This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace, no matter who gets the credit.


The FCC’s Net Neutrality Power-Grab

The Federal Communications Commission today moved in to regulate the Internet, which is the wonder of the modern age exactly because the FCC hasn’t been able to get its hands around its throat.

Don’t just take it from me and others at The Heartland Institute. Some guy named Steve Wozniak wrote in The Atlantic that the little tech company he helped found named Apple would have never had a chance to fundamentally transform our economy and our everyday lives if the rules the FCC just imposed were in place years ago.

I believe this is the end of the Internet as we know it....

at Somewhat

Jim Lakely is the director of communications at The Heartland Institute.

Filed By Grant Davies


The Defeat of the Fed - Real Hope for Change at Christmas

Many of you read my recent piece titled  Fed Bans Christmas at Payne County Bank which appeared on this site on 12-17 and also was published on The Humble Libertarian blog this morning. It was well read (for this smallish blog), and well commented upon via email. At least more than usual. I attribute that partly to what I would call the "Don't mess with my Christmas" syndrome. 

It was a piece that struck nerves, and for good reasons. Not the least of which was the willful violation of our first amendment rights by the government whose main function is supposed to be defending them.  But thankfully it became the first part of a "bad news/good news" story.

The good news part is what has happened since that story became known. Ever since the story made the rounds of the Internet, the people picked up their cyber pitchforks and when the Fed saw the mob coming they backed off. That's right, the Fed changed their policy and seem to have admitted that they have no legitimate power to make the Payne County Bank stop celebrating Christmas. The crosses, the verses and the buttons are back at the bank. You can read that news item here.

It's good news as long as we learned the lesson that we can have an effect on the thuggish behavior of megalomaniacal government employees. And we have started the process of taking back our country and insisting that our rights be respected. It's a small (but important) step on that journey to be sure, but as Dr. Walter E. Williams has said to his students, "Keep in mind that even if you only take baby steps, sooner or later you will reach your destination." So let's all reach around and give ourselves a slap on the back for this little victory in what promises to be a very long struggle to regain our rights.

At the same time we need to press the issues every chance we get and never knowingly elect any office seeker who is not totally committed to returning our country to its rightful small government, constitutional roots.That commitment should be our gift to our children and grandchildren this holiday and all the rest of those we have left.

So Bah Humbug to those who think they can take our right to worship and pervert it to their twisted vision of a PC world.  And Merry Christmas to us because this certainly qualifies as good tidings!


Fed Bans Christmas at Payne County Bank - 1st Amendment Alert

When I write semi-clever blog titles it is usually with the intention of "hooking you in" so I can blather on about some topic or the other. But this one is a little more serious even if some may accuse it of being slightly over the top.

This morning the Drudge Report carried a link to a story and news video from an Oklahoma news station which told the story of the Payne County Bank's run-in with the feds over their overtly religious celebration of a Christian holiday.

You know the one. It's the same one that has been renamed a hundred different things over the last few decades by the politically correct, the militantly secular, or the pitifully ashamed Christians in our society.

It's Christmas, not a "winter festival" or other PC happening. And despite the fact that many other folks celebrate parts of it, it's still a Christian holy day. 

As the above image explains, the US Congress (or its extensions such as the federal reserve) may not legally make a law (or regulation) which establishes a religion or prohibits the free exercise of one.

If the news report is correct, there is no doubt whatsoever that the described events fit the bill on this one. This isn't so called "public" property we are talking about here, it's a private enterprise and the celebration doesn't violate the rights of anyone.

According to the report, the bank had a "Bible verse of the day on it's web-site, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." The examiners from the Kansas City Fed said they are "inappropriate."  Which may make you wonder, what exactly is appropriate for a religious holiday?

The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site had to be taken down and the buttons taken off and the crosses removed.

The story went on to say "Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

"The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslim or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination."

Normal people are not offended by religious practices of those of different faiths. But even if there are some, or even many who are, in this country you are not allowed to interfere in those practices as long as they violate no laws. Are we then to conclude that it is against the law to practice our religions openly in public at private businesses?

Do observant Jews have to remove their yarmulkes if they work in a bank? Do Muslim female bank tellers have to remove their Hijab? This is the kind of concern that was scoffed at by those who advocate a large intrusive government when these "regulations" were first put into place.

What makes this different from any other private business? Because it's a bank in question? What about your local pub?

Try sitting down there for a brew and informing the bartender that you are offended or don't feel "included" because he has a "Merry Christmas" banner up on the back bar. Then tell him he will have to remove it because his regulator will pull his liquor license if he doesn't. Then see how long it takes Bruno on the next stool to change your seating arrangement.

This is a ski jump folks, not a slippery slope. Have a nice Winter Festival.


Let's All Celebrate Parchment Barrier Day!

You are probably asking, what the heck are you talking about now? I get that a lot when I write these attention getting headlines.

A "Parchment Barrier" was the way the founders of our country described documents such as the Constitution and the first ten amendments to it, the Bill of Rights. (Today they might be referred to as "Paper Tigers" according to Tim Lynch of the Cato Institute.)

The founders knew all along that you can't really enforce these documents if the people who take an oath to defend them decide to ignore them. After all, they have most of the guns and most of the inclination to use them. Having said that, so far in this republic the preferred way of ignoring them has been legal circumvention instead of citizen execution. It's a distinction with a real difference.

The real name of the celebration du jour is Bill of Rights Day. And it's important to remember it on this day so we can try to figure out what went wrong and perhaps how to get back to the original intent of the provisions found in it. I have kicked around the idea of listing the usurpations to our rights for quite a while but, "if you're snoozin' you're losin'" as they say and I slept on it one too many nights because someone beat me to it today.

That person is the above named Tim Lynch and he does it much better than I probably could so I'll just keep my place a block behind the parade and let you read his excellent piece titled simply "Bill of Rights Day" which was published at Cato-at-Liberty this morning.

It is posted below (with the author's permission) in it's entirety for your convenience. Tim provides excellent links in the original article to demonstrate his points.  You may not enjoy having your rights violated but I think you will enjoy the article.

Bill of Rights Day

Since today is Bill of Rights Day, it seems like an appropriate time to pause and consider the condition of the safeguards set forth in our fundamental legal charter.

Let’s consider each amendment in turn.

The First Amendment says that Congress “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Government officials, however, insist that they can enact laws concerning television and radio broadcasting, and even pamphlets!

The Second Amendment says the people have the right “to keep and bear arms.” Government officials, however, insist that they can make it a crime to keep and bear arms.

The Third Amendment says soldiers may not be quartered in our homes without the consent of the owners. This safeguard is doing well–so we can pause briefly here for a laugh.

The Fourth Amendment says the people have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Government officials, however, insist that they can treat airline travelers like prison inmates by conducting virtual strip searches and crotch inspections.

The Fifth Amendment says that private property shall not be taken “for a public use without just compensation.” Government officials, however, insist that they can take away our property and give it to others who covet it.

