Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Good Though Tardy Start

Another member of Congress today (Tuesday, 7/29/08) was indicted on a variety of corruption charges.

Hooray!

Only about 500 to 532 more to go to clean out the sty.

It might be more efficient to throw some barbed wire around Capitol Hill and turn the big clown house atop it into a hoosegow. We then could have Diogenes search through the inmates for any worthy of release.

A Gem of Truth From a Great and Wise Lady

"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money"

. . . Margaret Thatcher

Trashing the Constitution and Plundering Taxpayers

The recently enacted Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout legislation violates the Constitution in a new and dangerous way. It authorizes the Treasury to advance unlimited funds to the two busted corporate gamblers. Some knowledgeable observers estimate the ultimately cost to taxpayers could well be as much as $1 trillion . . . yes, that's right, a trillion dollars.

In passing the measure the Congress ignored, and in signing it the President will ignore the Constitutional provision that “no money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

In the past, Congress has recognized and obeyed this constitutional principle -- military appropriations even in wartime always specified how much was to be spent for what purposes.

But then the armed forces never lavished millions of dollars on political contributions and lobbying as Fannie and Freddie have. I guess Congress, which not long ago rejected proposals to curb lobbying by the entities we are subsidizing, appreciates their generous largesses and was just returning the favor by issuing our blank checks to them.

Isn't it nice to know that they will be able to draw on our tax dollars to continue these activities as they continue rolling the dice at the high stakes mortgage casino at our expense without restriction?

Evil Among Us

See:

http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/07/evil-among-us.html

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Here's a Hoot

http://www.imao.us/archives/010250.html

Response to Cogent Question From Someone's Crazy Uncle

Kerr has received the following communication:

Someone's Crazy Uncle has left a new comment on your post "All Our Troubles Soon (and Best) Forgotten":

"And how do we educate the ignorant masses that repeatedly elect these traitorous criminals?"

Unfortunately, I do not believe we can. Codgers like me are battling to slow the decline to extinction of what remains of the republic that the founding fathers established and sought, with and by the Constitution, to protect against mob rule. They recognized unbridled democracy as a tyranny of the majority and thus a danger to freedom.

Many varied factors undermined the Constitution's protective barriers against the pandering that is the hallmark of any democracy and particularly one in which the mob is uneducated and unsophisticated, economically naive and ignorant, and addicted to unearned ease and instant gratification of any and all desires. First and foremost among the eroding factors was the apparently laudatory expansion of the right to vote, which now is virtually universal in the U.S. Even convicted felons are now close to being given the right to vote. Can hardly wait to see politicians courting the ex-cons' lobbyists and political action committees.

It is true that the right to vote initially was unduly restrictive in that it did not extend to women and blacks. However, the important thing about the initial restriction of suffrage to landowners is that landowners were the taxpayers at the time. Thus when the taxpayers voted for any program along with the attendant spending and taxes, their votes reflected a decision that the measure was worthy of the expenditure of their own funds.

Pandering became the path to success for politicians once the ballot was available to those consuming rather than providing public funds. The ambitious office seeker became able to promise benefits for a majority of his or her constituents at the expense of "the rich" or some other minority -- benefits on a grand scale for the many at the expense of the few. We now are reaping the inevitable results of this shell game.

Another protective barrier fell when U.S. senators became subject to election by the general voting public. Few today even remember that senators initially were selected by state legislatures. This was to insulate semators from transitory political passions. With the change to popular election of its members the U.S. Senate was transformed from what was widely considered to be the greatest deliberative body in the world to our current house of irresponsible gasbags.

