Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How Can a Speech on Hope Make Me Abandon all of It?

Ok, I'm back. Let's get this blog up and running again. Now, I didn't watch the inauguration, but in all fairness, I don't think I've ever watched an inauguration. I knew it would either bore me or piss me off. So keep that in mind as we analyze this thrilling speech that I have heard described as brilliant and terrible. I'm thinking I will lean toward the latter considering my opinion of Barry and the fact that none of his euphoria inducing charisma translates to the written text. However, I will go into this with an open mind.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
That seems nice. Good start Barry.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
I'm sure you do, but at least you sound gracious. Way to keep it classy.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
Ouch, I'm not going to harp to much on this, we all know there are now 43 men, not 44, but how do your speech writers goof up this far into a speech that was billed to be the most historic grouping of words this side of Lincoln? At least we can all agree that "the One" isn't infallible, unless by saying there are 44 different Presidents he hath made it so, Genesis style. Is the new one Gore? Will that make him shut up?
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.
What you can't see here is Rahm Emanuel taping his fingers together sinisterly as he eyes someone's Chevy.
At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
Ok, I call bullshit. America hasn't remained faithful to our forbearers or our founding documents. See oh, um, about every single government action since Woodrow Wilson took office. That aside, is this how you intend to govern? By the intentions of the forefathers and the Constitution?
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
Joke's on you, liberals. You accidentally elected a libertarian. Sweet.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some. . .
Chris Dodd for example.
. . . but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
What hard choices would those be? Scrapping social programs and instituting a flat tax? I think that's a pretty easy choice Barry, but rational people can disagree.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered.
He's being really hard on Chris Dodd.
Our health care is too costly,
You get what you pay for Barry. Ask a Canadian.
our schools fail too many,
Are we going after the NEA? Your a Godsend Barry, I can't believe it took me this long to come around.
and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries. . .
We certainly don't want to strengthen Palin. Thank God we buy from Venezuela.
. . . and threaten our planet.
I don't like the direction this is going. What is our planet under threat from this month? I've been out of the loop. Is it global warming? A new ice age? Manbearpig? I need to know, and I need to know how you're going to tax me to stop it.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Uh, aren't you the one that said I can't keep my home at 72 degrees anymore? That I can't drive whatever I want? Our confidence was pretty low in seventies, I believe a peanut farmer created some sort of misery index to catalog our despair. Wouldn't it have kind of pushed our society off the edge if you had told them they all had to drive Gremlins?
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
Or exacerbated, but don't let me interrupt, please elaborate.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
Hope over fear? I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt and assume you're not taking a veiled shot at W., because that's not the classy guy you are. Anyway, how are these vague, empty phrases going to help America meat these real challenges? Come one Barry. Where's the specific and substance filled guy I new and loved on the campaign trail?
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
I kind of thought progressive liberalism was a worn out dogma filled with false promises and built upon petty grievances. However, I'll give you a pass because, while I didn't watch the speech, I going to assume he's riding a horse and waving sword before the assembled men of Gondor.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
Couldn't agree more. Let's get rid of the Nanny State.
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
I wasn't aware you had read the Declaration of Independence. Is Barry serious about adhering to the founding documents?
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
I will settle for nothing less than an Escalade that intentionally leaks gas.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

Surely we wouldn't want to punish the risk-takers, doers, and makers of things by taxing the prosperity they create? We don't want to reward undeserved people with the earnings of men and women obscure in their labor, right?

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

I'm pretty sure they did it for themselves (except for those under the whip, they did it for the guy with the whip). You see Barry, when people have a reasonable expection of reward, they work and innovate. Its actually selfishness that drives prosperity. Hence the sad history of utopian socialist distopias.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Can't argue with that.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.

Yeah, that guy working the land of his Nebraskan homestead in 1866 was doing it for me.

They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

Huh, I always thought America was nation of rugged individualists. That sounds dangerously like collectivism, Barry. You know who else is bigger than the sum of their individual ambitions? The Borg.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.

I await your Defense Budget.

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.

I'm typing this at work

Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests. . .

How dare we protect the wealthy's money from everyone else.

. . . and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Again with the unpleasant decisions. Have you ever seen a riot Barry? Looting is a blast. There's nothing unpleasant about it unless you're the lootee. But we're no longer concerned with the "narrow interests" of the lootee.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

Is that like remaking a movie? Because that generally ends badly. It also usually begins and progresses through the middle badly. Burt Reynolds will always be better than Adam Sandler, Barry. Lockean Democracy will always be better than, well, anything else.

Wow, long speech. This seems as good a spot as any for an intermission. We'll continue this tomorrow, or whenever I feel up to having any optimism left in me beaten out by impending doom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shouldn't You Be Trying To Nationalize Something?

