Monday, December 31, 2012

Hypersensitivity

Some people will get upset over anything!

Happy New Year!
Enjoy 2013 — it's got to be better than 2012 was!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Is It ...?

. . . that all the stories about the end of the Mayan calendar — the ones that show a "Mayan Calendar" — always actually show the Aztec calendar stone? (Like this.)

Just askin'.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Remember Why There Is A Christmas

Christmas today may look like this

Why Christmas exists looks more like this

Remember the reason for the season.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing everyone a very
Merry Christmas

. . . with a thought back to the very first Christmas
. . . with the manger and the animals and the shepherds . . .

. . . and with a smile and some laughter of the season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the World

No comment is needed.

Update: The world didn't end, after all. Guess I'd better do some Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Servicemen's Votes, Uncounted

There's one recent set of news reports that is simply disgusting. Politicians continue to deny our servicemen — soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines — men and women — their constitutional right to have their voices heard as citizens. They do this in violation of the law, as well as all possible justice and morality. Disgusting!

Something more must be done to protect the rights of these citizens.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day, 2012

In 2007, Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote an open letter of thanks to America's veterans that is a must read — especially today. Here's an excerpt:

And it is also true, that unless one has been in battle, one does not truly understand the depth of your passion for liberty. To families that have borne no soldiers, you are an enigma. To cowards, you are a shaming presence, a constant reminder of their weakness. To your parents, you represent both the mountaintop of pride, and the deepest valley of concern that mothers and fathers can ever know. And to most of us ordinary citizens, you are the unseen, under-appreciated protectors of all that we hold dear.

Military men and women really are different. Like their brothers and sisters in fields such as firefighting and law enforcement, they are the ones who run toward the fire and toward the firefight, not away. They are the sheepdogs, the ones who protect the sheep from the wolves — but whose presence makes the sheep uncomfortable. They're not all the same; they come in all types. But they share that difference. Sometimes you can see it in their eyes. Sometimes you can see the difference without being able to see who they are.

Even when you're not be able see the difference, the difference is still there. But whether you see the difference or not, whether you are aware of them or not, they are the ones who are there to be a deterrent — and, if necessary, a force for protection and rescue. They are the men and women who have secured and preserved our freedom. To them, along with Kyle-Anne Shiver, I say
You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization. There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify. There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long. You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered. You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life. You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.
To all our veterans, and to all who serve, THANK YOU!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Choice — and the Results

The choice the country's voters had last Tuesday was

  • Change We Can Believe In
or
  • Forward! (to the past four years)

 

Part of that is because the change we thought we could believe in four years ago turned out not to be quite the change we'd hoped for.

As the incoming president, Barack Obama is inheriting some really nasty situations. This is just a sampling:

But I'm sure President Obama has a plan for dealing with them.

For the rest of us, however, last Tuesday has given us a different feeling.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A New Truth

As more information has come out about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, it looks worse and worse for President Obama. A women's group has put out an ad as a result. This is from that ad.

Clearly, the president does not hold his people in the same high regard they have held him.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Truths

President Obama and his campaign have produced a new flag. A cartoonist has identified what that flag represents.

The new Obama flag strikes me very much like another drawing, based on an image out of Benghazi.

On a separate topic, it seems to me President Obama must be pitied. If he loses — especially if he loses big — he needs to be pitied as getting his just desserts for being the worst president in U.S. history, displacing Jimmy Carter from that spot. And if by some chance he wins, . . .

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gas Prices

This is the political season. That's what made this gas station owner give us a reminder about gas prices at his station the day Barack Obama took office as our president.

Here's today's reality in California, both in the mid-coast area

and in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

And here's a gas station owner who has captured the cause as well as the effect.

Guess I don't need to add any comments. You all know the conditions out there.

UPDATE: Here is a one-image definition of the Obama presidency, now known to some as Gasmageddon.

Netanyahu Made His Point

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the United Nations, and made clear there was a line Iran's nuclear program must not be allowed to cross.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called this "very hideous behavior".

