Friday, July 31, 2009

Senator Christopher Dodd

Senator Christopher Dodd, Senior Senator from the State of Connecticut, and hereditary politician and Senator has announced today that he has prostate cancer and will undergo prostate surgery in early August, in other words, in the next few days. Senator Dodd is 65 years old.

During my cancer treatments in Atlanta, Georgia in 2005, the radiation clinic that treated me was also treating a number of Canadian men for prostate cancer. Apparently using the considerations of age (most prostate sufferers are in advanced years), and prognosis (prostate is often, but not always, a slow moving cancer) Canadian government health care postpones treatment for reasons of economy.

Fortunately, Senator Dodd is in the United States and the new Obama-care health system is not yet in force, so he will get the treatment he needs and age and prognosis will not be considerations of whether he will get the treatment.

Then again, age and prognosis will never matter for him, for he is a member of the elite political class who does not have to live by the same rules and deprivations they visit on us, the hoi polloi

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Your Salary Just Went Down

They raised the minimum wage last night. Your salary just went down.

You were earning Minimum wage + X now you are earning Minimum wage + X - 0.70.

Those people who bring nothing but a breathing body to the work place just got a raise. Those people with no training, no education, no work ethic, no drive; those people who are just barely worth employing at all just got a 9.36% raise. I'll bet you didn't.

But it makes everyone feel good that we are helping those "unfortunates". Those unlucky people in life who couldn't be bothered to actually learn something in school or show up every day at work are somehow more valuable than those of us with a good work ethic.

The truth is, that if you make it too easy, there is no incentive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

If We Don't Act

TV promo: "If we don't act, she won't be covered for her diabetes."

We need coverage for pre-existing conditions. Really? Insurance is a bet. I bet I will be sick. The insurance company bets I won't.

Or to put it in a way you might understand: I had an accident in traffic Saturday. Should I be able to go buy insurance now to increase the coverage of the accident I already had? That is what a pre-existing condition really is.


When I indicate my dislike of the changes to our country President Obama is ramrodding through our Congress, there is a standard answer I get - "Well, your boy Bush did {this or that}" with the implication that I like whatever Bush did. As a libertarian, I find little difference in the strong-central-government policies of either man save for the speed and enormity of President Obama's changes. There is another implication - it is that the questioner does find a difference between the two and prefers the strong-central-government of President Obama.

What I do not understand is the trust they have that his accumulation of power in the Oval Office is benign even though the lesser accumulation of President Bush was malignant. Despite decades of every interaction with the federal government being incompetent at best. And despite being those interactions always being uncaring, impersonal, disinterested, aloof and arrogant; somehow they anticipate that this time will be different.

And further, since my interactions with Obama supporters are with the working class, those who get up in the morning and earn a paycheck and not those who professionally rely on the beneficence of others, the only conclusions I can reach are that somehow they expect that:
1) They will increase their condition when they receive the redistribution of someone else's labor;
2) They believe that the government is better able to see to their needs than they themselves are.

As an example, consider health care. With number one, they are expecting the Government to steal the labor of Doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and ,oh yes,the evil rich i.e. the people with higher incomes than you, and give it to them. Folks that ain't gonna happen, not long anyway. And even if it does for a while, when you strip away the smoke and mirrors you are looking at nothing more than common theft and slavery with only someone else doing the dirty work for you.

With number two? I have no simple answer other than - go stare into a mirror a while.

Trust that his time it is going to be different? Yeah, right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tax the Rich, Feed the Poor, Till There Are No Rich No More -

Lyrics from the group Ten Years After - I'd Love to Change the World.

Why is it that taxing the rich always means taxing those with higher than average salaries and never high net worth? Could it be because the people writing the laws are high net worth people? What do you say Mr. Kennedy? How about you Mr. Kerry?

The game is protecting old money from new money. The whole time convincing the bottom 50% of wealth (and intelligence?) that they are benefiting from the game.


The Right To Healthcare

If we are to be forced into nationalized healthcare because it "is a basic human right", then how can we ration it? Either it is a right, or it isn't. There is no other human right that you lose with age. Then again, there is no other right that requires others to give up their rights for you to have it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some things Never Change

December 1979 on the set of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update:

Jane Curtin: Well, the 1970's are in their final month, and with some thoughts on this decade and the one we're about to enter, here's Weekend Update's Social Sciences Editor Al Franken.