I do not believe the process that has brought us to this pass can be reversed. My conclusion is based on our continued tolerance and constant election to offices at every level of politicians most eager to heap on their constituencies new and bigger benefits that their constituents are unwilling to payand/or cannot afford. They do this by deferring the attendant costs, which, as a practical matter, cannot be foisted onto "the rich," who truly have become a depleted resource. The result is an ever increasing mountain of debt to be passed on to and borne by future generations. We and our "leaders" will have left the stage before the bills for the largesses we have demanded and received from our governments are presented to those who currently have no vote or anything to say on the matter. A society willing to do this lacks the capacity -- the virtues, will, and energy -- necessary for a successful effort to save itself . . . and one is compelled to question whether such a society deserves to be saved or is worth saving.

Note the "Virtue" Obama Is Peddling

Americans would do well to note and think seriously about what Barack Obama has in mind for us if he ascends to the presidency. Remember:

1. He has said we cannot continue to drive SUVs or maintain the temperature of our homes at 72 degrees.

2. He wants to reduce our standard of living by diluting it to share our prosperity with the rest of world and to eliminate poverty worldwide -- something we haven't been able to do even in our own country despite enormous and prodigiously costly (and wasteful) efforts to do so.

3. Most recently, he in Europe called for "shared sacrifices" to further such efforts.

Before succumbing to the Obama blandishments, it behooves us to note the relationship of what he is promoting to an observation of Winston Churchill, a somewhat older, more experienced, and wiser man, who said:

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All Our Troubles Soon (and Best) Forgotten

Our elected representatives are frantically searching for scapegoats to blame -- and thus divert public attention from the government's responsibility -- for the two major factors that are dragging down the U.S. economy:

1. The soaring costs of energy. It is due to the failure of our government to adopt and implement a rational national energy policy. This failure also raises the cost of all of our domestic goods and services and thus imposes major burdens on every American household. Congress ignores the resulting hardships, the national security aspect of the problem and the fact that it makes us dependent on hostile powers. It responds by enacting measures that are merely symbolic or that tinker at the edges of the problem with measures such as the ethanol program that exacerbate the situation. So the self righteous politicians want us to blame "big oil" companies and/or "speculators."

2. The mortgage meltdown. It is the inevitable result of the government having pressured the nation's financial institutions for decades to make mortgage loans that the institutions never would have made on their own. The policy resulted in loans to borrowers who were not credit worthy and loans "secured" by mortgages on properties worth less than the amounts borrowed. This in turn led to building an excess supply of housing as well as the artificial inflation of housing prices to bubble levels. Local governments contributed to the escalation of housing costs by restricting and increasing the costs of construction within their jurisdictions. The targeted scapegoats here are "predatory lenders" and "greedy bankers" who took advantage of the situation to profit by doing exactly what pandering public officials pushed them to do.

What all this shows is that no situation is so bad that it cannot be made worse by the ignoramuses who comprise our legislative bodies. These dim bulbs do have one talent -- they know how and to whom to pander to get elected and reelected to power and positions at the public trough.

An Old Ad But Still A Good One

video

Congress Issues Blank Check (With No limit on Taxpayer Exposure) to Big Time Deadbeat Corporate Gamblers

Thanks to the unending reckless generosity of our Congress and President with taxpayer money, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac again are free to continue to gamble in the high roller mortgage casino that brought them to the brink of collapse.

The beneficiaries of this latest extension of socialism for the rich financed by ordinary citizens left to struggle in the cold of what remains of the free enterprise system after their repeated plunderings by our rulers.

Fannie and Freddie were on the brink of collapse until President Bush said he would not veto their bailout and Congress responded by promptly enacting the lifeline legislation for them. Until shortly before the bailout was voted into law there was disagreement within the Congress on how much should be allocated to prop up the two high rolling losers. Various figures ranging from $20 billion to $100 billion of taxpayer money were being tossed about. But the potential for a road blocking disagreement was removed by the genius of the Congress for compromise -- they granted the corporate deadbeats an unlimited line of taxpayer funded credit -- that's right, a whole book of blank checks.

In 2006, the last year for which the information is available, the total compensation of Freddie Mac's chief executive officer was a bit more than $14.7 million while that of his counterpart at Fannie Mae was a bit more than $11.6 million. Not bad for having led their companies into placing the bets that essentially broke them.

