Friday, February 27, 2009

The Daily-Kos (of course) Blindly Runs With the Vile Gibson/FoxNews Smear....

Here's how the KosKids treated the smear...they blidly ran with it. No vetting at all from the folks who brought you the "Sarah Palin is really Trig's grandmother" smear.

Then, when it was shown to be a hoax smear, the Kos Kid writes an inane and belated "disclaimer", designed, apparently to shield the author from legal action.

FOX News/John Gibson Suggests Eric Holder is a Monkey (Really!)

by David J
Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 04:33:39 PM PST

Well, here we go. Apparently we're going to need federal legislation to prohibit conservatives from even discussing monkeys, using the word "monkey" or any such thing because for the 2nd day in a row we have a conservative, this times the horrible John Gibson of FOX News, putting his foot into his mouth and down his throat with a comment suggesting that a notable African American is a monkey.

Don't believe me? Watch the following clip
(EDITED version of YouTube Clip SHOWN BELOW)

Essentially, here's what happens. The anchor/reporter are talking about a monkey that has escaped from a zoo in Seattle. The anchor then shows viewers her desktop "screensaver" (actually desktop background) that has a monkey, which, when angry, has a "bright blue scrotum." (Attention, "bright blue scrotum," please pick up the white courtesy phone marked "next internet meme.") She says "bright blue scrotum" a bunch of times, and this is funny.

She then throws it to John Gibson, who says, and this is a quote, "
We were talking about Eric Holder today on the radio, and his bright blue scrotum."


Please tell me there's an alternate explanation that my overly sensitive liberal brain is not grasping. Please.

As of the other day, the following Update was added, though the inane and vile smear was left up;

UPDATE: Since this diary was originally published, it's come out that the video clip I linked to below was a hoax, and that John Gibson did not make the comments suggested in the clip. So, John, I owe you an apology. I still don't really like you, or your network, but you didn't make the comments as they were portrayed.

What Gibson Actually Said About Eric Holder!

THIS is what John Gibson of FoxNews ACTUALLY said about Eric Holder.

Sue John....SUE!

The Faked Video Used by Huffington Post (or TVN?) to Smear Fox News- Unaltered

THIS is perhaps the slimiest smear yet, by the unhinged Left.

John Gibson has warned the Huffpoos and John Sanders of Boston's WBAL TV to "Lawyer up." I'll post the actual (UNEDITED) version next.

Here’s Some GOOD NEWS!...

According to COMPETE.COM which uses very favorable numbers similar to those of the of sitemeter, DailyKos lost 75% of their unique page hits (viewers) from September of 08 to December 31, 2008, FROM over 2.5 MILLION unique sit hits per month, TO around 900,000/month!

This is consistent with the Alexa numbers showing a massive drop in rankings as well, and then there’s Jotter's statistics showing much fewer diarists and active users.

Keith Olberamnn’s Latest BIG LIE!...

I’ve got to hand at least one thing to Keith Olbermann, no one can make shear idiocy sound so pedantic.

What a guy!

Recently, Bill O’Reilly noted what the Wall Street Journal and others had singled out awhile back, that “The UAW worker’s compensation package hovers around $70/hour compared to the $50/hour compensation package for GM’s, Ford’s and Chrysler’s non-Union competitors, making those UAW shops hopelessly uncompetitive.”

Never passing up an opportunity to both pander to a Liberal cause, while taking a cheap shot at O’Reilly at the very same time, Olbermann took to, perhaps one of the most disingenuous routes of championing of the UAW ever seen.

First, Olbermann played a clip of O’Reilly comparing the relative costs of the different compensation packages, then Keith piously intoned that O’Reilly’s claim of a “one-third disparity in wages” is erroneous, noting that “GM’s workers and Toyota’s workers wages are nearly identical.”

While that’s TRUE about GM’s and Toyota’s WAGE packages, O’Reilly was talking about OVERALL compensation packages!

And those compensation packages include pension and health-care benefits!


It’s THERE, in those benefits packages, that the UAW’s workforce far outstrips their competitor’s compensation packages! It’s in those pension and health-care costs where the UAW’s compensation package’s value grows to a full one-third larger than its competitors!

But Olbermann, the slimeball, left that part out to deliberately imply that O’Reilly claimed something that he clearly didn’t.

That’s just one of the many reasons why Keith Olberamnn’s ratings are in the toilet.

Maybe next time he gives a “Worst Person in the World” award, old Keith will take a look in the mirror, for a change.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Missed Opportunities...

The Stimulus Bill COULD HAVE mandated natural gas powered vehicles for the federal government, then moved to encouraging the states and Municipalities to do the same, while offering tax incentives to those individuals who bought them...but it DIDN’T.

The Stimulus Bill SHOULD HAVE delivered its promised $15,000 tax credit for purchasing a foreclosed house, in order to stimulate the reduction of the glut of housing stock on the market...but it DIDN’T.

