gay. Mr. Collins, in part, said that he wished someone would have done it first, but since no one did, it was up to him to be first. My question is, "Why?" Why is it necessary that anyone in professional sports, or in any other profession for that matter, publicly "come out" as gay? It is a phenomenon that exists in no other aspect of life. People do not routinely feel compelled to "come out" as anything else, e.g, as heterosexual, over-sexual, under-sexual, an anxiety sufferer, clinically depressed, joyful, happy, over-weight or myriad other states in which a human may find themselves.
     I think the "coming out" phenomenon is symptomatic of a culture of celebrity that encourages people to share intimate details of their lives publicly for the effect of feeling important, relevant and validated. I have seen this phenomenon in spades on social media. People routinely post personal details of their lives on Facebook or Twitter for complete strangers to read. Details that 20 years ago would not have been discussed with strangers met at the grocery store or anywhere else in public. I think it is the result of a culture that teaches validation from without instead of from within. Those who are secure in their own skin do not need constant feedback from family, friends and total strangers to make them feel relevant and affirmed. I think that the search for affirmation from outside sources is a sign that one can not come to terms with their own conscious and therefore must override it with outside influences.
     So why "come out?" It is a sign that a person does not feel special enough to his fellow human beings, even when that person is an NBA center or other celebrity. And it is a direct result of the culture of "Acknowledge me for what I am, not for what I've accomplished." Whether a person's accomplishments are great, as in the case of Jason Collins, or almost non-existent, as in the case of our current president, they really don't matter. Our culture now says that irrelevant physical attributes or life style choices are the things that make a person worthy of acknowledgement.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Obama Doctrine Of Weakness

     Recently fifty seven Islamic groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the father organization to Al Queda, Hamas, Hezbolla and others, sent a letter to the Obama administration demanding that all negative references to Islam be taken out of FBI and military training material on counter-terrorism. The Obama administration, of course, obliged and even fired all the counter-radical Islamic instructors. This action would have been analogous to President Roosevelt ordering the United States military not to shoot at German soldiers during World War II.
     It is frightening to see the security of this great nation being unnecessarily put at risk, all for the sake of not offending the very enemy whose aim it is to kill as many Americans as possible and destroy our way of life. President Obama has already reduced our nuclear arsenal by more than half and has used the sequester as an excuse to keep navy ships in port that should be patrolling in the Persian gulf and other hot spots around the world. One of the core elements necessary required of a President of the United States is his willingness to project U.S. military capabilities when and where they are needed. President Obama and his band of misfit democrats have a willful dislike and distrust of U.S. military prowess, and combined with their unwillingness to acknowledge their own country as the most net positive contributor to the human condition in history, makes for a toxic stew that puts in jeopardy the very cornerstone of freedom itself.
     I do not intend to imply that the United States should carelessly and capriciously project the power of the U.S. military as simply a means to bring fear to other parts of the world. It should be employed to bring liberty's hope to the oppressed and the iron resolve of justice to the oppressors. For it is only through an effective projection of U.S. military superiority that the best opportunity exists to avoid the exercise of that superiority. Conservatives do not believe in creating and maintaining the most overwhelming military on the planet in order to conquer other lands, but to defend this sentinel of liberty and prosperity and allow its light to shine to every dark corner of the world where the human spirit cries out to be free.
     President Obama's foreign policy impotence, I believe by design, was recently demonstrated by his unwillingness to take a more deliberate stand on Syria after they crossed the administration's red line of using chemical weapons on their own people. The administration has also been absent without leave with regards to Iran's nuclear program. Mahoud Ahmadinejad has had free reign to manipulate the irrelevant and useless United Nations, while at the same time making the president of the United States look like a clown. Mr. Obama has also done nothing to quiet the saber-rattling from North Korea's Kim Jong-un, which as anyone knows is done to test the resolve of your enemy before you spend military capital.
     The measure of a nation's resolve to avoid the use of its military strength by projecting its power to would-be attackers, is its willingness to do so. The test of that nation's military prowess is how well it can defend itself when attacked. Since our current president does not seem willing to engage in the former, let us pray that our nation has the strength to prove the latter.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Where's The Hope?

     Clara Peller, the old woman in the 1980s Wendy's commercial, in reference to the competitors hamburgers, would indignantly spout, "Where's the beef?" For anyone who remembers that commercial, I am sure you can remember just over four years ago when Barack Obama promised the nation hope and change. Now the reality must be faced, by those with the courage to do so, that all we have is a change towards less hope. Now that Mr. Obama is solidly into ruining a second term with more of the same obstinate authoritarian policies, those of good faith must make an honest assessment of his promise to deliver on hope and change and what went wrong.
     One of the essential virtues that would have turned what has become the biggest failure in presidential history into one of the greatest presidencies, was recently illustrated by President Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush. At the launch of his library and research center, former President Bush gave an inspired speech and it was striking how many times he used the term 'We' as opposed to his successor who is constantly using the opposite pronoun, 'I'. It was also refreshing to hear someone so succinctly and unabashedly extol the great virtues of America.
     It may seem petty to pick apart President Obama's use of one pronoun over another, but that one word expresses volumes about the character of the man and why he has failed so miserably. Barack Obama is the self-contained president and he looks at the United States Congress as an impedance to the great work that only he can accomplish. I have mentioned before in this blog that President Reagan had a sign on his desk that read, "It is amazing what a man can accomplish when he doesn't care who gets the credit." It is President Obama's strict adherence to the antithesis of this sentiment that has caused more pain for the American people and a legacy of mediocrity and failure for his administration. To Witt: just today the first quarter Gross Domestic Product was announced, and it slumped in at 2.5 percent. This pathetic growth comes as we approach the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the so-called economic recovery. A recovery that has been more analogous to a patient being kept alive on life support. In this case, the life support is Ben Bernanke printing money at an alarming rate and using it to buy government bonds to drive money into the stock market.
     I do not have any problem with Barack Obama being a Democrat, if he had truly wanted to solve the nation's problems and set it on a path back to prosperity. He also could have taken the nation past racial division instead of using it for his and his party's political gain at every turn. Truly, history handed Barack Obama an opportunity to do great things and in the process secure himself a place beside some of our nation's greatest presidents. He instead chose the pronoun 'I' instead of 'We' and devolved the presidency into a fortress of derision aimed at his political opponents befitting the best community organizer but unworthy of the President of the United States.

Friday, April 26, 2013

There Goes The Judge

     There was a popular saying in the 1970s of "Here come the judge!" Well, the most popular saying by the millennial generation is, "Don't judge me, man!" But it is not only themselves they wish to exempt from judgement for everything from their appearance to their behavior, but every behavior engaged in by anyone. And while there seems to be a certain freedom that millennials comfort themselves with that borders on anarchy, it has lead to the very situation in which they find themselves living in their parents basement, unemployed or under-employed.
     The creation of the more non-judgemental society (except in the case of Conservatives whose only sin is to preach self-reliance, smaller government and individual responsibility) began in the 1960s with the sexual revolution. It was then that women were convinced that it was okay to succumb to the desires of their male counterparts' over active libidos. With the new sexual mores entrenched in the culture, there was a fracturing of civil society because less importance was placed on following a moral code. This resulted in the natural progression of outcomes of a non-moral culture. These outcomes included, but were not limited to, a higher out-of-wedlock birth rate, more drug use which lead to higher crime, more poverty and less dependence on self and more on government.
     By not judging undesirable behavior we are fulfilling the late Daniel Patrick Moynahan's observation that as a society we engage in "defining deviancy down." We normalize devient behavior on our journey to accepting even more deviant behavior as normal. This was aptly illustrated recently by New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, when he said that attacks like the one in Boston last week were just part of the new normal with which we now live. Those that live in the toxic ether of Leftism, like governor Cuomo, would rather accept innocent Americans being slaughtered by radical Islamists than to admit that there is such a thing as radical Islam, that, after all would be judging. And in the minds of Leftists, being seen as judgemental is the worse sin one can committ .
    The Bible says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." That instruction was meant to focus the individuals attention on his own behavior, not as a motto upon which to build a society. That biblical quote also refers to the eternal disposition of some one else's soul, not their earthly behavior. God does not expect us to accept deviant behavior as normal, that is why he gave us the Ten Commandments. For that matter, the entire Bible is an instruction manual on how to live a pious and moral life, not only for the individual, but for the community at large. That can not be achieved without making judgements about which behavior is acceptable and which is not.
     I believe the downward spiral in our culture is a direct result of the Lefts attempt to create a non-judgemental society, and the government dependence that breeds. There is no greater way to increase the need for government than to decrease a sense of morality in the culture. Morality is the direct result of judgement, and without it, the default basis for a society is government, which has proven itself to be an amoral concept. That is why the founders of this great nation chose to limit government and give more freedom to religiosity. They knew that pious judgement by religiously free people would build the kind of moral and prosperous society that a mere secular government could not.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Apple Computer And The Culture Of Over Stimulation

