Friday, December 28, 2007


Medicine. Yep, take the whole damn medical system and nationalize it. That is what the left wants! It would be cheaper, it would eliminate almost all the administrative overhead - except for the cost of the BUREAUCRACY!

Of course the left can't actually call it socialized medicine because, well, that would sound like, socialism. Much better to call it single payer.

In one move, we get rid of HMOs, insurance companies, uninsured and under-insured people.

The government gets 3 million (a guess) new employees all ready to join a UNION and beholden to government largess for pay raises and benefits.

What, you don't believe I want this? Really? Right.

Can someone answer?

For years the left has blamed America for supporting dictators. Obviously, the left wants us to support democratic movements. However, Bush has spent the better part of 6 years trying to do just that. What has been the result? First, the left complains we are interfering with the sovereignty of other nations. Second, the left complains that promoting democracy is a fool's errand. And Third, when given a choice, many of the 'countries' that have voted, have voted for anything but democracy.

Also, where is the left on Venezuela as it moves closer and closer to dictatorship?

I am more and more pining for imperialism....

Thursday, December 27, 2007

5 against 100

It started as a simple conversation about population control. We were sitting near the faux surfing pool in a major American indoor waterpark on December 22nd. The ambient noise was quite high and frankly, I was shouting just to be heard, not to make a point.

Our friend had said that the way to cure over-population (and therefore decrease the stress on global resources) was to educate women. Educated women have fewer children. I called her a misanthrope (I actually had to ask what the right word was.) She took some offense to the name-calling, however, I had a different fish to fry in this conversation.

Her next point was that we had advanced too fast as a society, technologically, and that we needed to slow down the advancement of technology so as to allow civilization time to catch up. I find this position to be very dangerous and so I responded:

On this hand we have 5 people that think we need to save the planet; one the other hand we have 100 people that just want what the 5 have. Assuming that the 5 have abdicated what is in their own economic interest for the benefit of all humanity, all that prevents the 100 from taking from the 5 is technology.

The conversation looped over itself several times, so bear with me.

I further argued that if educated women had fewer children, then we needed to force them to have more children because the 100 uneducated women were going to have LOTS more children furthering the creation of uneducated masses. We would soon have only 4 on one hand to prevent 120 on the other; then 3 to prevent 150; and then 2 to prevent 200 and finally, when on one remained, the 250 would overwhelm even the one technologically advanced denier of economic self interest.

Her attempted rebound was to argue that the earth could not support both the 5 and the 100 growing by leaps and bounds and that technology was doing more harm. My first response was the 5 could not be forced to abandon their economic interests unless it was…by force. Taxation, legislation or even fear of global consequences could force people to abandon their economic interests, but pitting the 5 against the 100 without technology to support them was cultural suicide.

My second response was that technology was all that was saving us now! If advanced agricultural techniques had not been found, millions, maybe hundreds of millions would have died of starvation. Medical advancements have saved millions more. Abandoning technological advancement means the death of millions AND because the haves are seriously outnumbered by the havenots, only the threat of technical superiority prevents the 5 from being overrun.

My problem is of course only 1 of the 5 really wants to stifle technology and abandon economic self-interest ‘for the benefit of all humankind’. But that 1 is doing everything it can to force the other 4 to agree or at least comply with it’s goals. Meanwhile, the 100 are doing everything they can to multiply and steal technology to use against the 5. The 100 are not contributing ANYTHING to ‘the benefit of humankind’. They are reproducing and calling the 5 racist, selfish, and imperialist. If the 4 allow the 1 to guilt them into abandoning economic self interest, there will be nothing to stop the 100, or 150 or 250 from overrunning them.

Economic self-interest is not a bad thing people. If you don’t know where you will sleep tonight, or where the next meal is coming from, global warming is the LEAST of your problems. And if you happen to see a One proclaiming concern for you and offering you a handout from her doorstep, you are more likely to see a slap at the hand and rushing of the door.

As long as the 5 insist on having fewer children and stifling economic growth, the 100 will continue to grow in numbers and demands, eventually overrunning the 5. We are reaching a point where we will have to choose.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our government

I am required to listen to Air America. Victoria doesn't 'demand' it, but equality does require I have to give her time to listen to the left as I listen to the right.

Today, I heard, for what is probably the 1,000th time, how our government is corrupt and as soon as we impeach, depose or otherwise get Bush out of office, we will have an 'honest' government for the good people once again.

