Friday, April 30, 2010
Silkworm missiles on the other hand, don't molt at all. In fact, when the North Koreans fire these Chinese made dandies at South Korean ships from a shore battery, they are capable of cutting them in half, killing 46 of 104 crew members. The Cheonan didn't have a chance last month since the attack was completely unprovoked.
The Cheonan did have a sister ship, however, that despite Obama's orders to the U.N. to not escalate tensions in the area, mysteriously set off an artillery barrage that annihilated the shore battery, reporting that they had mistakenly fired on a flock of birds, not North Korea. Oops.
North Korea incidentally, was thiiiis close to getting nuked in 1950 after MacArthur beat North Korea only to find half a million Chinese staring him in the face. Truman wouldn't let him, which really pissed Mac off. He was probably going to do it anyway, and when Truman figured that out, he fired MacArthur. What does that have to do with Silkworms? Well, nothing really. I just thought you should know since you were evidently sleeping through your history class.
Back to March of 2010. Why did the North Koreans attack the Cheonan? Because the boat had been painted taupe. That's reason enough for me. Ah. I am being advised that there is another reason. The North was also angry at reports that the United States and South Korea were planning to destabilize then bring down their communist regime. It seems that some things are transparent and broadcast on C-Span after all.
Who would have guessed that the North Koreans would have been munching on Doritos with their feet in the water massage thingy while U.S. Forces Commander General Walter Sharp told Congress how important it is that we be in urgent preparation for North Korea's sudden government and military collapse. On C-Span. Sheesh.
Now North Korea is strutting around with all the feathers on their back standing straight up, squawking about the unprecedented nuclear enema their invincible army is going to administer. Great. A despot with nuclear enemas. With friends like that, who needs enemas. Sorry.
OK, so we have the Axis of Evil, North Korea, Iraq and Iran, right? Well now it's the three amigos. Obama has ordered the United Nations to back off North Korea, he is protecting Iran while they develop nukes of their own, and ironically has blackballed our long time ally, Israel.
Meanwhile, here at home, a communist regime is being built all around you, right under your nose. Not a believer? Look around. What did Castro say? I believe (I know) that he declared Obamacare a miracle and a major victory for Obama's presidency. Fidel sees it. We need to be standing on the desk stomping our feet, people. It's happening even as you sit watching the evening news. The car crash across town is NOT the important news of the day. Think enema.
...the headline "Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant"
I would like to say I am speechless but I'm not sure what that feels like. What I DO know is that it IS a crime to be an illegal ANYTHING. It is already a crime to be an illegal lane changer, an illegal prank caller, an illegal burglar, an illegal murderer, an illegal alien, an illegal wiretapper. If the word "illegal" is in it, it is a crime. Why do you mollycoddling wack jobs think we should be soft on illegals? They are not legal illegal immigrants. There is no such thing. They are illegal illegal immigrants committing a crime by knowingly breaking the law.
It doesn't matter that they are trying to make a better life for themselves or that it really doesn't feel illegal because they are just living their life or that they think the law is wrong and should be changed. That just doesn't matter. I really feel safer if I wear my gun when I go into the bank, but I don't because it is illegal and there are consequences for going into a bank with a gun. It would be illegal so I don't do it.
Arizona's governor has made it clear that there is to be no racial profiling, that is, pulling someone over for being Hispanic. If they have official contact with a Hispanic, they WILL ask for identification and proof of legal status. Maybe people are hung up with what "official contact" means. As a concealed carry permit holder, I know that it means that if I am interacting with the police for a reason other than incidental contact, that is "official contact".
It is so easy to cry racism. Here's the thing, though. The majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic. Hispanics happen to look Hispanic. If the murderer were driving a green pickup truck, I would expect the police to scrutinize those driving green pickup trucks more closely. Because most illegal aliens are Hispanic and they look Hispanic, I would expect police to scrutinize the identification of those that look Hispanic. For those that are legal, a smile and a "sorry for the inconvenience", from a police officer goes a long way.
For those that are most vocal, SHUT UP for a minute and read the darn law. Why do we constantly have to tell these people to read the bill? For crying out loud. This new law in Arizona states that the laws already on the books are to be enforced. If the Feds won't do it, then the states should. Obama has directed the State Department to keep a close eye on Arizona. Why doesn't he have someone just keep an eye on the darn border? Mexico's inbound immigration policy is every bit as strict as ours, only they enforce theirs. Grrr.
I love the fact that several other states are looking at enacting similar legislation. I think Barry might be getting a bit frustrated. Like maybe he's losing control. Poor Barry. Barry, you promised many things and have not delivered. Things that belong at state level are being handled at the state level, and you are just going to have to deal with it. If you want to whine, give me a call. I'll listen. But be prepared to hear my honest opinion about your ineptitude. For everyone else, stop being stupid. Illegal is illegal in this country. No matter how much you whine and cry, illegal will still be a crime.
Those were the last words spoken by Sue Ellen before she left the hospital room last Friday to go make funeral arrangements for her daughter. My son and I were in that room to say goodbye.
Brennan was a force of nature. She blew into our lives last fall, made us fall in love with her, and left us all too soon. She was just nineteen years old but exhibited a grace and a strength that left me speechless with admiration.
Alex held Brennan's hand, told her she was beautiful, talked with her about heaven. I sat there awkwardly, only wanting to see Brennan's struggle end. I wanted her to get well; I still can't believe that cancer could take her away. Her cancer was rare and did not respond to chemo or radiation treatments. It attacked viciously and its evil spread with a speed that leaves me breathless.
Tonight we will participate in our first Relay for Life. Funds raised benefit the American Cancer Society. Bruce and Alex and I are the team captains for the Millbrook Presbyterian Church team. The activities tonight are something that I look forward to and dread at the same time. Brennan died less than a week ago; our hearts are still freshly broken. I don't mind grieving with friends but this event is too public and I'm afraid parts of it will be very difficult for me. Still, the living have to do just that--live. And loving others, hating cancer, joining in a community effort to show support for those who have been affected by this evil are significant and good things.
Remember to hate cancer. Do something for someone else today--show them that you love them and then tell them so.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
So which agency censored Comedy Central? Well, no agency did. A terrorist group calling themselves "Revolution Muslim" issued a loosely veiled death threat against the authors of the program and they caved. They gave in to a group no one had ever heard of because those issuing the threat are Muslim. It strongly appears that's all it takes to make a television network submit to you. The Muslims have successfully built themselves a reputation that is so intimidating, that all they have to do is say, "maybe this bad fate will befall you too", and the world submits to them, elevates them to a superior status. Untouchable.
