Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quangos try to kill you.

You may have heard about a controversial healthcare plan lurching its way through the U.S. Congress? 

Well, go here for more enlightenment.  "Middle Aged Dad", a British guy who commented on some of my earlier posts about Obamacare, is a little pissed.  (His message to us is "Run for your lives, while you still can ! The Quangos are gonna get you !  Run, for God's sake !  It's THE QUANGOS !") 

A Quango is a British derogatory term for any group financed by the government that is not actually part of the government.  [qua(si) n(on-)g(overnmental) o(rganization).]  We'll soon be calling our insurance companies Quangos.  General Motors is now a Quango.  Archer Daniels Midland might as well be a Quango.  Noted con artist Al Gore wanted to be a Quango, but I think we may have prevented it. 

"Middle Aged Dad's" post on his miserable experience with Socialized Medicine had a comment from someone who runs the National Death Service blog.  (Get it?  Get it? In England their Obamacare program is called The National Health Service?  Like, if we implement Obamacare over here, it'll be truly screwed up beyond recognition, and then we'll nickname Obamacare after someone or something that's totally screwed up?  Oh.  Wait.  We've already done it.  Maybe someone can think of something worse.) 
Anyway, if you have any warm and fuzzy feelings about socialized medicine, go to the National Death Service blog, and hit a few random posts. 

Middle Aged Dad has a fairly limited blogroll, but among the honorees is someone named Mark Wadsworth, who declares that "England Is Not A Museum".   Mr. Wadsworth is running an online poll about the Keynesian mulitiplier effect.  There is only one correct answer, and that would be number 3.  Go there.  Take the test.  Hit option 3. 

Happy Saturday morning to everyone.  I'm through surfing for the day.  Gotta go to work.

Ok, I lied.  I was looking for a funny picture to illustrate Britain's National Health Service fiasco, and came across this poster.  This is a serious poster.  It was designed by non-comedians, who weren't trying to be funny. 

1)  Just how pissed off are the Brits, if they have to put up posters warning against abuse of National Death Service staff? 
2)  Go here for the blog post where I found the poster.  If you don't have time for that, just note the multi-culti "We Are The World" NHS staff, as compared to the nasty, ethnocentric colonial masters and warlords on the right. 

Christ almighty, we're in trouble. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Government Motors vs Toyotas that discriminate against the elderly

You may have witnessed the Government Motors Board of Directors grilling the upper management of Toyota a few days ago.   
Here's Theodore Frank, writing in The Washington Examiner.  It seems that the Toyotas with the accelaration problems tend to discriminate against the elderly. 
In the 24 cases where driver age was reported or readily inferred, the drivers included those of the ages 60, 61, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89—and I’m leaving out the son whose age wasn’t identified, but whose 94-year-old father died as a passenger.

These “electronic defects” apparently discriminate against the elderly, just as the sudden acceleration of Audis and GM autos did before them. (If computers are going to discriminate against anyone, they should be picking on the young, who are more likely to take up arms against the rise of the machines and future Terminators).
But Toyota is being mau-maued by Democratic regulators and legislators in the pockets of trial lawyers—who, according to the Associated Press, stand to make a billion dollars from blaming Toyota for driver error.
And that is before hundreds of past run-of-the-mill Toyota accidents that killed or injured people are re-classified in future lawsuits as an electronics failure in an attempt to win settlements against the company.
So why are G.M.'s owners so enthusiastic about orchestrating a full-blown witch hunt against Toyota?  Well, after saving G.M. and Chrysler from bankruptcy, and taking a bazillion dollars in donations from the UAW, it probably seemed like the most logical step.   

Israel now has a libertarian movement !

Israel now has a libertarian movement. 
Go here.  (Check out the blogroll while you're there.  Ha !) 

What are the odds?  The country was founded by a gaggle of Socialists.  Israel is the only country in the world, as far as I know, that can make anything like the kibbutz system work.  And they now have a libertarian movement !  

Check out the About Us section of the site. 

