Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan Gives PM Gordon Brown What For

MEP Daniel Hannan, representative of Southeastern England in the European Parliament had British PM Gordon Brown as a captive audience for 3 minutes yesterday, March 24. He took full and glorius advantage of his time. Watch.

He could just as easily be addressing President Obama.
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Jake DeSantis: "I Quit"

AIG Exectutive Vice President of AIG's Financial Products unit has tendered his resignation to Edward Liddy, the company's CEO. Mr. DeSantis has been working for the princely sum of $1 per year, trying to help unwind the credit default swap mess that has put AIG in such dire financial straits. He could have accepted other employemnt opportunities but was promised a completely just reward for staying. So far his unit has manged the CDS portfolio down from $2.7 billion to $ 1.6 billion. I'd say that what he was paid was a pittance. Now, grandstanding, know-nothing politicians like Barney Frank and Andrew Cuomo have driven off a good man, who was trying (and succeeding) to do the right thing, all to score cheap political points and cover their own posteriors. Both of them are utterly contemptible thugs. They have been threatening to publish the names and addresses of retention payment (not bonus, as they have described it) recipients. Why do this, if not to encourage a lynch mob to harm them and their families?

From Mr. DeSantis:

"After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down."
Read it all.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

TOTUS Issues Its Demands

TOTUS, aka Teleprompter of the United States, is getting a bit fed up with covering for God Jr. President Obama and is laying down the law......

Apparently it was the big O's unfamiliarity with the correct pronunciation of "Orion" that was the final straw. TOTUS; the true power behind the throne.

(via Powerline)
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Dispelling the Global Warming Myth

Powerline has a series of climate data graphs that show that a) Earth is cooling, not warming and b) the lack of correlation between temperature changes and CO2 levels and c) the strong correlation between temperatures and solar activity. Check them out.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Evan Sayet - How Modern Liberals Think

Former "L"iberal Evan Sayet talks to tthe Heritage Foundation about where and why modern liberalism has gone dreadfully wrong. The talk goes 34 minutes and then Q&A for 13 more. It's worth every minute.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Rapacity of Odacity

A friend forwarded this article by James Lewis from The American Thinker. It ties in pretty nicely with my post on the Yin and Yang of Greed and Envy from earlier this month.

"Socialism is rapaciously greedy -- that's what endless envy warfare comes down to. The Left likes to preen itself with the word ‘progressive,' when it is actually the most regressive political strategy in history. The key political move is to seek out the most rapacious people -- not hungry for food but power -- and use them to mobilize an attack on the productive sector, the milk cows of society. It is the most primitive political strategy ever. It goes back to the Romans and long before. Karl Marx merely reinvented a very old and decrepit wheel."
Read it all.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Mark Steyn Must Read

Mark Steyn writing about the "stimulus" package and TARP nails it again:

This is the biggest generational transfer of wealth in the history of the world. If you're an 18-year-old middle-class hopeychanger, look at the way your parents and grandparents live: It's not going to be like that for you. You're going to have a smaller house, and a smaller car – if not a basement flat and a bus ticket. You didn't get us into this catastrophe. But you're going to be stuck with the tab, just like the Germans got stuck with paying reparations for the catastrophe of the First World War. True, the Germans were actually in the war, whereas in the current crisis you guys were just goofing around at school, dozing through Diversity Studies and hoping to ace Anger Management class. But tough. That's the way it goes.
Read it all.
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545 vs 300 Million

The following was forwarded to me a week or so ago and as I can't find it in easily linkable form, I'll post it in full. It is a column written by former Orlando Sentinel columnist Charlie Reese and it's dead on. I wrote on much the same topic here but he says it far more forcefully.

545 PEOPLE By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the
President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insolvable government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lileks Posts a Masterful Fisking

James Lileks' "The Bleat" is one stop on my daily blog patrol. He has a couple of other blogs as well, including one called "Screedblog." He just posted a fantastic screed in which he fisks an article, written by one of those lovely puritanical scolds we all love so much, telling us how simpy awful consumerism and well, just about everything about modern life is. He begins thusly:

"This was sent to me by Amitai Etzioni, for reasons I cannot imagine. A big broadcast of a paradigm-altering manifesto, perhaps. For some reason the opening line caught my eye:

President Obama has a unique talent: He is able to inspire people all over the world to deliberate and dialogue about burning issues.

As well as consider the impact on the environment caused by reckless issue-burning, as well as the clear-cutting of old growth issue-thickets. But is it true? As far as I can tell we’re not having a debate at all. He won; spending is good; Debt will save us from the terrible secret of space, which is Debt. We have concluded our debate about Federal funding of stem-cell research, and now the magic Government dollars, imbued with a power no private sector dollars contain, will help us cure all those diseases that are very important despite the lack of support from prominent actors.

At the top of the agenda for such a global give and take is what makes for a good life.

The moment the “good life” is put in global terms, I know I’m going to have to give up something. It’s just a question of what, to whom, and in which quantities. "

Read it all. You'll love it.
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The Debt Star - This Is Not the Hope You Are Looking For

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An Inconvenient Debt

Watch this video to see a hockey stick graph you should be alarmed at......

