26 March 2010

Stop Thinking for Yourself; You're in College, After All

Us stupid Americans should learn that it's not nice to scare precious Canadian children - who are 18-24 years old and still completely helpless.
Perhaps I’m exposing myself as a starry-eyed idealist, but is not incumbent upon university officials like Houle to encourage a free and open exchange of ideas, no matter how loathsome some thin-skinned students might find them? And if the poor dears of the University of Ottawa suspect that they might be “offended” by Coulter, might I recommend that they retire to their dorm with an Antonio Gramsci book?

Sameena Topan, a conflict studies and human rights major who spoke to the Ottawa Citizen “on behalf of a group of protesters,” gloated that “we accomplished what we were here to do, to ensure that we don’t have her discriminatory rhetoric on our campus.” It is good to see that the University of Ottawa, which provides a salary to mad 9/11 truthers like Michel Chossudovsky, is teaching its students that to resolve conflicts and agitate for human rights, one only needs to prevent speech they deem “discriminatory.”

"We stand on guard for thee" has never rung less true.

Hope & Change Goes Largely Unreported

In the age of Obama, the nation's balance sheet no longer means anything; it's been replaced by the air of compassionate governance.
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.

"An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying."

"That level of debt is extremely problematic, particularly given the upward debt path beyond the 10-year budget window," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

22 March 2010

How You Like Me Now?

It's so very disheartening to see so many embrace the lie in order to feel better about themselves and gloss over any buzz-killing detail. Here, coincidentally, area a few key details to kill the buzz:
  • The “reconciliation bill” is not a “health bill” but an anti-health bill. It relies heavily on price controls, taxes and fines to punish doctors, hospitals and formerly innovative companies the produce prescription drugs and medical devices. If we treated farmers, food companies and grocery stores the way Congress threatens to treat the health industries would anybody expect food to become better or cheaper?
  • The 3.8% tax on both labor and investment income is not a “Medicare tax.” It’s surtax on income that goes into the slush fund, not the Medicare trust.
  • The bill could not possibly cost “only” $940 billion unless it contained a sunset provision — repealing the law after 2019.
and some bigger picture:
Fortunately, the welfare state that we have inherited is visibly bankrupt in more than one way. Medicare in its current form is unsustainable; Social Security is no longer viable. The cohort of retirees is growing ever larger, and they live on and on. The cohort of those within the work force is not growing at a faster rate. Taxes can perhaps be raised but if they are raised too much they will choke off investment, get in the way of economic growth, cease to bring in the revenue requisite for supporting our entitlement programs.

21 March 2010

Stiff Ache Up My Neck

Here's where my head is:
  1. There is dancing and rejoicing, which is stupid, because no one knows what's going to be voted on. No one knows what's in it because the president never put the proceedings on C-SPAN or put the bill on the internet like he said over and over and over.
  2. It's sickening to me that those who are cheering this have no sense of shame or embarrassment over how this all went down.
  3. What will run out first; the money to pay for such folly, or the ink it will require to document the bribes, pay-offs and kick-backs.
  4. Bart Stupak got OWNED by Obama's executive order bullshit; pro-life . . . what a fool.
  5. From this point forward, the political left NEVER gets to complain about how the opposition may ram through future legislation.
  6. I never want to see or hear legacy media ever waste my time with any more weepy stories about how ANYONE isn't fit and healthy, can't get health care or that the whole shebang is out of money.

20 March 2010

Leadership Through Bribery an Other Crimes

Anything for a vote; no matter the cost, transparency or ethics involved. It's the Hope and Change, stupid:
On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced it was increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations for local agriculture and jobs. The timing adds to our suspicions.

According to the Interior announcement, "Typically (the Bureau of) Reclamation would release the March allocation update around March 22nd, but moved up the announcement at the urging of Senators (Diane) Feinstein and (Barbara) Boxer, and Congressmen (Jim) Costa and (Dennis) Cardoza."

Blue Dog Democrats Costa, who represents California's 20th Congressional District (Fresno), and Cardoza, who represents the 18th (Stockton to Modesto), are both listed as "undecided" in the upcoming vote on health care reform, whether it be on the Senate bill itself or the "deem and pass" resolution known as the Slaughter rule, after Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter.

The rule subverts the Constitution by allowing the bill to pass without members actually having to vote on it. Interior's announcement gives Costa and Cardoza something to assuage the wrath of angry constituents just in time for any vote. They chose what was behind door number one.

The 2-inch-long delta smelt, a fish destined for the Endangered Species list, plugs the drains releasing water to the farmlands. So to protect it, environmentalists filed lawsuits and the decision was made to restrict the water flow and safeguard the smelt, even if that meant turning some of America's best farmland into the functional equivalent of Death Valley.

More on the bribed Democrats in Nebraska and Louisiana filth here.

