Monday, October 13, 2008

Is there a difference between liberals and conservatives besides politics?

What are the differences between conservatives and liberals, besides the supposedly differing political philosophies, and the fact that liberals want total government control -- from birth to death (and beyond) -- and conservatives want the opposite.

Here's some, and maybe it will help you decide where you sit.
According to a book by Peter Schweizer, some 71 percent of conservatives say they have an obligation to care for a seriously injured spouse or parent, compared with 46 percent for liberals. Asked if they would endure all things for the one they love, 55 percent of conservatives say yes, compared with 26 percent of liberals.

Equally revealing, liberals are far more likely to say they are depressed and to view the world bleakly. Schweizer attributes that to an attitude that they and those around them are victims and helpless unless the government intervenes.

In answer to a question from Newsmax, Schweizer says that may help explain why liberal politicians and reporters tend to see everything with pessimism, from the economy to the war on terror and the war in Iraq.

Schweizer says the media and liberal professors have successfully obscured these differences by painting a picture of conservatives as mean-spirited. He quotes one professor as saying that conservatives embrace the “unimpeded pursuit of self-interest” to get what they want and that as children, they were insecure and whiny.

In a NYU study, researchers have found evidence that supports a 2006 PEW Research Center survey. The survey showed that 47 percent of conservative Republicans describe themselves as "very happy" while only 28 percent of liberal Democrats describe themselves similarly.

Conservatives put a much higher value on the role of force and accord a lower priority to multilateralism. In The Hill's polling, 68 percent of conservatives but only 28 percent of liberals identified with the need to take unilateral action for our security regardless of what other countries might think. Pew found one of the most important determinants of Republicanism (and I would wager conservatism) was agreement with the view that military strength is the best way to ensure peace.

Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227). See this article for more details.

Everyone has to decide for themselves what’s right and wrong in particular situations” or “There are absolute standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone in almost every situation.” As befits a country almost evenly divided on cultural issues, 50 percent adopted a position of moral absolutism and 46 percent identified themselves as moral relativists. But only about a third of conservatives embraced relativism, while more than 60 percent believe in moral absolutism.

In response to the exit pollsters’ question, only 28 percent of conservatives wanted the government to do more to solve problems, compared with 69 percent of liberals. In practice, of course, conservatives favor a large number of government programs — from education to healthcare to aid to the poor. But at the broader level of principle, conservatives are deeply suspicious of government’s ability to solve problems.

So it seems that the differences go beyond mere politics, to encompass a person's worldview.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Random Rantings for a Friday

Our Federal Government at Work
Not only did a three-page, $700 billion bailout (or rescue, if you prefer) become an $800 billion 452-page monstrosity, in last week's vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden gets a free pass by the main-stream-media, while Sara Palin has been hammered repeatedly by the same media.

After a week has gone by since the passage of the bail-out, the stock markets reaction was been negative. I know my meager portfolio has suffered the worst loss of my life, so far.

Yet, about 50 percent of Americans are supporting the party that put all this mess into motion: The Democrats. Amazing, isn't it?

Besides being the title of a book by Dick Morris, an e-mail circulating around the Internet today claimed that it was published in the Wall Street Journal. As usual, this was a fabrication; I could find no such article. However, I did find another interesting article in my search for outraged stories in the WSJ.

In Defense of the Rich
If you're lucking enough to make more than $153,000 per year, you're in the top 5 percent. This is an important statistic, because Obama is so wrong in his tax proposals. He states that he will cut taxes for 95 percent of all Americans, and raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year. This will require a complete overall of the progressive (not meaning liberal, but the more you make, the more you pay) tax structure.

But this mantra of soaking the rich can be counter-productive. The top 5 percent of all wage earners pay 60 percent of all income tax; the top 1 percent, 40 percent of all income tax.

The majority of these folks are small-business owners, the same small-businesses that create most of our jobs. If you raise taxes on these people, growth will be -- at least -- slowed.

The only sane tax policy is a simplified flat-rate tax system. And we need to get the corporate tax rate down -- at least to European rates -- so our companies quit moving overseas.

Larry Elder pretty sum it up in his Defense of the Rich.

Have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pelosi: Politics before Country

Queen Pelosi just can't help herself. For the second time, when the American people needed a Congress that would act in the interests of the nation as a whole, she fails to get the job done.

Rather than attempting to rally both Democrats and Republicans to fix the financial mess we're in, she plays partisan politics, trying to put all the blame on President Bush.

But the average American knows that it isn't primarily President Bush's fault, if fault has to be put on someone or something. If you read my previous post, you'll see this whole trend started with the Democrats in 1977 and then again several times over when they refused to reform the system. So Nancy's remarks are insulting, not only to her Republican colleagues, but to the Nation as a whole.

...when was the last time someone asked you for $700bn? It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies: policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system...Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States. -- Pelosi remarks before Congress, Sept 29, 2008

Frankly, the failure is hers and her fellow Democrats. Her party is at risk in the upcoming elections. Maybe she thinks if the economy is bad enough, it will be good for the Democrats in November.

I can't see how, since she has caused this. Let's see if American voters are as smart as we hope they are.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Financial Crisis? It's Certainly a Mess

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale. -- Thomas Jefferson
Backtrack to 1977 when the Community Reinvestment Act was inacted during Jimmy Carter's term. The purpose of the CRA is to provide credit, including home ownership opportunities to underserved populations and commercial loans to small businesses. Call it Affirmative Action for home and small business loans.

This law was strengthened in 1995 by Congress, signed by Pres. Clinton, and it was then that this so-called sub-prime mortgage baloney really started to take off. It was part of the liberal plan to provide means of home ownership to those who could not qualify -- or afford -- a conventional mortgage. This was a nice idea, but one which could not work. The backbone of the lending industry is that lendees pay back loans to lenders.

You remember conventional mortgages? Up until recently, in order to buy a home, you had to work and save for the down payment, which was normally 20 percent of the cost of the house. Then you had to be able to prove to the bank that you could repay the loan on the remaining 80 percent. This provided immediate equity, which protected not only the bank, but the home owner as well.

Then along comes the "sub-prime" mortgage. Much pressure was put on mortgage lenders to offer these more risky loans. Fannie Mac offered to buy them. The Justice department threatened legal action if lenders didn't comply. In fact, the law firm that Barack Obama worked for at that time sued Citigroup because they weren't making enough sub-prime lonas. So as time went along, more and more of these risky mortgages were made, until it seemed that anyone could get a home loan. People were even getting loans that were more than the home was valued, expecting home prices would always go up. When will anyone learn that all things that go up, eventually come down?

In 1999, the New York Times observed that eventually the bill would come due because of these loans. How prophetic, even for this paper, which would be expected to fully support a liberal cause.

In 2001, after taking office, President Bush warned Congress to do something about this growing problem, and in 2003 upgraded his warning that the problem could create systemic problems, which means it could affect the entire financial system. Legislation introduced was blocked. Later, in February 2005, Alan Greenspan warned of a collapse. But Democrats, such as Barney Franks, said Fannie Mae should do even more to get low-income people into home ownership.

In 2006, Sen. John McCain co-sponsored a bill to increase regulatory measures over government-back mortgages. The bill passed the Senate (with all Democrats voting against), but never made it off the House floor. See the Fox News report below for a summary.

Now it's 2008. Back in June, we already coughed up $300 billion on this mess.

Now, the same people -- people like Chris Dodd and Barney Franks -- who helped created the problem, want the American taxpayer to bail out these financial institutions that are holding all this bad debt. These American taxpayers are the ones who are working, paying their mortgages, and trying to save for their futures. Now we should be expected to bail out not only the lending institutions, but the homeowners also.

I find it ironic that Dodd and his ilk will hold Congressional hearings to fix blame for this. But he should be a witness, not an investigator.

It just may be that the government -- us -- will have to do something drastic, like buy up all these bad mortgages. Bush says we'll get our money back. But don't count on it. Government has a bad track-record.

Politicians -- who pander for votes -- say this is a good plan. Several large banks will be saved from disaster, and a lot of homeowners who can't pay the bill will get bailed out. In the meantime, those of us who currently pay the bills (the top 50 percent of wage earners pay 95 percent of all income tax) will end up paying even more.

But there are now some 200 economists who say the plan is deeply flawed.

No matter which way it goes, one thing remains. Most of our problems have started with the Federal government meddling in free markets. Yes, there should be oversight against abuse. But when government starts telling free markets how to behave, disaster is around the corner. This has been proven over and over, yet our government does it over and over.