Hey idiots....when the next President takes office, 99.8% of the government in place RIGHT NOW, will continue to work in 2009, 2010 and so forth. Barring wholesale slaughter, only the politicians will change, the bureaucracy will continue to subvert the will of the people as it did in every Administration since Kennedy (maybe even before that).

All you need to see is the State Department, the CIA, FBI and a dozen other agencies ignore the proclamations from the 'ruling class'. For the last 7 years the liberals in the bureaucracy have done everything they can to subvert this President. If the Democrats win the White House in 2008, you can bet the conservatives in the bureaucracy will return the favor.

It is a lesson I learned 30 years ago, better to be the lead peon than the least WE know how to run things right...

Imperial Hubris or ....

The United States has gotten a lot of bad press about our invasion of another country. It has been held up as imperial hubris, it has been used to claim aggressiveness, it has been used to show us as acting unilaterally. I don't give a rats......

Iraq is a country, MADE UP OF PEOPLE. We may have done a bad thing at the level of country: thou shall not interfere with another country. But for the PEOPLE....we have done a wonderful thing - even if it has caused much angst. Folks, didn't we 'invade' Indonesia? Sent lots of troops and the Navy? Granted we were not shooting people there, but then, they weren't shooting at us either.

Can something be good for the people of a country, but bad for the 'country'? (which means, bad for it's ruling class?)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Effect of Bankruptcy Reform on Mortgage Interest Rates

That is the title of a post on TPMCafe. I second the bottom line of that article, bankruptcy reform will have NO effect on interest rates.

One of the items used to sell the previous bankruptcy reform in 2005 was the savings everyone would benefit from, $400 was thrown around, by the change in the law. There has been no reduction in interest rates, just a continuing flow of profits to credit lenders.

Now, after billions in fees and interest from mortgage lending over the last several years, mortgage lenders are suffering. Poor baby. Suck it up. It is called RISK and you have many ways of calculating it. Your failure is not our problem.

The current bill, H.R. 3609 does much good for people facing foreclosure with little overall impact on mortgage lenders except the perception that they only sell cash cows to their investors.

For once, I support THIS bankruptcy reform!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


If you have never heard of the TED Conference (like me) then you will have probably missed something that has occupied me for hours over the last 2 days....

18 minute presentations by some of the most interesting people on some of the most interesting topics (and some interesting presentations by interesting people on some boring topics!)

Do it on the weekend, because just 4 or 5 of those things will just ruin an afternoon of planned work...

No to a Moslem President

In response to an email: hell no, not a chance in hell would I EVER consider a Moslem for President. EVER.

Just to be clear.

Buffet should STFU

I am tired of hearing from Warren Buffet how terrible it is that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. One, give the woman a damn raise. Two, pay more taxes Buffet. NO ONE is stopping you from paying anything you damn well please to the government.

Not a single change to the tax code is being proposed that will have ANY impact on Buffet's day to day existence. If his taxes were to double, he would still wear the stupid suits and ties and look like a grumpy old man and he would still be able to buy any politician out of petty cash.


Some commentators have suggested that if the United States does not condemn waterboarding, then we have no ground to stand on if such a technique is used on our military members.

Hell, if it would guarantee that our adversaries will use waterboarding on our military, I say we announce it to the world that we will waterboard. I think most of our serving soldiers would prefer waterboarding to the current shoot them, cut them up, burn them and hang them torture they are currently facing...

Modification of the Bankruptcy laws

H.R. 3609 would make some changes to the way the bankruptcy courts handle mortgages on a debtor's primary residence. Here are some of the changes and some comments:

Sec 2:
'While a case is pending, no fee, costs, or charges may be added to a debt that is provided for in a chapter 13 plan and is secured by the debtor's principal residence unless the holder of the secured claim gives timely notice of such fee, costs, or charge to the debtor and to the trustee.'.

Mortgage lenders are great for adding fees to mortgages in foreclosure, many servicers add fees to the mortgage account without listing them on statements during the bankruptcy. The result of this little slight of hand is debtors coming out of bankruptcy thinking everything has been solved only to find hundreds, sometimes thousands in fees had been accruing during the bankruptcy. Makes debtors awful pissed off at their attorneys.

SEC. 3.

Section 1322(b)(2) of title 11, United States Code, is amended by striking `, other than a claim secured only by a security interest in real property that is the debtor's principal residence,'.

This section makes mortgages on principal residences subject to the same rules as every other debt.