     The forty percent decline in the share price of Apple stock in the last six months is illustrative of the culture of over stimulation. The precipitous decline in Apple stock is not because of the company's fundamentals. Its earnings report this Tuesday exceeded analysts' expectations, it is selling iPhones and iPads like hot cakes and it has 140 billion dollars in cash. Its share price has declined because of a so-called lack of innovation. This ludicrous refrain was, of course, joined by CNBCs Jim Kramer. A man who alternately over the last few years said Apple was headed for disaster from which it would never return (2008), and he did not see any reason this company's share price would not rise above $1500 a share (2012). Leaving aside the useful idiot puppet Jim Kramer, I think there is something more at play with Apple's share price that says more about our culture than about stock valuations.
     I have heard many stock analysts say that Apple did not woo them with the announcement of a great new product release along the lines of the iPod or iPhone. And they knock Apple for only improving on products like the iPhone and iPad, instead of developing some new wow product that will knock every ones socks off. First of all, no company in the industry is innovating much right now, and secondly, what is wrong with making improvements to products already being sold. Car companies and others have been doing that for decades. We have come a long way in a short time with regards to technology and the entire industry is now improving on what has already been developed. That is not to say there are not new products in the pipeline at Apple and other companies that will make the child-like analysts pee their pants with excitement, but we will all have to wait to see those innovations. In the mean time, is it not enough for Apple, or any other company, to have a strong balance sheet with gobs of cash and products that everyone wants?
     The culture of over stimulation that makes ostensibly adult people act like children on Christmas morning who only got a new fully loaded bicycle instead of a trip to the moon, can be seen not only in the undervalued share price of Apple Computer, but throughout our modern society. As a society we are so use to the spectacular, whether in movies, video games or real life events, that we constantly need greater and greater thrills to satisfy our need to be stimulated. So we no longer think it is satisfactory for a company like Apple to continuously improve their products that are gobbled up in historic volumes by a gadget-hungry public, they also have to reinvent the wheel every six months.     
     The culture of over stimulation is what makes many people buy ever more ridiculously larger screen TVs. Nothing is more out of place and obtrusive than a 5 foot TV screen in the average sized living room. Maybe Apple's next big new product innovation should be a way to transform your entire house into one big TV screen. Now that would give those pissy pants analysts a reason to be wowed.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Argument Of Exception

     The Left in this country, and around the world, use what I call the argument of exception to advance their agenda. They combine the argument of exception with the argument of emotion to employ a one-two punch to common sense and liberty. This has been a tactic of the Left for some time, but has been abundantly illustrated in the last four years by the Obama administration. President Obama used the argument of exception to sell his unaffordable care act, and when a vast majority of the public did not succumb to the argument of exception, he rammed it through Congress using bribes, threats and parliamentary tricks. The argument of exception has been used more recently by the gun-grabbing Left in a renewed push for more gun control.
     The argument of exception bases laws and policies, not on what is the normal state of things, but rather on the exceptions that are the outliers. This behavior can most vividly be seen in the way in which Leftists have argued for universal health care, especially over the last 20 years. In poll after poll during that time, 85% or more of poll respondents said they were happy with their current health care plans. But President Obama, and other Democrats before him, displayed the exceptions in the form of those people that, for one reason or another, were not well served by the health care industry. They also vastly overstated the number of people who fell into the exception by counting people who chose not to have health insurance for their own reasons that had nothing to do with any limits of the industry. So in essence, President Obama and the rest of the Left used one of the basic tenets of Marxism, turning the exception into the rule, in order to advance their unpopular agenda to limit personal freedom.
     We are currently in the throws of a debate on gun control that is illustrative of the Lefts use of the argument of exception. The Newtown, Connecticut massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school, and the shameless way in which President Obama and his minions of useful idiots in the media have used it, is a classic example of the argument of exception. As tragic and sickening as the slaughter of innocent children is, the massacre visited upon that community by Adam Lanza is the exception, not the rule. In fact, the hard data shows that gun violence has actually dropped in the last 20 years while private ownership of firearms has dramatically increased. So if a causal relationship existed between guns and gun violence, as the Left would have us believe, gun violence would have increased during that period.
     The Lefts use of the argument of exception is inherently dishonest because it aims, not to solve some pressing issue of society, but to use outlying anomalies to consolidate political power in a central authority that they control. The fuel that stokes the furnace of Leftism is the ill gotten freedoms of the people they are suppose to govern, and the argument of exception is a valuable tool with which they obtain that fuel.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Pre-911 World Of The Left

     If one were only to listen to the main stream media and the Obama administration, the conclusion would be reached that September 11, 2001 past through history with nothing out of the ordinary taking place that day. This fact has been illustrated by the way the Boston terrorist attack is being treated as a criminal act rather than a military operation executed by our enemy in an ongoing war. The Obamaites, in and out of the media, have adopted a pre-911 mindset with regards to terrorism and the devastation it has, is and will cause our country.
     If there is one thing we do know about the Boston attack from the information currently available, is that it occurred as a result of a colossal failure by the Obama administration, primarily in the form of the FBI, to stop the two brothers who committed the atrocity. In 2011, the Russian government warned the Obama administration about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brother terrorists, and that he should be carefully survaled. Not only were the Russian warnings not heeded by the administration, but after Tamerlan left the United States and spent 6-7 months in Russia, he was not even questioned by the FBI upon his return to the U.S.
     The Obama administration and the rest of the Left have put the safety and sovereignty of the United States in a subservient role to political correctness. It has been predictable but never the less pathetic to watch the Left twist themselves into pretzels trying to downplay the brothers' radical Islamic motivations and connections. One only needs to look at Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Facebook page and YouTube channel to understand what motivated him to enlist his younger brother in the slaughter of innocent Americans, it was radical Islam. And while the administration and others on the Left wish for all of us to live in the denial they exhibit about radical Islam, the bombings were a direct result of that denial.
     We now know that family and friends of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev saw their images in the media shortly after the bombings, but did not call police because of political correctness. They did not want to be accused of profiling by reporting that they might know the bombers simply because they looked like the Islamic brothers to which they were acquainted. When questioned why he didn't tell authorities where to find Dzhokhar, one acquaintance said he didn't want to turn in every "nice Islamic kid" who looked like the image on TV. And even President Obama carefully downplayed the terrorist brothers' radical Islamism and engaged in the "Lone Wolf" narrative manufactured by the media. It is hard to believe that two immigrant brothers, living in a small Boston apartment, with very scant resources, were able to purchase, construct and execute improvised explosive devices that killed 3 and injured scores more. Hard to believe, that is, unless you live in the world of the Left where 9-11 didn't occur and three thousand Americans who lost their lives on that day are still going to work daily in the World Trade Center buildings that still dominate the Manhattan skyline.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Deliberate Confusion Between Rights And Needs