When will the madness stop?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm in Your Face, Dude

Remember a few years ago when the Minutemen tried to present their position on border security at Columbia University? If not, you should google it. It is a good example of what happens if you try to present a conservative view to a liberal group.

Liberals want you to believe they stand for freedom of speech, of tolerance for other opinions, but the record shows the opposite. I've had the same experience on liberal disscusion boards. As long as I was in agreement with their world view, I was OK. Otherwise I was encourage to leave, and not in a nice way.

Just yesterday, Obama showed his true liberal colors:

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face."

Hmmm. Get in their face.

Here's the guy that was going to be a new type of politician, run a nicer camapaign, and just be an all-around great guy.

But if he's losing, watch out. He'll do what most liberals do. And that's GET IN YOUR FACE. SHOUT YOU DOWN. PUSH YOU OUT. THROW THINGS AT YOU. DESTROY SOME PROPERTY.

It's brown shirts all over again. If you think I'm nuts, then you haven't been paying attention.

Truth in Humor

A man wearing a Democratic pin walks into a bar and sees a picture of President Bush hanging behind the bartender. He calls the bartender over and says, "You should take that picture down. George Bush is a blight upon this nation. He should be impeached."

The bartender, a life-long Republican, is completely offended. "Why you liberal piece of garbage. How dare you come into my bar and tell me how to run my business!"

"Listen, I'm the customer, so I'm always right." the man says. "That picture offends me, so I want you to take it down."

"That tears it," the bartender says, "How would you like it if I came into your bar and told you what to do?"

"Well, you'd be the customer, so you'd be right," the man says.

"Fine, then let's switch places," the bartender says.

So, they do. The man takes the bartender's place behind the bar, and the bartender walks outside, waits a moment, and then comes back inside. The bartender sits at the bar and says to the bar, "You should take that pin off. The Democrats are destroying our country with their liberal agenda."

"Sorry," the man says, "but we don't serve Republicans here."

Hat-tip: Joke of the Day on iGoogle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pelosi and Her Lies, Once Again

Will this woman never quit?

Now, with the passage of the House's new energy bill -- which looks like it provides some new drilling, but really doesn't inspire any -- she is not only taking credit, but saying the Republicans have had it wrong.

This is the same person who closed Congress to go on a book tour, while her subjects where suffering from $4-a-gallon gasoline. Now that the markets have lowered that somewhat, she allows a vote. I guess it was now convenient for her. How condescending to us Middle Americans. Plus it's now closer to the elections, so if timed right, will be a boost at the polls, I'm sure she's thinking.

Again, politics before country.

The bill has problems, but all compromises are that way, and I guess it's better to have something, than nothing. However, what really galls me is her comments:

She contrasted her party's plan with "the status quo, which is preferred by Big Oil" and the Bush administration, "or change for the future to take our country in a new direction."

What? She's the one who was trying to block any legislation at all. Remember, she was trying to save the planet.

She insisted that Republicans "must set aside their drill-only mentality."

The Republicans never had a drill-only mentality. Their proposed bill went much further than even the current Democrat version.

Also, in her usual dictatorial ways, the bill was introduced to the House, but no admendments, no committe hearings, no substitutes: it was take it or leave it.

Nancy "my-way-or-the-highway" Pelosi is now fully in charge of the U.S. government. This is how democrats rule. Ask yourself one question: Is this what I want for my country?

Politics first, America last

Thanks to three U.S. Senators (from the Democrat party), China will be developing Iraqi oil instead of U.S. or Western oil companies. The same senators and party that keep saying we shouldn't be messing with other nation's internal affairs have been doing just that: meddling in a big way, and all because of politics.

Reported by Frederick Kagan in Weekly Standard, as well as the New York Observer, among others, is the fact that John Kerry, Chuck Shumer, and Claire McCaskill, through their involvement with Iraqi politics, caused the Iraqi government to reject any bids by U.S. oil companies. Hence, Iraq went with China, which turned out to be less politicalized.

Here's what our three nitwits in the Senate said:

“It’s bad enough that we have no-bid contracts being awarded for work in Iraq. It’s bad enough that the big oil companies continue to receive government handouts while they post record breaking profits. But now the most profitable companies in the universe – America’s biggest oil companies – stand to reap the rewards of this no-bid contract on top of it all,” McCaskill said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect these dots – big oil is running Washington and now they’re running Baghdad. There is no reason under the sun not to halt these agreements until we get revenue sharing in place,” McCaskill said.
However, the Observer put it in perspective:

It is uncommon for oil companies to receive no-bid contracts of this type. It is especially unusual in this case since more than 40 companies were seeking the servicing deal that Iraq is prepared to give to the four companies. Iraq’s central government has defended the award process, saying Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP have provided free advice and support over the past two years, enabling the companies and the government to build a close relationship.

Now, instead of Iraqi oil profits flowing to American and western companies, they go to Chinese. Instead of us getting back some of the $500 billion plus we've spent rebuilding Iraq, we, the American taxpayer, get stuck with the bill. As usual.

The Democrats. Is this the party you want in power? The party that has essentially taxed us to death over the last 70 years? And again, intefering when they should not.

Another point I want to make is the term "government handout" used by our three senators. It seems the Dems, anytime you can save money on taxes (which is what they are talking about, because the oil companies get tax savings for development) it's a handout. But in reality, it's that the oil companies get to keep more of their profits.

WAKE UP, AMERICANS. For the 49 percent of you out there currently thinking of Obama and his party, you will get what you wish for. More government. More inteference in your lives. More taxes. More of the same ol shit that has been handed out from Washington since FDR took power.

Time for a real change, I say.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ignored by the MMM, but scary still

I love it when liberals call it the so-called "war on terror." Notice they always put quotes around the term. It's ok to have a war on poverty, etc, but why not terror. Because they think that Bush has created it for his own diabolical reasons.

Think again. As reported today by London's Telegraph:

At the height of the protests on Friday demonstrators chanted slogans threatening more London bombings, praising the "magnificent" 9/11 hijackers and waving placards saying "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Europe you will pay" and "Europe you'll come crawling when Mujahideen come roaring".

Mr Davis said last night: "Clearly some of these placards are incitement to violence and, indeed, incitement to murder - an extremely serious offence which the police must deal with and deal with quickly.

"Whatever your views on these cartoons, we have a tradition of freedom of speech in this country which has to be protected. Certainly there can be no tolerance of incitement to murder.

Do we need any more warnings?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are Gas Stations Gouging Us?

Back on June 27, I reported that when oil was at $142 per barrel, a 118 percent increase over the last year, that gas prices over the same period went up $1.09 a gallon, an increase of 36 percent, from $2.98 to $4.07. Here in North Texas, the most we paid was $4.00.

Now, with oil hitting just over $101 a barrel, we are paying $3.50 a gallon. The price of oil has droped about $45 dollars from its high of $147, or 31 percent. Gas, however is only down 12.5 percent.

Where's the love, Exxon? Are they trying to make up lost ground?

Once you get used to paying more for a commodity, it's hard to get prices down.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Facism Rears Its Ugly Head

It doesn't take a moron to see that the left-wing in this country isn't really about freedom of speech, woman's rights, equal opportunity -- unless you are totally ignoring everything going on around you. Take a conservative woman with five kids, not from New York, or Boston, or San Fransicso, but from a small town, and she's just not good enough.

We've been hearing this for years, yet we've not really internalized what the left thinks it means to be conservative from a small town.

But it's been this way for a hundred years. Modern liberalism, which has nothing to do with classic liberalism (as Thomas Jefferson stood for), is really a nice name for facism.

Yes, you read that right. I used the term facism, in its purist sense, and do not mean to relate it negatively to the evils of Nazism, etc. But facism is an ideology in which all people think the same, put the state ahead of the invividual in the sense that the state becomes the new religion. If having government control -- and provide -- everything you need from birth to death, then if that isn't facism, I don't know what is. It's a nationalistic socialism. Individualism is out, statism is in. This is modern liberalism.

With the nomination of Gov. Sara Palin to the Repuplican ticket for Vice President, we've seen how the media, the left, and hollywood view us middle class, middle Americans from small towns. We're just not good enough.

But regardless, Sara has the left scrambling fast. They are angry. If you don't think so, go to DailyKos, Huffington Post or TruthDig and read some of the opeds and reader comments.

I say bullshit to all this. We can out-vote them. We've done it before, and I say we need to do it again. My point is that regardless of how you feel about McCain-Palin, it's better than having a Muslim socialist in the White House.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Stormy Political Scene

Well, it didn't take long for the Democrats to come out and say that Sarah Palin didn't have enough experience to become Vice President, regardless that Barack Obama has even less executive experience. It was fun to watch a couple of the debates between Republicans and Democrats.