1.  We believe in the individual rights to Life, Liberty and Property as the basis for a just political system.

2.  We believe in the principle and practice of free market capitalism as the only sustainable and moral economic system, the only one compatible with life, liberty and property.
3.  The organization is a broad-tent one, to include anyone committed to the ideals of free markets and individual liberty.
4.  Members of the organization recognize the necessity of advancement towards greater individual liberty in both personal and economic matters – and in fact, the inseparability of individual and economic liberty.
5.  Members of the organization recognize the need to establish a political order guided by the overall principles of individual liberty and free markets.
Do any U.S. Libertarians see anything there that they couldn't support?
And check out this post on Israeli gun control:
Go here to read the rest.  It's perfectly illustrated by this picture of a rabbi, his daughter, and their assault rifles. 
Many foreign citizens – and in fact, many citizens of Israel – hold the belief that the Jewish state is an amazingly pro-gun entity. American citizens who return from trips to the Holy Land will tell of how many armed men they see in the streets – usually, reservists or settlers carrying their government-issued rifles, and of how this armed citizen or another had stopped a terrorist act with his pistol.

This is even true to some extent – because most legally-held firearms in Israel are pistols held for the purpose of self-defense, the citizens here have a far greater tendency of carrying the arms they own then Germans or Frenchmen. But – and this is an incredible fact even for most Israelis – Israel is one of the most anti-gun states of the civilized world.
Here's where it will get interesting.  You may have read or heard about a group called the Palestinians.....
Good luck folks. 

Now that I think about it, compare the goals of these Israeli Libertarians to those of the United Kingdom's Libertarian Party.  Compare both of those sets of principles to the U.S. version. 

Let's make this a worldwide movement, with a worldwide semi-organization, where we get together once a year and vow to leave everyone else alone.  Let's all band together in solidarity and march on Tel Aviv and London and Washington and insist that our governments give us.....nothing.  Nothing at all. 

Hey, it could happen. 

Shabbat Shalom, y'all !

The Evangelical Christian Right, and The Tea Parties

Don't bother reading this rant.  It's not consistent, and I have no idea what point I was trying to make. 
Here's Ben Smith, of Politico:

The rise of a new conservative grass-roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass-roots, the evangelical Christian right.

I agree with a lot of what Smith has to say in this post, but he truly screwed up his first paragraph.  The old conservative grass-roots was probably centered around the Taft family of Ohio.  They favored small, small government, but lost influence in the 1950's.  The evangelical Christian right came along much later. 

A reeling economy and the Obama administration’s massive bank bailout and stimulus plan were the triggers for a resurgence in support for the Republican Party and the rise of the tea party movement. But they’ve also banished the social issues that are the focus of many evangelical Christians to the background.

Yet another mis-statement.  The Tea Party movement isn't hierarchical enough to "banish" anything.  You'll see the occasional social issue sign or banner at a protest, but the movement is mostly about the size of government. 

And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud.

This is because many "social conservative leaders" aren't perceived as truly caring about their issues.  Raise your hand if you think Newt Gingrich gives a rip about the anti-gay "sanctitiy of marriage" bidness.  I mean, the guy was carrying on with god knows how many non-wives during the Clinton impeachment??? 

“There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”

Sorry, Bryan.  Texas Republicans had a recent ballot proposition about whether women wanting an abortion should be forced to watch a sonogram of their fetus in the womb.  It got a 68%  "yes" vote, but every other ballot proposition scored in the high 90's.  Abortion is only 18 percentage points away from being a losing issue for Republicans.  It's not a good wedge issue any longer.  It's over. 

As far as I can tell [the tea party movement] has a politics that’s irreligious. I can’t see how some of my fellow conservatives identify with it,” said Richard Cizik, who broke with a major evangelical group over his support for government action on climate change, but who remains largely in line with the Christian right on social issues. “The younger Evangelicals who I interact with are largely turned off by the tea party movement — by the incivility, the name-calling, the pathos of politics.”

Give 'em time, give 'em time.  Let them pay more taxes.  Before long they'll be calling Barack Obama the dumbest dingleberry that God put guts in. 

There’s no centralized tea party organization, and anecdotes suggest that many tea party participants hold socially conservative views. But those views have been little in evidence at movement gatherings or in public statements, and are sometimes deliberately excluded from the political agenda. The groups coordinating them eschew social issues, and a new Contract From America, has become an article of concern on the social right.

They just don't get it.  Government has no business interfering in what we now think of as Social Issues.  People have figured that out. 

The contract, sponsored by the grass-roots Tea Party Patriots as well as Washington groups such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, asks supporters to choose the 10 most important issues from a menu of 21 choices that makes no mention of socially conservative priorities such as gay marriage and abortion.

“They’re free to do it, but they can’t say [the contract] represents America,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a veteran of the Christian right. “If they do it they’re lying.”