The Stimulus Bill that Could Have and SHOULD HAVE required the workers who’ll get jobs due to the stimulus funds to be American citizens by maintaining the House version’s E-Verify requirement...but it DIDN’T.

Instead it’s laden with hundreds of BILLIONS in wasteful pork and pet projects, like the $9 billion earmarked for rural Internet service and hundreds of millions more for studying STDs – studying the STDs that we already know how to cure?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Liberalism as an Emotional Disturbance Case #4,788,652...

Two staggeringly dumb things took me by surprise this past week (no, aside from the chimp gone wild that put one woman in critical condition), they were, (1) an FDNY widow blaming “the racist FDNY” for her probie husband’s death in the training academy and (2) the imbecilic interpretation of a NY Post cartoon (seen above) by some leftists, black and white.

On the cartoon front, and this has been done to death by now (Hey! I had to work and I do 24 hour shifts.) but to me, the BEST editorializing of this flap was done by Frank J’s of IMAO (In My Arrogant Opinion) Blog, entitled, aptly enough, Crazed Black-Hating Liberals and reads, in part; “The NY Post put up this cartoon, and the obvious implication is that the stimulus bill is so horrible it could have been written by a crazed, face-eating monkey. Now, that’s not entirely accurate, as a crazed, face-eating monkey does not have enough wits about it to use a national economic crisis to get pork projects for its district, but still I see the comparison.
Liberals, though, see something different though. Apparently, when they see a crazed, face-eating monkey — no matter the context — the first thing they think of is the current president. Why? Because he’s black, and apparently liberals think black people are just a step away from being crazed, face-eating monkeys.”

Yes indeed, sad, but very, VERY true!

There’s nothing for me to add. Yes, when liberals see a wild monkey their thoughts immediately turn to...

In the other staggeringly dumb event, Sherita Sears, the widow of Jamel Sears, a probationary firefighter who died on November 10, 2008 at the FDNY’s Fire Academy at Randalls Island, claims that Mr. Sears was the victim of an FDNY effort to keep blacks out of the department.

The claims goes that probationary recruit, Jamel Sears died after he was subjected to a more strenuous physical regimen than other FDNY hopefuls - most of them white - had undergone in the past, lawyer Ken Thompson said.

Ironically enough, I can comment on that, as I went through the Fire Academy a little over 23 years ago and did things that are no longer done today, like training on “scaling ladders” a 10’ metal bar with side bars, like a telephone pole’s running up its spine to a 2’ long hook with teeth at its top. Recruits back then, had to start on the first floor of a training building and put the scaling ladder’s hook through the window directly above, attach the hook to the window sill of the window above, secure it and climb to that window and repeat that process, until you reached the fifth floor. During that exercise, an instructor would order each recruit to secure their belt’s carabineer to the spine of the ladder and lean backwards away from the ladder, at which point, the instructor would shake the ladder to check the recruit’s reaction.

The smoke room back then was far more crude and arduous and the PT (physical training) was every bit as demanding as that done today, with long runs done EVERY day regardless of weather.

Jamel Sears' widow, Sherita, filed a notice of claim Feb. 6 informing the city and the FDNY she plans to bring a $10 million wrongful death suit.

"This was the largest class of blacks and Latinos in Fire Department history," Thompson said. "Why did the department decide for the first time to implement this particular training?

"We're saying we believe there was a racial motivation there."

Sears, 33, was part of the class that began at the academy in July 2008. The group included the most minorities in the FDNY's history, with more than one-third of the 297 members either black, Hispanic, Asian or female. NOT a single other recruit, minority or otherwise suffered a heart attack as Mr. Sears did.

A few days after Ms. Sears announced her lawsuit, the NYC Medical Examiner released a report that showed that probationary firefighter Jamel Sears was afflicted with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

The ailment, discovered during an autopsy, caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, can cause heart attacks and sudden death, according to the American Heart Association.

The autopsy indicated the disease was a contributing factor in the 33-year-old probationary firefighter's shocking death.

Barack Obama is elected president, primarily because so many white Americans voted for him and we’ve apparently entered a “post-racial America”...but apparently some folks can’t help themselves...they’re willing, for the shilling to stoke ethnic hatreds, so long as it makes them a buck.

Right Ken Thompson? Right Reverend Al???

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Cautionary Note to Conservatives...

I've got to warn my fellow Conservatives that underestimating the Obama administration will doom, not only the GOP, but far more importantly, CONSERVATISM to the wilderness, perhaps for a pretty long time.
Hear me out on this, please.

Right now, I think it's safe to say that Rahm Emanuel may be the most effective political force since Newt Gingrich, while Barack Obama, is perhaps the best communicator since Bill Clinton, perhaps even as effective as Ronald Reagan was.

The idea that "Obama wants to drive the economy into Depression" is as foolish a thought as are the 9-11 Truther conspiracies that "the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks." Both are as crazy as the idea that "Obama wants to see the U.S. attacked again."

