Sunday, August 30, 2009

Say Goodbye to the Free Flow of Information

OK, boys and girls, here it comes: the end of the free flow of information. With the independant free press already a thing of the past¹, and the silencing of talk radio all but set in place, now goes the internet. Senate Bill 773 will allow the takeover and/or shutdown of the internet by the President any time there is a State of Emergency. We have been in an official State of Emergency since the Korean War despite the two-year limitation of the National Emergencies Act.
Effectively we will be censored from knowing the actions of our own Government.

Radio Free America anyone? Or will private ownership of radios in this country become illegal too?

¹Just how many times can Time Magazine put Barak Obama on its cover in one ten month period anyway?

The Hero of Chappaquiddick

I have long thought of Teddy Kennedy as a selfish prig who only thought of his career as Mary Jo Kopechne lay drowning in his car at the Dike Bridge.

As I was watching Mythbusters the other night (before Teddy's timely¹ death), my mind was drawn back to that incident which had long been reduced to a mere cliché.

After Teddy's death, I looked up details of the Chappaquiddick incident for the first time. I am not much of a celebrity-phile, so I don't read People or US magazines or tabloid papers. I often say I am culturally illiterate, not knowing who is sleeping with whom. I didn't even know that Teddy had divorced from Joan even though that was nearly 27 years ago. But this time my curiosity had been piqued.

One author quotes the diver who recovered Ms. Kopechne's body as [her] having suffocated, not drowned in the inverted car at the Dike Bridge.²

Another quotes the autopsy report as being inconsistent with drowning.³

And now without even thinking of Teddy Kennedy, the Mythbuster boys show the near-impossibility of escaping a right-side-up car in clear calm water in broad daylight.

I do not believe Teddy was even in the car. I won't even touch accident or deliberate, as I can think of one or two circumstances that would have him outside the car and have the car accidentally roll into the water: having accidentally left the car in neutral outside taking a leak, or outside pulling his pants back up . Or maybe outside the car pushing? You choose.

In any event it is difficult to believe that for 40 years Massachusetts did not have a better person to represent them.

¹ At 77 untimely does not really apply.
² Kenneth R. Kappel. 1989. Chappaquiddick revealed: what really happened. S P I Books
³Damore, Leo (1989). Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-up. New York: Dell Publishing. ISBN 044020416X page 307
I am going to buy one of those hammers immediately!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Death Panels - Much Ado About ?

Much discussion is made about whether Sarah Palin was right that death panels are in the health bill or not. Truth is that they will be there whether they are stated or not. They won't be called that of course. They will be called budget committees or something like that. Maybe even a Congressional Oversight Committee.

It is very simple really. There is no place to save money on healthy people. Budgetary shortfalls can only happen to sick people. There is no other way. When someone is healthy there is no need to go to the doctor. When they run out of money like the Indian Health Service does every year, where do you think they will save money?

Before we trust them with our health care, the government needs to demonstrate their ability to clean up the Indian Health Service, the Veterans Administration and the military hospitals.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do the Mere Mortals Shrug Also?

I am creeping ever closer to retirement, or is it racing to retirement? There are a number of factors accelerating my rush to the finish line. There is the increase in the amount of work as we increase the number of schools and classrooms and as they get older and need more repair without adding coworkers to keep the load as it was, nor increase wages to even stay consistent. Then there is the ever worsening behavior of both the students, and the faculty and administrators.

But I realized the other day that I was looking at the straw that would break the camel's back. This was the point at which I would shrug my off yoke and quit. I mentioned this to one of the [decent] administrators on Friday thinking of it as just my own observation. He pointed out that my feelings were expressed by others, especially in the lower level employees, bus drivers, and kitchen help. I said that when the medical insurance became public, and the taxes increased I was going to turn it all in. He said that many of the bus drivers and kitchen staff work as little as four hours a day and at very low wages. They work instead for the health insurance since their husbands (these short hour employees being almost exclusively women) did not have insurance at their jobs. They, also, will have no reason to keep on working without that particular benefit. The pitiful mere wages are not enough reason to put up with the job..