(h/t Bob)
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Professor William Happer's 2/25/09 Testimony Before the US Senate Environment and Public Works Comittee

Professor Happer: "I believe that the increase in CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind."

It's good to see more people like this speaking out against the "consensus" on global warming or climate change or whatever we're calling it today. Read the whole thing.
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The Producers Make Strike Plans

Stephen Spruiell posted several responses to an earlier post over at The Corner responding to New Republic columnist Jonathan Chait's post there. Several CPAs and small business owners weighed in and it seems most are planning to cut back their businesses so that they make less than $250,000 a year. They are doing this because of the tax increases Presidnet Obama has planned for them end up taking so much of that next dollar they earn as to make it not worth their while to earn it. A sample:

"I have a few thoughts concerning your Corner post titled Bracketology. My wife and I are both Pediatricians. We own our own practice together. We have one PA and 7 other employees. We each gross about $200 K a year. We have 3 young children at home, 2 of which are not in school. We also employ an in home Nanny. My wife has been torn for years about not being at home for these children, which are our biggest investment in the future. We operate parallel S corperations as PC's, with a 50/50 ownership of the LLC that is our business. We file taxes jointly. After crunching some numbers concerning the President's tax hike proposals, I have come to the following conclusions. If the President's plan is inacted, we will do the following:
1. My wife will become a stay at home mother.
2. At least 3 of my 7 employees will be released.
3. The practice will downsize to a smaller office space, i.e. less rent.
4. The number of patients cared for on a daily basis will drop by 40%.
5. My wife will come out of the forced ER call schedule for good.
6. I will gross $249,999.00 a year, exactly.
7. The net income of our personal home will decrease by less than $10K a year from where it would have been if we changed nothing."

Raising tax rates on "the rich" ends up hurting those who work for them, will not increase tax revenues and may actually cause them to decline.
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Yin and Yang of Greed and Envy

The political left likes to hurl the epithet that those on the right, Republicans in particular, are greedy. Greed, one of the seven deadly sins enumerated by the Catholic Church, is defined as the overwhelming desire to have more of something, frequently money, than one actually needs.

In Chinese philosophy there is the concept of yin and yang. Yin, a so-called feminine principal, has connotations of darkness and negativity. Its polar opposite is the principal of yang, which denotes light, heat, motivation and masculinity. Both concepts are believed to exist in some balance in all things. If this is true, then greed has a yin and a yang too.

A little greed, where yang dominates, is a good thing. Someone who wants more of something and is willing to do the work necessary to earn that thing should feel no shame in pursuing it, as long as it is not pursued through illegal or immoral means, i.e., no force or fraud. These people are the ambitious ones, the entrepreneurs and strivers. In their ambition to get ahead, they bring a lot of the rest of us along with them, as they build the businesses that will help them realize their ambitions. Those businesses provide jobs. Were there no such thing as greed, civilization would not exist.

The yin form of greed is the one I see at work on the left. This form is the one that desires to have more without being willing to do the work for it. This is the form that demands that one’s every want and need be provided for and believes that it is the job of government to provide it. The problem of course is that the government cannot provide anything to one person that it did not first take from someone else. This kind of greed is also a form of arrogance. What is it about the left makes them think that their priorities, their wants and needs are so important that it justifies taking money earned by one person, who is willing to do the work to provide for his own wants and needs, essentially at gunpoint, to spend it on the wants and needs of someone else?

This brings us to another of the seven deadlies, envy. Envy is defined as wanting something someone else has. It’s a kissing cousin of greed. Once again though, there is a yin and a yang that comes into play.

Envy in its yang form can be a positive motivator. I may see something that another person has and desire to have it myself. For example I’d love to have an airplane and seeing another’s airplane makes me a little envious. However, that just serves as inspiration and example. I reason that the owner of that airplane has worked hard and done some things right and that airplane is his reward for hard work and good decisions. If I also work hard and make good decisions, one day I may be able to buy a plane like his (and maybe he’ll want to sell his to me so he can trade up). I would never think to just take it away from him.

The dark or yin form of envy is, once again, the one I see rearing its ugly head on the left. This is the form that resents that some people may have more than others, resentful to the point that those on the left would seek to deprive those they perceive as having something they don’t of their rightfully earned money or property. If we can’t have it, you can’t either. It is at the heart of class warfare rhetoric. Once again, it is driven by a lack of willingness to put forth the effort necessary to be able to have more money or a bigger home or that private jet yet seeks to prevent their acquisition by those that are willing and able to work harder.

Are those on the right greedy? Speaking for myself, the answer is yes if we’re talking about the yang form. Guilty as charged. I want to have more. I may not, strictly speaking, need more money right now to live comfortably, but if I don’t make more than I need now and set it aside so that I might provide for my future needs (yes, I’d like to retire some day) when will I? However, the form of greed I see coming from the left sickens me. It’s a bottomless sense of entitlement to whatever the left feels as its due, fueled by extreme and unreasoning envy of the most productive members of society. It’s a very ugly, relentlessly negative form of politics and only diminishes society as a whole. I want no part of that thank you.

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