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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ghettoizing America

Florida Governor Rick Scott has rejected federal money for a proposed rail system that would have connected Tampa and Orlando via I-4.  Ridership studies indicate that, like some other areas of the US, it would have been a lightly used, expensive to operate and maintain white elephant.  The Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail system is comparable to that which was proposed in Florida.  The National Center for Policy Analysis reports the following results from Texas.
  • The fixed-route (bus and rail) ridership on DART is less than it was 10 years ago, despite population in the service area growing 17 percent since 2000.
  • In that same period, DART has collected almost $4 billion ($300 million to $400 million a year) in local sales taxes and hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars on a system that makes hardly a dent in area traffic congestion.
  • DART's staff has grown from just under 2,800 employees in 2000 to 3,900 in 2010, an increase of 39 percent.
  • For comparison, the Dallas district of the state Transportation Department -- which includes seven counties with a population of more than 4 million and oversees almost 11,000 lane miles of highways -- has fewer than 1,000 employees.
  • DART's operating expenses from 2000 to 2010 grew from $242 million to $402 million, a growth of 66 percent to operate a system with declining ridership.
  • Meanwhile, as predicted, the agency has reduced the number of bus miles to force ridership onto the light rail system, in many cases making the commute last longer for the regular rider.
Governor Scott helped Florida taxpayers dodge a bullet, but he did much more in the process.  Forcing mass transit down the collective throat of citizens in the more populous states' metropolitan areas is part of the O-bumites' schemes to ghettoize the nation under the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's Consolidated Planning wealth redistribution plans.

Progressives in the current administration have dusted off this Jimmy Carter-era plan for federally funded, centrally planned utopian urban housing collectives that are intended to eliminate personal transit and privately owned single-family homes and establish equal living standards between all inhabitants of this Brave New Community.  Understand that the prevailing philosophy among HUD's hierarchy is that the federal government should own or control all of the nation's housing.

In order to do this, governments must first confiscate the land. Cleveland is acquiring homes that have foreclosed mortgages and demolishing them.  Flint, Michigan, is taking advantage of a recently enacted state law that allows cities to buy foreclosed homes cheaply and raze them.  While there are potential benefits if the land were to be converted into forests or parks, or if it were sold to private companies in large tracts for profitable redevelopment, this has not been the case so far with this O-buma-approved plan.

This is part of a larger plan, hatched by the Brookings Institute, to "[f]oster the economic and social welfare...[s]ecure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system."  That's right, this is a progressive globalist organization that supports O-buma's plans for a New World Order with the US paying the bills and the United Nations running the show.

The Brookings's seemingly benevolent and innocuous plans are, in reality, mercenary and predatory.  They want state, federal, and local government agencies to confiscate most, and eventually all, of the land in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.  Having done this, they can use rezoning to make individual home ownership too expensive for all but the ruling class elite--this would be similar to the Soviet-era dachas for Politburo leaders--then, they could close streets to force the use of mass transit.  At that point, most of us would be living in housing collectives similar to Chicago's Cabrini Green.

In their study, "Metropolitan Areas and the Next Economy: a 50 State Analysis" they conclude that [m]etropolitan areas nationwide boast disproportionate shares of the assets that will drive the next wave of U.S. economic growth.  However, they do not answer the question "Disproportionate to what?"  To successfully transition to the next economy, states should place economic development strategies in the service of metropolitan-led visions for economic growth, building from the distinctive assets and market strengths of these regions to grow quality jobs and promote sustainable, statewide prosperity. 

Prosperity indeed.  What little building that might occur under federal occupation of the states would be planned at the federal level also.  In "Buried Code," The Washington Post reveals that O-buma's Congressional Cohorts want to give the federal government power over local building codes.  The federal government is taking a multi-agency approach to establish totalitarian control of cities.

Bill Barnes writes in "Emerging Issues: Obama Urban Policy Ideas Likely to Have Consequences" that O-buma plans to integrate economic, environmental and social concerns — the new metropolitan reality — with the intergovernmental aspects of this overall policy picture.  The president intends to use a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities that engages the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation along with the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The euphemistically named Livable Communities Act is the typical top down progressive approach to take power and responsibility away from local government and give it to those who know best how all of us should have to live, namely, themselves.  House Member Paul Ryan from Wisconsin argues that the feds intend to put this takeover in effect by leveraging grant money to gain heavy influence over local planning decisions.  He observes that it imposes an urban-utopian fantasy through an unprecedented intrusion of the Federal Government into the shaping of local communities.  

