Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
James Madison, Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788
Litigation in the U.S. has at least four distinctive procedural features that drive up malpractice costs. The first is jury trials, which can veer out of control and in any case introduce significant uncertainty. The second is the contingency-fee system, which allows well-heeled lawyers to self-finance litigation. The third is the rule that makes each side bear its own costs. This induces riskier lawsuits than are undertaken in most other countries, such as Canada, England and most of Europe, where the loser pays the legal costs of the winner. The fourth is extensive pretrial discovery outside the direct supervision of judges, which occurs far more readily here than elsewhere.
Even these features aren't the whole story. American judges frequently let juries decide whether honest mistakes are negligent. Judges in other nations are less likely to do so. American courts commonly think it proper for juries to infer medical negligence from the mere occurrence of a serious injury. European judges usually will not
American plaintiffs are sometimes spared the heavy burden of identifying particular acts of negligence, or of showing the precise causal connection between a negligent act and an actual injury. Lastly, damage awards for lost income and medical expenses in the U.S. tend to dwarf awards made elsewhere -- in part because governments elsewhere provide this medical care from their nationalized systems. In sum, the medical malpractice system provides incentives for plaintiffs that really do matter. Americans, for example, file claims about 3.5 times more often than Canadians.
Why doesn't the country apply the same outrage en masse to the Bolsheviks in the Kremlin on the Potomac? The Madoff sentencing came three days after the House approved a multi-trillion dollar "Cap-and-Trade" bill that will add thousands per year to the energy costs of every American. Every product and service that requires energy will endure greater costs, so those businesses will be forced to raise their prices. A 1,200 page bill that no one read with an additional 300 pages dropped in at 3:00am the day of the vote. While reading this post you are committing a criminal act: breathing. As their leader Barry Vladimir Hussein Soetero Obama said of the bill, they are going after the polluters. Never mind that the air and water are much cleaner than 40 years ago and that American industry has done a lot to cut down on pollutants, Der Fuhrer is declaring war on polluters. You know, truck drivers, farmers, factories, etc. Now do you get why American factories often relocate overseas? Individual costs will soar and jobs will disappear.
It is time for the American sheeple to get over their collective case of recto-cranial inversion. Why would anyone be personally angry at Bernie Madoff unless they were one of the investors? Whether you want to or not, your are now on the hook for banks and car companies. You are responsible for over a trillion dollars worth of stimulus that is nothing but special-interest pork. Your personal energy costs will soar. Your ability to sell your house will be greatly compromised. These special interest puppets have driven more nails into the future of American industry and will send more jobs overseas. Soon, they will take your health care decisions away from you and your doctor and give them to a government oversight board. Bernie Madoff is a crook, Michael Jackson was weird, Kate Gosselin is an uber-witch and Mark Sanford is a hillbilly horndog, but none of them are going to raise your taxes or impact your standard of living. Huddled together in the U.S. Capitol are people who are working to sell you out for their temporary political and personal gain. Time to get a little angry out in Flyover Country.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Schmegal Waxman's objection was that the bill was being exposed to the light of day. Of course, by that time decisions had been made. A handful of liberal Republicans made the difference. A lot of Democrats voted against this disgrace and likely more would have had they not found a horse's head in their bed the night before. The fight is far from over with the Senate debate ahead and, if that passes, a conference bill which would again be a difficult fight. One interesting comment from a Blue Dog:
One Democrat was upset that his leaders would needlessly force vulnerable Dems to vote for a bill that will come back to haunt them. Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor (D) voted against the measure that he says will die in the Senate.
"A lot of people walked the plank on a bill that will never become law," Taylor told The Hill after the gavel came down.
Interesting. Very, very interesting.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Nasty Pelosi and her minions clearly do not give a flip about the well-being of the nation. They have embraced dubious "science" and the desires of eco-radicals and alternative energy entrepreneurs who just happen to be major Democrat contributors. It is certainly a safe feeling to invest in a venture when members of Congress are eager and willing to game the system to destroy the competition. Say hello to massive increases in gas and home energy prices if this bill becomes law. Estimates range from $2,000-$3,500 per family for the costs of this assault on the American taxpayer.
By the way, what happened to the fair, transparent and bipartisan Congress that Nasty Pelosi promised? At 3:00am this morning, Demoncats dumped over 300 pages into the bill. Bill author Henry Waxman had already admitted that he had not read the entire bill and that was before the Dems gave new meaning to the term "morning dump." Once again, Leftist special interests wrote a bill for their political concubines in Washington to dutifully pass.
The fight is just beginning. The Waxman-Markey Middle Finger to Middle America Bill still has to go through the Senate and conference. We have nationalized health care to fight and now is the time to seize control after Barry Vladimir Hussein Soetero Obama's stuttering and babbling performance as ABC's Sham-Wow guy in their Wednesday infomercial. There will be other issues of interest as the Left wants to use "crises" and perceived "crises" to advance a far Left agenda that Americans would never pass in the light of day.
Keep calling your Representatives on these issues. Call your Senators. Write the newspapers. Talk to your neighbors even if you think they vote Democrat. Most people I know who vote Democrat do so out of ignorance rather than some rabid devotion to destroying the America our forefathers spent centuries building. Arm yourself with facts. Arm your friends with knowledge. Let them know how this will impact their lives if signed into law. Then tell them to act!
A special note to Blacks, Hispanics, single women, union members, educators, homosexuals and others who slavishly endorse Democrats because of identity politics. This will cost you the same $2,000-$3,500 a year it will cost Republicans. This attack on liberty and freedom will impact you. Now might be a good time to think about how high taxes and loss of liberty actually helps your identity group. You might just find that the people you have championed are about to seriously damage the future of you and your children. When you were chanting "yes we can," did you realize the question being asked was "can we dramatically raise your taxes?" Stop chanting and start thinking.