First off, sorry to all 11 of my readers (hi Mom) for the dearth of posts these past couple of weeks. I haven't quit and Chucky Schumer's Fairness Enforcement Squad has yet to discover my undisclosed bunker deep beneath the Blanchette Bridge. Politics have been a bit trying lately with the November election results. I wouldn't say recent events have depressed me, its more of a fatigue. One of my cardinal rules is not to let events outside of my control influence my quality of life, and there's no way I'd let Barry Obama and Barney "Lisp'n 'n Pimp'n" Frank affect my general happiness. So I've taken a bit of a sabbatical from politics the past few weeks. I've gone out of my way to avoid all news and have thus been a bit out of the loop. Since my blog normally depends on me reading/seeing something that interests/enrages me enough to write, I haven't really had anything to say lately (I'm shocked the internet has been able to continue to function in my absence). That said, politics have managed to invade my retreat from the world, and thusly I am forced to address it in my own insignificant way. What, you ask, has politics gotten its swinish, gormandizing hands upon to rouse me? College Football.

Stay with me here, this is, unfortunately, indeed a political post. Many of you may remember before the election, Barry called for a playoff in College Football on two separate occasions. Never mind that I doubt Barry sees the difference between a Nickle Defense and his Military Budget, there's a bigger issue here than Barry's street cred as far as sports goes. Does the President Elect seek to use the power of the Federal government to institute a playoff?

Let me be clear. I desperately want a College Football playoff. In my opinion it would be bigger than the NCAA Basketball Tournament or, dare I say, even the Super Bowl. The fact that BCS Conferences and University Presidents have blocked the playoff movement makes me so violently angry that I have to fight the urge to stab some cute woodland creature. The shear awesomeness of even an 8 team playoff is the stuff of my wet dreams. That said, how College Football chooses to crown its champion is NONE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S DAMN BUSINESS.

"But pissed of Midwestern blogger guy," you may ask. "Doesn't Barry have the right to his opinion on a playoff, even if he's going to be Head of State?" Well of course he does. I certainly don't begrudge him his opinion on sports, I happen to wholeheartedly agree with him on this subject (And yes, agreeing with Barry O did take a year off my life just as surely as if you had hooked me up to the torture device from The Princess Bride (Shut up, I'll watch anything with Peter Faulk in it)). My problem is that I don't trust Barry to remain a civilian fan, especially when Congressmen from both sides of the aisle keep proposing that the Federal Government impose a playoff on College Football by law. Seriously.

Just yesterday, 3 Congressmen introduced a Bill to "prohibit the marketing, promotion and advertising of a postseason game as a 'national championship' football game, unless it is the result of a playoff system." This is a Republican. From Texas. Aren't they supposed to be conservative? I know Texas got screwed out of a birth in the National Championship, but do we really need the Federal f'ing Government to remedy this, thereby getting its dirty, dirty, fingers into College Football? The Representative, Joe Barton, explained his position thusly: "In some years, the sport's national championship winner was left unsettled, and at least one school was left out of the many millions of dollars in revenue that accompany the title. Despite repeated efforts to improve the system, the controversy rages on." So what? In 8th grade I didn't make the boys' basketball team despite nailing the frigging tryout. I didn't demand Federal intervention. Do Republicans even know what conservatism means anymore? Less government. Less! Less! Less! Even when we feel the central government may be able to adequately resolve a problem, we seek to restrain it if to do so it must move beyond its specifically enumerated powers. My beloved Missouri Tigers were screwed out of an Orange Bowl birth last season in favor of the Kansas Jayhawks (who are the embodiment of pure evil, I might add). Did I lobby for Lawrence, Kansas to be deservedly destroyed by a tactical nuclear missile? No. Why? Because I'm a freaking conservative. The Federal Government has no right to decide who plays in what game or how.

What could possibly justify Federal intervention? The Interstate Commerce Clause? I'm not quite sure that fits with the founders' original intent. I must have missed the section of the Federalist Papers where Madison elaborates on the Constitution with regards to Collegiate Sports. True, most members of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision are government institutions, but they are STATE institutions. The libertarian in me can barely tolerate State funded universities, let alone Federal hegemony over their athletics. Don't even get me started on Title IX. If I could at all alter the Constitution, the Interstate Commerce Clause would be the second to be changed, right after the General Welfare clause. "I Should Have Been More Specific" should be inscribed on Madison's tombstone, but I digress.