Keep spinning the wheel and let the games continue!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Questions Raised by Phony Argument

The next time you hear one of the pathetic panderers who comprise what currently poses as our congress argue that it would take ten years for any new oil to reach the market were they to drop the restrictions they have imposed on offshore and domestic drilling, ask:

1. Were this argument true wouldn't it mean that we ought to get going as soon and as quickly as posssible?

and

2. Doesn't this mean that we now would be seeing the benefits of domestic production if we had started drilling ten years ago, and, by the way, where were you and your Democrat cohorts back then and even earlier when Clinton vetoed a proposal that congress had passed to authorize the development of our offshore and ANWR oil deposits?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Something to See

Go to:

http://gunslingersjournal.blogspot.com/

and scroll down to, and play:

Joe American for President

There's a lot of other good material to take a look at while you're at the site. It's run by a very smart lady . . . though, as you might surmise from the name of her blog, one with whom it would be unwise to get into any kind of pistol shooting contest.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Says?

Most (and perhaps even all) of our states assert in their driving manuals that driving is not a right but a privilege, indicating that the state is free to grant or withhold as it chooses -- or rather as its bureaucrats choose.

Many people accept this without thinking about it. Nonetheless, saying this doesn't make it true.

For example, individuals who live on farms or other large pieces of private property routinely operate motor vehicles on that land even though they are too young to obtain the license that states issue to indicate granting of the 'privilege.' Numerous off road vehicles regularly are operated on public lands by unlicensed individuals. And the state, prudently, does not interfere with any of these exercises of individuals' driving rights.

Accordingly, the most that the state assertions might possibly really mean is that the state can determine who nay drive on state roadways. Were the roads privately owned would not the owner rather than the government have the right to determine who could use them?

But is even that limited application of the claimed governmental power correct? What about use of commonly owned roadways by horseback riders prior to the automotive age? No governmental agency would have dared trying to grant or withhold riding rights so long as the rider did not endanger others.

As a practical matter the same thing is true today despite governmental assertions to the contrary. Drivers who do not draw attention to themselves by endangering others will not be interfered with by government agents irrespective of whether the the prudent individuals have licenses. If drivers transgress, the lack of a license will be just another (and relatively minor) basis for sanctions against them.

The important thing to note about this is that no claim of governmental authority is true either theoretically or practically merely because the government makes the claim. As the rebelious young stridently but properly demanded in the sixties: QUESTION AUTHORITY.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Drilling Isn't Stand Alone Long Term Panacea: It's Just the Way Out of Our Economy Killing Mess to an Alternate Energy Future

Lest there be any misunderstanding, K.R.'s advocacy of expeditiously removing all of the multiple government road blocks to fast tracking exporation for, and development and refining of domestic sources of oil, doing so is not by itself a long term solution to our energy problems.

Notwithstanding the nay saying morons in Congress, we do need to expand, modernize, and add to our oil refineries, and at the same time tap our offshore and ANWR sources of oil.

That alone will have immediate salutary effects. It would signal that we are shedding our "gouge me" signs by sending a message that America is moving to reduce in the foreseeable future, and perhaps to eliminate at some future date its dependence on foreign oil suppliers. The end of our funding of those who wish us ill and seek to do us harm would be in sight.

The connection in time of two events does not prove that the first to occur caused the second one. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the mostly symbolic reversal of the executive ban on offshore oil drilling was followed within days by a $15 drop in the price of a barrel of oil. The executive action was largely meaningless without similar action by Congress. One can only fantasize about having a Congress made up of members capable of thinking about this.

Instead, we have doltish dim bulbs who mindlessly repeat that if their drilling restrictions were lifted it would be seven years -- down incidentally from earlier ten year claims -- before any oil from new domestic sources reached the market. This of course ignores that more than half of this time would be devoted to meeting governmental and permitting requirements, many of which could be streamlined and fast tract along with the exploration and production processes.

