Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year My Friends!

New Year's Eve is my favorite time of year.  I'm an introspective guy, and I like to look back and wonder what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I wish I had done.

And more importantly, what I have to be so very thankful about.

We live in a strange new world, Amigos.  We don't necessarily look upon the future with grand hope and optimism.  With that said, I believe what we need is a "reset".

Reset.  Let's try again in 2012.  When you think about it, isn't that what this holiday is about?  The "Big Reset"?  Take a look around.  Figure out what needs to be fixed.  Figure out if you can control what needs to be fixed...

...and then do it.

2012.  Who is John Galt?

As I always love to laugh, here's a little palate cleanser thanks to Hot Air.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Verbum Caro Factum Est

May you and your family enjoy the most wonderful Christmas this year!  May we all cherish peace and goodwill this season.

"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."

Now...keep an ear out for Santa this year.  When the reindeer get tired, he likes to take his other ride.



And let the maestro say it the best...


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment...

...of the U.S. Constitution.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the pace to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature an cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."

In the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (voted approved on Tuesday) , a provision allowed the military to detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial.

It applies to citizens and non-citizens.

In other words, a terrorism suspect would get just one hearing where the military could assert that the person is a suspected terrorist.  That "suspect" could then be locked up for life, without ever formally being charged.  It allows the military to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely without a trial or due process.  These "terrorists" (I use quotations because, really, who actually defines what a terrorist is?  Is it Al Qaida?  Is it someone attempting to blow up a building?  Is is someone protesting a bank?  How about someone who argues against a public figure? Who makes this call?  And what political party are they affiliated with?) The only waiver is from the Secretary of Defense.


Oh, good.  I thought the Bill of Rights were endowed unto us by our Creator.  I guess the Secretary of Defense has a direct line to the Almighty.


This bill passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 93 to 7.  Yup, just 7 Senators objected to a direct violation to the U.S. Constitution.

Does the Senate actually read the Constitution?  Or do they just pass laws to get reelected, knowing that the Supreme Court will correct their stupidity mistake?

But what if the Supreme Court doesn't correct such an affront to our basic Constitutional rights?

Oh, I know.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Turn up the thermostat...

...because it's apparently very cold in the Capitol.  I guess he was going for the "Old Navy / Sport coat / hard nipple" look.  I hear it's the rage in D.C. this time of year.



I'll be sad to see the "Honorable Gentleman" from Massachusetts retire.

Not really.

Via HotAir.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It Was A Very Good Day

Good times and good friends.  And a good cigar...tasted even better leaving the IO.


Monday, December 12, 2011

It's A Joke

So, fourth (out of 6) quarter complete today in my MBA program.  Life is good.  To celebrate, a little humor.

New Scientific Evidence:
Vodka mixed with ice causes brain degeneration.

Scotch mixed with ice causes kidney failure.

Whiskey mixed with ice causes liver failure.

Tequila mixed with ice causes loss of sight.

Bottom line, ice is bad.  Please, don't drink any liquids with ice.  Ice causes many bad health effects and should be avoided at all costs.

Please pass to your closest friends.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paradox

Just a short message from Ben Stein worth contemplating...shortly followed by a face palm.

"Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured...but not everyone must prove they are a citizen."


Happy Birthday!

Congratulations, Department of Energy!  You turned 34 this year!

Thirty-four years after its creation, the DOE employees 16,000 federal workers and 100,000 contract employees...with a $26 Billion budget.

Its charter?

In 1977, the Department of Energy was created to "lessen our dependence on foreign oil".

Now that's progress!

Happy Birthday, big government bureaucracy!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ol' Stompin' Ground

Except for the Case III comms on a clearly Case I day (let me guess...a layer at 2K), this is a pretty cool video.

Nice to see the Prowlers get some love, too!

Hat tip to Lex for the video.



Friday, December 2, 2011

The Sheep Are Nervous

Well, the U.S. Senate seems unable to figure out our current economic dilemma.  They also seem unable to figure out a better tax code, a replacement space vehicle, appointing judges...well, let's just say they can't seem to agree on much of anything.

Except sex with animals.

Yes, the Senate Armed Services Committee unamimously approved S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to repeal sodomy and sex with animals in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

My guess is that sodomy was repealed so that the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" will actually work, of course.  But as collateral damage, they've also agreed that human sex with animals...specifically, personnel who wear the nation's uniform...is perfectly legal.

Is this really in the best interest of the country and military?  Of course not.

But there's an agenda to promote, and the Senate is not going to make a little sex with goats stand in the way of a "good" cause.

Georgetown University: Hip Hop Elective

So, I turn on the news this morning and find out that Georgetown University will be offering a new, amazing course that conforms really well to it's distinguished, Jesuit background in higher academia...

..."Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z".  You see, it's a course dedicated to to the rapper Jay-Z and his career.  Michael Eric Dyson, a liberal author and radio host (and oh, also a professor at Georgetown), will teach this class.  What could you possibly spend a semester at one of the most distinguished Ivy League schools learning about a rapper?  From his lyrics, you'll learn about "racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality."

Oh.

