Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The wisdom of Clint Eastwood

You don't live nearly 81 years (he'll be 81 on May 31) without picking up some wisdom along the way. So I thought I'd share a few quotes from Clint Eastwood, as reported by the Internet Movie Database. This is not to say that actors and directors are any more wise than anyone else, but I'm a fan of his work, so here goes.
My father used to say to me, "Show 'em what you can do, and don't worry about what you're gonna get. Say you'll work for free and make yourself invaluable."
I like the libertarian view, which is to leave everyone alone. Even as a kid, I was annoyed by people who wanted to tell everyone how to live.
Plastic surgery used to be a thing where older people would try to go into this dream world of being 28 years old again. But now, in Hollywood, even people at 28 are having work done. Society has made us believe you should look like an 18-year-old model all your life. But I figure I might as well just be what I am.
I think people jumped to conclusions about Dirty Harry (1971) without giving the character much thought, trying to attach right-wing connotations to the film that were never really intended. Both the director [Don Siegel] and I thought it was a basic kind of drama - what do you do when you believe so much in law and order and coming to the rescue of people and you just have five hours to solve a case? That kind of impossible effort was fun to portray, but I think it was interpreted as a pro-police point of view, as a kind of rightist heroism, at a time in American history when police officers were looked down on as "pigs", as very oppressive people - I'm sure there are some who are, and a lot who aren't. I've met both kinds.
I don't like the wimp syndrome. No matter how ardent a feminist may be, if she is a heterosexual female, she wants the strength of a male companion as well as the sensitivity. The most gentle people in the world are macho males, people who are confident in their masculinity and have a feeling of well-being in themselves. They don't have to kick in doors, mistreat women, or make fun of gays.
I don't believe in pessimism. If something doesn't come up the way you want, forge ahead.
They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.
Maybe I'm getting to the age when I'm starting to be senile or nostalgic or both, but people are so angry now. You used to be able to disagree with people and still be friends. Now you hear these talk shows, and everyone who believes differently from you is a moron and an idiot - both on the Right and the Left.
[on President George W. Bush] You've got to admire somebody who stands up for what they believe regardless of how the polls go. A lot of presidents do everything by the polls. They do a focus group then all of a sudden they say, "OK, that's what I'm going to be for because that's where focus group is leading me.
[on the Iraq war] I wasn't for going in there. Only because democracy isn't something that you get overnight. I don't think America got democracy overnight. It's something we had to fight for and believe in.
Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.
I don't want to be politically correct. We're all spending too much time and energy trying to be politically correct about everything.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pelosi stays true to form

From The Messenger, Fort Dodge, IA. I happen to agree with their conclusion and I'll add my 2 cents. Pelosi has to be plain nuts (as in crazy).
Nancy Pelosi, now minority leader in the House of Representatives, has launched a new tirade against Republicans who now control the chamber. It involves compostable eating utensils.

When Pelosi and her fellow Democrats were in control of the House, they established a so-called "green" requirement that only cups, knives, forks and spoons that could be composted were permitted in the three main House cafeterias. Once it became apparent the utensils were so flimsy they sometimes melted in hot soup and could not penetrate some foods, lawmakers of both parties complained.

Then it was revealed the program was costing a whopping $475,000 a year, plus expenses for hauling away and processing the compostables.

Once Republicans took over control of the House, the new leadership quickly decreed sturdier foam cups and plastic utensils would be used. That will save a substantial amount of taxpayers' money.

Pelosi's spokesman accused the Republican leadership of embarking on "policies that take us backwards."

Actually, no. We suspect little good - if any - was done for the environment by the Pelosi program. New GOP initiatives such as reusable dinnerware are likely to be "greener" than the Pelosi edict.

We had thought Americans might be spared examples of Pelosi's ultra-partisanship when she left the speaker's post. Apparently we were wrong.
Why can't these folks use regular silverware and glasses like the rest of us? I could buy enough silverware for 535 people for about $1,300 (check Walmart's prices on cheap silverware, which actually work) and buy enough drinking glasses so each person could have 2 glasses at a time for a little more than a grand (again, Walmart). And it would be all reusable.

No wonder we're in trouble.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Savage Nation

It was nice to take a vacation. San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the coastal islands are nice this time of year.

While driving home last week, surfing the radio stations, I heard Michael Savage say that using U.S. Navy helicopters, personnel and an aircraft carrier to assist Japan was a blatant misuse of military resources. And, he doesn't believe "anyone in the military is competent," but then quickly backpedaled and tried to cover his ass by pointing out maybe it was the "higher ups" that were incompetent.

