Friday, February 25, 2011

Government Workers Heard, Private Citizens Have Had Enough

What's not to like?
The head of the Wisconsin teachers union has asked the teachers to go back to work, signaling that the efforts to intimidate the government have resulted in stirring up a great deal of anger on the part of the citizens that are paying their saleries, healthcare benefits and retirements.

Meanwhile, the teachers in question have begun to receive notices of their impending layoffs.

Third-grade teacher Alaura Cook said teachers remained united against Walker's bill, despite his insistence it would save at least 1,500 jobs.

"It's never good when anybody loses their job," Cook said. "But we know in the long run if we keep our rights they could somehow find the money to hire those teachers back."
Nice thinking. I just hope it's your job that's first on the blocks.
Among those who already have received nonrenewal notices is the wife of Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a key Walker ally. Lisa Fitzgerald is a counselor in the Hustiford school district, where all 34 teachers have gotten the warnings.

"The layoffs are real," Scott Fitzgerald said Friday. "I don't know if the Democrats understand that. This isn't some game of chicken."
No, they don't get it, Scott. This is the slow group you're working with, and it takes a little longer.

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Senator Chris Larson, whose job is secure while he's still out on the lamb, was all for playing chicken:
"It's quite despicable that he would use layoffs as a political tool," Larson said. "A lot of his tactics are veiled threats. We can see right through them."
You'd feel better about it if it was Chris' job that was on the line, wouldn't you?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin Protesters Demonstrate Distorted Democracy

Hell, no!  We wont Go!!
The protest in Wisconsin is deeply offensive for a whole host of reasons, chief among which is it turns the essential aspect of a representative republic on its head.

The elected officials are the representatives of the people that elected them - that would be the voters of the state of Wisconsin. It is not the place of the Democratic party to bus in people from out of state, nor is it the place of a political party or its operatives in Washington to attempt to pressure the elected representatives of the State of Wisconsin, nor is it the place of the president to comment on affairs in a state as it attempts to address its budget shortfalls.

The fact that government employees were allowed to unionize, and now move as a block influencing the government that pays them is at odds with American ideals.

The people of Wisconsin are the only people that should be petitioning the Wisconsin government. 'Civil Rights'? 'Vote No'? These people don't have a clue. One woman protester shouted out
"The unions are the people who brought us a weekend. If we don't do this now, our children will not have a weekend!"
What an idiot.

Philip Greenspun wrote an interesting post on the history of the public employee unions, which is a relatively recent phenomena.
Politicians were traditionally opposed to public employees’ right to unionize, strike, or collectively bargain for wage and benefit increases. They saw their constituents as the taxpaying public and did not think that the government was such an abusive employer that unionization was necessary to protect workers. Calvin Coolidge, as governor of Massachhusetts, summarized the feeling of the average politician: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.”
Sounds good. What happened?
All of this was changed in 1958 when an aide to New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. (D) suggested that city workers could be a large enough voting bloc to ensure his reelection. As the percentage of Americans working for the government grew, other politicians began to see support for public employee unions as a way to get votes. State politicians around the country allowed public employees to unionize shortly after Wagner’s executive order. President John F. Kennedy (D) allowed federal government workers to unionize starting in 1962.
Sheesh! It figures.

The First Amendment to the constitution guarantees the people's right to speak their mind to their representatives in government, in declaring: "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government." That is referring to the people being governed. Reportedly half the people that are occupying the state capitol are union people that have been shipped in from other states.

And what does the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker (R) say
"We need to make sure that as loud as the voices are in the capital, we don't let them overpower the voices of the tax payers I was elected to represent. We are willing to take this as long as it takes, because in the end, we are doing the right thing, and for us, we have to do this."
There is so much wrong with how liberals go about attempting to exercise power. Teachers leave their work to hang out at the capitol to try to harangue the duly elected government? The schools they are supposed to be working in are closed down, the kids no longer being educated and without even having a place to go, their parents now responsible to stay home with them or find some other arrangement?

