Tuesday, April 22, 2014

People are Missing the Point on the Bundy Ranch Controversy

Thought I'd share a spirited debate on Facebook.com about the Bundy ranch kerfuffle:

Post by Gregory Contreras.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why Rush, Ann Coulter and Mark Levin are Wrong About Immigration Reform

Far be from me to challenge the wisdom of these three icons of the right, however, I feel I must take up pen to do just that.
Will Smith and family react to Miley Cyrus'
raunchy performance at the 2013 Grammy's

The question is whether a flawed bill is better or worse than no bill?  It seems to me a simple question.

With a Democrat president and similar majority in the Senate, there is no way we're going to get something that we are 100% happy with.  And, yes, there is always the danger of being played.  And, yes we could wait until 2015, but now the Democrats are in trouble and they are arguably more likely to deal.

The crux of the argument against immigration is that the Hispanics hate us.  Obviously, that's not true, we can in a good year, get more than 35% of the Hispanic vote.  Terrible? maybe, but this misses the point.

Immigration reform is not completely about Hispanics, it's about all immigrants and a disturbing narrative that the Republicans are anti-immigrant / anti-brown people.

Look at the country, our current mythologies, the movies, so many of our actors are non-white.  And they are pure American, consider Michael Peña in End of Watch.  He portrays a police officer who is as American as they come, yet he carries the richness of another culture.  Something all of us do, regardless of our place of origin.

And, look at Will Smith and his family, His (beautiful) kids really do look like the future of America and one that we can look forward to with hope.  Look at their reactions to the most base performance of Miley Cyrus last year.  Only people with good values found her performance execrable.

But that's a minor point, the bigger point is this: will the non-black new immigrants be as satisfied with the Democrat plantation as blacks have been?  My personal interactions with America's newest arrivals say no way.  And, when I see the very beautiful but very Aryan-looking Ann Coulter arguing for it, I start to feel a little self conscious about being a conservative. Even I don't relate to her.  She's too uber.

Beyond that, part of the Immigration reform deal has to include increased immigration of highly-educated people who study here.  That should be a fast track to citizenship and currently it is not.  So, let's get something now.  We can always improve it when we get majorities back in Congress. If we don't, we'll be branded anti-immigrant/anti-brown people again and again.

Demographics are destiny, but destiny exerts a compelling force all its own, Giuseppe Verdi wrote an opera about it called La Forza Del Destino "The Power of Destiny," the point of which was, that destiny is not something we control.  Plus, everyone dies at the end -- by each other's hand.  We've already lost control of the immigration process.  Let's not kill ourselves over it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jack Lew not as Clever as Advertised

U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, who comes to his post with impressive credentials, is not as slick as we all think.

On FOX News Sunday, this Sunday past, July 28, 2013, in one breath he takes credit for the benefits of the sequester then within 2 minutes castigates members of Congress for taking credit for reducing the deficit.  Shocking.

From FNS:

LEW: You know, Chris, if you look at what's going on right now, in terms of our deficit, we are reducing the deficit at the fastest rate since the demobilization after World War II we need to talk about growth. We need to talk about how do we build that better future for America's middle class.

2 minutes later:

LEW: The surprising thing is, that, you know, a couple of years after, everyone agreed this was bad policy, there are people who are now claiming credit for things that were designed to be bad policy and senseless across the board cuts. That's truly surprising.

Political hypocrisy, on the other hand, not so shocking.

Friday, July 05, 2013

I Love Sarah Palin, But...

Sara Palin is a gifted politician.  Her love of country is as clear as a winter's day.
She could be a good president, maybe even a great one, depending on circumstances.  She has all the attributes of a leader: she's personally charming, down-to-earth, she's attractive, but her writing drives me crazy!

Every sentence she composes or utters in real-time is a convoluted mess of subordinate clauses.  Every idea introduced gives way to a meandering aside, a parenthetical thought, an overwrought allegory, a call back to another argument from another day.

Example, from Facebook 5 July 2013 re: John Kerry's yacht:

"Our government, yet again, either had no idea where the boss was, or worse yet, they lied to us. (Oops-a-daisy. Correction. In Obamaspeak, we were told the "least untruthful statement.") Our government directed its swift-ly boat changing denials to what one can only surmise is their perception of who we are: a nation of sheep – heads down, grazing away, gullible, ignorant, and undeserving of truth. "

A better approach:

What happened here? Apparently, the State Department had no idea where the boss was.  Was he on the boat? Was he in Nantucket?  Was he in Washington?  I'm guessing the minions wanted to defend their patrician boss, so they made something up.  They lied.  In Obamaspeak, they said the least untruthful thing.  They made up swiftly changing stories -- about the Vietnam veteran and his boat.  After all, they consider us a nation of sheep, we must graze on what they feed us. This way, we may be fleeced to fund their bureaucracies.

That's more satisfying, isn't it?