I turned him off. As a veteran of 25 years, I'd like to slap him upside the head. He's so wrong on all accounts that I can't believe he is still on the air. I turned to my wife and asked her what she thought and she agreed that using the U.S. Navy, when available, to assist in a natural disaster is a good thing. And she's 8th generation Texan, and conservative on most issues.

Sometimes, our military personnel are put in harm's way. What does Savage (his real last name is Weiner) think?

Who cares what he thinks?

He gives conservatives a bad name.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wisconsin Not a Tipping-point, But Reversal of Roles

There is a fundamental change underway in American politics. Progressive is becoming conservative and conservative is becoming progressive, if you define conservative as protecting the status quo, while progressive is defined as rejecting the status quo and promoting changes which make sense in today's world.

It's conservatives who want to throw off the progressive experiment, while preserving some of the better traditions of the American experiment. It’s conservatives who want to reshape American politics so that the voter and taxpayer have more decision-making power than big-money unions and political action committees. It's conservatives who want progress by downsizing and restructuring government programs so they are affordable, effective and sustainable.

"Progressives" on the other hand, are desperately clinging to the past. Oh, don't get me wrong. Liberal rhetoric is definitely "progressive," and an excellent example is spelled out in the Progressive Strategy Handbook, published by the Cognitive Policy Works (think George Lackoff, one of the most left-leaning of Berkeley liberals). They still believe that conservatives are people who cling to "guns and bibles," and liberals are the tolerant and forward-looking people who will lead us all to a world without want.

While a majority of conservatives may desire traditional social values, instead of embracing and celebrating any deviate behavior whatsoever, conservatives look at a changing world -- and what needs to change -- when it comes to the success of the American people to determine their own destiny.

Yet almost the opposite is true if you ignore the liberal rhetoric and look closely at their actions.

Progressives will tell you they are the tolerant ones, but only if you toe the party line. And if you're black, Hispanic or a woman of any color, and are conservative, look out. They will attack you with all their might. Consider comments like that made by Sen. Harry Reid, who said he couldn't understand why anyone of Hispanic descent would be a Republican. And watch how they demonstrate. They make the Tea Party demonstrations look like a picnic, and the liberals don't clean up after themselves, either. I guess that's the job of their government. And when the vote will go against their programs, they cut and run. Democracy has been shut down in Wisconsin.

As William F. Buckley, Jr. said once: "Liberals claim to want to give hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."

Just reading two leading liberal columnists, Paul Krugman and Eugene Robinson, you'd think that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a dictator whose sole purpose is "union-busting," that it's not about the budget, but about money and power.

But the actual bill is in fact quite different than what is being presented by both the left and the mainstream media.

There are no unions to be busted. Collective bargaining remains in place, though is more limited than before, which previously essentially had no limits. Instead of the unions deciding what taxpayers pay for government services, it’s the taxpayers who are attempting to take back the decision-making.

Robinson calls it a "coup," while Krugman calls it creating an oligarchy, neither of which is even close to reality. Other parts of the Wisconsin bill are also bad according to Krugman, especially the parts that allow the state to sell off industries it no longer wants to run, like a few power plants. Privatization is a bad word in liberal speak.

Limiting what and how much some public service unions can actually negotiate for is important, or we'll just end up like before. Don't get me wrong. At one time unions were a very important part of the nation's effort to end the stranglehold that business had on workers. But today, we have laws and regulations in place that prevent those sorts of things.

But the fact remains that it costs the state of Wisconsin nearly 75 cents in benefits for each dollar in salary. This amounts to an average salary and benefit package for teachers of about $100,000. Private industry averages about 25 cents on the dollar. "What these numbers ultimately prove is the excessive power of collective borrowing," is the conclusion of the Wall Street Journal. And it's the taxpayers who work in the private sector who pay for teachers.

And yet, Milwaukee, the largest city in the state, can’t even manage to graduate half of their high school seniors each year.

But liberals want more of the same: More education spending and more (or at least the same) power for unions, more of 40-plus years of the same old tired policies that have failed to work. Look at how they wail and protest at any hint of reducing any spending programs. They'll even complain if you propose to cut the increase in spending.

The majority of the American people are awakening. No longer can liberals hide in the shadows and force their programs on us. It's time for change, and change for the better, and it won't be our "progressive" friends that get us there, no matter how much they wail about the injustice of it all.