That will be stage five of the Kübler-Ross model - better known as the five stages of grief. As it stands now, Democrats are at stage one, denial. Conservatives are at stage two, anger. Politicians are at stage three, bargaining. Me, I am at stage four, depression. Will I ever make it to stage five, acceptance? At that point, there will be no point in going to work just to give the government a bigger share of my life than I get to keep.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Tragedy in America's Royal Family

Eunice Kennedy Shriver died this week (Aug 11, 2009). From every indication she was a very nice and caring lady.

The Kennedy's are not America's Royal family, no matter how often the television news uses that phrase.

Not only do we not have a royal family, but such things are expressly forbidden in our Constitution, the same constitution that gives them freedom of speech. They can say it all they want but it does not make it so. If the say it and it is not so, what does that say of their words?

By the way, an 88-year-old woman dying is not a tragedy. It is part of the cycle of life.
A tragedy is a story with an unhappy outcome. If her life is a tragedy, then all lives are a tragedy.
No one gets out of here alive.

A memory or two

This morning I was remembering a junior high field trip to the city of Philadelphia, and our teachers taking us to Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House and Carpenter's Hall. We saw the Liberty Bell in its old location inside the building. (Now it has its own little glassed in building).
I bought an imitation parchment copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Back then that was considered a big deal. These two documents were like a religion, and this its pilgrimage. I wonder if even in Philadelphia that is still done? In the 1950s and early sixties, this was still a big deal.

I brought my children up a long way from Philadelphia, and as close as I could get them to this religious pilgrimage and its artifacts was taking my youngest to the National Archives in Washington, DC to see the real documents. But, this was my pilgrimage not hers.

I always seem to drift back to my current uncertainty about the direction this country is taking now. I guess I am one of those old angry white people that it is currently in vogue to dismiss as crazies, but I do not understand so many things.

Oh, there are some I half way understand, like the descendants of slaves feeling that they were singled out in compromising to bring in the Southern States. But how would slavery have ended without bringing them [the slavery tolerant states] into the country in the first place?

No, our Constitution is still a brilliant document. Especially in its simplicity. Our problems with it are our own. We redefine words to meet modern usage and then argue that it is wrong. "All men" did not mean all possessors of x and y chromosomes, by its contemporaneous usage it meant all persons.
"General Welfare" meant affecting all equally, not the tortured definition used now which means benefiting some at others expense.

We ignore the rules and then are surprised that things no longer work. Article I mandates what money is to be. Every time we ignore it, all the way from the First and Second National Banks to the Federal Reserve Bank, we have bubbles and turmoil.

No, these were brilliant men who wrote a brilliant document and no modern Wilson, Roosevelt, or Obama is smarter than they were, and every tampering with the Constitution moves us away from a society were the common person was sovereign.


Woman: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

Franklin:“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Friday, August 14, 2009


In this increasingly polarized atmosphere that is our country, there is an underlying framework that is supposed to be common to us all. It is supposed to be the guide and limit to all actions of our government. It is increasingly ignored by professional politicians of both stripes each building upon the excesses of the previous. That framework is the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION including the bill of rights.

There is currently a campaign to attack those of us who notice and object. There is no attack on those who usurp power not granted to them under the Constitution by our watchdogs, the free press. The tenth amendment and its brother the ninth do not exist and have not for a long time. The second is constantly belittled as are the fourth and fifth. The first is now under attack by no less than the President himself.

But what is new is the abuse of the main document itself. Sure, we long ago gave up the money portions of Article One and that may be the first straw on our back. But now, even with a friendly Congress, the very organization of the Executive Branch is extra-legal, being built on a group of executives called Czars that are all powerful, unelected, unvetted by Congress, un-impeachable, and not answerable to subpoena. And no one sees a problem with that?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Once upon a time ...

A friend reminded me of this the other day as he complained about Amtrak being subsidized.

Once upon a time railroad travel was about service. Commercial railroads competed for the traveler's dollar. This is a place setting from a railroad dining car. The food was cooked on the train by a chef who was proud of the food he prepared.

At first, Amtrak kept the tradition. Then, slowly at first and faster over time, quality was replaced by the bottom line only. Now you get an overpriced pre-made cellophane wrapped stale sandwich. It's the government railroad now. Don't like it, try another option to get there.