SEC. 5

Section 109(h) of title 11, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(5) The requirements of paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a debtor in a case under chapter 13 who submits to the court a certification that the holder of a claim secured by the debtor's principal residence has initiated a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure on the debtor's principal residence.'.

This is huge for people facing foreclosure and needing to file, NOW to prevent the loss of the home.

Generally speaking, I like this.

A moderate mainstream review

I chose the name for this blog to indicate to the readers my belief that over the long term, my point of view was similar to a moderate, cross-section of the US population. I don't live that far from Peoria.

I am a fiscal conservative. I am a social liberal. I think many, most, Americans would fit that general description.

So, to our Republican candidates for President:

Governor Mitt Romney. Sir, your experience as a business person, a cat herder (Olympics) and as a governor gives you a strong leg up on the competition. Unfortunately, I think you might be a candidate for poster child of the Peter Principle. President will elevate you to the highest position you are incapable of. Political life requires an ability to compromise and you have shown that ability as Governor. Unfortunately, we have problems that compromise will only make worse. The GWOT requires a strong position that is not swayed by opinion, either public or private. I do not trust you understand this. Illegal immigration is a problem you can not turn your back on or leave it up to others to police. I respect your faith, but your religion is a problem for me. I know something of the doctrine of Mormonism and frankly, I am not impressed. Understand, for many DIFFERENT reasons, I would be opposed to a Moslem running for President, but a belief in Mormonism calls into question your ability to reasonably judge and analyze facts.

Governor Mike Huckabee. Sir, many of my comments to Governor Rommney apply to you. Compromise is a necessary political skill. But as your faith should inform, giving up on your principles does more harm than good. I think giving people a second chance, or even a first chance is admirable, but you need to understand that evil exists and it often takes to form of an angel of light. Criminals and illegal immigrants come from the same cloth - a willingness to violate the law for their own benefit. Our adversaries in the GWOT do not even ascribe to the same set of morals, let alone laws, we do. Giving them the benefits of those morals is handing a gun to a murder and turning your back on him.

Senator John McCain. Sir, I hold you in the deepest regard. Your service to your country in the military and in the Senate are worthy of the respect of every American. But, your positions with regard to illegal immigration and campaign finance are damaging to all of us. I am also very uncomfortable with your apparent willingness to subvert our judicial appointment process with your gang of 14. I believe you are the strongest candidate with regard to the GWOT. However, your position with regard to illegal immigration damages that perception. I might be willing to support you for President if you were paired with someone like Tom Tancredo as VP.

Former Senator Fred Thompson. Sir, I support your positions on many issues. However, civil unions are fundamental issue with me and we disagree. Leave the states to make the rules in this regard, keep the Federal Government out of it. Your lack of overall experience is a problem. You benefit from the fact that your experience level is comparable to the experience level of the most likely Democratic opponent. Given a choice between relative inexperience, I will take your positions and fundamental beliefs over theirs (democrats).

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Sir, I once was an air traffic controller. I performed very well when we were busy, less so when we were slow. Under pressure we often see the best of people and on 9/11, we saw the best of you. But, the President must deal with the day to day issues that face us when the only pressure is which group favors a particular outcome. In this way, you fail. Your behavior with regard to your former wife was reprehensible. And it was very public. Further, the problems with political compromise are showcased with you. The Presidency is not the prize for a popularity contest - or it shouldn't be - and based on what I have seen, it is the only reason you are considered a viable candidate, and it should not be.

Others: No one else in the field appears ready for prime time. I am very willing to consider other potential candidates and THAT is a problem for the current field. They are benefiting from the comparison to the Democratic field which is as poor, if not worse, than the Republican field.

In considering every candidate, both parties, I can say that the entire field leaves A LOT to be desired. If this is the best our 'political' class can field for President of the United States, the fall of Western civilization is further along than many might be willing to admit.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

NIE = Not intelligent enough

Just a short note. The NIE is a steaming pile of crap.

Either the authors are a bunch of idiots or they think the readers of their report are. In either case, they need to be given all the respect their work deserves.....

UPDATE: Sunday, 10:26pm

After skipping all news for the last 36 hours, I spent the last one catching up on posts. I need to indicate that I am totally disgusted. After reading more commentary on the NIE and the Annapolis Conference, it is clear to me that a significant portion of our State Department, the CIA, the Congress, journalists and our fellow Americans are either hopelessly naive or dangerously stupid.

