Saturday, November 28, 2009
I was struck by this scene in V For Vendetta, which I think is about the Wall Street Bailout, The Porkulus Bill, The Swine Flu panic, The TARP program, The Healthcare Bill, and the ongoing debates about whether government should require marching band instruments to be shipped to one of three sterilization facilities at the end of each school year in hopes of preventing something from happening that has never happened yet.
What follows in the movie is a montage of all the scares, panics, and crises where the socialist government has had to intervene, usually to protect the people from the worst instincts of....socialist government intervention.
In the words of Rahm Emmanuel, "Never let a crisis go to waste."
From The Sun:
FILTHY conditions at a major hospital may have led to up to 71 deaths, it was claimed yesterday.
An inspection by the Government's Care Quality Commission at Basildon Hospital, Essex, found blood on floors and curtains, and soiled mattresses.
Government investigators had rated the Basildon University Hospital as "good" in October.
It received 13 out of 14 for cleanliness and five out of five for keeping the public healthy.
‘ In A&E we saw a trolley mattress with a hole in the cover; it was found to be badly soiled and to have a foul odour. ’
But then a new inspection team went into the Essex hospital unannounced... and discovered appalling conditions.
As well as blood on the curtains and floors, it was also splattered on trays used to carry equipment.
There were soiled mattresses with stains soaked through to the foam filling.
Suction machines were contaminated with fluid - with what looked like mould on parts.
The Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was yesterday ordered to call in independent regulator Monitor.
Its chairman Dr William Moyes said they were intervening to ensure rapid improvement.
He said: "This use of our powers is needed to quickly deliver improvements."
The CQC report, revealed yesterday, described grim conditions.
It said: "We saw floors that were stained with blood.
"Six trays used by staff to carry equipment when they take blood samples or give injections had blood on them, a commode was soiled under the seat, and blood pressure cuffs were stained.
"In A&E we saw a trolley mattress with a hole in the cover; it was found to be badly soiled and to have a foul odour. In all, 12 mattresses were checked, 11 were stained."
There were also dust-covered blood pressure machines, out-of-date air tubes and A&E gear, and dirt in hospital bays.
Here's the headline from The Telegraph (UK):
Want to fix the NHS? Go private.
Hit that link and read every word of it. I love it, love it, love it.
Here's what I think is happening over there. The U.S. is having a healthcare debate. For better or worse, our system is being compared to the U.K. system. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear are concluding that the present U.S. system is the envy of the free world. Brits are asking themselves if they, too, can have hospitals with no blood on the walls.
Look for England to start privatizing more and more of their healthcare system within the decade. I betcha a dollar.
Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch, is part Drill Instructor, and part stand up comic Here are a few of his observations on tactics, firearms, self defense and life as we know it in the Civilized world.
The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight I'd choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead.
Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way.
Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, cause it's going to be empty.
If you're not shootin', you should be loadin'. If you're not loadin, you should be movin', if you're not movin', someone's gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick.
When you reload in low light encounters, don't put your flashlight in your back pocket... If you light yourself up, you'll look like an angel or the tooth fairy...and you're gonna be one of 'em pretty soon.
Here's some Clint Smith video on the ONLY three places to keep your handgun. You get a feel for Clint's personality and teaching style around the 1:45 mark.
Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a Ghilliesuit.
Shoot what's available, as long as it's available, until something else becomes available.
If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid about.
Don't shoot fast, shoot good.
You can say 'stop' or 'alto' or use any other word you think will work but I've found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much the universal language.
You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it.
You cannot save the planet.. You may be able to save yourself and your family.
The only purpose of fighting is to Win!
There is no possible victory in defense.
The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either.
The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, He'll just kill you.
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.
When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him 'Why do you carry a 45?' The Ranger, Zeno Smith, responded, 'Because they don't make a 46.'
An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.
The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'No ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'
Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!
'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton
A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.
'Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.' ~ Thomas Jefferson
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy." --Samuel Adams
Here are Clint & Heidi Smith as guests on a talk radio show:
Thunder Ranch sounds like a great place. Hit this link to go to their website. The ranch is in Oregon, but they occasionally have classes in the DFW area. All of the January/February classes are sold out, but I intend to drop all other recreation to attend the next ones they post.
Friday, November 27, 2009
My friend Dr. Ralph, agent provocateur of this site, was also there. Go here for The Doctor's Thanksgiving post. We tried to sit and eat together, but higher authorities intervened.
This is the hymn that the music ministry folks chose to end the service. As soon as I read the words, I stuck the text into my pocket....please pay particular attention to the second verse:
Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field,
praise God for the people who gather their yield,
the long hours of labour, the skills of a team,
the patience of science, the power of machine.
Praise God for the harvest that comes from afar,
from market and harbour, the sea and the shore:
foods packed and transported, and gathered and grown
by God-given neighbours, unseen and unknown.
Praise God for the harvest that's quarried and mined,
then sifted, and smelted, or shaped and refined:
for oil and for iron, for copper and coal,
praise God, who in love has provided them all.
Praise God for the harvest of science and skill,
the urge to discover, create and fulfil:
for dreams and inventions that promise to gain
a future more hopeful, a world more humane.
Praise God for the harvest of mercy and love
from leaders and peoples who struggle and serve
for patience and kindness, that all may be led
to freedom and justice, and all may be fed.
That's the version found at hymnsUK.com , anyway. My instinct lately has been to trust the British versions of everything.
Dr. Ralph found me as we were leaving. "That was quite a libertarian hymn," he said, and I wholeheartedly agreed.
If you don't understand the point I'm trying to make, hit some of the links. I can't believe someone actually wrote a hymn that 's good enough to cause Dr Ralph to stop twirling his villain moustache and take notice.
Verse two stands alone nicely, no links required. A song in praise of Supply Chain Management.
....foods packed and transported, and gathered and grown
by God-given neighbours, unseen and unknown.
If you're still unclear on the concept, here's The Boston Globe's token libertarian, Jeff Jacoby, explaining why we should be grateful for a certain economic principle which, if you live in the U.S., allowed you to eat some turkey sometime this week:
The activities of countless people over the course of many months had to be intricately choreographed and precisely timed, so that when you showed up to buy a fresh Thanksgiving turkey, there would be one -- or more likely, a few dozen -- waiting. The level of coordination that was required to pull it off is mind-boggling. But what is even more mind-boggling is this: No one coordinated it.
No turkey czar sat in a command post somewhere, consulting a master plan and issuing orders. No one forced people to cooperate for your benefit. And yet they did cooperate. When you arrived at the supermarket, your turkey was there. You didn't have to do anything but show up to buy it. If that isn't a miracle, what should we call it?
Adam Smith called it "the invisible hand" -- the mysterious power that leads innumerable people, each working for his own gain, to promote ends that benefit many. Out of the seeming chaos of millions of uncoordinated private transactions emerges the spontaneous order of the market. Free human beings freely interact, and the result is an array of goods and services more immense than the human mind can comprehend. No dictator, no bureaucracy, no supercomputer plans it in advance. Indeed, the more an economy is planned, the more it is plagued by shortages, dislocation, and failure.
It is commonplace to speak of seeing God's signature in the intricacy of a spider's web or the animation of a beehive. But they pale in comparison to the kaleidoscopic energy and productivity of the free market. If it is a blessing from Heaven when seeds are transformed into grain, how much more of a blessing is it when our private, voluntary exchanges are transformed - without our ever intending it - into prosperity, innovation, and growth?
Well said, Mr. Jacoby. Here's one last verse for that hymn; this one composed by Yours Truly. I don't think it's going to appear in a hymnal any time soon....
Praise God for our system of sweet Liberty,
The framework of freedom which feeds you and me.
Praise God for the scholars and writers who've shown
More people can prosper if just left alone.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Here's the latest update in the Tree Ring Circus (Mark Steyn's term):
The New Zealand Government's chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn't there.
