Tuesday, May 30, 2006
ATLANTA (AP) - You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans. Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis, Harvard Medical School researchers found. That is according to a survey in which American and Canadian adults were asked over the telephone about their health.
Personal health is an individual responsibility issue, not an excuse platform from which the government may regulate individual behavior. Besides if as an American, I develop one of these diseases, at least I can get treated in a reasonable amount of time and not worry about dying waiting for a disastrous socialized healthcare behemouth to take care of me.
I sort of pity the Canadians, what with their inferior sports teams, inferior national economy, inferior quality healthcare availability, and a national unwillingness to fight terrorists, alongside the rest of the freedom-loving countries in any significant numbers.
I guess we'll allow them this one token example of superiority...heaven knows they have nothing else to be proud of.
Ed: I couldn't disagree more. Who cares if the aforementioned Drug infested creature hits anything. He is a complete disgrace to the game. I applaud the guy for leaving - at least she possibly is worth something!! I hope he got his beer free as well. Barry better wake up or he will end up like Pete Rose in the "I deserve to be in" club. I almost wish for something bad to happen to him from his steroid use/abuse. In this world, how can we train kids to do things right when they see people being held up in the limelight that have taken shortcuts or just plain cheated ( Bonds, Scrushy, Sosa, Mcguire, etc) to get where they were or are. Stop mthe madness now1111
First of all, I don't think the guy left in protest of Bonds steroid use...he already sprang for tickets and he was just obliged to fetch concessions for his ravenous date.
As for Bonds, he will be voted into the Hall unanimously on the first ballot, that is unless he tests positive at some point or admits to steroid use. He has never tested positive despite numerous tests. That being said, clearly he took 'roids, and yes of course it's a terrible example for the kids but absent a conviction or his acting guilty like all those other guys, he will not be punished in my opinion. As parents of kids who play baseball, we should hold Bonds up as the degenerate example of "what not to do" rather than let the media influence their opinions. I know my kid sees right through the Bonds mystique and is completely unimpressed by his performance...probably in part, due to the fact that we have regular housewide discussions where all sides are defended.
Honestly, I couldn't care less if he passes Aaron or gets in the Hall or not, I can't stand the guy for lots of reasons, but if I were at any game in which Bonds were playing, I would be sure to see every at bat and so would you...the little lady would have to wait five or get it herself.
Then another reader had this interesting take on it...
Maybe this "high maintenance gal" is smarter than you give her credit for. Maybe she knew that the big #715 was about to be hit and she sent her fiance out for beer and peanuts on the outside chance that SHE may catch the winning ball, sell it on ebay for millions, and dump the putz that would get up in the middle of a very important moment in baseball history.
I think you give her too much credit for forsightedness...then again...women of the opposite sex have been known to be canniving, manipulative, and scheming for their own gain now and then.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Every body knows that Barry Bonds hit #715 this weekend but what's funny is the guy who eventually ended up with the ball...
Fox Sports -- The souvenir sat there for a few minutes before rolling off the roof and into the hands of 38-year-old San Francisco resident Andrew Morbitzer, who was waiting for a beer and peanuts. He was quickly ushered away by security.
I know this guy surely loves his fiancee' but it's a bit much for her to have asked him to fetch beer and peanuts during a Bonds at bat. She couldn't wait like 5 minutes? Ever since #714, every at bat could be the historic one...no guy in his right mind would go stand in the concession line and risk missing it...except one engaged to an incredibly high maintenance princess.
Friday, May 26, 2006
"I've been involved in three projects pitched to her, but I've never been asked to participate."
I'm shocked, shocked I say, to have to consider the possibility that violent, disrespectful, dope-smoking, cop-hating, women-beating, unemployable, gangster thugs might not be the most popular guests for day-time TV viewing...or partnering in business with multi-trillionaires.
I tell you, the end of the popularity of this hard-core, violent rap music can't come soon enough for me.
Blogger's note: Ice Cube is actually not a bad actor and has branched out to become a successful entertainer in various media besides rap music.
I don't have anything personally against these characters but I have real problems with the life-style they promote. If those two things are one in the same...then I guess it's personal.
Congressman Jefferson from Louisiana is a criminal in a big way. The FBI has him on tape accepting $100,000 dollars as a bribe. They later found $90,000 of it rolled up in foil, hidden in his freezer. They have this guy dead to rights. Following the law regarding any citizen accused or suspected of such crimes, the FBI asked for and received a warrant to search his congressional House office...exactly the procedure they would use to gather evidence against you or me.
Why then do you suppose the unlikely duo of San-Fran-Nan Pelosi -- (D) House Minority Leader, and Dennis Hastert -- (R) House Speaker, joined forces to indignantly denounce this constitutional transgression regarding the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches?
Why are they immune to the basic rule of law to which all Americans are subject? How can it be construed to be a constitutional powers issue when there is criminal activity afoot? If that were the case, was it not a constitutional powers issue when the Senate (Legislative branch) committee held Watergate hearings concerning presidental (Executive branch) acts?
To the average American, for congressmen to claim what amounts to diplomatic immunity from criminal investigation as a right of office, comes across as beyond ludicrous. For the FBI to observe legislative privilege would mean, preposterously, that a member of Congress could commit cold-blooded murder, stash the body in his/her office, and cite constitutional separation of powers to prevent law enforcement from searching for the body.
Hastert and Pelosi point to the separations clause as protection from the Executive branch gaining access to private legislative matters. I agree with that interpretation of the separations clause...and it is a valuable one. Obviously you cannot have a President executing searches of the offices of legislators to find out what they're up to, but last time I checked, accepting bribes wasn't part of a congressional legislators job...you can stop laughing now.
Maybe I'm wrong, and correct me if you know otherwise, but is the FBI not under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary rather then the Executive branch?
The arrogance on display from both party leaders is breathtaking. It makes one wonder what Denny and Nan have to hide.
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than three years after sending their troops to invade Iraq, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair cannot escape questions about their decision to go to war even as they acknowledge far-reaching mistakes.
The president said, he learned not to use so much "tough talk" - saying Osama bin Laden was wanted "dead or alive" and challenging America's enemies to "bring it on."
"I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know," Bush said softly.
I like the tough talking President. We need straightforward, undiplomatic, tough talk...it's the only thing the terrorists understand. And why in the world does Bush ever think he can get the main stream media to like him by pretending to be touchy-feely and kinder and gentler? They never will...period!
Bush is wildly popular with the conservative base, or used to be, precisely because he is not diplomatic or sophisticated.
Bush also said that he thought we were continuing to pay a price for Abu Ghraib. Besides the ridiculously incessant hammering by the liberal media jackals over it, what price are we paying? Does he actually think, as Liberals do, that the same guys who sawed off the heads of live American hostages, got their feelings hurt about Abu Ghraib and want to kill us more now? Earth to George...THEY'RE CRAZY TERRORISTS....they already want to kill us. Seriously, what difference does it make what they're mad at George? Only bed-wetting, nose-picking Liberals worry about offending the terrorists with tough talk. He's beginning to sound...dare I say it...European...blech!!!