The Left is truly the Flat Earth Society. This dangerous headlong venture into destroying the American economy is not based on science. It is based on the ramblings of environmental wackos and venture capitalists who have invested in Congress' willingness to jump off the deep end. "A carbon free world." Dennis Kucinich tells us everything we need to know about the utter insanity of the Democrats and the radical Left which have become indistinguishable.
Second, the more I have gone back and re-watched clips of ABC's production of "Invasion of the Government Body Snatchers" the worse the whole production appears. That is true of Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer's abandonment of journalistic principles and it is even more true of the suave-one's ability to answer the most innocuous questions with anything resembling a cogent response. Forget the ratings, which were abysmal. Obama came unglued. TOTUS couldn't save him. When a doctor asked if he would submit his own family to ObamaCare or would he seek the best options for them, he had to tell the truth (I think he even surprised himself by being honest). That should be the question we all ask of our Senators and Representatives: will you give up your current health care benefits and be part of Obama Care for the Dumb Masses?
One particular element of Dr. Barack Mengele's unholy experiment is the inevitable rationing of health care. In other words, at a certain age whether or not one receives care will be based on risk and investment. Is a 60 year-old with a difficult cancer treatment ahead worth the fiscal outlay? Will one receive surgery to relieve a painful affliction or will you be given a lifetime supply of pain killers? These will be decisions made by a Federal Health Board for everyone stuck in the government system.
This Newsbusters item examined Obama's answer to a question about rationing:
Obama said during the ABC Special on Wednesday night that a way to save healthcare costs is to abandon the sort of care that "evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve" the patient's health. He went on to say that he had personal familiarity with such a situation when his grandmother broke her hip after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Obama offered a question on the efficacy of further care for his grandmother saying, "and the question was, does she get hip replacement surgery, even though she was fragile enough they were not sure how long she would last?"
But who is it that will present the "evidence" that will "show" that further care is futile? Are we to believe that Obama expects individual doctors will make that decision in his bold new government controlled healthcare future? If he is trying to make that claim it is a flat out untruth and he knows it.
All of the government health care plans offered, including the one by self-appointed medical guru Tom Daschle, involve government establishing what procedures will be covered, in what manner they will be covered, and how much they will pay. Medicare is already suffering from this as the government increasingly refuses to pay for necessary care for Seniors. How does it make sense to spread that same misery to all Americans?
Single-payer, nationalized health care will be a disaster for all Americans. Right now, if you need treatment you will get treatment. There are avenues in and out of the insurance system. Nationalized health care will cut off those paths by making it illegal to provide treatment outside of a state-mandated program.
Our health care system has problems and there are solutions, but Democrats have fought every reform short of a government takeover. Obama has repeatedly stated that tort reform is off the table. Ridiculous financial judgments against hospitals and doctors have driven malpractice insurance costs through the roof and have also resulted in "defensive medicine" where over-testing is often done with CYA being the primary goal. Small businesses are not allowed to participate in insurance pools to gain access to less expensive premiums. This would allow a group of smaller firms to negotiate as a larger one would do with different insurance companies to find lower rates. Nope, Dems won't allow that. Many states have one-size-fits-all requirements that allow no flexibility in insurance plans. So, a 22 year-old has to be covered for Alzheimer's and a 62 year-old must carry protection for HIV-AIDS. Why not allow insurance companies flexibility to sell more diverse policies?
Ultimately, this is about liberty. The government, led by a smoker, wants to tell you whether or not you can smoke. The government will tell you what and how much you can drink. The government will tell you what and how much you can eat. The government will tell you how much you must exercise. An overreaction? Listen to what is said during these discussions. Obama has all but admitted these things will come to pass. When he read "1984" in high school, he didn't get that the novel was a warning about the horrors of totalitarianism. Young Barry thought "this just might work!"
Thursday, June 25, 2009
While much will be written about Jackson's talent and accomplishments, there is no escaping the strangeness that enveloped an incredibly talented man in a macabre web of inappropriate behaviors and bizarre responses to the world's querries. How did this incredible entertainer become a walking punchline? He sleeps with a monkey? He has little boys over for sleepovers? His home is an amusement park? He dangled his child over a balcony? What happened to his nose? Why does he wear a surgical mask? As great as his music may have been, it was the weird lifestyle that defined his last two decades.
Sadly, Michael Jackson was another victim of the celebrititis. He had no real childhood. He was an icon, not a person. His every move was covered since before he reached puberty. If Jackson seemed out of place in the real world, it was because it was not his native land. How can a person whose life is lived entirely within a fame-drenched bubble not lose perspective? Or maybe even lose their mind? There is little doubt that Michael Jackson suffered from psychological problems. Maybe he would have been that way even if he had not become an international mega-star. But, I doubt it.
A couple of years ago a widely reported poll reported that 81% of young people want to be rich and 51% want to be famous. Wealth and fame. These young people should remember the words of the philosopher Notorious B.I.G.: "mo money mo problems." Marilyn Monroe. Jim Morrison. Elvis Presley. John Belushi. Ann Nicole Smith. Some incredibly talented and some merely rich and famous, but all lived in the fish bowl. Would anyone be surprised to wake up to the news that Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan have tragically passed away? Would you trade a stable and productive "anonymous" life with their rocket ride to fame and slow descent into madness or fiery crash to sudden death?
Fame and money are fleeting. Yes, they provide a lot of opportunities and toys. But, is it worth the incredible cost? I wonder if Jon and Kate Gosselin would rather be an anonymous couple raising a large family in a small Pennsylvania town rather than "Jon and Kate Plus 8" on the cover of every tabloid in America?
Maybe all the inevitable tributes will focus our attention back on the talented artist. Hopefully, it will help us forget his last twenty years of erratic and unexplainable behavior.
If you live in the 9th District of Virginia, call Congressman Rick Boucher at 1-202-225-3861 and tell him to protect your interests. Boucher will tout his work with Henry Waxman to secure pork out of the deal for southwest Virginia coal producers, but that will not help keep the costs down for consumers. Call Congressman Boucher and remind him that he should represent his constituents and not the radical Left that seeks to wreck the American economy.