It's just a fact that Palin has more executive experience -- not a lot, but more -- than Obama, but any good Democrat won't admit that.

The McCain-Palin team brings more experience to Washington that Obama-Biden. At least one has some executive experience. Romney would have been a better choice, given his expertise in economics and his vast executive experience. But Palin caught the nation's attention and that's what you need to do sometimes in politics.

On a more stormy front, it didn't take the liberal New York Times any time at all to point out the "failings" of the Bush administration over Katrina, as Gustav put New Orleans in its sites.

This time around, the party’s off. Or at least it is for Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain, who on Sunday sought to focus attention on efforts to prepare for Hurricane Gustav at the expense of carefully laid plans for this week’s Republican National Convention.

In some ways, it was a nightmare moment for Republicans. The hurricane’s approach put front and center once more some of the worst failings of the Bush presidency at the very moment Mr. McCain was to begin presenting a vision of the post-Bush Republican Party to the nation.

You gotta get pretty tired of the "it's Bush's fault" whenever anything -- and I mean anything -- happens. Yes, our federal government was not as responsive as it should have been three years ago, but let's look at the real situation.

National disaster preparation and action starts with the local government, then state, then federal. Three years ago, New Orlean's local government was a total failure, as was the state. FEMA wasn't prepared to meet the lack of planning at the local level. So it took a team effort to fail, just as this time, it took a team effort to succeed.

When we start relying on the federal government for our well-being -- instead of ourselves -- we are in big trouble. This is a huge difference between liberals and conservatives. One group wants the feds to be responsible for everything, the other group looks to the individuals involved.

We are at a critical point in our history. Do we want big government to take care of us, or do we want to take care of our selves?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pelosi and Her Lies, Part Infinity

I thought I'd quit on Pelosi, but since she is Speaker of the House, you really have to point out when she speaks with a forked tongue.

Earlier this week, she claimed to be an "ardent, practising Catholic." Really? Then why does she support abortion? To be ardent is to have intense feeling, or be intensely devoted, eager or enthusiastic. And she says she understands that the position of the Church is that life begins at conception. But she supports abortion. The Church does not.

I'm not sure you can be an "ardent, practising Catholic," and support abortion, especially abortion on demand, regardless of whether it's a woman's right to choose.

This is Relativism at its best.

One more example of why I do not trust liberals.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Political Burnout

This has been the longest campaign of all time. I'm just burned out. If you haven't made up your mind after almost 18 months of this crap, then you just can't think clearly. I made mine up. What about you? And I don't give a damn about the conventions. I'm on political vacation. Pelosi can do it, so why can't I.

So here's a couple of videos you might enjoy, just to remind us all of what is really important. (I served in the Air Force from 1971 to 1996. The man in these videos was the greatest commander-in-chief during that time.)

Ronald Reagan - A Time for Choosing (October 27, 1964)

President Reagan - Government is the problem

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Lunacy from the Left

Thomas Jefferson, about 1800, wrote: "[A] wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

Here's a commentator from San Francisco: "How can any progressive vote for someone who won't vow to defend the Constitution by reversing all of President Bush's abuses of power and by prosecuting those who have committed crimes in the White House? How can any progressive vote for someone who favors a puny 20 percent tax on dividends and capital gains?"

How far we've fallen from the principles that have made us great, mostly in the name of "progress." But all is not lost. Here is how one reader responded:

God forbid an American politician should advocate a careful disengagement from Iraq! The gall of a candidate who will not pledge to rip most of the earned profits/income from the pockets of individuals and companies who have done well for themselves! How dare he vow to send more troops to rid the Taliban and Al Qaeda of an Afghan safe haven! Are you kidding me? Get real.

And another:

The only thing I "consume" is the wisdom of this nation's founding fathers. That includes an abiding faith in the dynamism, opportunity, and beauty of a nation in which individuals are free to choose their own paths in life unhindered from government, and are responsible for their own failings.Sen. Obama wishes to alter that fundamental precept, by vilifying those who have wealth as if it is somehow at the expense of those who do not.

And one more:

Lindorff clearly doesn't understand politics or America for that matter. The people do NOT want a FAR LEFT President. Liberals do, hence the Primary struggle to be more Socialist than everyone else. 0bama is falling behind because isn't a viable candidate. We are all learning more about him and we don't like what we see. He is a fraud, like Edwards, like Kerry, like Gore (who lost), like the Clintons...he is more of the same the Left has to offer. What are you San Fran nuts and berries going to do when he loses?

Unfortunately, there are almost as many nuts on the left, who continue with their mantra:
McBush is just another corporate puppet mouthing the words written for him to speak. He's intellectual equivalent of gomer pyle and about as charismatic. All the corporate lackeys mouthing off about "liberalism" wouldn't recognize the Constitution if they sat on it. Calling Obama a socialist is not only stupid, it's wrong.

So on and on, the same old thing. But there is hope. We need to keep working. Many will never get it, but some will. That is all we can ask for.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sheer Lunancy From the Left

Again, Robert Sheer, who once worked for the leftist LA Times, provides us with insight into the liberal mind. I commented on his 4th of July editorial, and he continues with his rants against sane, conservative polices with his usual irrational understanding of reality.

In his latest op-ed of Aug 20th, he spews forth more of his liberal talking points. His premiss for arguments are not based on facts. Let's look at some:

There you have it — in a capsule, the McCain campaign for president, an irrational melange of patriotic swagger and blindness to reality that is proving disturbingly successful with uninformed voters. How else to explain the many millions of Americans who tell pollsters they prefer a continuation of Republican rule when so many of them are losing their homes to foreclosure and the nation is bankrupted by out-of-control military spending.

The economy is in a downward spiral, the national debt is at an all-time high, the dollar is an international disgrace, and inflation in July had the steepest rise in 27 years, driven by oil prices fivefold higher than when President Bush invaded the nation with the world's second-largest petroleum reserves.

First of all, Sheer hates anything doing with patriotism, so he uses this quite frequently in his criticism of Republicans, and Americans in general, in this case "patriotic swagger and blindness." On July 4th, it was "patriotic bluster and beer swilling."

To us "uninformed voters," of course, being a liberal elitist, he doesn't believe we can choose for ourselves. That's one of the problems with America today -- we don't let the liberal elite run everything, you know?

He then leads you to believe that "so many" Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, because you know, those damned neocons are cheating them out of their homes, you know. He doesn't say that, but you know that's what he means. But the fact is that these people are losing their homes because they made bad decisions. The government, many years ago, allowed lenders to lend to just about anybody -- didn't matter if they could repay -- so here we are with the consequences.

Then our national debt is due to out-of-control military spending. Oh? Really? Is it out of control? Or is it at the level we need to protect ourselves, unlike the attacks we suffered in the 1990s and on Sept 11, 2001? What's out of control is social spending, which has gone up much faster than military spending. But welfare programs, income redistribution, in fact, socialism is O.K.

Of course, the price of oil is Bush's fault. And since this is Bush's fault, our economy, inflation, etc is also Bush's fault. This is something I'm really tired of hearing. I just don't understand this Bush hatred, when any honest thinking human knows that all of our problems aren't the fault of one man.

Later in his editorial, while admitting to the victory in Iraq, Sheer has to disqualify it by bringing up our experience in Vietnam and that "victory is not all it's cracked up to be." Really? I guess victories, like World War II aren't important either. Or any of the other "victories" our military has managed to accomplish.

He reminds us of how Nixon rejected the neoconservative addiction to the cold war by his policy of detente with the Soviets and Chinese. Yet, Nixon really accomplished very little. The threat from these two communist regimes remained just a real as ever, and even more so to smaller countries, such as Afghanistan. Only when Reagan used neoconservative policies in the 1980s did he finally end the cold war.

And of course, our efforts against Islamic fundamentalists is "absurdly misdirected." We shouldn't spend more for national defense, oh no. This won't make us stronger. "Vote for McCain, and forget about funding to solve the Social Security, Medicare and subprime mortgage disasters or anything else that truly would make America stronger," he concludes.

Certainly, Mr. Sheer. Medicare, subprime mortgages and Social Security will certainly beat back the terrorists and other assorted bad guys from attacking our citizens, our properties and our freedoms.

This is dangerous thinking. Americans need to wake up and fight for the freedoms we have, because there are too many people willing -- like Mr. Sheer -- to give them away, or others who want to take them away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Journalists vs. Bloggers

I get my information from both, and I don't trust either, really. Once a journalist myself, I still try to abide the two-source rule. My editors held fast on that: if I couldn't corroborate information from a second source, not matter how juicy it might be, we didn't run it.