Buck up, talk to the American people the way you did at ground zero. Continue calling the terrorists what they are, not freedom fighters, or insurgents, or local resistance or whatever the diplomatic, sophisticated label du jour is, and quit trying to curry favor with a press corps who despise you and will never be anything other than hostile.
"Express myself in a more sophisiticated manner", give me a break!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The political environment in America regarding energy is beginning to feel like it did when the disastrous Jimmy Carter was president...and that spells trouble!
May 24, 2006 -- New York Post -- WASHINGTON - In a surprise move yesterday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called for "most of the country" to return to a speed limit of 55 mph in an effort to slash fuel consumption.
"The 55-mile speed limit really does lower gas usage. And wherever it can be required, and the people will accept it, we ought to do it," Clinton said at the National Press Club.
Before sounding off on the benefits of a lower speed limit, Clinton called for a combination of tax incentives, the use of more ethanol-based fuel and a $50 billion fund for new energy research to cut the consumption of foreign oil 50 percent by 2025.
She also pushed for half of all the nation's gas stations to have ethanol pumps by 2015, and for every gas station to have them by 2025.
This is just another example in the attempt by government do-gooders to meddle with supply and demand in order to curry favor with petulant voters who have an expectation of low gas prices regardless of prevailing market dynamics. While 55 mph will certainly reduce gas usage, it's the ancillary government mandates which concern me. Jimmy Carter started off with 55mph and ended up with price controls...look where that got us...ugh!
As the price of gasoline continues to rise, increasing numbers of gasoline consumers will voluntarily use less by changing their driving habits, buying more fuel efficient cars, riding a bike occasionally, or by using an affordable fuel substitute.
The market will self-correct without the political meddling of hand-wringing, pointy-headed liberals who anoint themselves to be our keepers.
Look, China and India are jumping into the petroleum consumption market with both feet, yet the global oil supply has remained constant. Of course the price will go up...it should go up under those conditions. Let's say the politicians in the U.S., and they are thinking of ways to do this as we speak, decide that the oil companies are charging too much for gasoline and decide to fix the price of a gallon of gas at $2.00 rather than the $3.00 to where the market has naturally risen. What will happen...I mean after the politicians tell us what great friends they are to the consumer and how we should reward their vigilance with votes? Motorists will drive like maniacs and in days there will be huge shortages of gasoline...just like in the 80's when the hapless, idiot of a president Jimmy Carter tried price controls. There won't be any gas available for anybody...then where will the economy be?
At $2.00 per gallon there is no incentive to conserve gas, but there is incentive and expectation to reward the politicians who gave you low gas prices. And there you have it in a nutshell...politicians are in the business of getting re-elected and lowering gas prices is a good way of doing it. They can always blame the resulting economic crash on the bad policies of the previous administration and cite it as evidence that they need more control to regulate the economy.
Back to Econ. 101...
As the price of gas rises, there begins to be economic incentive for innovators to jump into the fuel market with alternatives. If the price is kept artificially low, there is no incentive to develop new fuels, new engines, or new modes of transportation. Inventors and innovators do not invent and innovate for the benefit of their fellow man....the idea of that makes me want to hurl! They act in their own self-interest based on a profit motive. The fact that mankind benefits somehow is wholly coincidental.
The improvement of mankind is almost always the result of individuals seeking financial gain for themselves, independent of their concern for the wellbeing of their fellow man.
To borrow an analogy from Walter Williams: as you sit down to dinner and enjoy a baked potato with your steak, are you quietly thankful for the potato farmer in Idaho who generously provided you with a potato? Of course not! That would be as idiotic as this week's Senate immigration bill. Moreover, the Idaho potato farmer never gave you or your wellbeing a second thought as he planted and harvested his potatoes. But by the magic of the free market, the Idaho potato farmer, motivated solely by the pursuit of financial profit, improved your life by selling to you a delicious Idaho potato to eat with your steak dinner.
The government doesn't meddle in the potato market, it doesn't limit potato consumption, it doesn't punish potato consumption by levying taxes, it doesn't use scarce tax dollars to fund research into finding potato substitutes. Why doesn't the government do this with potatoes the way it's doing it with gasoline? Because ignorant voters aren't banging their spoons on their highchairs, clamoring for cheaper potatoes...that's why. If they were, believe me, politicians would be investigating potato price gouging by the Big Carbohydrate Cartels.
For the free market to work, buyers and sellers have to have unfettered opportunities to haggle over price. No government market mandates, no idiotic tax incentives...no meddling in the markets period. Markets will naturally take care of themselves, finding the proper levels for supply, demand, and price.
Higher gasoline prices invite competition. Then, some smart guy will innovate the internal combustion engine, create an alternative fuel, or something to compete with gasoline that consumers want, and it will make him fabulously rich. And he won't have done it for the betterment of the human condition...he couldn't care less about the condition of his fellow humans...he will have done it to become filthy, stinking rich...and we all will benefit greatly from his craven pursuit of money. Individuals competing for profit always produce corrections in the market that favor consumers.
Hillary called for most of the country to return to 55mph. What does that mean? Does she mean 55 mph only in red states where evil conservatives drive too fast? Or maybe she means that law makers and VIP's get to race to fund raisers and jet around the country taking care of the nation's business and only the little people have to adhere to 55.
And then there was this interesting hedge about 55 mph, "and where ever it can be required, and the people will accept it". If it's a federal law, is it not required everywhere? If they pass a federal law in Washington, the people don't have a choice to accept or reject it...what does she mean?
Frankly, I think it's a policy trial balloon...she doesn't want to come right out and be in favor of restricting the people's behavior unless she gauges there is significant public support, so she floats the idea of 55 mph, alcohol mandates, and new consumption taxes, to gauge public support while leaving herself a plausible out in case it's not popular. If the idea stinks, she can always point to having stated, "where ever it can be required, and the people will accept it". It's standard Clintonian tactics to gauge political support or opposition for a proposal with a hedge. The hedge gives her plausible deniability about intent if it turns out to not be popular.
Once she has presidential power to wield however, look out! There won't be any hedges then...just mandates, restrictions, and taxes.
Say it with me...President Hillary Rodham Clinton...be afraid, be very afraid!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The people who run the city of N.O. have got to be the laziest, mouth-breathing, idiots to have ever risen to the level of their incompetence. Read this and see if you don't agree...
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A mock evacuation that was supposed to be part of a two-day statewide hurricane preparedness drill was canceled after a misunderstanding about who had jurisdiction over a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer park.
One would reasonably assume that after the abject, miserable failure that described the preparedness for, and response to Katrina at all levels of government, but especially local government, they would somehow manage to get their act together this hurricane season. It's basically a fire drill but on a larger scale. Why are there jurisdictional questions about getting people out of harms way? Oh, I forgot. It's New Orleans. There are people by the thousands who take no responsibility for their own safety and well-being or that of their families. And why should they take responsibility for their own safety? The government has been responsible for their housing, food, medical care, education, transportation, unemployment checks, and every other aspect of their miserable dependent lives.
Ray Nagin couldn't manage to get a single bus mobilized to get people out of his city before the hurricane, but he sure got them mobilized in time to get people back there to vote him back into office. Here is his first test as mayor...to successfully evacuate the city in a drill...and he blows it.