Not only are such ideas foolish, they do irreparable harm to the side the purveyors of such ideas claim to support. They isolate such people in the "lunatic fringe" margins and once uttered, such sentiments can often serve to make those who claim them, unable to be taken seriously.

Ask yourself this, "Was G W Bush a Conservative?"

The ONLY honest answer is, "Not on your life," so PERISH that thought.

G W Bush was, like his Dad (the man who railed AGAINST Reagan's "Voodoo economics"), every bit as Keynesian as Obama, Pelosi and Reid are now.

Scarier still, G W Bush wasn't nearly as effective a communicator and defender of those Keynesian ideals as is Obama.

Right now, a LOT of Americans are lauding Obama's forcing those companies that have taken bailout monies to rein in their corporate compensation (bank CEO's compensation for bailout recipients is now capped at $500K). There's little doubt that with the auto bailouts will come some real fuel changes (forced by government) and perhaps auto downsizing, along with them.

THAT (forcing a deal with businesses that take government monies) is NOT "socialism."

IF it IS, IF that's your definition of "socialism," then the corporations that sought out all that government money are the real culprits - THEY sold out Capitalism, NOT the current administration!

All prevailing evidence indicates that MORE Keynesian policies (more government spending, more bailouts, and more wrong-headed regulation) will not get us out of a crisis brought on by the Keynesian policies of Bush-Jr. - SIX LOOOOONG years of excessive government spending (the prescription drug boondoggle, the NCLB Act, more social spending even adjusted for inflation than LBJ) and ham-handed regulation (ie. Sarb-Ox, which has been so expensive that it was almost solely responsible for the "jobless recovery" of 2002 - 2003, as companies couldn't afford to add payroll due to the added Sarb-Ox compliance costs).

MORE of the same bad policies are never the cure for bad policies.

Saying that, I'm telling you, this crew is NOT a bunch of dopes set on ruining America or having us attacked again.

They've changed the WoT (even scrapping that terms for "the global conflict") ONLY around tha margins, but have ratcheted UP the rendition program, signed onto and kept up the NSA Surveillance programs and are re-focusing on Afghanistan and other hotspots. Very clever.

Economically, their economics team is FAR better than G W Bush's. There's absolutely no comparison. Larry Summers, Tim Geithner...not a "socialist" in the bunch...ALL of them are market-oriented economists and they're all sound policy wonks.

Even their current spending, the overwhelming bulk is targeted to infrastructure repair - creating lots of new private sector construction jobs down the road.

AGAIN, these guys have taken a very cautious, clever approach to this. AND they've fought off Nancy Pelosi's overreach on an number of issues.

Angry Liberalism CAN occasionally be en vogue because the MSM backs it up, but I can assure you "angry Conservatism" s never in fashion and there's NOTHING the liberal media likes more than to see grassroots Conservatives meltdown and engage in the very kind of ODS they themselves not long ago supported as BDS.

Trust me, they'll marginalize angry Conservatives in a heartbeat and the bulk of moderate apolitical America will go along with them, clucking, "Yeah those crazy Conservatives. You can't trust them at all."

Ironically enough, I see Conservative overreaction as MORE of a threat to Conservatism than the Keynesian policies now being CONTINUED....all Obama's done s far is to CONTINUE the G W Bush policies! Moreover, NOTHING done to date, can't be undone in dealing with the crisis these things intensify.

I suppose I'm more nuanced in my political views. I don't see it as "Republicans = GOOD, Democrats = BAD." Not at all.

The way I see it, the Blue Dog (Conservative) Democrats and the Conservative Republicans are BOTH GOOD, the left-leaning, Liberal Democrats (Chuck Schumer, Bill Nelson) are BAD, the far-Left Democratic loons (Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Chris Dodd, John Conyers, etc) are WORSE...and the "Rockefeller Republicans" (those Liberal Republican elites like Arlen Specter, Sue Collins, Chris Shays) are the (to steal a phrase from the batshit crazy Keith Olbermann) "WORST PEOPLE in the WORLD."

Conservatives can't just swing for the fences against the Obama administration. We simply don't have the credibility to do that. Not after having spent the DECADE after Gingrich soiling the Conservative coalition he'd built.

A LOT of so-called Conservatives (G W, McCain, DeLay, Hastert) have screwed things up royally and delivered a bloated government and a sick economy.

We have to fix our own house before we can throw any rocks at Obama's, and while I don't think you're wrong about the disastrous outcome...even the CBO says the stimulus plan will have long term negative consequences;

My caution goes to the tone and tenor of how Conservatives choose to make their arguments.

If your opponent has a hole in his boat, it's best just to let him sink, rather than excoriate him for deliberating sabotaging his own attempt in the race.