The Sixth Amendment says that in criminal prosecutions, the person accused shall enjoy a speedy trial, a public trial, and an impartial jury trial. Government officials, however, insist that they can punish people who want to have a trial. That is why 95% of the criminal cases never go to trial.

The Seventh Amendment says that jury trials are guaranteed even in petty civil cases where the controversy exceeds “twenty dollars.” Government officials, however, insist that they can impose draconian fines against people without jury trials.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. Government officials, however, insist that jailing people who try in ingest a life-saving drug is not cruel.

The Ninth Amendment says that the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights should not be construed to deny or disparage others “retained by the people.” Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what rights, if any, will be retained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment says that the powers not delegated to the federal government are to be reserved to the states, or to the people. Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what powers are reserved to the states, or to the people.

It’s a depressing snapshot, to be sure, but I submit that the Framers of the Constitution would not have been surprised by the relentless attempts by government to expand its sphere of control. The Framers themselves would often refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers” or what we would describe as “paper tigers.” They nevertheless concluded that putting safeguards down on paper was better than having nothing at all. And lest we forget, that’s what millions of people around the world have — nothing at all.

Another important point to remember is that while we ought to be alarmed by the various ways in which the government is attempting to go under, over, and around our Bill of Rights, the battle will never be “won.” The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. To remind our fellow citizens of their responsibility in that regard, the Cato Institute has distributed more than four million copies of our “Pocket Constitution.” At this time of year, it’ll make a good stocking stuffer.

Finally, to keep perspective, we should also take note of the many positive developments we’ve experienced in America over the years. And for some positive overall trends, go here. Let’s enjoy the holidays but also resolve to be more vigilant about our liberties in 2011.


You Really Must Buy a Chevy Volt

No, this isn't an ad for the new Government Motors car, the Chevy Volt. In fact, the idea that anyone (not intellectually impaired) would actually buy one of these $41,000 turkeys with their own money is preposterous to me. Unless, of course, they MUST  because it became against the law not to buy one.

The whole concept would have been ridiculous to even contemplate until just over a year ago. That is when the same government who took over GM, fired the president of the company, refused to pay off any of the bond holders who lent the company money, gave a huge ownership stake to their union buddies and started making political donations back to themselves decided that you really MUST buy health insurance as part of their takeover of the US healthcare industry.

Those of us who weren't consumed with excitement running up our legs over the recent election of Hopama and Company knew at the time that the whole scheme was unconstitutional (to say nothing of being completely immoral.)  But having seen GW Bush sign a clearly unconstitutional repeal of the first amendment (McCain/Feingold) and the Supreme Court of the US uphold the government taking of one lady's property in order to give it to connected real estate developers (Kelo v. City of New London), we also knew that the mere fact that something is unconstitutional doesn't mean much anymore.

That is, until yesterday when at least one rational federal judge decided that he agreed with us that the provision of the 2700 page Obamacare nightmare which mandated that citizens must buy government designed and approved health insurance was indeed unconstitutional. When Judge Henry E. Hudson made that ruling yesterday in the Commonwealth of Virginia's lawsuit against the federal government, he became the first stumbling block for the law on it's road to the Supreme Court of the US where the legal part of the citizens' resistance to the takeover will be decided.

So it occurred to me that while we wait for this legal drama to play out it might be time to think about what it will mean if the court decides that the government can force you to buy something it feels will be beneficial to others. Why not start with the (coal powered) electric car that Government Motors is pushing with $7,500 of taxpayer money in the form of tax rebates? I mean, even if it didn't help others, lots of people might buy a $41,000 car if they could get their neighbors to pay the first $7,500. But why take the chance that they might not when you can simply pass a law saying they MUST? (As in T. H. White's ant colony, "Everything Not Forbidden is Compulsory.")

After that the precedent will be set and the people may be forced to buy orange juice and health club memberships to supplement their health insurance. If so, they can drive to the mandatory health club in their mandatory Chevy Volts and live in mandatory good health until they finally die. Death being the only thing which is truly mandatory in a constitutional United States.


Tax Deal - A Mixed Bag

Compared to ideal policy, the deal announced last night between congressional Republicans and President Obama is terrible.

Compared to what I expected to happen, the deal announced last night is pretty good.

In other words, grading this package depends on your benchmark. This is why reaction has been all over the map, featuring dour assessments from people like Pejman Yousefzadeh and cheerful analysis from folks such as Jennifer Rubin.

With apologies to Clint Eastwood, let’s review the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Read more of Dan Mitchell's article

Dan Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute

Filed by Grant Davies


Jefferson Would be Rolling Over In his Cookie Dough

On Friday while I was visiting with friends in Chicago's loop at our yearly  "Friends of Berghoff" Christmas gathering, the US House of Representatives was busy saving our children again.  Thank goodness for that holiday blessing.

 And it's good to know that even while I was exercising my God given right to eat and drink all the wrong things in the wrong quantities, Congress was exercising it's unconstitutional power to keep school kids from growing up as fat and unhealthy as I am.

The reference is to the narrowly passed "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” which now moves on to the Senate where the "greatest deliberative body in the world" will consider whether it wants to lame duck it into existence before deciding if the people are going to get the largest tax increase in history pushed up their donut holes on Jan 1st.

The wonderful legislation was being pushed by Michelle Obama who took time out from scolding her husband for sneaking cigarettes in the hallway of the Oval Office. (While it's not as bad as the cigar tricks that took place there in a previous health conscious administration, it's still not a good example for the kids whose health is being saved by keeping them from having any sweet treats while learning how to adjust their bicycle helmets in school.)

According to an article by Ben Boychuk titled "When Bake Sales Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Bake Sales" on the blog site Somewhat Reasonable,  "Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says the bill is aimed at curbing daily or weekly bake sales or pizza fundraisers that become a regular part of kids’ lunchtime routines. She says selling junk food can easily be substituted with nonfood fundraisers."

It's hard to argue against better nutrition for school children, particularly if you agree that everyone should eat more sensibly, so I won't. My frustration is with the idea that the federal government nanny has any legitimate constitutional reason whatsoever to stick their noses into decisions that are already being made by local school administrators and the parents of the children. My sense is that it's a combination of overreaching for power and the desire to help the people who should be making these decisions kick their responsibilities onto someone else so they don't have to face the parents who will be incensed by the intrusion.

Bake sales and pizza days aren't the only things which will be taking a sick day when these nanny staters declare something unhealthy. Your rights are taking a turn for the worse as well and I don't think there is anything about healing our broken rights in the twenty-four hundred page Obamacare law we swallowed without any sugary soda to wash it down with either.


EPA Delivers Holiday ‘Sucker Punch’ to U.S. Economy

While you were getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Environmental Protection Agency was cooking up a turkey of its own — a new “permitting guidance for greenhouse gases” that is unconstitutional and would extend the reach of Obama’s EPA into how nearly every American business may operate.