Given the serious disconnect those on the left apparently have with the reality I see daily, I have no choice but to wonder if it is drugs or some brainwashing indoctrination system that I safely avoided driving the opposition to the GWOT and peace for Israel.

Every time I think it might actually be ME that is disconnected with reality that the left sees clearly, something happens to confirm that it is I that view reality correctly. Today on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, responding to the Rommey speech on Thursday, said that he couldn't understand how anyone could say that religion was being forced out of public life and that it was clear Rommey was calling for a Christian government. HUH? How many communities have Holiday trees and ban Nativity scenes? Dozens, hundreds? Maybe the count is 10,000 with Christmas and 200 without....but those are 10,000 Bedford Falls and 200 Metropolis'.

I have said before that there is a serious breach in the reality the left and right share...unfortunately, that breach will not prevent a disaster from reaching all of us....

Politically correct or just a stab at perfection

This morning whilst driving, the local talk show was working on the Christmas Tree/Holiday Tree issue bubbling here in Madison. A caller got on and claimed to be agnostic and therefore, able to offer a non-religious opinion. The host asked her what she meant by agnostic to which she replied, I don't believe in God. The host said. "So, you are an atheist?" No came the reply, "I have beliefs, just not about God."

Now, as an agnostic, I can be pretty clear in saying that the caller was an atheist. Not believing in God is pretty much the qualifier. Her belief in the Easter Bunny or in cow reincarnation does not make her an agnostic.

Now all of this leads up to this: am I being a purist? If she wants to call herself an agnostic, for whatever reason, even a wrong one...who am I to question her? Well, I'm an agnostic and I should be able to say that someone that does not believe in God (and those definitions can be pretty broad) is not an agnostic. I believe the Universe was created, that act was done by something, most people call that something God and as such, I can agree with them. Any further discussion about the nature or character of that something is beyond human understanding - and may forever be so. Back to the question, am I being a purist. Am I imposing a politically correct response to her claim? Is that what politically correct is, an attempt at some sense of purity?

Maybe political correctness is about offensiveness. How can we not offend someone yet still get across our meaning? The caller seemed to be offended that someone would call her an atheist. "I have beliefs." was pretty strongly stated. But isn't free speech specifically about offensive speech? We do not need someone to call our speech into question when we are being is when we are being offensive that we need protection.

I am sure many wonderful writers have made this point before so excuse my 4th grade verbiage but political correctness is an affront to free speech.

Many people have complained that American's are sloppy speakers, or the language is sloppy. Walking down the street smiling at people and saying Ho Ho Ho is likely to get you slapped by someone.

More than a few of my posts have probably offended someone, yet no one has complained to me. Still, is my response to the caller a symptom that I too seek some sense of political correctness in others? I hope not, but I will still correct someone that is obviously wrong, even if it is just an opinion.....and the caller, she was an atheist....

Monday, December 03, 2007

Illegal Immigration

I have been against any attempt to allow amnesty for illegal immigrants, still am. However, over Thanksgiving the common refrain from those FOR amnesty, "can't arrest them all" was again tossed my way. So, what are we to do? Because, in a general way, the argument is correct, we can't arrest them all. We can't even arrest all the citizens that do something wrong.

So, I gave it some thought. Here is my idea.

If you are here illegally you must report to the police station closest to where you live. You must provide positive identification - not false US IDs - and you must provide your address and where you work. If you are not wanted for any other illegal activity, you will be given a fine, a probation, and documentation to register as a resident alien. You will never be granted citizenship unless you leave the country and apply for citizenship from the country you were born in. As a resident alien, you may hold a job, pay taxes and enjoy life. You can not vote, nor receive welfare benefits. Every year, you must report to the police your address and work. Failure to do so is a violation of the probation and makes you subject to deportation. Yes, this is for the rest of your life in this country. If you commit another crime, you get deported. Failure to register results in deportation if you are arrested. No path to citizenship.

Your children born here become citizens, but you may not become on based on their advantage. As a resident alien, you can not sponsor another person into this country.

To the naysayers, yes, many, many people will not register. When and if they are arrested for other reasons, they can be deported. We don't have to round up people, the biggest problem people will make themselves available by being stupid sooner or later. Those that stay way under the radar will be marginalized. Employers can hire all the resident aliens they want, fine them heavy if found with illegals...and deport the employees and their families - minus any citizen children.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Soldier's Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas, he live all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps."
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night."
- Anonymous