Despite the foregoing and the vast supplies potentially available from our western shale and sand deposits, oil is a finite and limited resource. We at some point are going to run out and require other sources of energy.

Unlike the vacuous mental midgets who rattle around in the big
clown house atop the D.C.'s Capitol Hill, I do not claim the ability to foresee what the future holds. In fact I wish I was as sure about anything as the clown house lackwits are about virtually everything.

My best current guess -- and it only a guess even though I am far more familiar with energy resources and technology than our elected reprehensibles -- is that our portable power needs eventually will be met by hydrogen fuel cell powered engines and that our stationary energy needs will be filled by a multitude of sources among which there will be many nuclear powered generating plants. We know how to build these plants and we ought to get going with them right now.

Another very good idea we ought to be pursuing right now is the development and production of motor vehicles powered by engines capable of operating with a wide variety of different fuels.

The sum total of all of the foregoing is that the things we need to do now -- developing our domestic sources of oil, increasing our refining capacity, multi-fuel vehicles, building many more nuclear power plants -- probably are merely interim measures. They are necessary to get us to future sources of energy without our in the meantime remaining in thrall to largely hostile foreign powers and their demands for tribute in the form of exorbitant oil prices and without destroying our economy by continuing indefinitely our current need to accede to those demands.

It also behooves us to recognize that our population includes a good many environmental Luddites and other individuals who for various ideological reasons desire to see our country and its economy reduced to some third world level at which citizens can more easily be homogenized, disciplined, and trained to function as dependent, obedient and servile drones. These individuals are easily recognized by their opposition to all currently available sources of energy and support only for those that do not now actually exist.

A Troubling Gun Rights 'Victory' and the Necessary Battles Ahead

Although the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Heller case, struck down the Washington, D.C., gun ban and ruled that the second amendment protects individual gun rights, the decision provides little support for the right to keep and bear arms and scant comfort those who cherish individual liberty and freedom.

Many aspects of the decision are very troublesome and suggest that those who believe in and support the Constitution will have to continue to assert and fight for their values very vigorously in many hard contests in multiple venues in the coming decades.

To begin with, the view that the second amendment guarantees an individual rather than a collective or state right prevailed by only a single vote. A five to four margin provides scant comfort.

Even more disturbing was the fact that instead of principled dissents -- for which there was substantial room -- the dissenting judges in their opinions resorted to arguments that were blatantly dishonest. They ignored the words of the amendment itself, they ignored its history, they mischaracterized and distorted the precedents they cited and ignored those they didn't favor, and, worst of all, they falsified facts to support their position. In short, they despicably displayed disdain for the Constitution, for their duty to interpret it, and their function as judges in a transparent effort to reach a predetermined ideological outcome.

Almost as disturbing was a good bit of the dicta contained in the majority opinion. Much of what is contained in the decision may reflect only the judges lack of familiarity with firearms. However, if taken at face value their pronouncements would permit state and local governments to emasculate the rights the decision purported to uphold. The things that the court suggested might constitute "reasonable" and therefore presumably valid regulations would prohibit citizens from owning and carrying most common modern firearms.

If this assertion seems far fetched, take a look at the gun regulations that the District of Columbia has enacted in response to the Supreme Court decision and is using to turn down Mr. Heller's application to own an ordinary semiautomatic pistol.

Consider also the "to . . . bear" portion of "keep and bear arms." Unless one is prepared to completely ignore the words "to . . .bear" can only mean to carry. Many, and perhaps even most jurisdictions prohibit citizens from openly carrying firearms. At the same time many of them leave the issuance of permits necessary to lawfully carry a concealed weapon to the discretion of some public official.

If one has a constitutional right to bear arms, either the open carry prohibitions or the discretionary aspect of concealed carry permits has to be struck down as unconstitutional. Otherwise the right is nonexistent in the real world.

