Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Picked a Fine Time to Lead Us, Barack

Apparently this video has been kicking around the Intertubes since March. It's the first time I've seen it (thanks, Bob!) though. Enjoy it.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Oshkosh 2010 Video

Great video compilation from this year's EAA AirVenture airshow, a/k/a Oshkosh. One of these years, I'll get there.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vote Jeff Smith for AZ-6

We are coming down to the last few days before the August 24 primary election and Arizona Congressional District 6 voters have a choice to make in the Republican primary about whether to send Jeff Flake back to Washington for a sixth term or to send someone new, someone who has not lost touch with the concerns of the people of the district. For me, the choice is clear. Jeff Smith should get the nod. His postitons on some of the most important questions facing us today.

Jeff Smith fully supports SB 1070 and is for building a complete double border fence, opposes any form of amnesty and believes we need to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books. And he doesn't belive American taxpayers should be subsidizing the education of people who aren't supposed to be in the country in the first place.

Jeff Flake is soft on illegal immigration. He is an advocate of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," including amnesty. Talking about comprehensive reform is a bit like being on a ship at sea that is taking on water and discussing how the engines need to be overhauled  the next time it is in port. If you don't deal with the leak, you'll never make it to port. We need to fix our leaky border first, then we can talk about fixing the system.

Flake was also against Prop 200, the 2004 Arizona voter initiative that denied funding of social services for illegal immigrants that passed with 56% of the vote. More recently he is quoted as saying that SB 1070, supported by over 70% of Arizona voters and over 60% of voters nationwide, was "imprudent". This sounds to me like someone who doesn't support the law at all but dares not say so outright because he knows he is out of step with his constituents on the issue. However, I will give him points for criticizing the DOJ decision to sue the state over it.

Another area in which Congressman Flake is out of step with his constituents is in his support for the DREAM act, which woulld make illegal immigrants eligible to receive federal student aid and to recieve in-state tuition rates at public universities.

Carbon Taxes
Jeff Smith is against any form of carbon taxes, cap and trade schemes, etc. and rejects the junk science of climate change. All of the proposed solutions to this non-problem will increase energy costs and give government even more control over how we live.

Jeff Flake has bought into the carbon nonsense and actually introduced legislation to impose a carbon tax which would increase every year for the next thirty years.  In addition to that he actually missed a crucial and very close vote on cap and trade so he could attend a beauty pageant his daughter was in. I'm proud of my daughter too, but when he went to Washington to represent the district, sacrificing things like that go with the territory.
Private Sector Experience
Jeff Smith comes from a private sector background, having worked for many years for Lucent and now is a private stock and options investor and has earned an MBA in Economics (not the Keynesian variety). 

Jeff Flake is a policy wonk with Political Science degree and think-tank work. He has never had to manage a business before. Private sector experience is a big plus in my book because it teaches how the real world, not the theoretical one works. 

Puerto Rico
Jeff Flake voted in favor of a bill on Puerto Rican statehood in what I can only conclude is a misguided attempt to "reach across the aisle." He did this despite the fact that Puerto Ricans already had the ability to vote on whether or not they want to become a state. In fact, they have managed to hold three such elections, voting against statehood every time. Couple this with his support for a bill that would grant permanent voting representation to Washington D.C. (in contravention to the will of the founders), and one has to wonder why Jeff Flake supports measures that are so obviously aimed at swelling the ranks of liberal Democrat voters and legislators.

Jeff Smith will not pander to the other side of the aisle, or anyone else for that matter.

Jeff Flake has made much of the fact that he doesn't ask for earmarks and that's good as far as it goes. However with only 1% or less of all federal spending going to earmarks, odious as the process of pork division is, the focus is misplaced.

Jeff Smith also opposes earmarks but more importantly he opposes all wasteful spending and will work towards reducing spending across the board, in particular he will work to reform entitlement programs, which are the largest part of the federal budget, an put them on a sustainable path.