The Democrats that are supposed to be a functioning part of the government left the state to hide in Illinois. And why did they do this, after taking al the trouble to get themselves elected in the first place? To prevent the government from being able to move forward legislatively. They left so they could obstruct the government, making themselves a tyranny of the minority. In addition, the 'protesters' are now carrying their protests to the home of the governor, to scare him and his family. These are the same thug tactics Obama had the union types carry out with the AIG execs.

A CNN reporter asked one of the protesters:
"You talk about coming to the table.. the governor coming to the table. Do you think it was the right tactic for the Democratic senators not to come to the table."
At which point the CNN reporter was shouted down with
"United we stand. UNITED WE STAND. UNITED WE STAND..."
Nice answer. And these folks are teaching our kids? These people are an embarrassment. The people of Wisconsin are being threatened by a thuggish political state. It is infuriating, and the whole thing stinks to high heaven.

An educator in Texas, Mike McDaniel, wrote an excellent post questioning the ethics of the teachers involved in these protests. Read it here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

McArdle Holds Up The Looking Glass

A recent piece in The Atlantic by Megan McArdle addressing the views of the liberals of academia brought a great deal of reaction from... you guessed it... liberals.

The liberals in question expressed their collective indignation that it could be suggested that our institutions of higher learning would be biased in a prejudicial way.  Any discrepancies in the numbers had to be a result of qualifications, where the institutions in question will of course preferentially select the best applicants. This defense seems odd, coming from a group of people who frequently point to statistical under-representation as de facto evidence of discrimination. Typically they would note that though the discrimination they allude to might not be overt, it was there none the less.

Thus, Ms. McArdle was treated to a deluge of e-mail responces, offering the following familiar refrains:

* Smart people are almost always liberal.

* Curiousity and interest in ideas is a liberal trait.

* Conservatives are too rigid and authoritarian to maintain the open mind required of a professor.

* Education erases false conservative ideas and turns people into liberals.

* Conservatives don't want to be professors because they're more interested in something else (money, the military).

* Conservatives don't want to be professors because they're anti-intellectual.

* Conservatives hold false beliefs that make them ineligible to be professors.

Hmmm. I love that one "Education erases false conservative ideas and turns people into liberals." So sublimely complacent.

Her follow-up article What Does Bias Look Like was equally good. Both articles were well written and well argued, well worth the read.

With a major tip of the hat to Stacy McCain.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Well, what do you know!

Yes, I know I spent a bazillion dollars... now you all need to pay for it.
The president has taken a look at the budget deficit, and has decided the solution is...we need more taxes.

President Barack Obama's budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers.

The plan unveiled Monday includes tax increases for oil, gas and coal producers, investment managers and U.S.-based multinational corporations. The plan would allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000. Wealthy taxpayers would have their itemized deductions limited, including deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.

"These policies were unfair and unaffordable when enacted and remain so today"
Policies of mortgage interest deductions and charitable contributions were unfair and unaffordable? Policies of massive governmental spending were unfair and unaffordable, with you picking the winners and losers. The policies you want to eliminate will stifle this nation and choke out her people.

Lawmakers from both political parties, however, have been wary of limiting the ability of high earners to deduct charitable contributions out of concern it will hurt non-profit organizations.

No kidding.

Republican Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, Virginia, stated Obama's proposal missed the mark:
"We need a government that finally does what every other American has to do in their households and their businesses, and that's to live within our means. Instead, President Obama's budget doubles down on the bad habits of the past four years by calling for more taxes, spending and borrowing of money that we simply do not have."
Damn straight.

Obama has called for reforming individual income taxes and corporate taxes, saying he wants to eliminate special interest tax breaks and use the additional revenue to lower overall tax rates. Obama's budget proposal, however, breaks little new ground on the issue.

