Category Archives: socialism

Today’s Interesting Stuff

Speecy Spiicy, Hotsy Totsy

American parents tend to feed their children bland foods to avoid potential allergies or just because that’s what Dr Spock or the latest parenting magazine told them. Easy on the stomach, and the poop ain’t so bad.

Parents in other countries tend to feed their infants whatever they are having, and their children experience the full gamut of cultural flavors from very early ages.

And yes, I’m advocating for American parents to be more like foreign parents. Look out the windows, there be pigs in the air!

First, bland doesn’t necessary mean easier for the stomach. Take ginger, for instance. A very sharp and strong flavor, nobody would call it bland. But is the natural and effective remedy for upset stomachs? Ginger. No citations here, just try this: Purchase a bottle of Reed’s Ginger Brew. If you can handle the Extra Strength, get that. Then fast, and when your stomach is most uncomfortable, usually just after the normal time for the next meal, drink the Reed’s. Instant stomach relief.

Second, you’re limiting your child’s future ability to eat and enjoy wide varieties of food, including many foods you and I take for granted.

This article chronicles the embarrassment, the worries, the challenges of being an adult picky eater. One telling comment?

Amber Scott, of Enon, Ohio, has eaten only about 10 different foods since she was 3 years old.

Not that exposing your children, when young, to significant varieties of food will totally preclude such problems, but they would take a significant bite out of them.

The Office

Empty office space keeps rising. This is not a good sign for the economy that is on the mend, according to certain people whose grand plans are fully in swing here. Corporations are using less and less office space, which means they aren’t hiring.

The really scary part?

Job growth and office-space use are closely intertwined. While some major users of offices, such as federal regulatory agencies, have been expanding, big banks and corporations have lagged behind in increasing their real-estate footprint, according to some analysts. That is a sign that these larger companies have been slow to return to their pre-recession staffing levels, a contributing factor to the persistently high U.S. unemployment rate.

Yea, that’s a sure sign of a growing and recovering economy. Regulators are gearing up for more business. Only one problem, regulators business is to keep real businesses out of business.

My Buddy Hugo

The ones really benefiting from the drilling moratorium? National oil companies. That means President Obama’s marxist buddy Hugo Chavez is loving us right now. Was this a quid pro quo? Or was it yet another unintended consequence of a short sighted and dishonestly supported policy? I’d say the latter, but wouldn’t be too surprised at the former.

Oh, and this would be the same Venezuela that just stole oil rigs from US corporations and we heard nary a peep in protest for this thuggish thievery from the government that is supposed to be supporting US interests abroad.

Muhammed In Space

Perhaps a new round of “Let’s Draw Muhammed” is in order. It would probably improve our chances of NASA actually being less irrelevant than it already is going forward.

NASA has apparently been ordered to reach out to Muslim nations in an effort to improve goodwill. And NASA is the right agency for this why?

Former NASA director Michael Griffin says sympathetic nations will be drawn to us when NASA succeeds at great things, not when they’re given an inflatable space shuttle and commemorative plaque.

Griffin said Tuesday that collaboration with other countries, including Muslim nations, is welcome and should be encouraged — but that it would be a mistake to prioritize that over NASA’s “fundamental mission” of space exploration.

“If by doing great things, people are inspired, well then that’s wonderful,” Griffin said. “If you get it in the wrong order … it becomes an empty shell.”

Griffin added: “That is exactly what is in danger of happening.”

And the coup de’ etat?

He also said that while welcome, Muslim-nation cooperation is not vital for U.S. advancements in space exploration.

“There is no technology they have that we need,” Griffin said.

Once again, why is it NASA’s job to reach out to any nation?

I’d draw Muhammed in space alongside the Muppets.

Just A Reminder

Some people still claim that Liberals are the bigger and better givers, both of time and money. They’re wrong. Badly wrong.

People who said they were “very conservative” gave 4.5% of their income to charity, on average; “conservatives” gave 3.6%; “moderates” gave 3%; “liberals” gave 1.5%; and “very liberal” folks gave 1.2%.