A Broken Promise
When Jeff Flake was first elected in 2000, he promised to self term-limit to no more than three terms.  He is now running for his sixth term, which is evidence enough for me that he has gotten to like Washington a little too much. I am grateful for the service he has given the district, but it is time for him to come home.

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Portraits of the Fallen

If you've ever needed a way to illustrate the term "labor of love", look no further than this video of painter Kaziah Hancock:

(Another one from Bob. Thanks, Bob!)
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I Want Your Money - The Movie

A friend pointed me to this movie trailer:

There's a website too.

(Thanks, Bob!)
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Can the Ground Zero Mosque Be Stopped?

That's the big question these days. Regrettably there seems to be no legal impediment to building it so close to the hallowed site. So, we are reduced to appealing to the better nature of Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, the would-be builder, to choose a less sensitve site if he must build it at all, because he has the legal right to do it. It doesn't appear as if he is going to be influenced by these entreaties because the building of the mosque is not about promoting cross-cultural and inter-religious understanding as he claims. It is about conquest and putting up a monument to what the Islamic world views as a great victory.

As I've been mulling all this over, something occurred to me. Imam Rauf is not going to physically build the mosque. No, he is merely lining up financing to pay for its construction. To actually build it, he will also need to arrange for a building contractor. Given the scale of the building proposed, it seems to me there are only a very few construction companies with the ability to take on the project. It might also be hard to recruit construction workers for the project locally as many local workers may have lost friends or relatives in the 9/11 attack.

Perhaps those of us who would like to see this venture stopped should let it be known that agreeing to take this project on would not be viewed favorably and not worth the cost in bad PR, no matter how rich the contract. If nobody will take the project on, the mosque will not be built. I don't know how realistic a scenario this is, but it may be the only way it can be stopped.
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Monday, August 09, 2010

Why Business Aren't Hiring

When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.

The bottom line:

A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government's message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.

Read the whole thing.
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Brooding About the Ruling Class - Lexington Green

A few weeks back I linked to a long article by Angelo Codevilla on the Ruling Class vs. what he calls the Country Class. If you haven't read it, you should.  The subject has set Lexington Green over at Chicago Boyz to brooding about why it is that the Ruling Class has such cultural confidence, and you should read that too. There's also a very interesting discussion going on in the comments. I especially liked this from a comment left by "Dave," on what to say to those who seem to think that more government is always the solution to our problems: 

It’s long past time for those who do not favor government solutions to point out that morality only has meaning when applied to the individual. Without a free choice, the individual cannot act morally and by denying this free choice, government is destroying the benefits of acting morally (e.g. inspiring others to act in the same way, impressing on the recipient of assistance the value of that assistance, etc).

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Doctor Zero On Soak the Rich Tax Policies

Over at Hot Air's Greenroom, Doctor Zero, commening on Arthur Laffer's WSJ OpEd from this past weekend, has the following excellent point about class warfare driven, soak-the-rich tax policies:

Soak-the-rich policies are dismal failures, because they rely on controlling the behavior of people who have many options to escape. The promises of such systems depend on capturing extremely agile dollars. Those of us with fewer options, and less liquid income, always end up suffering the fallout from these failures. We live the dusty spaces left behind when billionaires decide not to follow the scripts prepared for them by Washington social engineers.

Read it all. No, read them both.
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An Excellent Question

Gene Healy, writing at the Washington Examiner asks, "Has Congress Become Useless?"

"The Constitution gives Congress vast powers over war and peace, and charges it with making the laws of the land. Yet our feckless legislators prefer to punt the hard questions to the president and the permanent bureaucracy, even if it leaves the rest of us mired in uncertainty and crushing debt. What do we pay these people for?"

I'm pretty sure the answer to the usefullness question is an unqualified yes. The answer to the second is: "I've got no idea." I do have a few ideas about what else they should be charged with under the Constitution though. Hint: It begins with the letter "T".

Read the whole thing.

(via Instapundit)
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