You can email Congressman Boucher here.
Chemical Plants and Chemicals
Paper, Plastics, and Rubber
Electrical Equipment and Appliances
Do any of those industries impact your life? They all do and the taxes and regulations on these industries will double the cost of energy alone for the average American. Is that a fair trade for holding down temperatures .04 degrees? "Save the planet" makes a spiffy bumper sticker, but the realities show a phony "crisis" and a very real and steep cost.
The one "questioner" whose appearance summarized the tone of the ABC propaganda project was AETNA CEO Ron Williams. Here is the description of Williams' appearance on the farce:
One of the biggest points of contention opponents of government’s involvement in health care has been the threat that it would crowd out private health insurance providers by creating market forces they couldn’t compete with – or what Aetna Insurance president Ron Williams called it as part of the town hall: “introducing a new competitor that has rulemaking ability, the government would have.”
While William’s was introduced as an audience questioner he actually faced a question from Sawyer, which wound up being a populist rant critical of his industry and emphasizing the president’s claim that insurance companies need to be “kept honest.”
“If I could, I’m going to bring in Ron Williams from Aetna, CEO of Aetna, and if I can reverse the order a little bit Mr. President, I’d like to ask a question of him and then let you comment on his answer,” Sawyer said. “Mr. Williams, Aetna, to take one, an insurance company. We hear people all over the country people see their premiums going up 119 percent in the last several years. They see the profits of the insurance companies, the billions and billions of dollars, even in a lean year. They see profits in the billions of dollars. Is the President right – that you need to be kept honest?”
ABC will trumpet having a major insurance company CEO on the Obama Show as "presenting both sides." Of course, Williams did not get to ask a question and was put on the defensive with a query built on a silly premise that HE had to answer and Barry Vladimir Hussein Soetero Obama was allowed to respond to his response. Hopefully, the dumb masses will see through this media charade. Whenever a salesman gives you the runaround and tries to steer the pitch toward certain talking points, most of us know he are about to be conned. Politicians do the same thing, except that they can use force to keep you in line after you buy their wares.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
In addition, Tertium Quids has posted that the DNC is NOW going to reimburse the state for Kaine's security detail while representing them and not the Old Dominion. Interestingly, Kaine was also involved with improper use of funds while on the Richmond City Council. You can count on Tim Kaine to eventually do the right thing after an investigation and public exposure.
While many of the teachers probably deserve removal, reading some of the brief descriptions of offenses in the AP article and others tell us there is more to the story. Many of the situations are the result of the cesspool that urban school districts have become. This particular episode caught my eye:
Judith Cohen, an art teacher who has been in a rubber room near Madison Square Garden for three years, said she passes the time by painting watercolors of her fellow detainees.
"The day just seemed to crawl by until I started painting," Cohen said, adding that others read, play dominoes or sleep. Cohen said she was charged with using abusive language when a girl cut her with scissors.
Full disclosure, if a kid cuts me with scissors I will likely use some abusive language if not physical abuse. How difficult can it be for an administrator to deal with such a situation? That problem should be handled completely in minutes not years. That is pretty much a no-brainer. Suspend (or expel) the kid and patch up the teacher.
Every issue that comes up in a public school classroom needs a full courtroom adjudication. Most are fairly simple. That is, if there is some level of institutional control in the schools. The bigger issue goes way beyond paid daycare centers for teachers. The real problem is that urban school districts spend ridiculous amounts of money with pathetic results. And no one cares except for the children and parents. However, the Democrat political machines control urban education and their constituents blindly keep putting the same incompetent fools in positions of power. Maybe the sheeple in cities should demand results from the Machine. And, maybe they could even think outside the box and allow some new ideas to crush the dead ideologies that are leaving their children without hope.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Maybe I expect too much. But, I would love to see President Soetero-Obama celebrate the bubbling of freedom among young Iranians. I think Obama (and most Democrats) sees the Iranian election aftermath as little more than the Bush-Gore election with more weapons. There is a huge difference. The Democrats who spent the ensuing eight years acting out their Bush Derangement Syndrome were consumed with hate that they were losing in the arena of ideas. An arena of ideas only exists in a free county. In Iran, people are demonstrating and dying to gain the liberty than we take for granted. The election in Iran was decided before the vote was held. The religious leaders have their stooge and the stooge was going to win.
Iranians know they live in a totalitarian regime and their ultimate goal is freedom. We should clearly and unequivocally support their desires. If Obama thinks he can advance American interests by selling out patriotic Iranians to pacify thuggish dictators, he is a fool. Moderate Muslims, who knew American was on their side during the Bush administration, will now question whether or not the United States supports liberty. The theocrats will learn that American is a paper tiger with a President who is more interested in world popularity than taking a stand for freedom.
Of course, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Obama isn't taking a strong stand for liberty. There is plenty of evidence that he doesn't believe in it himself. He is attempting to intimidate certain media forms while embracing others as mouthpieces of the party line. He hopes to take away the rights of workers to freely determine whether or not they want to unionize. He hopes to take away the ability of you and your doctor to make medical decisions. He plans to put certain energy platforms out of business in favor of other untested and unreliable sources. He plans to tell you what kind of car you can drive. He is convinced that America's problems are all the result of government lacking enough oversight over your life. Never mind. I've answered my own question. I guess we will have to depend on Nicholas Sarkozy and the French to represent the future of liberty in the world. God help us.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Edgycater's Liberty Summer Book of the Week: "Reclaiming The American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions..." by William Watkins
As a history teacher, it is interesting to read Conservative pundits and listen to talk radio hosts discuss history. One would get the impression that the U.S. Constitution was upheld fastidiously until the Great Society and the mainstreaming of the hippie generation. OK, to be fair, most will at least go back to Franklin "Mussolini Is On To Something" Roosevelt and his New Deal/Fascist regime. Occasionally, you will find some that trace the rise of the State to the Progressive movement of the early 20th century (although few will criticize Woodrow Wilson directly and NONE would dare besmirch Theodore Roosevelt--oops, except Mike Church). Prior to the 20th century, the Constitution was revered and upheld without fail. Right. And Al Gore invented the internet, Democrats were the party of civil rights, and Ted Kennedy had no idea how that girl ended up locked inside his Buick under water.