Tony Perkins just doesn't get it. (I always wondered what happened to him after he taxidermied his Mama in Psycho.)  Government has no business interfering in what we now think of as Social Issues. People have figured that out.

Groups such as FreedomWorks, said Perkins, bring a libertarian bias that doesn’t represent the “true tea parties.” Brendan Steinhauser, the director of federal and state campaigns at FreedomWorks, responded that the contract represents activists’ priorities.

"People didn’t come out into the streets to protest gay marriage or abortion,” said Steinhauser, who said that he hoped the Republican Party would follow the contract’s cue and “stop bringing up flag-burning amendments and the gay marriage thing when they’re not what people are focused on.”

Precisely !   Flag burning amendments don't go over well with people holding signs that say "SECEDE !". 
And "Wide Stance" Republicans like Larry Craig have shown Americans that it's hard to condemn gay democrats without doing some housecleaning of your own. 

There’s little data on the disparate tea party movement. One small CNN survey of self-identified tea party activists found that 68 percent identify themselves as Protestants or other non-Catholic Christians, as opposed to just 50 percent in the general population. Only 9 percent of the activists say they’re irreligious, as opposed to 14 percent in the broader sample.

Get ready.  Here it comes. 

But an in-depth study of 49 tea party leaders by the free-market oriented Sam Adams Alliance suggested that the leadership consciously avoids social issues and plans to continue doing so.

Here comes proof that the Tea Party movement needs to come out against government involvement in social issues.....

“None of them chose social issues as the sole direction for the movement,” said the group’s marketing director, Anne Sorock, who oversaw the study.

Here it comes.  Proof that the Tea Party has failed. 

She said that while many of the leaders held conservative views on social issues, “they were completely adamant that [the issues] were not a part of their agenda for the long term.”

They may have been adamant, but they weren't adamant enough.  Get ready for proof. 

“Across the board everyone had the same answer: It’s so important that they achieve their goals that social issues cannot distract them, because they need to cast the widest net of consensus with the widest group possible,” she said.

Well, the group really can be too wide.  There's such a thing as a tent that's too big.  Get it comes....

The rise of the fiscal and economic conservative grass-roots has been cause for celebration in the socially liberal wing of the Republican Party.

Don't celebrate yet, guys.  Get ready.....

“The folks who are upset about it are big government conservatives for whom the marriage with the GOP was never a good fit to begin with,” said Chris Barron, the chairman of the board of the gay conservative group GOProud.....

"Big government conservatives" = Republicans.  But, I digress.  Here's proof that the Tea Party needs to come down stronger on social tolerance.  Get ready....

.....It’s easy to overstate the depth of concern on the part of social conservatives. Fischer, Perkins, and other figures were quick to add that they feel an affinity for the tea party movement.

It's finally here.  Here's the money quote, in the next paragraph.  Thanks for your patience.  Here's proof that we need to sponsor gay and lesbian groups at the Tea Party protests.  We need to pay them to show up.  We need Jack Daniels and Budweiser to sponsor a pro-abortion rights tent, with a medical marijuana dispensary off to the side.  Here's proof: 

“The reason for it is fundamentally secular, but a lot of people involved in it are not secular,” said Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “I don’t see the tea party movement as a threat at all — I see it as additional allies and fellow travelers.”

If Richard Freakin' Land, the biggest headline grabber and media whore in the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land, the most pious political back-slapper that ever preached the joining of church and state, Richard Freakin' Land, Richard Land, Richard Land..... If Richard Land approves of what we're doing, brothers and sisters, if Richard Land doesn't fear for his agenda, we have truly failed. 

But while Land and other Christians sympathize with the movement’s limited-government focus, they have been repelled by another aspect of the contemporary right: The vitriolic attacks on Obama.

Well, tax them some more until we're less repulsive.  Do they want to take over my daughter's share of Obama spending?  Do we have any volunteers?  Anywhere? 
Then let the verbal floggings continue. 

A prominent Atlanta evangelical public relations man, Mark DeMoss, recently wrote Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to denounce as “shameful” a fundraising presentation obtained by POLITICO that advised appealing to “fear” and portrayed Obama as the sinister Joker from Batman, over the word “Socialism” — an image drawn from a poster popular at tea party events.

Land said liberals can be equally faulted for demonizing Sarah Palin, but said that if he were an RNC donor, he’d stop giving.