Netanyahu was actually quite restrained. If he were a bit less diplomatic, he might have made his point a bit more more strongly this way.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Iran Needs More Women Like These

Two interesting stories from Iran. Both suggest Iran's women are getting fed up with their oppression and harrassment by the religious authorities.

  • Story number one: In Iran's northern Semnan provice, an imam told a woman she was not properly covered. (Apparently some of her hair was showing.) She replied “you, cover your eyes.” The cleric repeated his "warning". She replied by knocking him down and assaulting him, putting him in the hospital for three days.
  • Story number two: A Hojatieh imam encountered two girls, and told one to cover up. Like the woman in Semnan province, she "responded by telling me to cover my eyes, which was very insulting to me." He "asked her a second time to cover up and also to put a lid on what he felt was verbal abuse." She and her friend responded by assaulting him, knocking him to the ground and beatime him.
Iran clearly needs more women like these, willing to stand up for their rights against these self-righteous "authorities".

A Minimum Wage Increase — How Can This Work?

There is now a proposal on the ballot in Albuquerque to raise the minimum wage (already above the national minimum wage) by an additional dollar. The measure's proponents say the higher minimum wage will infuse a bunch of new money into the city's economy.

How?

The measure won't bring in any new money. Yes, it will give more money to those making minimum wage. It will take that money from one of two sources:

    1. From the business owners who will find their return on their investment reduced, or
    2. From other employees either fired or not hired as a result of the higher labor costs.

Either way, this proposal brings no new money into the economy, but simply shifts money from one person to another -- both of whom would spend it.

In other words, this proposal will damage business owners and/or workers without producing any economic improvement.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Islamist Honour

If that is their prophet, they have no honour.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jobs Numbers Don't Add Up

The jobs report came out the day after President Barack Obama's speech at the end of the Democrats' national convention. It said the United States' economy had created 96,000 jobs in August. That's down a bunch from the revised 141,000 jobs in July. But it was enough to take the unemployment rate to 8.1% from 8.3%. The White House called this good news, saying “ today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

I don't buy it. I don't believe the White House thinks this report is good news. They're just shoveling a heaping load of ****. The only alternative would be that the White House and the Obama campaign believe this — and are alone in this assessment. After all, 96,000 is well below the estimates made by the economists, and those estimates were down from the prior month's performance. In other words, even if the jobs numbers had been no worse than the estimates, that still would show the economy on a clear and strong downward trend. That's far from good news. It indicates a slowing economy, with job creation below its poor 2010 level.

There are a few other problems — like the Administration is "cooking the books." To get a reduction in the unemployment rate from that puny 96,000 jobs number, a number far too small even to keep up with the normal population increase in the labor force, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had to assert that 368,000 Americans left the labor force, gave up looking for work, and probably decided to give up their addictions to food and shelter. This was they only way they could artificially reduce the unemployment number.

The 96,000 jobs number itself is also suspect, at best. It is certainly not a net jobs increase. That is an absolute certainty. If 96,000 is the number of jobs created in August, then there were 215,000 jobs destroyed in that month. That's because there were 119,000 fewer people employed at the end of August than at its beginning.

Obama keeps trumpeting his claim to have created 4½ million jobs since June of 2010. The August jobs numbers make me wonder just how many million jobs he has destroyed in that time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Islamism Incompatible with Civilized Societies

Here's another take on the attacks on our embassies and consulates.