And since were talking about breaking every rule in order to get His Majesty's legacy made, there's this:

The White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle has been feverishly sending out unsolicited email messages to federal employees in an effort to build support for President Barack Obama’s health reform package over the last several weeks.

DeParle’s unsolicited emails have been regularly coming to some federal employees’ official government email inboxes for weeks without permission or request, causing some federal employees to feel threatened by the overt political language.

The Department of State employees, who receive hundreds of official government emails every day, have complained about the annoying and partisan emails but are nervous to go public for fear of retribution. The emails are addressed to the federal employees by name and use the official .gov address.

Oh, and since we're still here:

If we pass this thing, no American politician, left or right, is going to cut any of these programs, or raise the broad-based taxes necessary to pay for them, without any compensating goodies to offer the public . . . until the crisis is almost upon us. I can think of no situation, other than impending crisis, in which such a thing has been done--and usually, as with Social Security, they have done just little enough to kick the problem down the road. The idea that you pass a program of dubious sustainability because you can always make it sustainable later, seems borderline insane. I can't think of a single major entitlement that has become more sustainable over time. Why is this one supposed to be different?

18 March 2010

One, Two Punch

While Pelosi, Reid and Obama desperately claw out legacies for themselves and work the shadows with bribes and jive, there are some things to consider from Robert Sameulson:

(Obama's) telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to know. Whatever their sins, insurers are mainly intermediaries; they pass along the costs of the delivery system. In 2009, the largest 14 insurers had profits of roughly $9 billion; that approached 0.4 percent of total health spending of $2.472 trillion. This hardly explains high health costs. What people need to know is that Obama's plan evades health care's major problems and would worsen the budget outlook. It's a big new spending program when government hasn't paid for the spending programs it already has.

and from Nina Owcharenko:

On the eve of the House of Representatives push to jam through the misguided and highly unpopular Senate health care bill, , the President continues to try and convince the American people that the health care bill would reduce cost while showing his commitment to creating jobs and improving the economy. The raw facts make it clear that he cannot keep either of these promises.

14 March 2010

Fascinating Study in Political Psychology

Remember what the Enlightenment Gang says; "she's not a woman, she's a Republican!"

I used to dismiss these contradictions as simply hypocrisy, but perhaps these people are angry at Palin because of her perceived similarities to Barack Obama, not in spite of them. They need someplace to ground the lightning of their frustration and disappointment, and they’re not allowed to be angry at Obama. They wear a set of rusty intellectual chains that require them to believe all criticism of Obama is racist, or paid for by his fat-cat arch-enemies. Accepting the notion that government power is morally superior to free enterprise, and a virtuous nation therefore has a very large government, requires belief in the masters of the State as titans of mind and spirit. How could a gigantic State be morally defensible, if its leaders aren’t supermen? If you find yourself suspecting the architect of the largest, most expensive government America has ever known might not be as smart or wise as you were led to believe last November, your entire world-view is threatened.

It’s very important for liberals to deflect those suspicions onto a designated, culturally approved target. Sarah Palin is a convenient hate fetish for increasingly nervous and confused Left, because she embodies the qualities of the red-state America they loathe… and serves as a voodoo doll for uncomfortable criticisms of Obama, which they project onto her. As events continue to demonstrate those criticisms were far more important than any of the superficial or imaginary reasons they voted for him, they’ll jab pins into that voodoo doll with increasing fury, even though the object of their anger now spends her days working for a news network none of them would be caught dead watching.

Read it all. It reveals quite a lot about those who, when talking about Sarah Palin, wind up with a bit of spittle on the corner of their mouths.

13 March 2010

Don't Squander the Good on the Bad or the Ugly.

Of all the things the fools in Washington could fowl up, this could be really big one:

There will be transformative applications that need all the bandwidth they can get. Medical, Transportation, Defense, Gaming, Simulations and who knows what. As computers become more powerful, we need to be able to send more data to the cloud where they can crunch data and return it to us.

That is the value of an open internet. The things we cant imagine today. The applications that are just dreams because they dont have enough horsepower and bandwidth to work today. I want the internet to be a platform for amazing. Not Gilligan’s Island reruns.

In the event some form of ubiquitous entertainment comes first , takes over the net and saturates it, how is the FCC going to solve the bandwidth traffic jam ? They wont ever be able to put the bandwidth genie back in the bottle. Screaming at broadband providers to spend the money wont work any better than screaming to expand highways helps to alleviate rush hour traffic.

10 March 2010

Protesting for Dummies

These supposedly smart college students aren't smart enough to connect the dots; perhaps they're so desperate to be provided an education:

Hundreds of University of California students rallied against a 32% tuition hike last week. Let's hope their future employers get a better work product. With just a little research, the students could have discovered that compensation packages won from the state by unions were a big reason for the hike.