The truth is, the U.S. Constitution was under attack before the ink was dry. The history portrayed in modern textbooks has been watered down beyond any recognition of what really went on in 1787 and beyond. Alexander Hamilton, for example, was no Federalist. He was a Nationalist. Because he wrote editorials supporting the passage of the Constitution, people forget that he wanted the states to turn over even more power to the central government with no limits or protections of their interests. Over the next decade, Hamilton would play the lead role in the first round of assaults by nationalists on the founding document.
William J. Watkins examines this era and its impact in "Reclaiming The American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy." Watkins demonstrates how federalism was under attack from the country's inception, as were the inalienable rights described by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Bill of Rights. Political parties developed in the 1790s along the lines of constitutional interpretation. Federalists, ironically, rejected federalism and sought a nationalization of American governance. The Democratic-Republicans were not confederates, but the true federalists. They believed in limited government as the Constitution dictated. Hamilton and the Federalists immediately saw the "necessary and proper clause" in Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution as a trump card to justify any priority they sought to pursue. Later, the commerce clause and the 14th Amendment would be used in much the same way.
Textbooks tend to present the idea of nullification as a final effort of Southern slave owners to maintain their "peculiar institution." In fact, the theory was presented in 1798's Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Yes, that Jefferson and that Madison. What prompted these great Patriots to write about a state's authority to reject an action of the central government on constitutional grounds? The Federalist party had used its 1796 presidential victory and its control of Congress and the judiciary to intimidate and marginalize political opponents including the jailing of Republican newspaper editors. The most well known of these attacks came via the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 which prompted the Resolutions.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions provide a great reflection on the text of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Certainly, the words of Jefferson and Madison are much more consistent with the founding ideals than were the actions of the central government in its first decade of existence. Of course, those excesses seem quaint in light of today's welfare state. As Voltaire said, "no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." No one likes to talk about the early usurpations by the national government; they prefer to talk about the giant snowball after it rolled halfway down the mountain and began picking up speed.
Chief Justice John Marshall certainly understood the power of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions' arguments. After the Federalists lost the White House and the Congress in 1800, the Federalists moved quickly to create new federal judgeships to fill during their lame duck period. They would maintain one branch of government for many years. A few short years later, in Marbury v Madison, Marshall established for the Supreme Court what the Constitution did not: the final and unquestionable authority to determine constitutionality. The judicial review element of Marbury had nothing to do with William Marbury's lawsuit or any of Congress' Judiciary Acts. It was a frontal assault on the states' role in the federal system. There is little doubt in my mind that Marshall's famous (infamous?) opinion was aimed directly at the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.
History textbooks largely ignore this era of history, but it is vital to truly understanding how the principles of the Constitution were first violated. Watkins provides a concise history of the period and reminds us just how dynamic the Constitution can be when applied as originally intended. After reading this book, you will have a greater appreciation for the Constitution and the power it gives the states and the people.
The last time I saw her on television was after Laura Ingraham attacked her full-figure. If you've ever heard Ingraham she believes everyone should be able to swim inside a garden hose, but that is her prerogative. Still, it was mean-spirited and something she should avoid since she has also so often fought back (rightly so) against unfair and sexist attacks on Republican women by the Left. Laura should understand that a lot of the fellas are on the same page with Sir Mix-A-Lot. Issues should be focused on ideas, rather than rail-thin or pleasantly plump body types.
However, Meghan McCain's mind and rhetorical abilities are a completely different story. She is clueless. First, she is one of these squishy so-called Moderates who believe that the key to the Republicans' future is to behave more like Democrats. I know she loves her Dad, but he lost. His version of Conservatism lost. Second, she cannot make an argument. She sounds like a silly high school girl trying to make an argument in a general level government class. There is no substance, but a lot of "likes" and "you knows." Third, if she cannot articulate her own beliefs and analyses, what makes her think she can go into the belly of the beast and do anything but look like Kelly Bundy on "The McLaughlin Group?" Maher has a formula: three libs shout insults and draw asinine conclusions at the expense of a pseudo-Republican dunce or a tightly-wound humorless Conservative who wilts under the barrage of one-liners from comics posing as social commentarians.
I'm sure Meghan McCain is a sweet girl. She became a public figure defending her Dad from the unfair attacks of Saul Alinsky-devotee Barry Vladimir Hussein Soetero Obama and his public relations front formerly known as the Mainstream Media. However, she is clearly not knowledgeable and not quick. She sees herself as the bridge across the aisle. Isn't that what Obama claimed to be? That is, before he became President and told the Republicans to sit down and shut up because he won. The whole "bipartisanship" claptrap is nothing but Lucy Van Pelt with the football. Megan McCain wants to be the newest Charlie Brown.
My suggestion? Read. Study. Learn. If she believes big government is the future, then she should defect to the Democrats as her Dad has done half the time over the last decade. Remember how he made a big deal of his bipartisan efforts during the campaign? The Mainstream Media treated him real well, huh? His campaign should have been the final evidence that Conservatives need to use the Jimmy Malone ("The Untouchables") approach rather than the Barney the Dinosaur method. Democrats don't fight fair, so Conservatives must decide if they want to be pure or if they want to save the republic from the Leftist assault.
If she really wants to be taken seriously as a Conservative, then she needs to learn what the word means and develop her thoughts and ideas. Until you develop your skills, don't try to fight in the Leftist arena; they don't play fair and you will do more harm than good.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
OK, I'm done with Letterman. He has received more than enough negative press for his idiotic AND planned attacks on the Palin family. But, remember, at the end of the day he is simply a comic (or ex-comic). He is not the ultimate villain in this story.