There's my rant. I will probably take it easy on blogging for a bit longer. I just can't handle my disgust every time I hear the phrase "Team of Rivals" used to describe Barry's cabinet, and since there appears to be an FCC mandate that "journalists" use this phrase whenever speaking about the future administration, I'll probably be avoiding the news a bit longer, if only to avoid nausea and coronary disease. I hope to get back into it after the holidays, refreshed and ready for the inauguration/deification.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Take a good, long, look at this ballot and tell me how it is possibly not a vote for Norm Coleman in the Minnesota State Senate race. There's no way. Its not possible for a human being to make this mark in the oval beside Norm Coleman's name without the intention of voting for him. No decent human being could argue otherwise. I know, we are talking about Al Franken here, but he must have some basic (albeit hidden) shred of humanity somewhere within him.

What possible scenarios could explain this ballot's existence in a supposedly good, decent, and well ordered universe if it is not a vote for Norm Coleman? Did the voter have a seizure as he entered the voting booth, pen in hand, yet somehow managed to accidentally submit his ballot to the machine as the poll monitors frantically tried to stop him from swallowing his tongue? Is he a slightly mentally handicapped, schizophrenic, paranoid, psychotic who believes Norm Coleman has been reading his mail, stealing his newspaper, and sodomizing his dog, who upon seeing Norm Coleman's name, shrieked something about the Carlyle Group and the most recent Indiana Jones film as he frantically scribbled x's next to Coleman's name in an effort to emphasize his distaste for the incumbent? Did the voter, being legally retarded, think he was voting for Coleman to be kicked off Survivor?

I suppose no one can really know what this man, woman, or dead ACORN registeree was thinking when they made a mark in the oval next to Norm Coleman's name, but I think the safest assumption would be that they were voting for Coleman. But that's only if we're coming from a position of "ethics" and "faith in Democracy". In a spirit of bipartisanship, I think we should look at it from the Franken campaign's point of view. Put yourself in their shoes. What may seem imbecilic at best to the rest of us makes perfect sense if you're trying to steal an election.

Always Think Ahead

Franz Reichelt presents an interpretive dance on the Obama economic plan:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reagan's Response to David Brooks

Let Them Go Their Way

Governor Ronald Reagan (R-CA)

March 1, 1975

Since our last meeting we have been through a disastrous election. It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. If there was anything like a mandate it will be found among almost two-thirds of the citizens who refused to participate.

Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached “the gospel,” in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.

Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. Few, if any, Democratic party candidates in the last election ran as liberals. Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own.

Bureaucracy was assailed and fiscal responsibility hailed. Even George McGovern donned sackcloth and ashes and did penance for the good people of South Dakota.

But let’s not be so naive as to think we are witnessing a mass conversion to the principles of conservatism. Once sworn into office, the victors reverted to type. In their view, apparently, the ends justified the means.

The “Young Turks” had campaigned against “evil politicians.” They turned against committee chairmen of their own party, displaying a taste and talent as cutthroat power politicians quite in contrast to their campaign rhetoric and idealism. Still, we must not forget that they molded their campaigning to fit what even they recognized was the mood of the majority.

And we must see to it that the people are reminded of this as they now pursue their ideological goals—and pursue them they will. . .

I don‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party”—when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.

The rest

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Arbeit Macht Frei

I never thought I'd see the day when the 13th Amendment became less popular than the 2nd among liberals.

All you young voters who cast your ballot for Obama because he's a rad dude who plays basketball and seems like the type of guy who would reduce a possession charge to a small fine, perhaps you should put away the hacky sack next election and take what your Post Modern Feminist Studies professor says with a grain of salt.

Behold the visionary who will put Obama's brand of National Socialism into action: Rahm Emanuel (History has a tremendous sense of irony doesn't it?)

This pretty much speaks for itself. I don't think I have anything really to say.

Wait, yes I do.

I hate to keep beating a dead Prussian, but do any of you misanthropes who voted for Obama understand what's being so cavalierly described here? Forcing every American of military age into a Civilian Defense Corps doesn't set off any alarm bells in your head? This goes far beyond a draft of some fraction of eligible (male) Americans in a time of war. This is every American in times of peace. Who controls these training camps? Who will train these college age Americans? These are the same intellectual giants who believe their Cultural Studies Professor when he tells them that pre colonial stone age North America was vastly superior to modern Western Civilization. They're very stupid and suggestible. If they can't figure out that "The Flintstones" wasn't a documentary series, what BS is Obama going to feed them?

Further more, who will control this army? The President? What power will Congress have? What will this army be doing? Building windmills? Attacking non union shops? Cutting off aid shipments to Kansas because their farmers refused to collectivize? What is the purpose? If another Katrina hits New Orleans, I don't want to be forced by the Federal Government to go help distribute Federal Treasury money to people who A: Live in a coastal city that is below sea level, and B: Are too stupid to evacuate when a hurricane hits.