     I think that the struggle between Conservative ideas and Leftist ones is as old as organized government itself. The question in any society is how much government strikes the right balance between providing the necessary functions of government, without infringing on the rights of the people. The philosophies of government have basically been comprised of those who believe in limited government with an emphasis on individual liberty, and those who believe just the opposite. Today, in this country founded on the principles of the first category, we have allowed ourselves to be ruled and controlled by believers of the second. I believe this has happened as a result of propaganda, which has confused in the minds of much of the populace, rights and needs.
     In this country we have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Rights and needs are different, although the Left has tried to blur the line between the two in order to grow government. Rights supersede needs, and the needs of one person does not give government, or any other entity, the authority to mitigate the rights of someone else to satisfy those needs. Our needs are not constitutionally guaranteed, something of which the Left has convinced many people. The need for housing, food, clothing and myriad other essentials of life are not rights. And rights can not be provided by any government entity, they come from God and are protected by a properly functioning government.
     James Madison's fear of the Bill of Rights being used to actually limit the rights of free people to only those things enumerated, is more present today than when he first expressed them during the drafting and revisions to the United States Constitution. A hundred years of the Progressive cancer, begun with Woodrow Wilson and metastasised with the Obama administration, has been made possible by convincing a significant segment of the population that needs are rights and that they are satisfied by government largess. An idea that is a deliberate tactic of the Left and is illustrated by the growing social safety net that now includes cell phones, air conditioners, refrigerators, child care, vehicle repair and a multitude of other items in addition to the food and housing.
     One of the most valuable lessons my mother taught me as a child is that the more dependent one becomes on someone else, the more they lose control of their own life and destiny. By convincing large groups of people that their needs are rights and that they are entitled to have them fulfilled by a confiscatory government to which they have given the authority to do so, the Left has slowly turned this constitutional republic into an entitlement oligarchy.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Empty Calories Of Junk Media

     Now that the second Boston bombing terrorist suspect has been captured, some perspective can be gained from the week of a main stream media whose reporting on the incident ranged from ignorance to deliberate disinformation. If the Boston bombings have reinforced in my mind one overwhelming conclusion, it is that we have lost our collective ability to think for ourselves. People have been so trained to watch the drivel that passes for news, that they will sit for hours in front of a TV or computer screen just to hear bubble-headed news anchors and reporters tell them that they do not know anything more at this time. And yet, consumers of this severely retarded rhetoric will inject it like a junkie mainlining heroine.
     The desire to be first has overwhelmed any journalistic integrity to be accurate by those in the media. This week we witnessed a news media that reported there was a suspect in custody at a time when there was not and numerous outlets near prayerful desire that the suspect or suspects would be white Americans and then trying to transform them into such when it turned out they were not. We were also willingly subjected to the same videos of the terrorist massacre hundreds if not thousands of times. What became of even a modicum of decency in the media to report what they know, return to regular programming and then break in only if they truly have some confirmed news on a particular event. And what became of Americans who did not live their lives as slaves to the twenty four hour news cycle to the point that they are voluntarily mis-informed and blatantly manipulated by those in the media with a political agenda.
     I am saddened, horrified and sickened by the terrorist attacks in Boston this week, but almost as sickening is the cavalier way in which the media uses their sacred constitutional trust to mis-inform the public, and the public's ability to lap up the journalistic pablum with great willingness and alacrity. A steady diet of which has caused intellectual obesity and malnutrition in those who choose daily to obtain their information from the fast food media that spews out the empty calories of what they call "news."   

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Bad Investment Of College

     President Obama and other Democrats use what they call, "the necessity of investing in our future", as a reason to spend almost a hundred billion dollars a year of taxpayer money to send as many young adults to college as possible. They pull at the heart strings of a gullible segment of the population by telling them that taxpayer funded college is the only way that lower income students can possibly attend. This myth is easily dispelled with something called, the facts. But a Leftist will never admit he is wrong, even in the face of overwhelming supporting evidence. And Ronald Reagan once said that the closest thing we have to eternal life on earth is a government program, because once began, it never ends. They also never get any smaller, but require more taxpayer dollars every year, whether they need it or not.
     Since the 1970s, when PELL grants were established (ostensibly to give poor kids a chance to attend college) the percentage of students graduating college who are from families that occupy the bottom 20% of income earners in this country has decreased. Fewer of the poor are graduating, and because of government subsidies to universities, the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed into the stratosphere. This has made it even more difficult for low-income and even middle-income students to attend college. And what have the universities done with the extra cash picked from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers that they do not need (many colleges receive enough from alumni donations and investments that they could run their schools without a dime of tuition being collected), they have given professors smaller class sizes and schedules and increased their salaries exponentially. They have also built new buildings they do not need with expensive toys like climbing walls. The universities have, in essence, used taxpayer money to give academics a gilded life-style with very little work. Many professors have a gaggle of teaching assistants that carry the load while the professor writes books that he then requires students to purchase for his class that he doesn't teach.
     Democrats and Leftists like Barack Obama love to proffer the false notion that everyone should go to college. But the overall drop out rate is 49%, and among the low income students it is as high as 60%. This accounts for tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that will never be paid back. Even among those who do graduate college, there are significant numbers who are working jobs that do not require an expensive college degree. According to the labor department, there are 115 thousand janitors with bachelor degrees and over a million retail workers similarly educated. Also, fifty percent of college graduates are unemployed or under-employed, and there will be millions of good paying jobs in the next 10 years that do not require a college education.
     The desire for equality above everything else is the driving force behind the Lefts insistence that everyone attend college, and that the taxpayers of this country finance it through higher taxes. Do not mistake what I am saying, I think for some people college is appropriate, but many do not fit the Lefts cookie cutter view of the world. There are plenty of alternatives to college that result in the ability to make a good income. Trade schools and apprenticeships are just two of the options open to those who do not fit into the college mold of the Left. With government subsidies driving the cost of college higher every year, a drop out rate close to fifty percent and an ever increasing number of graduates not benefiting from their degrees, college is one investment we should remove from our nation's portfolio.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Left Never Ceases To Disgust

     The bomb blasts at the Boston marathon that killed 3 people and injured 170, was a cowardly act of terror committed by an individual or individuals that are demented, sick and twisted. Almost as heinous as the blasts themselves has been the shameless way in which Leftists have tried to use them to gain political advantage over their opponents. From Congressman Barney Frank using the quick response of medical and safety personnel as a means of selling higher taxes and bigger government, to Salon.com publishing an article expressing the hope that the responsible party is a white man, the Left has been shameless in their political aspirations being fulfilled by this act of murder. The rest of the main stream media has been a little more subtle than Salon.com, but has salivated at the possibility that the bombings could be tied to the right-wing in some way.
     This response by the Left in a time of national tragedy illustrates one of the differences between Conservatives and Leftists. The Left is despicable in their use of crisis and tragedy to further their political goals. I haven't heard one Conservative or Republican speculate that the Boston marathon terrorist attacks were the result of any Left-wing group or individuals. But main stream Leftists in the media and politics have tried to make a connection between the date of the attacks being tax day and people in the Tea Party being responsible for the attacks. They have also trotted out Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed upwards of 180 people, making him the poster child for right-wing violence. But Timothy McVeigh was a rabid atheist and pot smoker who would have been more comfortable in a room with Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan.
     The glaring differences between how Leftists and Conservatives exercise their right of free political speech can be seen in the behavior of Occupy Wall St. and the Tea Party. The only violence ever chronicled at a Tea Party event was when union thugs pummeled a black Tea Party member while hurling racial slurs at him. The Occupy Wall St. events were routinely defined by violence in the form of rapes, breaking the windows of businesses and defecating on police cars. The Tea Party obtained the proper permits for the venues where their events were being held and the areas were left spotless. Occupy Wall St. trespassed on property and literally left tons of trash and debris in their wake.
     The Left has a history of violence, not only with Occupy Wall St., but going back to the 1960s with the riots they orchestrated in every major city across the country, burning buildings and causing bodily injury and property damage. A god to many Leftists, including our current president who started his political career in the man's living room, Bill Ayers, is a kindred spirit with the Boston Bomber. The violence at the 1968 Democrat convention was not perpetrated by right-wingers but by disgruntled Leftists. And the ideology of radical Islam which has been responsible for 98% of all the terrorist attacks in the world over the last 30 years, is more closely associated with Leftist ideology than any Conservative ethos. The idea that Conservatives would advance their political agenda through violence is laughable, out of character and not historically supported. The same can not be said about Leftists.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Scourge Of Bi-Partisan