"Successful comprehensive tax reform is a long process, often taking several years. But even though it is a daunting task, we cannot afford to shirk from the work."
The problem is addressing run away spending, a problem which you have gone a long way to placing us in a position from which there is no recovery. The difficult work that needs to be done is in addressing spending, and you have not only shirked this responsibility, you are a burden to others who would do so.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Chequerboard of Nights and Days

I enjoy reading a good argument as much as the next guy. Thus, when the name Conor Friedersdorf popped up over at Stacy McCain's it caught my eye, as those two have had many an interesting row. What I stumbled into was definitely good fun. Apparently a man by the name of Pejman Yousefzadeh, an excellent writer who can make a very clear argument, was picked out by Mr. Friedersdorf as a blogger gone amiss for his supposed misguided criticism of Friederdorf's penchant for citing conspiracy theorist and anti-Israel agitator Philip Giraldi.

To this Mr. Yousefzadeh offered this opening to an excellent response:
"I really have things I would prefer doing this evening instead of engaging in yet another blogfight with someone at the Atlantic, but..."

Those of you who enjoy a good argument should give him a read.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obama Embarks On Bullet Train to Bankruptcy

Sarah Palin spoke out on President Obama's spending frenzy, noting the enormous growth in government spending and national debt, with resultant joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama.
"The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much," she said.

Palin said Obama had revived the era of big government, and she ridiculed the infrastructure spending and investment he outlined in his recent State of the Union speech.

"The only thing these investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy,"
A one way ticket to Obamaville.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Obama Gives Away Allies Secrets

British nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard.
The Obama administration is caught with their pants down once again, this time by backstabbing longtime US allie Britain by giving away their nuclear secrets to Russia. This was done by US State Department despite strenuous objections by the British government.

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

The episode competes in terms of amount of egg on our collective faces with Russia's rather public refusal of our State Depratment's secret offer to reneg on our allies and forgo our treaty obligations in exchange for Russia's help with Iran. Putin embaressed Obama by making the offer public, thereby striking fear in our allies hearts as they came to realize how willing President Obama was to sell them all down the river.

That was Obama's real life 'reset' experience with Vladimir Putin.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Obama Administration Found In Contempt of the US Federal Court

Constitutional scholar Barack Obama.
Striking a recurring theme for this group in the White House, the Obama administration's actions have been found in contempt of the rule of law, in this case regarding their ignoring of a Federal ruling on the moratorium of oil drilling last summer.
The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.

Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.

“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.

“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.

The Obama Administration holds the rule of law in utter contempt, as they do the citizens they were to govern. They have always been that way. The must be defeated and thrown out of power.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

'I Know Where I'm Going!' Open Thread

What did you think?

Join us for the rest of the shows at Movie Club.

Don't forget our first viewing of this fine film, which can be found here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

White House Feigns Outrage at Judiciary

The latest from the White House on the on-going clamor over the government's effort to gain control of health care:
Senior Obama administration officials told reporters late Monday afternoon that a federal judge's ruling deeming the sweeping health care reform law unconstitutional is "well out of the mainstream of judicial opinion"
What a bunch of bozos.

Of course, their response does fit right in with the president's own crass running commentary on the Supreme Court's rulings offered from the podium at his first State of the Union speech. On that occasion the president was inappropriate and wrong on the law. Nice to see him so consistent.
"The analysis is on the whole is, to put it charitably, unconventional," said one official. Another said repeatedly that it is an "outlier" that contradicts other rulings.
In his ruling, Vinson had found Congress exceeded its authority in passing the law under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. He said it would be a "radical departure" from existing law to give Congress power to order people to buy something, as opposed to merely regulating activity once someone has entered the economic stream.

The White House attempted to justify their counter by referring to certain explanatory passages of the ruling, such as this passage from Judge Vinson's decision:
"Or, as discussed during oral argument, Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals...Not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system."
A sound argument, and an excellent illustration of the absurdity of the President's position. Nice try, boys.