This article in NewGeography echoes Ryan's sentiments.  'Livability' is the latest rallying cry for planners who want to draw lines around urban areas and force people out of their cars and into denser housing.  Our analysis shows that, for most people, livability policies produce less livability, in terms of higher costs and a lesser quality of life, especially in greater traffic congestion, longer travel times and more exposure to air pollution.
The chart to the right shows the effect that this federal boondoggle has had on affordable housing in metropolitan areas that favor these policies.  Given the combined results of this federal intrusion, one might wonder why are they doing it, and who is benefiting?  Whose re-election prospects improve when rising housing costs force more people into subsidized housing?   Who, oh who, could possibly profit from applying the federal housing project model to entire metropolitan areas?  This gerrymandering redistricting in the guise of green communities is merely another example of Corruptocrats trying to steal elections.

May your gods be with you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Public Trough

The photo to the left is of an educrat public union apparatchik sieg heiling her support for the Politburo and squealing her displeasure over being elbowed away from the public trough.

Speaking of the public trough, O-buma wants to make the US taxpayer-funded trough available to the entire world.  Fearless Leader wants to donate our national resources to establish a One World Welfare State.  On behalf of America, he proclaimed that we have fully embraced the Millennium Development Goals.

Apparently, O-buma believes that as president he can issue fiats instead of having to deal with the cumbersome legislative process — such as when he had difficulty as senator getting his Global Poverty Act passed. That bill would have committed the U.S. to spending...$845 billion more than the U.S. already spends on aid to other nations.   

That's right, the magnanimous one wants to create an international welfare fund to the tune of roughly a TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR with your money.  He wants to do this when the federal budget was more than a trillion dollars in the red for 2010 alone.  Just about the only talent that The One and his ideological soul mates have developed is that of giving away the resources of unborn Americans.  Through this theft-welfare program, they hope to stroke their own ponderously bloated egos.  They are too myopic to recognize how badly they embarrass themselves with this sort of self-gratification.

So why do you suppose the evil Bush administration opposed the innocuous-sounding "Millennium Development Goals"?

Well, how about its multi-pronged assault on America's national sovereignty? It commits participating nations to be bound by the International Criminal Court treaty; support regional disarmament measures for small arms and light weapons; and press for the full implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which Wikipedia describes as "an international legally binding treaty" that includes among its goals a "fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources," the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, described as "an international bill of rights for women," and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which purports to be a "legally binding international instrument" that gives children the right to express their own opinions "freely in all matters affecting the child" and requires those opinions be given "due weight."

The O-bumatrons want to reduce parents to mere breeders and feeders with agents of the state raising their children and indoctrinating them in the progressive mindset.  In her book Outcome Based Education, author Peg Lucksik reveals that they want to do this through mandatory year-round schooling beginning at age 2 years.  They want to grab them when they are still infants and have them goose stepping in lockstep with the Progressive's Official Party Line by the time that they enter grade K.  Anyone who thinks that this is a bit far fetched should visit the Web site at Parental Rights.  They offer the following warning on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It’s usually looked upon as a positive means of holding countries accountable to protect children. But the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is so much more than that.

The doctrine of "best interests" provides decision and policy makers [UN] with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’, providing it is based on considerations of the best interests of the child.  So instead of placing the burden of proof on the government to prove that a parent is unfit, the Convention places the burden of proof on – yes, parents. Any parent who claims that other interests might just be more important than the state’s characterization of the “best interest” of the child could end up battling the state to protect their rights as a parent.

With the O-bumites calling the tune, they plan to take away parents' rights, dominate children's lives from age two through high school graduation, and indoctrinate kids into mindlessly obedient culture warriors dedicated to the progressives' causes.  Unable to win based upon the merits of their intentions, they are reduced to brainwashing trusting, unsuspecting children.  Yuck!

May your gods be with you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

The title above is a quote from Al Shanker.  He spoke these words when he was the president of the American Federation of TEACHERS.  You know them.  They are the folks who are letting schoolchildren twist in the wind, having deserted their posts in Wisconsin's schools to protest in Madison, Wisconsin, because they are only doing it for the kids.  They have the audacity to claim that they abandoned the children for the good of those children.  Sounds quite a lot like the old lie that "this is going to hurt me more than it does you."

However, this sort of avariciousness should be expected from the leaders of an organization that exists solely for the purpose of extorting money from the public.  From the federal level all the way down to local county school boards, these bureaucrats have their grabby little hands in the pockets of those who actually pay taxes.  Perhaps it is at the local level that they are most furtive, devious, and greedy.  How expedient is it for them that school boards are comprised almost exclusively of members, or former members, of the National Education Association, AFT, or their ideological brethren?

School board members are responsible to negotiate in good faith with teachers' unions on behalf of taxpayers.  Education union members on local school boards negotiate compensation packages with fellow union members and the public pays the bill, including board members' salaries.  One might conclude that there are very good reasons that the compliant and complicit media has paid so little attention to what seems a blatant conflict of interest.  Electing their own bosses is good work if you can get it.  So firmly entrenched, arrogant, and untouchable are these education guilds that they have even published a manual, entitled "Electing Your Employer," that describes the process in detail.