 It’s nothing less than a sucker punch to the U.S. economy, and an end-run around failed “cap-and-trade” bills that would deliver cap without the trade.

at Somewhat 
Jim Lakely is the the director of communications at The Heartland Institute.
Filed By Grant Davies


Green Jobs Mythology 101

Even someone spending $80,000 on a solar photovoltaic array to electrify his home could expect to get $74,000 back within five years through federal tax credits, Pennsylvania Sunshine Grants, green power credits sold to utilities, and savings. Without incentives, it could take 40 years to break even at current electric rates.

Now many of those incentives are expiring or running out of money.

Read the rest of the article by Paul Chesser

Filed by Grant Davies
Editor -


I Left My Foreskin in San Francisco

This is the first in a series of posts featuring the excellent posts of other bloggers from some of the top freedom blogs on the net. The idea originated on the terrific site The Humble Libertarian where I am charged with the responsibility to highlight great posts from the Cato Institute. Those posts will be linked to on the sidebar so they can be enjoyed on that site. The posts found here will be from sites not covered by THL.

 After this first email notification to introduce this new series, people on my personal email list will not receive the heads-up directly from me. That will be reserved for articles I author myself.
The following is from the great new blog Somewhat Reasonable, which is part of the Heartland Institute.

The lead singer of Jefferson Airplane once said, or sang, “San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.” That has never been more true.

From the legislature that has brought to us innovative, freedom-loving ideas like (and I wish this didn’t require a bulleted list):

The Happy Meal ban, and
Cell phone radiation warnings on packaging (attempted), and
Soda-free summers, and
Incredibly overbearing smoking ban (no smoking at ATM, movie theater lines, your apartment vents or windows, etc), and
Free needle exchanges for drug addicts, and
Meatless Mondays,

… comes the most nutty idea yet. San Francisco legislators have begun work on a comprehensive ban on circumcision.

Read the rest of Marc Oestreich's article
at Somewhat 

Marc Oestrich is Heartland’s legislative specialist on education and telecommunications.

Posted by Grant Davies


White Americans Don't Like Black Presidents

Larry Elder
 At least that is what a couple of obese white guys think. And what a certain black guy disputes with facts and figures.

The obese white guys are Rob Reiner and Michael Moore who specialize in video novels and the black guy is Larry Elder the controversial writer and radio talk show host who specializes in saying things other people generally don't have the guts to say. In fact he wrote a wonderful book a few years back titled The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. I recommend it highly.

Larry has a great hobby as well. In his spare time he enjoys refuting all the nonsense that Michael Moore spreads around. (Not as enjoyable as golf, but to each his own I guess.)  To that end  Larry "created, directed and produced his first film, “Michael & Me,” a documentary that examines the history and use of guns in America. It was released in August, 2005." The film repudiates the drivel that Moore dribbles in his own film titled "Bowling For Columbine."

So now we get Moore's assertion while appearing on the goofy TV program "Real Time with Bill Maher" that "White America does not like having a black president."  Maher gave evidence of his regular delusional conclusion when he agreed, "That is the truth." For his part the ever clear thinking Reiner expressed his fear that the Tea Party would choose a new "Hitler" as their leader. Thank goodness we have these two guys around when we need them.

You can read Elder's article, which appeared in the Investors Business Daily as well as on the net on Nov. 19th. and decide for yourself what to think about Moore's assertion but I'm already guessing you didn't buy into the nonsense of the above title.
Read it here.

*quoted from Elders website


The Strange Marriage of Hillary and Huckabee - Video Version

For many years I have claimed to anyone who would listen that Republicans and Democrats were different sides of the same coin. As you might imagine that proclamation didn't exactly endear me to cheerleaders for either of those supposedly different organizations.

To be sure, there are huge differences between their respective approaches to governance, but I have always maintained that those differences were more along the lines of issues, scope and detail than any philosophical quarrel about whether or not government has the solutions to societal problems.

But now that we have been pulled from the most recent wreckage of the American experiment and are lying in the emergency room instead of the morgue, it seems like an excellent time to examine how the crash occurred in the first place and whether it actually made any difference which group was driving when we hit the wall.

And just when I was pondering how to make the case anew to the rescued occupants without using the old coin analogy, along comes this video from the Cato Institute featuring a presentation to a good sized group of college students by David Boaz the executive VP of that think tank. Many of you are familiar with him from videos posted on this blog and many others. He has, in my opinion, a great talent for explaining things in interesting new ways.

His take on the Hillary and Huckabee "marriage" is entertaining and well worth the time it takes to watch it. It's something to do while we are in the waiting room at our rehab centers as the new election cycle begins with the same old names vying to become our chauffeurs on the next leg of the trip. And he is speaking to the right group. The driver of the future is among them somewhere.


New Employment, of a Sort

My good friend Homer sent me an email a few days ago asking why I hadn't written a piece for my blog in the wake of the Republican semi-tsunami on election day a week ago. He explained that he, like myself, had walked to the polls on election day and he was interested to know my opinion about the results.

While I was gratified that he cared what I thought, the truth was that I wasn't quite sure what I thought. Lots of different ideas about what it meant were bouncing around in the void of my brain cavity but nothing profound was emerging from that black hole so I simply kept quiet for a change. It seemed superfluous to add my two cents to the thousands of other opinions that couldn't be avoided in any media, old or new, so I opted to "let it cook" for a while.

In the meantime I received a job offer, which after ten seconds of deep philosophical contemplation, I accepted. The offer had a catch of course, as everything nowadays seems to. Oh it's a real job for sure, but only in the same way as doing the "lock up" routine at church after all the people have gone home for the night is. And the catch is the same, it doesn't pay a red cent.

So it's a new job, of a sort. And even though I could use the money to defray the cost of the cat food we might be eating in a decade or so (due to the lack of a government pension like most of the "Chicago Way" citizens in these parts receive, and a penchant for spending every available nickle on greens fees), the important "pay" is the chance to make my contribution to the freedom movement more valuable and have a much wider audience for my humble essays than this blog provides. I'm happy to have the chance.

I have never met or talked to my new editors personally so I'm not sure what qualifications they perceived me to have other than a razor thin connection to the Cato Institute and a semi-acceptable level of written communication skills. All I know is the people who write for my new "employer", THL (The Humble Libertarian) blog share the same love of liberty as I and the commitment to do something about it.

I have been given the title of  "Regular Columnist" and my responsibility is to submit articles of interest originating from the incredibly intelligent staff of the Cato Institute for THL's new project named Featured Voices. As many of you know, Cato is arguably the  number one free market think tank in the world, and The Humble Libertarian is an up and coming blog which is exploding across the internet. Many of it's readers are younger future leaders and it is my honor to have an opportunity to speak to them through this contemporary medium.