We DO indeed seem to be heading from hard times into much worse times, how much worse, remains to be seen, BUT we have to acknowledge that the Bush administration (uncomfortable as this is to admit) had a HUGE hand in moving the U.S. onto the disastrous Keynesian path it's now on.

G W bush bought into the same "Big Government Conservatism" that Rudy Guiliani thrived on for a few years. The problem is that it still balloons government and Bush went even further with his "compassionate Conservatism" and that line of thought led many Republicans to support some of the policies that led to the current subprime mortgage mess that triggered the global credit crisis.

Newt Gingrich had a GREAT article in yesterday's Washington Post about what Conservatives (in government) need to do to win back the day;
Confrontation IS often necessary, but condemnation rarely is.
There IS certainly hope that another economic failure primarily brought about and then intensified by Liberalism will return us to a new direction

AFTER Carter, came Reagan....after David Dinkins (and the skyrocketing murder rate in NYC...over 2,000/year) came Guiliani....and after Bill Clinton veered Left in his first two years, came Newt Gingrich.

The problem with modern Conservatism is that when it's been empowered it's treaded way too lightly - nibbling around the edges, instead of dismantling the programs that weigh the economy down like anchors.

I am, in fact, hopeful of some sweeping changed in 2010, but they won't mean ANYTHING unless they are truly Conservative changes. I hope we can find another Gingrich and not someone who'll settle for nibbling around the edges, and certainly NOT a DeLay or a Hastert who'd seek to "get along with the Keynesians."
THANKS to Z for encouraging this post.

The Inevitability of Performance Enhancers...


Anabolic steroids are front page news lately, especially in baseball, even though football, basketball and hockey are almost certainly no less rife with these products.

Baseball has dealt with the issue far more amusingly than have the other sports, no doubt, in part, to having been embarrassed by Congress a couple years ago and partly because baseball’s numbers, its records are the stuff of legend. Everyone knows the records set by Ruth, Maris, broken by Aaron, then Bonds and McGuire, then Bonds respectively, there are no records in other sports that carry that kind of weight – not Wilt’s 100 points in a game, not 10,000 yards rushing in a football career, etc.

Until 2003, the MLB Players Association flat out refused any kind of mandatory drug testing and the owners were unable to force it on them.

Then, in 2003, the MLBPA allowed “random,” anonymous testing, with the stipulation that if more than 5% came back positive, tests for performance enhancers would be allowed.

Of course more than 5% of the “random” tests came back positive and that was that, UNTIL, perhaps the game’s most recognizable active player, Alex (A-Rod) Rodriguez’s positive 2003 result was leaked and made public recently. The other 103 positive testers are probably waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We’ve learned a lot since the A-Rod scandal broke, (1) Eugene Orza, the MLBPA head called players about to be “randomly” tested to warn them, so they could “cycle off,” (2) the use of performance enhancers is far more widespread than previously thought.

Since the Bonds/Clemens scandal broke MLB has been making the absurd claim that performance enhancers are used by a small minority of the players.


Athletes earn their livings, very good livings for playing children’s games at a very high level, with their bodies.

In a competitive environment, like pro sports, ANY edge is absolutely CRITICAL. If one player finds an edge, none of the others can afford not to find that same edge. In an environment where human growth hormones and other hormones (steroids) are being used, “IF player X won’t use them, players A, B, C and D will and player Y will ultimately fall behind.”

Consider these two things, (1) if the top players in the game, chasing records would “put their bodies at some unknown degree of risk,” isn’t the pressure on marginal players, players who need every edge just to make it into the league even greater...and (2) why haven’t the non-users spoken out and complained about all this cheating?

The first is obvious and can be proven that by looking at today’s top high school athletes, many of whom have already started a litany of performance enhancers, and the second question can only be answered, because “the cheating (such as it is) is so rampant, widespread, that every player is using something. That’s why the idea of “Those caught should all be banned,” as it punishes a few for a “crime” engaged in by all.

Performance enhancing products from anabolic steroids, to human growth hormone, to other products have morphed into a multi-BILLION dollar a year industry that started out with body builders, moved to fringe events like wrestling and have since been made safer, easier to take AND harder to test for.

Even a cursory look at the difference between Barry Bonds’ and Roger Clemens’ results and Mark Maguire’s highlights the advancements in the field. In Maguire’s day steroid use grew muscles too big for the tendons and ligaments to hold to the bone and guys like Mark Maguire suffered through some incredibly debilitating injuries – muscles shearing off the bone at the origin or insertion.

Neither Barry Bonds, nor Roger Clemens had any of those problems despite an occasional bit of “roid rage” on their both their parts. The joke used to be, “Clemens and Bonds must have paid more for the ‘good stuff’”, but the fact is, the professional athletes of the past quarter century have been the guinea pigs for performance enhancers.