This article raises some salient points.  "There’s a dirty little secret in public school governance: for a few thousand dollars, unions can run the table. How? Elect the school board. Then, at negotiation time, they’re sitting across the bargaining table from their friends.

Who is looking out for taxpayers? In far too many school districts, no one. The inmates are running the asylum."  County commissioners could enact laws to require that before becoming school board members, candidates must wait five years after leaving teaching or ending their union affiliation.  The absence of such laws could be directly related to the volume of campaign contributions from government education unions' members.

However, people are starting to push back against union-controlled, government-run schools.  "Some have proposed banning unions from giving campaign contributions to those that would oversee collective bargaining agreements." That’s a good move.

The union in Michigan has brazenly gone so far as to actually initiate recall campaigns to take out board members who don’t see things the 'union way.' It’s right out of the Jimmy Hoffa handbook.

And if there’s a reform-minded, troublesome superintendent? Take over the board and fire him!"

It is time to disenfranchise public unions since one primary reason for their existence is to act as money launderers for corrupt politicians.  Jonah Goldberg writes that "[t]raditional, private-sector unions were born out of an often-bloody adversarial relationship between labor and management.  Government unions have no such narrative on their side. Do you recall the Great DMV cave-in of 1959? How about the travails of second-grade teachers recounted in Upton Sinclair's famous schoolhouse sequel to "The Jungle"? No? Don't feel bad, because no such horror stories exist.

The argument for public unionization wasn't moral, economic or intellectual. It was rankly political.  The plan worked perfectly -- too perfectly. Public union membership skyrocketed, and government union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5 percent going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections? Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government. Which is why, as the Manhattan Institute's Steven Malanga has been chronicling for years, public unions are the country's foremost advocates for increased taxes at all levels of government.

This is why FDR believed that "the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," and why even George Meany, the first head of the AFL-CIO, held that it was "impossible to bargain collectively with the government."

So what can taxpayers do to protect themselves from Corruptocrats and their lackeys in education unions?  Support candidates at the federal, state, and local levels who favor disenfranchising education collectives; become involved in local school board election campaigns, and learn where candidates get their money; attend school board meetings; support everyone who wants to eliminate public sector unions.  Remember the words of Tip O'Neil: "All politics is local."

May your gods be with you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Theftocrats Have Left the Building and Taken Democracy with Them

Corruptocrats in Wisconsin and Indiana have proved their mettle once again, showing that they simply cannot bear to be treated as they treat others.  Faced with certain defeat, they have chosen to slink away with their tails tucked between their legs and find someplace to hide.

Collectively they lack the capacity for shame or embarrassment.  They lack shame because they lack morals, and without morals the only constraint on their behavior is the potential for punishment.  Their constituents will not punish them because they are moral twins.  There will be no legal punishment because the Fleebaggers have gone to cower in states that have Theftocrat governors who are their moral equivalents.  Catch-22.

Michelle Malkin points out in her article "Fleebaggers: The New Cut and Run Democrats" that they are like "Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril, run away, run away, run away."  The voters "have spoken...they put Republican adults in charge to clean up profligate Democrat-engineered messes.  Instead of defending their same old tax-hiking, union protecting, spending addicted ways, Democrats are crossing their state borders into big government sanctuary zones screaming--'la, la, la, we can't hear you' all the way.  Real people would simply be too embarrassed.

In the same vein, Heather Chadwick points out in her article "Indiana Lawmakers Flee to Avoid Vote" that in "an attempt to block a law from passing that prohibits employees from having to pay union dues...Democratic lawmakers from Indiana are fleeing the state.  Leaving the state to delay legislation doesn't do much but delay progress."  These legislators are desperate to continue garnishing workers' wages, but why?  Because unless this group of politicians can continue gouging unwilling workers to line FleePAC coffers, they will be unable to purchase re-election with money earned by the sweat of other people's brows.   

These charlatans have taken democracy hostage.  The old high tax, deficit spending, featherbedding, bloated compensation, anti-meritocracy, stiff the taxpayers, rip off unborn generations system is broken and cannot be fixed.  The voters have spoken; it is time for new leadership and methods.  Unfortunately, the Theftocrats and their ideological and moral soul mates are not merely slinking away from legislation that calls them to account for their transgressions; revealingly, they are slinking away from the national sacrifice that is necessary to turn around America.  They hope to continue riding in the wagon while the others do the work of pulling it.

May your gods be with you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Under O-buma Redux

Voters caught on rather quickly as to what sort of change we should expect from O-buma.  After two excruciatingly long years in office, the electorate gave him and his merry band of thieves a swift kick that returned the House of Representatives to Republicans and significantly tilted the Senate's balance of power.  Why did this radical transformation occur?  To paraphrase Joe Louis, O-buma can run around lying about taxes and the economy, but he can't hide from the numbers.

