Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Words do mean things

As a teacher of langauges, I am very concerned about how language is used. I, of course, prefer that language be used within the standards and correctly. At the same time, I realize that langauge is fluid and does, in fact, change. Vocabulary is added to through neologisms, of which some 200 are "unofficially" created each day, and also can undergo a process known as semantic shift. Let me provide a few examples.

Semantic shift can occur in a variety ways. One way is called pejoration where a word with a neutral or positive meaning becomes associated with a negative sense. The opposite of this process, amelioration, is when a word acquires a positive meaning when originally that word was negative. I'll provide two illustrations.

For pejoration, consider the word fair. Originally, this word connoted beauty and/or respectability. Ever heard "My fair lady?" But today, the word fair is used to express mediocrity or something that is middle of the road. For instance, if a kid brought home a report card with a lot of Cs on it, the parent might say that it was a "fair" report card, meaning "OK." Fair is also used to indicate impartiality. As far as amelioration, consider what has happened to the derogatory term, "bitch", for women. It has now become a positive term, in some circles.

What is the point of this? Genuine semantic shift in langauge happens organically; it's not just something that occurs. Groups may come together and develop their own "Secret language" but that has no bearing on the rest of the world. Remember when President Clinton in his deposition before the Grand Jury went to great lengths to change the meaning of the word "is." I've always taught my students that the linking verb "to be" should be regarded as an equal sign (=). Bill Clinton thought otherwise.

Well, this past week, a hacker got into files at the University of East Anglia (UEA) which has a research facility devoted exclusively to studying the phenomenon of global warning. UEA has also been at the front lines to provide the scientific evidence of global warning which would then be used to justify various types of legislation to stop the culmination of greenhouse gasses which, supposedly, warm the earth in an unnatural way because man is the cause. The emails and other information downloaded by the hacker were then spread throughout the world. One of the emails between a professor at UEA and another at the University of Pennsylvania had this interesting tidbit:

Among his e-mails, Mr. Jones talked to Mr. Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each series ... to hide the decline [in temperature]."

Now, if anyone were to read this, one would see the word "trick" and come to the conclusion that there is deceit at work, that there is some malfeasance going on with the reporting of certain climate data. And that is a resaonable conclusion.

However, Mr. Mann says to the New York Times that the word trick means something in scientific circles. He says:

scientists often used the word 'trick' to refer to a good way to solve a problem 'and not something secret.'

Again, semantic shift must happen organically and over time. Now, he does not say that such a definition is being used by society at large (I've never heard trick being used in a positive sense in regular conversation) but that this is a jargon that is located exclusively in the scientific community. I'm very curious to see how widespread the term "trick" is used in this exact manner amongst members of the scientific community. But, I'm willing to bet that it is not used this way at all.

The hoax that is globabl warming has been dealt a very serious blow and now the only way that the defenders of this hoax can continue to justify it is based solely on changing the definition of words. Unfortunately, many of the same people who are teaching this hoax that is global warming are also the same type of people who are teaching languages to our kids. Soon, no one will mean what they say. That's chaos.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One thing (among many) that concerns me about health legislation

The Senate today unveiled its version of legisilation for health care reform. Reid, the Majority Leader from Nevada, wants a vote by this Saturday which will not pass the bill, but allow for weeks of debate, amendments and then final passage. He may have problems getting even that, but we'll wait and see. There are indeed way too many controversial things in this bill, but one thing that I've yet to hear anyone talk about is for those who cannot get coverage.

Now, hear me out on this one. There is a public option in this bill but you will still have to pay into it like you would a premium through any private insurer. Now, if you cannot pay that, a government subsidy will be given to you which can cover a lot of the expense, but not all of it. The cost of not having insurance, whether private or through the public option, can result in fines or, assuming you do not have the funds to pay, jail time which can go up to five years. My question: what will happen to the homeless?

In this country, there are approximately 100,000 homeless families according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness not including veterans, abandoned chilren and other individuals. According to the HUD report for 2008 on homelessness, some 600,000 people were recorded as staying in homeless shelters. So, let's call the number at 1,000,000 people who are homeless right now. I'm sure it's probably even more with the number of people who have been adversely affected by the Obama wrecking of the economy.

