Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Let's just smile and be happy. After all, Obama is President

The cheeriness of the far left in these desperate economic ties doesn't surprise or amaze me. On the one hand, they claim sympathy for those who are out of work and struggling and at the same time they can do nothing but fawn when it comes to the President and his policies, which, obviously, do not work and will not work. The midterm elections next year should prove that, though I'm no fan of Republicans being in charge of Congress because they have done, during their tenure, exactly what they blame Obama and the Democrats for. Such, though, is the problem with the left, rather than actually come up solutions to problems, especially market solutions which are known to work, they simply go out to the major media outlets and go on for hours about how much they care and sympathize. Their intentions are good, but then they go ahead and do everything not to solve the problem.

Consider the forecasts of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) of further economic stagnation and contraction. According to them we will hit 10.2% unemployment next year and run deficits in excess of $1.5 trillion. Of course, the reason for this further deepening of the recession will be blamed on the previous administration. Now, I will grant that, economically, the last administration did its part. But, once you throw facts into the matrix, the leftist arguments bear no teeth. Again, their arguments are built around sympathy and caring--emotions, not facts! During global recessions and depressions, the world has reacted far more negatively to the fallouts than the United States. In many ways we are buttressed to prevent long term stagnation and negative growth that the Europeans, for instance, are not. Also, one should note that in this current global recession, other major economic powers such as France and Germany, in Europe and Japan, in Asia have pulled themselves out and are showing positive growth (a 1.3% expansion in France and Germany--nothing great, but it's a start) while here in the U.S. our economy contracted by the same percentage points. So, why the difference?

Very simply. The governments of France, Germany and Japan are center-right governments who know very damn well that you don't spend yourself out of a tight fix. They avoided all the stimulus packages, the cap-and-trade bills and the overhaul of healthcare that are being considered or have passed here. These three things have sent shockwaves in the market and into businesses, big and and large in the states because they will do nothing but increase the cost of doing business. And the left wonders why there are protests and revolts against such policies. But, they say, we care, we feel your pain. You should love us because we care. There is an old adage that to help someone heal from pain, you leave them alone. Maybe the left should take that into consideration. But they won't because in order for them to show they care, they need someone to care about. So, they need people in destitute conditions, in poverty, in depression so that they can continue their love fest for the down-trodden.

In the Soviet Union, the glorious revolution was supposed to ensure equality for all. The government officials and military high ups always identified with their plight with the people and sympathized, but did they have to stand in line for bread and other necessities? Of course not. By virtue of their position (and their careing) the higher echelon of society got to shop at stores that were stocked full of all manners of items, even non-essentials which was impossible to obtain for the regular joe to get. A little side note, my brother's friend's dad, Mr. Jarvis, went over to the Soviet Union many years ago for his work (can't remember what it was) and he was just giving out pens from his company to ordinary people in the street. Most of these people didn't have pens in their own homes. A house without a pen! You've got to be kidding! No, Mr. Jarvis found that these people were trading for them because having such a simple item (which you can get here for so cheaply) was not possible. A soldier gave his soviet belt buckle, a very expensive item, to Mr. Jarvis in exchange.

Here in this country, we are told how much the government, particularly the left cares about those of us who are not doing well. And, of course, that's easy for people like Kennedy, Markey, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Hoyer and others to say because they will never have to endure this plight considering how wealthy they have made themselves (Well, Kennedy inherited his from his bootlegging father, Joseph, during prohibition days, but we can't talk about that!). They need us impoverished and destitute so that way they can show they care and their intentions are good. Solutions to that would mean that they would lose them. Their whole modus operandi for winning elections is showing they care for the unfortunate. Once people are no longer that unfortunate, they don't need elected representatives whose intentions only are good.

So, let's be glad because Obama is president and because he cares. Let's support him no matter what because though his policies will do absolutely NOTHING to get us out of this, it's more important that he cares and his intentions are good. Let us always remember that the road to hell is paved with those good intentions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Obituary for my grandmother

My grandmother, Myrtle Palo, reposed last week at the age of 87. See my previous post about my own reflections of her. You can read the here obituary here as it appeared in the Star Beacon.

Memory eternal, Grandma. We miss you and love you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

+Memory eternal to Myrtle Palo

Last night at 10 pm, PDT, my grandmother, Myrtle Palo reposed. She was 87 years old and just had a birthday a week and a half prior.

This has been a difficult year for me. It seemed like only yesterday that I heard the news that my grandfather, Christian, had fallen asleep. I went to his funeral and carried his casket which was then lowered into the earth whence he came. Now, I've lost my grandmother, my dad's mom.

I must confess that I wasn't as close with my grandmother as I was with my mom's side of the family. I don't know why such was the case, but I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that my grandmother lived in California which wasn't exactly the easiest place to drive with three kids nor the cheapest to fly. But what I do know about my grandmother is that she was full of life. She loved travelling and she liked gambling. In short, she liked to have fun. I know that she was not particularly happy this past year with all the medical problems she was having which prevented her from doing what she loved to do most.

My phone conversations with her, which were limited mainly to birthdays and holidays, were always pleasant and she always wanted to know what was going on with me. There was no doubt that she cared; I wonder if I cared as much. And, if such were the case, I don't have any further opportunities to make it up. And I suppose I will have to carry the guilt of not having done enough for awhile. Maybe I can use that as a springboard to really cultivate the relationship I have with my only remaining grandparent, my Oma, Magdalena.