Today’s (now yesterday's) lead New York Times article, “Anti-American Protests Flare Beyond the Mideast” (meaning that they have spread throughout the entire Muslim world), makes it uncomfortably clear that we share this globe with a 1.7 billion strong religious community which is liable at the drop of a hat to erupt in global savagery. The events confirm what I have been saying since September 11, 2001: that Islam is incompatible with non-Muslim mankind, and that Muslims should therefore be separated and quarantined from non-Muslim mankind. But non-Muslim mankind, or rather the liberal West, will not pursue such a rational course. Instead it will follow Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society: The worse a non-Western group behaves, the more we blame ourselves for their behavior and the more we accommodate ourselves to them.
He goes a bit further that I did. What do you think he means in saying Islam is "incompatible with the non-Muslim world"? I think it's something like this:

I am not quite so pessimistic as he is, however. I think the West will do what it must — finally — after it has tried everything else. Islam, or at least the violent portion or cult some call Islamism, will be made extinct. And that will probably go down one of two ways:

  1. The way the Assassin (Hashashiyyin) cult was exterminated. Basically, the governments of the region, including that of Saladin, attacked their strongholds and killed them all.
  2. The way the Thugee cult was exterminated. The men (the direct criminals) were executed and their families were interred. With their expiration, the cult was exterminated.
Either way, this extremist group/cult is exterminated. Note that neither of these prior cults continues to exist except as words (assassins, thugs) in our dictionaries.

I suspect that accomplishing this will require that all civilized people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, work together to end the threat these Islamist "misunderstanders of Islam" pose to everyone.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Islamist Lies & Pretenses

Our local newspaper has a headline over a front-page news story that says More Violence Feared Over Anti-Islam Video. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has a story that says “The attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions this week — beginning in Egypt and Libya, and moving to Yemen and other Muslim countries — came under cover of riots against an obscure online video insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.”

But it's not so. The "obscure online video" was a trailer — an advertisement — for a video that has apparently never been available, online or otherwise. That trailer has been online for months. So why the violence all over the Muslim world now? It seems quite clear the video is the excuse, not the reason, and the actual reason is self-generated within the Muslim community.

The Wall Street Journal recognizes this, too. In that same story it says “But the mob violence and assaults should be seen for what they really are: an effort by Islamists to garner support and mobilize their base by exacerbating anti-Western sentiments.”

Attacks on embassies and consulates have been recognized for centuries as acts of war. In this instance, we clearly don't want to go to war over these attacks. But what our response should be is clear, it seems to me: In every country where our embassy or consulate has been invaded and damaged or destroyed, we should (1) close our embassy and consulates, (2) remove all diplomatic personnel, and (3) cut off all aid. This should be done pending serious discussion of our relations with those countries.

Beyond that, there is just one long-term solution: All civilized people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, need to work together to end the threat the Islamist "misunderstanders of Islam" pose to everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Not Voting For Obama

Barack Obama is a dirty Chicago machine politician. (Yes, I know that statement is repetitive and redundant.) Having spent time in Chicago, I have a real good sense of what that means, and why it should be disqualifying for any politician seeking office outside that city. That's the first reason this Democrat will not be voting for Obama this fall. The second reason is the way Obama has brought Chicago-style machine politics to the national political stage.

And if I were tempted to hold my nose and vote to re-elect him anyway, there's another roadblock to prevent me from doing so — President Obama's actual record.

These items are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more things to object to. Like fewer people working now than when he took office. Like more people being pushed into poverty, and more people put on food stamps, under his Administration than ever before. Like his decisions on which laws he is willing to have enforced, and which laws he will have his agencies ignore. Like his unilateral rewriting of laws passed by Congress. Like his actions taken in violation of the law, and continued in violation of court orders.

And that's still just the (slightly larger) tip of the iceberg.

President Barack Obama has demonstrated he cannot or will not do the job he was hired for. We've got to let him go.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Choices

Here's something it appears tonight's speakers, at the convention, need to learn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can Someone Explain to Me?

Can someone explain to me now the words "golf" and "Chicago" are racist, but this isn't?

This is offensive on so many levels.

Monday, September 3, 2012

National Empty Chair Day

It's National Empty Chair Day. Take time today to think about the empty suit that's out campaigning today (on our dime!), who gave up even trying to govern long ago.

Actually, that's probably a good thing, since his governing has meant our workers have lost more during his "recovery" than they did during the recession that preceded it.