These people have pretty much next to nothing. They don't have any assets. Is the government then going to provide them totally free health coverage at no expense? The homeless have medical needs just like the regular population and are more at risk due to lack of shelter, lack of nutrition, lack of adequate clothing, etc. Many of them, when they acquire money of any kind, buy drugs to feed a recurring habit. So, what's going to happen to these homeless?

If they cannot afford premiums for private insurance and even if they are given a subsidy from a public option which will not cover the entire expense, what's going to happen? They can't be fined since they have no money. So, are we going to put all of these homeless in our already overcrowded jails? Are we going to imprison the poor?

I can't believe that this question has not been asked especially by the Democrats who continually believe themselves to be champtions and the guardians of the homeless in this country. Is this a first step towards criminalizing poverty?

My questioning reminds me of an episode of Star Trek I saw. (Yes, I'm a Star Trek nerd). In season 3 of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, there was an episode where Commander Sisko and Dr. Bashir, in a transporter accident (yeah, I know, it's an old plot line) end up in mid-21st century America where things are very different. It's a depressed time economically and those who are unemployed are taken to "sanctuary districts" where they can be out of the way of people who work and our relatively successful. Dr. Bashir and Captain Sisko find themselves in one of these sanctuaries as they have no identification nor any money. I won't give away more of the episode, but the people that are put in there are not criminals, they are people just down on their luck. I know homelessness is not just about being "down on your luck."

Science fiction has always been a great medium to draw attention to the ills we as a society face. Star Trek has done this repeatedly since its inception as it was broadcast during the Vietnam War, Red Scare, Civil Rights movement, etc. I wonder if that particular episode of Deep Space 9 will turn out to be prophetic. I surely hope not.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zack Greinke wins the Cy Young Award

Congratulations to Zack Greinke upon winning the Cy Young Award. One of the most coveted awards and most esteemed in baseball or in any sport, this gives some hope to those of us who are still, although reluctantly, Royals Fans.

It's not easy being a Royals fan. It really isn't.

When I moved to the Kanas City area back in 1985, Kansas City had just won the AL Central and was on its way to defeating St. Louis in a very dramatic seven game World Series, dubbed the I-70 series. This was uplifting for me since I came from Chicago and neither the Cubs nor the White Sox had been able to do much in terms of contending for the penant, although the Cubs had a promising run in 1984 only to fail, which is par for the course. Since 1985, Kanas City fans haven't had much to cheer for. Sure, we still had George Brett, Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Dan Quisenberry, Kevin Seitzer, Frank White, etc. But with the demise of Royals' owner and all-around-good-guy Ewing Kauffman in the early 90s which left the financial future of the Royals in serious doubt, even though it was managed through the Kauffman Foundation and only one playoff appearance since 1985, which was 1992, the fans have really been let down. A new owner game in the form of David Glass who really is more concerned with lining his pockets (nothing wrong with that per se) but not caring a lick about baseball only prolonged the agony. Incompetent managers, more incompetent general managers (I think Allard Baird is a greeter at a local Wal-Mart now), players and perspective players never seemed to develop and went to teams where they blossomed, bad picks in the draft, huge gaffs in free agent signing, which persist to this day (Guillen, hello?) are all good reasons why Royals fans have been in misery for a long time. A lone bright spot did occur back in 2003 when the Royals started playing great, but petered out at the end of the season, going .500 (which was better than many previous years) and the Royals missed the playoffs yet again.

But this year, Royals fans flocked to Kauffman Stadium (I'm sorry, but I cannot call it "The K." It's a stupid moniker for this beautiful stadium. Yes, Kauffman is a beautiful place to play a game. The fountains in the outfield make it worth the trip) to see this young pitcher. At the beginning of the year, Greinke was touted as the Royals premier franchise player. He had a huge and lucrative contract and a larger fan base He became the face of the Kansas City Royals.