Even if he can't save their lives because of his bumbling incompetence, at least he'll get their unemployment checks, free housing, and food stamps to them on time...and that's all that really matters.
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The Northern Arapaho Tribe and a man accused of shooting a bald eagle on the Wind River Indian Reservation say the federal government should make it easier for American Indians to apply to kill bald eagles for use in religious ceremonies
This will turn out to be a very interesting case as it impacts religious freedom of expression, the sanctity of national symbols, and the autonomy of Native American tribes.
Obviously a person's right to pursue happiness ends where it interferes with another person's pursuit of happiness. Generally, the same concept applies to the practice of religion in this country. But when the right to practice one's religion involves the slaughter of the national symbol, is that over the line? Are the Native American tribes subject to our laws? What if a religious observance involves the desecration of the U.S. flag? All of these questions will have to be taken into account.
As abhorrent as flag-burning is to me personally, I'm not in favor of a flag-burning amendment. I think it can be construed to be political speech and experession. Moreover, there is never more than an occassional isolated incident of flag-burning anyway, unless there is a public discussion on banning the practice...then every Leftist, smelly hippie type ditches their psychology classes at Berkely to burn the flag. As long as it's legal, nobody seems to want to do it.
By that logic, these Arapaho Indians should be allowed to take an Eagle or two for whatever silly, pre-historic ritual they like to preform as a religion. There are estimated to be 7,700 nesting pairs of American Bald Eagles in the contiguous 48 states, so as long as they only take one or two a year, I don't think we'll miss them. The problem is if we let the Indians kill eagles, do we not have to let anybody shoot them who claims it's for religious purposes?
(I don't know why they just can't use the eye-of-newt-and-toe-of-frog, wool-of-bat and tongue-of-dog incantation from Macbeth...it seems to have become quite popular over the years) It can't be any stupider than killing a bald eagle and using it for personal purification or whatever...but it would offend a lot fewer Americans.
Maybe all this can be avoided if when this Arapaho brave goes out into the wilderness to shoot his eagle, a black bear or a cougar eats him. How would that be for rich irony?Post note: Even if bald eagles were removed from Endangered Species Act protection, they would continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Monday, May 22, 2006
The invasion, in alarming numbers, of Mexicans illegally into the U.S. is taking a toll on the societies of both countries. Read these excerpts from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle which portends trouble if something isn't done...and fast...
Washington -- The current migration of Mexicans and Central Americans to the United States is one of the largest diasporas in modern history, experts say.
Roughly 10 percent of Mexico's population of about 107 million is now living in the United States, estimates show. About 15 percent of Mexico's labor force is working in the United States. One in every 7 Mexican workers migrates to the United States.
-Entire rural communities are nearly bereft of working-age men. The town of Tendeparacua, in the Mexican state of Michoacan, had 6,000 residents in 1985, and now has 600, according to news reports.
-Last year, Mexico received a record $20 billion in remittances from migrant workers. That is equal to Mexico's 2004 income from oil exports and dwarfing tourism revenue.
-The money Mexican migrants send home almost equals the U.S. foreign aid budget for the entire world.
As doubtful as it is, even if Mexico puts an end to it's rampant government corruption, there will be far too few able-bodied workers to assume the jobs made available by the inevitable burgeoning economy, because too many of them are in the U.S. You can't have one tenth of your work force in another country and expect to provide adequate labor for any developing industries. With that large a slice of a population in exodus, there has to be a concomitant degradation of the social/familial fabric of Mexican society. Families without fathers or husbands, and sometimes mothers and wives, towns without labor for industry, agriculture, or retail business, entire local economies devastated by the absence of entrepreneurship, innovation, and capitol investment, all lead eventually to the collapse of the national economy.
If the national economy of Mexico collapses under the weight of government corruption and loss of a significant portion of the labor force, the flood of immigrants to the U.S. will increase five to ten fold at least. They won't be called immigrants or illegal aliens, they will be called refugees. The U.S. is struggling, and failing, to assimilate the 11 million that are here already. We would be overrun by the numbers in the wake of a Mexican economic collapse.
I wouldn't begin to suggest a way to end the corruption in Mexican government but without an end to it, the Mexican economy will remain third-world at best. Desperate people by the millions will continue to stream across the border in search of economic opportunities and wealth only enjoyed by the privileged few in Mexico. With a wealth of natural resources, including oil reserves, favorable crop weather and water supplies, an eager and able work force, tourism and others, there is no reason Mexico to the south, cannot be what Canada is to the north...a prosperous, happy nation of wealth created by vibrant industry and entrepreneurship. It could become an net importer of labor rather than one of the world's largest exporters of labor.
The U.S., on the other hand, is the great welfare state in the sky of which most Mexicans come here to take advantage. We generously give away all manner of social welfare, medical welfare, incarceration welfare, and educational welfare. The current crop of illegal aliens boldly protest in our streets to tell us we should embrace their dependence, provide plentifully for their needs at our own great expense, and acknowledge their entitlement to our wealth, land, and jobs.
It would be national suicide to allow a vast and ever-multiplying population of indignant, non-English-speaking gypsies to remain entrenched among us....refusing to learn English, consuming many times the resources they contribute, and demanding that we make changes to our culture to adapt to theirs.
The very least that should be expected from new arrivals to America is to embrace American culture while contributing aspects of their own culture to it. That is not what we have happening with Mexican illegal immigrants flooding across the border. They are coming in too fast and at too high numbers to adequately assimilate and embrace the American culture.
As I see it, an effective barrier at the border would achieve two very important goals for each country. For Mexico, it would force the Mexican workers to take action against their own government rather than ours. They should be protesting for reform in the streets of Mexico City, not Denver or L.A. Moreover, having no choice but to remain home and fight for economic and political reform would erase the sense of failure and desperation that many Mexicans must feel from having to abandon families to make livings elsewhere.
For the U.S., it would mean a chance to better assimilate the immigrants that are already here. Additionally, there would be a gradual relaxation in demand for social services for which very little if any taxes are paid to fund.
Illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. presents each country with different but parallel problems. Whether it's a guest worker program, mass deportation, employer crackdowns, legal immigration moratoria, mandatory English language proficiency, back-payment of owed taxes, denial of social services, repeal of the constitutional provision for territorial birthright, punitive taxation on financial remittances to Mexico, or some combination of the above, it is apparent to even the most casual observer that the flow over the border must be stopped first before any meaningful immigration reforms can be effective.
Build a wall, build a fence, build a something so we can catch our breath and deal logically, reasonably, and fairly with this grave national problem.
This is from Michael Novak over at National Review Online...
I keep hearing that the U.S. has only 3 percent of the world’s population but uses up 25% of the world’s energy. When I first heard that charge 20 years ago, the figures used were 6% and 40%, but not matter, it is the principle that matters, not the exact percentages. But what does this charge actually mean? What counts as energy today—the same things that counted as energy before the United States existed, viz., the human back, the horse, the ox, the waterfall, the windmill, peat,or firewood or coal in the fireplace? No, when we say “energy” today we mean electricity, oil, gasoline, gas, nuclear power, fuel cells, ethanol.