Which brings me back to Homer's request about my thoughts on the recent election, so here is what I think happened:

The "Progressive" agenda was roundly and loudly rejected.
Large numbers of Democrats were dismissed for supporting Obamacare, government takeovers and bailouts, TARP, pretend stimulus, and threatening huge taxes on energy because of the "global warming" fraud.
The people rejected massive new taxes in the scheme to let the so called "Bush Tax Cuts" expire.
The people are also scared stiff of possible coming hyper-inflation due to the federal reserve policy of printing money to finance huge unpayable government debts and new spending.
The people responded negatively to being called names by arrogant government operatives.
The people voted for the only anti-progressive option available to them.

And here is what I think did not happen:

People did not fall in love with Republicans.
People did not suddenly believe Republicans can fix all the problems they helped to create.
People did not think the economy will immediately turn around just because they repudiated Obama's agenda.
People did not believe that Tea Partiers are racists.

So what now?

My opinion is that we should support Republicans for now, but not embrace them unless/until they become small government constitutionalists.
We should prepare for the next round of primary elections very carefully so we can throw every single big government incumbent Republican off the next slate of candidates.
We should support every single Democrat candidate in the next primary who rejects the loony left vision of an American/European socialist form of government which minds everyone's business instead of supporting the old Democratic ideals of defending the rights of "the little guy."

And as far as what the new Republican majority lower house should do:

Read my first "Featured Voices" contribution on that subject at The Humble Libertarian written by David Boaz of the Cato Institute. It is titled "Tea Party Must Insist, GOP Won On Economy, Now Focus on It."

Wish me luck with my new "job", it may be one of the more important ones I've ever tried.


Now or Never? Probably

If freedom loving Americans don't win big this time it means more people want to be taken care of than want to take care of themselves. If so, freedom loses and government control over most of what we can do prevails. It's not a football game folks, it's more like D-day.

And take a freedom lover with you. If you stay home you can't send them home.


A Halloween Hellthscare Story

What is scarier than Halloween? The correct answer is:  the information contained in the video below. I have been writing about the loss of freedoms and the usurpation of our rights found in the Obamacare legislation for so long that I thought I knew most of the horrible results which will beset us when this national disgrace finally kicks in. I was wrong.

As I have written in the past many times, the devil is in the details. And since none of the people who voted for the 2000+ page travesty read the details it's not surprising that more horror stories are emerging as the beast unfolds. What is surprising is what is revealed in the video below concerning the first massive and unread law, the so called "stimulus" law. That law contains major changes that affect how the health-care system will soon work. I had never heard of the things in the video before and I'm guessing you haven't either.

We have all heard about rationing in general, but having the actual devil details explained precisely sends chills down my spine.

It's like knowing war is very bad but not really understanding it until you see the severed body parts and  smell the cordite with your own senses. It tends to bring a certain reality to the intellectual understanding of armed conflict. And so it will be for you if/when you are sitting in a waiting room for hours on end with a sick child or parent so a doctor with eighty patients a day can consult by computer with some desk sitter in Washington about which treatment he/she will be allowed to give.

Many Democrats and liberals will dismiss that last prediction, but they are urged to watch it most of all. It's hard for any of us to admit it that we have made a mistake, but as we also know, nothing can get fixed until a problem is acknowledged to ourselves.

My wife (chief proofreader/consultant for this blog) came across the video and sent it to me knowing full well it would be published here. It will scare the hell out of everyone right before Halloween, and more importantly right before the most important election day in our lives. Timing is everything in coming across these parts of the puzzle.

So watch the video, decide for yourself if it is true and then go do what you must on election day. What happens on that day may make the literal difference in life or death for you or a loved one. Your kids and grand kids are depending on you.

Dr. David Janda, a physician, is the speaker on the video as he urges people to vote for Dr. Rob Steele over the long time king of arrogance John Dingell of Michigan.


Obamalot, A New Musical

My mind wanders a lot while doing mundane chores around the yard. Some of the crazy stuff that passes through the short tunnel of my mind ends up on this blog. I can't explain why certain musical scores and lyrics bounce around in there either, but I don't mind too much if it takes me somewhere other than the pile of leaves before me.

So I had a stroke of genius (or maybe just a stroke) yesterday while dancing with my rake on the lawn. A whole new set of lyrics to the main song of the stage play Camelot somehow emerged from the tunnel. And even though I'm no Alan J Lerner  when it comes writing, I'm pretty pleased with my satirical words to the song.

If you are much younger than I you might have a tough time remembering the play much less the song. But almost everyone knows about King Arthur and the story of the perfect kingdom which wasn't so perfect. It was adapted from T H White's novel "The Once and Future King." And the analogy to our current situation is pretty hard to miss.

If you forget the melody (or have it mixed up with a Pink Floyd hit) you can watch this short YouTube version to refresh your memory. It may seem corny to you, but a good can of corny might be just what we need in these times we are trying to forget even as they are occurring.

While doing a little background research on my creative urges I came across several others who had the same stroke symptoms as I had and even before mine. So it's not so original after all, but I like mine best. (which, I'm sure isn't much of a shocker) It seems a radio personality named Rusty Humphries did a different version a while back. You can check his out here. I also found a reference to the term "Obamalot" on the website of the Illinois Review by a writer named Mark Rhodes. Kudos to both of them.

In any case, here is my version. I hope you get a chuckle from it because you probably won't be chuckling if our "Once King" is also our "Future King."


Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Obamalot.

Ask every person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Obamalot.

To the tune of "Camelot": Lyrics by Grant Davies

The budget must be postponed until next year!

A law was made a recent moon ago here:
The citizens shall not determine their own lot.
And there's a legal limit to their rights here
in Obamalot.

Next year's taxes are unknown until December
but payable "ape" fifteenth right on the dot.
By order, all over "250" pay more here,
And by a lot.

Obamalot! Obamalot!
I know it sounds a bit bizarre.
But in Obamalot, Obamalot
That's how conditions are.

Bad banks may never fail because of bailout.
The cars we build may never disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more pathetic spot
For happily-self deluding than here
In Obam-a-lot.

Obamalot! Obamalot!
I know it gives a person pause,
But in Obamalot, Obamalot
Those are the legal laws.

The funds will always slush upon the chosen.
The jobs we had may never reappear.
In short there's simply not, a more delusional spot,
For happily-ever-aftering than here
in Obam-a-lot.


Do You Remember How It Felt?

Yesterday I walked four miles in order to vote in the most important election of my life. If I had to, I would have walked further, much further. No, I didn't have to walk, I have car with sufficient fuel, but I felt like walking and I'm glad I did. It wasn't until I arrived at our City Hall where I cast my "early voting ballot" that I felt the almost corny symbolism of the act, or until back home that I felt the satisfaction that accompanied it.

Since that "freedom march" didn't involve large crowds of the like minded or the carrying of a protest sign to proclaim "hooray for our side", it was totally different from any former impression I had imagined of what a protest march might be like. I've spent most of my life protesting, but not by marching.