I guess it's good they are not offering courses such as:
"Capitalism: A Profound Masterpiece"
"WWII: A Study of American Sacrifice and Triumph"
"The Great Depression: A Study on How to Avoid Socialist and Government Interventionism"
"The 1960's: Contrasting Those Who Sacrificed for the Greater Good and Those Who Were Self-Absorbed"
"The American Housing Bubble:  How Good Intentions From Politicians Paved the Road to Hell"
"The Basic Economics of Supply and Demand: Why People Still Don't Get It"
"The American Media: A Study of Absurdity"
"Political Ethics: A Study of the Lack of Ethics and Morality in Public Officials" Part I
"Political Ethics: A Study of the Lack of Ethics and Morality in Public Officials" Part II
"Political Ethics: A Study of the Lack of Ethics and Morality in Public Officials" Part III
"Common Sense: A Study in Libertarian Thinking"

Let's hope the Georgetown alumni have something to say about this sham Jay-Z class.  If they don't, then shame on them.  President Clinton--you first.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Classic Blast From the Past

It's been a long week in grad school...and boy did I need some humor.  Thanks to my friends from the Saturday morning old guys club for this clip.

I miss Richard.  Now he...was funny.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hello World

Try not to cry...I wasn't able to.

I think I found a new favorite band.  It's been a good weekend...lots of time to look around and love life.  There's plenty to be thankful for.

Was listening to my daughter's breathing as she was falling asleep tonight.  She was holding her stuffed "ducky" and sucking her fingers.  Is there anything so perfect?

I don't think so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

I don't have enough minutes in the day to fully appreciate everything I'm thankful for this holiday.  I'm not really sure why we celebrate it with turkey, but I know "why" we celebrate it.  Because there's a helluva lot to be thankful for.

A lot.

Is your life tough right now?  Not sure what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving day?



Want to try again?  What is it you are thankful for?  Don't just shove turkey in your mouth.  Give yourself some time, and appreciate the things you have.

You have more than you think.

Sometimes life is not what you thought it would be.  Sometimes it just plain sucks.  Sometimes the wrong things happen to good people.  Sometimes you don't get rewarded for good behavior.  Sometimes you do the right thing and no one cares.  Sometimes you work hard and get nothing in return.  Sometimes you smile at people and get nothing but scorn in return.  Sometimes you get cheated.  Sometimes you make the wrong decisions.

Given this, is there still reason to be thankful?

While you're thinking on that subject, I'll be kissing my wife as she checks on the turkey, hugging my little girl as she laughs at "America's Funniest Home Videos", and tipping back a cold beer on a beautiful sunny day.  I may even go polish the chrome on the motorcycle.

I have my answer.  You?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Double Down

To "Double Down" in Blackjack: The player is allowed to increase the initial bet by up to 100% in exchange for committing to stand after receiving exactly one more card.

To "Double Down" in politics:

First Card:


The Double Down:



"Families like yours, young people like the ones here today--including the ones who were just chanting at me--you're the reason that I ran for office in the first place."

Even though the President is extremely smart, especially in politics, I don't think he'd do well at Blackjack.

You don't Double Down when you are given a very, very bad card.  Note to whoever is advising the President to embrace the OWS crowd.

Stop.

In my humble opinion (of course), the OWS crowd is destructive, not creative.  It's socialist, not capitalist.  It's negative, not positive.  It's backward thinking, not forward thinking.  It's a proven failed philosophy, not a correction to a masterpiece.  It's exactly what we don't need.  To think otherwise is to embrace insanity.  Really, I'm not kidding.  Let me put it this way...would you let anyone at the OWS rally look after your child while you're away?  No?  Then why are you taking their view on the economy...something that will shape your child's future?

This country has done magnificent things, and this economy has driven prosperity to all time highs.  Prosperity is relative, of course, but so is the definition of poverty.  The lack of a job is not the issue.  The real issue is the lack of incentives for businesses to create those jobs.

If government figured out that instead of "telling" business what to do, they "incentivized" business, the economy would flourish.

At the beginning of economist F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom", Hayek stated that when government controls the economy, what's more at stake is not our wealth...but our "alteration in the character of the people."  If the President believes that government should control all the "faults" of the economy, then we will fundamentally change as a people.

According to the Tax Foundation, 60% of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes.  Over half of our population lives at the expense of the rest.

Is this truly what we want in our country?  60 will become 70%....and 70 becoming 80%.  Unless we change, this is not conjecture, it is fact.  Do we want a culture of takers or makers?  Do we want freedom and self-responsibility or do we want the tyranny of the Nanny State?

This is the true discussion.  All else is smoke and mirrors.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

WTF ???

A friend of mine pointed this out and I thought I would pass it along.

"...if I were running a campaign with a low approval rating, the last thing I would do is have a re-election slogan whose initials are...WTF."

Yup, I'd say that would be a bad idea.  But then again, it's pretty funny.

So there's that.


No Cages

Motorcycle Dictionary:
"Cages":  Automobiles.  Those who ride in cars are often referred to as "Cagers".

This will help explain the following video.



I've said it before...go buy one.  Now.  Seriously, like, right now.