And this cannot be explained by religious versus secular giving:

The 2008 data tell us that secular conservatives are now outperforming their secular liberal counterparts. Compare two people who attend religious services less than once per year (or never) and who are also identical in terms of income, education, sex, age and family status — but one is on the political right while the other is on the left. The secular liberal will give, on average, $1,100 less to charity per year than the secular conservative. The conservative charity edge cannot be explained away by gifts to churches.

Or by giving of time versus giving of money:

Q. Monetary giving doesn’t tell us much about total charity, does it? People who don’t give money probably tend to give in other ways instead, right?
A. Wrong. First of all, there is a bright line between people who give and people who don’t give. People who do give time and money tend to give a lot of it. According to the Center on Philanthropy, the percentage of givers donating less than $50 to charity in 2000 was the same as the percentage giving more than $5,000. Similarly, the same percentage of people who only volunteered once volunteered on 36 or more occasions in 2000.

Second, people who give away their time and money to established charities are far more likely than non-givers to act generously in informal ways as well. For example, one nationwide survey from 2002 tells us that monetary donors are nearly three times as likely as non-donors to give money informally to friends and strangers. People who give to charity at least once per year are twice as likely to donate blood as people who don’t give money. They are also significantly more likely to give food or money to a homeless person, or to give up their seat to someone on a bus.

And it is not offset by political giving either:

Perhaps you suspect that the vast political contributions given to the Obama campaign — $742 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, versus $367 million for the McCain campaign — were crowding out charitable giving by the left. But political donations, impressive as they were this year by historical standards, were still miniscule compared to the approximately $300 billion Americans gave charitably in 2008. Adding political and charitable gifts together would not change the overall giving patterns.

Conservatives continue giving more in economically difficult times, decreasing their giving by less than their liberal counterparts:

Economists measure the “income elasticity of giving” to predict how much people change their giving in response to a particular percentage change in their income. It turns out the response in 2008 was dramatically different for left and right. For instance, a 10% decrease in family income for a conservative was associated with a 10% decrease in giving. The same income decrease for a liberal family led to a 16% giving drop. In other words, if this relationship continues to hold, the recession will almost certainly exacerbate the giving differences between left and right.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding: Modern liberal ideas are selfish ideas.

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The Ugly Head Of Good Intentions

Henry Waxman and... his brother?

Pro-Abortion Democrat Bart Stupak joined Henry Waxman in chiding AT&T, Caterpillar, and several other large corporations who have adjusted their balance sheets in response to some of the first changes of the Health Care Socialization bill to take affect.

These large corporations have been enjoying a substantial tax deduction in return for their paying for their retirees prescription drugs. Because they had built their budgets around the savings this program gave them, as this program ends, they have to report the loss of this expected revenue.

And it’s significant amounts we’re talking here. After all, several hundred million here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real cash.

So Henry Waxman, from California (“sorry folks” says this former Californian)…

…sent AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere a sharp letter, questioning the charges and saying he wanted top officials from those companies to testify at an April 21 hearing he has scheduled on the issue.

What, he didn’t get enough validation of his supposed superiority after grilling Mr Toyoda of Toyota motors?

Congress is on a power trip the likes of which I haven’t seen before.

Bart Stupak joined in sending the letter which, among other things presumably, said:

The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.

Ah, the ugly head of good intentions.

Some studies (which no doubt the Congress-people held to savagely in order to assuage their own consciences for this dastardly deed) projects savings of $3000/employee for employers under this bill.

Unlike the government, though, businesses have to abide by what are called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP (pronounced “gap”) which requires, among other things, that expenses be reported in the financial quarter in which they are incurred. A significant loss of revenue cannot be offset, on the books, with a hoped for or expected long term savings. The company can report that expected savings in their reports to shareholders in order to rally them up and encourage them to keep their investments. But to use a hoped-for (not even really expected) long term savings to offset a current expense is a serious No-No. And if the government were held accountable for it’s accounting, it might actually know that.

