Tag Archives: Muse

Thoughts and rants which do not fit easily into other categories. Or personal opinions.

Who Owns The Money?

McCain may not be with conservatives on many social issues, but he’s definitely with us on fiscal issues. He’ll at least work hard to keep America from going broke.

Three articles across the internet today highlight the heart of this issue: the willingness of the candidates to spend money which you’ve given them in self-serving pork projects.

Buying votes with your cash.

First, from the Washington Post: Candidates Earmarks Worth Millions:

Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, [Sen. Hillary] Clinton [(NY)] supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.

In the Boston Herald (winner of todays Most Absolutely Annoying And Alliterative Headline: Blustering Bubba Blasts Barak for Babbling Baloney) editorial, The Race For Earmarks, the editors note that Hillary sent $342 million to her own constituents, putting her in the top ten porkers. McCain, on the other hand, was against earmarks before that was even beginning to become popular.The porkers which inhabit Washington desire power. It is not altruism which drives them, but instead a compelling desire to get as many people subscribing to their ascendancy by giving them money.

But whose money do they use? Yours.

If it were their money there would not be an issue, except for the ethical implications of graft and cronyism and what they say of the character of the individual engaging in them.

Further insight into the candidates philosophies can be seen in who they get money for:

As a campaign issue, earmarks highlight significant differences in the spending philosophies of the top three candidates. Clinton has repeatedly supported earmarks as a way to bring home money for projects, while Obama adheres to a policy of using them only to support public entities.

McCain is using his blanket opposition to earmarked spending as a regular line of attack against Clinton, even running an Internet ad mocking her $1 million request for a museum devoted to the Woodstock music festival. Obama has been criticized for using a 2006 earmark to secure money for the University of Chicago hospital where his wife worked until last year.

McCain, for his seeming contempt for many social-conservative causes, respects the citizenry enough to protect their investment in government.

It reminds me of the story of Davy Crockett, who, when a disaster struck his home state while he was a member of Congress, and his constituents begged that he send federal money to help the stricken area, said that he would not.

He stated that money spent by the government can only be used in ways which benefit ALL citizens equally.

If only more in the current crop of public megalomaniacs servants would espouse this truism.

But the porkers currently running for the Democrat nomination do not.

The Scheming Communist Operative, Hillary, does what is best for her and only, ever, what is best for her. If this involves giving your money to someone she thinks can pave her way to power, that’s what she does.

The Idyllic Communist, Obama, only gives to “worthy causes”.

The problem is, people (you and I) are much more efficient and effective at getting money to worthy causes:

  • We are better at choosing those causes which are actually worthy.
  • We’re less likely to be duped in significant numbers and for substantial amounts of money than the government with its fat-handed largess.
  • And it doesn’t cost as much for us to get our money to those causes which are worthy, so more money gets to them overall and less is wasted in the endless iterations of bureaucracy.

Hillary is a smart (not intelligent, just smart) and conniving operative with one goal, her own supremacy.

Obama is an intelligent and misguided idealist. He wants to solve all the world problems, but everything he claims for his plans have all been tried before, and failed. Over and over again.

The picture which comes to mind is that of Kranzy October, the Russian Revolution in “Red” October of 1917.

The idealists, mostly young Russians, many of the Jewish Russians seeking a Utopian society free of the perceived inequities of the Tzarist system followed headlong into the dismal black of Communist Russia. The smart ones saw chance of personal aggrandizement and turned coat. Spying on their idealist brethren and reporting false crimes until they were the only ones surviving. Lenin rose to power in this era not through altruism and idealism but through corruption and power-lust, scheming and buying his way to the top.

Hillary is a Lenin-type, while Obama is a type of the dead idealists.

Both are dead wrong in their goals, but each have their own reasons, methods, and paths to achieve the death of our Great Nation.

Obama is not naive, but he is not a leader.

Check his closet for skeletons.

Funny Bits From The Blogosphere

Here’s a few funny bits that have got me thinking and kept me laughing in the last few days:

  • Top 16
    Wes, Animate Matters

    I was reading a list of Amazon’s top-ten best-selling books mentioned at Vox’s, and it gave me an idea for some fictional titles which would amuse me. And yes, I have too way much time on my hands.