As I walked through the park outside the City Hall complex after voting, I lingered by the granite monument upon which were chiseled the names of some of the people who died as heroes while serving their country and fighting for the relative freedoms I have enjoyed even as I mourn those we have lost along with those brave servicemen. Slowly over time, and recently with accelerated swiftness, our freedoms have been lost in spite of their sacrifice. Freedom and rights lost to the enemy within, not to outside invaders.

So now it's our turn to fight. And I make no comparison to those who gave so much in wars, it's not in the same league commitment wise, but it may be just as important in the end because if we win the first battle to save our country in this election it may mean they didn't die in vain.

So who are the people that deserve to be dismissed from public office in this initial battle? The answer is, those who disregarded us even though they swore to represent us. Those who did what they wanted, not what we wanted. Those who regarded themselves as wiser than us. Those who wanted to totally remake America into something it was never intended to be. Those who insulted us by calling us names like "astro turf" and proudly proclaimed us to be "despicable" (Jan Schakowsky)  for having the temerity to challenge their vision of our future. Those who think we are their subjects, not their employers. Those who, after being rebuked in town hall meetings on so called "heathcare reform" and bailouts for arrogant and incompetent bankers, mortgage lenders, car manufacturers, government regulators and insurance companies decided that WE needed to pay, not them. Those who called us racists for opposing their agenda. Those who have spent our state and federal governments into bankruptcy buying votes.

The question remains, how did you feel to be disregarded? How did you feel to be insulted and told that money would have to be created out of thin air and your taxes would have to be raised to bail out people who lived a dream existence of huge homes, the best vacations, cars and every imaginable new electronic toy on borrowed money they could never hope to repay while you saved, invested, lived within your means and watched your retirement savings and home value swirl the bowl?

So this is it folks. It's November. The election is upon us. For the time being, forget the signs and gatherings and marches. It has been said by some that this is our last chance to save our country, and it may be. But I would point out that we cannot save our way of life in this election, but we certainly can  lose it. The best we can actually hope for is to stop the madness long enough to get the ship turned around so we can purge the crew and elect some people in the next primary season to replace the people who said they were for smaller government and more freedom to live our lives as we see fit but who actually only care about one thing, getting re-elected and retaining the benefits of office. They merely have a need to be in charge. That "need" repulses me.

So I urge you to walk to the polls on election day, and if it's raining or cold, so much the better. Walk because it will make you feel better about having the resolve to tell these people how you felt about being disregarded and derided. Anything less than total repudiation of those responsible for how you felt will be a failure and we will truly deserve whatever fate awaits us in a moribund republic.

This time around, the children voters won't be there to reaffirm them so they have only those who embrace the nanny state and the usual cast of useful idiots to give them their .....Hope for No Change.


New Form of CPR

After checking on new posts at the excellent freedom blog The Humble Libertarian I came across this post titled "How to Save Someone's Life: The New CPR". So I "stole" the code from Wes knowing full well that he doesn't mind and hopes more people do the same. In this case being a copycat is a good thing.

I haven't done any research on the technique in the video yet so I encourage you to watch it and make up your own mind. But since so many of my readers are at an age where this information could be so critical at any moment I decided to post it in case you haven't seen it. I encourage you to pass a link to this post or the post at THL around to as many people as you think might benefit from it. You never know, the life of a loved one or someone else's loved one might be saved by this info.


I Can't Recall the Devilish Details

When you get to be in the last stage of middle age like I am, you begin to notice that recalling things (like what you had for breakfast or why you entered the room you occupy) is not as easy as it once was. It's a little worrisome at this age, but it does have its good points too. For instance, I wish I could forget what has happened since the last two Presidents and their minions decided that government wasn't big or active enough. Or the name of the last elected Governor of Illinois.

It's hard trying to remember some things while trying to forget others. But just as long as I don't forget to vote (and bring a rational friend with me) in a few weeks, I'll be less worried about it than usual. Which brings up the subject of  "Recall." The electoral type, not the memory type. The type which is on the ballot in Illinois in a few weeks.

Like many of you, I'm very much in favor of having the ability to recall incompetent and crooked politicians who were elected fair and square in an equally fair and square recall vote before they can do even more harm to the citizens who voted for them in the first place. I mean, everyone should have the ability to admit a mistake and correct it in a timely fashion. What I am most assuredly NOT in favor of, is the sham law which has been proposed as a remedy to Blagoitis.

Like a lot of things, it's good from far, but far from good. Who could be against the ability to recall elected officials when appropriate? Well, the elected officials who have shielded themselves from it with this proposal to name just one group. You see, the details are always the devil, particularly in Illinois.

As it turns out, the only one who could be recalled under this law is the Governor. What a shock! And the details make it so hard to get it on the ballot that if we had to rely on it to recall Blago, he would still be conducting his reality show as Governor instead of defendant. I can picture him now glad handing the political groupies on his way to get his hair dry cleaned.

Even in the most cynical state in the union, this sham gets the prize. But many otherwise well-informed people will vote for it because it sounds good. And even though rational folks were irate that none of their Representatives or Senators read the details of the Obamacare travesty before they voted for it, they are about to make the same mistake. I confess that under different circumstances with less time on my hands I might have been one of them.

Of course the stakes aren't very high on this one, but nevertheless, not letting the local politicians make fools of us once again is important too. And there is disagreement even among those who have done some research on the ballot measure. The Chicago Tribune for instance has spent time reading it and has endorsed it in today's paper even though they wrote a substantial op-ed about it spending all but twelve words telling you why it is a terrible law. The twelve words urge you to vote for it anyway. Go figure.

As for me, this site is dedicated to more freedom and less government and I fail to see how this law will give the citizens more freedom or make for a smaller government. It gives politicians more power and makes us ask their permission to recall the crooks and incompetents. I urge you to read the Tribune endorsement, consider the information found in it, and then reject the advice.

After all, they also endorsed Rod Blowdryavich.


A Clueless Metropolis is about to get Fairness

Having solved all the other problems of the city during his long tenure as king of Chicago, the retiring monarch Richard Daley II returned from a taxpayer sponsored vacation in China to unveil his latest "vision" for solving one last problem. This time it's one which doesn't exist. That terrible problem is that it takes too long on government transportation to travel from downtown Chicago to O'Hare airport.

And what vision the king has! From the control tower at one of the worlds busiest airports, it's the only thing which doesn't show up at all on the radar. But king Richie can see it as plain as day. Quite an accomplishment for a guy who couldn't see the corruption in his own cabinet even though it was sitting right next to him for decades.

So now that the city has all its finances in order, has sold all the assets it can, has a wonderful education system and a trouble free police department, Daley retires with only one unfulfilled dream, a seven minute commute to O'Hare on a Chinese high speed rail system. According to him, it's the answer to many problems besides the speed issue. The Chicago Tribune reported this morning that he told reporters last week that it would "rebuild our commercial market and our hospitality industry." (No word on what caused those markets and industries to need rebuilding.)