     Is partisanship automatically bad and achieving bi-partisanship always good? The country was, after all, founded on partisan ideals. In recent decades, and especially in recent years, bi-partisan has been an obsession for people who a) want to convince political opponents to agree with them, or b) have no convictions or values that they believe are worth fighting to defend. I believe that modern day Leftists fall into both of the preceding categories, with a tendency towards the former.
     If there is one thing that Leftists have accomplished, it is to convince a gullible and woefully under informed public that bi-partisanship is the way to societal Nirvana and it is intransigent Republicants who are standing in the way. Using their outdated values to keep the country from moving ever closer to fairness and justice. We saw this as a nation during and after the recent sequester debate. President Obama first used the notion of bi-partisanship to convince the Republicants that if they did not agree with his idea of sequester in August, 2011, that they were being partisan and obstinate. What is more, the President convinced the public of this conclusion. A year and a half later he again used the notion of bi-partisanship to try and convince Republicants to avoid the sequester cuts, but was unsuccessful.
     On issue after issue, from tax increases to immigration reform, the Leftists in the Democrat party have been mostly successful at convincing the public and Republicants that their position is bi-partisan and that the Republicants position, whatever it is, is highly partisan. This is true even when the Democrats position was formerly a Republicant position that was characterized by the Left as partisan. Illustrative of this fact is the position that Democrats took on extending the Bush-era tax rates for 98% of taxpayers. For the better part of a decade, Democrats standard line was that the Bush tax rates were a partisan Republicant policy that only benefited the wealthy. But when they were set to expire under a Democrat president, and expose the truth that the tax rates benefited middle and lower income Americans the most, Democrats again convinced the public and the Republicants that not extending the rates to 98% of taxpayers, would now be the partisan position.
     Bi-partisanship is always portrayed by Democrats, and their lap dogs in the main stream media, as Republicants giving up their values and moving towards the Democrat position. But our entire form of government was based on partisanship. The founders knew that partisanship was a good thing and they designed a system of government that would allow for the best ideas to rise to the top after strenuous debate. Even the bible talks about being luke warm as worse than being a zealot against God. I am proud to be partisan, if I was not, I would be exemplary of the old saying, "If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything." Too many Americans have fallen for the "anything" that is the scourge of bi-partisan.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Kermit Gosnell Horror And What It Says About Us

     Kermit Gosnell is the abortionist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who is on trial for his life for brutally taking the lives of innocent babies. He operated an abortion clinic which specialized in late-term abortions, and used several techniques to skirt the limits of the law. But his crime against the state of Pennsylvania is a mere pittance compared to his crime against humanity and the laws of decency. His clinic operated unabated due to a lack of oversight and inspections by the state of Pennsylvania. Babies were born alive and then had their spinal cords cut by Mr. Gosnell or one of his assistants, and in some cases the babies necks were simply snapped in order to bring about death. I will not go into all the other gory details of what was found in the Gosnell house of horrors, I am sure by now you have heard them all, or at least enough to sufficiently turn your stomach for a month.
     This case has hardly registered on the main stream media's radar, or for that matter, the radars of any of our so-called leaders in government. There is no question that our President doesn't find this offensive, after all while in the Illinois state legislature, he voted to allow babies born alive as a result of botched abortions, to be killed outside the womb. And while debating on the floor of the United States Senate, then Senator Obama called babies murdered in the womb and then delivered dead by the mother, induced non-viable fetuses. And in a campaign speech during the 2008 presidential election, he compared babies to veneral diseases that one might contract while having unprotected sex.
     The complete lack of human decency possessed by the medical personal who perform abortions and the politicians who defend their right to do so, has been demonstrated often in the last 40 years. The fact is that the medical research industrial complex has driven the need for human fetal tissue for everything from helping the struggling immune systems of mice, to feeding the obsession of embryonic stem cell research when adult stem cells are the only ones to have shown any promise of one day helping to cure a multitude of diseases. But abortion is the primary sacrament of the Left, and that is why the Gosnell story has received barely a mention in any of the main stream media outlets.
     What I find most disturbing about the Gosnell story is the lack of decency on the part of those who worked for him. Some of his employees witnessed unspeakable acts of brutality and murder for many years and then went home at night and watched cable t.v. and played ball with their kids on the weekends. Not one of them felt that the horror they saw on a daily basis was worth reporting to anyone. The authorities discovered Gosnell's macabre clinic while investigating him for illegally prescribing Oxycontin. And his employees only disclosed the daily horrors in the clinic once they were discovered by law enforcement officials, and charges were being brought. These folks were not being forced to work at Gosnell's clinic at the point of a gun. How does one witness such inhumanity to innocent human beings and have their coffee in the morning, eat a ham sandwich for lunch and go home for dinner every night as if they were just working on an assembly line or crunching numbers in the accounting department of some corporation?   
     The lack of human compassion brutally apparent in Gosnell's accomplice/employees, I think, is a direct result of the sanctity of life being bred out of our culture in the last 40 years since murder of innocent babies was legalized. A culture can be accurately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable and innocent citizens. We have allowed the debasement of our culture to continue and flourish as the result of Leftist policy and ideology. The Kermit Gosnell clinic, and the horrific crimes which transpired there, and the total lack of outrage by the main stream, is illustrative of the soulless and compassion-less society that is created by strict adherence to Leftism.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Federal Education Equals Indoctrination

     The problem with making an important part of people's lives like education a passenger on a government train with a final destination of federal control, is that authority is placed in the hands of fewer and fewer people. When this happens, there is necessarily an increased chance of corruption and a lower positive outcome for those having to avail themselves of those services. This is exactly the reason that the founders of this great nation created a federalist system which put the most power and authority in the hands of individuals, then local and state government. The least amount of control was given to the federal government.
     What made education work so well in this country prior to the last 40 years, and the reason it doesn't work today, is that for most of this country's existence, education was a local issue and now it is a national one. Parents, local school officials and city school boards all worked together to inculcate in the children of their community the values and intellectual priorities that reflected that community. Since the 1970s, when education was essentially taken out of the hands of parents and local educators and placed under the control of national teachers' unions, the educational agenda was more about social engineering and less about a quality education that would produce decent contributing members of society. The new "common core" standards recently developed by the Obama administration and imposed on schools across the country, was in part, done so with the assistance of Bill Ayers. The unrepentant terrorist once bragged that he realized many years ago that the best way to take down the American system was by controlling what was taught in the schools.
     I fail to understand how any intellectually honest and culturally aware person can make the case that today's education system is dedicated to expanding students' knowledge and their ability to think for themselves. Recent history is replete with evidence that the union-run education system is designed to indoctrinate children and young adults in the Leftist faith. I have heard horror stories of parents sending their children off to college, thinking they are spending gobs of their hard earned money for a quality education, only to have their children return after only one semester as Leftist radicals. The most infamous, of course, is a man named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks which killed over 3000 innocent Americans. His Kuwaiti parents said he was a moderate Muslim who was pro-American until he went to college. He  returned from his first semester at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University hating America and fully immersed in the radical Islamist culture.
     The anti-American indoctrination starts in grade school with the teaching of history that is deliberately inaccurate and is designed to show America as fundamentally racist, sexist, bigoted and as a country that has acquired its wealth by stealing it from poorer countries. The Leftist faith deliberately fails to inculcate in children and young adults the critical thinking skills to understand that poverty can never create wealth, so they believe the portrayal of their own country proffered by the high priests and priestesses of Leftism. Along with hatred for their own country, students are routinely exposed to anti-religious rhetoric, having God and virtue replaced by government and entitlement. Until control of educating our children is returned to its rightful place, in the hands of parents and local communities, our education system will continue to produce immorality and dependence, the only real goal of the Leftists who currently control it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The President's Budget And The Immorality Of Leftism