Al Franken: Thank you, Jane. Well, the "me" decade is almost over, and good riddance, and far as I'm concerned. The 70's were simply 10 years of people thinking of nothing but themselves. No wonder we were unable to get together and solve any of the many serious problems facing our nation. Oh sure, some people did do some positive things in the 70's - like jogging - but always for the wrong reasons, for their own selfish, personal benefit. Well, I believe the 80's are gonna have to be different. I think that people are going to stop thinking about themselves, and start thinking about me, Al Franken. That's right. I believe we're entering what I like to call the Al Franken Decade. Oh, for me, Al Franken, the 80's will be pretty much the same as the 70's. I'll still be thinking of me, Al Franken. But for you, you'll be thinking more about how things affect me, Al Franken. When you see a news report, you'll be thinking, "I wonder what Al Franken thinks about this thing?", "I wonder how this inflation thing is hurting Al Franken?" And you women will be thinking, "What can I wear that will please Al Franken?", or "What can I not wear?" You know, I know a lot of you out there are thinking, "Why Al Franken?" Well, because I thought of it, and I'm on TV, so I've already gotten the jump on you. So, I say let's leave behind the fragmented, selfish 70's, and go into the 80's with a unity and purpose. That's what I think. I'm Al Franken. Jane?

Jane Curtin: Thank you, Al. That's the news. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.
Tonight will be the last Weekend Update of the Al Franken Decade and here to give his thoughts on the '90s is Al Franken. Welcome, Al!

Then the same place 10 years later:

Al Franken: [cheers and applause for bespectacled Al Franken, in suit and tie] Thank you, Dennis. In December 1979, I sat behind this desk and asked you to think about what you could do for me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] ... Well, it's ten years later and I know you're wondering what the '90s will bring for me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] Another Al Franken Decade? No. No, in the '90s, I'm going to be looking beyond myself, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] Because, frankly, I'm worried about the kind of world we're leaving to my children. I've had two this decade. A son, Joe. And a daughter-- Uh-- [can't remember daughter's name] ... Boy, this is embarrassing. Um-- I can see her face. She's - she's really beautiful. In fact, when I look at my kids, I see me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] ... And that's why the 1990s will be the Joe Franken Decade. Joe? [Five year old Joe Franken, a tiny boy in a checked suit and tie, rolls into view on a chair and joins his father - cheers and applause] Hi, Joe.
Joe Franken: Hi, Dad. [SUPER: JOE FRANKEN]
Al Franken: Ah, I under-- First of all, congratulations on, uh, first, on being my son. And, uh-- ... And on my decision to make the 1990s the Joe Franken Decade. Now, I understand you - you have a joke for us.
Joe Franken: Knock knock.
Al Franken: Who's there?
Joe Franken: Me.
Al Franken: Me, who?
Joe Franken: Me, Joe Franken. [SUPER: JOE FRANKEN] ... [applause]
Al Franken: And, Joe, your watchword for the '90s is?
Joe Franken: [enthusiastic, with pumping of fists] YES! ...
Al Franken: By the way, Joe will, uh, turn fifteen just before the close of the Joe Franken Decade. You - you did a good job, Joe.
Joe Franken: Thank you, Daddy.
Al Franken: Ah, and, for those of you who won't be, uh, in - be able to be in Times Square on New Year's Eve, here's a little peek at how the Joe Franken Decade will be ushered in.
[Cut to Times Square at night where a lighted ball with Al's face drops as a roaring crowd counts down to zero. When it hits bottom, green neon text reading "1989 - GOODBYE AL" switches to "1990 - HELLO JOE - HAPPY JOE FRANKEN DECADE" and Al's face is replaced with Joe's. Fireworks explode, the lighted ball ascends, the crowd roars. Extended cheers and applause as we dissolve back to the WU desk.]
Al Franken: Dennis?
Dennis Miller: [shakes hands with Joe and Al] Thank you, Al. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, buddy. Joe Franken. [Al puts a supportive hand on Joe's shoulder and kisses him on the head] Thank you, Joe, thank you. I already like him better than the old man. You know-- ...
Then this morning at the United States Capitol:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

God Help Us All

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oh, on the road to Californey* It was a hard and a tedious journey ...

My response to an article in the California blog BeyondChron. They just can't accept where the problem really lies.

Good for Arnold! It is about time that some politician held a legislature's feet to the fire. SPEND WITHIN YOUR MEANS. You can not have everything you want. The taxpayers are not a limitless source of revenue - even the ones you call "rich".

California has been chasing industry off for decades, even the nominal Hollywood film industry. Every dollar in tax revenue you chase out of the state must be made up by doubling-down your taxes unless you cut your spending. At some point or other you WILL have to reduce the spending - if not now, then later. If you do it later, it will only be more difficult.

PS: Please don't come asking the rest of the country to come bail you out. We are having trouble making our own ends meet with more people trying to take out of the government than are putting in.

*Did you ever wonder what Alfalfa was really singing in the Little Rascals films.

Obsolete Concepts

Equality under the law
Cause and Effect
Self Motivation
Hard Work

and finally, especially when it comes to elections and politics, Honesty.

Welcome to 21st Century America.
Congratulations Mr. Obama, you may not have brought us change, but you cemented it in place.