I don't think most bloggers are that diligent.

Bill O'Reilly makes the distinction.

What journalists do, which many bloggers have yet to learn, is to consult multiple sources and do fact checking before blurting out a story. But what bloggers do, which journalists have yet to learn, is to wear their biases on their sleeve, rather than pretending they don’t exist.

I'm not sure he's totally right about today's journalist consulting multiple sources all the time, and I'm not sure he's totally right about bloggers either.

If we had the best of both worlds -- due diligence and open bias -- it would be easier to know how close we are to the actual reality of the situation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What's Next?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this country, pretty much now taken over by the liberals, is in sad shape, and getting worse. Obama keeps talking change, but the change he wants is not what we need. Because the libs have taken over our school system, no one is learning how to survive in this world...unless it's at the teat of big government.

It's no longer ask what you can do for your country. Now everyone asks what their country can do for us. But, because no on can think clearly anymore, they don't realize that we are the government, at least those of us who work hard to get ahead.

Here's some events that should make you puke:

Dallas Educrats Promote Slacking Off
The idiocracy has taken another small step toward its goal of reducing Americans to ignorant, useless, government-dependent farm animals that can be raised for votes the way chickens are raised for eggs:

Dallas public school students who flunk tests, blow off homework and miss assignment deadlines can make up the work without penalty, under new rules that have angered many teachers.

Home Depot, Others Required To Make Day Laborer Shelters
Big-box, home-improvement stores in Los Angeles will have to set aside space for day laborers under an ordinance passed by the City Council on Wednesday.

When the ordinance takes effect -- the mayor has to sign it, and most city laws take effect 30 days afterward -- it will apply to stores such as The Home Depot that have 100,000 square feet or more, or any structure where 250,000 square feet or more of warehouse floor area is added.

The shelters must be easily accessible and include drinking water, bathrooms, tables, seating and trashcans. The stores may be required to work with Los Angeles police in developing a security plan, according to the unanimous vote by the 15-member lawmaking body.

People who live near Home Depot stores have complained of day laborers drinking beer, urinating in yards or other unseemly behavior.

The Netroots: America And Georgia To Blame For Russia's War Of Aggression
Liberals, being liberals, make certain assumptions when it comes to foreign affairs. Among them are,

#1) Whatever happens in the world, if it's bad, must somehow be the fault of the Bush Administration and/or America.

#2) Any country that is allied with America, by virtue of being allied with America, must be in the wrong if it gets into a conflict with a nation that is not allied with America.

That brings us to Russia's war of aggression on'll be amazed at the comments John Hawkins at Right Wing News has found. Read the whole story here.

Democrats and National Defense

The Democrats will try to convince you that they are strong on national defense. Don't believe a word of it. Why? Since Nixon got us out of Vietnam (which was a Democrat-sponsored disaster), Democrats have been weak on national defense. Carter and Clinton. Just read the history. I'm not going to teach it to you.

One of the themes of the Democract convention this year will be how they will make American strong. And safer. Their policies won't work. Never have, never will.

Here's what Obama has been saying:

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems

I will slow development of future combat systems

I will not weaponize space

I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending

I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons...and to seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons...

I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material...

I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert...and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

Nice idealistic goals or policies, but they don't work in the real world, with all the bad guys running around.

I really have a problem with the first two statements above. We need a missile defense system. What started with Reagan has finally come to fruition. Having only offensive systems to strike back after you've been nuked never made sense to me. And slowing development of future systems? What does he mean by slow? Makes me as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Just don't believe the Democrats will make you safer. I served in the military during Carter's term, and Clinton's first term. I know how they treated the military.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ethanol Hurts Worse Than It Helps

I recently noticed a drop in my gas mileage. I'm always very aware of what my gas mileage is all the time, and having an on-board computer to monitor it helps. A drop in gas mileage can indicate a problem with your vehicle before anything else, in some cases.

I drive Buick LeSabre, just for reference here. Last summer on a road trip to Michigan, I averaged 34 mpg. In March, on a trip down to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, I got 35 mpg, probably because I wasn't using the air conditioner.

Recently, however, I've noticed my gas mileage dropping. I took it in for an oil change, air filter, tire pressures, etc, but not much changed. Only then did I realize that for the past several weeks I've been using gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol. My mileage on the highway is down about 4 mpg. So I then examined my wife's truck, a Dodge RAM 1500 with a big hemi V8, and her mileage is down too, from about 15.8 to 14.5 mpg average.

So an 8 to 11 percent drop in gas mileage is not helping, is it? I guess inflating our tires for a 3 percent gain is a moot point now.

For those of you who support ethanol use as a replacement for gasoline, consider what the Houston Chronicle says about it, and then do your own independent research. I think you'll come to the same conclusion.

As for lessening dependence on foreign oil and cleaning the air, ethanol does little for either. It takes almost as much energy from power plants, diesel fuel and fertilizer to grow the corn, refine it and distribute it to gasoline blenders as ethanol gives out when it is burned. The fertilizer runoff creates a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. If the electricity used to refine the corn comes from a coal-fired plant, ethanol hikes pollution and carbon emissions.

Why is ethanol so popular with politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama? (Sen. John McCain opposes ethanol subsidies.) Presidential candidates want to win the Iowa caucuses. In Congress, like-minded farm-state legislators represent a significant voting block.

Perhaps one day the United States will have a rational policy on energy and environmental protection. But not before it ends the destructive and disruptive rules designed to please farmers and corn refiners regardless of the consequences to the rest of the world.

The forced-use of ethanol has been one of the worst edicts from our government in recent memory, and is just another example of how government meddling hurts us.

Pelosi to Back Down? Don't Bet On It

The Hill, and other media outlets, reported this morning that Pelosi may just back down from her no-drilling, no-where, no-how policy.

Republicans, reacting to high gas prices, have demanded a vote on additional oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, where drilling is currently blocked by a moratorium. Until now, Pelosi (D-Calif.) has resisted the idea as a “hoax.” But in an interview on CNN’s Larry King Live, she indicated that she was open to a vote.

“They have this thing that says drill offshore in the protected areas,” Pelosi said. “We can do that. We can have a vote on that.”

She indicated such a vote would have to be part of a larger package that included other policies, like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which she said could bring down prices in a matter of days.

“But it has to be part of something that says we want to bring immediate relief to the public and is not just a hoax on them,” Pelosi continued.

She even indicated that she might support a package that includes drilling. She said her decision on whether to support such legislation would depend on how the policies are packaged.

“It’s not excluded, let’s put it that way,” Pelosi said.

But don't get too excited, partner. While Pelosi is on Larry King (does anyone watch Larry King anymore?) her staff is hard at work to prevent her from flip-flopping.

The last sentence in the story:

"But her aides later released a statement saying she was not announcing a change in her stance on a drilling vote."

So it's a wait and see, I guess.

In the meantime, Rep. Steny Hoyer and some other liberals are making a meaningless stink about this statement that House Minority Leader John Boehner made in an interview with Politico:

"She's gonna bring us back and not deal with it? The American people are gonna hang her," Boehner said. When pressed further, Boehner said it would "be fine, as long as we get a vote on our bill."

Hoyer objected to the implied violence.

There was no violence implied. He meant in his interview that "the voters will make her pay in November."

It's funny when a liberal or Democrat says something or does something (like Edwards), the media play it down, make it seem ok (this is called cultural relativism). But if a conservative or Republican says something...then OMG, the sky is falling. How dare those evil conservatives say something like that. Double standard? You bet. Are liberals all about freedom of speech? You bet. But only if you agree with them. Otherwise, shut up.

What I find immensely interesting in the whole affair is how one person, in a republic such as ours, can hold up a policy vote on an important issue such as energy. These are the same folks who used to filibuster Bush's court nominations.

It's kind of like children who don't get their own way. They stomp out of the room.

And some people call George Bush a tryant. Most likely those folks are admiring Pelosi. That is truly deranged.

For a couple of other interesting posts on this whole energy mess, see Combatting Myths About Offshore Drilling and Top 10 Energy Questions For Speaker Pelosi.

Monday, August 11, 2008

So Much For Civility

Barack Obama promised a different kind of campaign, a campaign of civility.

Nancy Pelosi promised a different kind of Congress, a Congress of civility.

We have neither. Pelosi is off selling books, after turning off the lights on Capitol Hill. She refuses a debate on the House floor over energy. Refuses to allow an up-or-down vote, probably because she knows she'll lose. While 80 percent of the American voters (at least thosed polled) think we should do more domestic drilling, as part of a more comprehensive program, she refuses to allow it.