And why shouldn't he have been? After 6 starts, this Greinke had an ERA of less than 0.5. That's only been done by three other pitchers, including LA Dodgers Fernando Venezuela back in the 1980s. His end of season record was 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strike outs. Now you might balk at the wins, but in half of those games, he was let down by the Royals lack of offense. In those games, Greinke gave up maybe only one run with other runs generated by errors from pretty bad fielding (Callaspo, you reading this?). Nevertheless, Kansas City has a real ace in this guy and the Cy Young puts Greinke in very elite company. David Cone won the Cy Young for the Royals back in 1994 and before him, Bret Saberhagen in 1989. Saberhagen retired as a Royal. We all know what happened to David Cone. That's right--he became a Yankee! I can't think of anything more treacherous. That's why Johnny Damon better watch his back the next time he comes back to Kanas City. He has a huge target on his back, head, wherever.

The challenge is now to keep Greinke. We don't want to lose him to any other team, especially the Yankees. He's a bright spot for Kansas City. In the past, when the Royals were doing lousy, we always had the Chiefs to brighten our fall and winter months. We don't have that anymore either since the Chiefs are the equivalent to a high school football team and are so disappointing right now. I hope that the new management in the Royals front office does everything possible to keep Greinke here and give him the support he needes. There's no way we're going to be able to support a lineup that has as many dollar signs as the Yankees, but the Royals could be sure to keep some good players and recruit new ones so that Greinke isn't recording losses when he gave up only one earned run! However, the Royals General Manager has already done some stupid things. They've kept Guillen, they traded Teahen (who was a good hitter) and released Olivia, they should have let go of C John Buck, but for some idiotic reason, kept him. I don't have much faith in the general managers of either Kansas City professional team right now. But the Royals have some good pitching. Soria is an excellent closer and Meache has his bright spots. Royals just need some offense. And Greinke wants to win. According to the Kansas City star,
Greinke has made it clear that he enjoys Kansas City, but also that winning is his priority. He won fans locally when he told the New York media he wanted to pitch for the Royals, and not the Yankees, but has been open about his disappointment in last year’s 97-loss team.
Like all stars, Greinke wants to win and I'm not sure how willing or shrewd Royals GM, Dayton Moore, will be to arrange for this to happen.

For now, I'm going to congratulate Greinke and hope that this might be the beginning of light in a long, dark tunnel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Now he cares about the deficit?

President Obama is now concerned over deficits in the federal budget? Really? After we have seen, in 11 short months, an expansive government which has spent money on wasted projects such as the $787 billion stimulus, purchased controlling stock in both GM and Chrysler as well as any number of other insurance and banking industries, printed more money than ever before to come up with the cash to pay for this, thus monetizing our debt, extended unemployment benefits (because it is causing the surge in unemployment to 10.2%), subsidized car buyers with "cash for clunkers" which cost taxpayers $24,000 per car sold, devalued the dollar and is pushing for legislation to increase taxes on everything under the sunwhich will not only cause tax wells to run dry and thus hurt government revenue, President Obama now pretends to care about deficits? How is that? In short, Obama has spent more money on new programs in 11 short months than Clinton ever did in eight years! And now, he claims he's a deficit hawk?!

Whatever side of the political spectrum you come from, can you really trust anything this guy says? His actions always repudiate his words. During the campaign, he made himself a centrist, but has governed from the left. But he has now alienated a good part of his leftist basin. He has failed to move on gay rights, frequently reiterating that he believes marriage is a state between one man and one woman and has not yet repealed "Don't ask, don't tell." He has alienated his anti-war leftist buddies with his yet unannounced, but expected, commitment of more troops to the Afghan theatre and has yet to close down GITMO, though his Attorney General, Eric Holder, did announce that those at GITMO would be tried in civilian courts in New York. Notice how he's letting Holder fall on the sword for what will be perceived, by the majority of Americans, as a very ill-considered move. Still, Obama doesn't seem to know what he's doing. He frequently champions the flavor of the week cause and when he sees his poll numbers consistently fall, he reverses course and tries something else. Trying something else doesn't really seem to help him.