Clint Eastwood got more answers from an empty chair than the rest of us have gotten from our excuse-in-chief.

Yes, Obama inherited a bad situation, but he and his policies have made it worse. He's simply not up to the job. And since Obama has so clearly demonstrated he can't do the job, we've got to let him go.

UPDATE: I think this one (from here) is my favorite for the day.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Grassroots Speak

I've seen e-mails with pictures of quite a number of signs and billboards. Not signs from the campaigns, but signs made by individuals expressing their own opinions.

And I have seen another comparable sign — quiet and understated, just there. This one is just off the Interstate (I-25) in Belen, New Mexico.

Yes, it is the same on both sides. Yes, it is lighted at night.

This is the sound of the grassroots speaking.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Fascinating Observation

I've heard time and again during this campaign about how some candidate or other has made some statement as a kind of "racial dog whistle" to his supporters. One of the most recent such claims, made by a large variety of folks on the Left, had to do with Mitt Romney's joke about his birth certificate. MSNBC described that joke as "the most despicable bigotry we can imagine."

My first thought when I saw that, was that those folks have very stunted imaginations if this was the worst they could imagine. My second was that their imaginations were pretty warped if they imagined this was bigotry.

And then a fascinating thought struck me: Isn't it interesting that the only ones that can hear and understand these "dog whistles" are Obama supporters — liberals, progressives, and other associated Lefty Democrats?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Highlights of the Obama Campaign

The presidential re-election campaign of President Barack Obama continues. And, since he can't run on his record, he continues to run on distraction.

And, of course, it will get worse. Indeed, I expect the worst this year.

Harry Reid Follow-Up

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate majority leader, has become famous for making wild charges and insisting everyone accept them as if they were real. In his world, it's "guilty till proven innocent."

Then there's the issue of why Reid is doing this. And why President Barack Obama and his Whihte House and his Administration and his campaign have all refused to disavow Reid's fantasies. It makes me think they put him up to it.

These both seem to be related to Reid's fantasy charge that Romney hasn't paid any taxes in ten years. (That's a hard charge to support, given that Romney has released his 2010 return and most of his developing 2011 return — both of which show he paid taxes.)

I'm Back

My computer died. Belly up.

But now I have a new one. Got most of the software installed, too.

I'm back.

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's Not About Health Care

The horribly mis-named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) isn't about health care — it's about insurance. Or, to put it another way,

One of the harder realities is that health care reform is not about public health. That's the mistake people make. . . . Health care reform is public finance. And when you get into public finance, it's not about doing a study to guide policy; it's about creating a business plan.
      — Ralph de la Torre, CEO, Steward Health Care System,
          "health care's new maverick"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Harry Reid's Friend

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) says presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid any taxes in ten years. He said an investor in Bain Capital told him that in a phone call.

Reid's claim, by itself, raises a few questions. One is time frame. Reid is talking about ten years, which may be the last ten years or the ten years preceding the tax returns Romney has released. That would be ten years beginning in either 2002 or 2000. But Romney was hired in 1999 as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was brought in there to fix the problems they were having; he wasn't at Bain Capital. When that task finished, he ran for and was elected governor of Massachusetts later that year; he wasn't at Bain Capital.

Then there is another class of questions. What would anybody at Bain Capital know about Romney's taxes beyond whatever residual income he might have gotten from Bain — even if Romney had still been at Bain full-time? And beyond that, what would a mere investor know about details of the tax returns of anyone there?

But Harry Reid insists on spreading the charges, with the blessing of the Obama campaign (and probably of Barack Obama himself). And Reid insists Romney must answer these charges, that Romney is guilty until he proves himself innocent.

In the face of all this, how can Harry Reid's friend know what Reid says he knows? One writer says the answer is clear: Imaginary people know everything.

I disagree a bit. It seems to me the answer is that Harry Reid and the rest of the national Democrat leadership are simply making stuff up, for obvious political reasons. And then others — like former governors Ed Rendel (D-PA) and Ted Strickland (D-OH) on CBS' Face the Nation this morning — wrongly put their trust in these misleaders.