You'll never see a Harley parked outside of a therapist's office.  Therapy is expensive.  Wind is cheap.

Friday, November 18, 2011

And It Begins

We better get our act together soon...or more of this will happen.

Via Drudge and Breitbart.


Ok, let me be the first to tell you.  There is a significant threat to public safety and we've known about this for years now.  This is just the first public incident you've heard of.  

Our electronic infrastructure is not as sound as you think.  If you don't think it's a big deal, just wait until an entire city can't drink any water for a couple of weeks because some "hacker" has disabled a computer system.

This is one area where the Federal Government has an obligation to use our tax money for good purposes.  Hey Homeland Security...how about a little less patronizing comments and how about a little more action?

A Visual Contrast

So I like to pontificate...a lot.  Sometimes what I'm thinking doesn't quite come out on paper as expected.  My fellow MBA students would probably agree.

As a change, today I'll just let the pictures tell the story.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the following is almost long enough for my thesis!












Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's Good for the Gander...

...is apparently not good for the goose.

A press conference was held today by self-ascribed millionaires.  They were demanding Congress tax them more...since, of course, they are not taxed enough.

Yes, these folks are not happy that they already give up a third of their income.  They want Congress to take more.

Well, so be it.  How about giving it now?  We'll help...here's a checkbook.

Oh wait...did they say voluntarily give more taxes?  Nope.  They want Congress to involuntarily take more taxes (not that taxes are voluntary to begin with).  But not starting with them.

After watching this video, I'm not too sure these guys are millionaires.  If they are, then I see something even darker.  Not only are these guys richer than you (and are probably pretty darn happy about it), but they also want something else they are not saying.

Power through tyranny.

I know it doesn't make sense initially, but think about it a while and then ponder, "Why won't these guys give up their own money voluntarily?  Why do they need Congress to force it upon others?"

Because these guys are in the minority.  The rest of the millionaires out there think these guys are lunatics.  And they are.

But there's only one way lunatics can get insane things done.

Through Congress.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Eye of Newt

He's not perfect...but no one says that he is.

What he is, in my humble opinion, is electable.  You decide.  I have.




Friday, November 11, 2011

Graphs to Explain the Unexplainable

Ever wondered why a drink feels so good at the end of a long week?  Let the graph help...


Ever wondered how all those people showed up as "friends" on Facebook?


Do you use Adobe?  Then no explanation needed for this graph...



Ever wondered how to fix insomnia?


The Beatles' lyrics were great.  Really?


How my P90X workouts are going....


How well a car alarm works:


And finally, what were those words again?...


A Different 1%

They are a different 1%.  Not the ones the Occupy Wall Street crowd rants against.

They are the 1% of the population who serves their country, and loves her to the core.

They are the 1% who asks for very little, but gives so very much.

They are a small group, but they are all around the globe and all around the country.

Find them.  And then thank them.

Honor our Veterans.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is It Any Wonder?

Up-front disclaimer:  I like Herman Cain as a potential candidate for the Republican ticket.  I like the idea of a free-market, business type of guy running the country.  Someone who has been in the private sector longer than has been in the public sector.

Yet, I don't think he's the Republican's best ticket against President Obama.  I just don't think he could win.

All that aside, the attacks against Cain have been relentless the past week.  At first, I saw the "chink in the armor".  I figured it was adios, amigo.  Who's up to bat next?

But here's what's bothering me.  I don't usually listen too much to Ann Coulter.  She's pretty far to the extreme right for me...but...for argument's sake, let's just assume the following is "true" and then discuss:

"So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.

The Daley-controlled Illinois Restaurant Association works hand-in-glove with the National Restaurant Association.  And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator.


And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of...Chicago.


Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago.  But you know who has?  David Axelrod!  And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building?  Right again:  Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.


The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.  John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign.  He resigned--and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false...


...one month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the US Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader.  But then the Chicago Tribune--where Axelrod used to work--began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Saxton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings...Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records.  Obama...won the primary."

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's ponder for a moment.  Is it a stretch of the imagination that dirty politics are played on the national stage?  Is is a wonder that "anything goes" when one is fighting for the top jobs of US government power?

If the answer is "yes, I assume anything goes", then is it a wonder why good people don't run for office?  Have you ever wondered why better choices are not given in an election?  Have you ever wondered, "gee, not much of a choice here...guess it's the better of two evils"?

There are better people out there.  There are exceptionally qualified people who should run.  There are better choices.

But, like any good parent and spouse, they choose their family over politics.  They know that fairness is NOT a part of our political "game", and that their loved ones could be the true victim in the road to the White House.  I don't know the truth of what happened with Herman Cain and the women that are, 15 years later, coming out saying, "oh, he's a bad guy."  What I do know is, if a true crime occurred, the evidence to exonerate Cain is long past...and the political operatives know it...and love the fact he can't possibly defend himself.  Guilty until proven...well, there is no fair process in the court of public opinion.

How very sad.  How very sad for his family.  How very sad for our country.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Those Evil Corporations

You have probably noticed already, but I am not a fan of the Occupy Wall Street movement(s).  Why?

