This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace.

4/29/09

I Can’t Hear The Howling Anymore


Where I live in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, if you sleep with the windows open in nice weather as I often do, sometimes you can hear the coyotes howling late at night. Times have changed, that’s for sure. When I was a kid no one would have believed you if you told them that. The animals just weren’t that “close to camp” as they say.

There is old saying that goes something like this, “If you throw a rock at a pack of coyotes, the one that howls, is the one that you hit.”

And so it goes with today’s political environment. I have recently been writing about taxes, who pays them, and which of them are “howling” about the use of what some politicians call “contributions.”

When I witnessed the “Tea Party” rally in Chicago recently, it struck me that I didn’t see a single sign that was “howling” about the level of taxes. If they existed there at all, they were drowned out by the signs which protested the use of those taxes (or the anticipated future level of them) because of the alarming amount of spending and printing of money that has recently begun.

Sign after sign pointed to use of such money by a government that seems to represent only the recipients of the funds, instead of the people who are doing the paying as well. Judging by the number of such signs, apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that elected representatives are supposed to represent all of us.

Those sign carrying people aren’t happy about having their hard earned money being used for the bail out (or enrichment) of ill managed banks, stock brokerages, car companies, insurance companies, real estate flippers, property speculators and irresponsible borrowers and mortgage brokers.

The people who saved, invested prudently and spent what they had, instead of what they could borrow, are righteously indignant that none of the competent stewardship of their resources will pay off for them now. They wonder why ordinary people should have to bother with that effort when the aforementioned list didn't bother because they were "too big to fail."

Much has been said about the number of people who attended the protests. Apologists for the left in the popular media have pointed out that the number of people present was modest when compared to the number at some demonstrations for their pet causes. Understandably, the size of this rally corresponded to the percentage of people who are paying vs the percentage of those not paying.

Since a huge number of people actually pay no income taxes whatsoever*, and even more pay only a pittance, it’s not a shock that the raw numbers don’t seem towering.

As long as 10% of the earners are paying approximately 70% of the taxes, I don’t expect the 90% to howl too loudly. The government knows that as well. The plan they have to keep power by buying off most of the people with the money of the few has been well thought out and executed.

We should ponder what the protests would look like if all the people had a good share of their money taken away and given to the above list of “lotto winners.” I’m guessing the polite few protestors carrying signs opposing current government policy would be replaced by a huge number of impolite rioters carrying the pitchforks that President Obama recently told business leaders he was protecting them from. But the people needing the protection might be "Obama & Company" instead of AIG or Chase Bank.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the one where very few of the citizens really have a stake in how much gets taken, but only in what gets handed out, there are so few “coyotes” getting hit that, I can’t hear the howling anymore.


* (“The Tax Policy Center estimates that for 2009, 43% of tax units (most of which are lower income households that may or may not file a return) will have no income tax liability or will have a negative income tax liability, meaning the government will actually pay them.”)

4/20/09

Reflections on a Tea Party


Even in the blurry photograph of clueless political operatives there are some who are astonishingly visible standouts.

That’s the observation I have made in the last few days as the "intelligentsia" of the media weighed in on the most recent government protests, which have been named “Tea Parties". I attended the one in Chicago last Wednesday but I won’t bore you with all the details because everyone who wanted to know anything about them has since found out how they have been portrayed, both by the detractors and the cheering sections. If you were one of those who suspected that you would have to sort it out for yourself because the folks who masquerade as jounalists misled their customers again, you weren't disappointed.

In the mean time, as I predicted (even while the event was still under way) the events were portrayed by the poverty and race pimps as Rich White vs. Poor Black.
I'm not bragging about the correct prediction, it was a no brainer.
You can read one such screed by a third rate actress, known primarily for her far left diatribes here. http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/apr/17/liberal-actress-says-tea-parties-were-racist/

Another quite notable reaction, even for a Chicago Politician, was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) when she referred to her fellow citizens as “despicable”. She has since pretended that she didn’t mean the people who went, just the people who organized it or agreed with the sentiments of those who did.
She lied about that in my opinion. I’m not shocked.

We have arrived at a very sad place when the politicians are so arrogant they have no fear of possible electoral fallout for describing people as despicable when they simply disagree with her ideological policies. Despicable is a loaded word, usually reserved for people like Hitler or John Gacy.
Their message is clear. You are not only wrong, but evil. It was bad enough when the governed were held in contempt by the governors. Now the governed are despised.
All this from the party that promissed a new beginning of civil cooperation and hope.

One can only pine for the day she gets “Unelected” because of this, but it’s probably more of fantasy daydream than a realistic possibility in Illinois. If you live in her district and vote for her next time at bat, you deserve the contempt she heaps upon those she doesn't find despicable.