     Well the white smoke finally drifted out from the White House chimney, a sure sign that the President's long-awaited budget has been penned by the almighty Himself. Never mind that, by law, the President is suppose to present his budget by the first Monday in February each year, making Barack Obama's budget 65 days late. It is par for the course for a President that has no respect for law and who has been running the government budgetless for the last four years. Or maybe it is the lackadaisical manner in which he approaches every aspect of his job.
     The President's budget is illustrative of the Lefts having blurred the line between government and the real economy. Mr. Obama, and the rest of his gang of think-alikes, actually are convinced that government is the economy. That is why President Obama thinks that by growing government he is growing the economy, because to his twisted way of thinking, they are one in the same. Just for the record, and with all due respect to our President's vast intellect, government is an economic negative. For each dollar that the federal government spends to ostensibly stimulate economic growth, it must first tax, borrow or print that dollar. Which means that dollar is taken out of the private economy before it is reintroduced, minus the cost of government which in some cases is more than the original dollar taken. This creates a scenario in which the private economy has to earn back the dollar that was taken, and in so doing it loses the opportunity to earn another dollar and to move the economy ahead by one dollar instead of just staying even.
     Leftists like to say that the glut of government workers that have been hired under President Obama help grow the economy by buying goods and services. First of all, those people would have purchased just as many goods and services had they been employed with private sector jobs. Secondly, even if those federal workers paid all their salaries in tax, the taxpayers would still be on the hook for the cost of their benefits. So government workers, while necessary in limited numbers, are also an economic negative. Only in the Leftist world is it a good thing to have an ever increasing percentage of the population working for the government and sucking up wealth from the private sector.
     The over-employment of government workers not only makes a claim on a larger chunk of private wealth, but destroys the incentive to create new wealth. Would-be entrepreneurs see no point in risking capital and sweat equity if a larger and larger chunk of what they earn is confiscated by government to pay salaries and benefits of an ever-increasing army of redundant government workers. Not to mention their hard earned dollars being squandered on a growing phalanx of people who choose to depend on government largess for their existence. This largess not only drains the created wealth of society, but prevents those who are on the public dole from contributing wealth through the use of their talents, abilities and hard work. And therein lies the immorality of Leftism, the confiscation of the very soul and essence of human endeavor and advancement.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Brass-Knuckled Librarians-These Aint Your Grandma's Librarian

      Why is it that while the relevance and importance of libraries in our culture has precipitously decreased in recent decades, the salary and benefits for librarians has had the opposite reaction. In my small town, for instance, the average librarian "earns" 45k a year. And that does not count the stocking full of benefits they receive. In fact, on average, a librarian in my town earns 7k a year more than the average police officer. With all due respect to librarians, I think I would rather spend my money on police protection than the keepers of videos, CDs and books.
     Do not get me wrong, I am pro-library and pro-reading, but I am also a realist. And libraries in recent years have become depots for taxpayer funded free videos and music for those unwilling or unable to pay for these entertainment items themselves. I fail to understand the difference between a 50k a year librarian job and the $8/hour clerk at my local video store. Both check out videos and restock them when they are returned. Actually the clerk's job is harder because he has to sell popcorn, candy and soda.
     The reason that these taxpayer funded video clerks who work in the library have such disproportional salaries and benefits is because of the librarian union, one of the most aggressive and thuggish of all the unions. This is no joke, the librarian union has grown into an organization that  makes the Teamsters look like...well, librarians. Maybe Teamsters legend and mysteriously vanished president, Jimmy Hoffa, was actually done in by the librarians and his body hidden among the 15th century French poetry section. But I digress.
     I never understood why librarians have to have masters degrees. I know a gentleman whose daughter is mentally challenged and restocks books at a local library. Now if she can do the job, why do we need to spend 50k a year plus benefits of taxpayer money to pay over-educated union members to do the same job. I understand the Dewey Decimal Classification can get quite complicated and may require higher education to understand and implement. My question is, "Why can videos and  audio CDs at the library be organized alphabetically, but books need this complicated system which requires a master degree and salary and benefits approaching 100k a year?"
     As valuable as libraries once were in our culture, they have become day cares and cyber cafes. People avail themselves of the Internet when they want information, they don't get in their car and drive to their local library. My local library always has small children running around screeching, or teenagers hanging out laughing and having a grand old time because there is no spindly, stern-looking woman in glasses with a tight bun on the back of her head shushing them. Now her I would have paid 50k a year.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Man Behind The Curtain

     Earlier this week, President Obama gave an anti-gun speech in Newtown, Connecticut, the sight of the recent school massacre that resulted in the loss of over two dozen lives, mostly young children. Although the President used the parents of several of the dead children who were in attendance, the tragedy itself and the entire town of Newtown as political props to advance his anti-second amendment agenda, he said this issue was not about politics. The President seemed somewhat foolish, like the Great Wizard of Oz when the curtain is pulled back to reveal the pathetic little man behind the larger-than-life voice. But just like the Wizard, the President, in his realization of the obvious political theater he had created, told people not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain, that what they were seeing (and hearing) was not what was actually taking place.  
     That same speech in which the President tried to sell the blatantly political as non-political, he also made one of the most ignorant statements ever uttered by a President of the United States of America. He said, "Let's make it just a little harder to gun down our children." So let me get this straight, President Obama and the rest of the Democrats (and even some moderate Republicants) want us to sellout our constitutional rights for the sake of making it "just a little harder to gun down our children?" This statement was not off the cuff, but in the President's prepared remarks. It still amazes me that I am amazed by the complete lack of rational thought flowing forth from this president and the seeming lack of desire of anyone, sans a few "extreme right-wingers", to point out the President's idiocy.
     President Obama's grand plan for "making it just a little harder to gun down our children" involves limiting the firearms and ammunition choices of law abiding citizens. These are the very people who stand between the evil perpetrators of random and indiscriminate murder and their innocent victims. And while limiting ammunition magazine clips to ten rounds may make for political hay with Leftists who will not rest until the entire U.S. Constitution has been reduced to a pile of ashes, it is without a doubt the least effective solution to a problem ever. Criminals won't adhere to the ten round limit, and even if they did, it only requires seconds to change clips. So a madman with multiple clips that contain fewer rounds can do the same amount of damage as if he possessed one clip that holds the same number of rounds. Limiting ammunition only infringes on law abiding citizens' right to defend themselves, their families and their property, because obeying the law means they have fewer choices in keeping criminals at bay.
     Mr. Obama's other "brilliant" ideas for "making it just a little harder to gun down our children" are to ban "assault-style" weapons and more stringent background checks. The former idea has never worked when it has been tried in the past, but failed policy ideas never stop Leftists from reintroducing them over and over again. The idea is logically flawed because it would have us believe that somehow hundred year old semi-automatic technology is more dangerous and likely to be used to commit nefarious acts when it is packaged in a body that looks menacing. As for background checks, I have news for the wizards of smart on the Left, CRIMINALS DO NOT SUBMIT TO BACKGROUND CHECKS! But then Leftists know this and the real goal of background checks is to register firearms that are in the hands of law-abiding citizens.
     The real tragedy, besides the incineration of Constitutional rights, is that none of the new restrictions on those rights being proposed would have stopped the massacre at Newtown, or anywhere else for that matter. But we shouldn't acknowledge that fact. To do so would be to pull back the curtain of facade and see the tiny little man behind the curtain for what he really is.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lady Thatcher Articulates Leftism In One Statement