Most people know this thing will never get built, but changing the subject from actual problems to grand visions has become an art form for those who run Chicago and this nonsense is just one more example of how clueless newspapers and even more clueless citizens take the bait time after time and talk about this stuff instead of talking about what is actually happening. Seemingly, it never occurs to them that before building an un-needed high speed rail system, Daley might ponder why he needs citizens of Topeka or San Jose to pay $34.7 million (as reported in the paper this very day) to help maintain the current CTA buses via a federal grant. Or maybe he should try to imagine how he would have run the city all these years if the people who live there had to pay for what they needed instead of it being financed by a stream of federal money taken from people in cities who actually solve their own problems and live within their means.

One Chicago Tribune commentator who is a regular apologist for liberal politics opined in today's paper that "Chicago is going to miss Daley."  Essentially, he says we will pine for him after he is gone because he remembers how bad it was before Daley was king.

But look on the bright side, if you are a progressive in Chicago, you are about to get the fairness you crave  because the answer to all the problems Daley leaves behind apparently is..... Rahm Emmanuel. 

And if so, it will prove that in the end you get what you deserve in this town even if they don't in Topeka or San Jose.


It's Not the Economy, Stupid!

Calvin Coolidge
If I'm wrong about that and it is the economy that's driving the people away from Obamism and Democratic candidates, the battle might be won but the war is surely lost.

A Democratic operative back during the 1992 Presidential campaign of Arkansas Governor Lewinski chided then President G H W Bush with the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" Of course it was the author of that line who turned out to be stupid, but not because his candidate wasn't successful. The tactic worked (or some other tactic did) and the criminal conspiracy commonly called the Clinton administration was off and running into a successful Lincoln bedroom leasing program.

That's the history, but as is often the case, history repeats. Although not exactly. This time the same operatives are trying to use it to spin away what they are afraid will become a rout in the November elections. They would like you to believe that any losses in their power will have been caused by the continuing slumping economy (caused of course, by others) and not for the actual reasons.

I'm not here to tell you that the bad economic conditions are not a factor, they certainly are. But the "Tea Party" movement and the disillusioned former supporters of the Hopester in Chief didn't gather at the clown hall meetings and huge political rallies because they agreed with everything except the rate of the employment. They have bigger issues, much bigger issues.

When the congress and the President conspire to ignore the American electorate as they did when they jammed a two thousand page re-make of US society down their throats against the wills of over sixty percent of the people, they broke the number one rule that almost everyone in this country (even liberals) holds sacred. That rule is that they are supposed to represent us, not dictate to us. That includes the dim witted supporters of government controlled health care. They instinctively know that government didn't operate as it normally does. In the privacy of their hearts, they are scared of this kind of unchecked power.

When millions of people, including Democrats, saw that even though they worked hard and saved and didn't spend over their heads, it was their hard earned money that was being used to bail out those who paid for huge houses and sexy cars and electronic gadgets and HDTVs with credit they never should have been given, they joined tea party gatherings and carried home made signs. They told the pollsters that they were not voting for those who promised fairness but delivered unfair demands on them.

They know it's one thing to feel compassion for the less fortunate, but quite another to pony up for irresponsible spendthrifts and incompetent big business owners. Bailing out gutless auto makers who pay greedy organized workers way more than any but a few of them could ever dream of making, to make cars no one could afford unless they used five year financing or started leasing the cars instead of owning them, was not in their vision of hopeful change. Bailing out crazy investors and big banks who all owned the same "insured" mortgage backed "securities" without considering what would happen if they all had to head for the exits at the same time, was not what they signed up for when they decided it was time to show "compassionate conservatives" the door.

There are other things, like the division of America into mutually resentful groups of people who have been divided even further than before by an administration who demonizes its opponents despite promising to unite them. It's the political payoffs and back room deals that they promised to end and instead turned into an art form. It's these and more, important things, even if they resonate at different levels for different people, that have people gathering their metaphorical pitchforks for the mobbing of the polling places in November.

The most underrated President in the short history of this republic, indeed one of the most ridiculed, was Calvin Coolidge. It was American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) who observed, "Coolidge is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone." I share that opinion with Coolidge. And I think that's what is driving people to re-assess their view of the legitimate role of government since this whole thing went south.

 So, it's not just "the economy, stupid." Because if it is, then there has been no fundamental change in American values and no great awakening of a slumbering populace. After all, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the anointed elite promised us a fundamentally different country if they took office. The question is; will the people buy into the notion that all is on the right track except the economy, or will this election be the first big battle of the second American Revolution? We won't have to wait much longer to find out.


With All Due Respect Mr.President, We’re Still Waiting

The pictured ad appeared today in many major US newspapers. Many of you do not have access to them and therefore I have taken the liberty of re-posting it here in it's entirety.

It's really part of a series of such ads which the Cato Institute has run in the last few years, and which have been featured on this website. Others can be found here and here if you missed them or just want to refresh your memory about the points they made.

You may agree or disagree with the proposals Cato makes, but the main message is undeniable in my view.  And if political promises were a prize winning category of fictional literature, Obama would have won a well deserved Nobel Prize instead of the nonsensical one he actually was awarded. The ad appears below, or in a PDF format if you prefer. 

"We will go through our federal budget–page by page, line by line–eliminating those programs we don’t need"
                            President-elect Barack Obama, November 2008

With all due respect Mr.President,we’re still waiting.

It’s been nearly two years since you made that pledge, Mr. President. Since then, you’ve signed into law an $800 billion “stimulus” package and a massive new health care entitlement—adding trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to our grandchildren’s tab.

 Our looming debt crisis threatens to destroy the American dream for future generations. Yet your administration continues piling up deficits of over a trillion dollars a year. By 2012 our national debt will be larger than the entire U.S. economy. Isn’t it past time you identified the programs you’d cut?

In all fairness, both parties got us into this mess. “Deficits don’t matter,” Vice President Dick Cheney scoffed as the Bush administration and a Republican Congress led one of the biggest spending sprees in American history, nearly doubling federal outlays over eight years. Our bipartisan flight from responsibility is a national disgrace—and it’s fast becoming a national disaster. Vague promises to eliminate “waste, fraud, and abuse” won’t cut it any more. Both parties need to step up with specific and substantial cuts.

As a start, they can consult downsizing,where the Cato Institute has begun posting the results of our page by page, line by line review of the federal budget. With the Constitution as our guide, we’ve identified scores of agencies to eliminate and programs to zero out, putting America on the path toward fiscal sanity:

Education Subsidies

Education is a state, local, and private matter—and that's where the Constitution left it. Federal K-12 education programs have cost American taxpayers $1.85 trillion since 1965 without noticeably improving outcomes. Eliminating them will save $40 billion annually.

Farm Subsidies

Far from “saving the family farm,” federal agricultural subsidies are environmentally destructive corporate welfare, with more than 70 percent of aid going to the largest 10 percent of agribusinesses. Zeroing out farm welfare will save $25 billion annually.