Even though it made no mention of Mohammed, Comedy Central also cancelled a speech about intimidation and fear. I guess they didn't want to upset anyone that makes their living based on intimidation and fear. Am I the only one that sees a serious problem here?
This is a religion that in the name of Allah (God), killed hundreds of people because of their association with satirical cartoon drawings. This is the religion that put a million dollar price on the head of Salman Rushdie because he wrote a book that offended them. This intimidation into submission is their modus operandi.
We are going to need some heroes, people. Our press is petrified of insulting them. Our networks are petrified of upsetting them in any way. They will kill over a cartoon or a book. The President of the United States, either through fear of the Muslims, or in collaboration with them, has deleted any reference in the National Security Strategy of "Islamic extremism" or any other wording that might link terrorism with Islam or Islamism, despite their clearly violent ideology.
That is scary. That the ones responsible for feeding information to the public, that those responsible for making policy in the United States, that the one responsible for leading this great nation, are either afraid of or collaborating with those who have sworn to kill us. As a result, these terrorists are controlling the speech and actions of those we are supposed to trust to keep us informed, to keep us safe.
I realized he was right--those whose jobs depend upon getting the numbers right were much more qualified than any Congressman to decide what was correct accounting procedure for their companies.
My friend wasn't finished. "The hearings will be canceled," he predicted. "His staffers are freaking out right now because they know the CEOs are right and Waxman is wrong and they'll make him look like an idiot if he drags them to a hearing."
Again, he was right. The hearings were canceled (by this time I was sorry to hear it). And today there is an interesting blurb in The Daily Caller about those mysteriously canceled hearings. Waxman stated publicly that an investigation had revealed that the companies handled the write-downs properly. "But a new report from committee Republicans reveals the documents Waxman obtained included embarrassing evidence that the health-care law could drive up insurance premiums and force employers to dump employees from their health plans."
Remember how Obama promised (ad nauseam) that you wouldn't lose the coverage you had if you were happy with it? "Most significantly, documents unearthed by the investigation highlight companies that are considering dumping employees from their current health-care plans in the face of new costs from the health-care law."
We have no special connections; it's highly unlikely that you will ever find a scoop on this site. But we believe our voices are important--not because of who we are, but because of who and what we represent. We live in Alabama (by way of Florida) and Nebraska (by way of Ohio). The South. Middle America. Christians. Middle class folk. The kind of people those on the coasts love to denigrate, clinging to our guns and religion. There's nothing special about us (if you subtract about six inches from Ward's height, anyway). We're parents and spouses, volunteers in our communities. We'd like to focus on anything except politics, but we're not going to sit idly by while our way of life is threatened.
Make no mistake about it--that's what this is all about. Raise your eyes to the horizon, look a little past our borders. The debt of Greece was downgraded to junk status this week; Portugal is not far behind. Those currently in power are determined to make us more like Europe at a time when the warning signs could not be more explicit: "This Way Be Dragons." Don't go there.
Lower your eyes. Look at your children. What kind of legacy do you want to leave them? Is it the legacy of America as a beacon of opportunity, as the place looked upon by the world as THE place to be if you're willing to work hard? They don't call it "the Spanish Dream," you know. It's the American Dream, and we believe in it and intend to stand and fight those who are trying desperately to take it away in the name of what they say is best for us.
To our Christian friends who struggle with the idea of spending effort on temporal, secular issues, we have this to say. If we wait until the secular world intrudes upon the way we wish to worship it will be too late. We must never forget that the most important things are eternal things, but it behooves us to be Christian actors in the country in which God has placed us. If Christians do not participate in government someone else will. And the laws they pass will affect you in ways you may never have imagined.
Please stay informed. Please get involved, even if that means something as convenient as ordering a yard sign or contributing $25 to a candidate's campaign. Vote. Email your representatives. Pray for this country.
To obtain a concealed carry permit, a thorough background check is conducted to make sure the applicant does not have a criminal history, or mental health issues. The applicant also must complete training on the law and the safe use and handling of a firearm. A concealed carry permit holder can not have any alcohol or illegal drugs in their system while carrying. This is good information for you to know, even if guns scare you.
This permit holder is the man or woman I want to hang around my store. And the restaurant where I am eating. And the gas station where I'm filling up. While he or she might not exactly be Mary Poppins or Mr Rogers, I do know quite a bit about him or her by virtue of what is required to get a permit in the first place. Florida statistics indicate a permit holder is 300 times less likely to commit a gun crime than a Floridian without a gun permit. That's a lot.
I can't figure out for the life of me, why some store owners post the "No Concealed Carry" signs on their door. It is probably because they are unfamiliar with, and afraid of guns in general. What the store owner is doing, however, is creating a "criminal safe zone". Criminals certainly do look for those signs, knowing that they are much less likely to be deterred in whatever nefarious activity they are attempting. I avoid these businesses at all costs. The increased danger to me and my loved ones is simply not worth it. I'll rent my movies somewhere else, thanks.
There is fairly substantial evidence that states that enact concealed carry laws see a reduction in gun crime, particularly in urban areas. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Despite the fact that only between one and four percent of US citizens actually exercise their freedom to carry a handgun, in states that allow concealed carry, the bad guys have no idea if their intended victim is one of those people.
The bad guys in ice cream man's state haven't learned yet. The concealed carry law is still new there. Unfortunately, the learning curve is pretty harsh for this particular lesson. I suspect the smart idiots, (oxymoron noted) will first learn to avoid businesses without the "criminal safe zone" signs. One of two things will happen after that. Either the business owners displaying such signs will remove them, or the criminals will discover that sometimes, people forget to leave their gun in the car before entering those stores. Oops.
Thank you, ice cream man, for graphically introducing this topic to the violent criminal element in our fair city. I hope your burden is light. You are a hero to this citizen.
First, if it changes the balance of power in the House or Senate. Supporters should be respected enough that their votes should never be used to give the other party control in this fashion. It's one thing to lose a player to free agency and another to lose the whole season. Arlen Specter performed a subset of this by switching parties and giving the Dems a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (after Al Franken was sworn in and until Scott Brown was elected).
Second, when it's clear that a politician is going to lose a primary. It smacks of sore loserness and demonstrates an "I'm going to take my marbles and go home" sort of attitude that should create a flashing neon warning sign for voters. Politics ain't beanbag. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You might scream into your pillow at night but during the day you put on a happy face, support the winner, and play good party soldier.
Obviously, the first situation is worse than the second. In the first, voters cast ballots for a white dog and end up getting a black dog for their troubles. In the second, voters at least know what they're doing. But I still don't have to like it.