As evidenced by the new regulations enacted in the District of Columbia, gun control forces have been energized by, and are taking aggressive action in response to the Heller decision. Second amendment supporters are breathing an unwarranted sigh of relief and, exhausted, are inclined to let down, to rest on their laurels and take a breather they cannot afford.

Gun owners and supporters of individual rights and liberties would be well advised to keep their powder dry and stored in adequate amounts -- they are going to face many tough struggles in the coming decades, and the period is going to bring a bonanza for firearms litigation attorneys. Both had best be prepared for what lies ahead.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

9-1-1 Is Just Dial-a-Prayer -- Face It, We're On Our Own

Two of the human scum with whom we share the planet rape a woman and an 11-year-old girl, and murder them and another girl in the course of a home invasion robbery in Connecticut.

This took place a year ago inside a police perimeter around the home. Law enforcement authorities are refusing to provide details about the incident, their conduct, or the 9-1-1 call that brought them to the scene. They took no action to prevent the travesty while it was taking place inside the home and seek to justify their inaction by maintaining that they followed applicable protocols and procedures. Although continuing to claim "to protect and to serve," law enforcement obviously has not reconsidered those protocols and procedures since they proved at Columbine High School in Colorado to be mindlessly wrong-headed and useless while a massacre was taking place inside police lines.

Additional details of the gruesome Connecticut tragedy are available in a newspaper account that can be viewed at:


http://www.courant.com/community/news/mr/hc-petit0702.artjul02,0,590086.story

Several important facts and lessons are clear from this incident and the many similar ones that preceded it:

First, none of the eminent and honorable poohbahs who enabled the animals to commit their multiple crimes will be held responsible for, or even compelled to account for their actions -- not the judges or the parole board members who loosed the monsters on their victims and certainly not the authorities who formulated and maintained the protocols and procedures that precluded any effort by the police to interrupt the atrocities while they were in progress.

Second, all of these protected officials can be armed or have armed guards for their protection but they are unalterably opposed to ordinary citizens taking any actions to protect themselves or having the means to do so. They want people to be dependent on government even though that dependency makes them easy prey.

Third, ordinary citizens are on their own. Working police officers -- though not those at the political command level -- refer to 9-1-1 as "dial-a-prayer," recognizing their inability to respond in a timely and effective manner to prevent a crime while it is occurring.

Fourth, finally, and most importantly, prudent individuals -- irrespective of the wishes of those in positions of authority and the rules enacted by them for others -- will arm themselves with the mindset, skills, and tools necessary to defend themselves and their loved ones. They will keep all of these current, on hand, and readily usable and accessible by them at all times -- on their persons in their vehicles, and at strategic locations in their workplaces and homes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Judicial Atrocities: Judges Go Unsanctioned and Victims Left Uncompensated

Some commentators -- particularly members of the legal establishment -- think K.R.'s comments about the judiciary are over the top. They, and anybody else who believes that the lack of accountability of judges is a good thing would do well to consider the following:

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld absolute immnity for judges performing judicial acts, even when those acts violate clearly established judicial procedures. In Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 98 S. Ct. 1099, 55 L. Ed. 2d 331 (1978), the Court held that an Indiana state judge, who ordered the sterilization of a female minor without observing due process,
could not be sued for damages.

In 1971 Judge Harold D. Sparkman, of the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, Indiana, acted on a petition filed by Ora McFarlin, the mother of fifteen-year-old Linda Spitler. McFarlin sought to have her daughter sterilized on the ground she was a "somewhat retarded" minor who had been staying out overnight with older men.

Judge Sparkman approved and signed the petition, but the petition had not been filed with the court clerk and the judge had not opened a formal case file. The judge failed to appoint anyone to represent Spitler or her interests or to look out for or protect her rights, and he did not hold a hearing on the matter before authorizing a tubal ligation. Spitler, who did not know what the operation was for, discovered she had been sterilized only after she was married. Spitler, whose married name was Stump, then sued Sparkman.