But what are we to make out of his sudden caring for the deficit? Could it be that he is now in Asia about to go to China? Very possible. Remember how a few months ago, the US Treasury put up for sale its debt, hoping that China would buy up a lot of it? Well, it turns out that the Chinese didn't go for it and passed. Why? Because the Chinese could see that the dollar was steadily losing value and that all the spending our government was doing with various social plans under our imperious leader were not going to work. Even the communists realized that Obama's plans were not going to work. It's pretty bad when the communists actually make better economic sense than the so-called "leader of the free world." A few months back, Secretary of Treasury "Tiny" Tim Geithner was laughed at by the Chi-coms because they thought his pitch of being fiscally responsible was so disingenous that it was a joke! So, now, to make nice and to convince the Chinese that the dollar is stabilized so that they will buy our debt, Obama's cause of the week is...becoming a fiscal conservative. He's now coming out to support stabilization of the dollar and to combat growing deficits which his administration has caused so that the Chinese will buy American debt again. God forbid, we should actually strengthen our dollar with robust economic growth outside of government spending.

I'm sure this will peter out in about two weeks so he can focus on health care again which, if passed, will (Gasp!) destabilize the dollar and the economy even more. I'm sure the Chi-coms will appreciate that.

When will people wake up to see how economically ignorant this man is? Here's hoping.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Arguing with idiots

Glenn Beck has this contest for people to submit videos which (shamelessly) plug his new book, Arguing with Idiots. Now, I've not read it, but I can bet that a lot of the material contained in that book parallels much with what I have written here. There were 10 finalists and this one, I thought was the very best. It characterizes those self-righteous liberals so well. Have a look!

Jobs summit?

Another one from the "what the hell are they thinking or not thinking" file. President Obama, in the face of continued unemployment (now at 10.2%) with no growth in the private sector (GDP did increase in the thrid quarter but only because the growth was in government spending without any consumer spending and no business investment; again CIG=GDP) and the looming threat of increased taxes on businesses, both small and large, which will then be passed down to the consumers (i.e. you and me), has announced that he will have a jobs summit at the White House in December.

Of course Mr. Obama while announcing this initiative has already taken credit for saving the economy. He points to "jobs, created and saved" (which is bogus), a slowing of layoffs (but they're still happening), an increased GDP (which is bogus as explained above) as how he has already saved the economy. This jobs summit is just to continue what he has already done to further the recession.

Remember one tenet about liberalism: It's always about feelings and good intentions, not about what works. President Obama is doing his own version of Clinton's "I feel your pain." As long as they show they have compassion and your well-being at the forefront of their pea-sized brains, liberals are successful and thus better than their evil conservative libertarian colleagues who will wail and screech and lament that conservatives and libertarians actually believe that if the government lays off and you work hard enough, then you will be fine. But that's too much.

This jobs summit is all about talk. Even if business leaders do suggest that the new taxes are crushing their means and their incentives to create new jobs, Obama will give in to the labor unions (like when he did when he took over Chrysler and GM) but at least he listened. Good intentions is the hallmark resume item of any liberal politician. It is why Ted Kennedy was hailed as such a great statesman, despite the fact that 94.7% of his agenda was never, ever even brought to a vote! He failed! Good intentions get you in the door, but failure ensures you lifetime membership in the liberal country club.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

These people are responsible for "educating"?

On my way to the library today to get some more reserach done, I heard on the news that a school in North Carolina held a fundraiser where students could "purchase" points to use on a test. So, if a student had $20, he could then acquire points to use on an exam on which he did poorly. As an educator, I was not surprised by this but only shook my head in dismay that not only are we educating young skulls full of mush that buying grades is OK, but that studying and vigilance in the classroom is really not worth the time nor the effort. Fortunately, that decision was rescinded by the school board of that particular district. It just goes to show that in the war against ignorance, not only parents and students have given up, but also entire districts. Is it a wonder that the teaching profession is one of the most stressful professions along with being one of the worst compensated? Is it a wonder that the average life of a teacher is now five years? Is it a wonder that so many districts are hamstrung to find teachers and so close programs?