The pundits seem confident that Crist will lose; I know how funky Florida can be so I'm a little less sure. He might siphon enough moderate votes away from Rubio that Florida could end up sending an "independent" Crist to the Senate (or worse, a Democrat). Would he caucus with the Republicans, as Joe Lieberman does with the Dems? Maybe--but he's coming to the party with "RINO" stamped all over him (and he wouldn't even have the "NO" part of that label).
So beware, Florida voters. You've got a self-serving politician out for his own self interests. Yeah, I know. Kind of describes most of 'em...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The Goldberg File is the next newsletter on the list. It comes once a week (is it Thursday already?) and is for Jonah Goldberg fans. If you're not a fan, don't bother. I LOVE Jonah, but I always have the feeling he's annoyed that he has to write this so he phones it in a lot of the time. But, you know, Jonah will be making 'em laugh on his deathbed so it's funny and about every other one he'll post a link that I find worthwhile.
The NRO Digest is the email that I delete without opening. NOT because it's not a great email, but just because I live on the National Review web site all day long and get all the information there. If you're not addicted like I am and want an email that points out some of the most worthy posts/columns/articles, it's definitely one to get.
Finally, the NRO Originals newsletter provides links to "classic" National Review articles from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Sometimes I read 'em, sometimes I don't. If you are such a political or NR junkie that reading forty-year-old articles sends a tingle down your leg, subscribe.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Someone close to me actually wrote to me yesterday and stated that thousands of guns kill people every year. He really said that! I was so incensed, I had no choice but to dig these statistics out of the archives.
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. Is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. (Yes, that's 80 million)
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .0000188.
Statistics courtesy of FBI
So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'
FACT: Not EVERYONE has a gun but almost everyone has at least one doctor.
This means you are over 900 times more likely to be killed by a doctor as a gun owner.
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand.
"Basically, businesses will have to issue 1099s whenever they do more than $600 of business with another entity in a year. For the $14 trillion U.S. economy, that’s a hell of a lot of 1099s. When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS. Recipients of the vast flood of these forms will have to match them with existing accounting records. There will be huge numbers of errors and mismatches, which will probably generate many costly battles with the IRS."
Read the whole thing, especially if you own a business. If you buy $600 or more of bottled water, office supplies, a new refrigerator, a new roof--you have to send out a 1099. Surprise!
(Hat tip: The Corner)
Here's the money 'graph: "Well, the hearings were canceled, but the congressional inquiry, which pored over hundreds of pages of e-mails and financial documents, has yielded . . . absolutely nothing untoward. In fact, the inquiry concludes that 'The companies acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards in submitting filings to the S.E.C. in March and April.' In fact, the Democratic inquiry concluded that 'these one-time charges were required by applicable accounting rules.'”
I'm just SHOCKED!
Additionally, some have added the aspect that it represents a taxation on non-Muslims in exchange for their tolerating the presence of the vanquished and as a coercive means of converting them to Islam. Snopes.com adds some credibility to this additional meaning.
Stay with me. This gets interesting if we look closely at Obamacare. You will hear people say that Obamacare is the establishment of dhimmitude and sharia Muslim diktat in the United States. While Muslims are not specifically exempted from the mandate to purchase health insurance and the accompanying penalty for refusing, Islam views insurance as gambling, risk taking, and usury, thus a strong case could be made that they should be allowed to opt out of Obamacare for religious purposes.
As a Christian, I cannot opt out based on religious conflict. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will not have to pay for Obamacare, nor will he be penalized for this refusal and he will also not be refused health care. I don't think I am in favor of paying for the health care of people that have sworn to kill me, or under dhimmitude, let me live so long as I am subservient to them.
A friend of mine sent me an email that contained her take on this matter. I assume it is her words but I do not know that for sure, so if it is not her writing, I apologize in advance. She wrote, "Dhimmitude serves two purposes. It enriches the Muslim masters and serves to drive conversion to Islam. In this case, the incentive to convert to Islam will be accepted by those in the inner cities as well as the Godless Generation X, Y, and Z folks who have no moral anchor.
If you don't believe in Christ to begin with, it is no problem to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver."
Free healthcare and no penalty? That seems a no-brainer. I suppose I will be labelled a racist or an islamophobe for posting this. I am certainly not racist and you aren't an unreasonable phobic if the object of that phobia has sworn to kill you. Pray hard, people, and remain vigilant. This is not an ordinary election coming up in November. How you live and how you pray depends on what you do to influence others politically and evangelically. What are you doing so far?
What sickens me the most is that men who were actual victims of real racism would lie and claim racist acts where none exist. Is it because they cannot give up the role of the victim? What else could it be? Real racism DOES exist but if they continue to call anyone who disagrees with the President a racist, no one will pay attention when real acts of evil are perpetrated. It's all so sad and stupid and infuriating.
Monday, April 26, 2010
What could he have meant by that?
Well, let's start with socialism. Jonah Goldberg wrote a column a couple of days ago about this very topic. He explains that we are all capitalists (it is human nature) and this is why socialism simply cannot work. He writes:
"The problem with socialism is socialism, because there are no socialists. Socialism is a system based upon an assumption about human nature that simply isn't true. I can design a perfect canine community in which dogs never chase squirrels or groom their nether regions in an indelicate manner. But the moment I take that idea from the drawing board to the real world, I will discover that I cannot get dogs to behave against their nature -- at least not without inflicting a terrible amount of punishment. Likewise, it's easy to design a society that rewards each according to his need instead of his ability. The hard part is getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision."
I will add to Jonah's excellent observation that one of the other problems of socialism (its biggest problem) is that it runs counter to God's admonitions. God is explicit in His instruction to take care of those in our society who cannot take care of themselves. In Acts 6 people were complaining that "their widows were neglected." And so the apostles said, "Let's find honest men of God and appoint them to be deacons." This sounded like a good idea so the first deacons were appointed--specifically to take care of people in need.
Were these men government employees? Of course not. Stephen, Philip, and all the other deacons were not only not members of the (Roman) government, they were not even members of the established religious hierarchy. Stephen paid for his service with his life and is considered the first Christian martyr (he was stoned after testifying before the high priest and the elders and the scribes and the council).
James writes, "Look after orphans and widows in their distress." And even while he was on the cross, Christ instructed John to look after Mary, his mother.
Clearly God does not want people who are unable to provide for themselves through no fault of their own to suffer unnecessarily. This is why Christian charities abound. Christians have always taken this directive seriously and have always attempted to supply the physical and spiritual needs of the helpless.