First, they lack a coherent argument.  Most of their sputterings arguments center around either socialist or communist platforms.  Second, they lack a sustainable vision for the country.  The effects they call for would not only make the economy worse, they would cripple it. Third, they offer no reasonable, rational, or executable solutions.  Most of these folks have not considered the secondary and tertiary effects of their solutions...and those effects are the most important for long term economic viability.

And they are just plain weird.  That should count for something, right?

And if that doesn't make sense, maybe this will.  Enjoy!




Happy 10,000!

This little blog started with a pretty simple idea...vet my ideas in the open blogosphere and hopefully add a little humor sometimes.

I thank everyone who has visited my site (although, not sure why the Russians and Chinese are visiting...must be the economics), and I hope we have many fun-filled and enlightening posts in our future!

Happy 10,000 blog hits, Skippy Maximus fans!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"That's Who We're Creating"

I am not a regular watcher of Judge Judy, but I must admit...I might start.

Below is a great video clip from the Judge Judy show (now on You Tube...because it's been pulled by CBS from their site?)

Summary:  Guy gets government money for rent.  You see, he's a student (already receiving $22,000 from the government to go to school) and he doesn't have a job.  Therefore, the government gives him an extra $400 for rent.  If we just stopped there, it wouldn't sound so different than what we have become accustomed to from the government.

Yet, this man decides to live with his girlfriend and spend the money on...other things.  Judge Judy has a few words for this...uh, upstanding young man.

Judge Judy...yes, send it to Congress.  In the meantime, the rest of us will remember this debacle when we vote.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some Saturday Humor

"Bad Lip Reading" has some really funny videos.  Below are the "front-runners" in some...well...bad lip reading.

Hilarious!  Enjoy.






Friday, October 28, 2011

A Simple Explanation

Ok, I stand corrected.  Here's a recent video which, I guess, totally makes me wrong in everything I've thought about the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

And here I thought these folks had no logic or economic foundation on which to make a coherent argument.

Just kidding.  Enjoy the circus.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Retort

Ahhh, Hat tip to everybody...both HotAir and Lex have this, so let me just help spread the wealth.

Peter Schiff, one of the few who actually knows a little about making money and predicting economic failure, gives a retort to the Occupy Wall Street degenerates.

Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing.  I know, 18 minutes is such a long time.  But at least at the end of the 18 minutes, you'll be better informed and understand the difference between:

a.  What will save us
b.  What will kill us.

Enjoy.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ooops


colleague in my marketing class passed this along. Some of the biggest marketing blunders committed. 

Good fun, via Digital Dreams. 

1. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

2. Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish where its translation was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."

4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as they did in the U.S., with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read. Yikes!

5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious naughty magazine.

6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).

7. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

8. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

9. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." Instead, the company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

10. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."


Californication

On October 9th of this year, Govenor Jerry Brown signed into law AB499.  This law allows minors, as young as 12, to get preventative HPV vaccines without the consent of their parents.  Of course, this should be of no surprise in a state which allows for minors to have an abortion without the parents' consent or even notifying them of the procedure.

Yikes.

On the very same day that Govenor Brown signed this bill into law, he also ensured that another evil was eliminated.  On Sunday, he signed into law a measure that prevents teenagers from using an indoor tanning bed WITHOUT PARENTS' CONSENT.

So, let me get this straight.  It's ok to have an abortion without parents' consent, but the use of a tanning bed without consent is now illegal?

Can someone explain this absurdity to me?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sacrifice

Sacrifice defined by Webster: "Surrender of something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost."

Defined by a parent:  Shortly after finding out that she was pregnant, Stacie Crimm found out she had cancer of the neck and head.  Chemotherapy could save her life...but could jeapordize the baby.  What to do?

Sacrifice.  Stacie decided the life of the child was more important than her own.  Stacie refused the chemotherapy.  She was able to hold little Dottie Mae for 3 hours before Stacie slipped into a coma.  Stacie died three days later.

When Stacie learned of the news of her cancer, she called her brother to relay the news.  When the subject came up about chemotherapy, she said, "If I have to make a decision, you know what it's going to be.  Don't even ask, I've lived my life."

Sacrifice defined.  Thank you, Stacie.

"Only a life lived for others is worth living."  - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Definition of Irony

Via Hot Air.

The "Occupy Wall Street" (aka, I'm a socialist and give me all your money!) crowd just discovered the definition of irony.

The same people who say this:



...are now upset that they are being robbed by fellow "protesters".  When they want redistribution of property and wealth, they weren't referring to themselves, of course.  To the "rich"...whatever that means.

Me?  I'm just sad that this stupidity still exists in the 21st century.  After all the struggle, pain, and failure of socialism and communism, people are still ready to embrace it.  Logic does not matter to these people.

I still ask the same question to people who believe in socialism: "Who produces things that make our lives better when there is no incentive to produce?"

Still awaiting an answer that is filled with logic and facts rather than hyperbole.  

Numbers

You know, like words, numbers have meaning.

I'm a big fan of Marco Rubio.  I'm not a fan of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Case in point.