Barack is not delivering a new or different kind of politics. It's the same ol' thing: pandering for votes, adjusting position based on polls, a Clintonesque rewriting of history to suit his purpose. And now that he's come out and called Republicans "liars" and "ignorant" we know what his definiton of civility is in his mind.

And a day doesn't go buy I don't read some liberal blogger or commentor using the term "neocon" as white bigots used to use the N-word decades ago (or rappers still do). Neocon has become the degratory putdown by liberals, without even understanding where the term, or concept, came from. As once said, "a neoconservative is a liberal with a good dose of reality." So go ahead, put us down. Make our day. You only prove your own ignorance.

The mindset of these people: "If only we, the smart, sophisticated and intelligent people are in charge, we will tell you how you should live your lives, because we know best." This is basic socialism 101. The main difference between liberal and conversative these days is that liberals want more government intervention in our lives, conservatives want less.

You make the choice. But remember, you'll have to live with it. Once government gets its claws stuck in your business, you'll never shake it off.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Forget Oil, For Just a Moment

While everyone is obsessed with oil, gas prices, and generally the vitriolic energy debate, we should step back for a moment and ponder what else has been going on in the the country and the world. And no, I don't mean the Olympics.

First of all, the "so-called" war on terror is still on-going. I used the left-wing phrase "so-called" because I don't think the left, even to this day, see it was a war, but more of a police action to track down criminals. Of course, some one the far left, including some university profs, see the jihadist terrorist as a sort of freedom fighter.

But in July alone, there were more than 200 attacks by Islamic militants around the world, so the fight continues. Thankfully, not here. Not yet, anyway.

Obama is still running for President...but yea, we knew that from the energy "fill your tires" debate. But as more and more information about him surfaces, his numbers fall. He is, after all, really a left-wing elistist. He really doesn't think America is such a great place, and I firmly believe he wants to change it drastically. Do a little research on what he means by "economic justice."

Pelosi continues her book tour, not selling many books, but exciting what few fans she has. You might want to check out reader reviews on, which are about 10 to 1 against buying the book. Most describe it as vacuous. Nancy is quite the artist of using a lot of words to say nothing much at all.

The economy, while not without its challenges, continues to grow, though a much smaller rate than we'd like. There are weaknesses, but these always happen from time to time as our markets realign themselves. We've had bubbles burst before, and if you pay attention, you'll make it through. But part of life is adjusting to reality.

And in the meantime, gas prices have dropped about 50 cents per gallon, at least where I live (which is along the Red River, the border between Texas and Oklahoma). That's a little better. So there is something to be said about bubbles bursting, the prices too high for the market to bear, and supply and demand psychology. Not that Pelosi or her supporters will admit.

So we should all take some deep breaths, like the buy on, drinkingwithbob. His presentation is a little drastic, but he makes sense, and after his "what's next, what's next, what's next" closing, he too takes a few deep breaths.

We still live in the most prosperous and free nation on the planet -- that has ever existed. We're not perfect yet. So after taking a moment to appreciate that we are blessed to live here, let's get back to work, shall we?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stop Harrassing Big Oil, Bill

I'm tired of hearing Bill O'Reilly accuse the oil companies of screwing Americans. While I generally like the Factor, I don't watch it as much as I used to, because most of his guests are idiots. But I did catch a recent report where he called on the oil companies to contribute 2 percent of their profits into a general fund to help the poor heat and/or cool their homes.

Karl Rove was his guest to analyze. First of all, Rove is correct in saying that government should not impose penalties. And he also stated that oil companies generally only make 8 cents on the dollar in net profit. Also fairly accurate. Rove finally agree that oil companies contributing to charity isn't a bad idea -- just don't make it mandatory. Rove wins the debate with Bill, at least by my account.

Over the last 10 years, ExxonMobil has averaged 9.7 percent. Still low compared to other industries, but higher than some. The 8 cents on the dollar may be true for all oil companies -- I didn't do the math on that yet. But I like to be precise. When we're talking billions of dollars, a few percentage points is a lot of money.

However, the Christian Science Monitor reported today:

In the first quarter of 2008, Big Oil had a profit margin of 7.4 percent. Over that same period, the pharmaceutical and medicine industry earned a 25.9 percent profit, the chemical industry earned 15.7 percent and the electronic equipment industry earned 12.1 percent.

Bill keeps bringing up the fact that Exxon made 80 billion dollars (or is that the top five; it's hard to keep it straight). He fails to mention the dividends returned to shareholders ($43 billion for the top five), and the taxes these companies already pay.

Should the oil companies contribute 2 percent of the net profits to the poor for heating and cooling? I don't want government to impose that, but donating money to the poor is always a good idea, and could be good P.R.

Bill, why don't you set up a non-profit? Put your money where your mouth is. I'll contribute. Let everyone, including getting the oil companies to make tax-deductible contributions.

Better yet. I think I'll do it myself. And Bill, you better contribute, with money and publicity. Then maybe you can quit trashing Big Oil.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Few Comments From Others

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
“My message to Democratic lawmakers is this: if you’re really for increased American energy production, then prove it by putting it in writing. Sign the discharge petitions House Republicans are circulating that will force votes on energy legislation Speaker Pelosi refuses to bring to the floor. And sign onto the American Energy Act, our ‘all of the above’ plan to increase conservation, innovation, and American energy production, instead of doing the Speaker’s bidding by voting against bringing it to a vote. If you aren’t willing to put it in writing, you’re fooling no one. You’re siding with the Speaker of the Drill-Nothing Congress and radical special interests that favor higher gas prices, at the expense of energy-strapped American families.”

“This cynical strategy is disgustingly dishonest. Without any real solutions to help Americans who are struggling with record-high gas prices, it appears the Democratic leadership has hit on a new plan: deceive. Deceive the press, deceive its members, and deceive the American people. Democratic members have a ‘pass’ from their leaders to talk about drilling at home, while the liberal Democratic leadership – which is beholden to special interests that want higher gas prices – plays ‘rope-a-dope’ back in Washington, ensuring there is no vote to help the American people before November. It’s cynical, dishonest, and wrong – and it won’t work.”

Michelle Malkin
While Madame Speaker advises America's daughters that "you have to know what you're talking about, you can't grandstand," she gave a pitiful performance on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" when pressed to explain her stonewalling of up-or-down votes on energy bills.

In classic grandstanding style, Pelosi mischaracterized GOP proposals as drilling-only, blustered about drilling not having an immediate effect on lowering gas prices, criticized Republicans for not divining the right parliamentary moves to get their legislative plans through, and then sniffed imperiously that "they'll have to use their imagination as to how they can get a vote."

Frank James
Pelosi, a California Democrat, accused Republicans of being monomaniacal on the drilling issue and of suggesting to voters that drilling would immediately lower gas prices. She wasn't going to play along with something that would mislead voters, she asserted.

Here's the problem with that. Anyone who has listened to the debate has heard House Republicans say they are willing to consider a range of options from the use of renewable energy sources to new alternative fuels to conservation so long as they can get a vote on off-shore drilling.

Newt Gingrich
Nancy Pelosi is not the only member of the anti-energy left looking desperate.

In an urgent email sent to their members last week, the far Left activist group wrote about the national debate over how to best lower gas and energy prices, "Here's the truth: Right now, progressives are losing this argument."

They're right. We are winning and the Left is losing the argument over our country's energy future because Americans know that thirty years of their policies has led to the current mess.

For decades, anti-energy, left-wing politicians have advocated higher prices and less energy. They were going to save the environment by punishing Americans into driving less and driving smaller cars. They favor a policy of no oil and gas exploration, no use of coal, and no development of nuclear power.

The result has been that over the last three decades, America has relied more and more on foreign oil rather than American oil, and our nation's power grid has been stretched thin because litigation and regulation has made it so difficult to build new sources of electricity.

The American people can see this, so they're rejecting the Left's philosophy of less energy and inconvenience in favor of a pro-investment, pro-creativity, pro-production, and pro-conservation energy coalition.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

USA Today Gets It, But Then Blows It

USA Today, in an editorial, proved that it understood the strategy of energy, as well of the tactics. But then, by allowing a counter-point article that used false information in the lead, hurt the paper's credibility.

While USA Today accuses the Republicans of overselling the drill-now policy, which may have some merit, the goal is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil supplies. And they came out against Obama's tax policies.

What USA Today thinks, and I agree, is that we need a comprehensive energy policy: drill more oil and gas, more nuclear energy, clean coal, wind and solar, better conservation. It will take all.