And if I were still a Southern Baptist, I would suggest that Richard Land adhere to the traditional Baptist principle of keeping churches out of politics.  But, I digress. 

"What [liberal blogs] do with Sarah is just really unacceptable and dastardly, but that doesn’t mean we should respond in kind,” he said. Obama, he said “provides a tremendously positive role model for tens of millions of African-American men” and “seems demonstrably fond of his wife and children, which is a positive role model for people of all ethnicities.”

"I would want to be free to attack the character of President Clinton — but this guy, he gives every indication of being a decent guy,” Land said.

Personally, I'd prefer a scoundrel who left me alone to a virtuecrat control freak. 

Worries about being out of step with the rest of the conservative movement surfaced most visibly last month in Washington during the Conservative Political Action Conference, which invited the gay Republican group GOProud to be a co-sponsor, and where one audience booed a speaker who criticized that decision.

Here's Ryan Sorba, the guy who criticized the decision to allow for tolerance:

I'll go ahead and predict that within 10 years, this dude gets caught in a massage parlor with gay prostitutes.  I've seen it too many times. 
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denounced the conference (with whose organizers he has feuded in the past) as a gathering that had become “increasingly more libertarian and less Republican.”

Gotta get to work.  Don't have time to unleash vitriol on Mike "The Theocrat" Huckabee. 
GOProud’s Barron, meanwhile, met with a warm reception, as he had, he said, during the giant Tea Party march on Washington last fall.

The veteran conservative activist Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he found himself soothing social conservative fears about the Tea Parties at a recent gathering of the socially conservative Council for National Policy.

My favorite Norquist quote:  "Government should be small.  Small enough to drown it in the bathtub." 

“They shouldn’t be nervous,” he said. “When the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement grows, that’s good for everybody.”

Have a good day, everybody !  I feel better now. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just how hard is it to go outside and read a thermometer every day ?

RFK Jr. has described James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute For Space Studies as The Paul Revere of Climate Change.  (The glaciers are melting !  The oceans are rising !  The thermometers are bursting !)
Hansen has a new book out called "Storms Of My Grandchildren", which I skimmed during my lunch yesterday.  In short, the earth is warming, the glaciers are melting, the seas are rising, and that's your fault.  Therefore, you should give Hansen and his friends a lot of money.  Grants, funding, subsidies, the works. 

You may have heard of the problems with the datasets at East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit.  Thanks to some hackers, we have evidence that the CRU cooked the books a bit, mostly to improve the infamous "hockey stick" and to eliminate the inconvenient warming period that popped up during the Middle Ages.
Thank God we have an independent data set at NASA, right? 

Well, no.  Hit that link.  Go on, hit itRead it.  Giggle. 

Damn those Inconvenient Truths.   

When we misbehaved back in the 1970's, the coaches made us run laps

I got this link via an email from Spain, from a guy found it on Weasel Zippers.  The Department Of Education is needing new equipment:

Added: Mar 08, 2010 10:39 am
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
The required date of delivery is March 22, 2010.
Interested sources must submit detailed technical capabilities and any other information that demonstrates their ability to meet the requirements above, no later than March 12, 2010 at 12 PM, E.S.T. Any quotes must be submitted electronically to the attention of, Contract Specialist (Contract Operations Group), with a concurrent copy to, Contracting Officer (Contract Operations Group).
The following clauses are applicable to this requirement:

52-212-1 Instruction to Offerors - Commercial Items
52.212-2 Evaluation - Commercial Items
52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications - Commercial Items
52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions - Commercial Items
52.212-5 Contract Terms and Conditions Required Implementing Statutes or Executive Orders - Commercial Items

In accordance with 52.212-2, the fill-in applicable to this requirement is below:
52.212-2 Evaluation-Commercial Items.
As prescribed in 12.301(c), the Contracting Officer may insert a provision substantially as follows:
Evaluation-Commercial Items (Jan 1999)
(a) The Government will award a contract resulting from this solicitation to the responsible offeror whose offer conforming to the solicitation will be most advantageous to the Government, price and other factors considered. The following factors shall be used to evaluate offers:
(i) Technical Capability
(ii) Price
In accordance with 52.212-5, the following clauses are applicable to this requirement:
52.225-1 Buy American Act - Supplies (February 2009)
52.232-33, Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer-Central

New equipment only; no remanufactured products. No partial shipments
Offer must be good for 30 calendar days after submission.
Offerors must have current Central Contractor Registration (CCR) at the time offer is submitted. Information can be found at
This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items. The Government will award a commercial item purchase order to the offeror with the most advantageous offer to the government. All offerors must submit their best price and delivery capabilities.