Military Overreach

The Constitution envisions a U.S. military that “provide[s] for the common defence” of the United States, not one that serves as the world's policeman and nation-builder. By withdrawing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, we could save at least $125 billion next year. Eliminating other unnecessary overseas missions would allow for a leaner force structure and defense budget, saving at least $100 billion a year without undermining U.S. security.

Transportation Programs

The federal government has no business funding the state and local projects that make up the bulk of federal transportation spending. Federal involvement results in pork-barrel spending, excess bureaucracy, and costly
one-size-fits-all regulations. Moving funding for activities such as highways to the states and air traffic control to the private sector would spur greater innovation while also saving $85 billion a year.

Housing Subsidies

Federal interference in housing markets has done enormous damage to our cities and the economy at large. HUD subsidies have concentrated poverty and fed urban blight, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stoked the financial crisis by putting millions of people into homes they couldn’t afford. Getting the government out of the housing business will save $45 billion annually.

Federal Worker Pay

Federal workers enjoy far greater job security than their private sector counterparts—and far better total compensation: an average of $120,000 a year in wages and benefits. Cut federal compensation by 10 percent to save $20 billion annually.

Energy Subsidies

The 30-year legacy of federal energy subsidies is replete with corporate cronyism and failed “investments.” Entrepreneurs with their own capital have incentives to develop viable alternative energy sources. Ending federal energy subsidies would save $20 billion a year.

Government-run Health Care

Medicare and Medicaid are driving the explosion in federal debt. The 2010 health care law should be repealed, but the same level of Medicare cost savings can be realized by moving to a consumer-driven health plan through vouchers, which would protect the elderly from government rationing. Medicaid should be converted to a fixed block grant to save money and encourage state innovation. Total savings would be more than $1 trillion over the next decade.

Drug War

Since the start of the federal War on Drugs in 1970, we’ve spent hundreds of billions on a futile crusade that’s done little to curb drug use and much to impair our civil liberties. In fact, a Cato study showed that Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs actually lowered drug-related problems. Returning drug policy to the states—where it belongs—would save at least $15 billion annually.

Social Security

As the Baby Boom generation retires, our largest entitlement program lurches toward crisis. Social Security should be phased out as a mandatory program and an alternative voluntary system of private accounts, providing for ownership and inheritability, should be offered. Current obligations can be reduced by tying annual benefit growth to price inflation rather than wage growth, saving $50 billion annually by 2020.

Reprinted with permission of the Cato Institute


A Government Jobs Program That Works

While writing a piece recently about the futility of trying to reason with street thugs, I touched on the concept of the law of unintended consequences, this time applied to well meaning government meddling in the lifestyle of those citizens too dumb to be legislators.

The meddling in question is that body of laws enacted at all levels of government, from the local to the federal, without regard to party affiliation, that have resulted in the second American Prohibition. The outcome of that cooperative effort should be a lesson to anyone who is "illusioned" enough to believe that bi-partisanship is a panacea for what ails the republic.

Indeed, every politician with a wet finger and a political breeze to hoist it into hopped aboard the War On Drugs bandwagon at some point since the seventies. From 1971 when Nixon first declared it, to Clinton who used drugs but didn't and Obama who used them and admitted it, both political parties have waged it even though not a single battle has been won, much less the war. Both Conservatives and Liberals see value in this kind of "war." Even those politicians who used the stuff figured out a way to support the laws against it. (Al Gore still looks stoned to me and his war on CO2 seems to bear that out.) I suspect that even today, most people who use them still think they should remain illegal. I remain opposed to both the use of them and the draconian laws prohibiting their use.

The truth is, anyone who wants to obtain forbidden substances can do so with little effort. It seems certain that it was more inconvenient to do so before the "war" began. And it doesn't even matter where you are. Wherever you are, you can bet with confidence that illicit drugs are within walking distance, if not sneezing distance. All efforts to keep them out of maximum security prisons have met with failure, and if they can't keep it out of there, where?

The whole concept of wars on objects is preposterous. In reality, It's a war on the people who "choose to use." It's a war on those who apparently do not have a right to the pursuit of happiness. Leaving aside that it doesn't end in happiness for the dimwit users, they must think it will. But at least it makes some folks happy. The vendors and those who earn money by trying to stop them from vending can be added to the politicians on that list for certain.

Which is why my observation concerning government jobs programs appears at the top of this page.

The so called "War on Drugs" is the most successful jobs creation program ever enacted by the federal government.

After all the failures of government programs to do what they intend, particularly concerning job creation, it's about time we recognised one that succeeded in creating jobs, even if that was not the intent. It's been a success story that has been missed by the media and I don't mind telling you it's just one more strike against them in my opinion.

Think of all the ten year old sentries and couriers who have gainful employment because of these laws! All those jobs in sales, chemical engineering, delivery men, guards, gun manufacturing, gangster pants designers, sideways ball cap makers and crack pipe makers have been created in enormous quantities because of the wisdom of government.

To say nothing of the DEA employees, dog trainers, chemical testing labs, prosecutors, police, defense attorneys, prison employees and undertakers who would be on welfare if they didn't have swell jobs like those.

But all this good news must be tempered with one more failure of the wise "legislators" in Congress. Nowhere in the two thousand plus page Obama-care law that none of them read is a provision for one more great idea which would help government stimulate the economy just when we need it.

That provision should be for a few trillion more fiat dollars to be printed so we can place orders with the new entrepreneurs for enough pot to buy every voter enough doobies to make them giggle at what has been happening to them instead of puking.

See?  It's just as the medical marijuana advocates have told us, Pot can cure nausea.


Reasoning with Scarface

Last week while having the usual great lunch and conversation with the fellow concerned citizens at one of my favorite haunts, (Cavanaugh's in the south loop section of downtown Chicago) a news story flashed across the TV screen about a "summit meeting" between the top brass of the police department and some "leaders" of various local street gangs. It seems that people are losing their patience with the murder rate of innocent bystanders as fatherless young males shoot at each other with increasing indifference to the possibility of police interference. Much has been written about this event since then, but none of it from my perspective.

The immediate reaction of the people where I was sitting seemed to be, "anything is worth a try" in this situation. My immediate reaction was to see the futility of the approach. I would have found it almost comical if the stakes weren't so high.

The first thing that popped into my imagination was a vision of Elliot Ness having a heart to heart conversation with Al Capone about the negative impact that his gang wars were having on the citizens of Cook County back in 1926. Had such a meeting taken place, I'm sure Scarface would have been convinced of the error of his ways and given up his life of violence in favor of an hourly wage at the phone company.

It would have been the roaring twenties version of  "Can't we all just get along?"  as uttered by that great American icon named King. (Rodney, not Martin Luther)

In historical fact, Capone pretended to call a truce after his entourage was shot up in the restaurant of the Hawthorne Hotel, but these modern day thugs haven't even made that pretense. And after all folks, that's all these people are, then and now. Idiotic thugs who have benefited from the only truly successful government created jobs program ever enacted.