Groups are pushing for boycotts of Letterman's show and his sponsors. In fact, Olive Garden has pulled ads from the show though they claim it was simply the end of their contract. We don't need another public witch hunt after an individual says something stupid. It was wrong with Don Imus and its wrong with David Letterman. Free speech should be treasured. And, if you are not willing to allow speech with which you disagree YOU do not believe in free speech.
The public ire for Lettermangate goes way beyond a simple-minded doofus who hosts a ratings albatross. The disgrace of this situation is the way it was handled by the Mainstream Media. The words and actions were a no-brainer. They were disgraceful and beyond the pale. The way in which half-wit teleprompter readers like Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Harry Smith and the Obama Glee Club over at MSNBC treated the hateful comments demonstrated that this is about an institutional problem in the entertainment-media complex. Across the spectrum of so-called Mainstream Media outlets, Leftwing sycophants took the side of the man who joked about a 14 year-old girl being raped and her Mom, the governor of Alaska, being a slut.
In their minds, Palin has it coming. After all, what has she done? She is just an athlete, beauty queen, business owner, regulatory commissioner, mayor, governor and vice-presidential candidate while being a hunter, a wife and mother to five children. Yeah, what a horrible woman! Oh, that's right, she is a Conservative, so that does make her evil in the soulless eyes of the Left. Do you get the feeling that Katie Couric may be just a tad jealous of Palin? Do you think that is why that little troll is still taking shots? After all, Palin has never taken the once-undisputed king of network news and driven the ratings down to the point where they are losing to Animal Planet.
The Leftist psychosis goes deeper. Palin is one of us. Outside of the uber-successful accomplishments, Sarah Palin's lifestyle and values are very much like the American middle class. The media elites' hatred for Palin is consistent with their hatred of the middle class. They dislike Wal-Mart, NASCAR, country music, guns, religion, home schooling, talk radio, family, tradition, federalism, the Constitution, and liberty with a special level of enmity for women or minorities who are drawn to traditional values.
Sarah and Todd Palin and their family are role models for many Americans. I don't necessarily agree that she is Conservatism's future as some do, but there is no doubt she resonates with Real America and they see her as the embodiment of the American Dream. The power of the Palin story and the Palin brand was evident in the media reaction to Letterman's trashy comments. They treated her as an enemy of the state who deserved no respect. Letterman is not the villain.
The greater threat inherent in this episode is the total absence of objectivity in the reasoning of so-called journalists. They don't investigate and weight evidence to provide accurate information to their readers or viewers. Today, they start with an outcome in mind and work backwards. For the Statist media, the was easy. Palin is not one of them. She is regular folk. You know, the rabble. In a two-party issue, with Palin being one of the parties, she had to be the loser. It was just a matter of justifying everything else.
So, forget about Letterman. He will crawl back in his hole and continue getting thumped by Conan O'Brien on a nightly basis. Focus on the real enemy and, yes, I do mean enemy. The Constitution acknowledged a free press with the idea that they would see themselves as an independent body that would inform the people when the government got out of line. Today, the press is at least eighty percent populated with Leftist ideologues who share the same goals as Statist politicians and use their powerful positions to shape public opinion. If people are moved to write letters and boycott, aim for the heart of the beast. Go after the networks and programs that act as a propaganda machine for the Democrat party.
Friday, June 19, 2009
While many have adopted the Taxed Enough Already acronym for the modern-day Tea Parties, signs showed that the citizens see a number of problems with the current state of affairs in D.C. The Roanoke Area Fair Tax organization had a very prominent presence. Others advocated the Constitution, national security, limited government and term limits.
Yes, folks, 2010 is not that far away. I think many in the mushy middle and the "moderate" Republicans now understand how far to the Left the Democrat party has lurched. Here in Virginia, it starts with the 2009 statewide elections. In 2010, it will be time to hold House members to account. On July 4, let's party like it's 1773!
The purpose of the Census, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, was to simply count heads in order to apportion seats in the House of Representatives (and collect taxes from the States under the original revenue plan).
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States
which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,
which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons,
including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not
taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made
within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States,
and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by
Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty
Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative
The rest of the information they gather is mainly to guide elected officials and bureaucrats in devising ways to redistribute wealth and create new schemes to divide Americans into various grievance-based groups. My race is none of their business. How many televisions I own is none of their business. Hopefully, 2010 will bring a widespread movement of Americans who reject Leviathan's intrusion into their lives.
On another point, did you notice that the Constitution called for one Representative for every 30,000 persons? Today, each House member represents about 700,000 people. Is it any wonder they are out of touch party hacks who don't give a whit about the Constitution or their constituents?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
"You know, do me a favor," an irritated Boxer said. "Could say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?'"
"Yes, ma'am," Walsh interjected.
"It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you," she said.
"Yes, senator," he responded.
Not that Brigadier General Walsh or other members of the military worked hard to earn their positions. Being a Senator is hard work. I guess spending other people's money and taking away their supposedly inalienable rights is hard work. Is it any wonder most folks see members of Congress as arrogant and out-of-touch with real Americans? Video of Boxer's tantrum here.
When I first heard a radio newscast report the ninja-like feat of The One, my eyes did a 360 roll inside my head. But, the story kept being reported. This morning all the morning shows continued to report with fascination the story of the man who swatted a fly. Newsbusters posted a funny, but pathetic piece about this.
When the fly story hit the airwaves, I joked to someone that the animal rights loons would be apoplectic. In my mind I was thinking of it as a funny "Saturday Night Live" bit, but PETA never disappoints when it comes to the utterly asinine. They actually DID release a statement condemning Obama's unfortunate choice to murder a fly. In fact, the PETA clowns actually sent the President a fly-catching kit in case he someday encounters another flying insect.