But the fact is, the United States pioneered in inventing all these forms of modern power. The first oil well was not dug in the Middle East until a British-American consortium did so in 1909, thereby conferring enormous wealth on peoples who were at the time the very byword for poverty — they were short even on shade and water — “poor Bedouins” (now called “rich Arab sheiks"). In other words, the tiny proportion of the population living in the United States invented nearly 100% of what the modern world means by “energy,” and has already made it possible for nearly 75% of the world’s population to share in its many modern varieties — and, perhaps, we can do even better in the future. No doubt, we should. And we will.
But, please, don’t blame the U.S. because the rest of the world is not so inventive.
Every time a sniveling, hand-wringing Liberal whines that it's so unfair that we consume (with the implication of wastefulness) so much energy, when we represent such a small part of the global population, get this article out and read it to them.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin won the New Orleans mayoral race with 52.3% of the vote. His challenger, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, whose family the AP referred to as the Kennedy family of Louisiana, collected 47.7%.
So Ray Nagin gets a shot at the hundreds of millions of Katrina rebuilding dollars destined for Louisiana....what a debacle that spending spree will be!
When you combine the appalling lack of ethics that is already the hallmark of Louisiana politics, with the monumental incompetence of Mayor Nagin, with hundreds of millions of dollars seized from American taxpayers to pay for poor people to rebuild their shanties in a flood-prone cereal bowl, what do you get? -- The single largest waste of money since opening day of Gigli.
As much as Ray Nagin wants to make the rebuilding, but most importantly the repopulating, of New Orleans be about race...it shouldn't be. It's simply about economics. New Orleans should never have been built below sea level in the first place (lay another of history's most idiotic decisions at the feet of the French). Just because pre-Katrina N.O. was awash in entitlement-minded parasites, doesn't mean it has to be again, though I'm sure the residents of Houston wish they would go home. Ray Nagin depended on the votes of those people (many of them voted absentee but will never return) to get re-elected and he'll reward them for their votes using money from tax-paying Americans as payola. He knows that he can't get elected without the vast dependent class of needy handout consumers to whom he can play race politics.
Nagin seems to want the city to return to exactly what it was before the storm, but why not make it better, by returning those flood-prone neighborhoods to the natural swamps which buffer the city from the ocean, by discouraging the mass construction of rental property designed to attract the same jobless consumers of tax dollars who resided there before, and by letting the free housing market dictate what kinds of houses if any, get built around the city? Certainly, with insurance companies reluctant to insure homes in neighborhoods which were completely destroyed, who could afford to build an uninsured home in these areas? American tax payers should not be obligated to pay for homes to be rebuilt where they will surely be destroyed again at some point, just to fulfill Nagin's dream of a return of the Chocolate City.
Let the free market decide who gets to rebuild where. If people want to rebuild houses in a flood plain without insurance and they can afford to do so...fine. But they rebuild at their own peril. No tax payers money should be seized, when their homes are washed away again. If insurance companies calculate that they can make money by insuring high risk construction in places like the ninth ward, they will. If people calculate that it's too expensive to insure a home in a N.O. flood plain, then they can rebuild elsewhere. That's the housing-construction-insurance free market at work.
The only problem is Ray Nagin needs the poor dependent class residing in N.O. proper in order to keep his job as mayor so he will push for laws to circumvent the insurance/housing free market, and force tax-payers to cover the bill when the city gets destroyed again. And he'll cry racism if anybody objects to their tax dollars being seized to pay for somebody else's bad decisions.
Another hurricane will hit N.O. in the next few years and I predict no buses will run, the same helpless, huddled masses will be stranded and hungry in whatever replaces the Superdome, and there will once again be abandoned SUV's lining the streets that those people could have used to escape but refused to, because Ray Nagin will have told them that it's not their job to take care of themselves...their only concern will have been to vote for him every four years.
And Liberals will weep and cry and moan at the human tragedy and the loss of such an historic American city.
If you build your house in a flood plain without insurance...it's like burying yourself in the sand at low tide...eventually the tide is going to come in...and you'll get what you deserve for making such a bad decision.
Friday, May 19, 2006
ATLANTA - Associated Press -- The runaway bride who generated a media storm with her phony tale of abduction and the fiance who took her back have broken up for good, the man’s friends and family told People Magazine.
Jennifer Wilbanks later recanted, saying she fled because of personal issues, and pleaded no contest to telling police a phony story. She also was sentenced to two years probation, which she performed through community service that included mowing the lawns of public buildings.
In a statement released by a friend, the always startled looking Miss Wilbanks commented,
"I tried to ditch Claude the last time in a way that made him not look bad, but the poor,dumb sap wanted me back so now I'm really leaving, only this time it's for real. I've joined up with a band of illegal, Mexican gypsies who perform menial yardwork for money...I guess all that grass mowing at the municipal complex paid off afterall?".
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Why would God tell Pat Robertson about inclement weather in '06, apparently after having already told the AMS?
Earlier this month the American Meteorological Society announced their predictions for extreme weather phenomena this year. They expect the Gulf Coast to be quieter than in recent years and the East Coast to get hit by as many as three hurricanes. Read Pat Robertson's divine weather forecast and see if maybe he hasn't been watching the weather channel lately...
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Associated Press -- The Rev. Pat Robertson says God has told him that storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year.
"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8.
I think what Pat meant to say is, "if I heard the guy on the weather channel right". This kind of stunt is so bush-league. What'll he do next, climb a tree house like Orel Roberts and say if Americans don't give him a million dollars, God will kill him? This guy just needs to go away like Jim Bakker and live out the remainder of his life in quiet anonymity.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn't serious about wiping Israel off the map with nuclear weapons in the next few years, I would be able to laugh at this nose-thumbing comment to the Euro-weenies. They remind me of those lenient parents in restaurants who plead with their children not to throw food at the adjacent tables but never do anything effective to stop it.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's president mocked a package of incentives to suspend uranium enrichment, saying Wednesday they were like giving up gold for chocolate - defiance that appeared certain to complicate U.S. efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?" President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked derisively.
Seriously, but for the pathologically, homocidal desire to start the beginning of the end of the world as we know it, with global thermonuclear war, he would be funny to listen to from time to time.
Walnuts and chocolates.......he cracks me up!
If you haven't seen them already, here are a few of the cartoons that got the Euro-Muslims in such a twit a few months back. The American main stream media, in embarrassing submission to radical terrorists who've threatened them, instructed us to be respectful of Islam by not publishing these cartoons. Sorry, but you don't get your way by threatening violence if your wishes aren't granted.
If we had decided not to publish these cartoons, like the PC, main-stream American press has, because we feared the radicals...then the terrorists have already won.
Seriously, does any one believe that these cartoons caused all the violence anyway? The radical arm of Islam is bent on the conversion to Islam, by invitation or force, of the whole world, and they are always looking for the next flash-point to ignite their Islamic rage at all things Western. These stupid cartoons just served as the most recent flash point...there will be others.
Even though they burned their own cars and destroyed their own neighborhoods, they weren't just a bunch of rabble-rousing malcontents. They were just acting consistently with a larger movement which is in relentless pursuit of the submission of all non-Muslims to Islam. We had better wake up to that fact and stop trying to understand them, trying to make them like us, and using their generations-old, self-created poverty, American imperialism, and unpleasant childhoods as excuses for their anti-social behavior.