Why are Reid et al. doing this? That, too, seems clear: Anything to move the discussion away from Barack Obama and his record.

UPDATE: If, indeed, Harry Reid's claim is that Mitt Romney hasn't paid any taxes "in the past 10 years", the charge disproves itself. The two years of tax returns Romney has released (2010 and 2011) show he paid taxes — a lot of taxes — in those two years, which are part of "the past 10 years."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You May Be A Liberal . . .

Yes, Mrs Critter and I went into Albuquerque yesterday (that's where our nearest Chick-Fil-A is) and got a couple of chicken sandwiches with waffle fries and soft drinks. It took a long time to get through the drive-up line, and the walk-up was no better — both came out and circled the building, and we weren't there at a peak time! But, even then, we saw reporters and news photographers there, and a TV crew setting up and starting to film. Later in the day, we saw feature reports from the Chick-Fil-A restaurants on all three networks' local news broadcasts.

Kerry's Assessment of the Global Climate Change Challenge

Senator John Kerry (D, MA), "the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam", delivered this assessment of the seriousness of "climate change"

I believe that the situation we face, Mr. President, is as dangerous as any of the sort of real crises that we talk about
As dangerous as a real crisis? That sounds to me like quite an admission.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Obama on the Aurora Theater Shooting

Today's news is full of the midnight shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

President Barack Obama had a very human reaction, thinking about what if his own children had been there. He said

My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day?
My immediate thought was that, if the Obama girls had been in that theater, the shooter would have been down after his first couple of shots — at most — courtesy of the Secret Service.

Obama Ad Debunks Itself

Either Barack Obama and his campaign people are incredibly stupid or they think we all are. And I don't think they're that stupid.

Here's today's proof:

The Obama campaign truly seems to be out of touch with reality. Yesterday it issued an ad that can only be describe as bizarre. Titled "Mitt Romney: Saying Anything to Get Elected," it begins with words on the screen: "Mitt Romney is launching a false attack." Then it shows a clip of Romney quoting Obama: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

"The only problem?" reads the onscreen caption "That's not what he said." The ad then shows a lengthy clip of Obama in which he says exactly the words Romney attributed to him! Making the point more dramatically, someone with the YouTube account NotBarackObama.com did a shortened version of the Obama ad, cutting out a bunch of other Obama quotes. In the context of this ad, "That's not what he said" is either a brazen lie or an act of dissociation, a psychological term meaning a severe detachment from reality.

So Obama's campaign ad expects us to believe their statement ("That's not what he said.") even though they themselves provide the proof it is what he said. How stupid to they think we are?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Political Ads That Piss Me Off

The Sierra Club Political Committee is running some ads here in New Mexico that are particularly heavy-handed, and dishonest.

It is now absolutely certain that I will vote for the politician attacked in these ads.

And I am sure I am not alone.

Claims vs. Evidence

The Democrats claim to be the party of civil rights. They claim the Republicans want to go back to the days of Jim Crow.

Here is some evidence to the contrary.

Remember this when you hear more similar claims.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Does Obama Want to Damage the US Economy?

Jay Carney, White House propaganda minister, has now admitted that the "Bush tax cuts" helped the economy. Of course, now Obama wants taxes raised, and especially wants a tax increase for high income earners and small businesses. We are justified in thinking Barack Obama may want to damage the US economy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

God Bless America!
And remember why we celebrate.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Homeland Security Says "Public Be Damned"

The Border Patrol is a law enforcement agency. But, to the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol agents are no more than convenience store clerks. DHS is instructing the agents, like the clerks, to run and hide if confronted by a gunman.

"We are now taught in an 'Active Shooter' course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to 'run away' and 'hide'" union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. "If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become 'aggressive' and 'throw things' at him or her. We are then advised to 'call law enforcement' and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered)." [...]