You see, the jobs act is so fundamentally important (according to the President), that there is no option but to support it.  If you don't support it?  Then according to his party, then you're against preventing murder, rape, paying firefighters, police, etc.  Hyperbole.  Pure and simple.

I think what the American people are tired of is speaking out of both sides of the mouth when real people are hurting.  People want real solutions, not real campaigning.  That goes for not just Democrats, but for Republicans too.

Me?  I'm still waiting for a leader.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Really Bad Idea

I blogged (shortly)  in July on the ATF's "Fast and Furious" program that ended up getting one of our border agents killed.

Good to see this is being investigated.  Good to see the media doing its job.

Hopefully people will be held accountable.  Anything else would be...criminal.

You Should Put Down Your Flags...

...because I don't think you understand what it stands for.

Via Lex.  As the "protests" around the country gain in size, make sure you take a look at what they are arguing for.

I don't like what I'm seeing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Tax Man: Part II

I've heard comments around the blog that the U.S. enjoys a low tax burden compared with other countries.  This, of course, is a reason that is given to support the idea that we can be taxed more.

Found this chart at the Tax Foundation.  Very interesting.  You see, the people who say we're not taxed as much are looking at the overall taxation percentage.  But if you look closely, you'll see that all other taxes are about the same, except the Value Added Tax (or VAT).  That's a consumption tax.

So, in essence, we're taxed at the same level at most other countries...but taxed less on consumption.  Consumption taxes are tricky.  If you consume less, you pay less taxes.  If you consume more, you pay more taxes.  You can (theoretically) adjust your own tax rate with the VAT method.

Problem is, the VAT theory only holds if all other taxes remain the same.  You see, if we all decided to buy less, the federal government would take in less revenue.  Their response?  Raise your other taxes.  This is where the VAT theory falls apart.  I don't think most politicians who talk VAT are actually trying to give you more control of your pocket book...I think they just want more of it.

Interesting stuff to think about.

If this stuff bores you, that makes politicians happy.  The less you pay attention, the more they get of your wallet.


Keynes Was Wrong

Well, that headline is contested by about half the population.  But, that's my take.

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity has a good video supporting this idea.  Give it 5 minutes.  It will help you make better decisions at the ballot box.

Something in the Water

Is it just me or have you been scratching your head at recent headlines?

"Obama Wants Jobs Bill Back"



Friday, September 23, 2011

No More Shawshank Redemption For Me

Say it ain't so, Red.

It's always disappointing when, instead of providing a logical argument, people just name-call those they disagree with.  When I call someone a socialist, I try and give an explanation and a supporting argument.  I don't believe in name-calling, as it reduces whoever is using it to a "simpleton".  A simpleton has no coherent argument.  They either know their case is weak, or have no idea what their case is...other than, "I want our side to win."

Too bad for Morgan Freeman.  I really like his movies.  It's always unfortunate when you get to know the actors for the people they really are.  Makes believing any role they play in the future (or have played in the past) simply...unbelievable.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

All You Need To Know

I will not offer many responses to this, as I think it's important to just let a socialist speak for herself.  Elizabeth Warren is the new front runner in the Massachusetts Senate race.  She has a lot to say, as most politicians do who want to call themselves Senator.

What caught my ear was her reaction to business.  In my opinion, business is what makes the world go 'round.  Business employs, business creates, business pays taxes (and so do the people who the business hires and so do the people who buy their products).

But she thinks that business "owes" something more, just because, well they're a business.  You see, in her opinion, business would not survive if it were not for the tax revenue that paid for the roads, schools, police, and fire that the business uses.

I disagree.  In my opinion, business pays a lot more tax than the common American.  In fact, 50% of Americans don't pay any taxes at all.  Does that mean that 50% of Americans who don't pay taxes should be grateful to the wealthy who do?  They should, but seems like lately, it's the wealthy who are deemed "bad" and should pay their "fair share" (even though they already pay far more than most...far more).  Even though the business is paying a higher rate and greater quantity of taxes than the common American, Elizabeth thinks that business owes....and owes....and owes some more.

You see, Elizabeth gets it backwards.  It should be the taxpayers who are grateful to business, for business supplies the jobs, business produces what we consume, business pays most of the taxes...business is the economy we rely on.  Yet, in her world...in her socialist viewpoint...business should be grateful to us.  Business "owes" us more.  In her world, a "fair portion" of tax is more...and more....and more...and more....

If you think socialism is a thing of the past or just a punch line, just remember...she's the front runner.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hmmm....

That's, an...uh...interesting photo.

Not really sure what else to say, other than, which one is not like the other?

"Barack Obama joins Open Government Partnership for group photo."

By the way, I think that's Ronald Reagan in the back row.


Monday, September 19, 2011

What Do You Deserve?

Recently, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said that "I'll put it this way, you don't deserve to keep all of it.  It's not a question of deserving, because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together."

"Keep all of what?" you may be asking.  Your money.

You see, Representative Schakowsky believes that you don't deserve to keep all of your money.  Why don't you deserve to keep all of your hard-earned money?  Because of government.  You see, we have to have government.  We can't exist without government.

I disagree.  I say, government can't exist without us.