The Supreme Court ruled that Sparkman was absolutely immune because what he did was "a function normally performed by a judge," and he performed the act in his "judicial capacity." Although he may have violated state laws and procedures, he performed judicial functions that have historically been absolutely immune to civil lawsuits.

A dissenting opinion argued that Sparkman's actions were not absolutely immune simply because he sat in a courtroom, wore a robe, and signed an unlawful order. The minority opinion maintained that the conduct of a judge "surely does not become a judicial act merely on his say so. A judge is not free, like a loose cannon, to inflict indiscriminate damage whenever he announces that he is acting in his judicial capacity." That, of course, is exactly what the majority ensured he and his fellow jurists would be able to continue to do.

In another case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the facts of any given case are irrelevant because judges could be reached for even malicious acts, only through impeachment, or removal from office.

That almost never happens and even in the rare instances in which it does occur, it does so only long after the fact, and the victims of tyrannical judicial atrocities are left without any offsetting compensation or any remedy whatsoever for their sufferings.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Free Pass for Judges - Self Bestowed and Undeserved

K.R. has received a communication taking issue with his advocacy of sanctioning judges and parole board members who free violent predators to commit further atrocities. The dissenter -- a lawyer with a big firm and very much part of the elite legal establishment -- argues that it is important to society to have these officials make decisions without fear of punishment or personal liability for judgments that later prove to be faulty.

The argument would have merit were it not for the fact that the judges who get a free pass have made surgeons and other doctors, police officers, and even soldiers in combat subject to legal consequences for their mistakes. Isn't it at least equally important to society to have these people as free as judges to act in accordance with their best judgments?

Furthermore, medical professionals, cops, and GIs in battle often have to make instant decisions based on limited perceptions and incomplete information in highly dynamic and very tense situations. Judges have the luxury of being able to gather, and carefully weigh and consider whatever facts they deem relevant before reaching a decision.

Who then is more deserving of a free pass for the decisions they make?

Also, keep in mind that K.R. merely would require erring officials to explain decisions that later lead to horrendous consequences, and subject them to sanctions only if they are unwilling or unable to provide reasonable rationales for their actions.

The exemption from accountability exists for only one reason -- judges have bestowed it upon themselves and zealously guard it and one another. It will continue unchanged unless and until an aroused citizenry demand that their elected lawmakers enact legislation ending it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Punishment Net Too Narrow

Another repeat child molester appears to have murdered the most recent of his multiple victims, a very young girl, in Vermont, and people there are talking about the death penalty for the offender this time.

Fine.

But what about the judges and parole/probation authorities who let the monster out to commit the crime and repeatedly loose such predators on the public?

If we are serious about stopping such atrocities we can do so by requiring these officials to publicly explain their actions, and imposing financial or other sanctions on them if they are unwilling or unable to provide rational justifications for their decisions.

Insofar as K.R. is concerned, they should face the same punishments as the perpetrators they allow to go free, but that's probably a smidgen too harsh. Nevertheless, some meaningful accountability with teeth is necessary for those who exercise significant power without ever being held to account for how they exercise their authority.

Misleading Honorifics and An Alternative

Our politicians who are successful in winning places at the public trough prescribe that they be referred to in respectful ways that mask their true natures and conduct that in almost all cases are unscrupulous, scheming, grasping, craven, and crooked.

Thus judges require that they be addressed respectfully -- without regard to whether their conduct deserves respect -- as "your honor." Letters to them and to almost all elected officials, from U.S. senators to local city council members, are supposed to be addressed, for example, to "The Honorable John Dumbshit." Why? Because they say so, and because they can enact and have enacted legislation saying so. No other reason.

Mark Twain had it right when he noted the absence of any native American criminal class except for members of congress. He was preceded by many centuries by the unknown author of the ancient Chinese truism stating that "the individual who seeks power should not be entrusted with it."

