I Have Moved

May 22, 2010

I am now blogging at a new site:


I hope you’ll update your links and make your way over there.  I am going to shoot for one post a day from now on (perhaps excluding weekends).  But no promises!  In any case, I hope the new blog will result in better and more frequent writing.


My prediction for health insurance in America

March 22, 2010

As a result of Obamacare, health insurance companies will be forced to raise premiums further because of excessive government regulation.  When they do raise premiums, thereby doing the exact opposite of what the healthcare bill was supposed to accomplish (lower costs), Democrats will blame the “greedy” health insurance industry and use their act of raising premiums as further justification for more government regulations.

Here’s how the vicious cycle works: government overreaches with regulations into the private sector; prices go up; government blames the private sector; government takes over more of the private sector; prices go up even more.

The end game is the stretching of the private sector to the breaking point.

Make no mistake about it: when your insurance premiums go up yet again, President Obama will be standing there pointing the finger at the insurance companies, when he is the one who is to blame.  His bill was supposed to fix this.  And he will use the rising premiums as an excuse for government to do more.  And on and on it will go until there is no private sector to speak of anymore.

Faux Outrage

February 3, 2010

Several years ago, it was Trent Lott.  Several weeks ago, it was Harry Reid.  Now it is Rahm Emanuel.  What do these three men have in common?  They all three have been subjected to the faux outrage of our hyper-sensitive, politically correct society.  They all three said things that were, at best, completely innocent, and at worst, merely a little rough around the edges.  As a result, all three have been caught in the “Gotcha!” trap of modern media attention.

Trent Lott’s praise of Strom Thurmond, in my view, was innocent to the point of being dumb (or, as Rahm Emanuel might say, it was just “[expletive] retarded.”)  I can imagine that the political explosion that resulted from his comment was something he never envisioned happening in a million years.  He was a bit too naive about the ability of the American public (led by politicians and journalists) to receive what he said in a manner fitting the spirit in which he said it.  Who, in all honesty, really believes it was Lott’s purpose to stand there in front of the cameras as a subtle, yet bold advocate for a return to segregation?  But the faux outrage came out because Lott said something that could be (mis)interpreted as a slander against civil rights.  Lott apologized profusely, but it was not enough to save his career. 

Harry Reid’s now infamous observation that then candidate Obama did not speak with a “Negro dialect,” and thus was more likely to endear himself to a wide range of voters, can only be faulted for the rank hypocrisy of the one who said it, but nothing more.  The comment itself hardly merits media attention, for my guess is that the vast majority of Americans have either thought or said virtually the same thing.  I don’t fault the comment.  I do, however, fault the man who himself is one of the traffickers in political correctness saying such a thing.  Several years ago Reid was among those calling for Lott to resign, only to reveal himself now as one who ignores political correctness when he speaks in private.  Hypocrite?  Yes.  Racist?  Highly doubtful.  And yet the faux outrage came out against him, this time from conservatives who pretended to be deeply offended by the word “negro” or by the suggestion that there exists a distinct negro dialect.  Such a statement can only be deeply offensive to one who has been trained in the art of being offended, as has the American public.  (But at least Al Sharpton, the great connoiseur of offendedness, was there to accept Reid’s apology on behalf of all black people everywhere.  If anything, the fact that Sharpton is the designated apology receiver for an entire ethnic group appears to be the most offensive thing about the whole story).   

And now Rahm Emanuel has used the word “retarded” as an insult, and Sarah Palin has responded.  Of the three incidents, I do think this one is probably the worst one because it was spoken specifically as a caustic and insulting remark.  Personally, I try to avoid the word “retarded” as an insult for the very reason Palin expressed.  But even if someone does not use the word “retarded,” most everyone uses synonyms for the idea of mental retardation as a way of describing those whose views we think are not up to par intellectually.  Words and phrases like “slow,” “idiot,” “not all there,” “His porch light’s on, but he ain’t home,” and so forth are all expressions of some lack in intellectual ability.  If I ever use terms like these, I don’t do so to denigrate the value of people who have actual mental disabilities.  I use them to denigrate the arguments of those who have regular mental capacity and yet seem to have allowed some kind of lapse to seep into their thinking ability.  If I tell my four-year-old son, “Don’t act like a baby!” I don’t mean that I hate babies.  I mean that four-year-olds shouldn’t act like them.  The same is true here.  Emanuel did not mean that he hated retarded people.  He meant that those who are not mentally retarded should not act like they are.  They should, instead, act in accord with their brain capacity.  Personally, I think his use of the “f” word is a more serious offense than his use of the word “retarded.”

But the canons of a politically correct society demand that we generate enough faux outrage to make a stink about each one of these incidents.  And so we go on playing the “Gotcha!” game, knowing all the while that we have all likely said far worse in our own private moments.  And this is simply one more way that political correctness pushes us away from reality.