I've been in education for a long time now (over 10 years). I am currently on hiatus but I am more and more hesitant to go back. I know that I am good at what I do and that I love to teach. But reading about incidents like this make me want to seriously reconsider. Itis just another proverbial nail in the equally proverbial coffin. Why should I go back to try and educate students? A great many of them do not want to learn. Those that do are equally frustrated that teachers have to spend 80% of their time dealing with discipline issues that a fraction of the class dishes out day in and day out. And even those students that aren't discipline problems, most of them just want to learn the bare minimum so they can get their grade for the sake of their transcripts and get out. No one wants to be a life learner anymore. No one wants to learn for the sake of learning. Students frequently complain that they are never going to use "such and such" information in their lives. No, you probably won't need to know the significance of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 to land that mareketing job at a Fortune 500 company. Who came up with the idea that education had only to be practical for your job? It certainly is a modern innovation. At the same time, I believe that those students who only learn for the sake of their job make their life their job and are very empty people. These are the same people who might see a wonder of architecture and art, read a fantastic work of literature and have only the insight of "It was OK."

But getting back to the issue at hand, it can be no small wonder that kids today are very unenthusiastic about education. The school districts themselves are enabling this whole attitude. It's not about what kind of education standards the district has and expects its students to meet and surpass, it's about facilities and money. The superintendent of the school district I was recently part of loved to boast of what great facilities we have such as a new football stadium, new track, excellent grounds, a weight room that rivalled a lot of gyms, etc. Assemblies to celebrate accomplishments in athletics were routine. Sure, we had great students and I was very fortunate to teach a lot of them who will go on to do very great things. But that was always put on the backburner for those things which could make money, i.e. sporting events.

It is pretty sad that everything is now about money even in education. And it's not just at the secondary level, it's happening at the college level. Schools are becoming businesses rather than educational institutions. And with the education that we are giving, we are giving less and less at the secondary level. Students do not understand basic principles of writing, sentence structure or even what a direct object is! It really is quite frightening. But as long as the school is well funded especially for sports activities, then it's all good. I have a feeling that if I were to do an advanced search that I would find that this one school district is probably not alone in such an asinine proposal.

If, however, the proposal was about increasing test scores as well, here's a novel idea. Whenever I gave students an exam, regardless of what grade they earned, if they corrected their exam, I would give them 1/2 point back for each thing missed. However, this option would only be available for those who actually did homework and came to class. And it worked well, at least for those who did it. I don't believe in extra credit--I figure that if you cannot do the work I assign, why should I give you something extra to do? Why not have students actually earn their grades? I've seen teachers give students extra credit for sharpening pencils! So, really, I'm not surprised by the initial action of this school district in North Carolina. I'm glad, however, that they came to their senses, eventually. But, I foresee that nothing is going to stop the open buying and selling of grades in classrooms. Why learn anything at all? Why even have school? I frequently remarked at my last school that for many things I was required to do was nothing more than babysitting...and babysitters make more money than I doing this!

How sad!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Too much PC

Last Thursday, 13 people were killed and over 30 were wounded at Ft. Hood, a military base in Texas by one Major Hasan. This is one of the worst incidents of mass murder in U.S. History. Of course, the media was all abuzz with speculation about why Major Hasan would do such a thing. There was speculation that it was due to the fact that, as a psychiatrist, he was subject to a lot of strain and stress that would only result in some drastic action. There was speculation also that his upcoming deployment to the Middle East was also a tipping point as many soldiers are increasingly strained by going off to distant lands. There are many other reasons attributed as well.

For days, though, the mainstream media has failed or has been extremely reluctant to point out the elephant in the room with regards to motive--Hasan was an Islamic extremist who hated the United States. Only through conservative media have we learned that, as a psychiatrist, he was censured for trying to convert his patients to Islam, that he was frequently critical of U.S. policy (which in itself does not suggest anything; many people I know, including myself are critical of U.S. foreign policy), that he posted on radical [read, Islamic] websites, etc. All of this was ignored by the mainstream media, probably at President Obama's request, after giving a shout-out to his friend in the audience (really sensitive, by the way, Mr. President; I'm sure the grieving families were more than touched that their suffering should be moved to second tier for your attempts to look hip) and saying that we should not jump to conclusions. Really? Pot, meet kettle. Isn't this the same president who immediately leaped to the conclusion that the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" with regards to the arrest of Professor Gates before he knew all the facts?