Then Carl Pope, the Director of the Sierra Club, states in his opposing view: "But the big oil companies and their friends in Congress continue to offer just one answer to our energy problems — more oil drilling." This is the second sentence and is blantantly untrue. The Republicans are trying to put forth an comprehensive plan, called the American Energy Plan, but Pelosi is blocking this because it also includes provisions for drilling.

I feel I have to point out this when I see anyone using false information to further their points.

And that's what Carl Pope and his comrades are doing.

Windfall Profits and Pelosi's Myths

Obama has proposed a windfall profits tax. This is not the first time we've heard this. Hillary Clinton also said once she wanted to go after the oil companies. Let's penalize free market capaitalism. It's been tried before, and while it might make some folks feel good, it didn't work then, and wouldn't work now.

This is what the Economist had to say recently:

Mr Obama says that he would tax oil firms for “windfall profits”, and give motorists a rebate ($1,000 for families, $500 for individuals). Such a populist gesture might go down well with voters, but imposing a windfall tax would cause uncertainty in the oil industry and divert funds from investment in production of more oil, thus contributing to higher prices. Another suggestion, to release some oil from the strategic reserve, would bring a temporary benefit at best.

Of course, Obama and the rest of his ilk really do believe in income restribution, so that's no surprise. Take ExxonMobil. It's sales are staggering, some $116 billion last quarter. Its profit margin was about 9.7%. Over the last 10 years, Exxon has averaged 7.7% profit, from a low of about 4% to a high of 10.4%.

Everyone is yelling about huge profits, and they may be historic, but then again so is the price of oil, due to the shrinking spread between supply and demand and the speculation it causes in the markets. But the dividends these compaines are paying are equally outstanding. Exxon, Chevron, BP, Total and Royal Dutch and ConocoPhillips paid nearly $43 billion in dividends last year. And they've been buying back shares, which increases stockholder value (if you pay $1 billion in dividends, but there are fewer shares, each shareholder gets more of the dividend pie).

Regular people, like you and me, own these companies, either directly as stockholders, or through our retirement accounts, 401Ks, insurance programs, state retirement funds, etc.

So this is not such a bad deal. If it's so horrible that Exxon make 9 percent profit, why is no one yelling about other companies, like Microsoft, which makes nearly 30 percent profit. Where's the outcry?

So Obama and Pelosi have a no-drill policy. No debate allowed on the house floor. Turn off the lights, and let's go home.

Then during the weekend, she was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. She continues with her ignorant myths. Anyone with the ability to read, investigate and think clearly can see that developing more of ALL of our resources is the answer short-term and long-term.

But Obama and Pelosi are elitists and don't care about you. Let's save the planet, while destroying America. That will solve all of our problems.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Must Reads for the Day

It seems Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post and I think alike. And I'm not going to quit pounding on Nancy Pelosi's destructive policy of no drilling, until ANWAR, Offshore Oil, and Rocky Mountain shale is open for new exploration.

Pelosi: Save the Planet, Let Someone Else Drill
The net environmental effect of Pelosi's no-drilling willfulness is negative. Outsourcing U.S. oil production does nothing to lessen worldwide environmental despoliation. It simply exports it to more corrupt, less efficient, more unstable parts of the world -- thereby increasing net planetary damage.

Dems Stop Approps Bills To Block GOP Energy Push
Blame it on a delayed Fiscal Year 2009 budget, on a long fight over funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presidential veto threats or over energy issues Republicans are using to score political points: This year, Democrats have no plans to finish as many as ten of the twelve annual appropriations bills before Congress adjourns.

The Democrats’ Drill-Nothing Congress Going Home
By blocking a vote to increase American energy production, Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues on the other side of the Capitol, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barack Obama (D-IL), have proven how amazingly out-of-touch with the American people they really are.

The ‘60s Won’t Go Away
Those who protested some 40 years ago often still congratulate themselves that their loud zeal alone brought needed "change" to America in civil rights, the environment, women's liberation and world peace. Maybe. But critics counter that the larger culture that followed was the most self-absorbed in memory.

No Credit Where Credit Is Due
President Bush came into office promising he would govern with his own style of compassionate conservatism. And he's largely lived up to that promise, but he gets little or no credit. Aid to Africa is only one aspect of that compassion. This week, an annual report to Congress on homelessness in the United States reports a historic drop in the number of chronically homeless people over a two-year period: a 30 percent decline between 2005 and 2007.

Change We Can Believe In
KABUL, Afghanistan -- This place should have had real appeal to Sen. Barack Obama. The poverty of the Afghan people is evident everywhere. Racked by decades of Soviet occupation, civil war and an oppressive Taliban theocracy, the country is a veritable centerpiece for one of Obama's legislative objectives: a frontal assault on global poverty.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How the media make you believe things are worse than they are

Today, the government reported that the economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product or GDP, grew by an annual rate of 1.9 percent. Nothing to write home about, but not bad either.

A caveat in the news business is that good news does not sell. My exposure to this was during the time I worked both in PR, working with the media, and as a newspaper reporter and editor. Bad news sells, good news does not, especially for the front page. And the front page, especially above the fold, which readers supposedly see first, is the Holy Grail of bad news.

The way people digest news these days is changing, but the dinosaur main-stream media has not changed quickly enough, which is why so many are struggling financially.

But the media will make good news look bad, because of this "golden rule" of news editors. They use the English language, choosing their words carefully, precisely. Reporters and editors spend a great deal of time doing this, and their choice of words are seldom by accident.

The AP reported this morning that "economic growth picked up" in the second quarter. Key here is "picked up." As in only. Of course, the reason is that the tax rebate "energized" consumers. This was the first sentence of the story, so you left with a kind of ho-hum feeling.

Next sentence, in the first paragraph (which is called the lead, or lede), reads: "The rebound followed a treacherous patch where the economy jolted into reverse at the end of 2007. The italics are mine to point out the change of emotion from the first sentence to the second.

Second paragraph provides actual figures for the lead (emphasis mine):

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the April-to-June period. That marked an improvement over the feeble 0.9 percent growth logged in the first quarter of this year and an outright contraction in the economy during the final quarter of last year.

Let's look at some other superlatives used in the article.

"The rebound, while welcome, isn't likely to be seen as a signal that the fragile economy is out of the woods. There are fears that as the bracing tonic of the tax rebates fades, the economy could be in for another rough patch later this year."

One of my favorite passages in the article is this one: "...employers have cut jobs for six months in a row, bringing total losses this year close to a staggering half-million — 438,000."

First of all, 438,000 is closer to 400,000 than a half-million, or 500,000. So if you are rounding to the nearest hundred thousand, it should have read "a whopping 400,000." Get it?

Secondly, there are more than 146 million people working in this country. Cutting 438,000 jobs is only .2 percent of the total. While we all hate to see 438,000 jobs cut, that doesn't really mean that 438,000 more people are out of work. As the AP reports, "The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications for jobless benefits soared to 448,000, an increase of 44,000 from the previous week." A less-than-10-percent increase is not soaring. If there are 10,000 more people unemployed over the number of job cuts, so it must be that many of those people in jobs that were cut have found new employment. Now that would NOT be bad news.

The fact is that the economy grew in the second quarter and the jobless rate remains historically low.

But why paint a rosy picture when you can spin it as bad news?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Bad Oil?

Just recently, ConocoPhillips paid out $700 million in quarterly dividends. For the last year, they paid about $2.8 billion. Today, ExxonMobil announced they would pay out $2.1 billion in dividends, for one quarter. During the last year, they paid more than $8 billion in dividends.

Then there is Chevron, which has paid more than $5 billion in dividends. BP, a little more than $10 billion; Total, $6.9 billion, and Royal Dutch, $10 billion.

Even PetroChina Co, LTD, paid nearly $9 billion in dividends during the last year.

Where does this money go?

Mutual funds, pension plans, retirement accounts, millions of individual investors, and my mother-in-law (an ExxonMobil shareholder), to name a few. Dividends are taxed at a lower rate than income, which means that millions of Americans can keep more of their dividends. (Of course, Barack wants to raise these taxes).

And this is bad, how?

Whose Failed Policies?

While out promoting her new book, rather than attending to the business of the American people, Nancy Pelosi is defending her stance on energy policy.

"I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy," Pelosi said. “When you win the election, you win the majority, and what is the power of the speaker? To set the agenda, the power of recognition, and I am not giving the gavel away to anyone.”

What debate? She won't allow it on the House floor. And whose failed policies?

"She's got time to go out and promote her new book tour and her new book, but she doesn't have time to schedule a vote on the floor of the House and let the American people have their will expressed?" Rep. John Boehner told FOX News.