     With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, the media has been replete with Lady Thatcher quotes. And while all have merit, it is her response to a Labor party member who accused her policies of widening the gap between the rich and poor, that is my favorite. In response to this typical Leftist charge that somehow wealth creates more poverty, Lady Thatcher said, "You are not concerned with the poor becoming poorer, as long as the rich become less rich."
     This charge by Prime Minister Thatcher is illustrative of the core of Leftist thought. Statist policies are not designed to help their stated beneficiaries as much as they are to punish a manufactured "boogy man" that is held responsible by the statist for the ills suffered by the less prosperous. This "boogy man" is usually the wealthy or a business entity, but it can also be a shared value system that the Leftist does not agree with or that does not fit his agenda, like traditional marriage. On issue after issue, if you examine the Leftist position, you will find as the driving force for their animation that simple yet eloquent statement made by Margaret Thatcher. The Lefts entire ideology and political fortunes are based on convincing one class of citizen that their troubles are the result of another class of citizens and that they, the Leftist ruling class, are the only ones who can even the score using the power and authority of big government. But the score is never evened, and everyone is worse off except the ruling class.
     The truth of Lady Thatcher's statement can be seen in the current debate over gun control in this country, even though it is not an issue specifically about rich and poor. At first glance, gun control may not seem to have anything to do with Margaret Thatcher's statement. But remember that the statement is a window into the Leftist soul which is driven by the desire to create a "boogy man" and then present big government as the only entity that can slay him. In the case of gun control, make no mistake, the boogy man is the second amendment specifically and the Constitution in general. And Leftists in the Democrat party do not care if their policies lead to people becoming less safe, as long as they also become less free and are more subject to an ever expanding central government that is under the control of Leftist ideology.
     Lady Thatcher knew, as all who even glance at history know, that Leftist policies and ideology do not work, have never worked and will never work. That is if the aim is to achieve a society that is the most free, the most just and the most prosperous. Free market capitalism with limited government involvement works best for achieving these goals because it can create wealth. Government can only confiscate wealth and redistribute it, it has no ability to generate wealth by its existence. Prime Minister Thatcher also knew, as the late great Milton Friedman said, that the best remedy for poverty is wealth. A wealthy and prosperous society breeds less government dependence which is a major source of corruption in any culture. I have always failed to understand how Leftists think that it is better for a society to have fewer rich people, but then again, prosperity and the liberty which ensues from the existence of wealth, is not the goal of Leftist ideology. A truism that Lady Thatcher knew and articulated in one succinct statement.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ObamaCare, A Boom For Democrat Voter Registration

     It is a well known fact, or maybe it isn't by those who are politically and culturally unaware, that part of the welfare application process is voter registration. For years, welfare caseworkers have been acting as Democrat party voter registrars by helping recipients of taxpayer money register to vote, and in some cases, actually doing it for them. The caseworkers, as part of their mission to help the poverty-stricken and underprivileged (and to secure their own jobs), then tell welfare recipients to vote for people with a "D" after their name in order to keep the gravy train of taxpayer-subsidized benefits flowing.
     The Obama administration has taken the model of Democrat voter registration in the welfare system, and amped it up for ObamaCare. Not only is voter registration part of the application to receive health care benefits through the state and federal health care exchanges under ObamaCare, but thousands of new federal workers have been hired and paid up to fifty dollars an hour with taxpayer money. Their job, to help people registering for ObamaCare, also register to vote for Democrats. This is one of the main differences between Democrats and Republicants, i.e., Republicants see issues as problems to be solved in the best interest of the country, and Democrats see every issue as an opportunity to increase their voter base.
     If some guy with a blog like me can figure out the Democrat's real agenda, why can't Republicant politicians do the same. Republicant governors, like Ohio's own John Kasich, have fallen for the line that if they don't setup the ObamaCare state exchanges, they will miss out on getting back some of the state's money that has already been sent to Washington. A flaccid argument at best, because current federal spending is culled from money that hasn't been made yet by people who haven't been born yet. Therein lies the real immorality and incompassion of Barack Obama and the Democrat party. They consciously choose not only to condemn more people in the here and now to live in poverty, but also future generations.
     Between welfare recipients, ObamaCare registrants and illegal aliens, all the Democrats have to do is change the law to allow felons to vote, and they will have created an army of dependents that will insure their electoral success in perpetuity. So in addition to astronomically higher health care insurance premiums, drastically reduced availability of health care, hundreds of new taxes, the loss of millions of jobs, the implementation of death panels, redistribution of wealth by federal authorities mandating that health insurers can't charge riskier seniors much higher premiums than younger persons and myriad of surprises yet to come, the Democrats have written into the law their ability to recruit voters at a time in people's lives when they are most vulnerable. With such obviously crass and despicable political tactics in use daily by Democrat politicians, one has to wonder how any freedom loving American can support this party.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stubborn Facts

     My theory is that the reason Ben Bernanke is making chatter about ending the quantitative easing program earlier than he expected, is not because the economy is improving enough to take the Fed's training wheels off the market. It is exactly the opposite reason, he and the administration know that the economy is headed for a cliff from the disaster that their fiscal policy has created. In fact, it has been a combination of Bernanke's "don't stop the printing presses from spitting out 100 dollar bills until I say so" along with the Obamanomics of burdensome regulation and higher taxes, that has killed the goose that laid the golden egg called capitalism.
     Facts are facts, and as the man once said they are stubborn things. The fact is that the country finds itself in a much worse financial condition than it was after the 2008 financial meltdown. A meltdown caused by Liberal Democrat social policy that forced loans to be made to people who could never pay them back, artificially ballooned housing prices by making 100-plus percent loan-to-value loans commonplace, loosened mortgage brokers' licensing standards so low as to pollute that industry with charlatans, taught mortgage brokers how to bundle bad loans with good ones and sell them on Wall Street as investment vehicles and lowered borrowing standards to the point that income and down payment requirements were eliminated. And as a community agitator, Barack Obama was front and center, using intimidation tactics to force lenders to make loans to the poverty-stricken.
     Another stubborn fact is that as much as the Obama administration has tried to fudge the numbers with unemployment, the real unemployment, the U-6 number the government reports every month, is around fourteen percent. There is no arguing with the stubborn fact that the labor force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level in over 30 years and foretells another stubborn fact, i.e., that there are over eight million fewer people working today than there were at the beginning of Barack Obama's presidency in January 2009. And with the tsunami of over 15,000 new regulations imposed by the Obama regime on business, don't expect companies to be adding many new jobs in the foreseeable future. ObamaCare alone is now estimated by the Congressional Budget Office and others to cost the economy millions of jobs over the next few years as it is fully implemented.
     The debt caused by President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is so astronomical and crushing, that this stubborn fact is too gruesome for many to even admit. President Obama has created more debt through his federal government expansion than all the debt created by all presidents through Bill Clinton. And by the end of his second term, he will have doubled the debt from the level it was at when he took office. He will have succeeded in burying this country in an inescapable grave that will restrict future generations from freedom and liberty, thus killing the aspirations of the Founding Fathers to have a government subservient to its people. And that is a stubborn fact we will all have to live with in the Obama future we have allowed to infect the greatest and freest nation the world has ever seen. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jason And The Labor Of Love