If any body out there is still delusional enough to believe that we are dealing with a rational, reasonable foe in radical, fundamental Islam...think again.
You only need to look at the soon-to-be, nuclear-armed madman in Iran to see that we are in for the fight of our lives if we continue down the path of appeasement and touchy-feely, politically correct diplomacy.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Britney Spears is almost too stupid to keep commenting on.
Joan Crawford had better parenting skills.
Look at this picture and see how many things Britney did wrong as it pertains to the safety of herself, her one year old baby, and her rumored to be gestating baby...
1. What is that, a rag-top, mini-Cooper with only seat-top roll bars? If she rolled that thing, all three of them would get hurt. Don't they sell Volvo's in California?
2. She may or may not be wearing a seat-belt...can't tell but odds are she's not. Looks like a belt on her right hip but you can't see any evidence of one on her chest or left shoulder.
3. Car seat facing forward. Even the biggest air-headed, redneck knows that infant car seats should face rearward.
4. Is the improperly placed car seat even strapped in? Can't tell, but given that car seats are difficult even for those of us who have a reasonable amount of intelligence, think of the titanic mental struggle it must have been for a half-witted bimbo like Britney to perform, while rushing to escape the paparazzi. My money's on "No".
5. Look how far over the baby is leaning. I don't think it's strapped in snuggly enough...if at all. The shoulder harness should prevent the head from lilting over that far, and his gourd has already been through enough when the baby sitter dropped him on it.
6. Britney drives around with curlers in her hair. I realize this doesn't have anything to do with safety but it does have to do with plain class....she definitely loses style points for that.
With a dopey, air-head for a mother, and a shiftless, layabout for a father, those kids don't stand a chance.
I watched Bush's immigration reform speech last night and then reviewed the transcript this morning. While he succeeded in avoiding the jobs-Americans-won't-do excuse for not securing the border, I am dubious about the prospects for real success. I've outlined the highlights of last night's speech and my take on them here...
...So I support comprehensive immigration reform that will accomplish five clear objectives.
First, the United States must secure its borders.
The American people have been demanding that the borders be secured ever since Reagan granted blanket amnesty in '86 and the flooding began. It's infuriating that politicians only take action after it's almost too late. 10% of the Mexican population now resides in the U.S. and only now is a president bothering to do something and that' s only because of political pressure from the conservative base. Sickening!
We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We will employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings.
OK, maybe fences will work in urban areas but what good will new patrol roads, motion sensors, cameras and aerial vehicles do? These gate-crashers don't care of a camera or a drone sees them. Only a human with a gun or a honest-to-goodness barrier will stop them from coming over. The surveillance measures were inserted into the speech by Rove or Bartlett to appease the base. They want it to appear that Bush is getting tough on the border without it actually being effective.
...up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training. Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities, that duty will be done by the Border Patrol.
Not involved in law enforcement activities? What better use for battle-hardened war veterans than to enforce the law at the southern border? I'm sure Bush would cite the constitutional prohibition of using the military for domestic law enforcement, but there are two things here that don't wash about that: 1. well armed Guardsmen were deployed against civilians in New Orleans after Katrina when those idiots with guns were shooting at rescue operations and robbing citizens, and 2. preventing the illegal crossing of our border with Mexico does not constitute domestic law enforcement. The concept of "domestic law enforcement" implies military action against citizens...would-be border crossers are not citizens and are not protected by the Constitution.
The United States is not going to militarize the southern border. Mexico is our neighbor, and our friend. We will continue to work cooperatively to improve security on both sides of the border ... to confront common problems like drug trafficking and crime ... and to reduce illegal immigration.
Begging pardon, but Mexico is not our friend. Vicente Fox vehemently opposes any measure which would stem the flood of his people into the U.S. He's actively exporting Mexico's poverty and criminal class into our country.
2. Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time.
The only temporary worker program that I would support would be one in which the worker would have to originate in his/her own country...not one composed of illegals already here...that's still amnesty.
3. a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof.
A good concept but the counterfeiters are pretty good with ID documentation. It would have to be a state-of-the-art tamper-proof ID card.
4. I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, to pay their taxes, to learn English, and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship, but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.
I hope that "wait in line" means go home and get in the back of the line there. If it means that they get to stay and suck at the public teat while they wait, then it still amounts to amnesty.
5. Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one Nation out of many peoples.
Not sure how this is a plank of his plan but who, other than the American Nazi Party and Klansmen, don't already embrace the melting-pot concept of America?
I sincerely hope this plan works but I'm afraid it'll get bogged down in bureaucratic red tape and nothing will actually get done and nothing will change. What really bothers me is the sneaking suspicion that the politicians know this will be the case already and are counting on Americans being easily distracted and not holding them (politicians) accountable at the ballot box.
Bears killed and ate a monkey in a Dutch zoo in front of horrified visitors, witnesses at the zoo said Monday.
Will wonders never cease? A wild animal pursues, kills, then eats another wild animal. And this horrifies visitors to the zoo.
Idiots! It's what wild animals do!
Zoo management announced that it will be providing grief counselors for anybody who was disturbed by this outrageous act of barbarism.
Monday, May 15, 2006
There is not a single path-to-citizenship proposal including, learning English, quit stealing cars, paying their piddling back-taxes, or any of the rest of it, that will amount to anything, if we don't first close the borders. How many times do Americans have to say it for these politicians to get it?
It is unbelievable to me that the desire for real, effective, sensible immigration reform cuts across all political, racial, and socio-economic lines for the most part, yet the guys in Washington in both parties refuse to do anything that effects change in any measurable way. How abysmally stupid do they think we are? How much of them ignoring us do they think we'll tolerate?
I think the politicians believe they can have their immigration cake and eat it too. They think that they can woo the illegal alien vote (which is sure to become a reality soon...politicians can't resist a voting block that large) now in the Spring and keep them more or less happy despite the rage it induces with the bases of both parties but especially Republicans. Then they figure once the dust settles over whichever horrible immigration bill gets passed, Americans, who have notoriously short political memories, will forget about the bill as water under the bridge and get back to the business of loyal partisan bickering as usual just in time for the Fall election cycle.
I really hope they are wrong this time...at least if Bush disappoints me tonight like I expect him to.
What he says tonight in this speech may dramatically shape the elections in '08 but certainly in '06. Rove and Bartlett, even though they are neo-cons and embrace this touchy-feely, compassionate conservatism nonsense, had better pay attention to the base or it may be a Democratic revolution we see in '06 just like Gingrich and the Republican pulled off in '94. And it won't be because the Democrats have a resonant message, or inspire hope and confidence, or make us proud to be Americans, they've never been able to achieve any of those things. It's not how they get elected. They get elected with class warfare, national guilt, and fear of the future. No, if the Democrats win in '06, it will have been because conservatives stayed away from the poles in droves because our leaders abandoned the principles for which they were elected.
This is hilarious! Too bad it's not that far from the truth. Aside from cheap labor for a few industries, this is pretty much what we are importing from Mexico...
On May 1st, as a result of the Mexican boycott,
national retailers reported 4.2% lower sales for the day, with a 67.8% reduction in shoplifting.