A-Rod, while toned and buff, is NOT overly muscled, he’s lost none of his quickness and flexibility, in short, he “doesn’t look like a steroid user.” None of the physical speculation that surrounded Bonds and Clemens, GROWING more muscled as they got older, their heads getting bigger and instead of their athletic prowess declining, it actually improved with age...something that doesn’t normally happen to athletes. Skills generally decline with age.

The entire issue is grossly misunderstood and wrongly maligned. Today, we live in a world where regular, everyday people (not just famous athletes) are treated with HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Human growth hormone is readily available in other countries and it’s been seen as a veritable “fountain of youth,” when used properly.

Look, people behave within the strictures of the age in which they live. Training methods improve, dietary information grows, equipment becomes lighter and more supportive and medical science advances.

In the end, the so-called “steroid controversy” is really no controversy at all. Medical science has evolved to the point where we can maintain a longer youth through various performance enhancers, like HRT.

While actual anabolic steroids (especially synthetic steroids) can be readily tested for, there are always newer and more sophisticated “masking agents” being developed to “beat the tests.” Human Growth Hormone is so expensive to test for, it isn’t tested for by major league sports. Various pro-hormones (precursors to actual hormones) aren’t tested for.

In short, the “genie is out of the bottle,” not only in sports, but in society as a whole. We live, we exist now, in a chemically enhanced age. That’s merely an undeniable fact.

In an age when “weekend warriors” are popping OTC pro-hormones and other chemical enhancers, when cops are using these substances to be able to “work the street longer,” it’s the height of denial to think that professional athletes, in such an environment, are not going to be on the cutting edge of such advancements.

Much of the primal fear surrounding steroid use, comes from the earlier age, when some body builders and pro wrestler’s swilled the stuff in mammoth proportions, without any medical guidance. Today’s athletes cycle through a fraction of the amount “old time wrestlers” (and even some modern day ones) use in a month, over the course of a year. The substances have gotten better and more naturally absorbed and utilized by the body.

I’m not saying this is great, and it’s certainly not without its risks, BUT to deny that in THIS age, just about every athlete in every sport, from the minor leagues and Colleges through the pros is using some performance enhancers, is to be woefully na├»ve.

So what to do about baseball’s records?

That’s hard to say, at least for me. I mean, Babe Ruth hit the equivalent of a wet sock out of stadiums that dwarf today’s bandboxes. In one year, had the foul poles been located to where they are today, Ruth, it is said, would’ve hit 115 home runs in a single year! Yet, we didn’t put an asterisk on either Maris’ record (who was a left-handed hitter, when the Yankee stadium right field porch was brought in), nor Hank Aaron’s record, despite the fact that Aaron played the bulk of his career in the slugging-friendly confines of the old Atlanta Braves’ stadium. We didn’t negate the pitching records that came about when the pitcher’s mound was raised – Denny McLain won 30 games in that era.

But should we note the demarcation of “the performance enhanced age”?

Again, that’s also hard to say. When did it legitimately start? At what exact date? Who were the first players to use such enhancers?

Each age is different and the players of that era play under different conditions than the ones before and after. Remembering and appreciating the old records, shouldn’t necessarily negate the ones of the following ages.

P.S. WHY Sports?

I occasionally write about issues involving sports, WHY?

Sports involve the very essence of individualist ideal – competition, both between different teams and between individuals over stats.

In sports, one exceptional individual can often take a mediocre team and turn it into a winner.

Moreover, sports embodies each and every modern political, moral and ethical issue we currently deal with in every other aspect of our lives, from the “greed” of both players and owners, to cheating, to thuggish behavior.

A lot of moral and ethical lessons can be learned through the “morality play” that is professional sports.

Comparing Sweden to the U.S. is Really No Different Then Comparing Wyoming to Detroit...

A common mantra among Liberal Americans has always been that “the Scandinavian nations are demonstrably better places to live than the U.S. because they are more socialistic.”

There are two major flaws with that reasoning. The basic difference between “socialism” and “capitalism” is that, while the former is predicated upon the abolition of private property (ALL property, businesses and industries) are owned by the state, the latter is predicated on private ownership of property.

And while detractors of market-based economies deride the “wide disparities in wealth and income” endemic to those economies AND the fact that “there can never be anything approaching any real economic equality so long as private property rights are respected,” it’s socialism that has ALWAYS failed and ALWAYS delivered far poorer economic results. In short, despite its flaws, market-based economies consistently deliver MORE prosperity to MORE people.

There are two majors flaws with the invidious “Sweden vs America” comparison. The FIRST is that the U.S. is NOT a “free market economy.” It hasn’t been since around 1912. Since that period, J P Morgan and Bernard Baruch moved the U.S. FROM its free market roots TO the regulated market it has had ever since.
Today, there are no “free market” (completely unregulated market economies) in the world and few truly socialist economies either.

Sweden, like the U.S., France, England, Germany, Japan, is a government REGULATED market-based economy. It respects private ownership of land, businesses, industry, etc. It also has a guaranteed retirement system (like America’s Social Security), a generous welfare system (like America’s) and even a graduated income tax (like the U.S.).