The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain's CRU climate research centre.
In New Zealand's case, the figures published on NIWA's [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century:
Wow. Hotter than a whore in church. Hot enough to make you return things that you didn't steal. Hotter than the hinges of hell. Hotter than two bears fighting in a forest fire. Hotter than two cats in one pair of long johns. Hotter than a two dollar pistol on Georgia asphalt. Hotter than the Presbyterian hell for dead babies. It looks hot.
But what happens when you look at the raw numbers, before the guys in the white lab coats massage them to weed out politically incorrect readings ? It doesn't look as hot. In fact, the trendline looks erratic and random. Surely not hot enough to give the Hopers and Changers near-control of the rest of the economy.
I've been wrong about this ever since I started blogging, having always acknowledged that there have been wild swings in earth's temperature but denying that those swings were caused by man. Well, the swings recorded in the first chart were man-made, weren't they? Man caused the earth's recorded temperature to increase by using erasers and hitting the "delete" key on their computers, not by running factories or driving SUV's.
I apologize for my earlier hardheadedness. Man does indeed cause Global Warming. Men with doctorates, mostly.
Here's Robert Tracinski, at Real Clear Politics:The damage here goes far beyond the loss of a few billions of taxpayer dollars on bogus scientific research. The real cost of this fraud is the trillions of dollars of wealth that will be destroyed if a fraudulent theory is used to justify legislation that starves the global economy of its cheapest and most abundant sources of energy.
If you haven't read Ayn Rand's novella "Anthem" yet, now is a great time to do so. You can read it standing in the aisle at Barnes & Noble in about 30 minutes. One of the great moments in the book comes when you realize that the government in the story won't allow the hero to supply everyone with his new discovery - the light bulb. Why not? Because it would endanger the livelihood of the candlemakers.
It sounds so ridiculous doesn't it? But we're getting so close. Imagine all those ridiculous Green Jobs slowly circling the drain, about to disappear forever unless somebody does something to preserve the ongoing farce.
Obama is going to Copenhagen soon, to help re-invent the flat tire. The Fix is in.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Just think of all the grant, subsidy, and porkulus money that disappeared as a result of these guys cooking the books.
We owe the Hockey Team a debt we can never repay. (For those new to the Climategate scandal, the "Hockey Team" refers to the folks who created Al Gore's hockey stick chart showing an upward spike in earth's temperature.)
Another question raised by the Climategate incident.... The mainstream media is doing their best to ignore this story. The blogosphere is going wild over it. The Minnesotans are wondering if this makes Al Gore wish he'd never invented the internet.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Remember that scene in The Wizard Of Oz, where Toto pulls back the drapes to reveal Professor Marvel madly turning wheels and pushing levers, and saying "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN ! ! !"
Well, this is one of those golden moments. May they increase tenfold.
Conservative Indiana Republican James Bopp Jr. on Monday began circulating a draft resolution calling on the Republican National Committee to end funding and endorsements for any candidate who deviates from three or more of its ten planks.
Bopp, an attorney, is vice chairman of the RNC; ten other committee members signed onto his call to arms.
There follows a lot of blah blah blah and "Whereas Ronald Reagan", and "Whereas the Republican party", and "Whereas we're trying to avoid another electoral meltdown", blah blah blah.....
I'll cut to the chase. Bopp wants RNC cash limited to candidates who can affirm their beliefs in at least 8 of these 10 agenda items. It really isn't a system of beliefs, it's just a list of things that irritate Republicans.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:
(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;
That's a good start. Less government.
(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
We're doing great. Once again, less government.
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
I can't believe it. The Republicans are for letting the market find less expensive solutions to the energy non-crisis. They're for less government !
(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;
The secret ballot is the best way to ensure that there is no intimidation on the part of union thugs. And, as a general rule, less unions = less government. Go Republicans !