Well, it looks like the mainstream media has finally decided to look at the radical Islamic angle. A story from ABC online relates that officials knew for months that Hasan was trying to contact with Al Qaida. So they're finally starting to see what has been apparent after all.

I admit that I don't want to unfairly criticize Muslims, though it is easy to do. I should know better. At the same time, this idea that we have to do everything we can to go out of our way and not criticize them for what they do because they are Muslim is asinine. Whether or not these Islamic terrorists practice true Islam is immaterial. Calling an Islamic terrorist an Islamic terrorist is no more insulting than calling a dead man dead. It's what they are. But any negative portrayal of Islam has been squashed especially since 9/11. I can guarantee that if Christians had pulled off 9/11, I'm sure there would be an effort to set up detention centers for them.

Political correctness has gone too far and it makes us blind to the real issues which confront us each and every day. Whatever this guy's motive was, as much as I hate capital punishment, I hope they throw the book at him and give him the chair.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bring back this wall

Barack Obama has snubbed Chancellor Angela Merkel's request that he be present at the celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Apparently he is too busy playing some pick up basketball, or maybe finally getting around to a decision to deploy more troops to Afghanistan or, most likely, rewatching the HBO documentary about himself (Disclaimer: He probably didn't do this on election night when his candidates were trounced, but it sounds like it could be true so therefore I'll go ahead and assume it is. Is that a problem? Then why did all the news media report that Rush Limbaugh, in his bid to buy the St. Louis Rams, said racist comments which were never said by him? But they reported it as fact anyway just because it's Rush Limbaugh and he has to be a racist even if there is no supporting evidence). Either way, Obama has other things to do.

Obama really has written off the Europeans in recent months. He essentially said "Screw You" to the Czech Republic and to Poland when he backed out of plans to construct a missile defense shield that would help protect them from nuclear attack from Iran or, more likely, a new aggressive Soviet Union under Putin and Medvedev. And now, he's telling the Germans that the destruction of the symbol which divided Germans for 40 years between the democratic West and the totalitarian East isn't important enough even though it was American tough foreign policy which allowed this to happen. But perhaps, there is another reason. Here is what I would imagine Obama's speech would have been like had he actually gone. Please note: THIS IS SATIRE.[At Berlin Wall] Applause

"Thank me! Thank me, Germany! You fired up? Ready to go? Fired up? Ready to go? [Laughter and coughing]. Thank me for having me here. Before I begin my speech about this momentous anniversary commemorating the reunification of a divided Germany, I'd like to give a personal shout-out to my friend, Mikhail Gorbachev (good to see you) and his body guards who played me and my secret service in a full court game of basketball yesterday. We won but it was only through my unstoppable jump shots, at the end, that allowed us to prevail. I saved the day. It was me.

"This is a momentous occasion, one that should be reflected upon with great solemnity and lamentation. 20 years ago, while I was still young, I heard many stories from my mom who used to read me news from the paper before bedtime about the division between East and West Germany and how the United States was responsible for causing and sowing seeds of distrust between the peaceful eastern Germans and the war mongering capitalist west Germans. It was at that moment that I decided that I should go on to become a United States Senator and then President to ensure that this wall would bring the same level of contentment and prosperity to West Berlin as it did to East Berlin. Unfortunately, I arrived too late and the wall came down. I am very sad that only rubble stands in its place.

"The tearing down of this wall should never have happened. Don't all of you East Berliners long for the days of standing in line for bread and other essentials? Didn't you revel in how equal you were with all of your neighbors save for the communist party officials, who were while working on your behalf to ensure your equality, got preferential treatment in health care? Don't all of you East Berliners prefer a government where your interests are represented by unelected officials? Don't you want a wall patrolled by armed guards who will shoot you on sight for wanting to go over to the west? Don't you want those things again? Those were your glory years.