So why do some people erroneously insist on calling Sweden (where 90% of the industrial output is produced by the private sector) a “socialist nation?” Primarily for the same reason they call the U.S. “free market,” that is, because they’re misinformed.

Within the market-based economy there is a scale or continuum. On the right side of that scale, is Supply Side policies that limit regulation, lower tax rates, limit government and “let the market work its magic. On the left side of that market-based continuum is Keynesian policies that ratchet up regulation, raise tax rates and make sure that all aspects of the economy are supervised by a watchful government.

Keynesian policies are NOT “socialist” policies because they DO NOT allow for the abolition of private property, in fact, they are predicated on the viewpoint that “markets work best.”

The problem with Keynesianism is that it places too much faith in governments that are, in fact, even more corruptible than business and industry and that inevitable leads to the kind of economic malaise America had under Carter and Western Europe suffered over the last twenty years.

So, YES, Sweden, Iceland and much of Western Europe (France, Germany, etc.) are indeed MORE Keynesian than the U.S. is, at least right now, they are NOT demonstrably more “socialist” as they not only have a market-based economy (like America’s), they also have the SAME guaranteed retirement system, the SAME generous welfare system and the same sort of graduated income tax that the U.S.

So really, comparing Sweden to America is not demonstrably different than comparing Wyoming (above, top) to Detroit (above, bottom). Wyoming has a lower crime rate and a much better quality of life, despite having the same basic economic system as Detroit has.

In fact, that comparison is much more adept.

Sweden HAD a much lower crime rate and a much better standard of living BEFORE it had to deal with an influx of mostly Arabic and Muslim immigrants that have congregated around a few teeming ghettos in that country. Much of Sweden’s low crime rates of the past seem, in retrospect to be due largely to Sweden’s more homogeneous population. Likewise, Wyoming has always enjoyed a lower crime rate, better quality of life and higher standard of living than places like Detroit and probably for many of those same exact reasons, despite having the very SAME economic system as those places.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome to Babylon...

My wife’s new favorite TV show is Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” (on BBC America), which, of course, pretty much makes it MY new favorite TV show as well.

The show centers around world renowned chef, Gordon Ramsey and his quest to set various poorly performing restaurants back on track by first assessing, then correcting the problems that have come to make them unprofitable.

The show started with a number of European eateries and has subsequently moved to some new fertile territory right here in the USA.

One recent episode, ironically enough, captured almost exactly what is currently wrong with America in a restaurant-based microcosm.

This episode took place in Babylon, Long Island, which is a suburb of New York City. There, Gordon Ramsey encountered yet another dysfunctional eatery called Peter’s, a local upscale restaurant that served Italian food.

Ramsey always starts his assessment by sampling the restaurant’s fares, checking their menus, their prices and how busy they are.

Upon his arrival at the Babylon Station of the LIRR, Gordon Ramsey had to wait about an hour for the restaurant’s maitre de and self-described “co-owner” to pick him up in his high end luxury automobile.

At Peter’s Chef Ramsey found the food undercooked, rushed and not of very high quality. It showed in their lack of patronage.

It turned out that Peters is owned by Tina (Peter’s sister), but run by her domineering, rough-around-the-edges brother, who spends much of the restaurant’s profits on $3,000 suits, glitzy watches and his car, while the restaurant that bears his name needs a new stove and a major rehab job on its walk-in refrigerator.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Another complicating matter in the business is that Tina’s and Peter’s parents are fixtures in the place and seem to demand that Tina keep the relatively useless, yet boisterous Peter happy and working at the restaurant, despite his bizarre behavior and general, all-around uselessness. I guess it’s better than having camping out at Mom and Dad’s place all day every day.

When Chef Ramsey confronts Tina over how long she can go on at this pace, she tells him, “only a matter of months,” after which she’d almost certainly lose her house to pay off her debts...many, or most of which, Peter has incurred.

Even when Chef Ramsey assesses the restaurant’s problems and sets up a new family style menu, with a new set of parameters and even a new kitchen with new appliances, Peter isn’t able to curb his ways. When he’s assigned to help out in the kitchen, he demonstrates that he has absolutely zero culinary skills and his quick temper, coupled with his hulking frame, make him a liability in too many ways to measure.

As you might expect, I saw, in this episode, a microcosm of America’s current problems, with the owner, Tina representing America’s long suffering and beleaguered entrepreneurs and business owners, her Mom & Dad, fixtures in the restaurant and stalwart of her brother Peter, no matter how much of a liability and how little help he offers the “family business,” are fairly representative of the various local governments and Tina’s brother Peter (who likes to call himself a “co-owner” despite the fact that it’s Tina’s name on all the lines of credit, the leases, etc. Peter, an ill-tempered, self-centered, lazy oaf with no restaurant nor business related skills, almost perfectly represents the U.S. government.