4/15/09

The New American Tea Party

I was at the Chicago Tea Party so I know what actually went on and approximately how many people attended. I know what types of people were there, how they acted, and what they were concerned about.
It will be interesting and probably amusing to watch how the coverage, or lack thereof, develops the next few days. I will be commenting on the accuracy of the coverage as it happens, assuming there is any.
In the mean time, I would like to propose another Tea Party for this country, but it will probably not be the kind most would imagine. Anyone who would like to take a stab at guessing what it is should feel free to add their comment to this post.
As the Drudge Report often says..........developing.

Click to see Rick Santelli's comments on the Tea Party.

4/7/09

At last, an Honest politician




In Illinois, an honest politician is as rare as a ski slope. But I have come across a most unlikely one, none other than Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
Well, at least he is honest sometimes. Ok, hardly ever, but this story is about one of his ski slope moments.

There was an article, actually it was even smaller than a blurb, in the Chicago Tribune the other day which described a "Great moment of candor", according to the unnamed author. The piece was a report on comments Stroger made during a radio interview on WGN-AM 720 last Wednesday morning concerning rising taxes on cigarettes.

Host John Williams asked: "Isn’t it unfair to keep targeting smokers with tax increases"?

Stroger: "That is the American way". "And the way that it’s generally done is, you find some group that’s small enough where they can’t beat you up, and you tax them and you tell everybody else, ‘See? We didn’t tax you.’"

The answer doesn’t say much for his political acumen but it says volumes about his (probably unintended) candor. This isn’t actually a revelation to anyone hearing that comment, but it should be trumpeted anyway because the concept needs a fresh start in these times of "hopeful change".

There are so many concepts here to expand on and directions this story could go that it’s making my head spin with all the delicious possibilities. Perhaps I will expand on them in a future essay, but for now I am just like a first time Hi Def TV buyer, I just want one right now, I’ll worry about the number of screen pixels after I get it home.
You can read the blurb here.

4/6/09

Living in Neverland


Back when we were children, we had many childish notions. It’s part of being a child.

For instance, if you ask a four year old, where does money come from? Many will answer, "from mommy’s purse". What a delightfully childish response. And it is true as far as it goes.
By the time a child is about ten years old, If you ask the same question, they will say that it comes from the "country". Also age appropriate and also true, as far as it goes.

As for myself, as a youth, after finding out that the government "made" the money, I began to wonder why there were poor people. After all, I reasoned, if the government makes the money, and people are poor because they have no money, why doesn’t the government just make more of it, enough so that everyone will have enough.

As I grew to adulthood, I came to understand that it just doesn’t work that way. I guess I was about twelve or thirteen when I figured out that the government only prints the paper it's made of. I still wasn’t entirely sure of what money actually was, but I knew enough to understand that my notion was childish, that is to say, adults knew better.

But much to my amazement, it came to my attention at about fifteen that many actual adults still hadn’t figured it out.
And now that I wear an older mans clothes, it causes me pain to think that many adults still think that. In fact, most of the people who are in charge of the government and the Federal Reserve Bank think that.
They also hold a lot of other notions popular with children as well.

For one, they think that someone would actually loan their own money to people who cannot pay it back with the expectation that those people would repay. Only a child would think that. I have never met such a person. (or a group of such people) In fact, they don’t exist outside of Congress.

Another is the notion that if the bully at school beats you senseless day after day he will stop if you just ask him politely. Even thirteen year olds understand that won’t work. Outside of Neville Chamberlain, I have never heard of an adult who believed that in their heart of hearts. More childish wishful thinking. (Or hopeful thinking, in the style of the day)

Here’s another, if you asked a child if the nice man who was just elected President would be the best person to operate a large automobile company, the child would probably say yes.

Or this question; For a long while the lawmakers have set the minimum amount that people can be paid by other people for doing work. If that concept is as good as we are told it is, children might wonder why the amount isn’t set so high that everyone who worked for someone else would be wealthy. Good question, for a child.

And finally, children are used to the concept that they cannot make good decisions for themselves and that it’s always best if adults make the decisions for them. They may not always agree, but they are used to it. On that issue, the children finally get it right.

Like Peter Pan, many people never really wanted to grow up. Seems like a lot of them got their wish.

4/5/09

This is helping?

It seems we are unhappy that banks needed "bailout" money from the government. Those people were supposed to be smart! Turns out they were stupid, and they ruined the country!
Umm, maybe.
But upon further reflection, perhaps we were a little too quick to trust the media and didn't see the obvious path that things were going down.
No "help" ever comes from anyone without conditions. And if you don't actually want help but have it thrust upon you, you better be sure your skepticism hat is secure on your head.
This issue concerns the banks in our country and who controls them, but the concept can be applied to any business, and we should all be frightened about which industry is next. It seems that more and more banks want to return their TARP funds, but the government won't take the money back. HUH?
Read the Wall Street Journal article and consider the opinion there. It will be time well spent in my opinion. What's your opinion?