Nevertheless, on birthdays, on Thanksgiving and on Christmas, there will be more absence without hearing her voice. Memory eternal!

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her. A hymn befits thee in Sion and a hymn shall be repaid to thee in Jerusalem. Hear my prayer, O God: All flesh shall come unto Thee.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More outrageous government intrusion

When I read this story, I initially thought that this could only happen in California. After all, California is a doomed state that overregulates, overburdens its citizens with outrageous taxes, spends way too much and is absolutely stagnant, meaning it has no economic growth. I firmly believe that Lex Luthor had the right idea in Superman when he proposed to drop two 500 megaton nuclear warheads on the San Andreas fault, thus causing the western half of California to sink into the sea. But that's not going to happen. And since it won't, we all will just have to get used to the fact that we're going to bail out California.

But, upon further reflection, I realize that what is in this story anywhere. Here it is: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/73160.html

By Eddie Jimenez | Fresno Bee
Eight-year-old Daniela Earnest has made lemonade out of lemons in more ways than one this week.

Hoping to raise money for a family trip to Disneyland, the Tulare girl opened a lemonade stand Monday. But because Daniela didn't have a business license, the city of Tulare shut it down the same day.

From that came a radio station's offer of Disneyland tickets to Daniela's family — in exchange for 30 cups of lemonade — and an appearance in front of the Tulare City Council on Tuesday night that will likely lead to a compromise allowing her lemonade stand and other pint-sized business ventures to operate legally.

The story began Monday morning when Daniela and her stepmother, Marisa Earnest, set up shop at Cartmill Avenue and Hillman Street in north Tulare. The lemonade was freshly squeezed and priced at $2 for a 32-ounce plastic cup.

Richard Garcia, a Tulare code enforcement officer, happened to be at the same intersection to remove illegal signs left behind by someone selling tetherball poles.

Garcia told Daniela and her stepmother that their lemonade stand — on the northwest corner of the busy intersection — was not safe, and also that they needed a business license to sell lemonade.

How many of us, as kids, sold lemonade at make-shift lemonade stands for maybe 10 cents a cup? I know I did. I'm willing to believe that a great many of us did. And this kid, just seeking to make a little money on the side and demonstrating ingenuity and self-motivation without any kind of coercion from parents or government entities. The kid did because she wanted to. And then, it is shut down because of violation of safety standards and no business license? This is an 8 year old kid, not a mafia cell operating a gambling operation!

How far we have come. Everything is now under the purview of the government or the government feels that it has the right, the Constitutional right, to regulate everything about what someone does in his life.

Make no mistake, this is how it starts. Totalitarianism in every form always starts small and grows. I'm hopeful that the city council will reverse this decision, apologize to not only this little girl but also the community at large (the cop should do so as well). I'm happy to read that others are as outraged as I am. Unfortunately, this is happening well beyond California's borders.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Mozart works discovered

George Szell, the late director of the Cleveland Orchestra, who produced many legendary recordings, once declared that there were no undiscovered masterpieces. Now, that may largely be true. I mean, what are the chances that someone rummaging through the outdoor markets of Nice or an old library of a chateau or country villa in the countrysides of Europe would find another work that is the equal of Beethoven's Ninth or Brukcner's Fourth or Mozart's Great Mass in C minor or Haydn's London Symphony? Very unlikely. But we are discovering new works all the time by lesser known or even previously unknown composers.

About this time last year, I was in Salzburg, Austria where I attended a concert next to the museum dedicated to Michael Haydn, younger brother of the great Franz Josef, and long-time Salzburg resident who knew the Mozarts. (To digress further, M. Haydn's Requiem Mass was very much used as a model when Mozart wrote his Requiem at the end of his life). Anyway, I attended a concert of baroque harp music. None of these composers were familiar to me. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable. We find that new works are being discovered all the time. And recently, two new works that were part of a notebook that was in a chateau in France, have been found to be early works of Johannes Chrysostomos Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was about five years old when he wrote them. One of them is the keyboard part for a larger concerto which has no orchestral parts. The other is a shorter minuet. The works are not in Mozart's hand, but in that of his father, Leopold. (The young Mozart as yet could not yet read, let alone write music; all he did was by ear). The entire notebook was a collection of Leopold of various composers to instruct his young children in the musical arts.

Though these are not masterpieces, they are still great finds. We must always remember that the great composers, especially in their early years, composed in styles of composers they admired. The pianoforte part of the concerto is more baroque in nature and sounds so much like Bach and Handel. It is almost derivative. But, of course, Mozart was young. He had to start somewhere. Even Shakespeare wrote some bad poetry. And I do mean baaaad. However, there are some characteristics of later Mozart that we see in these early works such as his love of long runs of scales!

All to often, we want to place people like Mozart on pedestals and elevate them to almost superhuman status. And maybe they are. Maybe Mozart and others like him found a way, though maybe not consciously, to harvest all their talents and focus it into their life's work while the rest of us are trying to focus on how to do one menial task at our job. Are these newly discovered works great? No. Are they nice to listen to? Yes, a little, but others may well differ with me and that's fine. But, even a genius like Mozart, had to work to achieve such monuments in music like the Jupiter Symphony or the Clemency of Titus or the Requiem. With such discoveries, we can remind ourselves that Mozart was an infant, a child who had to work to achieve greatness and not just let greatness happen to him. Talent without hard work will get you nowhere. Thanks, Wolfgang, for reminding me of that.