How would this help against terrorism? If we had had a vast Civilian Defense Corps on 9/11, what would that have done? We could have poured the entire United States Army into Manhattan and it wouldn't have done a lick of good after the planes hit. In fact it would have hindered relief efforts by clogging up the infrastructure. We already have more than enough government agencies to help (hinder?) in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. The only way a Civilian Defense Corps could help is by stopping the attack before it happens. So unless Obama wants to arm us and send us about looking for terrorists, he's just whistling Dixie.

Perhaps all Emanuel and Obama want to do is set this Corps to work building bridges, dams, roads, etc. Taxes will be raised, money will be wasted. Its like the TVA except you have no choice. This is the ultimate form of "community organizing". He has the youth of the whole country to do his bidding. Take a moment to think about this. The President of the United States will have an army at his command to do whatever he wants with, without Constitutional restrictions. Think the 3rd Amendment will apply? These aren't "soldiers", its a "Civilian Defense Corps". Even if Congress has some sort of oversight, do you trust them? Have we as Americans come to the point where we trust the Federal Government with this kind of unrestrained power over our persons?

It will truly be a dark day when draft dodgers who flee to Canada are rightly considered patriots. Oh well, I suppose I'll be able to get a deferment by volunteering for ACORN.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your Crazy is a Special Kind of Crazy

Are there any liberals out there who are bothered by the Obama personality cult? Are there any who are intellectually honest and will admit that this type of thing is unhealthy in a Democracy no matter what ideology you subscribe to? I believe Reagan was the greatest President of my lifetime (I was a whole 4 years old when he left office) but I understand that he was a flawed human being just like the rest of us. He beat back liberalism (or at least put it on hold for a decade or two) but I've never thought of him as a messiah. He was a politician. A talented politician who subscribed to the same basic ideology that I do, but still a very human politician. While I would be thrilled if a politician could successfully take up the mantle of conservatism as he did, I would never be reduced to a fawning 16 year old female Beatles fan circa 1964.

There seems to be a religious devotion to Obama among many leftists that frightens me not as a conservative, but as an advocate of Democracy. How much power do we want to give him? If you believe he's infallible, I suppose you'd give him as much as you can, whether he wants it or not. I'm sure there must be Democrats who are unsettled by this, especially the secular left who have no place for religion in the public sphere. Or maybe they just believe they are giving the people their opiate. I don't think half the people who voted for Obama actually desire socialism in America, but if they are distracted by emotional attachment, they may not notice what's being done in the name of "change" until one day they wake up and realize that America is now a part of Scandinavia.

Personality cults have a nasty habit of segueing into tyranny. Give one person all political power and ask him to solve all your problems and you end up with a fairly comfortable life -- provided you suspend all independent thought. As long as you believe in him, I suppose you'll believe him when he tells you things are getting better despite your lying eyes. Unfortunately Democracy doesn't work like that, its based on reason, not faith. Conservatives find themselves in this current mess largely because we had faith that George Bush's second term would be markedly different than his first. That Rove and Bush would steer the nation firmly right, despite what our lying eyes saw during the first term. However, Bush was no personality cult. No one deified him. We merely misplaced our trust. We chose to believe that he would act conservatively because we really had no other choice. Who are you going to vote for Kerry? It made the decision more palatable to believe Rove was the genius people said he was and had a secret conservative plan.

Many Obama supporters aren't even that rational. They literally think he will abolish all their anxieties, outlaw their problems with the stroke of a pen. Life doesn't work like that. There is no utopia. There is no Christ-esque messiah save Christ Himself. Does it matter though? Contrary to what many on my side are saying, I don't believe most of Obama's supporters will abandon him when he fails to deliver. I think they've invested too much in him to allow him to fail in their minds. A Judas will be constructed by the masses with the media's help. Most likely a Republican or combination of Republicans. Obama cannot be allowed to fail because a failure of Obama is a failure of his supporters. The human mind doesn't so readily admit that it is that much of a dupe, that much of a fool. This isn't your fault its someone else's. "What do you mean Obama's a failure? Can't you see he's a spectacular success? Can't you see? Don't you have faith?" Its a sad characteristic of humanity that we can so easily bend reality to fit our expectations. A characteristic I fear we'll see more and more of in the future.

Hope can be a very good thing in the proper circumstances. It can see a person through tremendous adversity. But it can just as easily bind them to a failed policy, a failed idea, a failed leader, and when hope fails to bring the change we just knew it would bring, it turns to desperation. I don't claim to know exactly what the future will bring, but I don't think it will be pretty.