"For 25 years, Democrats have blocked more American-made oil and gas. That's why we're in the predicament we're in," said Boehner, R-Ohio. Voters want Congress "to vote on more American made oil and gas. We want to do that. She, Harry Reid, Barack Obama are standing in the way."

House and Senate Democrats are using their control of Congress to avoid voting on opening up the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil exploration, which they say is unnecessary because oil companies already have leases to millions of acres of federal land. Because of the deadlock, Democratic energy priorities have stalled, too.

Pelosi countered the criticism by issuing a statement that listed a series of editorials from newspaper boards critical of the GOP plan to allow more offshore oil drilling.

"American families and businesses are struggling with skyrocketing gas prices at the pump, but President Bush and his Republican allies in Congress continue to stand in the way of real relief," Pelosi said in the statement. "Instead, the Bush-Cheney policy, an energy plan crafted by two oilmen in the White House, revolves around the best interests of Big Oil – from protecting tax breaks to expanding domestic oil and gas drilling."

David Rogers at the Politico newspaper reports that Pelosi, who initially promised an open debate, has now resorted to what he calls hard-nosed parliamentary devices to block any Republican proposals on offshore oil and gas exploration.

Rogers also calls Pelosi "Nancy the Navigator" because she says, "I have always loved longitude. I love latitude; it's in the stars. But longitude, it's about time... time and clocks and all the rest of that have always been a fascination for me."

This is beyond belief. Even liberals (I assume posters at Huffington Post are liberal) are getting fed up with this Do-Nothing Congress.

In response to Robert Borosage's latest post, where he attempts to blame everything on Republicans, some of the resposes are telling.

Chris: "Wow it is funny how leftiest during the republican control of congress encouraged obstructionist. But now it is bad? Why is that exactly?"

People Proffessor: "Government cannot do everything. And it shouldn't do everything as enumerated in that wonderful document known as OUR Constitution."

PATina: "The Democrats have wasted the last 8 years... DOING NOTHING. There was the voter disenfranchising problems of 2000 and 2004... they should have come up w/ concrete plans to introduce legislation to improve (or change) the way we vote in this country. But they did nothing and then In 2008... it was the DEMS that were accused of disenfranchising voters in FL and MI. Pathetic."

In another reponse to Borosage's post, even some stauch Democrats are finally getting angry:

I heard Nancy on Jon Stewart blaming the lack of progress on GOP obstruction, but let's face it Nancy, you got the ball rolling (or stopped it from rolling) with "Impeachment is off the table" - why didn't you at least LOOK like you were going to changing the course of disaster the GOP had put us on, and said nothing at all or at least "Impeachment is worth looking at".

Nancy and those who rolled over with her right after the elections of 2006 don't deserve to be elected again.

Seems to me that we are getting closer and closer to a real American revolution, in which the majority of Americans, both conservative and liberal, are getting fed up.

I say it's about time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Queen Pelosi to Use Gavel to Save the World While She Destroys U.S.

Rep. (D-CA) Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has told Politico that she’s standing in the way on a drilling vote because she’s determined to use the speaker’s gavel to “save the planet.”

What gives her the right to ignore the will of the people to further her own personal agenda? The House of Representatives is the peoples house, as designed by the founders and specified in the Constitution.

She does not have this right while the average American suffers under higher energy prices, and rising prices in general caused by higher energy prices. Because of her actions, hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs, and other low-income families can barely make it.

She promised a new kind of leadership in the House. But we never knew this would lead to her coronation as Queen of the House, instead of Speaker. This is the worst Congress the U.S. has ever seen.

She needs to step down immediately.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who's the Most Liberal? Who Cares!

The New Republic today displayed a long article about the National Journal's much-ballyhooed rankings being deeply flawed.

One fact jumped out at me. One of the reasons Obama wasn't ranked more conservative is the fact that he missed 33%, ONE-THIRD, of his votes in the Senate. If I missed ONE-THIRD of my days at work, I'd be FIRED. Once Senators get this far (being the party nominees, we assume) they should resign from their jobs.

So where does Obama really fall on the spectrum? No vote-ranking system can capture it perfectly, since ideology is as much about legislative priorities and emphases as it is about votes. But here's a rough idea: In his first two years in the Senate, when he didn't miss many votes, Obama ranked 16th and 10th on National Journal's "most liberal" list. A separate and more elaborate ranking system, developed by highly regarded political scientists Jeff Lewis and Keith Poole, found him to be the 11th most liberal senator in 2007 and 21st most liberal in the previous Congress. Obama clearly belongs to the party's liberal wing rather than its centrist contingent--he's essentially said as much--but he's not close to being the Senate's left-most member.

Second of all, I don't care if Obama is the most liberal Senator ever. I just don't know what he's going to do. McCain is a more known entity. Obama is not. I watched Obama during the primaries, and he said many things, pandering more left than center. Now that he's in the general election, not only is his arrogance coming to light, be he's now changing his policies.

I don't mind if a politician changes his mind based on new information, but Obama is changing based on the same information that has been available all along.

That worries me. Inexperience, the willingness to pander for political gain, and arrogance is what Obama has. He needs another 15-20 years in government before he's even close to ready.

You should be worried too.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Obama Iraq Documentary: Whatever the Politics Demand

It is evident by now that it is hard to pin Barack Obama down what his positions are, but don't believe me. Listen to him, in his own words.

Where Has All Our Money Gone?

During the last two years (2006 and 2007), the U.S. Government spent about $5.3 trillion. This astronomical sum of money is almost beyond comprehension. During these same two years, the government collected about $5.0 trillion. Again, a huge pile of cash.

One way to look at this amount of money -- $5.3 trillion over two years -- is how that breaks down for every person in the country, called per capita: It's $17,385 per person for two years, or about $8,690 per person per year.

Another way to look at is how much money does the U.S. Government spends per each worker, those who are employed. During the second quarter of this year, there were about 146 million people with jobs. It comes to $18,150 per employed person per year.

Page 19 of this table will show you a summary of where the government gets its money. Page 22 shows a summary of which agency gets what.

And we've all heard of earmarks. Well, you can find out what is being spent on these little jewels. The Office of Management and Budget has the information.

Our government has grown so large that no one can control it, a concept offered in this article called Insatiable Government by Garet Garrett:

There are many aspects of government. The one least considered is what may be called the biological aspect, in which government is like an organism with such an instinct for growth and self-expression that if let alone it is bound to destroy human freedom — not that it might wish to do so but that it could not in nature do less. No government ever wants less government — that is, less of itself. No government ever surrenders power, even its emergency powers — not really. It may mean to surrender them, but on the first new occasion it will take them all back. One of the American Government's wartime powers was the War Finance Corporation. The present Reconstruction Finance Corporation is a revival of that power in time of peace. And so it goes.

This was first published on June 25, 1932. We haven't learned. From the New Deal to Johnson's War on Poverty, we've allowed the government to control just about everything we do. This is not freedom.

It will only get worse, unlesss we do something about it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Must Reads for the Day

It should be quite evident by now that the Democrats, and liberals in general, are not about freedom of expression, democracy or letting votes dictate the policy of this government or the will of the people. They are about power. They want to run the country as they see fit, because they are, after all, smarter and better than the rest of us. If you don't believe this, start with the first story below, an editorial in the usually left-leaning Washington Post.

No Drilling, No Vote
Speaker Pelosi won't let the House debate the merits of offshore drilling.WHY NOT have a vote on offshore drilling? There's a serious debate to be had over whether Congress should lift the ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf that has been in place since 1981. Unfortunately, you won't be hearing it in the House of Representatives -- certainly, you won't find lawmakers voting on it -- anytime soon.

Barack Obama Secretly Runs Senate Banking Committee!
Here’s our pal Barack Obama, saying that the Senate Banking Committee — “which is my committee,” he says — passed some bill about something. Problem is, he’s not actually on the Senate Banking Committee at all. Maybe he meant to say he’s on the SENATE LIARS COMMITTEE where he passed a bill about MAKING SHIT UP. This is significantly more important than John McCain saying the Surge caused things that happened before the Surge.

A Look Back: What Democrats Were Saying About The Surge
The enormous improvement in Iraq's security situation caused by the surge has been so undeniable that even the mainstream press has started alternating between ignoring Iraq completely and acknowledging, albeit reluctantly, that the surge has put victory within reach in Iraq.

Change They Can Believe In
Barack Obama’s recent global tour may have been a media sensation abroad, but back home it was a punch line. “There was a huge reception for Barack Obama in the Middle East this past weekend,” quipped Jay Leno. “People were screaming, chasing him, hanging on his every word — and that was just the U.S. press corps.”