The other day President Obama used the analogy of the UPS and FedEx "doing just fine" while "it's the Post Office that always having problems". UPS and FedEx are both considerably more expensive than the Post Office, but then their charter is to provide customer service not to provide employment. The Post Office is doing so poorly that they are suggesting that they will compete for your business by reducing service to three days a week. That'll make people want to make greater use of their service.

Somehow, we think that the United States Government will do better with our healthcare. This time they won't reduce services and cut corners and move slowly like the line at the Post Office. This time the government will really care about my needs.

And pay no attention to their words written and spoken. There always will be enough healthcare dollars to take care of people with pre-exisiting conditions, people with lifetime needs like cerbral palsy like several of my friends, or later in life chronic end game diseases like my brother's ALS, or the deterioration of the old, or infants with expensive severe birth defects. There will never be rationing. They promise.

Now do the economical thing and get out of the way and die. It's for the good of the hive.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Paid Protestors"

The Democrat Representatives and their allies in the media are making a major mistake. They are projecting their own behavior onto their opposition without thinking it through.

The Democrat Party has long employed groups, ACORN being the most famous, to fill and disrupt meetings; to protest outside homes and businesses; and to intimidate others.
Now they and their allies in the media are accusing the opposing audience at their town hall meetings of the same thing. There is a problem with this. The dissenting audience members being called "thugs", "NAZIs" and worse, are ordinary people. Ordinary people you might know. They are not just some nameless faceless person on the evening news. These are your parents, your classmates, your friends, and your neighbors. They are not the people who protest everything - Darfur this week and legalize pot next week. These people quietly sat home and took the abuse for the last 40 years and finally had enough.

They know they are not NAZIs and thugs, and they especially know they are not being paid. And they just might hold a grudge on election day - one that is bigger than your ACORN election rigging.

Hey, Congressman:

Hey, Congressman, you work for me, not I work for you. Get it right or get gone.

"... The Will of the Majority I will Always Obey ..."

Many years ago I was part of a real democratic organization, a labor union. The oath of allegiance opened every meeting and included the line above. I left because the majority could be counted on to vote against its best interests every time. They would always try to cut open the goose that laid the golden egg - every time. That, and there being more lazy, inexperienced, and incompetent members who had come in as temporary workers than people who were educated, pre-experienced, and had a good work ethic. The majority first group did all they could do to hobble the minority second group.

By definition, democrats are supposed to follow the will of the simple majority. They certainly give it lip service. Then why, with between 57% and 84% of the population opposing the proposed changes to our American health care system (depending on whose survey you hear), are the Democrats ignoring the will of the majority with such arrogance?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Never Underestimate ...

Never underestimate the ability for groups of people under cover of good intentions to do massive evil.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why do creditors continue loaning to the fedgov?

[From a comment I left on Tuscany Circle blog]

Kind of simple actually. The creditors have more to lose than gain in the collapse. The creditors, mainly China, have a huge stake in American debt. Like any other bankruptcy, the creditors lose too. So the creditors must get out without causing a stampede that wipes their position out. There are several ways really. One they can reduce what they loan and extract tighter concessions on the loan. The Chinese have reduced the term of their treasuries purchase from 30 year notes to seven year notes and interest is up. Second, they can increase their imports and pay for them with US Dollars reducing their cash holdings. Note that this does not have to be with us, it can be any other country, and can be at a discount off par value - that is they can pay generous prices to keep up the illusion. This spending can be petroleum, land, food, or virtually anything. It could be the Panama Canal. Oh wait, they've done that.

Or they could surreptitiously dump the money so as not to start a panic that would render their dollar holdings worthless just like yours will be when the government goes default. Several weeks ago, $134B in bearer bonds were caught being smuggled through Italy by two "Japanese" men. The story died a quiet death. The news didn't find it an interesting story. The US Government declined comment. It meant nothing. Someone is exiting holding our money in favor of G. Gordon Liddy and Gold. They just don't want anyone else to know about it. Only one problem with all this. It is a game of musical chairs. Someone (many?) will be left standing when the music stops. But you don't want it to collapse until you are clear of the carnage.


Organic | TuscanyCircle

[On why the term organic bothers me]
Organic | TuscanyCircle

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