Yesterday, I executed two flies in my kitchen with my barehand. Maybe I should have filmed the carnage for YouTube. How surreal is this? Man kills fly--media celebrates his skill and dexterity--animal rights nutburgers speak out. Strange days indeed.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Hopefully, Americans get over the "gimme, gimme, gimme" mindset that overwhelms their ability to ask what it is they are actually being given. Let me give you one big hint to look for. If someone is trying to sell you on buying something and you keep catching them in lies about the nature of their product, you would hopefully tell them to keep their widget. Just listen to how many lies and half-truths Chairman MaObama and his minions tell to push their plan to nationalize health care. Then ask yourself, would I buy a used car from this man?
ABC has rejected a Republican request to present an alternative voice to Comrade Obama's Five Year Plan for the American health care system In addition, ABC has now announced that they will not accept any paid advertising that will oppose Obama's hostile takeover of American healthcare.
ABC and the rest of the prehistoric media have debased themselves in recent years as they have become increasingly partisan. They claim they will present both sides. Riiiiigghhttt! They will present the free market side of the debate in the same way Leftists represent the Conservative side of every other issue. ABC has no credibility. If they want to be taken seriously they will allow free market advocates to present their own view of health care rather than having some Leftist airhead present the opposition's point of view.
The debate always drifts to whether or not he and other fingered or suspected juicers should be in the Hall of Fame. Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens all become eligible in the same year (for the 2013 induction). It will be interesting to see how the BBWAA handle the voting. I've never been a big fan of that group as they seem incapable of analyzing players in the context of their era and of baseball history. They seem to look primarily for "magic numbers" like 3,000 hits, 500 home runs or 300 wins.
Two players who are on the current ballot who get pathetically little support are Alan Trammell and Tim Raines. Trammell is not compared to players in his era or to past shortstops. Instead, he is compared to shortstops who player in the offensive explosion of the 1990s and beyond. He is not far beyond the unanimously-elected Cal Ripken Jr. if you take the Streak out of the equation. Raines was a dominant leadoff hitter for a long time. One of the best players in his league for more than a decade. Quite possibly one of the top five leadoff hitters of all time. My hope is that writers who are so bombastic in their rejection of the phony numbers of the past decade will give a fresh look to players who were truly great when compared to the era in which they played.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
- Liberals are pro-women - This is true as long as they are fellow Leftists. The recent attacks on people such as Sarah Palin, Carrie Prejean, Elizabeth Hasselback and Michelle Bachman, just to name a few, demonstrate that the so-called "feminists" are just ward bosses for the Democrat party whose job it is to deliver female votes. One of the least discussed dichotomies in electoral demographics is the difference between single women and married women. Married women tend to see their families as a self-sufficient unit that doesn't need the government making decisions. Single women tend to vote Democrat, hoping that government acts as their protector and defender. "You've come a long way, baby?" Yeah, right
- Liberals look out for black Americans - Laughable. Despite the fact that Republicans voted for civil rights legislation at a much higher percentage than Democrats, the Left has cultivated the notion that they are the only thing preventing Republicans from repealing the 13th Amendment. Of course, the Left's treatment of Black Conservatives is nothing but vicious. Race is used a cudgel to advance other political agendas. The Duke lacrosse players vs. psychotic lying skank case should have been a turning point. Young men were vilified for being upper middle class, white, and male. Those factors made them guilty. The facts proved otherwise. Were apologies forthcoming from the quislings on the Duke faculty who took out a full page ad condemning the players? NO! Did Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton apologize for trying to gin up racial tensions in the Durham area and across the country? Of course not! The Left "looks out" for Black America by telling them Conservatives are out to string them up and that their only hope for success in America is to depend on Democrats.
- Liberals are compassionate - If I promise to donate all of John Kerry's and Ted Kennedy's wealth to charity, can I be officially compassionate? The Left has perverted the term "compassion" to mean growing the government. It's a great scam. Individuals do not have to sacrifice anything of themselves. They just vote for a Democrat and sit back smugly and believe they are saving the world. Arthur Brooks' "Who Really Cares" is a great analysis of American charity; and it ain't good news for the Left.
- Liberals are intellectuals - Uh huh. That may work if you accept advanced degrees as the true sign of intellect. Terminal degrees typically mean a person has spent a long time studying a very narrow body of knowledge. Look, I will gladly go toe-to-toe with a doctor of Aboriginal Poetry when it comes to the United States Constitution. While a huge percentage of the advanced degree crowd vote Democrat, the "no high school diploma" demographic is also much more likely to support Democrats. So, maybe we can assume wisdom in relation to education operates on a bell curve where after a certain point the returns on investment diminish.
- Liberals are tolerant - Let's see, people who believe marriage is a union of a man and a woman are now bigots. People who reject the junk science of global warming are compared to Holocaust deniers. People who vote against Barack Obama are branded as racists. Talk radio needs to be shut down because Leftists cannot compete in a free market of ideas. Spend an evening with MSNBC's line-up of Moonbats and spend the next evening watching the FOX News lineup. Decide which one is more issues oriented and which is a ceaseless run of ad hominem attacks and intolerance. Then, buy yourself an ice cream cone to reward yourself for wasting a night on Mathews, Olberman and Maddow.
Monday, June 15, 2009
In light of the current media infatuation with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and her "moving life story," now seems like a good time to read about another Supreme Court justice who humble origins brought him to a very different conclusion about the importance of the individual and the nature of government. Unlike Sotomayer, Clarence Thomas has been vilified rather than celebrated. His memoirs show a man who long ago shed baseless stereotypes and the need to conform while fighting a system that demands rigid ideological unity from members of "grievance classes."
While Clarence Thomas is a compelling figure, it is his grandfather who is the hero of the story. Myers Anderson raised the future justice and his brother. He taught hard work, self-reliance, respect, and honesty. No one owed you anything. If you want something, you work for it. Thomas grew up in the deep South during when segregation was strong and the pushback from civil rights advances was strong. Those core values would serve a young man well whether he chose to work in physical labor or pursue his educational dreams. Values are universal, whether they are positive or negative.