(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
Hang on a second....a lot of those illegal immigrants are paying money into the Social Insecurity fund, money that they'll never be able to collect. Who or what is going to replace their contribution to the tax base and to the workforce? I don't see unemployed Wall Streeters applying to pour all that concrete or hang all that sheetrock. Oh well....the immigrants aren't worth taking a stand over.
(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
Wait a minute, wait a minute....let's go back to #1. How are we going to have smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes if we're going to go surging into The Sandbox, especially when each additional thousand troops costs us a billion dollars?
I think we have a contradiction here. #1 and #6 might be mutually exclusive.
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
I support containment of Iran and North Korea too. Especially when the containment is being done by France, Switzerland, South Korea, and China. See #1. I think we have another contradiction in the Republican Litmus Test.
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
Once again, #1 rears its head. How can you advocate a "smaller government" everywhere but in bedrooms?
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing, denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and....
Well, dammit, did they totally forget #1 ? Is the government going to eliminate ANY denial of healthcare? Are our county "charity" hospitals going to be required to do kidney transplants on indigent 90-year-olds? The market currently acts as a rationing device, BTW.
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further
RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy positions of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee.....
Monday, November 23, 2009
You are the owner of you.
I don't care what you do to yourself, as long as it doesn't hurt me or mine. If I know you, and you run out of money, or need help with hospital bills, or groceries, and you call me? I'll probably help you. I really will.
I just don't care to funnel the money through a den of thieves who have proven to be totally incapable of spending money wisely.
And I appreciate your concern for my healthcare, I really do. If I were to lose my current insurance, I hope I could rely on friends, family, charities, and the long-suffering congregation at Broadway Baptist Church. Heck, I'm already working in a family-owned business..... But if you're insisting that I, or anyone else, pay for medical insurance, I'm afraid that you have some ulterior motives. I think you're on a power trip.
Imagine the outrage if Harry Reid insisted that everyone who owned their home "free and clear" owned homeowners insurance, and pushed for penalties for those who didn't pay up to his buddies in the insurance industry.
I bet you could cut medical costs in half through tort reform, by allowing more people into the medical professions, and by letting nurses perform procedures that are currently restricted to doctors.
But that wouldn't allow any rent-seekers to profit from the solution to our healthcare non-crisis, would it?
So here goes, sung to the tune of the Barney theme song.....
I own me,
You own you,
Guess what Harry Reid can do
With his great big plan
That he's trying to push through?
Go find someone else to screw.
A certain gentleman inquired of a lady whether she would be willing to sleep with him for 50,000 pounds. After some hesitation, the lady replied that she supposed she would, in consideration of the magnitude of the offer. Then he asked whether she would sleep with him for twopence.
"Certainly not," she responded with indignation. "Just what kind of lady do you think I am?"
"Madam, I believe we have already established that," he remarked calmly. "Now we are just haggling over the price."
From Newsvine.com comes this gem about Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu:
Staffers on Capitol Hill were calling it the Louisiana Purchase.
On the eve of Saturday's showdown in the Senate over health-care reform, Democratic leaders still hadn't secured the support of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the 60 votes needed to keep the legislation alive. The wavering lawmaker was offered a sweetener: at least $100 million in extra federal money for her home state.
And so it came to pass that Landrieu walked onto the Senate floor midafternoon Saturday to announce her aye vote -- and to trumpet the financial "fix" she had arranged for Louisiana. "I am not going to be defensive," she declared. "And it's not a $100 million fix. It's a $300 million fix."
Why aren't people marching on Washington? Why do we sit back and act like our representatives are anything other than crack whores? I mean, this senator is going to go back to Louisiana bragging about how she slutted herself out, then took $300,000,000.00 from the public trough, in exchange for allowing the government to take over 1/6th of the economy.
Do they routinely allow senators to raid the Treasury in exchange for votes? Is that how this works?
Here are a few more questions and propositions for Senator Landrieu....