There is another conversation that we need to have before we can talk taxes.  It's a conversation about whether we, as American citizens, have inalienable rights.

Tina Korbe from Hot Air recently blogged about this.  Quote:
"...the government does have that authority (to tax) from our consent, the consent we express in the Constitution, which does give the federal government the power to tax...when the federal government taxes us, then, it doesn't really take our money.  We freely--if indirectly--choose to appropriate our money to the federal government by voting in the Congress that establishes the tax rates in the first place.  We consent to giving the federal government authority over a particular portion of our private resources, making those private resources public.  In effect, we cede our right to that property to the federal government.  The federal government, then, has a right to our tax dollars because we give it that right."

Did you catch the important phrase?  "...we give it that right".

J.E. Dyer from Hot Air continues this thought.  She says, "The question of what we 'deserve' boils down to which came first, the individual human with rights, or the state.  America was founded on the principle that the individual human with rights comes first.  Any idea that violates that principle is counter to our founding idea...The American founding idea is that we the people decide what government will do, and we decide how much money government will have to do it with.  Then we contribute out of which is inalienably ours."

Catch that one?  "Then we contribute out of which is inalienably ours."

You see, this is the core of the true debate.  How big should the government be?  How much should the government do?  What does the government deserve to get?

How many of our rights to property (our money) do we cede to the government?  How should the government spend our ceded property?

And...who gets to decide this?  We the People or We the Feds?

Now, back to Congresswoman Schakowsky.  She, along with many in our country, have reversed the above.  They believe that government existed first, and should, therefore, have first dibs on our property.  She says, "Government is those things we decide to do together.  And there are many things we decide to do together."

Really?  I don't remember wanting to purchase shares of Chrysler.

She continues, "I think you need to pay your fair share of the things we decided are national priorities."

Bingo.  She's not talking about all of government.  You see, most of your life you exist at the local level.  Local ordinances, local government, local codes, property taxes, state ordinances, etc.  Very rarely, are you living at the national level.  But she's reversed that.  What she calls "we" is really "them" at the federal level.  The federal government is consuming more and more of your property.  And what do you have to show for it?  Less and less.  In fact, much of what you give to the federal government, in the hopes of future pay outs, is  insolvent.  Like Social Security.

So, if you believe that we give the government power, and we decide how big government should be, then I propose you do this:

Go cash in your shares of Chrysler.  Get your money back...we are constantly told "we own" the company.

Yet, this is what will happen.  Nothing.  You don't own anything.  The federal government owns the shares.  Now, tell me, is Representative Schakowsky talking about the things "we decide to do together", or is she really saying, "we the federal government has decided the things we will do without you"?

Interesting question to ponder.  Are We the People really in control?  For if our government does things we do not consent to, nor have the ability to correct, are we still living under the wishes of the Founding Fathers?  Are we still living under the guide of the Constitution?

Or are we somewhere else?

"If any of us doesn't deserve to keep everything he has earned, then that man is a slave...in the American idea, the state doesn't operate on the basis of 'what we deserve'.  It operates on the basis of law.  'What we deserve' is outside the scope of the state's competence to decide.  America was founded on the principle that individual rights precede and constrain the state.  As far as government is properly concerned, we all deserve to keep 100% of our money.  The question of what we decide to do with it, and how the functions of government figure into that, is a separate and subordinate topic.

It is impossible to live as free men and women otherwise."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Evil Is Real...And So Is Courage

As we recognize the 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, many thoughts are brought forward.  We all have our stories.   9/11 means so very much to so many people.  Each has their own story, with each having a fundamental impact on their lives.

For me, it's a profound sense of sorrow and loss.  Yet, that feeling is shortly replaced by what is more fundamental--how we performed after being attacked.  I was on an aircraft carrier leaving the Persian Gulf (3 weeks later flying the first flights into Afghanistan).  It was hard for me, being that I thought I was overseas fighting the enemy...but it seemed the enemy was closer than I was to my homeland.  But, my fellow citizens proved that courage was much more common that I think many thought.

As people attempted to escape the flames of the Trade Towers, the firefighters and police charged into the flames.

As the walls of the Pentagon verged on collapse, Americans charged into the smoke to pull out fellow citizens, only to go back after they saved a life.

And aboard Flight 93.  True courage.  Common citizens displaying uncommon valor.  "At the moment democracy was under attack, our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote."

And that vote...to take back the plane.

As we acknowledge the loss, let's also acknowledge the courage and the vision that those in Flight 93 had.  Simply, we are a land of the free, and a home of the brave.  Simple and common words, until you actually have to live them.

We are a great nation.  We have in us a spirit that is not easily broken.  "We the People" should remind us that our nation is not our government...it's supposed to be us.  We each make up the citizenry.

To those who say that America's best days are behind them, I say "Let's roll."



Monday, September 5, 2011

Battle Lines...

...are being drawn.

As we anxiously await the President's solution to all of our economic woes on Thursday, we're all getting a sneak peak on what the next year or so will look like.  Democrats used to make fun of President Bush's "you're either with us or against us" doctrine.  Looks like the Democrats are actually big fans of the idea.  Politically, that is.