The loutish, incompetent and mostly useless federal big brother (Peter) likes to fancy himself a “co-owner” of the business that is America and likes to think that “nothing here would exist without him.” Mom and Dad (the local and state governments) ALWAYS can be counted to side with Peter over the beleaguered Tina (America’s entrepreneurs and business owners) and America’s kitchen staff (its workers) – the main artery of that business.

The beleaguered kitchen staff at Peter’s adequately represents America’s workers. It’s amazing that you can find real life lessons almost everywhere you look.

No wonder Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares is my new favorite TV show!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why Freedom/Autonomy Must be Surrendered in Any Collective Effort...

Recently Olympic swimming champion, Michael Phelps, made the news smoking marijuana from a bong.

As a result local law enforcement in his area have promised “an investigation” into criminal wrong-doing AND Kellogg’s has ended their contract with Phelps.

The drug legalization crowd are “outraged,” but that outrage is hard to figure, considering that many of these same pro-Pot people are some of the biggest anti-smoking (tobacco smoking) nazis themselves.

Could it be that they believe marijuana to be more natural and somehow “healthier” than tobacco?

Studies show that marijuana smoke has twice the tar of regular cigarettes and 70% more Benzydrine (a carcinogen) and due to the deeper inhalation used in smoking marijuana, two marijuana blunts (cigarettes) are said to be equivalent to more than twenty regular cigarettes!

But more than all that, it’s really a matter of freedom and how so many people misunderstand what “freedom” really is.

For instance, “Where does Kellogg’s get off severing their contract with Michael Phelps over some harmless marijuana smoking?”

Funny story.

Kellogg’s contracted with Michael Phelps, in part, because of his homespun image and the fact that he makes a good role model for kids.

Kellogg’s, as you might be aware, markets its breakfast cereal products primarily to kids.

Kellogg’s has a Corporate reputation to maintain. As a result, Kellogg’s has a right to protect its property (in this case, its reputation) and Mr. Phelps’ marijuana smoking, breached that contract, allowing Kellogg’s to sever ties with Michael Phelps.

When that was done by the Atlanta Braves with pitcher John Rocker, over some insensitive things Mr. Rocker said about New York City, everyone apparently understood that...or didn’t care. Well, there’s no reason for such folks to care now either.

Another thing such folks fail to realize is that “freedom” is NOT the “license” that says, “EVERYONE has a right to do whatever they like, so long as they don’t deliberately hurt anyone else.” At least, that’s NOT “freedom” as defined by America’s Founders, enshrined in our Constitution and other documents. THAT “freedom” is clearly defined as “LIBERTY,” which is actually, the antithesis of license! Liberty is merely complete self-ownership and the grinding burden of full, self responsibility that comes with that. Under LIBERTY, we are each entitled ONLY to the amount of license we can individually afford. The well-off can afford more risks!

True FREEDOM cannot exist absent INDIVIDUALISM.

In a collective, the group, volk or collective has a right to limit the risks and actions of its members.

Ironically enough, that turns America’s Founding ideals upside down. America’s Bill of Rights was a statement BY individuals LIMITING the actions of the group and its representative, government, while collectivism empowers the group to limit the action of individuals.

And collective efforts ALWAYS require the surrendering of individual rights for the “greater good” – for the benefit of everyone else.

Anti-smoking statutes, bicycle helmet laws and seat belt laws have risen in response to government, in effect, becoming “the insurer of last resort” for its people. In doing that, it has chosen to LIMIT the risks taken by those it insures, which is a wise and necessary policy.

Should we move to a government-managed form of “universal healthcare” it only stands to reason that government will limit risk even more, in effect micro-managing the lives of those it directly insures...and for good reason!

Once government is insuring the people, it must go about limiting the risk factors that raise the costs of insuring the people – smoking (ALL kinds of smoking), trans fats, over-eating, etc. etc.

Health control is one of the best and easiest ways to introduce complete people control, as once people are made to accept the government micro-managing what they eat, how they eat, etc., there’s little rationale left for resistance to complete control – what to believe, how many (if any) children we may have, what kinds of work we’ll do, etc.

Is "Tax Fairness" Part of the Liberal Agenda?....Apparently not...

Financial analysts have computed the cost of living in New York City (and by extension and to varying degrees, other major urban areas around the U.S. – LA, Chicago, Miami, etc.) and it’s pretty hefty.

For an individual to live “a middle-class lifestyle” in New York City, takes $123,000/year, compared to $50,000/year in Houston! A $60,000/year income in New York is equivalent to a $26,092/year income in Atlanta!

You’d think (IF they were actually concerned with fiscal or “tax fairness) that Liberals would seek to remedy this innate disadvantage such locales have...but “tax fairness”/“economic justice” is really NOT the concern of Liberals at all.