The Surge, the Awakening, the Democrats and Rewriting History
McCain wants to start the surge too early, Wesley Clark gets his facts wrong and also claims the Saudis had a hand in calming the violence - the surge has become a bit of a political football in this not yet official presidential contest.

Summer Madness
So an exasperated Sen. Barbara Boxer screams that the farm-belt senators better support her regional selfishness in opposing California off-shore drilling against the national interest, in the same manner she went along with the ethanol boondoggle. Odd that she was so brazen in her confessional.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The liberal mind

In a letter to the editor for the TCPalm, a reader speaks her opinion on the Fairness Doctrine, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports. This bill, if passed, would required radio stations to provide the same amount of time to a liberal as to conservatives such as Rush, et al, get to air their shows.

The Fairness Doctrine is not needed. The market-place will provide. Both sides of the political spectrum has what they need to get their views heard. This would probably put some to many radio stations out of business. This is the motivation behind Pelosi's stance: silence any opposition. This is quite clear to anyone who thinks clearly.

Beside the point (which is my point, not the letter writer above), why do we need government to tell us what we need to put on the air?

In reponse to this letter writer, the liberals went balistic. Listen to how they make their case (you should first read the letter above, so you can see the tone in which is was written).

"hey donna to begin with i consider rush to be a comedian, drug abuser who has nothing to do but feed his sheep pure stupidity and as sheep does you follow him, oreilly (a real idiot) hannity another shepherd of the non thinking flock"

How is the 'fairness doctrine" any different than 'fair and balanced" ? One can listen to whomever they want and believe whatever they want . No one is stopping them . If one can not tell the difference between facts and fiction pretty much explains why they listen to Rush, Sean and Bill it enforces their intollerent beliefs. Right wingers have always been easy targets for the hate mongers or groups Weather it was Hitler, Grobbels, Joe McCarthy. S. Agnew, N. Gingrich, Rush, Sean or Bill. You won't find any right wingers in Green Peace or the Peace Corp , but you will however find them in the KKK or American Nazi party .It was liberals who pushed civil rights that why right wingers became REPUBLICANS . Intollerance , this is what appeals to right wingers. REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST WAS A BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL. A TRUE CHRISTIAN believes in LIBERAL PRINCIPALS.

Of course, conservatives had their say as well:

First of all many many republicans helped with the civil rights movement, of course left wing nuts like yourself will never admit to that. Secondly,you mention how you will see right wingers in groups that promote hate but you forgot to mention that there are a lot of liberals that also promote hate and many liberals that promote the use of force to get their agenda pushed forward.Look at the terrorrist group FALN from Puerto Rico,they set off bombs here in our country.The Clintons,the liberals that they are commutted the sentences of 19 convicted members of the group.Look at Obama,not only a liberal but a socialist.He belonged to a church that preached hatred towards whites.He attended the church for twenty years.Take a look at Rep Charle Rangel another liberal.He has supported former members of the black panters,a group that went around shooting police officers in the 60,s and 70's.As you can see there are plenty of low lifes on both sides of the aisle.Thirdly,you stated "if one can not tell the difference between fact and fiction it pretty much explains why the listen to Rush,Sean and Bill it enforces their intollerent beliefs.On the other hand if people like yourself who can't tell the difference between fact and fiction is explains why you watch CNN,NBC or CBS.You most likely think that everything Colmes says on Hannity and Colmes is 100 percent correct.Liberals like yourself also have two sets of standards.Look at Obama.Obama attends a church of hate for twenty years,a church that preached hatred towards whites.Obama never objected to any of it.If McCain had attended a church that preached hatred towards blacks or any other ethnic group you and the rest of the liberals would be screaming that he is a racist and the he should be thrown out of the race.Your willinhg to overlook what Obama did because he is a ultra liberal.Now onto the so called fairness doctrine.The fact is the liberals want this pushed thru because conservative talk radio is killing the liberal shows in the ratings and they want to stop that.Like you stated "one can listen to whomever they want and believe what they want".So in other words we do not need this legislation pushed thru if you do not want to listen to conservative talk radio all you have to do is switch stations but the fact is liberals know that more people listen to conservative radio and watch conservative tv than liberal radio and tv and they do not like that.

Besides the facts, the tone of the writing is so much different for a conservative as opposed to the liberals.

A New Kind of Leadership

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised a new kind of leadership in the House of Representatives. Well, we got it.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid continue to block any legislation that would increase our domestic oil and gas exploration and production. As WorldNetDaily comments:

Speaker Pelosi is making similar use of her considerable power, denying access to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for any proposal that would loosen the restrictions on expanded drilling in America. In committees, she has directed that meetings be recessed or canceled when necessary to prevent elected representatives from offering of any pro-drilling amendments.

The appropriations process has been shut down to avoid amendments. It's hard to believe, but this Congress wants to avoid energy votes more than it wants to spend money.

Similar tactics are being applied in the Senate, along with a refusal to delay its August recess to consider energy legislation. The political sensitivity is greater in the House, however, because every one of its members must face the voters this fall, whereas only one-third of the senators will. calls Pelosi's tactics as "one person using her power to usurp the democratic process because of personal ideology." And liberals have the gall to call Bush a tyrant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Case You Missed It

Kelly Nuxoll wrote for the Huffington Post on July 15: "Barack Obama is waging a strategic effort this week to shore up his credentials." To shore up his credentials to lead in world affairs means he must have credentials in the first place, which he does not. She is quite impressed with Obama's ability to think strategically. After all, he beat Hillary in the primaries and he's written a best-selling book. She goes on:

My brother, a soldier in Iraq, was "unimpressed and even a little turned off" with the Democratic candidate's plan to leave Iraq -- it completely overlooked whether Iraqi security forces would be ready, how long it takes to redeploy not just combat brigades but assets, and the process for establishing a stable political environment in Baghdad.

Details!...are where the devil is.

She claims tactics don't matter. "Obama won't get bogged down in the hows, but continue to soar high in the whats and whys."

Kind of why liberal policies are always such a failure. By the way, Nuxoll is a free-lance writer and lives in San Francisco.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How long will this go on?

We're in trouble. And our government has been failing us for more than 50 years.

Are we running out of oil, as "peak oil" advocates would have us believe? Or do we not need to worry about it?

In December 2007, Brazil discovered billions in its Tupi field. In April 2008, Brazil discovered that its Carioca offshore oil field may hold up to 33 billion barrels. China last year made 10 major new energy discoveries.

Most estimates place the U.S. reserves (oil that we haven't pumped yet, but know is there) are about 30 billion barrels. This doesn't include some of the following:

In 2006 Chevron, Devon Energy and Norway's Statoil discovered a field with 15 billion barrels in the Gulf of Mexico. Other offshore sources hold as much as 10 billion barrels. The 2,000-acre site in ANWR has up to 16 billion barrels. The Bakken oil basin, stretching from North Dakota and Montana into Canada, has about 4 billion barrels. Colorado and Utah are estimated to contain as much as 1.2 trillion barrels of oil trapped in shale below the ground.
A 2005 U.S. Geological Survey reported that there remain some 3 trillion barrels worldwide yet to be pumped.

The numbers are so big that it's hard to put your mind around. So let's do that.

Let's say, for a moment, that the figure of 30 billion barrels of oil left in the U.S. is correct.

How long would that last if we used it all for our consumption of 20 million barrels a day?

We've got just over 4 years of oil left. Wow. We'd better get our bicyles out. I'll invest in some horses for sure.

Ignoring the shale oil for a moment, there is another estimated 45 billion barrels yet to be tapped in the U.S. That would add another 6.16 years. So we have just a little more than 10 years if we used all of our own oil.

If we just use our own oil to replace imports (about 14 million barrels a day), we get just over 14 years before we run out.

Looks pretty bleak, huh?

Add the 1.2 trillion in shale oil, and we get a little breather. This would last us 164 years if we used it for all of our needs, and 235 years to replace our imports. Of course, we would not be importing after a century, because the rest of the world will have run out.

At the current consumption rate of 80 million barrels per day worldwide, we have 104 years before everyone runs out.

So what is the solution to our energy needs? Obviously, we need oil now. So we better get busy, because the downside to not using our own resources is this: every day we send (at today's price of $126 per barrel) some $1.7 billion to other countries, most of who are not very friendly to us. Better to keep those dollars at home, don't you think?

We certainly need to find some viable alternatives. So we better get to work. Nuclear energy, natural gas, hydrogen power, solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal are all sources to tap. Continued research into fusion is absolutely necessary.

We do not have to ride horses again. But a sane, well-though-out, and continuous energy program is needed. Our government has been failing us for more than 40 years. How long will we let this go on?