Place of Delivery:
U.S. Department of EducationOffice of Inspector General
c/o: Gary Pawlak, Special Agent
500 West Madison Street - Suite 1414
Chicago, IL 60661

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Death Panels force Canadian to the U.S. for treatment

Here's someone named Mark Bonokoski, writing in The Toronto Sun, on Canada's healthcare system:

Kent Pankow lives in Edmonton, in a province and a country that is trying to either kill him or bankrupt him.

No sense mincing words.
Suffering from brain cancer, Kent Pankow was literally forced to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. for lifesaving surgery — at a cost to family and friends of $106,000 — after the health-care system in Alberta left him hanging in bureaucratic limbo for 16 crucial days, his tumour meanwhile migrating to an unreachable part of the brain, while it dithered over his case file, ultimately deciding he was not surgery worthy.
Now, with the Mayo Clinic having done what the Alberta Cancer Board wouldn’t authorize or even explain, but with the tumour unable to be totally removed, the province will now not fund the expensive drug, Avastin, that the Mayo prescribed to keep him alive and keep the remaining tumour from increasing in size — despite the costs of the drug being totally funded by the province for other forms of cancer.
Kent Pankow, as it turns out, has the right disease but he has it in the wrong place.
Had he lung cancer, breast cancer, or colon cancer, then the cost of the drug — $4,555 per treatment, two times a month — would be totally covered by Alberta’s version of OHIP.

But he doesn’t.

And so he is not only a victim of brain cancer, he is also a victim of arbitrary discrimination.
Full disclosure. Kent Pankow, a 40-year-old Red Seal sous chef, is a son of the man who married the spouse of my late brother. And it was while vacationing with them at their winter home in Los Cabos, Mexico, recently that this story began to unfold back in their home province of Alberta.
But do not think, even for a moment, that this could never happen in Toronto or other parts of Ontario.

Our supposedly universal federal health care system, the pride of most Canadians and the political struggle of America, is only as good as the length of the waiting line and whether you have the right disease at the right time.
Here's some info on the Kent Pankow Trust Fund.  (Note to other Bow Hunters - watch this clip !)

There you have it. 
"Socialized medicine: solving no problems, but giving government more of the money." 

Note to Congress.... Please add Nancy Pelosi to your email message groups

Washington needs to get "on message". 
First, we were told that all healthcare negotiations would be on C-SPAN. 
Then we were promised the most transparent administration ever. 
Then we were promised that all "non-emergency" legislation would be posted on the internet for 5 days prior to it being signed into law by the Prez. 

But every now and then we hear from someone who didn't get the memo.  This clip is only 5 seconds long.  Go ahead.  Hit play.  Please. 

Why are people cheerfully allowing politicians to take over their lives?  Just curious.  I welcome all theories and explanations. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Pork Party House - Reason Magazine on earmarks, Mary Landrieu, Jeff Flake, and the down home tasty goodness of PORK ! !

The best part of this video is where Jeff Flake, one of the few small government Republicans, claims that he gets "beaten like a rented mule" for opposing earmarks.

People that Barack Obama should never meet

Let's see here....
President Obama's budget calls for a huge increase in government. 
Obama is trying to take over 1/6th of the economy with his healthcare plan. 
He's taken over G.M. and Chrysler, and fired at least one C.E.O. 

I don't think anyone could argue that Obama doesn't love collectivism.
Here's a massive video collection of schoolchildren singing the praises of the great man.
Obama has preserved the wiretap and extraordinary rendition policies of his predecessor.
And most important, he's trying to control the means of production through domination of private ownership, or through blatant government partnerships with private owners.   

By now, these actions have to remind you of a particularly nasty political philosophy.... 

I'm just glad Obama never met Woody Guthrie. 

Bootleggers And Baptists, part 2

Look back here for an earlier post about Bootleggers and Baptists. 
Go here for another great example.  We must save the Everglades !  Or bail out U.S. Sugar.   

"The most important part of the (Bootleggers and Baptists) theory for me is not that politics makes strange bedfellows–it’s that special interests use the high-minded moral high ground folks to hide their theft."
                                             - Russ Roberts of Cafe Hayek

(Note to Nick in California....Is this why the government needs to hire expensive publicists?  Or do the politicians come up with this reasoning on their own?)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dan Rather - Our president is very articulate, but couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him state troopers to flag down the traffic.