"Communism failed that day. And its failure should be lamented by all of us because we need more Berlin Walls not just here in Germany but in all of western Europe, Iraq, Afghanistan and especially in the United States. Communism cannot be allowed to fail. Equality, true equality, where you have nothing more than your neighbor, must be strived for at all times. If you have nothing, then there is no reason to be sad since you will treasure your day to day lives for the gifts that they are. Back home in the United States, the American people are learning to be happy with less and less each day, all thanks to me and the great example this wall set.

"Mr. Gorbachev, I'm glad you are here. I want to personally take this time to call you out for being soft towards capitalism and freedom. You had nothing to fear from that old, alzheimer's ridden President Reagan. You were my hero back then and you let me down. Thanks to you, I had to learn to emulate other world leaders who espoused the revolutionary spirit I wished to inflict in America. Thank me, I found Mao Tse-Tung.

"I promise you, people of a united Germany, that on this day in which you celebrate, I will do everything in my power to make sure that America is weak so that you can be dominated once again and have your Berlin Wall back. I know that is what you want and I will work for it as I am working for the same back in the United States.

"I want to thank me for coming to this event. Without me, this event would have had no legitimacy and would have spent too much time celebration really when the participants should be in mourning, singinging funeral dirges for the glory that is communism. I also want to thank my wife, Michelle, for suggesting that I wear this read tie as well as this hammer and sickle lapel pin. Thanks, honey, they look great. So, thank me, thank me, thank me. Good night."

It's a well known fact...

that for Democrats to be elected to office in most parts of this country, they have to go to great lengths to hide or outright lie about just how left of center they are. Of course, in places like Massachusettes, New York city, San Francisco or Chicago, you can be as liberal as you like and people will still line up to vote for you. But, overwhelmingly, people prefer a center-right candidate. Now our current alignment of the White House as well as Congress does not bear that out, but every poll put out in recent months reflects otherwise. Of course, the party that was to be the bastion and standard bearer of center-right beliefs, the GOP, was clearly not as advertised. Their own stupidity and their desire to be liked, especially by the mainstream press, was more important than doing the right thing. Which brings us to New York.

Last Tuesday, there was a three party race between a so-called "Blue Dog" Democrat, Mr. Owens, a RINO (Republican in name only) Dede Scazzafova and a conservative, Mr. Hoffman. Hoffman was endorsed by a number of big names from the conservative movement, while Scazzafova got the backing of the RNC simply because she had an "R" after her name though her positions were clearly contrary to basic party principles, such as limited government. Scazzafova ended up taking away votes from Hoffman who would have won. However, even Mr. Owens ran as not a "Rank-in-file" Democrat but as someone who especially was hostile to the HR 3296, the health care legislation, which passed 220-215 in the U.S. House of Representatives. But since he was sworn in at noon yesterday, Mr. Owens broke four of his campaign promises, all related to the health care bill that was being voted on. Mr. Owens, who said during his campaign that he would not vote for a public option nor for higher taxes nor for taxes on "cadillac" plans nor for cutting Medicare did exactly the opposite and voted for HR 3296. It can be argued that it was his reluctance to vote for these things that gave him that congressional seat. Well, his promises are out the window now. And it will be a little while before he will be held accountable and hopefully so, regardless of whether this fiasco makes it through the Senate and conference committee.

Democrats never show their true colours because they know they will never win.

Other sources:
Fox news nation

Debate politics

Free Republic

All these sites reference the Gouvernour Times, but at last check, the site was down for maintenance.

Friday, November 6, 2009

People are surprised by this?