That program was "the second great prohibition", commonly referred to as the "War on Drugs" and it succeeded in turning poor ignorant people into rich entrepreneurs just as the first prohibition did. So the law of unintended consequences remains un-repealed.

These gangs of thugs are engaged in a war for the right to peddle mind dulling substances to already dull minded people. And the money to buy these substances comes largely from (you guessed it), the government, in the form of various checks from various programs. Which just shows if you want to stimulate the economy you just keep the money going in circles. See? Government stimulus works!

But where do these armies of pharmaceutical salesmen get their soldiers? They draft them of course. From a never ending supply of young men with no fathers and no education. All subsidized by a system that encourages many young girls to have babies out of wedlock and many young men to shirk the responsibilities they don't even know they have after so many lost generations.

These gangs of thugs are not just from one group. White and Latino people are plagued by them, as are black people, but it is the black community which has been hardest hit by these policies. And anyone who points out the actual causes of the misery is branded as a racist if they are white, or simply denigrated if they are black. Just ask Bill Cosby what happens to your star status when you speak out.

As for me, I am used to being called a racist (almost daily) lately, and I won't pretend it doesn't bother me, but I do my best to get past it. As a member of the Tea Party, an undefined and unorganized group that didn't even exist when I joined it, I was identified as such again this morning on the front page of the Chicago Tribune by a person named Sterling Thompson, who just got his fifteen minutes of fame by proclaiming proudly that "I don't support them (Tea Partiers) or believe they are anything but racist against Obama."

Talking sense to Mr. Thompson would probably lead to the same outcome as the police chief talking sense to the leading gang thugs. Namely, nothing will change. But the rest of us would do well to consider the following statistics compiled by Nathan Glazer (a sociologist who taught for decades at USC Berkley and Harvard) when we contemplate the problems of the gang ruled inner city black neighborhoods.

These stats were cited by George Will in a recent column when he referred to "America's tragic number."

That tragic number is 70% and it is the portion of African-American children born to unmarried mothers.
Another number cited; by the early 2000s greater than 33.3% of all young black non-college men were incarcerated, even in robust economy years. Yet another; 60% is the number of black high school dropouts born since 1960 who go to prison.

There are many more tear inducing stats cited in the article. I urge you to read it. And they all lead me to the same conclusion even if folks like Mr. Thompson think I'm a racist for citing them.

Trying to reason with organised criminals today will yield the same non-results as it might have if it was tried with Al Capone. You may remember that, in his syphilis induced dementia, Al used to go fishing in his backyard swimming pool. Until we can solve the problems of fatherless families and government created black markets in forbidden substances, we might as well be fishing with Scarface as chatting with Gangster Disciples.


A Liberal Translation

A few days ago I wrote a piece called "Maybe Gary Johnson for a Change." Interestingly, it went "mini-viral" as measured by the humble number of readers who usually read this blog. About 725%  more "unique visitors" came to this page to read it than the average number. Quite a jump.

Most of them came because the piece was "linked to" on Gary Johnson's facebook page. And although about eighty five people left some kind of comment there, very few were left here. That is not unusual among my readers (I get a lot of private email about my posts) and it's fine with me. In this case it's just as well in some ways, because many of the comments left on his page had nothing whatsoever to do with the main theme of the piece I wrote.

But a few comments were left here, and I always appreciate the feedback. One of them, left by an anonymous poster, got me to thinking about what people say vs what they really mean.  So it seemed like it might be fun to dissect it a tad and see what it looked like. Particularly since the anonymous commentator seemed fairly riled up about what he/she perceived to be my points.

So I'll take a quick stab at translating the comment by Mr/Ms Anonymous poster from a language I think may be "Liberalese" into plain English. (or at least my version of it)

First the comment in it's entirety, then my translation, then some observations for the poster.

Anonymous said...

What utter nonsense. The only "contrast" that most Republicans want to control is Obama's skin color, and any of you who draw a Social Security check or endulge in Medicare can kiss my a** about socialism. Nixon was the biggest "socialist" president in our history by bill signed into law, so get over yourselves, and the difference between Romneycare and Obamacare was that a white guy from the Republican party did not put his stamp of approval on the national plan (Love ya Mitt for yet another 180 on your policies). Gary is a neat guy, and progressive for a Republican. He'd get shot to he** in two seconds by the know-nothings for his views in a party which, outside of New Mexico, forces moderation out of any discussion, and makes even the "mavericks" kiss their reactionary rear-ends...

"What utter nonsense" = I disagree.

"The only "contrast" that most Republicans want to control is Obama's skin color" = most Republicans are racists.

"and any of you who draw a Social Security check or endulge in Medicare can kiss my a** about socialism." = anyone who has had their money taken away (at gunpoint if necessary) to be put into ponzi scheme retirement and medical insurance programs without an "opt out" provision cannot ever oppose socialism if they ever get some of their money back out of those schemes, without having to smooch the anonymous person's booty.
"Nixon was the biggest "socialist" president in our history by bill signed into law, so get over yourselves," =  I didn't like Nixon and somehow that has something to do with you.
"the difference between Romneycare and Obamacare was that a white guy from the Republican party did not put his stamp of approval on the national plan" = white guys are bad and Republicans would support nationalized health insurance if they had thought of it first.
"(Love ya Mitt for yet another 180 on your policies). " = I don't like Mitt Romney.
"Gary is a neat guy, and progressive for a Republican." = I like Gary because he wants to decriminalize Pot.
"He'd get shot to he** in two seconds by the know-nothings for his views in a party which, outside of New Mexico, forces moderation out of any discussion, and makes even the "mavericks" kiss their reactionary rear-ends.."  = Republicans in all places except New Mexico are reactionary and like their booty kissed too.
So here are my comments to the "anonymous" poster now that his/her comments have been translated.
Dear Poster,  
I am not a Republican and I don't spend time defending them against charges against them, fair or unfair.
But if you know any Republicans, maybe friends or relatives, I suggest you take a hard look at them and decide if they are racists. If they are, tell them you think they are and "un-friend" them. Of course it will be harder to do anonymously.
You may want to give some thought to all Obama's policies to see if there are any YOU disagree with, and then decide if you oppose them because of the color of his skin. It's worth contemplating.
Nixon was a big government liberal. Which party owns his legacy is of no importance to me. Other big government liberals include all recent Presidents of both parties.
 Government interference in our lives, (most notably in your post, government run health insurance)  is more than a bad idea no matter which party proposes or administrates it.
Nannystate-ism is different than socialism. The government owning automobile companies and banks and mortgage companies is socialism, and the current government oligarchy are socialists. Both of those "isms" are destructive to freedom, and freedom is the issue of this blog.
My essay was about the country finally beginning to have the great debate on the proper role of government in a free society. It really wasn't about Gary Johnson the person, but the type of person the country might need for a REAL change. Not just a shift change of the clowns in the circus.
If you would ever like to exchange some ideas on that topic, please return and participate again, even if anonymously.
Thanks for reading,
Grant Davies