What God never says is that the government should do all of these things. Why not?
This goes back to what Jonah stated in his column. It's because we're all capitalists at heart. In order for someone to be a true socialist, my welfare must be as important to him as his is. My family's needs must be as important to him as are his family's needs. People simply do not work that way. In hard socialist societies (like China or the Soviet Union) we find that privilege does indeed exist--party members live in better houses, their children attend the elite schools. Everyone is not equal, everyone does not have the same opportunity. Because even Socialists are capitalists.
God, because He knows human nature even better than humans do, understands that about us. He is also very big on personal responsibility. Look at what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'If a man will not work, he shall not eat.' We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right."
Through Paul God explicitly states that He has no problem denying food to the lazy. He instructs us to take care of those who need care and to deny care to those who are able to provide for themselves.
No thinking person wishes to deny health care (or food or shelter) to anyone incapable of providing it for himself. This is why the repeal of Obamacare must be accompanied by reform of the health care system. But Obamacare goes beyond providing for those unable to provide for themselves (as does any socialist program). Obamacare forces those who are willing to work to provide for those who are able but unwilling. Obamacare rips from us the ability to make our own choices in life and forces us to do what the government (that does not know or understand us or our families or our goals and desires) has determined is best for us.
Capitalism is the economic system founded upon God's principles. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells his disciples a story known as the Parable of the Talents. In this parable, a rich man gives varying amounts of money to his servants before he goes away. He gives one servant five talents (a talent was a significant amount of money--about twenty years' wages for a laborer), one servant two talents, and to the last servant he gives one talent. The first two servants invest the funds and each is able to double the amount of money he was given. The third servant buries the money in the ground.
When the rich man returns he wants a report from his servants. He is very pleased with the results reported by the first two servants. To each one he says, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"
When the third servant reports that he buried his master's money and therefore can only return the original amount he was given, the rich man is furious. "You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
God doesn't mess around. He rewards hard work and punishes laziness. Socialism does the opposite. Those who work hard find their earnings taken from them and given not just to those who cannot help themselves but to the lazy. Nothing in Scripture supports this kind of action.
We ignore God's instructions at our peril. He understands the nature of human beings because He created us. He instructs us as individuals and as church members to care for those who need help. But He warns us not to give that help to those capable of providing it for themselves. If we do that, they have no incentive to work and to become productive members of society. He understands that those who work and contribute are happier and more fulfilled than those who don't--His instructions are always for our own good.
The problem with capitalism is capitalists. When God is taken out of any equation, the results deteriorate. And when capitalism is practiced without God as the foundation the results can lead to excesses and corruption. It is imperative to remember that this is not the fault of capitalism; it is the failure of human beings to incorporate God's instructions in every part of our lives. The answer is not socialism. The answer is Christ.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
A young man we'll call Horace decides he wants to go to college. His parents have no money so he gets what financial aid he can, loans & grants. He still doesn't have enough so he works two jobs while attending school full time.
Fast forward four years, and now Horace enters the workforce with his shiny new degree. Because there isn't any work in his field, he has to work at a fast food restaurant (we'll call it McWillie's) as an assistant manager.
Horace knows that this is a stepping stone. He has dreams and ambition. Horace does not go to Rent a Center to get a big screen TV or new furniture. He does not say flipping burgers is below him and sign up for the government dole. Instead he works hard, drives a junker of a car, lives in a beat up old house that he bought cheap and saves his money as he works toward getting promoted to general manager.
Horace is living below his means. He is putting away money despite the fact that his friends are all out living large. That's OK, Horace has goals and ambition. He works hard and does without. After he has worked as general manager and learned the business, Horace decides it is time to open his own McWillie's restaurant. A franchise costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, which of course he doesn't have.
Horace talks to his new wife and she says she trusts him as he puts up their small house and his used car as collateral to get a loan. Risking everything, he takes this loan and the money he has saved, and secures the McWillie's franchise. He's not out of the woods yet, though. Now he has to make payroll for all the employees plus cover social security for all of them and heavily subsidize their health care. If he doesn't sell enough Big Willie's, he will lose his restaurant, his house, his car, and every dime he has saved since college.
Working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, Horace slaves to make this work. Taking a bigger chance, he realizes that to get ahead, he will need to have three McWillie's franchises. Oh my. So Horace goes to his parents and asks them to risk their retirement nest egg to help finance this expansion of his dream. They agree because they trust Horace.
Fast forward 7 years. Now Horace has 26 McWillie's restaurants, he has paid his parents back in full and paid off their house for them, he lives in a very nice home in an upper middle class neighborhood and he and his wife drive nice cars. Horace's two kids are just starting private school. Willie and his wife volunteer 10 hours per week at the homeless shelter and they make substantial cash donations to their church and a charity that aids battered women.
One day a new President, we'll call him Booboo, decides that the rich have too much money and that they should pay for new cars for every American because it is the God-given right of every American to have a new car. The rich have way more than their share anyway.
Horace must now pay 40% of his income as income tax, tax on everything he buys, plus the cost of a car for every one of the 614 people he employs (every three years). If he doesn't, he will be fined substantially.
All of Horace's old friends who had the big screen TVs and fancy cars when Horace was doing without, are now jealous of Horace because he is "rich".
Here is my question.
What color are Horace's eyes?
OK, just kidding. The real question follows. Remember, President Booboo is about to soak Horace, who sacrificed and did without "stuff" and worked his butt off at demeaning jobs, advancing himself to where he is today, for the cost of those new cars for all his employees. He could afford to do it if there was a gun to his head.
Is this involuntary taking of Horace's money cool?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The U.S Constitution was ratified in 1788 and has been amended twenty seven times. The first ten amendments were ratified in December of 1791. The first amendment, the first change to this all important document, the thing most important to those forming our country and our government, pertains to freedom of religion.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
What does that say? Does it say freedom from religion or does it say freedom of religion?
Go ahead and read it again. I'll wait. It does say freedom of religion. I'm sure of it. So why do I care if some knucklehead is offended to hear "thou shalt not kill"? Why do I care that someone with an axe to grind with someone in his or her past, has a problem with a nativity scene in a park? Why do I even hear about the person who feels it is his or her duty to be offended by the cross on the t-shirt of a high school student? I will continue to exercise my right to religion. I will pray to God. I will defend my right and your right to do so. But that's getting into the Second Amendment.
The first part of the First Amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". OK, again this isn't exactly rocket surgery. It seems pretty simple, doesn't it? No creation of a religion by the government. No Church of England, no Church of America. I get it.