The US economy now has a jobless rate of 10.2%. Bad as that is, and it is bad, what is worse is that there are some, according to the article, who apparently "surprised" by this turn in events. All I have to ask is this: You're joking right? You're surprised? You're surprised that a government administration which is waging all out war on capitalism behind the scenes with pork-laden "stimulus" packages which are perks for everything under the sun except for real assistance to the economy, a "cap and tax" bill which does nothing to stem climate change (which is a natural phenomenon, but that is an argument for another time) but tax individuals and family more and reward Wall Street investment firms (held by Democratic partisans)who will sell the "carbon credits" to make them richer, try to pass a health care bill which, though it won't take effect until 2013, will pass immediate tax hikes and see insurance premiums be raised, declare that the commerce department's endorsement of the free market system as misguided, will raise taxes, actually didn't work? You're surprised?!

The White House will point out that things are getting better. Recently, they've pointed to two things: first, the increase in GDP of 3.5% and second, the millions of jobs the've created and/or saved. Both are bogus. Though it is possible to have a recovery from recession without job creation (and it is rare) the increase in GDP is mainly the result of the government injecting money into the economy for people to buy new cars under the "Cash for Clunkers" deal. People spent money, yes, but this only benefitted ONE industry (in what is clearly Obama preferring unions) and it ended up costing taxpayers $24,000 per car bought. Some people got a good deal, I am sure, but it cost the taxpayers even more. The "Cash for Clunkers" program maybe saw an increase in consumer spending (GDP is determined by government spending, consumer spending and investment growth, which is abbreviated CIG) and also government spending. But it was nothing more than drinking an energy drink. Sure, it gets you going but what happens after a few hours? You crash. You are tired and can't do anything. You go from a state of hyperactivity (thanks to the sugar) to a state of lethargy. "Cash for Clunkers" did the exact same thing. We're back to lethargy now. Also note that consumer spending in other retail industries continued to fall. Of course, this was unexpected to. This was not and is never real stimulus.

Here is an analogy. Let's say I wanted to help window repairmen get back to work so what I do is get a bunch of rocks and start throwing them at windows of homes and businesses because then the owners of said businesses and homes will have to call the repairmen to fix the broken windows. That's not stimulus. That is necessity. Stimulus is achieved by supply and demand. When you increase the demand on something and the supply is short (especially in these economic times), the price for fixing them will go up. What will happen is that the people who are forced to fix the windows will need to do it for a more costly price and thus will have less income for other things. But we stimulated the window repair industry, right? So, that's good. Stimulus of only one sector of the economy is a caffeine or sugar high that wears off pretty soon.

The second sign of recovery offered by the white house is that all these jobs were created or saved. First of all, the press have bought into this ridiculous notion that there is an economic statistic for a "saved" job. There is NONE. And there has been none. It is a phony number. It is a lie. Obama is lieing. Is it really that hard to understand?

The fact of the matter is that there is no incentivizing going on. The Obama administration is waging war against capitalism. Jobs are not going to be created because there is no incentive to do so. Adding more jobs, especially with possible forthcoming fees and taxes (payroll taxes, health care mandates) is in no business owner's interest right now. Either the administration fails to understand this, which makes them stupid or this is very deliberate, which I believe.

Why do I believe this? Because Obama and his cadres believe that the only ones who should be rich are themselves. They belive it is their god-given right to be rich and no one else should be allowed to penetrate that echelon. They want to create a society of dependence where everyone else waits in line for food while they shop at stores which are well supplied. I think this happened before in history somewhere. Oh yeah, the Soviet Union!

If you were a communist party official or someone of importance, you were given permission to shop at stores which were well stocked with necessities while the rest was rationed out to people who would stand in long lines, often, for days. So much for that equality and egalitarianism which could only be accomplished there.

The unemployment number will continue to rise. As a result people will become despearte and despondent and reliant on others to help them out. Charities used to be able to do this, but even they are now under increasing burdens to provide services they once could. Why? Because we are so overtaxed now so that the government is the only one to provide these services. The government is eliminating the competition in the charity industry! Would someone please show me where in the Constitution that the government is entrusted with the power to dispense charity? It's not there and it shouldn't be. That is our responsibility as good citizens, as good people without coercion from the powers that be.

People will become more dependant on the government and, as a result, we will hear and see more scenes like this. If it weren't so sad, I'd be laughing. I'd better make an appointment to stand in line for my "Obama money."