     I hope that regular readers of this site will allow me the diversion from the political on this one post so that I may indulge my first love, music. I recently ordered and received a CD of 9 instrumental songs that is representative of musical styling from the worlds of jazz, soul, blues and even some Latin. The music is brilliantly performed by Jason Green and his band, called, "The Labor Of Love." If you don't know who Jason Green is, don't feel bad, he is one of the most gifted guitarists of whom you have probably never heard. I have included a link to his website at the end of this post, and I recommend anyone who has an interest in good music to buy this CD. If after listening you are dissatisfied, I promise to buy the CD from you. That is how confident I am that you will feel the price, thirteen dollars and some change, is well worth the price of admission to this musical roller coaster thrill ride.
     I met Jason in the late 1990s through a mutual friend, and quickly developed not only an immense appreciation of his talent, but a deep and abiding admiration for his gentle confidence that never even got close to arrogance. For a time I actually took lessons from Jason, and was again amazed at his ability to instruct in a manner which lent itself to learning the instrument, something uncommon in some people who are gifted musicians. You see, Jason plays not only so that he is heard, but so that people will support live music of every stripe. That's why this CD is so special, it is recorded live in the studio, with all the musicians playing together as if they were sitting in your living room. That love of the music and of playing together drips off of every note of this CD.
     The CD has as its bookends two traditional Jazz pieces, "Ed's Place" in the opening and "Invitation" as the closing number. In between these two bookends is a smorgasborg of musical flavor unrivalled by anything I have heard in a long time, if ever. The Labor Of Love's rhythm section is comprised of bassist Yanko Valdes and drummer Tom Papadatos. Additional texture is provided by saxophonist, Rob Chaseman. The three extraordinarily gifted musicians weave their larger than life talents with that of Jason Green's unstoppable guitar to take the listener on a magical journey through songs with Latin themes like  "Fiesta del Cuatro" and "El Amor es Verde", soulful selections like "Union Square Soul" and down and dirty blues like "17 Slide."
     "Fiesta del Cuatro", "El Amor es Verde", "17 Slide" and "Union Square Soul" are all original compositions by Jason Green, the other 5 songs are standards that he has arranged to round out this musical extravaganza. Listening to Jason's original compositions makes one realize that his talent and understanding of music goes beyond playing guitar. But the guitar, is of course, front and center in these musical numbers, even when he is masterfully backing his fellow musicians with rhythm chords. His quick hand, seamless transitions and smooth as butter use of chord scales, are reminiscent of the great Django Reinhardt, considered one of the greatest jazz guitarist ever. And Jason's slide work on 17 Slide is 84 bars of some of the best slide guitar I have ever heard (with all due respect to Dwayne Allman).
     The CDs final song is "Invitation", which one might think would be more appropriate in the opening slot. But it is fitting as a closer because Jason is inviting the listener to make live music a part of their lives. Whether it is live CDs like this juggernaut of jazz, or going to a club, Jason wants the listener to know that musicians combining their talents and creating a live musical experience to be appreciated by more than just the ears, is truly for him and his band, a Labor Of Love.
Click Here For Jason Green's Website

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Juvenification Of America

     In order for Leftist policy to gain favor with a majority of the population, an entire generation of adults has had to be turned into children. Over the last 40 years the Left, having control of the schools and media in this country, have trained the populace to respond emotionally to every issue, just as children do. One of the fundamental responsibilities of successful parents is to develop in their child a sense of self-restraint and to place critical and rational thought above the emotional. But the current and previous generations have been raised to posses self-esteem, not self-control.
     If you have ever tried to have a rational discussion on an issue with someone firmly on the Left, you know what I am talking about. Even when presented with facts, statistics and reasoned arguments, the Leftist will always respond emotionally and resort to name calling or irrational arguments. A classic case in point is how the Left, in the media and elsewhere, responds to Sarah Palin. They attack her personally, calling her stupid (and in the case of Bill Mauer using the "C" word to describe her), but they never deal with the substance of her positions. This tactic has been just one of many tools used by the Leftist Democrat party over the last 40 plus years. But beginning in the 1990s, with the institution by the Clintonistas of the politics of personal destruction, and building into an Alinsky crescendo with Barack Obama, the Democrat party has made character assassination their only tool.
     The reason that this demonization and marginalization of their political opponents works today and would not have in prior eras, is that the population has been juvenilized over the last 40 years. I am amazed as I read more and more history and realize how much more mature people were, and at a younger age, 80, 100 or even 200 years ago. The bearing, fortitude and responsibility that young men at 20 years old routinely possessed is hard to find in "men" twice that age today. The Left has purposely inculcated in people the desire to be taken care of and not to do for themselves so that they are more dependent on government. It is frightening the number of times in a single day I hear people  making reference to some other entity, be it government at some level or a private business, taking responsibility for a personal need of theirs. Exemplary of this condition is many Americans expecting taxpayers to pay for their cell phones or a business to pay for some minor inconvenience they have suffered.
     The juvenile nature of many Americans today leads them to being easily offended by something someone has said and expecting financial re numeration for suffering such indignity. The juvenile nature of many Americans today informs them that they have no stake in such things as their own health care, children's education or even providing their own food. The juvenile nature of many Americans today causes a feeling of entitlement, as if they are somehow guaranteed happiness instead of its pursuit. The juvenile nature of many Americans today would have them give up liberty, which requires intestinal fortitude, and replace it with dependence and entitlement, which requires a lack of character and sense of responsibility. The more childish this nation has become, the less free we have become, and that is the real tragedy of the juvenification of America.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Stupid Fed Trick

     The David Letterman Show use to have a segment called, "Stupid Pet Tricks." This was back in the day when Letterman actually had some relevance and talent. People would bring their pet on the show and have them perform some lame trick. I have recently been reminded of "Stupid Pet Tricks" watching Ben Bernanke's handling of monetary policy.
     It doesn't take a genius to figure out that with our monetary policy reflecting that of Europe, it won't be long before we are in the same dire straits as they are. In fact, our debt to GDP ratio is getting dangerously high, now solidly over seventy percent. Which means the government now owes almost an entire year's worth of the entire economic output of the country, and that does not not count the unfunded mandates of Social Security and Medicare. When these government promises are added to the balance sheet, our country's real debt is several times one year's economic output of the entire country.
      Ben Bernanke, the man who never worked a job in the real economy but now controls it through bad monetary policy, has been draining the life out of the economy at a rate of eighty five billion dollars a month. This is the amount he has been printing in his little meth lab for money and then using it to buy government bonds in order to keep their rates low so investors see equities as a better investment. This is what has been driving the market to new highs, it is not the traditional rising fundamentals of an expanding economy. And don't think that business leaders do not recognize this, and are holding onto their cash and not hiring as they would if the economy was actually expanding at a rate approaching that of an economy not on life support.
     It bears repeating that the average post-World War II gross domestic product growth rate has been 3.2 percent, in times of recovery after recessions, the growth rate is usually well over 4 percent. During the Reagan recovery of the 1980s, some financial quarters saw GDP grow at a rate of 7 percent. The average GDP growth rate during the Obama regime has pathetically been under 2 percent, enough to give any president GDP envy. Of course, when the economy is not growing there are no new jobs being created. But if you have drank the Obama administration's cool aid, you might be saying, "But wait, the last jobs report showed an addition of 240 thousand jobs." First of all, that number is padded with the 100 thousand people who became so despondent that they gave up looking for work and took themselves out of the job market. Barack Obama and his gang now count those people as employed. Secondly, even if 240 thousand legitimate jobs were added, that number is barely acceptable in a normal economy, let alone one that is suppose to be in recovery. During some months of the Reagan recovery, a million new jobs were added to the labor force.
     The government's own metric for real unemployment, the U-6 number, which is not the number that is front an center every month when the nation's unemployment rate is reported, is a whopping 15%. And with GDP growing at well under 2 percent, the record eighty million people that are not working in this country have no hope of finding work anytime soon. More people are now living in poverty than ever, 1 in 6, and there are more people receiving food stamps than at any other time, a staggering 50 million at last count. The unemployed are expected to suffer without work while our Vice President spends millions on lavish European vacations and the President and his family have already taken three taxpayer funded vacations, trying to exceed the 1.2 billion dollars it took to support their extravagant life style last year. But none of this matters, because Ben Bernanke can just print as much money as the President needs while at the same time ruining the greatest engine for economic growth the world has ever seen. Now that's a stupid Fed trick that rivals anything I ever saw on Letterman.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Throw The Dog A Bone, And Hope He Returns With a Steak