There once was a time when the constitutionality of a law was a topic of discussion in the Congress and in the halls of the executive branch. The fact that we were a nation whose government was constrained by a constitution was in the mind of those who served in her government. President Grover Cleveland became famous for being the most active in vetoing legislation that did not meet constitutional muster. One example resides here in the body of his veto of Senate bill No. 139:
"It is my belief that this appropriation of the public funds is not within the constitutional power of the Congress. Under the limited and delegated authority conferred by the Constitution upon the General Government the statement of the purposes for which money may be lawfully raised by taxation in any form declares also the limit of the objects for which it may be expended."
And later:
"I am constrained, upon the considerations herein presented, to withhold my assent from the bill herewith returned, because I believe it to be without constitutional warrant, because I am of the opinion that there exists no adequate reasons either in right or equity for the return of the tax in said bill mentioned, and because I believe its execution would cause actual injustice and unfairness."
Just the man's language is refreshing in its clarity and soundness of argument.

In our days, the Constitution is seen as a possible constraint, but is only bumped into when the law is challenged in court and the Supreme Court of the land offers a ruling. The abdication of the responsibility of considering the constitutionality of a law make this a more lawless nation, comprised of a people that are less free.

More White House Feigning Outrage at Judiciary

Well, back to the swampland of today's politicos
That passage, one official said, "does not in any way fit with a traditional Commerce Clause analysis."

The official added: "It's really frankly, as I can tell, a scare tactic, and it's not one that any lawyer of any ideological inclination would recognize."

The White House said that states cannot use the ruling as a basis to delay implementation in part because the ruling does not rest on "anything like a conventional Constitutional analysis.""
On the contrary, Mr. President, Vinson's ruling looks to be exactly based on a Constitutional analysis. That is the entire basis of the decision. What was arrived at without Constitutional analysis was the law itself.

Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Adviser Stephanie Cutter wrote that the case "is a plain case of judicial overreaching."
"We don't believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts," she added."
First of all, what will ultimately be decided is irrelevant. The fact is that the law, in its entirety, has been ruled in violation of the constitution by a Federal judge and is therefore void of legal authority. While we are at Ms. Cutter, you would do well to keep in mind that words have meaning, and if you are unaware of their meaning you would do well not to use them. Judicial activism referes to a judge taking matters into his or her own hands and offering rulings that ignore the laws of the land. Ms. Cutter's contention on Judge Vinson's decision is nonsense. If she continues in this vein she makes herself to be someone utterly not worth hearing. The ruling may be inconvenient for Ms. Cutter's employer, but the ruling was based on the laws of the land, and we as a people and this president in particular are still governed by the rule of law.

At the same time, the president's Department of Justice released a statement decrying the ruling and announcing plans to appeal. It said it was considering whether it is necessary to seek a stay while the appeal is pending.
"We strongly disagree with the court's ruling today and continue to believe - as other federal courts have found - that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional," it said. "This is one of a number of cases pending before courts around the country, including several that the government has won in the district courts that are now before the courts of appeals. There is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing this law and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail on appeal."
Meanwhile it is null and void, and the Department of Justice would do well to advise the White House to stop attempting to implement the law until such a time, if ever, that it is ruled constitutionally valid by a higher court. The 'Affordable Care Act' - what a joke.  This thing is going to bury us in debt.  Anyway, newly selected House Speaker John Boehner had a different view than the Obama Department of Justice:
"Today's decision affirms the view, held by most of the states and a majority of the American people that the federal government should not be in the business of forcing you to buy health insurance and punishing you if you don't,"
Exactly right. Backing up his words, the House has voted to repeal the measure.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint added:
"ObamaCare is clearly unconstitutional, courts continue to rule against it, and Americans sent a clear message in November to repeal it. Today, all Republican senators have united to repeal this government takeover of health care. I will work with other Republicans to have a vote to repeal Obamacare as soon as possible."