1. How much would you charge to dress up in full dominatrix gear, meet Harry Reid in a Vegas hotel room, and make him crawl about on all fours while slapping him on the buttocks with a rolled up copy of the Healthcare Bill?
2. What would it cost to have you participate in a threesome with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore, if CNN were to be there with a film crew and Anderson Cooper provided narration and commentary? (All funds raised from video sales would go toward ACORN get-out-the-vote initiatives.)
3. Senator Landrieu, when I get home from work, having walked around warehouses all day, my feet are really nasty. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not into anything like this. I'm just curious..... How much would it cost to have you put on a Hillary Clinton mask and lick my toes while I type nasty notes into the Government Is Good comment fields? (I really, really, really don't want to experience anything like this. Just looking for a budgetary proposal. For curiosity's sake. Call me.)
4. Do you do fraternity parties? If so, do you charge a flat rate?
5. Why are the Fort Worth prostitutes working on Lancaster and Rosedale streets in constant danger of arrest, while you are applauded for turning a Three Hundred Million Dollar trick?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
(This is the same guy who gave Britain's leaders a DVD collection and an iPod. I'm generally against any tax increases, but I'd be willing to make an exception to buy Obama a new Protocol Droid.)
Here's a clip that clarifies the situation, relative to the habits of other leaders:
Here's veteran China watcher Martin Jacques, on "Why America Must Learn To Bow".
In fact, the opposite was the case. The defeat of the Soviet Union flattered only to deceive and mislead. In a world increasingly defined by the rise of the developing countries, most notably China, the United States was, in fact, in relative decline. It took the global financial crisis to begin to convince the U.S. that it could no longer take its global supremacy for granted. This dawning realisation has come desperately late in the day. Even now most of the country remains in denial. Never has a great power been less prepared or equipped to face its own decline.
Let's rephrase that last sentence. "Never has a great power done so much to encourage, prepare, and hasten its own decline." People who repeatedly hit themselves in the head with hammers shouldn't seem surprised by the results.
Fortunately, in Barack Obama the nation has a president that possesses a rare characteristic for that office, humility.
Humility? Barack Obama is humble? (Make a selection from the assortment of links.) Never mind. Let's don't run that rabbit today....
He has made it clear from the outset that the U.S. cannot run the world on its own but only in co-operation with others.
Do ya think that the world just might be a better place if so many Messianic Bastards didn't think they could actually run it ?
In Beijing he welcomed China’s rise as a positive and sought a relationship of partnership with it. But as with the U.S. financial crisis, Obama is making it up as he goes along. Like the rest of the ruling elite, he finds himself ambushed by American decline, a situation that his administration was entirely unprepared for. Those who criticized his performance in Beijing as being too weak are not even at the starting line: They refuse to face up to the reality of a fundamental shift in the balance of power with China.
And why do we have a fundamental shift in the balance of power with China? And Brazil? Ecuador? Russia? Libya? Yeah, freakin' Libya? Why did Enzo the Baker have a shift in his balance of power with Marlon Brando in The Godfather?
BECAUSE HE OWED HIM ! ! ! It really is that simple. We're paying for Reagan's "Morning In America" and Bush The Elder's "A Thousand Points Of Blight" and Clinton's "Bridge To The 19th Century" and Bush's "No Child Gets Ahead" and Obama's "Hope And Small Change" with borrowed money. We simply must stop.
Our system was set up to allow for maximum liberty and freedom. It doesn't work well as a socialized hog trough. Agreed: we obviously don't have enough protections and regulations in place to protect us from Messianic leadership or the Statist mindset. If we're going to allow trainloads of messiahs, tycoons, wall-streeters, bailout seekers, economic witch doctors, and scam artists to line up at the bar for drinks on your credit card, then, yes, we need more regulation.
One regulation. We can't spend any more money.
Even Saturday Night Live has figured it out. This is brilliant. If SNL can figure it out, can Congress be far behind?
Here's a picture of Enzo The Baker, bowing to The Godfather. Unless something changes, future U.S. presidents should prepare to do the same.