In 1999, the Democratic legislature ran a reckless gamble that makes Wall Street's bankers look cautious. At the top of a bull market, they assumed their investment returns would grow at a 8.25% rate in perpetuity—equivalent to assuming that the Dow would reach 25,000 by 2009—and enacted a huge pension boon for public-safety and industrial unions.

The bill refigured the compensation formula for pension benefits of all public-safety employees who retired on or after January 1, 2000. It let firefighters retire at age 50 and receive 3% of their final year's compensation times the number of years they worked.

In 2002, the state legislature further extended benefits to many nonsafety classifications, such as milk and billboard inspectors. More than 15,000 public employees have retired with annual pensions greater than $100,000.

In the last decade, government worker pension costs (not including health care) have risen to $3 billion from $150 million, a 2,000% jump, while state revenues have increased by 24%. Because the stock market didn't grow the way the legislature predicted in 1999, the only way to cover the skyrocketing costs of these defined-benefit pension plans has been to cut other programs (and increase taxes).

Memo to marching students: The governor can't save you. You guys need a new legislature. This one is selling you out. Organize an opposition and vote them out in November. Plan B is quit school and become a state billboard inspector.

06 March 2010

Bring on the Orange Stuff

Although it ain't cheap:
In the 5 minutes it took to de-ice us this morning, they used 42 gallons (158L) of heated Type I Oh, did I mention it's $16.95/gallon ($4.49/L)? That adds up when they fire the stuff out of a cannon, in this case to the tune of $712. That's about $20 for every second they sprayed us.

I know that sounds outrageous, but it was actually a lot cheaper to deice in Omaha than in our home base of Toronto Pearson, where the airport association has a monopoly on de-icing facilities and they jack the price outrageously because they can. Last time we got de-iced in Toronto, the bill was $2,500.00. Still, it's better than trying to fly an iced-up plane and littering the countryside with aircraft parts, so that's what we'll continue to do.

04 March 2010

Left-Coast Scruitiny

A shot of Victor for your thoughts:

To drive through downtown Santa Barbara is to count the amazing variety of Volvo, Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW SUVs — and wonder where the gasoline comes from, as off-shore drilling declines. You get the picture — our top echelons have become quite prissy. The redwood deck is beloved, not the falling coast redwood tree; kitchen granite counters are de rigueur, not the blasting at the top of the granite mountain; the Prius is a badge of honor, not the chemical plant that makes its batteries; we now like stainless steel frigs, but hate steel’s coke, and iron ore, and electricity lines; arugula is tasty, not the canal that brings water 400 miles to irrigate it; I support teacher unions and -studies courses in the public schools, but not with my Ivy-League bound children.

At the other end of the social spectrum, the underclass seems to be growing. I don’t expect to see much cash at mega-supermarkets in my area. Food stamps — and yet expensive food — are the norm. The school systems of California’s major cities are broken; the wealthy praise them and flee, and the poor complain about their inadequacy, but insist on the sort of identity “pride” politics curriculum and staffing that ensure the inadequacy.

It is taboo to ask our failing youth a simple question, “What exactly have you done the last month to ensure your birthright to the world’s most sophisticated lifestyle propped up by advanced math, science, social stability, and political tranquility?”

02 March 2010

I Am Not Your Child

Stop voting for people who treat me as such:

I doubt very many liberals see themselves as children in need of the government’s guidance. Instead they see themselves as the parents who know how to properly guide everyone else. People don’t pass laws against trans fats because they’re afraid they themselves will eat unhealthily otherwise; those types of laws are for everyone else the liberals feel they need to forcefully parent for their own good. While the adult freedoms are freedoms we want for ourselves, the child freedoms are mainly inflicted on others we imagine need our control for their own betterment.

This is where the progressive European governments and the backwards Islamic governments share a similarity: they are both concerned with what their citizens may do without the government’s interference — the Europeans are worried about non-PC behavior, and the Islamic governments are worried about influences from the West and other religions. The end result is both types of government feel they have the right to treat their citizens like children in need of direction.

The United States of America was supposed to be different.

Bad Guys with Guns

A street gang by any other name:
94 percent of the state's SWAT deployments were used to serve search or arrest warrants, leaving just 6 percent in response to the kinds of barricades, bank robberies, hostage takings, and emergency situations for which SWAT teams were originally intended.

Worse even than those dreary numbers is the fact that more than half of the county’s SWAT deployments were for misdemeanors and nonserious felonies. That means more than 100 times last year Prince George’s County brought state-sanctioned violence to confront people suspected of nonviolent crimes. And that's just one county in Maryland.

The use of these paramilitary police units has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, by 1,000 percent or more, resulting in the drastic militarization of police. It's a trend that seems to have escaped much media and public notice, let alone informed debate about policies and oversight procedures.
Oversight - THAT is why you vote, folks.