How does that translate to no Bible Study around the flag pole before school? How does that translate to no prayer at a football game? How does that translate to the 10 Commandments being prohibited from a courtroom? None of those can possibly be confused with a law being created (we can walk through how a bill becomes a law if you would like), and it certainly doesn't even resemble the creation of a religion.
When politicians get the notion that words can be parsed all the way down to what the meaning of the word "is" is, then we are past interpretation of clear and simply written text and into the ridiculous. Someone needs to tell the children, "NO".
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
I will watch diligently, that is my promise to you, for any sign that Congress is making a law respecting establishment of religion. I will yell loudly and strongly at the first tiny hint of this happening. I will also not allow anyone to prohibit you or I from the free exercise of religion. "I will not allow" is deliberately chosen strong language. Test it if you like.
Some smart dudes made this priority number one. The first thing on their mind was this one. So how have we gotten to this point where the interpretation is almost exactly the opposite of its original intent? And don't even get me started on "separation of church and state". It's not in there, guys. Yeah, yeah, sure you can go look. It isn't there.
Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, which is where the phrase "separation of church and state" originated. Jefferson wanted the federal government to keep their nose out of the religion business. That's another conversation for another day.
Thank you, God, for giving me another day on this Earth. I appreciate every day so there is no more need to scare the crap out of me like you did today. I pray for enlightenment of the close minded and for the best life possible for all your people. Amen.
(The nice thing about blogs is that I can pretty much say what I want, even if it isn't particularly bloggish.)
SH1: I hate doctors who think NOTHING of keeping you waiting for over an hour. There is no excuse for not letting you know that they are running so far behind. It's just rude.
SH2: When I had my last colonoscopy, the jerk doctor told us to be there close to 0700. We were there and waited and waited. I was last in his pre-determined line-up. He makes all his patients show up at the same time. We left after noon. It was obviously all right that we waited
Mary S. was the pre-op nurse who attempted to push me up the line, but the doctor makes his lineup and will allow no changes. We were stuck because of this rude dude.
SH1: Yes -- same thing happened to me with my colonoscopy. We either had the same doctor or they all do it the same way. Inexcusable.The problem is not going to get better. There is already a doctor shortage in many locations and in many specialties and with Obamacare adding another 30,000,000-plus patients to the mix (without adding any more doctors), physicians are unlikely to feel the need to be more concerned about patient wait times. :/
Now the plot thickens...
CW: I agree it's inexcusable for doctors to keep you waiting for over an hour, but I can't get upset that more sick people are going to be able to get necessary care.
SH1: Well, not necessarily. Very few people in this country do not get "necessary care" whether they have insurance or not (who dies because a doctor or hospital would not treat them?). What is likely to happen in the short run is doctor shortages and waiting lists for all but lifesaving procedures. Health care is rationed now and will always be rationed because it's not an infinite good. Central planning, however, is usually the least efficient method of allocating scarce resources.
CW: While it is usually true that people don't die because a hospital wouldn't treat them, it is more expensive for all of us if people with no insurance use the emergency room for their primary care. And I have seen news articles about doctors who will not treat people without insurance, even if it is lifesaving care. There was one such article recently in the St. Pete Times.
SH1: Studies have shown that the rate of emergency room usage is the same in the uninsured as it is in the insured. The "emergency room as primary care" argument has been used for a while, but after inspection it's not really valid.
CW: Having been in charge of a study of ER usage at Bayfront (years ago), I am surprised by the results of the study you quote. That was certainly not the case at Bayfront.
SH1: "Only about 17 percent of E.R. visits in the United States in the last year studied were by uninsured patients, about the same as their share of the population."And "'What surprised us was that uninsured patients actually pay a higher proportion of their emergency department charges than Medicaid does,' reported co-author Reneé Hsia, a specialist in emergency medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. 'In fact, 35 percent of charges for uninsured visits were paid in 2004, compared with 33 percent for Medicaid visits.'”Here's the link to that article (the data is from a Journal of the American Medical Association study that was done in 2008): http://reason.org/news/show/er-crowding ... See MoreAlso, from this Wall St. Journal editorial about what has happened in Massachusetts now that everybody has insurance ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703625304575115691871093652.html ): "The difficulties in getting primary care have led to an increasing number of patients who rely on emergency rooms for basic medical services. Emergency room visits jumped 7% between 2005 and 2007. Officials have determined that half of those added ER visits didn't actually require immediate treatment and could have been dealt with at a doctor's office—if patients could have found one."The insurance rates in Massachusetts are the highest in the nation and state regulators just turned down requests for rate increases of up to 32% by insurers. There's a doctor shortage, costs (which was your original issue) are higher than anyplace else in the country...all in all, a horrible solution to the problem.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I see minority businesses open all the time. Often, they speak English poorly at first but it usually improves. No one told them that they couldn't do it, that they would have to live in squalor and keep their hand out for a tiny government check every month. No, I believe they were taught the same thing I was; that America is the land of opportunity and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
The libs seem to think that the rich in this country, most of whom are first generation rich (meaning they worked their butts off and did without things and made sacrifices to get where they are) live this life of leisure, cruising around in their private jets sipping champagne. Nerts. The libs are simply wrong. The rich are rich because they work hard. The more money a person has, generally, the harder they work. Of course there will be exceptions like the moronic bimbette Paris Sheraton (I won't use real names because her lawyers can beat up my lawyers). I am not talking about them. I am talking about the first generation, the vast majority of millionaires, the ones driving Ford pickup trucks, living in your town.
And hey, stupid. There is no such thing in America as the rich getting richer causing the poor to get poorer. When the rich get richer, the poor get richer too. The "rich" are creating jobs for you, as a result they are paying for your housing, your food, your car payment. When you buy something, you gain the thing and the company gains a profit. You both win. If you didn't, you wouldn't have done it.
When a lawyer goes to court, one side will win and one side will lose. That's how court works. That is the mentality a lawyer has every day. Guess what profession flocks to politics? Yup. Lawyers. So they take with them their bias that for every winner there is a loser. That bias is in direct conflict with the reality of capitalism, the reality that capitalism results in win/win situations. If it is not an acceptable deal for both parties, no transaction occurs. No one has ever forced you to buy anything. Errr. Until now. The win/lose mentality that lawyers (politicians) have is where much of the socialist thought originates. They simply do not have a working understanding of capitalism. These particular trained monkeys are trained to think differently than most American capitalists. By the way, I LOVE several lawyers. My sister, my friends, lawyers a-plenty. If you think the point of this is to vilify lawyers, you need to reread this.