This is, like, a great poem, ya know?

February 1, 2010

Go listen to this poem by Taylor Mali.  Nothing could be more timely. 

(I would have embedded the video here, but I don’t think WordPress supports Vimeo).

HT: Tom Ascol

Where’s My TARP Money?

January 27, 2010

I listened to the President’s State of the Union address tonight.  I noticed one thing in particular that he said: we have received back most of the money that we spent last fall through the “Trouble Asset Relief Program” bank bailout.  But in order to get back the rest of the money from the banks, the President wants to levy a fee on them.

His argument is that if these banks can afford to give out huge bonuses to their executives, then they can certainly afford to give bailout money back to the taxpayers.  So, Mr. President, I will be expecting my share of the TARP money whenever you get it from the banks.  Just make out the check to me, and write “TARP” on the memo line. 

…Oh, wait.  I guess I forgot that the word “taxpayers” can be used to refer, not to payers of taxes, but to the beauracratic juggernaut that forcibly collects taxes from payers of taxes known as the federal government. 

Maybe the taxpayers should turn Obama’s argument back on him: if the federal government can afford to shell out trillions of dollars in every direction doing who knows what, then certainly it can afford to give its returned TARP money back to the taxpayers.  And when I say, “give its returned TARP money back to the taxpayers,” I mean actually giving it back in the form of tax cuts.  I don’t mean spending it on something else.  Because spending it on something else is not really, you know, giving it back.

What Does the Massachusetts Election Mean?

January 20, 2010

In what is the greatest political irony that I have ever seen, Ted Kennedy’s successor in the Senate may now become the single vote responsible for killing a health care proposal (Kennedy’s signature issue) that until now was almost a foregone conclusion. 

There are a number of things that one could say about this massively significant event.  But I will only say one thing here, and that is this: President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid now have the opportunity to throw out this health care proposal and do the following three things:

(1) Focus on the issue that matters most to Americans right now: jobs.  Congress can stimulate economic growth, not by increasing government control over the economy (which is what 2009 was all about) but by allowing the market to do what it does unhindered by excessive taxation and regulation: grow and produce jobs.  If the Democrats decide to table health care for a while and give attention to real economic growth, then the perception that they are using an economic crisis merely for the purpose of furthering a leftist agenda will largely evaporate. 

(2) When the time comes, go back to square one on health care and build a real bipartisan consensus with reforms that actually will lower costs.  The only way to do this is to empower individuals in their personal health care decisions and thereby force health care providers to compete for business.  Big government solutions are not going to work, and it is clear that Americans do not want more government control over their personal health care decisions. 

(3) Moderate the leftist agenda of 2009 and begin to govern from the center.  Obama sold himself in 2008 as this kind of leader, but he has been anything but to this point. 

From where I sit, this would be a wise course of action for Democrats that may help them rebuild the public’s confidence in them prior to the 2010 elections.  However, having lived with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid for a year, I know full well what they are going to do.  They are going to ignore Massachusetts and go full-steam ahead with their left-wing agenda.  They are enslaved to ideology to the point that they have no political sense.  Reid has almost certainly dug his own grave, which will become apparent in November, and Pelosi just might lose her position as Speaker of the House and be replaced by a Republican to be named later.  And even though he won’t be up for reelection this year, Obama will likely find his power greatly weakened by shifts in Congress in November (even if Republicans do not gain majorities).  In spite of all of this, however, I can almost guarantee that we will see no change whatsoever from this trio in Washington.

The real question is, will the rank-and-file Democrats in Congress continue to follow their leaders over the cliff?  That is where the real significance of Massachusetts will be seen.

The Road to Hell: Paved with Good Intentions

January 5, 2010

“The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history.” — Nancy Pelosi, 2006

I wonder how Speaker Pelosi would grade herself and her party on having fulfilled this intention. 

Is honesty the hallmark of 2,000 page bills that, because of their sheer enormity and complexity, are designed to hide political payoffs to special interests?

Is “openness” the term one would use to describe the partisan closed-door meetings that have defined the modus operandi of this Congress?

Is the sale of key Senate votes in exchange for federal dollars targeted at states like Louisiana and Nebraska best described as “ethical”? 

Speaker Pelosi’s statement appears to be the Democratic equivalent of the infamous “Read my lips: no new taxes.”

Comic Relief in the Christmas Wars

December 25, 2009

This is the kind of thing that happens when the government assumes the obligation of protecting people from being offended.  (And by that I am referring to the Illinois state government’s decision to allow an atheist group to mock Christmas on state property, not the comptroller’s decision to try to stop it).

But the main reason I am linking to this story is not to discuss the complicated issue of church and state but rather to invite you to read the whole story, especially the last line.  That is hilarious.

Funny Stuff

December 15, 2009

One Word:

December 4, 2009