Here's a treasure trove for your racist code words file.
I honestly don't know what to say.
Chris Matthews' interruption of Rather reminds me of....I don't know, it reminds me of....someone interrupting someone that is saying something dumb, or something....I'm struggling to find an analogy from my Deep South upbringing, and I'm reminds me of....I just don't know....

Dan Rather, in this video, is saying that Barack Obama is "articulate" (racist code word, implying that well-spoken minorities are a rarity), and that he couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him state troopers to flag down traffic.
He's saying that Barack Obama couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him state troopers to flag down traffic.
He's saying that Barack Obama couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him state troopers to flag down traffic.
Die quickly, mainstream media.  Die quickly. 

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

You can click here for the original PDF, courtesy of the ACLU. 

Now THAT'S funny. 
Note to civil libertarians:  How is Obama doing on closing Gitmo, getting us out of the war, legalizing weed, legalizing gay marriage, or doing anything else to distinguish himself from his predecessor? 

On the Detroit school system

Here's a post and video about a painfully honest student, courtesy of Andrew Breitbart's Big :

Militant socialists were out in full force Thursday, March 4th, for a “Day of Action to Defend Public Education.” The nationwide event was organized by fringe, left-wing groups like Michigan’s “By Any Means Necessary,” Ohio-organized “Community Organizing Center for Mother Earth,” Los Angeles-based “County Peace and Freedom Party,” the “League for the Revolutionary Party” of New York, and North Carolina’s “Destroy Industry.”

In Detroit, a chap representing the Che Guevara-loving, Mumia Abu-Jamal-supporting “FIST Youth” educated a crowd of about two dozen about the virtues of socialism. He also lectured on the Soviet Union, its roots and the glory days when the “people’s council” made all of the important decisions.

As I understand it from watching the video below, this guy in Detroit has a right to force you to pay for his education.  He has a right to force you to hire the employees that he chooses, not that you choose.   Oh, and he wants you to pick up the tab for his groceries too. 

If only the Hope'n'Change gang would lay it out there so honestly.
What kind of education system produces a guy who vehemently defends a Soviet regime that made the Nazis look like amateurs?  Well, Detroit's.  

It gets worse. 

Here are a few sample mass emailings sent out by the Detroit school board president, brought to us by The Detroit News:
Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row's, and who is the watch dog?
Here's another gem:
If you saw Sunday's Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason's he gave for closing school to many empty seats.
What?  Lord have mercy, what a mess. 
I'll admit it.  I'm capable of posting a rant without running it through spell check.  I'm still puzzled by lie, lay, laid, and lain.  I believe the only good infinitive is a split infinitive.  But  "Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row's, and who is the watch dog?" 
One other thing....I'm not in charge of educating 90,000 kids. 

Here's more from the Detroit News:

"I'm a horrible writer. I know that," says Mathis, 56, a lifelong resident of southwest Detroit. His difficulties with language were spotted as early as fourth grade, when he was placed in special education classes. His college degree was held up for more than a decade because he repeatedly failed an English proficiency exam then required for graduation at Wayne State University.

In another city, these revelations might be grounds for disqualification. But Mathis is liked and defended by many of his peers, who cite his collegiality, lack of defensiveness and leadership as more important than his writing skills. Even Winfrey, his defeated rival for the presidency, declined to criticize his qualifications.

Go here for a complete Mathis email.  This guy makes me look like William Safire

But the story of Mathis speaks directly to Detroit's educational conundrum, as officials try to raise standards and the proficiency of its students.

Is Mathis a success story? A man who beat the odds to win political success and career opportunities on the strength of his personality and judgment? Or is he an example of the system's worst failings -- a disinterested student who always found ways to graduate, even when he didn't meet the requirements -- and likely to perpetuate lax academic standards if the board wins its court battle with Bobb over control?

This is why the citizens of Detroit need school vouchers for their kids.  Inmates are running the only asylum, and the kids need a choice.  What kind of parent would dump children into that mess? 

I have two questions for the residents of Detroit, Michigan, the largest major city (according to The Detroit News) with the worst-performing school district.... 

Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row's, and who is the watch dog?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Dallas Window Sign Ordinance

Note to Fort Worth residents.... What are we going to do about this pesky suburb?
This is kind of embarrassing.  I just posted something about the high levels of personal and economic freedom in Texas.  Those freedoms, of course, include property rights. 
Note to John Jay Myers, Dallas resident running for Congress.... Your thoughts, sir?

The Freedom Effect - Texas Style

Forbes has put out their list of the 10 Metropolitan areas where the recession is easing, but it's in one of those annoying formats where you have to hit "next" 10 times to see all 10 cities.  Go to this Newser summary of the rankings if you find that to be tiresome. 
Their formula takes into account projected job growth and housing prices. Here's the list:
  1. (tie) Washington, DC-Arlington-Alexandria
  2. (tie) Austin-Round Rock
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
  4. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
  5. (tie) Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown
  6. Denver-Aurora
  7. San Antonio
  8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy
  9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
  10. Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas)
Skip this rant, since it doesn't really contribute to the argument in this post:  Seeing Washington D.C. ranked as the most recession-proof enclave on the planet should come as no surprise, since our system requires all the tax, stimulus, lobbying, porkulus, and kickback money to go there first so that our Lords and Masters can take their cut off the top.  Look at the huge pay increases given to Department Of Transportation employees, for instance.  The number of employees breaking the $170,000.00 per year barrier has increased by 1,680 % in just two years, while the rest of us struggle through a recession.  Nice, recession-proof work if you can get it. 

With a Statist Congress and The Teleprompter Jesus running the show, D.C.'s ranking at #1 is to be expected.  Ranking any other American cities with Washington is like comparing Chihuahua, Juarez, and Guadalajara, Mexico's financial well-being to that of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. 

Now that we have that out of the way....

Tied for first is Austin/Round Rock, Texas
Next is Fort Worth/Arlington/Dallas, Texas.
Next (tied with the Minnesota Metroplex) is Houston/Baytown, Texas
Denver breaks up the Texas winning streak, and then you get....
San Antonio, Texas

Now let's hop over to, which ranks U.S. states by Fiscal Freedom, Regulatory Freedom,  and Personal Freedom.  You can hit the link to see the methodology used to rank each state. 

In the Fiscal Freedom category, which includes things like proper restraints on local government, a high ratio between private vs. public employee earnings, and low local taxes, Texas was ranked #4 in the nation. 

In the Regulatory Freedom category, which covers freedom from labor regulation, health insurance mandates, occupational licensing, eminent domain, the tort system, environmental regulation, and utilities, Texas was ranked at a shameful #27.   I suspect this is because some of our billionaires like to dabble in eminent domain schemes and monopolies via regulation.  This is a good subject for further research. 

This gives Texas an Economic Freedom score of  #7 in the nation.  

The next big category is personal freedom.  It can be summarized as the right to do what you want to do, just as long as you don't harm anyone else.  It includes everything from gambling, to alcohol regulation, bicycle helmet regulations, forfeiture laws, tobacco bans, gay marriage, fireworks regulation, gun control, and home schooling.  Texas came in at #5 on the personal freedom list. 

All of these ranking combine to give Texas a Freedom Index score of #5 in the nation. 
Colorado (home of Denver/Aurora on the list of Metro areas recovering from the recession) is  #2 on the Freedom Index. 
Missouri (home of Kansas City on the list above) is #6 on the Freedom Index. 

Boston and Los Angeles distort the curve, since Massachusetts and California are only #44 and #47 on the Freedom Index.  (I have no theory on why Boston, Massachusetts, is doing so well ; California doesn't matter since their state government will be bankrupt within two years.) 

This is still enough to show a nice, neat correlation between freedom and prosperity.  Here's one of the Heritage Foundation's graphs showing the correlation between freedom and per capita GDP.  What's good for the states is obviously good for the nations:

Note to everyone moving to Texas:  Welcome !  We're glad you're here.  But if you're a refugee from another state, trying to outrun the consequences of your votes, please repent.  We're doing well here because we're willing to leave each other alone.   

What we can look forward to under Obamacare - Hospitalized kid has to call police to get a drink of water

Go to Google and type in healthcare and "civilized nations".  You'll come up with an array of editorials and blog posts sniffing that it's time for the U.S. to adopt the socialized medical systems of the other civilized nations.  (Canada, Cuba, China, etc.)  Just hit this link for a sampling.  It doesn't matter which one you open, the message in each will be similar.  The general theme is that all the really cool, you know, civilized countries let their governments run their healthcare system. 