Next time you hear someone talking about the "obscene profits" that this company or that, made, look at them and call them a moron. OK, well, that wouldn't be nice, so don't do that. It's OK to smile and think it, though. The point of capitalism is profit. The more profit that exists, the more money the poor has.
I'll leave you with a final thought from Michael Medved.
"Poor people in America today, people who are officially in poverty, have a higher standard of living in terms of medical standards, in terms of the chances of going to college, in terms of the way people live, than middle-class people did 30 years ago. It's an extraordinary achievement of technology and of the profit sector."
I have been thinking recently about a number of issues related to childhood. I just read a book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex and Brett Harris. Twin brothers, they wrote this book while they were teenagers and it challenges other young people to refuse to be held back by the low (and often nonexistent) standards that society places on teens. This isn't a book review, so I'm not going to try to summarize what they wrote, but one item in particular has stayed with me.
They claim that the word "teenager" was first used in a Reader's Digest article in the early 1940s. For all of history until recent times there was really no such thing as "adolescence." You were a child or you were an adult. Period. They give examples of accomplishments by young people in the past: George Washington surveying Virginia at the age of fourteen, Clara Barton at the age of eleven, nursing her brother after a fall and teaching a schoolhouse full of children at the age of seventeen. David Farragut, commanding his first ship (a British whaling ship captured during the War of 1812) at the age of twelve. TWELVE.
One can make a solid case (one that I'm sympathetic to) that children at the age of eleven or twelve or fourteen should not be packed off to war or sent into the wilderness (which is what Virginia was back then) to do land surveys. But in our zeal to do what is best for our children we have rushed off to the other extreme, culminating in the Obamacare feature that "children" may stay on their parents' health insurance policies until the age of 26.
I've decided this is a horrible thing. We allow our children to remain children far too long (I am guilty in some respects of this very thing, I will admit). Imagine a million young adults, around the ages of 21, 22. Think of them heading out into the world to make their own way, to begin careers and start families, to begin contributing to society in material, intellectual, and spiritual ways.
Now imagine that force being removed for four or five years. Let's face it--few of us are disciplined enough to grow up before we have to and if future generations don't have to strike out on their own until they're about to turn 27, well, many of them won't.
We are lowering the bar as a society. Expecting less and less of ourselves, our seniors, our children (and our children who are actually adults).
Ignore politics, refuse to educate yourself, don't bother to get involved because it's hard or boring or just not your thing? No problem. Someone else will do it.
Retire at 62, live another quarter century, taking far more from Social Security than you ever put in? No problem. Someone else will pay for it.
Stay at home until the age of 26, maybe go to school, maybe try to start a band, maybe do a little charity work on the side? No problem. Someone else will pay for it.
None of us want to grow up or accept responsibility for the world around us. I posted a question on my Facebook status a month or so ago, asking if I should bother to argue politics with liberals and one of my church friends posted, "Why would you want to argue?"
Many Christians ARE politically active. Many others, most likely because they're not interested in politics, take the position that "we should only focus on the eternal." I understand that attitude, but here is the problem: when the temporal invades on our right to worship, evangelize, and live our lives the way we believe we should live them in accordance with God's word, it's too late to get involved. The damage will have been done.
For the sake of the children, we have to stop coddling one another. We must require informed action, the willingness to do hard things regarding entitlements, the strength and discipline not to buckle when whiners start to complain. Refuse to be shackled by the low expectations of society (and, hey--the political leadership thinks we're all racist morons, so the expectations could hardly be lower). God has given each of us gifts--determine to use what He gave you to the best of your abilities.
The NYT is apparently an ardent Nancy Pelosi follower. Not only did they wait until it passed to see what was in it, they waited another 3 solid weeks before deciding someone ought to give it a gander. What they came up with is a shocker. The damn thing won't hold water! Go figure.
A healthy 46 year old earning $25,000 will be required in 2014 to purchase health insurance at a cost of approximately $1,845 a year, with the remaining $2,756 subsidized by you. The problem is, healthy 46 year old, let's call him Bobo, shall we? is already scraping by and will be disinclined to acquiesce to the government demand to make this purchase. It will be substantially cheaper for him to pay the fine and wait until he has a catastrophic illness or injury and then sign up.
But wait. That means he'll get the big benefit without paying in. That starts a whole new ball in motion. If Bobo waits until he has a stroke before enrolling in health care, the costs to the insurance companies will skyrocket since Bobo has never paid in. If their costs skyrocket, then you and I have to pay way more. "If you have existing coverage and you like it, then you can keep it". Uh huh. If you can afford it.
If the states cap the now skyrocketing costs of insurance, then the insurance companies will quickly go out of business. Do you see yet, where this is going? What happens if, by Obamacare's rules, the insurance companies are forced out of business? There was no need for a "public option" in the original plan at all, was there? Healthcare in this country as we know it, will end, utterly and completely, within a few short years of Obamacare's true inception date of 2014. It will be replaced with a government run and citizen financed system.
Hey New York Times, welcome to the dance. I hope you brought something to spike the punch with. And you WILL give me a free pass for ending that sentence with a preposition, dagnabbed hoity toity, lei wearing press people.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Why, in 2010, is there such a thing as a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? Could you even imagine a NAAWP?
The Gates Millennium Scholarship fund is available to almost all college bound teens. Unless they are white.
Affirmative Action. The advancement of potentially less qualified persons due solely to the color of their skin or ethnic background.
The perpetualization (I don't care if that really is a word or not) of racial division in America by the very minorities demanding its end, is maddening. Racial and racist programs and policies are promoted and protected by the left while at the same time they demand an end to racism. Enough already! I cannot care any less what the color of your skin is. Your behavior matters to me. Your morals matter to me. Your desire for self-improvement matters to me. Your attitude matters to me. Your work ethic matters to me. Your kindness matters to me. Your sense of humor matters to me. The color of your skin or where you live does not make the slightest difference!
It angers me tremendously to be called racist by liberal politicians that have no idea who I am or what I believe. It angers me tremendously to be called racist by anyone that doesn't know my heart or beliefs. Your definition of racism is almost certainly far removed from my reality.
As long as we keep coddling based on race, as long as we call someone racist any time they disagree with us simply because their skin is a different color, as long as we allow programs like affirmative action and groups like the NAACP to exist, this racist CRAP will continue. The minorities living in perpetual poverty and ignorance need to be helped with programs that END the perpetualization! Don't keep handing them small checks every month. That fixes nothing. Do not allow programs that are founded on racism, on skin color. Call a spade a spade. Call racism racism when you see it but don't allow racists to call you a racist! This is a brutally difficult topic but one that has been pulled to the fore when we elected a President that is fractionally black. Everyone is sensitive to the topic but we need to work on it every opportunity we get.