But members of Local 2544 say they are obligated to protect the public in such a situation, whether they are on duty or not. Given the instructions, some wonder if they would be disciplined for taking down a gunman in a situation like the Fort Hood shooting or the January, 2011 case in Casa[s] Adobes [a Tucson shopping center], in which a deranged gunmen shot 19 people, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed.

“It is always comforting to know that for those of us who carry a weapon when we are off-duty, if we should encounter such a situation, stop a shooter and save countless lives, we can look forward to being disciplined or fired by the Border Patrol because we should have run away to hide and then maybe thrown objects at the deranged killer instead of taking action and stopping him with a firearm,” the union local’s website says.

This is not an idle worry. Especially because it wouldn't be the first time employees were terminated for not following instructions to hide and cower.

Whoever ordered this policy should be fired. And that's true even if it's DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano herself. Or her boss.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Some Consequences of the Roberts Decision

There will be consequences. Here's an early one.

That is an obvious consequence of this: John Roberts has conducted a judicial rewrite of the Obamacare "health care" bill (that Congress called the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act") to turn it into a massive tax. But, if it is a tax, then the Roberts ruling is completely improper.

  1. An Obamacare tax cannot be litigated yet, due to the Anti-Injunction Act, since this tax is not yet being collected.
  2. Tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives, but this bill originated in the Senate.
The Roberts decision asserts the individual mandate simultaneously both is and is not a tax. Particularly under the circumstances of this case, this finding is improper.

The view isn't better from the other side of the argument. If the individual mandate is a tax, then the White House and Congressional Democrats are guilty of perpetrating a massive fraud against us. All the more so since Obamacare absolutely would not have been passed as a tax. In fact, it would not have passed if there were any hint that it might be a tax. Indeed, as Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito noted,

the Democratic majority in Congress rejected an earlier version of the bill that became ObamaCare precisely because it imposed a tax — lawmakers intentionally substituted a mandate with a penalty for failure to comply so they could continue to contend that no one’s taxes were being raised. (emphasis in the original)
Now, Roberts asseerts Congress just inadvertently put the "wrong label" on their tax increase — changing its character after all the briefs and the oral arguments have been completed, to something even the Court's own hired outside lawyer (as well as all the parties to the case and the law and its history) said it wasn't — and that Roberts says earlier in his own decision that it was not. That, in an of itself, is an egregious violation of due process that no one would permit in a criminal case.
[Chief Justice Roberts & Co.] said the American people are not entitled to an honest legislative process, one in which they can safely assume that when Congress intentionally uses words that have very different meanings and consequences — like tax and penalty — and when Congress adamantly insists that the foundation of legislation is one and not the other, the Court will honor, rather than rewrite, the legislative process. Meaning: if Congress was wrong, the resulting law will be struck down, and Congress will be told that, if it wants to pass the law, it has to do it honestly. (emphasis in the original)
Roberts gives lip service to the idea that the Court should honor the legislative process, and then directly violates that concept. “Due process would not allow this to be done to a criminal, but the Supreme Court [Chief Justice Roberts] has decided that Americans will have to live with it.”

And that says there are also longer-term consequences.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Drinks the Kool-Aid

I am amazed that the US Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare, and shocked that John Roberts is the one doing this to us.

The central element of the law is the individual mandate. That is the federal government ordering everyone (apparently excepting Christian Scientists, the Amish, Muslims, and illegal aliens) to purchase insurance. I mocked this idea (using my idea of the Cheeseburger Mandate) before it was made into law. But perhaps I should not have been so quick to mock it. My mandate idea (among many others) may well be passed into law by Congress — always being sure to include a penalty for non-compliance that can be (fraudulently) characterized as a tax.

The formal name of this law — the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” — is truly Orwellian. The bill provides no care, is unaffordable, and gives no protection to patients. It does not support the training of even a single additional doctor but, according to many statements from doctors, will drive many doctors out of medical practice. This law's focus is insurance. Insurance provides no care, but does provide some payment for some care —if you can find it on your own. This law accomplishes none of its purported goals; in fact, it makes every one of those problems worse than they were before. And, while the individual mandate has taken the most fire, the Obamacare law is full of all kinds of mandates, including those in the news more recently that violate individual conscience and religious freedom.