  • How To Make A Woman Happy

    It’s not difficult to make a woman happy.
    A man only needs to be:
    1. a friend
    2. a companion
    3. a lover
    4. a brother
    5. a father
    6. a master
    7. a chef
    […and the list goes on, and on, and on…]

Bemused Amazement…

“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first centuries developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”
~ Dr. Richard Lindsen, MIT

“I’m OK With You Not Voting.”

I saw a statement from John Stossel, 20/20 reporter, this morning and it got me thinking.

“[S]tudents often ask what can be done about the ‘problem’ of young people who don’t care enough to vote. I always say that I don’t see it as much of problem ‘because most of you don’t know anything yet. I’m OK with you not voting!’ The students laugh, but I’m not joking.

I agree. Often, voters make decisions without considering their options or looking at the secondary effects of political policies. Take, for example, Social Security.

I was talking with a friend the other day about the relative benefits of a 401(k) versus Social Security.

We were discussing our God-given responsibilities to care for our families and, if given a choice (we don’t have one right now, but hypothetically.) how this responsibility would affect our decision whether to put all our eggs into Social Security or into a 401(k).

At my friend’s current salary, we calculated that he will put $300,000 into Social Security (including the employer portion) over the next 40 years.

Then we calculated the “return” on his investment.

Social Secuirty: If Social Security pays my friend $25,000 a year, he must live 12 years beyond “retirement” to recoup his investment into Social Security. Unfortunately, at this rate, it is not likely he will recoup his investment because his life expectancy is only 75.15 years (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html).

Although his wife will receive a small stipend, his children will get nothing from his investment. Further, $25,000 is close to or below the current federal poverty level. In 40 years, it will be even more so. In fact, it will probably be unlivable.

To be technical, some of these figures are variables. As Social Security becomes more unsustainable, benefits will be cut by increasing the “retirement” age. Also, the average life expectancy will probably be a few years higher in 40 years because of advances in nutrition and medical technology.

401(k)’s: Now for the alternative: If my friend puts the $300,000 into a 401(k) over 40 years until the age of 65, he will have $3,452,839.

Further, if he dies at 75, his wife will have plenty live off of and he will be able to pass the remainder on to his children (more Biblical mandates).


To finish up, here’s the remainder of Stossel’s quote:

… I only started to think I knew what ought to be done after years of reporting and reading voraciously to absorb arguments from left and right. The idea that most voters vote without having done much of that work is, frankly, scary.”

Scary indeed. We live with the repercussions every day.

Stop The Faucet? “Uh, Tell That To God.”

Water conservation has intrigued me for a while. It all began when I asked a colleague why she chose to become a vegetarian. Now I have numbers of friends who are vegetarians, one who even thrived as he went through boot camp. I respect them and have eaten with them countless times. I was simply curious about this colleague’s rational.

“Well,” she said, “What would [this state] look like if we used all the water used to produce beef to water the landscape. It would be so much greener.”

What?!?! How the heck would that work? How would you transport the water? How effective would a state-wide watering campaign be? How would you ensure that no more than 50 percent of the water evaporated before it soaked into the ground? (The best way is to mimic western Washington state’s system; 200+ days a year of rain.)

Further, I thought, trying to comprehend the silliness, “Isn’t water kind of like a renewable resource? There’s no more and no less of it on the earth. It’s just in a different form or location.”

And she seriously defended her reasoning.

That reminded me, what are the values of watering bans? In Texas, where it rains less than 100 days a year and there are few resources in which to store water, controls may be necessary. Even in California, limits may be necessary when the snow pack is low or in Southern California, which gets its water from the Colorado River.

But are they necessary in Washington state and Oregon where it rains more than the sun shines. When utility districts in these states encourage water conservation despite the surplus, the only response can be, “Uh, tell that to God.”

All that to say, this forum sounds interesting.



BOSTONEven though the Commonwealth is blessed with adequate rainfall and full reservoirs, many towns* greet summer with watering bans and other draconian conservation tactics that seem better suited to the desert Southwest. Why? Economists Sheila Olmstead and Robert Stavins, in their new Pioneer Institute study Managing Water Demand, argue that heavy-handed, punitive restrictions on water use are not only expensive, but often ineffective.