It appears that the Immigration March in Los Angeles was a success!
According to data from the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Los Angeles had a reduction in the following:
82% reduction - auto theft
28% reduction - murders/ violent crimes/ rapes
73% reduction - vandalism / tagging
54% reduction - drug related offenses (not including the area surrendering the march)
31% reduction - domestic violence cases
64% reduction - misdemeanor cases (shop lifting, etc)
CHP reported that today was a record low in the least amount of traffic accidents on South CA freeways. Looks like the immigration rally was well worth it. Maybe we can do this one again sometime. Sure saves the State of California a chunk of money!
I found this anonymously written letter on Neil Boortz' page and it hits the immigration nail on the head by illustrating the brazen presumption on display by these illegal aliens who think they have a right to come here, are doing us a favor by being here, and that we owe them financial, educational, and medical support once they get here.
To the Editor:
Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the U.S. might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.
Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your home you insist that I leave. But, I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors: I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest ... except for that part where I broke into your house.
"According to the protestors, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family's insurance plan and provide other benefits for me and my family. My husband will do your yard work because he too is hard-working and honest ... except for that breaking in thing.
"If you try to call the police or force me out I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be here. It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm hard-working and honest .... ummmmm .... except for that breaking in thing.
"Besides. What a deal it is for me! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudice and being anti-housebreaker!
Did I miss anything? Does this sound reasonable to you? If it does, grab a sign and go picket something. If this sounds insane to you call your senators and enlighten them because they are stumbling in the darkness right now and really need your help.
This is exactly the way I see it and from what I've read most Americans see it this way as well. Now, let's wait to see if Bush sees it that way tonight when he gives his A-Pathway-to-Citizenship-for-Illegal-Aliens-is-not-Amnesty speech.
Here are a few things I'd like to hear tonight:
1. The closing of the borders effective immediately. Whether this means a physical fence, National Guard, land mines, or a combination of the above...do something to stop the flow.
Just kidding about the land mines.
2. The enactment of laws to severely punish employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
3. The repeal of the part of the Constitution which grants instant citizenship to anybody physically born on US soil. No more anchor babies. Any baby born to a person not visiting here legally automatically assumes the citizenship of whatever third-world rat hole the mother snuck in here from...and both should be sent back there.
4. The deportation, when feasible, of illegal aliens when identified. We don't need a massive national round-up, just when they are identified by law enforcement for other reasons, put them on a bus and send them to a border town in which there will be an emigration gate alongside the immigration gate. Each town in the US which wishes to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of illegal immigration, could buy one bus and hire one driver. When the jail is full of illegal aliens which shouldn't take long, load 'em up and move 'em out. It would be more of a symbolic move rather than a practical one...a move showing that illegal aliens are not welcome anymore. The first ones to go should be the ones being warehoused, at taxpayer expense, in federal prisons...and they're the easiest to find.
5. An immediate cessation of all taxpayer funded entitlements to illegal aliens. This means no more food stamps, medical care other than emergencies, public education, or welfare.
6. The taxation, at a punitive rate, of all US to Mexico wire transfers of money to help pay for the deportation program. Something in the 30%-40% range should do it. And besides, that's roughly the rate at which the Federal Government seizes the income of productive wage-earners in the US.
7. A federally mandated law requiring verified legal voter ID. Generally it's better to retain as much power at the local level as possible but in this instance states like New York and California actually desire the votes of illegal aliens because that would translate into landslide victories for Democrats in every election because it's the Liberals who will have bought their votes with taxpayer funded giveaways to the illegals. This law should be passed at the Federal level. A bonus of this would be that it would force Congressmen and Senators to go on the record as being on one side or the other.
8. Normally, I'm not if favor of our government meddling in the affairs of other countries any more than I'm in favor of it meddling in the affairs of individuals, but the rampant corruption of the Mexican government cripples the Mexican economy by concentrating the national wealth in the hands of a few individuals who own the politicians. Just like Iraq posed a threat by endorsing terrorism aimed at the US, Mexico endorses the mass exodus of it's poverty to the US. Terrorism is an acute threat while massive numbers of unassimilated, uneducated, illegal immigrants is a chronic threat...whose to say which is more damaging? The US should cut some sort of deal with Mexico, after the borders are closed, in which the US would accept more "legal" immigrants in return for verifiable political and economic reform in Mexico. This would encourage would-be immigrants to protest in Mexico City for local reform, rather than protest in our cities for free stuff.
I believe I'm just fantasizing that Bush will propose any of these measures, since he sees the vast, illegal immigrant population as a potential voting block, one that needs to be courted, just like the Democrats do. It's really pathetic and sad that it's gotten to the point where our nation's leaders are ignoring their duties to defend, protect and advance the interests of the US in favor of getting the illegal alien vote. I hold Republicans more at fault than Democrats. Democrats have been openly and cravenly seeking to legalize the poor, uneducated, huddled masses of illegals into the democratic fold, but we should be able to count on Republicans to at least attempt to do the right thing. They, for the most part, have turned out to be just as craven. It might require a loss in '06 and/or '08 to get their attention.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Police said Jimenez was still wearing her Nike sneakers, jogging sports bra and biking shorts. Unidentified witnesses told investigators that a woman matching Jimenez's description was seen dangling her feet over the water's edge.
I don't live in Florida but while visiting, I've seen alligators lurking in ponds, or canals or other bodies of water. Surely the residents are aware of their proximity to these aggressive carnivores. Everybody has heard the stories of people being attacked in their backyards, on golf courses and such. Nobody can say they aren't aware of the danger. For this girl to dangle her feet over the canal water, from a bridge, at night...that's like going into a lion's cage to pet it...you're going to get eaten!
As more land is developed to keep pace with Florida's housing boom, more wildlife habits are lost and alligators are more likely to wander into residential and commercial areas.
I'm usually the one ridiculing kooky environmentalists for blaming everything bad that happens on human encroachment and development into wildlife habitat, but in this case they are right. When you build your house in proximity to wild animals who might try to eat you, if you're not careful, there is a better than fair chance that you might get eaten.
The attack wasn't enough to frighten people out of the waters of the North New River Canal, about a half-mile west of the site. Even when wildlife officers pulled up to a boat ramp, people wouldn't stop using their Super Jet Wave Runners."I'm not afraid," said Daniel Marino Jr., 17, of Plantation. That's true, agreed Charlie Craig of Margate, also riding a Super Jet."I've been coming here 10 years and see gators all the time," Craig said. "I'm not afraid of them, even in mating season."
Now the girl, careless or not, probably did not deserve to be eaten but these two idiots probably do. Charlie's mighty brave to state from the safety of the shore that's he's not afraid of the alligators, but let's see how brave he is when he falls off his jet ski and a gator is swimming toward him. What a moron!
I'm ashamed to have to admit that I'm sort of looking forward to making fun of that kid after a gator eats him.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
If the Catholic church, and other Christian churches, who are offended by the Da Vinci Code movie, don't want people to see it...then they're doing the exact opposite of what they should do. Every time Hollywood comes out with a controversial movie about religion which offends people, they start protesting, calling for censorship and demanding withdrawal of the offending movie. This is America, nothing draws people who wouldn't have otherwise seen a movie, like protest and controversey. The bigger the protest, the more people will go see it just to see what all the fuss is about.