Admirable purported goals, perhaps, resulting in close to the worst possible result.

I am dumbfounded that this law was upheld — doubly so given that the majority ruled that the individual mandate an unconstitutional expansion of the Constitution's commerce clause. What kind of sleight-of-hand and deceit is required to do that, and then to make up a way to allow it — a way that has been denied by all parties to Obamacare — supporters and opponents alike — from the beginning to now? Just as a couple of examples, Obama himself most vehemently insisted the mandate and penalty are absolutely not a tax, and his Administration's lawyer said the same thing in oral arguments before the Supreme Court. But John Roberts says Barack Obama is a liar.

Obama lied to the American people. Again. ... Obama lies; freedom dies.
John Roberts tells us all that the individual mandate and its penalty are a tax — which means Barack Obama (with assistance from Harry Pelosi and Nancy Reid) has rammed through Congress the Barack Obama Tax Hike, which is the largest tax increase in US history — actually, the largest tax increase in the history of the world — and most of it falls on the middle class.
And isn't it ironic that Roberts was urged to uphold Obamacare or be attacked as illegitimate, but with this flip-flop and apparent late vote change has undermined the Court's legitimacy and demonstrated that the Supreme Court will succumb to political pressure. “[W]hile liberal critics were quick to accuse the Court of playing politics by taking seriously the Obamacare challenges, it may turn out that it was only politics that saved the ACA [a.k.a. Obamacare].”

Today's ruling effectively removes all restraints on government control of its American subjects. The result is almost the same as if the Court had ruled the mandate permissible under the commerce clause. The only difference is that now Congress will accompany each new requirement with a tax increase and/or a penalty that can be painted as a tax increase. As Justices Alito, Thomas, Kennedy, and Scalia told the Court's left wing, “You've extended federal power to virtually everything.” And Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft captures today's reality:

The Supreme Court ruled Obamacare mandate UNCONSTITUTIONAL today but it Survives As A Tax!!
UPDATE: An insightful comment from before the decision was announced:
Even by a decision of five to four, the Supreme Court will throw an extraordinary spanner into the machinery of U.S. government, if significant parts of ObamaCare are struck down. Conversely, even by five to four, a decision to uphold could effectively erase the U.S. citizen’s last line of defence against absolute power.
UPDATE, TOO (from the Court):
In answering that question we must, if "fairly possible," construe the provision to be a tax rather than a mandate-with-penalty, since that would render it constitutional rather than unconstitutional (ut res magis valeat quam pereat).
But, I would say, except when such an interpretation has been explicitly disavowed in the statute itself and in its legislative history. Congress and the President have consistently and absolutely insisted the mandate penalty is absolutely not a tax. To “reinterpret” as a tax the penalty for violating the law, under these circumstances, is clearly impermissible malpractice. The Court's own record and history make this clear, too.
In a few cases, this Court has held that a "tax" imposed upon private conduct was so onerous as to be in effect a penalty. But we have never held — never — that a penalty imposed for violation of the law was so trivial as to be in effect a tax. We have never held that any exaction imposed for violation of the law is an exercise of Congress' taxing power — even when the statute calls it a tax, much less when (as here) the statute repeatedly calls it a penalty.
The Supreme Court has never rewritten a law to turn a penalty into a tax. Never until today, that is.

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Justice Antonin Scalia along with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito wrote a very impressive dissent that Chief Justice Roberts should have also joined. As the four justices said, Obamacare “exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting States all Medicaid funding.

These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative.” With just one more vote, the entire bill would have been declared null and void as unconstitutional.

. . .

With the failure of the judicial process, the only thing left to do now is to get rid of Obamacare legislatively. Congress passed this monstrosity, and the only path to lifting it [this onerous new Obama tax increase] from the backs of the American taxpayer is through the legislative process. That means that legislators should vote again to repeal all of Obamacare.