Instead of filling our public offices by choosing between candidates seeking power, we would be better served by, at random or on the basis of private accomplishments, drafting citizens to fill each an every necessary public office, with each draftee to serve for a limited period of time and then return to his private pursuits. We could go to any large shopping mall and round up 535 people who would comprise a better congress than the one we've got.

55 MPH Speed Limit: Wretched Idea Returning

Some of our 'liberal' senators are proposing that we go back to a national 55 m.p.h. speed limit -- supposedly to reduce gasoline consumption, which is in short supply as a result of their past and continuing unwillingness to permit the tapping of our domestic oil deposits.

The idea was a bad one the first time around and it is a worse one today.

Modern automobiles are as efficient at 70 and 75 m.p.h. as they are at 55.

Furthermore, in the western part of the country where major population centers are far apart, the lower speed limit would create real hardships and actually increase energy consumption. For example, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, I regularly drive to and from such places as Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, Washington, and between Salt Lake City and Denver. With a 70 m.p.h. speed limit, each of these is a trip I make in a single day, making only rest room/refueling stops, and en route, while driving, eat sandwiches and drink water brought from home. At 55 m.p.h. each of these trips would require an overnight motel stay and restaurant meals, entailing the use of energy for heat or air conditioning, lighting, television, cooking, etc. -- in other words a net increase in energy consumption.

However, reducing energy consumption is not the underlying reason for the proposal. Instead it is about asserting and expanding governmental authority and control over people, -- training us, getting us used to accepting and submitting to Big Brother dictating ever more aspects of our day-to-day lives.

Last time around the crawl along as prescribed legislation was widely ignored. A fair number of western states tacitly condoned flouting of the speed limit that the federal government bribed them to enact -- they enacted the prescribed speed limit but ignoring it was charged as "wasting fuel" or something like that, not a moving violation, not noted on a violator's driving record and not reported to a violator's insurance company or the home state of an out-of state violator. Only nominal fines were imposed -- a random form of taxation that was not burdensome yet provided a nice little revenue stream for rural jurisdictions.

The time around the proposal is for a federal statute with federal enforcement standards. Its enactment should be vigorously opposed and if enacted, it should be flouted. More about how that can be done and done effectively will be posted if, when, and as it becomes necessary.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Video Clip for the Fourth of July

Although not new and based on what we used to call Armistice Day (now Veterans Day, I believe), I find this compelling. It strikes me as being equally and highly appropriate for Independence Day, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it:

video

Apparently Necessary Supplementary Explanation of Preceding Patriotism Post

The humor is in the stunning cheekiness, the incredible arrogance Obama displays by seeking to equate his claim to be patriotic with the patriotism of McCain. One of them has given much and suffered a great deal for the country while the other always has been given and taken full advantage of a free pass.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Real Hoot from Obama as He Tries Stand Up Comedy

Hope everyone is getting as big a chuckle as I am from Barack Obama promising not to question John McCain's patriotism.

The Corruptibles, Our Wallets, and Paying for the Mortgage Mess

In case you haven't noticed, Congress is trying to bail out the country's big banks to spare them from any consequences for having made major contributions to the subprime mortgage meltdown that continues to drag our economy down.

The scheme making its ways through the national clownhouse atop Capitol Hill is being touted as one to help the folks who took out and can't repay mortgage loans. It really provides for the government to use our tax dollars to buy portfolio mortgage loans from the financial institutions.

There are only two things anyone has to know to understand what is going on in this latest plundering of the public to further implement socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest of us.

The first is that a confidential Bank of America memo has come to light revealing that the banks are planning to unload onto the government the loans in their portfolios that they know or believe never will be repaid -- their bad loans. Thus the taxpayers rather than the banks that made the bad loans will sustain the looming multi billion dollar loss while the banks and their executives go unscathed on their merry way.