Monday, April 19, 2010
She would not be my first choice for a Republican nominee for president--but mainly because I don't think she's electable and we MUST find someone who can win in 2012.
I find it more than a little amusing that the left is so afraid that the anger that is felt among the people will erupt in violence. First, I don't think the leadership really thinks that. It's just their next tack against people like me. Call them racist until that loses its power and then get everybody worked up that they're violent.
Well, I don't think most people are actually afraid, but some are. And, to be honest, I don't give a flip. When you take away rights, when you mortgage the future of generations, when you taunt folks--well, guess what? It makes 'em angry. How could it not? One of my Facebook "friends" has gone so far as to block me because, I guess, she thinks I'm scary. (I'm not scary, of course. Not only would I never do anything violent regarding my political beliefs, but I would work to stop violence if I possibly could.)
As for me, I'm encouraged. Yesterday my pastor preached a sermon on why socialism is anti-biblical. It was WONDERFUL. We can go against God's precepts, but guess what? He designed us, He knows what works best for us, and if we ignore His laws we will never have great success in the long term. Period.
Polls are showing that more and more people want Obamacare repealed. More and more people are awakening to what's happening to us right now. Hurry up, November!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I urge people to watch this video. There is a seething anger across this country that is very dangerous and if something isn't done soon to stop it, something really bad is going to happen. I think Obama needs to start arresting the people who are inciting this violence...starting with Sarah Palin and the people on Fox who are pouring gasoline on all these fires.
My response was long and disjointed, having written it as I watched the show:
McVeigh was mentally disturbed. The Tea Party has been the least violent revolution this country has ever seen. Just two months ago, however, Liberal students were rioting at Berkeley, burning and destroying (article from the Liberal Huffington Post). Lets maintain correct perspective.
The panel on this show does recognize that when 70% of the population is angry at the administration, there is something going on, someone is doing something wrong at the top. Historically it has almost always been Liberals that protest violently. When they see Conservatives angry, it is terrifying because calm parent Never gets mad. Calm parent is furious right now.
I am no Palin fan but she articulates very specifically that she is NOT calling for violence. I also notice that the panel states that the only reason for the anger on the right is because Obama is black and that there is no other triggering factor. What? How could they completely ignore the fact that Congress voted against the will of the majority of the citizenry to pass this ginormous healthcare expense? They ignore it like it isn't there. This is Not unbiased reporting.
They are correct, though, when they say that people get angry when they are wronged and that their freedoms are being usurped. Maybe what they need to focus on is what this administration is doing wrong, that so many Americans are angry. You are absolutely right. This MUST be fixed in order to avoid violence. Obama MUST stop taking Constitutional liberties and angering those he vowed to serve.Sorry this is so long. I've been writing as I watch the whole show you posted. They are right that killers should not be allowed to kill but they also acknowledge those are way out wackos.
I fully expect that my friend will ignore the fact that this show has as much a Liberal bias as any show on Fox might have a Conservative bias. I fully expect that she will ignore the fact that Obama is inciting this seething anger, not by being fractionally black, but by trampling all over our Constitution and driving our country to financial ruin. I also fully expect that she will not see that arresting dissenters would be the worst thing that could possibly be done, or that Sarah Palin is not the problem. It doesn't matter. She is still my friend.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Prosperity is never created by taking from those who earn money and giving it to those that have not.
This is a very troublesome problem. There are people who need help. There are lots of people that don't need help but take the "free" money anyway. There are lots of people who don't even think about the first sentence of this post; that have never thought of it.
A young man leaves his parents' home and goes off to war, never having lived on his own before. That young man has the misfortune of taking a bullet to the chest while serving overseas. With a 40% disability discharge, this young man is satisfied with the $841 he is promised for the rest of his life. He is elated to find out he will also receive $1100 Social Security Disability. Now he's cashing in!
The problem here is perspective. He has no idea how little $2000 per month really is. If he works and makes $2000 per month at a convenience store (there's not much call in the civilian world for a rifleman with a hole in his chest), then he is working full time for only $800 more per month since his Social Security would stop.
This young man has very little incentive to work. For a kid, $2000 a month is great money! What his lack of perspective is costing him is a chance for a future. He and his wife and new son will live a lower class existence for the rest of their lives because The One and his ilk know that by doling out just enough, they can maintain dependence on the government and the Socialist Progressive Liberals can rely on the votes of the recipients.
This is not what this great country is supposed to be all about. We are supposed to be self-reliant, pull up our bootstraps tough. We should never be degraded to the point where we lower our head and hold out our hand knowing we will be handed money we did not earn, money taken from someone else that did earn it.
I don't know how to tell my son that he simply lacks perspective. I don't know how to tell his young, pregnant, uneducated, but sweet wife that the welfare she grew up on is not a good future for her children. I don't know how to tell an uneducated public that this is wrong, that this is not the way it should be.
The grownups should know. The grownups should have perspective. The grownups need to take a stand and stop by all means, anyone who tries to keep our young, ignorant of this truth. The grownups need to teach our young to work, to earn, to be honorable, to put themselves in a position to help others.
Here is a simple article that explains everything very well from The Tax Foundation.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
When I do corporate sales training and we talk about personal responsibility I always use Ron Artest and Jackie Robinson as my examples of opposite ends of the personal-responsibility spectrum.
I don't want to waste time on Artest; he's an NBA player who punched a fan and incited a riot in the Palace in Auburn Hills during a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Years later I saw an interview with Artest and he was still taking no responsibility for what happened (a fan tossed some beer at him; the fan that he beat in the stands was NOT the one who threw the plastic bottle, but whatever...).
Jackie Robinson was the anti-Artest. When Branch Rickey presented his plan to Robinson, he warned him that if he reacted to anything--any of the threats or epithets or even acts of violence--that he was going to encounter as he set out on the quest to integrate baseball, he would set back the cause by a decade.
Rickey knew what he was doing. Robinson was a great athlete and a great baseball player, but there were arguably better players Rickey could have drafted. He was looking for something more than just a great player, though. He needed a man who could play outstanding baseball and exhibit an emotional strength and stoicism that are difficult to fathom. He found the right man in Robinson.
Here's a part of the Wikipedia entry about Jackie Robinson:
...[S]ix days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since the 1880s to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.
Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."
Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields." Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."
Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.Robinson finished the season with 12 home runs, a league-leading 29 steals, a .297 batting average, a .427 slugging percentage, and 125 runs scored. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).