So we have come full circle. Congress is responsible for the mess that the Supreme Court has refused to clean up, and that leaves Congress with the responsibility to clean it up. Otherwise, they can be sure that voters will be watching.

And, hopefully, the voters will, firmly, “throw the bastards out”.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How Few Have Served

Over the past 65 years or so, the portion of our population that has been responsible for our nation's defense has been shrinking. And the burden placed on that shrinking portion has been increasing.

Partly as a result, that portion of our population and their families have become less and less understood by the rest. Young men and women who choose to attend one of the service academies, or to enlist, are counseled that "You don't have to do that. You have other options." As if military service is only for those who have no other choice.

Some additional thoughts on this issue have appeared elsewhere, like here. Go there — it seems to be a good read.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just Because

... Just because it's such a striking picture.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Obama Writes Law By Himself

Congress wouldn't pass Obama's "DREAM Act", so he has apparently decided to make law all by himself. (And here I thought the Constitution said Congress had to make the laws.)

Here's a pithy comment on Obama's action from "old glazier":

America has learned a lesson the last 3 1/2 years. Black-robed gods(judges) make the rules and overturn the will of the people all the time. Now we have Hitler-lite in the White House pretending to do the job of the peoples House. We have an A. General who does not obey or enforce the law of the land. We rebelled from England for far less. I’m at the end of my rope here.

Democrats/Bolsheviks……same thing

Monday, June 11, 2012

Islamists vs. Islam

The world has gotten even more insane when religious extremists directly and explicitly violate the directives of their founder and their holy book. But that's what's happening in a number of places, and the examples are getting both clearer and more extreme.

As I understand it, Mohammed and the Quran command Muslims to conquer but protect (under a "dhimmi" status of second-class citizenship) the "people of the book" — Christians and Jews. But a bunch of Islamist "Muslims" don't care and violate these commands regularly.

A case in point: Islamist clerics in Pakistan threaten to kill a Christian pastor. His crime? He dared to quote — accurately — from the Quran.

And now, Islamists in Syria have ordered the "infidel Christians" to leave Syria or be murdered.

There is just one solution: All civilized people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, need to work together to end the threat the Islamist "misunderstanders of Islam" pose to everyone.

Islamist Depravities

It's not bad enough that the Islamists sentenced people to death for dancing at a wedding in Pakistan. Are there no limits to the depravity of these people? This is the lowest nadir of uncivilized inhumanity.

Or maybe not. A day or two later, Pakistani religious leaders sentenced another group of women to death. Their "crime"? They clapped along with the music at a wedding.

Guess that answers my question. There is no depth to which Islamissts will not stoop.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day, 68 Years Ago Today

68 years ago today, 160,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. Along with 24,000 paratroopers dropped into the area a few hours earlier, they began the final invasion of the European continent.



Omaha Beach was the most restricted and most heavily defended of the invasion beaches. One of the units landing on that beach that day was the 29th Infantry Division — the Blue and Gray Division. The division included National Guardsmen from the Virginia and Maryland area, and men who were not yet in the Army when the 29th shipped out to England.



Maybe today would be a good day for a movie that includes the Normandy invasion. A good one that provides a good sense what the landing felt like (according to one of the men who was there) is Saving Private Ryan. (When the movie ends, consider that all its action took place in just one week.)

Today would also be a good day to read the day's commemorations at Blackfive, specifically this and this and this, and to consider how terribly high the stakes were on D-Day in 1944.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, 2012

It's Memorial Day.

And this tribute is one of the things that helps me remember why we have it. This image, too.

And then there's this AP photo by Danny Johnston, guaranteed to make your heart feel glad.

Enjoy your holiday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge

On this date 75 years ago, the Golden Gate Bridge was opened in California — for pedestrians only on the first day and for motorized traffic the next.

In honor of this anniversary, this is the picture you see today if you use the Bing search site.