Still, you’d think at a modicum, the people in NYC would have their tax RATES adjusted to a national average...since it requires $123,000/year in New York city to live at the same standard of living that $50,000/year gets you in Houston, then the people in New York City earning $123,000/year should probably pay the same tax RATE as the guy earning $50,000/year in Houston and those earning $60,000/year should be taxed at the 26,000/year rate that it's equivalent to elsewhere.

But AGAIN, the Liberal agenda does NOT include “tax fairness.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How to Get The Left on Board Against The Jihadists...

The logical inconsistencies on the Left are imposing, from opposing water-boarding, while supporting partial birth abortion (a/k/a Intact dilation and extraction) of a viable infant that would survive outside the womb, to supporting anti-tobacco laws, while activating for the legalization of marijuana, which has twice the tar and 70% more benzopyrene (a carcinogen) than ordinary tobacco smoke.

All that merely proves that the Left doesn’t THINK about issues, they FEEL about them.

And that goes a long way toward explaining why the logical Right and the emotional Left don’t communicate very well - neither speaks the other’s language.

For instance, since the current and ongoing War on Terror (WoT), or our “conflict with Islamic jihadism” began in earnest on a Republican’s watch, the Left has not been able to get on board.

They’ve compared the jihadists to early America’s Minute-men, decried the use of coercive interrogations, mild compared to those almost anywhere else on earth, as “torture,” and compared an American administration that kept America free from terrorist attack since 9/11/01 to the Third Reich.

Now many of the same people are frustrated that the current Democratic administration is not only NOT standing down on this conflict, but instead ratcheting up the military action in Afghanistan, has signed onto re-authorizing the NSA wiretaps and increased the rendition program, where America pretty much “outsources” its coercive techniques to countries like Yemen and Egypt that are more willing to engage in such things (

This COULD reach a critical juncture IF the current administration doesn’t do something to reach out the Left and get them onboard the WoT by, in effect, “speaking their language.”

I know what you’re going to ask; “How are we supposed to do that?”

A fair question, and the answer is to use an emotional argument that will resonate with the emotion-driven Left.

Remember Al Gore’s veritable “Unabomber screed” titled Earth in the Balance?

Well, in it, he excoriated the beef industry because cows are very flatulent and hundreds of millions of cows combine to pump tons more methane into the atmosphere, contributing greatly to global warming.

Sure, it’s an overblown charge, rooted in pseudo-science, but it worked on getting a lot of emotion-driven Leftists on board with the anti-beef agenda of Gore and his goofy friends.

So why not use a similar argument here?

Something like, “Those whose diets are heavy in Hummus, falafels and taboula produce more methane and are more flatulent than those who don’t, in fact, they’re significantly more flatulent and hundreds of millions of these people combine to pump tons more methane into the atmosphere greatly contributing to increasing global warming. In short, we MUST radically alter the jihadist lifestyle in order to save our planet.”

This is just a starting point, but I think you get my drift here. You CAN’T appeal to emotion-driven people with logic. It won’t work.

What you must do, if you want them on board is to appeal to them in their own language – emotionalism.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hey! How Did Swaziland’s Women Get the Vote BEFORE Switzerland’s Chicks?...

Ever notice that Liberals love to bash everything that’s wrong with America?

They like to claim, “Only a friend would tell you that your face is dirty,” but friends also have more positive things to say than negatives, so friends the Leftists aren’t.

At any rate, one popular canard is that, “It took until 1920 for American women to get the right to vote.”

And that’s left out there, as though America was behind the rest of the world in terms of women’s suffrage, when NOTHING could be further from the truth.

In fact, the USA was the first nation to allow women to stand for election, way back in 1788. Long prior to 1920, many of America’s Western territories had already had women’s voting rights on their books.

But what’s amazing is the number of nations BEHIND the U.S. in terms of women’s suffrage! For instance, Sweden granted full suffrage to women a year AFTER America did. France (1944), Italy (1945), Japan (1945) and Belgium (1948) all gave women the right to vote around a quarter century AFTER America did.

But perhaps most amazing of all is that Switzerland only gave women the right to vote in 1971, Portugal bestowed full voting rights in 1976 and tiny, but prosperous Liechtenstein took until in 1984!

Imagine that! The women in places like Zimbabwe (1957), Nigeria (1958), the Congo (1963), Uganda (1962) and Swaziland (1968) all got to vote BEFORE the good women of Switzerland did and the women of Iraq (1980), Angola (1975) and Bangladesh (1972) all got to vote well BEFORE the women of prosperous Liechtenstein! Go figure.

Tell a Liberal and pass it on.

A Call to Artists-political art for freedom of speech. Limbaugh Obama Boortz

A GREAT video piece by Conservative artist Alvaro Alvilar.

If Conservatives are going to really get their message across, we're going to have to make major inroads in both the media and the arts. Conservatism can't afford to cede those areas to the anti-individualist Left.

American Ideas Click Here!