If you're part of the Tea Party movement, you're terrorists, banned to damnation, and are the obstacles to bigger government solutions.

If you're Republican, then you are barbarians.  No kidding...the Vice President thinks so.  At an AFL-CIO (big union) rally, the Vice President is in a fighting mood...literally.

Seems the battle lines are being drawn.  Today, in an introduction for the President of the United States, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. (seriously, if you were the President, would you want anyone named Jimmy Hoffa introducing you?) said that the labor unions are the President's "army" and that we should take these "sons of bitches out" (referring to Tea Party activists and Republicans).

Yeah, well, you know rhetoric.  I'm sure the President distanced himself, right?

Nope.  The President is proud of the remarks.

So, what side are you on?

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you don't know, you're probably already the enemy.  Watch your back.

Call me crazy, but the battle has already started.  I hope you are prepared.

Keynesian Socialist

What's the difference between a $14.7 Trillion debt and a $15.7 Trillion debt?

Maxine Waters.

Regular readers of this blog know my feelings about the Congresswoman representing South Central Los Angeles.  She's threatened to nationalize the oil companies (which reminds me of someone else), and has told a good number of voting Americans to "go to hell" due to their desire that the federal government live within their financial means.

There are many more reasons, but let's focus on the most recent.  Congresswoman Waters believes in the fallacy that if the government gives someone a dollar, they'll create $1.84 in economic stimulus.  The problem with this theory is that the government doesn't create wealth.  It has to take wealth, in the form of taxes, to spend on government programs.  Money taken in the form of taxes is wealth that could have been used to invest, create, hire, or spend in a free-market economy.  This is simply redistributing wealth not creating it, either telling how people should spend their money or simply making that decision for them.  She apparently doesn't understand this...or, she's a socialist and doesn't care.  Case in point, Meet the Press from this weekend.  She wants to spend a trillion dollars on a "jobs plan".




"I don't think he can have a program that simply gives more tax breaks to the very people who got us in this trouble in the first place."

You mean Congress?

Ma'am, let me introduce you to another theory.  The people in your district would be served better if you thought this way...and you would make less ridiculous statements on national t.v.

What Would You Do?

Let's play a game! Sorta like the TV series, we'll be playing "What Would You Do?" Skippy-style.  After I ask the question, take a moment to think about what you would do, then I'll give you the government's answer to all the questions.  Let's play!!

Question 1:  Your favorite ice cream company delivers their yummy products via trucks across the country.  The company finds out that one of their drivers is often drunk when he drives the trucks.  You think to yourself how many people that trucker has put at risk.  The company no longer allows the trucker to drive their trucks, but keeps the trucker in the company to do something non-driving related.  Did the company make the right decision?

Government Answer: No.  You violated the man's civil rights by removing him from driving.  You see, alcoholism is a "disability".  You know, the same as blindness, deafness, down syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.  Therefore, by removing him from his position (doesn't matter that you didn't fire him and kept him with the company) you violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we, as the government, are going to sue you.  We will sue you to reinstate the man as a driver again, provide him with back pay, and provide him with punitive damages.  Full story here.

Question 2:  California has a multi-billion dollar budget deficit.  It has some tough decisions to make.  For one, it has decided to close over 70 state parks.  For anyone that has been to California, they know that some of the most beautiful parks are located within the state.  What should the state do next?  Cut more from the budget?

Government Answer: No.  Actually, just the opposite.  You see, the federal government couldn't pass the DREAM Act because of a lack of support.  No problem.  California has plenty of support for illegal aliens....excuse me, undocumented workers....so, they'll pass the DREAM Act at the state level.  Even though they're having incredibly huge budget problems, the California Appropriations Committee has decided to spend $40 million via Assembly Bill 131.  This funds "Cal Grants", which would allow illegal aliens to collect public financial aid to spend for a college education. Story here.

Question 3:  The US Postal Service is going bankrupt.  As their costs grow beyond their revenues, the Post Office has recently closed 3,700 branches and eliminated Saturday delivery.  What could be causing the budget problems?  Labor.  FedEx labor costs are 32% of costs and UPS's labor costs are 53%.  The US Post Office's labor costs are 80% of all costs.  You see, the US Post Office has so many contractual issues with their employees (via labor unions), which include "no-layoff clauses", they are unable to control the costs of paying their people.  What should the Post Office do?  Re-negotiate with the unions?

Government Answer:  No.  Hey, Post Office.  We're going to bail you out.  Even though the American taxpayer is voting with their feet (via UPS and FedEx), we'll use taxpayer money to continue your unsustainable business model.  We understand unsustainable monetary models...we're the Federal Government.

That's all for today's game!  Hope you enjoyed today's frustrating results.  Excuse me, I must go give Office Depot more business.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Absurdity

So, a CAT 2 is rolling through the east coast.  All storms are potentially dangerous, but...really?

Millions have been evacuated, and the storm hit with 85mph winds. Politicians are so worried about becoming the next "Katrina" mayor, they're forecasting the apocalypse if people don't drive to Kansas and dig a hole to live in.