So AT&T and these other companies did what they were supposed to do.

Even the AFL-CIO isn’t very enthusiastic about this particular provision:

Gerry Shea, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s chief strategist on health care, stopped short of calling for a repeal of the provision. “We’re very concerned about the disruption that could be caused because of this, with people being pushed out of employer plans,” he said. “With all the changes we’re looking at because of the new health legislation, we feel you don’t need this.”

And the President’s response?

White House officials said the provision would not affect job creation because it does not take effect for three years and any charge for a given year would not be large.

They’re reflecting the reality of the situation reflected, in turn, badly on those who jammed this travesty of a Health Care bill through. And one thing we can be sure about, people on power kicks don’t like being shown to be liars and cheats. And since their on a power kick, in all likelihood they’ll use that power kick to try and arm-twist until they get what they please.

So, word of advice to AT&T and Caterpillar and all those other companies writing down significant losses: Don’t go to Washington. They’re out for your head and they’ll stage a show and the MSM will go along because they don’t like you either. You’ll not get a fair shake.

Instead, take your message to the masses. Use that advertising budget to do PSAs on TV, radio, newspapers, and internet. Go viral with your message on Youtube and the like. I’ll even post it here if you do it.

Show the hollow nature of these good intentions. Show how blinded the Congress was by their own ambition and greed that they crafted this nightmare. Show that it’s not just a nightmare for you and others with large pocketbooks, show that it’ll be a nightmare for us as you have to cut benefits and trim payroll.

Good intentions have once again reared their ugly head. Lets cut it off this time.

Quotes from NYTimes article “Companies Push To Repeal Provision Of Health Law”.

Why Conservative, Christian?

Is America a Christian Nation?

Among those brothers and sisters who claim the name of Christ as their redeemer and Lord there are as many social ideas and political persuasions as there are sequins on a glam rockers vest. Or more.

Anybody who thinks all professed Christians believe a certain way about nearly any subject, even many subjects central to the faith, is misinformed or worse. They may be correct in believe that professing Christians ought to believe certain ways, but they are sadly mistaken if they think they actually do.

Especially in recent years, as traditionally more professedly secular ideologies have come to recognize the power and persuasion of faith-based arguments, no one political party or social movement or cultural idea can claim to be leading most Christians in it’s way.

However, there are many social ideas and political ideologies that Christians ought to agree on, and at least basically agree on their importance in the grand scheme of ideas.

First, we must agree that all aspects of life are related. That words mean things, that ideas have consequences, that actions are the outward manifestations of inward ideas, though they can be easily controlled and manipulated to give a wrong impression, positive or negative. We must agree that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. We must agree that what one does in private is the truer measure of who they are than what they claim in public. We must accept that dishonesty in one part of a life will mean that person cannot be trusted in other ways either. This doesn’t mean we only accept perfection. It means, more than anything else, that we only trust God for those things that are rightfully His to do.

Second we must agree that there are standards of right and wrong, and they are not situationally or culturally defined. When Jesus said He was the only way to the Father, He wasn’t leaving options open. If you don’t believe Jesus is the only way, you’re very welcome to call yourself anything you please, except a Christian. We use labels to mean things and allow useful and necessary classification in order to function as a normal, healthy society. Co-opting a label that has meant one thing for centuries to mean something completely different is to no ones benefit except the deceiver. And referencing to point 1, such deception in more indicative of your own heart issues than any intolerance true Christians may or may not hold.

The same goes for other truths that are defined in human nature and through the Word of God. Killing of innocents is always unjust and immoral. It doesn’t matter if you’re all in a life raft and starving and the weak ones wouldn’t survive anyways. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to live with the consequences of your actions. It doesn’t even matter if the choice was taken from you and forced upon you by evil people doing evil actions. Taking a life never expunges the memories or heals the wounds. It only adds to the pain and grief and lays actual and real and deserved blame on yourself. Abortion is murder. There is no argument that can change that plain and simple and very obvious fact. And to subscribe to and support any ideology that holds otherwise is to accept a huge burden of responsibility for the ugly truth that is our societies acceptance of this hideous and unconscionable act.