Finally, there might be real hope and change.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Obama: Head in the sand over Islamic terror

From the Washington Times. I'll repeat most of it here, since it is so vital that we understand what is going on in Obama's head:
U.S. troops are gunned down by a shooter who screams “Allahu akbar!” before opening fire. Official statements are rushed out: The perpetrator was a lone wolf; his motive was unclear; there are no links to terrorism. Sound familiar? It should, because when Islam is the cause of American tragedy, President Obama hides his head in the sand.

On Wednesday, a young Kosovar named Arif Uka opened fire on a bus load of U.S. Air Force personnel in Frankfurt, Germany, killing two and wounding two more. Witnesses say he repeatedly shouted the jihadist battle cry, “Allahu akbar” as he emptied his weapon and screamed “Jihad! Jihad!” when tackled by German police. Uka’s victims had been heading to the fight in Afghanistan but because the jihadists have a global battlespace, the war came to them instead.

Mr. Obama made a typical noncommittal statement shortly after the shooting, saying it was a “stark reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making all around the world to keep us safe, and the dangers that they face all around the globe.” He made no mention of the nature of the threat or the reason for the sacrifices. In this respect, he was behaving true to form.

The Frankfurt shooting is the latest in a troubling series of jihadist terror attacks in which the Obama administration refuses to face reality. Among the first was the June 1, 2009, shooting at a recruiting station in Little Rock. Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who had recently travelled to Yemen, killed one U.S. Army recruiter and wounded another. Muhammad told police if other troops had been available, he would have shot them too. The White House waited two days before making a statement that omitted any reference to the attacker or his jihadist motives.

The Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood massacre, in which 14 were killed and 30 wounded, was given a persistent coat of whitewash from the Obama administration. The first coat was applied with initial statements that shooter Nidal Malik Hassan was a “lone wolf” and continued through the comprehensive “force protection review” that somehow omitted any reference to Hasan’s jihadist motives or contacts with al Qaeda.

The Obama team had a similarly slippery reaction to the Dec. 25, 2009, attempted “underwear bomb” attack on Northwest flight 253. Al Qaeda-linked bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was initially not even charged with attempting to commit an act of terrorism. Faisal Shahzad, who attempted the Times Square bombing in May 2010, was also called a lone wolf with no ties to terrorism and was even described as more a victim of the economic downturn than a committed Islamic extremist. In all these cases, the initial assessments turned out to be wrong, yet the White House still obstinately refuses to discuss the jihadist motives of the terrorists involved.

The Obama administration’s knee-jerk instinct to deny reality in hopes it will go away is clearly not working. How many Americans have to die before Mr. Obama at long last admits the nature of the Islamist threat that killed them?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Obama and his failed foreign policy

Remember how Obama and the Democrats promised us a new world order, where everyone would like us and we'd all get along?

That's not how the world works. We may wish for something different, more friendly, but it doesn't exist, so you have to deal with reality as it is. You don't apologize on the world stage, you don't bow to dictators, and you don't appease tyrants.

Now they are laughing in our faces. From the Telegraph in the UK:
Just a few years ago the United States was genuinely feared on the world stage, and dictatorial regimes, strategic adversaries and state sponsors of terror trod carefully in the face of the world’s most powerful nation. Now Washington appears weak, rudderless and frequently confused in its approach. From Tehran to Tripoli, the Obama administration has been pathetically slow to lead, and afraid to condemn acts of state-sponsored repression and violence...

In contrast to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, President Obama fails to see the United States as an exceptional nation, with a unique role in leading the free world and standing up to tyranny. In his speeches abroad he has frequently found fault with his own country, rather than projecting confidence in American greatness. From Cairo to Strasbourg he has adopted an apologetic tone rather than demonstrating faith in America as a shining city upon a hill, a beacon of freedom and liberty. A leader who lacks pride in his own nation’s historic role as a great liberator simply cannot project strength abroad...
It has also become abundantly clear that the Obama team attaches little importance to human rights issues, and in contrast to the previous administration has not pursued a freedom agenda in the Middle East and elsewhere. It places far greater value upon engagement with hostile regimes, even if they are carrying out gross human rights abuses, in the mistaken belief that appeasement enhances security. This has been the case with Iran, Russia and North Korea for example. This administration has also been all too willing to sacrifice US leadership in deference to supranational institutions such as the United Nations, whose track record in standing up to dictatorships has been virtually non-existent.
Less than 2 years to go...