Robinson, unlike Artest, had real reasons to lash out or to react to the abuse he was dealt. The Wikipedia entry does not go into the threats that he received, the hotels that refused to allow him to stay with his teammates, and so many other things. Robinson would get angry--he was human, after all--but he never reacted in a way that would give his enemies ammunition. He knew that he was significant and that his actions would have an immediate and direct impact on the lives of many. He took personal responsibility for his actions. No "he made me do it" excuses from Jackie Robinson.
It's a lesson we all need to remember now and then.
(The Obamas made $5.5 million and donated less than 6% of that to charity, not including his Nobel Prize which he also donated.)
I'm too lazy to look it up but I think there was a kerfuffle about this last year and the Bidens got all huffy and talked about the things that they "do" for charity. And maybe they do (it would be likely, considering his position, that they do charitable things whether they want to or not). If I were a Biden, though, I would darn sure give a lot more when I know that my tax returns are going to be made public. They must REALLY not want to give.
But here is the thing. I'm SO sick and tired of the right being portrayed as greedy and the left as so kind and generous. I know a LOT of people who don't make anywhere near what even the Bidens made (including my family) who give a LOT more to charity than these folks do. MULTIPLES more.
I'm not saying this in a "look at us, we're so good" way. In fact, we should give more than we do. But when you make $5.5 million dollars, have almost all of your living expenses paid for you and STILL can only donate 5.9% to charity, something is very out of whack.
This is one reason why, of course, that the left wants the government to provide for the poor--they won't do it themselves. The right, of course, is busy shelling out the dough and doesn't want the government interfering. I don't know about you, but I trust individuals at a local level to have a much better idea of where to direct funds than I do a bureaucrat in Washington who makes blind decisions without any regard for local or individual circumstances. Americans, per capita, give away twice as much as the most generous European country. And the left wants to Europeanize us. Do you remember when Jimmy Carter said that Americans were stingy a few years ago? Well, maybe that's because he only hangs out with lefties.
The big conservative/liberal charity study was done in 2006 by Arthur Brooks (a registered independent) of Syracuse University. Here are some of his findings.
Of the 25 states whose residents gave more than the national average to charity, only one went for John Kerry in the previous presidential election (Maryland). The other 24 were all red states.
The average conservative household gave 30% more to charity than the average liberal household, even though the average income for liberal households was 6% higher (but regardless of income, conservatives give more than liberals at every income level). Incidentally, liberals are more generous than moderates, who are the real "ungenerous" group in the study. Conservatives are also more generous than liberals when giving of their time and when giving to secular causes (as well as religious ones, of course).
If liberals gave blood like conservatives do, the nation's blood supply would increase by 45%.
So the bleeding hearts are apparently on the right, not the left.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Here is a link to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke describing the very real possibility of this occurring. Not in Myanmar, or Nairobi, or Taiwan. Right here, my friends. Right here in the good old U. S. of A.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The whole health care evil, though--that changed things for me. It was worse, in a way, than Obama being elected. Because--even though I don't understand why--he WAS elected. This thing, though--shoved through the way it was, too fast, too big, too partisan. Against the will of the people. It scared me that Democrats would be so brazen, so sure they could get away with it.
I've never been one for conspiracy theories. No one in Washington can keep a secret, for one thing--and no one can coordinate anything well enough to get a really good conspiracy off the ground. So when folks spout their worst-case, doomsday scenarios, I'm likely to shut down and stop listening to them. When this bill passed, though--the way it passed--I wondered what else they'd do, what else they would force on us in secret, in the dark of night. It scared me.
People are busy and politics, for many, is a boring thing. People yelling at one another--why can't we all just get along? So we go into the voting booth and pull a lever, punch a chad, color in a circle for the guy we think, hope, will do the best job. Or the least harm. The problem is that it's easier to write a sound bite if you're a lefty: "Free health care for all!" The rebuttal isn't a sound bite, it won't fit on a sign--it takes explaining and folks don't have the stomach, the patience, the will for it. That scares me.
But even though I'm scared, I'm not going to quit. Even though I'm scared, there's another emotion working. I'm angry. I'm angry about being called racist or homophobic, angry about being labeled an extremist. I know what I am and won't let the left's labels slow me down. This is all so important. Even if I didn't care about how it will all affect me (and to be honest, I don't much care), I do care about my son and about the children he's determined to bring into this world.
I learned a long time ago that I'm a coward when it comes to doing things for myself, but I can be very brave when I'm doing something for someone I love. So I'm not going to back down and when I get tired I'll just take a nap and awake refreshed and ready for another fight. I hope you'll join me and together we can encourage one another. Together we can change the world.
Here is the president at an Arlington health-care rally in March.
"So what this means is, is that small business owners and middle-class families, they’re going to be able to be part of what’s called a big pool of customers that can negotiate with the insurance companies. And that means they can purchase more affordable coverage in a competitive marketplace. (Applause.) So they’re not out there on their own just shopping. They’re part of millions of people who are shopping together. And if you still can’t afford the insurance in this new marketplace, even though it’s going to be cheaper than what you can get on your own, then we’re going to offer you tax credits to help you afford it -– tax credits that add up to the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in American history." (Applause.)
Here is The Hill today, working from Joint Committee on Taxation numbers.
"Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes — in 2019 alone — because of healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress' official scorekeeper for legislation.
The new law raises $15.2 billion over 10 years by limiting the medical expense deduction, a provision widely used by taxpayers who either have a serious illness or are older.
Taxpayers can currently deduct medical expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Starting in 2013, most taxpayers will only be allowed to deducted expenses greater than 10 percent of AGI. Older taxpayers are hit by this threshold increase in 2017.
Once the law is fully implemented in 2019, the JCT estimates the deduction limitation will affect 14.8 million taxpayers — 14.7 million of them will earn less than $200,000 a year. These taxpayers are single and joint filers, as well as heads of households.
"Loss of this deduction will mean higher taxes for 14.7 million individuals and families making under $200,000 a year in 2019," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told The Hill. "The new subsidy for health insurance would not be available to offset this tax increase for most of these households." This per National Review Online.
So make sure you got that straight. 14.7 million Americans will pay higher taxes right off the bat. Most of these elderly and disabled. You may hear more about this. I can't wait to see the wheelchairs and seniors lined up with torches and pitchforks. The reduction in HSA limits to $2500 per year will affect most of these people in 2011. That means thousands of dollars out of their pockets in the first few months of 2011. This on top of the tax increases listed above. People that prior to Obamacare had insurance that allowed them to get the care they needed will now find themselves with substantially changed lives, substantially lower standards of living. Change we can count on.