Third, we must agree that in order for God to justly judge the actions and intentions of each and every person, each and every person must be allowed the maximum use of their own abilities to do with as they please. Acting according to conviction or spite, or duplicity or compassion, or cynicism or malice or justice or pleasure, it is each and every one of our prerogative what we shall do with our own resources, got by our own hand, multiplied by our own skill, maximized by our own discipline. If the government or any other group takes from the able to distribute to the needy, they are removing that able person’s ability to show their own character and quality to God and man. And they are, more often than not, removing a powerful motivator for the needy to raise themselves up through honest and accountable charity and use of those resources they do have. A system of mutual dependency removes the onus of responsibility both from those who have and those who need.

I subscribe to conservative social and political beliefs not because I want America to return to its roots as a Christian nation. I don’t hold to my standards and ideas because I hope to create a wondrous theocracy here in the United States of America. Useful theocracies perished with the coming of Christ. At that point the theocracy moved to the heart of each and every man and woman and child. The responsibility is no longer with the nation but with the individual how they will go and who they will serve. The nation bears responsibility for maintaining an atmosphere most conducive to individual expression of their own faith, preventing such beliefs from infringing on others beliefs, and punishing where such infringment occurs. The individual bears the responsibility for using what freedom they have to serve whom they will in what manner they deem best.

The philosophies and ideas our Founding Fathers used to build such a nation were predominantly those derived from the Christian worldview. Because God does not want automatons but people who have freely and willingly chosen Him, He give to us complete choice and builds a framework, a worldview that is most conducive to such freedom while accounting for the human predilection for sin. It is the Christian government that is most conducive to all religions coexisting as peaceably as they may.

I am not Christian because I am conservative. No, political ideas can only at best be results of deeper things. I am a conservative because I am Christian. To be Christian is a deeper thing.

Government Successes

Obama's Health Care - You're going to get screwed
Obama's Health Care - You're going to get screwed

Socialized healthcare is just such a big target.

A good friend of mine a few weeks ago said his main argument against it is the historical argument: what programs has the United States government run successfully in the past that can serve as a model for the successful management of the entire healthcare system of the US?

It’s a good question.

I get echoes of “Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…?” in my head just thinking about it.

United States Senator Tom Coburn thinks it’s a very relevant question to, as he uses it to correct a lady who is asking for his support of socialized medicine in the US.

UPDATE: Neil from 4Simpsons says the health care bill does contain funding for abortion. His logic is the same we use to find black holes. If  you don’t find something you expected to find, there’s probably a good reason.

Health Care Update

Politics can get me incensed . . . but this is beyond that now. I have been casually monitoring the health care situation over the last couple days and want to pass on some very informative and exciting links to you.

First, I would recommend everyone to read this article. This is possibly the most succinct and clear perspective I have on the whole situation.  A short quote from it goes as follows:

They [members of congress] had no idea how people were feeling. Their 2008 win left them thinking an election that had been shaped by anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and pro-change feeling was really a mandate without context; they thought that in the middle of a historic recession featuring horrific deficits, they could assume support for the invention of a huge new entitlement carrying huge new costs.

The passions of the protesters, on the other hand, are not a surprise. They hired a man to represent them in Washington. They give him a big office, a huge staff and the power to tell people what to do. They give him a car and a driver, sometimes a security detail, and a special pin showing he’s a congressman. And all they ask in return is that he see to their interests and not terrify them too much. Really, that’s all people ask. Expectations are very low. What the protesters are saying is, “You are terrifying us.”

As we already know, and this article points out, there is now an “upper class” of congress people and guess what? They have no clue what is going on in the real world. In fact this congressman does not want to know. He is afraid (and rightly so) and is from a liberal state!

Now I know there are a ton of videos out there the anyone can watch . . . but I want to highlight this “listening” session by the AARP.