"What absurdity?" you may ask.  Behold:


The President has manned the "hurricane command center", as if any decision he makes there will have any outcome on what the hurricane does.  Mother nature, Sir, is not beholden to the Executive Branch.  Who is able to make the best decisions?  Local officials there on the ground, or the President who is staring at a nice LCD monitor getting the info...from the officials on the ground?  To me, this is another perfect example of the trend of running to the federal government for all of our problems.  Hurricane coming?  Leave.  Board up your windows.  Mayors, call out the emergency personnel.  Why do we need the President manning a command center like this was the opening wave of WWIII?

Part of me wants to blame the media.  The media started this circus by describing this as the storm of the century.  Mayhem.  Apocalypse.  And no matter what happens, whether the facts prove them wrong about the intensity of this hurricane, there's a story to be told.  And the story is what sells.  So, sell, baby, sell!

Oh, the winds are only at 85 mph?  Hmm...oh wait!  A guy got killed by a falling branch!  See, we told you it was the worst thing in the world!!!  Are you still a little skeptical of the Skippy cynicism?  Behold:



Look, I really hope I'm wrong.  I hope our elected officials are right, and are making calls on what they truly believe are the rights things to do.  But something tells me it's not.  Something tells me this is grandstanding mixed with a lot of CYA.  Call me a cynic.  

When the mayor of New York and the governor of New Jersey say that staying behind is "against the law" and "are putting emergency personnel at risk", I get a little cynical.  Where is that law written?  There's no law against stupidity, if in fact these people are acting stupidly.  This, from a mayor who wanted to ban salt from restaurants.  No kidding.  And putting emergency personnel at risk?  Driving a car, swimming in the ocean, lighting candles in your living room, camping in the forest, hiking up mountains, flying, scuba diving, hand gliding...well, you get my point.  These are all risky actions, and they all have the potential to put emergency personnel at risk.  But they're not against the law.  

And that's why I'm cynical.  When things aren't logical, you should find the true answer in politics or money.

I think I found one, at least.

"Wal Mart, Home Depot, grocers get big boost from Irene."

Update:

Like I said, follow the money trail.  "New Jersey governor Christie expects storm damage in billions."  Hmm.  Wonder where the money is going to come from.  I wonder.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Seems the representatives of the people are not educated in the ways of supply and demand or debits and credits.

According to a report from the Employment Policies Institute, only 1 in 5 members of Congress has a formal education in business or economics.  Broken down, only 8 percent majored in economics while 14 percent majored in business or accounting.

Of course, you don't necessarily need a formal education to make good policy.  But if you lack the formal education, maybe you should spend more time listening than talking.  Maybe your statements would not make you sound, so...what's the technical term?  Ah, yes.  Boneheaded.



Well, based on that logic, let's give everyone food stamps!  Put everyone on food stamps and we'll really stimulate the economy.  We'll borrow the money (from China, probably) and turn every one of those dollars from China into $1.84.  We'll have a robust economy!  And we'll have more money so we can pay them back!  Heck, if we gave everyone food stamps, we could stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget and eliminate the national debt!  And if a dollar turns into a $1.84, why stop at food stamps?  Let's give everyone a huge paycheck each month, and then they can go out and buy all kinds of stuff!!!  Of course, we'll need to take everyone's income and production so we can fund it.  Hmm, that sounds like another economic theory, but I just can't put my finger on it.  An economic free lunch!  Of course, the above video was only the Secretary of the Agriculture.  I'm sure no one in Congress would say such a thing.



The report says of our politicians, "This research suggests that our elected representatives may want to dust off their Econ 101 textbook (if they have one) before trying to tackle the weighty questions about the impact of taxes, spending, and debt on our economy and the labor market."

Gee, how novel of an idea.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Been A Long Week

It continues to be a busy couple of weeks for me, so until things mellow out, here's something to pacify your Skippy-necessity.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Allow the Judges To Retort

The following is an update to my previous post, but it is so good, it deserves it's own section of the blogosphere.

As you may know, especially after my last post, I do not agree with the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obama Care or Socialism In A Can).  I've attempted to relay that sentiment at times, but sometimes other people say it better.

In this case, the judges from the 11th Circuit Court have said it magnificently.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Especially if you have other things to do.

The Court wrote, "The government's position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual's existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life.  This theory affords no limiting principles in which to confine Congress's enumerated power."

In other words, if the White House's and Congress's view on this hold, it can force individuals to enter contracts with private companies from birth to death.  In other words, there are no longer any limits on what Congress can do.

The Court continues, "Every day, Americans decide what products to buy, where to invest or save, and how to pay for future contingencies such as their retirement, their children's education, and their health care.  The government contends that embedded in the Commerce Clause is the power to override these ordinary decisions and redirect those funds to other purposes."

The government has never claimed a power like this in the form of an individual mandate.  The Obama administration claims that health care is somehow inherently different from other economic decisions.  The 11th Circuit retorts that these claims are "ad hoc, devoid of constitutional substance, incapable of judicial administration--and consequently, illusory....they are not limiting principles, but limiting circumstances...(that) imperil our federalist structure."

I'm not quite sure what that means, but I think they are saying the former law professor who is now the President should just teach law, not practice it.