Recently, it came to light that Sotomayor was proud of her status as an "affirmative action" story. That is sad. Of course, this is consistent with her "wise Latina woman" statement and her ties to the racist La Raza organization. She is less of an individual than an ethnicity. Thomas knew that affirmative action impacted his life, particularly at Yale. However, rather than celebrate being a "color" he rejected the implications of being an affirmative action student and made proving himself a mission.
The most disturbing part of this biography involves the disgusting circus perpetrated by Senate Democrats and the mainstream media during Thomas's Supreme Court nomination hearings. Sleazy Leftists in the media and reprobate Senators sought to destroy him professionally and personally through the testimony of a discredited former employee, Anita Hill. Though her story was shredded by other witnesses and an FBI investigation, Hill served her purpose of smearing a good man for political reasons. Current Vice-President Joe Biden was one of the deceitful cretins in the middle of the fiasco. He was already an embarassing buffoon.
Clarence Thomas had committed a crime, but it had nothing to do with sexual harassment or a lack of qualifications. No, his offense was being a Black man who chose to flee the Democrat plantation and live as a Man rather than as a Race. Like other minorities and women before and since, he was the subject of a "high tech lynching" for being capable of individual thought and analysis that didn't lead to group-think conclusions. Thomas was living the dream that Dr. King expressed 30 years earlier, but was being punished for the color of his skin not the content of his character. Thomas' reflections on that witch hunt cut to the heart of racial politics:
"The more I reflected on what was happening, the more it astonished me. As a child in the Deep South, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux KLan; as an adult, i was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along. My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony. For all the fear I'd known as a boy in Savannah, this was the first time I'd found myself at the mercy of people who would do whatever they could to hurt me--and institutions that had once prided themselves on bringing segregation and its abuses to an end were aiding and abetting in the assault. Hypersensitive civil-rights leaders who saw racism around every corner fell silent when my liberal enemies sneered that I was unqualified to sit on the Court..."
My second read of this book left me even more impressed with Clarence Thomas, the man. When he sees a case he doesn't see race, gender, wealth, education or any other extraneous status. He sees a legal case with facts that he must adjudicate in accordance with the United States Constitution. That makes him a pariah in the eyes of the race warlords who gin up outrage and division to advance the desires of the Democrat party. In my eyes, that makes him an American patriot.
The mainstream media, of course, attacked the average Joe and Jane American who made their personal statement for the Constitution, limited government, and traditional values. I'm sure in their personal circles, their peers would never be seen consorting with the rabble. But, the viciousness of the coverage made it clear the message was heard loud and clear.
What have folks been doing since then? I hope that Congressmen are receiving more letters. I hope that, in Virginia and other states with 2009 elections, citizens are looking at this November as the beginning of the rollback of the Leftist agenda. I hope that people are reading more from current voices in the Conservative movement and from the great voices of the past like Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Jefferson and John Locke. People should be dusting off their handy dandy copies of the U.S. Constitution and reminding themselves that it is a simple document. It only becomes complicated in the hands of rogues who wish to subvert it.
It is almost time to convene again. July 4 will again be Independence Day! Instead of just going through the motions of cookouts, waving flags, setting off fireworks and watching ballgames (all of which I support and advocate as well), Roanoke's Elmwood Park will be host to another Patriot rally. From 5:00-7:00pm, Virginians (out-of-staters are welcome, too) will gather to make another statement about the nature of liberty. What better time than Independence Day to recall the principles advocated by our Founders and ignored by generations of power-drunk politicians.
Mark your calendar for July 4. Check out the Roanoke Tea Party Independence Day Rally on Facebook. Similar rallies will be happening around the country. There are no litmus tests. We won't agree with each other on 100% of the issues of the day. But, if you believe that government's job is to protect liberty and not run your life, this is a rally for you.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Obama has now demanded that Congress enforce PAYGO as its guiding principle. Traditionally, PAYGO has meant pay as you go. In terms of Congress, that would mean no new spending that cannot be paid for with funds on hand. Of course, Big BrObama did put another caveat into his Newspeak version of PAYGO. He gave Congress the choice of cutting other programs OR raising taxes. Gee, I wonder which one the Pelosi-Reid Congress will choose? Of course, Obama's exceptions to the PAYGO "principle" sounded like the terms and conditions at the end of a car dealer's commercial. Or the list of side effects for the latest miracle pharmaceutical. Additionally, PAYGObama doesn't take into account the $70 trillion in unfunded entitlement commitments or the phony stimulus package or nationalized health care or alternative energy or...well, you get the message.
PAYGO in ObamaSpeak means you will PAY dearly as the size of government continues to GO skyward. Don't worry, he won't raise your income tax rate. The dumb masses might actually notice that. But, taxes on products, services and businesses will hit every individual indirectly. The "change you can believe in" will be the nickels, dimes and quarters added to the prices of everything you buy.
What were the Democrats' options? Terry McAuliffe? Beltway insiders and media pundits assumed he was a shoo-in. After all, he was part of the Clinton inner circle. He was a mover and shaker in the party. I'm sure McAuliffe led the race in name recognition, but I think if asked most would have responded, "I know the name, but I'm not really sure why." In the incestuous world of the political insider, he would be a juggernaut.
State Senator Brian Moran ran as Nancy Pelosi's poolboy in a campaign that I hope is emulated by Democrats in other parts of the country. He ran as a hard left "Progressive." He, and losing Democratic lieutenant governor hopeful Mike Signer, seemed to believe that the 2006 and 2008 elections were positive referendums on America's desire to become Sweden. In truth, the Democrats tried their best to prove they were more conservative than the Republicans. It worked.
While Barnes correctly pointed out that Deeds' only conservative issue seems to be his support of the 2nd Amendment, he seems to think that may be enough for Virginia voters. The truth is, Deeds is another tax-and-spend Leftist in a time where people are starting to question that practice. Democrats won in the last two federal elections by accurately accusing the Republicans of reckless spending. Of course, they should have quoted the Joker in the 1989 "Batman" movie when he said "wait'll they get a load of me."