     Immigration policy is one of those issues that the Left has spent the last 35 years or longer priming the public pump to actuate the free flow of their bad ideas, in this case granting illegal immigrants legal status. During the Reagan administration, Democrats promised stricter border security in exchange for giving amnesty to the three million people living in this country illegally. Ronald Reagan trusted the Democrats, a mistake for any conservative to make, and after amnesty was awarded, the Democrats ignored their promise of border security. In the ensuing years, Democrats have worked hard to give illegals more taxpayer money and more rights of citizenship, which in turn has given incentive for more lawbreakers to breach our borders. Today some estimates have the number of illegal immigrants as high as twenty million.
     In 2007, during the George W. Bush administration, there was a push by Democrats and Democrat-lites such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, to once again pursue amnesty for those in this country illegally, although they now called it, "comprehensive immigration reform." The nation's Capital was inundated with so many calls and emails from U.S. citizens, that the re-election conscious politicians on both sides of the aisle dropped their bid to create new Democrat voters through amnesty. But commensurate with Leftist ideology, Democrats are once again trying to ram through the Congress of the United States legislation that is against the will of the governed. This is the tactic used by the Left when their desire for control is counter to the will of the people. They slowly drain the fight out of public dissent by constantly ramming their bad ideas into the wall of common sense. By the way, this is how every authoritarian regime throughout history has imposed tyranny.
     The Lefts struggle is made easier by Republicants who think if they throw a bone, i.e. "path to citizenship" to Democrats, that they will return with the T-bone steak of border security. Democrat senator, Chuck Schumer, said recently that they have the "metrics" for border security, but they basically are keeping them a secret until there is an  agreement on making illegals legal. I honestly can not understand why Republicants like Marco Rubio are members of the so-called "gang of 8", a group made up of four Republicants and four Democrats whose purpose is to give Democrats everything they want and make it look as though it is bi-partisan. I can understand the feckless John McCain allowing himself to be used by the Left as a tool to push through their agenda, but I thought Senator Rubio was more conservative and more savvy than the aforementioned Republicant dinosaur.
     The Republicant establishment thinks if they back amnesty for illegals, that this will somehow help them garner more votes from the Hispanic population. But the Republicant establishment fails to remember history, and history showed that after President Reagan signed the 1986 amnesty bill, the Republicant nominee George H. W. Bush, received fewer Hispanic votes in the next presidential election than Ronald Regan received in 1984. And now, once again, some Republicants want to throw away the baby that is the rule of law with the bath water that is illegal immigration.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Social Justice Of Barack Obama

     When rights and laws no longer have as their source God and nature, then true liberty and justice is replaced with politically manufactured liberty and justice. When the nature of the human condition is subjugated to the constructs of the human will practiced by the ruling class, the natural right of people to be free is forever infringed. The founders of this great nation instinctively knew this in their hearts and minds, and they built a nation from the best examples from all of human history up until that point. They knew that when people were free to use their God-given abilities and talents to their full potential, unfettered by burdensome government, the resulting society would be a beacon of freedom in the world, as well as the world's repository of good that would lead to the greatest advancement of the human condition.
     The social justice of Barack Obama is a fraudulent justice because it reassigns the liberty from one group to another based on the variance of prosperity between the two groups. There is no justice when it is built upon the remnants of liberty stolen from the more prosperous and given to the less prosperous. There is no liberty when the fruits of a man's labor can be confiscated by his government at any time for the purpose of imposing economic equality on a free people. And there is no justice when a central government authority has become so entwined in the lives of the governed that in its arrogance thinks it can make personal decisions better than the individuals who are subject to that authority. Decisions on what to drive, what to eat, what kind of health insurance to purchase, if any and a myriad other decisions that range from the type of light bulbs one can use to how much energy an individual can consume.
     True justice  is defined by each man reaping the reward or punishment of his own behavior based solely on the merit or demerit of that behavior. The social justice of Barack Obama seeks to transfer wealth from the industrious to the non-industrious in an effort to impose egalitarianism on a nation founded on liberty. The social justice of Barack Obama imposes equality using the force of government to make every citizen equally enslaved to that government. True justice does not seek equality but the moral certitude that is produced by freedom of choice. True justice promotes each man making his own choices and then living with the consequences of those choices. The social justice of Barack Obama seeks to transfer outcomes from bad choices made by individuals to other individuals who have engaged themselves in making good choices, and visa versa.
      The justice of Barack Obama is packaged with the modifier "social." But true justice stands on its own and needs no modification. It has existed since God breathed life into the earth and created human beings from earthen materials and gave them souls composed from His love and His justice. To repackage the holy gift of justice from God into the profanity that is the Barack Obama brand of justice is a sin, not only against man, but more importantly against God.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Straw Man Strategy Of The Left

    The Left is a failure at promoting policies which lead to more freedom and prosperity. But they are successful at creating and using straw men. A straw man is a mis-characterization of your political opponent's position on an issue for the purpose of deflecting public attention away from the substantive argument your opposition makes. Straw men also give the user the ability to set themselves up as the only defense against that which is not real in order to create policies that actually limit freedom and increase the size of government. Which is the essence and mission of the Leftist soul.
      The gay rights issue is one of those for which the Left knows they do not have majority support. So they mis-characterize their position, their opposition's position or both. Many times, especially in recent years, the Left is helped by obtuse Republicants who accept the Lefts premise on a particular issue without even knowing it. Gay marriage is exemplary of this behavior, to wit: how many Republicants have you heard take up the Lefts mis-characterization of the ballot initiatives to protect traditional marriage, as a "ban" on gay marriage? There is not one state that has banned gay marriage, and it is not illegal in any of the fifty states. The states that have passed defense of traditional marriage legislation have only said that this type of union is the only kind that they will officially recognize as marriage. No government, at any level, should officially recognize gay marriage because it is not the most optimum relationship in which to raise children, the fundamental reason for marriage for thousands of years. Government at all levels should be promoting the most optimum policies in society.
     Another recent straw man argument was made by the President's re-election effort during the 2012 presidential campaign. Gullible voters were convinced by President Obama and others on the Left of the false premise that, Mitt Romney specifically and Republicants in general, wanted to restrict access to contraception. For the record, there wasn't one Republicant that suggested any policy that would restrict people's access to birth control. Even family values advocate, Rick Santorum, stated that he would not in any way restrict access to birth control. The Republicant position was and is that government should not be using taxpayer money to buy contraception for millions of people, especially since it is ubiquitous and cheap. But with a main stream media that is essentially the propaganda arm of the Democrat party, the actual Republicant position was smothered by the straw man argument advanced by the Left.
     If Republicants have any hope of ever regaining political power, they need to find a way to put match to straw men and make them disappear. One way, I believe, they can successfully do this is to stop accepting false premises that are advanced by the Left. On issues ranging from gun control to global warming, some in the Republicant camp have ceded basic fundamental arguments to the Left. For the record, background checks are unsuccessful at reducing gun violence and there is no settled science that supports man's role in any kind of climate change. The best way to prevent someone from building a straw man is to remove their access to the straw, i.e., Republicants need to articulate Conservatism often and forcefully. This is the only way in which a clear distinction can be made between Left and Right, thereby mitigating the Lefts ability to build effective straw men.