Friday, January 30, 2009

Back Door Entitlement Increases

Does anyone with the slightest understanding of liberal politicians and their long-term tactic of incremental change not understand what’s going on here?

There are (and will be more) long sought after increases in various “entitlements” which, though never able to make it through the legislative process on their own merits, have been rolled into the “economic stimulus legislation”.

The bill will pass just like the last time, because this is such an emergency - even though only about 12% of it is actually stimulative. The entitlement increases are not "sunsetted" or even being referred to as “temporary because of the economic crisis”, but even if they were, is there anything more permanent than a “temporary” government entitlement program?

Our children will pay for them ... long after we're gone.

About eight years ago I told a group of eager young students preparing to enter college and embark on the rest of their lives I was sorry that my generation hadn't left them the same country that the "greatest generation" left to me. It was sincere and heart-felt then, and I feel it even more now.

Part of the Solution ... or Part of the Problem

President Obama got applause from the audience, which included union officials, when he said unions will be part of the solution.

They have certainly been helpful to the US auto industry ... just look how successful they have been. Until just very recently auto workers union members could receive as much as 95%of their salary AFTER they were laid off. That certainly had to contribute to the industry's (and their stockholders' ... you and me) bottom line.

Now the steel workers are talking strike. That's sure to bring huge benefits to the economy in the "rust belt".

I have personally seen large government contracts that cost more than they should have because of Davis-Bacon requirements. Why in the world should we be REQUIRED to pay labor more than they are willing to accept to do the same job.

Do we need jobs? Businesses creates jobs ... unions do not.

Do you think this stuff doesn't effect you - just "wall street fat-cats and evil capitalists". Think again, or have you, like many others, just stopped looking at your 401K and IRA quarterly statements. I don't know about yours, but mine is vested in businesses ... not the AFL-CIO and the UAW.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Will Science Trump Politics in the New Administration

There was a comment in President Obama's inauguration speech about science trumping politics which leaves me a little conflicted. I felt at the time that it was aimed squarely at President Bush's position on stem cell research, but I’d bet a lunch that only some science will trump some politics.

For example ...

The "man-caused global climate change" crowd and the major media will not report this. They will instead report endlessly on the enlightened bloviations of that renowned scientist, world-class climatologist, and did I say Nobel Laureate, Albert Gore.

What they will not report is Gore’s personal stake in the phony “carbon-trading” business, the unintended impact of some enviro-efforts, or the utter hypocrisy of some of the movement's major proponents.

Does anyone doubt that the science referred to in this piece will get less media play than Paris Hilton would if she had someone build her a hybrid Bentley?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just What is a Curmudgeon

A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. Nature, having failed to equip them with a servicable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit.

Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can't compromise their standards and can't manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.

Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.



This is my first attempt at "public" blogging, having limited myself in the past to commenting on the blogs of others - mostly my kids and kids-in-law, who are quite accomplished and prolific.

My aim, in keeping with the title, is to point out the absurdities I observe around me. They will probably be mostly related to politics, though not exclusively. There will be links to on-line references I find interesting but "under-reported".

I am - and have long been - an unashamed lover of America and her defenders, our armed forces. My daughter would tell you I can rarely listen to The National Anthem, and never listen to taps, without tearing up.

You will no doubt detect a strong "right-wing" slant in my musings ... I am a conservative. I truely believe that most liberal positions can be totally eviscerated with a simple dose of logic.

There will also be a number of pictures, mostly from Yellowstone National Park - my favorite place on earth. If you haven't been, go ... you owe it to yourself. I visit at least annually, and when I enter - usually from the west or south - I always recall two musical pieces: the first stansa of "How Great Thou Art" and "America the Beautiful". There is no place I would rather be than waist deep in the Lamar, Firehole, Gibbon, or Yellowstone River, holding either a fly rod or a camera.

So ... for what it's worth, welcome aboard.