She could be president, but never will be until she disciplines her pen and writes, thinks and speaks directly: makes concise and compelling arguments with less circumlocution and more elucidation.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Self-Evident Truths and Great Quotes: Abraham Lincoln

"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

"Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

-- Abraham Lincoln

Liberalism's Greatest Enemy: Self-Evident Truth

Since neo-liberalsim (as opposed to classical Liberalism, i.e., the freedom of the mind and of the individual) has no foundational beliefs and instead relies on situational ethics and moral equivalence, there really is no there there.  And, because the left controls the media and thus the national narrative, self-evident truths are hardly ever spoken in polite company, read: salons and chat rooms.  So, I thought I would assemble the greatest, most iconoclastic truths ever formulated by the civilized mind:

“Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." -- Thomas Jefferson

“Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own." -- Milton Friedman

Mayor Bloomberg, take note: "The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets." --  Eric Hoffer

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." 

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Feel free to add your favorites in comments below.  

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Carter Ham Knows What Happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012

On September 11, 2012 our Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three others were killed when our outposts in Benghazi were overrun.  Although there are several Benghazi scandals, (i.e., what happened before and after?), Charles Krauthammer rightly suggested the real scandal is ”What was the president doing in those eight hours?" meaning the eight hours on the evening of September 11, 1012, when the president was presumably at the White House, yet nothing of his activities are known.  Was he playing Xbox or watching The New Normal?  No one knows.

He wasn't sending help, that's for sure. Writing on Breitbart's BigPeace.com website, Colonel David Hunt reminds us that "the President of the United States is the only human being on the planet that can order... [any element of our armed forces] into another country and perform an aggressive action."  This lays the blame for America's lack of response squarely at Mr. Obama's feet.

General Carter Ham

But those orders would have been processed through the theater commanders in charge at the time, specifically, Carter Ham.  General Ham was in command of the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM during the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, enforcing the coalition's no-fly zone in Libya. Coincidentally, General Ham was replaced on October 18, 2012, just over a month after Benghazi, though he was not scheduled to rotate out until March 2013. The rumor mill suggests that Ham tried to respond to cries for help from Benghazi, but was stymied by Washington, by being relieved, temporarily, by his second-in-command, but it is just a rumor.

If he were following protocol, he would have mobilized forces and put them on a hair trigger, ready to deploy, as he awaited a green light from the Commander-in-Chief.  If the rumor is true, it might not reflect well on the General.

One thing is true however, if the House Oversight and Reform Committee were to speak with him and if he said the president told him to stand down, the wrath of the Obama White House would rain down upon him.  That would be enough to give the Devil suicidal thoughts. But, at least then we'd know what happened.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Case Closed: CBS News Interviews ONE Cincinnati IRS Employee

In order to buttress the Administrations claims that there's nothing political at the IRS, CBS Evening News located a sole, retired IRS employee who happened to back up the government narrative. After teasing a "major interview" with a Cincinnati IRS employee for their evening broadcast, Dean Reynolds interviewed recently retired  24-year IRS employee, Bonnie Esrig who "did not work on political cases and was not connected to the applications at the center of the controversy."  It also means that she isn't a target for a subpoena.

Ms. Esrig said she "did not recall any discussion of politics" during her 24 years at the IRS.  She blamed the targeting of conservative groups on "confusion" as IRS agents sought to "differentiate between so-called social welfare groups that deserved exemptions and political advocacy groups that did not."  She said that 200 people were assigned to review 73,000 applications and they were "swamped."

Mr. Reynolds' penetrating line of questions did not include any of the following:
  • Ms. Esrig, are you a Republican or a Democrat?
  • Have you ever made a political contribution and if so, to what party(s), when and for how much?
  • How were you chosen to speak out on behalf of the IRS?
  • You said that 200 people going through 73,000 applications is being swamped, what is the normal workload in that division, any division?
  • Where do you work now, do you consult for the IRS?
  • Are you a member of NTEU, do you know Colleen Kelley or anyone who works with her directly?
So, I think it's clear through the self-selected, statistical sampling of ONE agent -- of unidentified political persuasion, who had no first hand knowledge of the process -- out of thousands of IRS agents assigned who worked in the Cincinnati office, that there's obviously no there there.  Good one CBS, way to suck up to the State.

UPDATED: 5/21/13 to add more snark.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

President Blue State Flies to a Red State

President Obama is slated to fly to Texas Wednesday to attend a memorial in West, TX for the victims of the plant explosion there. On Thursday, he will attend the dedication of George W. Bush's Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. 

This will mark the President's third trip to a so-called "red state" since being re-elected. In contrast, he has made 18 trips to states that voted for him in the last election, what we are calling "blue states." 

To be fair, several of these blue states qualify as purple, such as Virginia and Florida, nevertheless Mr. Obama won both in the 2012 and 2008  elections. 

 In total, more than 83% of his domestic travel has been to solid blue states, such as NY, CO, CT and CA. Prior to this week, his only two visits to red states have been to Georgia and North Carolina, the later which voted for him in 2008.  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gingrich Takes Apart Obama's Algae Economy

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