I hate to be the one to point this out but it sort of reminds me of the crazy Muslims in Europe protesting over those stupid cartoons of Muhammad. The only difference is the crazy Muslims are violently protesting while the Catholics are peacefully protesting. A huge difference I admit, but the idea of protesting a piece of fictitious entertainment is about as pointless and silly as burning down one's own neighborhood to protest the publication of a political cartoon.
I'm a Christian and I read The Da Vinci Code. I thought it was a fantastically entertaining thriller and not once did I question my faith or any aspect of my belief in the historical accuracy of the bible.
The Da Vinci Code is fiction!
Sure, there are some gullible idiots out there who believe everything they see, but they probably also believe in UFO's, Bigfoot, and that Hillary Clinton is a centrist.
I realize these zealots think they have to take some action and do something to stop the heresy, but this is a free country, not a theocracy. All they're doing is ginning up interest in the movie where there might not have been so much.
When the government wanted teens to stop smoking, it came out with anti-smoking commercials aimed at kids. Guess what? The incidence of teen smoking rose temporarily. The sure fire way to get people to do something is to tell them not to. More people will go see The Da Vinci Code precisely because of these protests than would have otherwise.
Talk about self-defeating!
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Reply: I imagine that both his being a Kennedy and his congressional status played a role in his lenient treatment. To answer your question, if it had been a Republican Senator or Rep., I think you'd see much more scrutiny from the media including calls for resignation, fitness-to-serve questions raised, prescription abuse accusations, and all the routine attacks the Left trots out when a Conservative stumbles.
As far as the medicine goes, I've never taken Phenergen but I have taken Ambien frequently over the years and I've never experienced anything like what Kennedy described his state of mind was after taking it. I heard a report on Fox News Saturday morning, which gave credence to the idea that the combination of Phenergen (a narcotic) and Ambien together would be more dramatic and mind altering. Apparently it is well known that Phenergen potentiates the effects of Ambien as well as other drugs.
Three points to make: 1. No responsible physician would prescribe the narcotic Phenergen without a strict warning to not take it with any sleeping medication. 2. No responsible physician would prescribe the narcotic Phenergen to a recovering drug addict. 3. No responsible adult would take the narcotic Phenergen, the powerful sleeping medication Ambien, in addition to consuming alcohol in quantity...what an idiot. Like I said in the original post...a chip off the old block evidently.
Conclusions: 1. Patrick Kennedy was probably doctor shopping for narcotics by claiming nausea symptoms...a crime.
2. PT was driving under the influence...a crime. What difference does it make what combination of substances it was? 3. PT will receive a complete and sympathetic pass from the left wing media because he's a Liberal...a pass which would not be extended to a conservative. 4. The main stream media will fawn over PT like he's a hero for being open about his addiction despite the fact that he endangered the lives of DC police. 5. If I were Cynthia McKinney, I would be demanding the same leniency from the media and capitol police that PT is receiving. 6. When congresswoman McKinney realizes this, she'll cry racism and elitism because she didn't get a pass like the rich, white, male received. 7. I wish PT all the luck in the world toward kicking his problems...that's a tough place in which to be.
Finally, I think PT will get off relatively lightly because nobody was hurt and because he's a sympathetic figure...neither was the case with Teddy. He got off lightly because he had slick lawyers and because the nation still clung to the memory of his brother.
Friday, May 05, 2006
There's been a lot of talk lately about price collusion among the oil companies, about a windfall profits tax, about price controls...just about anything politicians of both parties can dream up to trick the American people into thinking that high gas prices are the result of something other than simple economics. The truth is that the politicians are counting on Americans being ignorant about the simple laws of supply and demand. It's politically beneficial to demagogue the evil, rich, boogie-man, big oil company executives and accuse them of "sticking it" to the little guy. To explain that the global supply and demand structure of the world's oil industry, over which the US has scant little influence, is why prices are rising, buys them few votes. Americans have been conditioned to look first to government to solve their every-day problems. As dependent, whining voters, we are easily led to believe that gas prices are high due to some criminal actions by evil corporations. Once we believe that lie, we don't see anything wrong when Congress delivers us by punishing the greedy capitalists who are gouging us at the pump.
Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are in the business of getting reelected, and that's all they care about...retaining political power. They know that most Americans are ignorant of simple economic principles. They insured that this is the case by dramatically dumbing down the curricula in public schools with bi-lingual education, self esteem exercises, touchy-feely enviro-curricula, and promoting to students pretty much anything that advances the anti-American, Socialist agenda of the teacher's unions. Like I've said in prior writings, a stupid, ignorant, dependent populace is an easily swayed, controllable populace who will vote for the politician who promises to take care of them best. It's no coincidence that our public schools are churning out some of the most witless, mentally malleable, ignoramuses in the world. Our politicians and their co-conspirators at leadership levels in the teacher's unions benefit from it being that way.
Having made that point, the politicians who are pushing for investigations into price fixing, and windfall profits taxes on the oil companies are counting on you not taking the time to understand simple economics. If you attended a public school you were probably being taught that America is the root of all evil in the modern world when you should have been studying basic economics, so here's the short and sweet:
When the available supply of a product remains fixed but the demand for that product increases, the price naturally and necessarily goes up. If the price remains the same (perhaps because the government instituted price controls), all the product gets purchased and there are shortages. The natural increase in price insures that only the purchasers who very badly need or want that product buy it...the rest either do without, find alternatives, or make adjustments to use less of it. The free market always, always makes appropriate corrections to supply, demand, and price without the meddling of government do-gooders.