The second thing to know is that the bank bailout program was hatched and is being promoted by Senator Chris Dodd -- known previously for having partnered with Ted Kennedy in their jolly alcohol lubricated sandwich-the-waitress festivities -- who received a VIP loan from Countrywide, the country's biggest mortgage lender. Countrywide would be a major beneficiary of the Dodd bailout proposal. Dodd admits having called Countrywide's CEO to obtain his loan but claims he didn't know that his loan had terms significantly more favorable than were available to other borrowers. Yeah . . . sure. How unconscious and naïve can the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee be, and how stupid and gullible does he think everybody else is? Other known beneficiaries of VIP loans were Senator Kent Conrad and Senator (and presidential candidate) Barack Obama.

How many more and who else? We're unlikely to find out as the senate rejected a proposal by Senator Jim DeMint to compel all members of the sty to disclose before voting on the bailout plan whether they have received similar favors. Only 11 senators voted for, and 79 voted against the mandatory disclosure proposal.

Canards, Evasions, and Lies About Energy and Energy Prices

No. 1. "We can't drill our way out of the energy crisis."

The Facts:


Of course we can. This is an outright falsehood constantly mouthed by politicians in thrall to the environmental Luddites who want to reverse our country's progress and have us all live where we can be more easily regulated -- in high rise beehives over public transit stations in inner cities.

Developing out own domestic sources of oil will increase the available supply and this will depress prices notwithstanding the assumption by those in Washington with delusions of adequacy that the law of supply and demand has been repealed.

And wouldn't it be nice to be able to stop sending so much of our money to the folks at OPEC who do not wish us well and routinely fund terrorists?


No. 2. "It would be ten years before oil from any new fields reaches consumers."

The Facts:


They never tell you how much of the ten-year period is caused by artificial governmental permitting requirements -- it's well more than half. Much of this could be streamlined or eliminated if our 'leaders' had any sense of urgency. They of course have no such sense since we taxpayers pay for whatever energy they consume.

In addition, any delay is an argument for getting started pronto. Had Clinton not vetoed energy development legislation that Congress enacted during his presidency we now would have oil flowing from our untapped domestic fields.

Finally, energy prices probably would fall immediately in response to a clear commitment to develop our own oil deposits as the end of the supply shortfall would appear on the horizon. Experts on the subject anticipate that a decision to begin domestic development would reduce gasoline prices to between $2 and $3 a gallon.


No. 3. "Speculators are responsible for high energy prices" and/or "Gouging by Big Oil (companies) is responsible for high energy prices."

The Facts:


Such statements are scapegoating efforts by members of Congress to deflect the blame they deserve for their irresponsible failure to enact any practical national energy policy and to support only sources of energy that do not actually exist in the real world today. It is an easy charge to make and to foist off on the significant portion of the public that is economically ignorant and too lazy and/or inept to do anything other than to remain so.

Our major oil companies collectively control only a tiny portion of the world's oil supplies -- far too little to be able to control gasoline or any other energy prices -- and they operate with profit margins far smaller than those of companies in other industries. Government receives substantially more in taxes than oil companies receive in profits from every gallon of gasoline we buy. The oil companies at least produce something for what they get. The government just takes because it can.

The role of those who buy and sell future contracts for oil -- whom the politicians disparage as 'speculators' -- fill an essential role in the market for all commodities, ensuring supplies and fulfillment (to the extent of available supplies) of demands at predictable prices. The market is a highly competitive global one and there are far too many participants in it to make its control by any participant or group of participants possible. This is explained in greater detail in an earlier posting that appears below and even in many current newspapers and magazines.

Just In Case

Click on Graphic to Enlarge It

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gender Specific Patriotic Duties

As you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim male to see any woman other than his wife naked. He must commit suicide if he does. So next Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.

Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort. Every patriotic man is to position himself in a lawn chair in front of his house to prove he is not a Muslim by demonstrating he believes it's okay to see nude women other than his wife, and to show support for all American women.

Since Islam also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-Muslim sentiment.

The American government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity.

It is your patriotic duty to pass this on.

God Bless America!

From John Adams (A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."