Bob McDonnell will win in November with a campaign based on growing the economy, not redistributing wealth. He will focus on energy development rather raising energy taxes to pay for technologies that do not exist in a practical manner. He will advocate for the right of workers to choose whether to unionize without pressure from union thugs.
Fred Barnes and other Republican pundits need to cut the fatalist whining. The Deeds nomination is actually a positive development for the GOP. McAuliffe would have turned the race into a mud wrestling match. Moran's extreme Leftist views would have been easily defeated, but would have often caused the campaign to detour into divisive social issues. Deeds is not a loon or a bomb thrower and that is to his personal credit. However, he does represent the type of tired Big Government policies that have created crisis and difficulty across America. The Virginia GOP should welcome the opportunity to contrast their vision for Virginia's future with that of a mainstream Democrat. With unemployment on the rise, energy prices soaring and limited government in the greatest danger it has seen, a focused Republican party can take back the state.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I have never liked female sportscasters. Call me a sexist, but that is just the way it is. Even women who have backgrounds in sports do not discuss the game in the same way men do. When they try to emulate the style of the fellas it gets even worse. Maybe younger folks who are exposed to more femcasters will feel differently. I love women--just not describing a football or baseball game.
ESPN Radio Amy Lawrence is on every Saturday afternoon so I usually hear her show. She has been with ESPN a few years and has popped up in different time slots. She has kind of a scratchy voice and seems a little overly excited at times. I'll admit I didn't like her at first, but I have to admit I've become a fan. What makes her different from some of the other radio sports announcers is that she sounds like she is having fun, she is adequately knowledgeable, and comes off like a regular person.
On a lark, I did a Google to look for a bio about her and, wow, the stuff I found. No, nothing perverted. Well, at least not in the typical way. I stumbled onto several blogs and message boards where people treated her as if she had waterboarded a puppy. The entries ran at least 75-25 against Lawrence and the content was more hateful than analytic.
Now, do I think I think she would have a snowballs chance of stumping the Schwab? Not a chance. Many of the commenters seemed to think Ms. Lawrence lacks sports knowledge. She knows enough to host a radio show. I think many are applying a different standard to her than they apply to the guys. Does Jim Rome possess incredible sports knowledge? Not particularly. He is opinionated and rude in a way that would make him a hit in the junior high locker room. That passes for clever, I guess. Doug Gottlieb? Yes, I know he played college basketball, but he doesn't blow me away with perspective about other sports. Tony Kornheiser? Puh-leez!
Some also complain about Amy Lawrence's voice. I'll admit it ain't the style that is trained in broadcasting school. But, geez, have you ever heard Chris "Mad Dog" Russo? This guy has his own channel on Sirius and he is terrible! Ditto his former sidekick, Mike Francesa. Now, I know they are in the Big Apple so they are OBVIOUSLY better than anyone out there in flyover country. The first time I heard "Mad Dog" was years ago on the Imus show. I had no idea he was a top-rated broadcaster--I thought he was some guy from the office with a speech impediment.
The worst characteristic that permeates most of sports radio is arrogance. Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick, Doug Gottlieb, Scott Van Pelt, John Kincade all come off as the smart ass know-it-all kid who would run and hide behind the teacher when you finally decided to thump him. I think some listeners mistake attitude for intellect. One thing I like about Amy Lawrence, as well as Mike and Mike, Freddie Coleman and Eric Kuselias is that they seem to be having fun and don't talk down to their audience. They love sports and appreciate making a living talking about it. The former group seems to believe the games are merely played so that folks will have the opportunity to hear their latest clever insult.
So, screech on, Amy Lawrence! Harry Caray... Bob Dylan... Bruce Springsteen...a unique voice is not an impediment. Keep having fun and keep contrasting yourself from the egomaniacs who occupy most of the sports radio's airtime.
A couple of interesting things. First, Letterman is an incredibly private person. Yet, he is vicious in his attacks of public figures (and their children). He refuses to answer questions from the press about his own life. How ironic. His life is off-limits, but a teenage daughter of a governor is not.
Letterman's smirking non-apology demonstrated his personal arrogance and his lack of respect for his audience. He, of course, went to the "its just a joke" defense. The Palins have no sense of humor. He tried to make himself the victim as he whined about how he would never make sex jokes about a 14 year-old. He was talking about the 18 year-old daughter. Oh, much better.
Of course, his defense was a lie. Letterman doesn't make jokes off-the-cuff. He reads a script. He has writers. That is why so-called "comedians" like Letterman and Jon Stewart couldn't work during the writer's strike. Nobody was there to make them appear funny (even to their lame-brained audience). So, the "joke" about Willow Palin was written earlier and discussed by a team of "comedy" writers. It was approved by Letterman. It was loaded into a teleprompter. That is not an accident or an oversight.
Contrast the Letterman faux pas with Don Imus and the "nappy headed ho" comment. That was an off-the-cuff remark as he and his crew were watching basketball highlights. Yes, it was mean and yes it warranted an apology. But, Imus had a long record of charitable work and other actions that demonstrated he was no racist. Still, he had to be fired because the Justice Brothers, Al and Je$$e, said so.
Letterman's vicious "slutty flight attendant" comment about the governor and his sex jokes about 14 year-old Willow were written, planned and formatted for delivery. Those were not momentary lapses in judgment. They were planned attacks. So, those who keep defending Letterman's child-rape humor need to give up their idiotic defenses. Just be honest.
The Left hates Sarah Palin, so any verbal assaults on her are appropriate. She should be the poster-child for female possibility, but her politics make her a pariah among Statists. It is truly a sick society we live in.
CBS should show they have principles and fire Letterman. That would prove they actually do have standards of conduct and didn't just sacrifice Don Imus to please the lynch mob. It won't happen. As much as the Left whines about Conservatives dividing the country, it is they who create the double-standards of conduct that create an "us vs. them" climate.