And now for something completely different.  This is from The Daily Mail (U.K.):

A man of 22 died in agony of dehydration after three days in a leading teaching hospital.

Kane Gorny was so desperate for a drink that he rang police to beg for their help.
They arrived on the ward only to be told by doctors that everything was under control.

I want to be sure you understand this.  The kid had to call the freakin' police from his British Civilized Nation hospital bed to get some water. 

The next day his mother Rita Cronin found him delirious and he died within hours.
She said nurses had failed to give him vital drugs which controlled fluid levels in his body. 'He was totally dependent on the nurses to help him and they totally betrayed him.'

....The death certificate said Mr Gorny had died because of a 'water deficit' and 'hypernatraemia' - a medical term for dehydration.

.....The tragedy emerged a week after a report into hundreds of deaths at Stafford Hospital revealed the appalling quality of care given by many of the nurses.
This week a task force called on nurses to sign a public pledge that they will treat everyone with compassion and dignity.

Or at least sign a statement that you're willing to get up and get a kid a glass of water. 

I know, I know.  This happened in England, not the U.S. 
The people who run our Post Office, Department Of Motor Vehicles, and Department Of Health And Human Services will be much more compassionate and efficient. 

USA Today - Federal Pay vs. The Private Sector

From USA Today:

Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in 83% of comparable occupations. A sampling of average annnual salaries in 2008, the most recent data:

Job comparison

Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in 83% of comparable occupations. A sampling of average annnual salaries in 2008, the most recent data:

Job Federal Private Difference
Airline pilot, copilot, flight engineer $93,690 $120,012 -$26,322
Broadcast technician $90,310 $49,265 $41,045
Budget analyst $73,140 $65,532 $7,608
Chemist $98,060 $72,120 $25,940
Civil engineer $85,970 $76,184 $9,786
Clergy $70,460 $39,247 $31,213
Computer, information systems manager $122,020 $115,705 $6,315
Computer support specialist $45,830 $54,875 -$9,045
Cook $38,400 $23,279 $15,121
Crane, tower operator $54,900 $44,044 $10,856
Dental assistant $36,170 $32,069 $4,101
Economist $101,020 $91,065 $9,955
Editors $42,210 $54,803 -$12,593
Electrical engineer $86,400 $84,653 $1,747
Financial analysts $87,400 $81,232 $6,168
Graphic designer $70,820 $46,565 $24,255
Highway maintenance worker $42,720 $31,376 $11,344
Janitor $30,110 $24,188 $5,922
Landscape architects $80,830 $58,380 $22,450
Laundry, dry-cleaning worker $33,100 $19,945 $13,155
Lawyer $123,660 $126,763 -$3,103
Librarian $76,110 $63,284 $12,826
Locomotive engineer $48,440 $63,125 -$14,685
Machinist $51,530 $44,315 $7,215
Mechanical engineer $88,690 $77,554 $11,136
Office clerk $34,260 $29,863 $4,397
Optometrist $61,530 $106,665 -$45,135
Paralegals $60,340 $48,890 $11,450
Pest control worker $48,670 $33,675 $14,995
Physicians, surgeons $176,050 $177,102 -$1,052
Physician assistant $77,770 $87,783 -$10,013
Procurement clerk $40,640 $34,082 $6,558
Public relations manager $132,410 $88,241 $44,169
Recreation worker $43,630 $21,671 $21,959
Registered nurse $74,460 $63,780 $10,680
Respiratory therapist $46,740 $50,443 -$3,703
Secretary $44,500 $33,829 $10,671
Sheet metal worker $49,700 $43,725 $5,975
Statistician $88,520 $78,065 $10,455
Surveyor $78,710 $67,336 $11,374

A few things should immediately jump out at you. For starters, what the hell does the Federal Government need with Public Relations Managers? Do U.S. citizens have a freakin' choice about what government they answer to?
Number two: Aren't there plenty of Landscape Architects out there with less burdensome retirement packages in the private sector who could do this same work for less money?
Number three: Do government clergy making 80K per year spend most of their time thanking God for their jobs?
Number four: I'm to be congratulated for getting this chart to format properly on my website. I deserve more money, whether you want to pay me or not. I know it won't work. Just thought I'd try.
One other thing....the retirement/benefits packages are up to 4 times better for those who can get their foot in the Federal door.

When time permits, do a bit of Googling on the economic situation in Greece and Portugal. The path we're on is well-marked.