My wife, a rare successful product of government schooling, used this analogy to describe the current crude oil/gasoline situation in the US (it's her analogy but I fleshed it out a bit for re-telling): Let's say that you live in a land, we'll call it Goreland, in which egg consumption plays a vitally important role in the livelihood of it's residents. Let's also say you have a company, HEN-HOUSE LLC, which produces eggs on one side of a pond and you have to use a Styrofoam carton to float them to the other side of the pond to the market. Over time, because the economy is growing in your village and others as well, the demand for eggs in the market goes up. In response, you breed your chickens and expand your houses so you can sell more eggs and make more money. (After all, no company in the history of the world, ever, was begun for any reason except to make as much money as possible for the owners) The only problem is that there is only one carton. No matter how many eggs you produce on your side of the pond you can still only deliver 12 eggs to the market at a time. The supply of eggs in the market remains fixed but more and more egg-eaters are demanding your eggs. They bid up the price so that the egg-eater who is willing to pay the highest price gets the eggs. As the owner of the egg-supply business, you want to take advantage of the high prices by supplying more eggs. The obvious solution as the egg-producer is to build more cartons. The obvious solution as an egg-consumer in order to avoid the high egg prices is to find a suitable egg-substitute or eat fewer eggs. There are a couple of problems however, the leaders of Goreland decided 30 years ago that it was not friendly to the environment to build even one new egg carton and that the best egg-substitute (Nuclear Eggs) is also not enviro-friendly. Apparently the government of Goreland, in which you live and produce eggs, eggs which literally every single resident uses daily, reasoned that preserving the pond-side habitat of the rare, three-eyed, yellow-throated, speckled newt is more important than preserving the affordable price of eggs for it's citizens, even though it would have been simple to build more cartons and/or allow production of a favorable egg-substitute. As if that weren't bad enough, the leaders of Goreland demagogue you as an evil capitalist who benefits too much from the high price of eggs. They tell the helpless, simpleton villagers, who are happy that someone is rescuing them from prices that are higher than they would like, that you are a bad person and will be investigated for price gouging. They accuse you of benefiting from a windfall profit ( a profit that you did nothing to deserve and therefore shouldn't get) and the witless, government-schooled villagers of Goreland are relieved when it's announced that you will be taxed punitively for taking unfair advantage of the high price of eggs. Why, you wonder...why are the witless villagers happy that I'm being taxed when they won't be the ones receiving the money. It'll go to the government officials of Goreland to pay for pork projects back home in their districts to aid in their re-elections. Moreover, you know from your basic economics class in private school, that you will pass the tax increase on to the egg-market operator who will pass it on to the witless egg-eaters who will again whine to the leaders of Goreland that the price of eggs is still too high. As graduates of government schools, they'll be oblivious to the fact that, in reality, they are paying the taxes levied against you the egg producer. The officials of Goreland will smile contentedly knowing that they have pulled another one over on the village idiots who think that you, the egg producer, have been justly punished, that corporations are evil greedmongers who make money off the backs of the poor, that government is good and caring and responsive to the needs of it's citizens, and finally that their lives are better off when government takes control of markets.
The thing about government officials is that they can always be counted on to do only that which is politically beneficial to them, and little else. As gas prices go, look at what we have failed to do that would have alleviated some of the high prices we're seeing now: 1. We've not built a single new refinery since 1976. Current refineries are vulnerably located in the Gulf region were hurricanes routinely blow. And West Coast and East Coast residents are too good to gaze upon the ugliness of petroleum refining, so oil must be transported long distances to reach markets. 2. ANWR doesn't represent that much oil globally but it would produce over 1 million barrels a day for America which would certainly increase our supply and reduce our dependence, 3. All other industrialized countries are busily constructing nuclear power plants, safely and efficiently, but not the US. Thanks to people like Al Gore and Ted Kennedy, we think it's too dangerous and enviro-threatening. Never mind that we currently have 31 active nuclear plants operating safely already. Never mind that more people have died at Chappaquidick than have died from radiation exposure as a result of accidents at nuclear plants. 4. We impose harsh import tariffs on alcohol fuel in order to preserve the price of corn for our farmers but that makes alcohol too expensive to market in quantity in this country, so we remain stuck with petroleum consumption without affordable alternatives. Funny how the Democrats are the biggest critics of the oil companies and high prices but it's the Democrat Party who has stood in the way, over and over, of higher crude production, more refineries, drilling in Alaska and off the coasts of California and Florida, impose tariffs on fuel alternatives, seize one fifth of every dollar spent on gasoline, refuse to consider nuclear energy, refuse to allow the construction of windmill farms if they might spoil the view from their million dollar vacation bungalows in Hyannisport.
There are some good things that come from high gas prices such as: petroleum companies increase their research and development efforts to find more oil to refine in order to take advantage of the market. Consumers change their habits and conserve...this reduces demand which in turn increases relative supply thus decreasing price. The oil company investors get rewarded for their capital risk and are encouraged to invest further...the positive ripple effect of investment should be clear to even the most half-witted, government-school graduate.
A secondary positive result of higher prices is that it provides an economic incentive for others to get in the market. The more competition there is selling a product, the lower the price for that product will tend to be because they are competing for your business the only way they can...by lowering their price below the competition. That's good for consumers.
I know it's painful for gas to be this expensive but if the global supply and demand dynamics remain as they are, then this price level is the right one. People will be forced to make adjustments in their driving habits, and change their car purchasing habits to more efficient vehicles. As prices continue to increase, at some point, profit motive will encourage an entrepreneur or inventor to develop a new efficient, cheap fuel, or a more efficient internal combustion engine or something else that makes petroleum less critical to every day life. Somebody always finds a way to innovate when there's money to be made...that's the beauty of free market capitalism. It's why America dominates the world's economy and Socialist or Communist countries like in Europe and South America are in economic decline...there's no driving economic force motivating individuals to invent, develop, or innovate.
Every decision you make to carpool, to combine driving trips, to ride a bike or walk instead, to purchase an efficient car, to use alternative fuels, results in a micro-adjustment in the global petroleum supply/demand dynamic. Consumers around the world making billions of decisions daily have a profound and immediate effect on markets... in part, that's why you see the price of gas change daily at the pump.
I'm not advocating extreme conservation measures unless as a consumer that's what you want to do. If you want to continue to spend lots of money on gas, that's fine too. The point is that the open market where consumers make choices and suppliers react to those choices, free from government meddling, will always find the right levels for supply, demand and prices.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed his car near the Capitol early Thursday, and a police official said he appeared intoxicated. Kennedy said he had taken sleep medication and a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness.
No way...a Kennedy appearing intoxicated and behind the wheel of a car?"Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote," his second statement said. "Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication."
Disoriented from the rounds of Scotch earlier with the old man is more like it.
Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who was not there, said the officers involved in the accident were instructed by an official "above the rank of patrolman" to take Kennedy home.
No sobriety tests were conducted at the scene.
No field sobriety tests huh? Who would have thought that when busted for DUI, it still pays to be a Kennedy?
Added Kennedy, "Thankfully there were no interns in the car and no troublesome splashes at the end of the evening".
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A six-month-old Medford baby was bitten by a rat up to 200 times after it escaped from its cage in the boy's room. Police say the parents, 21-year-old Robert Horsfall and 19-year-old Maegan McCleary, found the rodent near a creek. Police say they took the infant to the emergency room at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford. Detectives say the parents apparently believed the rat was a domestic breed. They brought it home and kept it in a cage in the room where they slept with the baby. The next morning they found that the rat had escaped and bitten the boy. He had from 100 to 200 bites all over his body, including his face. He is being treated for infected wounds. A second child at the home was placed in foster care. The parents are being held in the Jackson County Jail on criminal mistreatment allegations.
First of all, what business does an apparently unmarried couple, ages 21 and 19, have pretending to be competent at child rearing? All they're doing is playing house.
Secondly, only the most inbred, back woods, mountain oyster eating, mouth-breathers would find a rat near a creek and assume it's the "domesticated breed". What domesticated breeds of rats are there? There's only one kind of rat...and that's the kind that ends up under my dissecting microscope in the lab. Finding any nocturnal animal unafraid and out in the daylight is a sure sign that's it's either hurt or has rabies. In either case, whatever you do, you do not bring it home.
Third, they put a wild animal in a room with a six month old baby...enough said!
Lastly, how drunk or high or both did they have to be to not notice a rat gnawing on their baby...in the same room? I mean 100-200 bites would take even the most efficient rat hours to produce. How many parents do you know who go that long without checking on a six month old baby?
Thankfully the courts had the wisdom to take the other child away from these cretins. Lets hope it's permanent.