Quite a lot has happened to us under the O-bumatron regime,and most of it has been bad for the country.

This chart reveals the the party-of-welfare's two year track record from January, 2009, to February 15, 2011.  The price of gasoline is up nearly 70%; corn is up 78%; unemployment is up 24%; the number of food stamp recipients is up 35%; the dollar has lost 8.6% against the yen, and the national debt has increased by 32%.  One significant increase was in the number of federal bureaucrats; there numbers swelled by over 100,000.  Great work, geniuses.

Although this article was posted last year, it does reflect our national trends.  O-buma and company have us hurtling down the road to third world status, and they are dithering and blithering, trying to protect their selfish interests at the expense of national sovereignty.  "The United States by every measure is hanging on by a thread to its First World status.  Saddled by debt, engaged in wars on multiple fronts with a rising police state at home, declining productivity, and wild currency fluctuations all threaten America's future."
  • Unemployment is twice acceptable levels.
  • The US is economically dependent on foreign countries.
  • Schemes to decrease liberty are put into effect by unelected bureaucrats.
  • Political corruption is rampant.
  • Civilian police use military grade weapons and tactics
  • Infrastructure is crumbling as almost all states near bankruptcy.
  • The middle class is rapidly disappearing.
  • Quantitative easing has decreased the dollar's value tremendously.
  • Most media sources are controlled by government.
  • Plans exist to force private investment it Treasury bonds.

Sadly, "a full-blown military presence in American cities has been planned by the US Army War College."

Despite all of the bad news, bankruptcy is the greatest threat to the US.  Concerning China's Dagong Global Credit Rating Company's decision to lower the US rating from AAA to AA, this Bloomberg article hypothesizes that an "alien arriving from outer space might take one look at America's balance sheet and buy Indonesian debt instead."

O-buma and the theftocrats have turned their backs on the nation and have robbed taxpayers in order to reward their loyal lackeys.  This opinion piece argues that the empty suits who have mismanaged the economy have put government ahead of the people.  One of the main reasons that the "$800 billion stimulus failed is that so little of it was directed to firing up the locomotive of the economy, the private sector, and so much of it was spent to ensure that government workers did not have to share in the national sacrifice."

Anyone "who thinks that the Obama party is ever going to cull the tens of millions of government workers or scores of millions of government beneficiaries to put America's house in order is deluding himself."  O-buma had Nancy Pelosi reconvene Congress so that the federal government could borrow an additional $26 billion from China in order to keep redundant bureaucrats on the government payroll.  This is what has happened under O-buma.  The results of the 2010 election should be repeated in 2012. 

It seems that there are mostly two types of people in this world: there are people who make mistakes and those who will not admit making mistakes.  For anyone who made the grievous error of voting for O-buma in 2008 and is still advertising it, here is a useful product.

May your gods be with you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rights? You Bet!

Lately, the bobbleheads in the compliant and complicit mainstream media have been airing their views on what they refer to as workers' rights.  Forget for the moment the workers' part of the phrase workers' rights since it is merely an adjective that identifies what sort of rights.  The meaty part of this phrase is the term rights.  So, what does this word mean in this context?

Often when they are presenting their demands for other people's resources, government unionists claim that it is their right to do this; however, when pressed for an explanation, they usually resort to claiming that their rights are God-given.  This claim is intended to obscure the fact that they were actually purchased from corrupt politicians.  There will be more on this specious reasoning later.  When it is used in this manner, the word right is a misnomer, or an inappropriate designation.  In fact, it is simply a privilege, or entitlement, that has been granted by agents of the state.  The state is permanently in the business of granting and taking away privileges to and from others.

Some of these agents of the state are politicians, and they have given themselves the privilege of appropriating, or confiscating, other people's money.  As it has been noted here earlier, the politicians give some of the money that they take to the government unionists who take their cut of the loot and give some of it back to the politicians, and quicker than one can shout "thieving bast**ds, they have exercised their self-given privilege of buying another election with, you guessed it, other people's money.  The morals of this process leave something to be desired.
Still, some of us are paying attention and demand some justification for all of this chicanery.  They use the term rights, but it smells quite a lot like bribery.  To digress for a moment, consider what a slick scam it is to give oneself the legal privilege of issuing bribes with other people's money.  In order to divert attention away from their motives, they try to dress up this mess in something holy by claiming that their actions have been authorized by the almighty.

Let's see here.  They claim that their version of a god, an entity with whom it is impossible to consult and verify their outrageous claims, has granted them permission to hustle taxpayers.  How very convenient for them.  This is the very sort of argument that the Islamafascists used; they claimed that their god authorized them to commit mass murder in New York.  Speaking of New York, up there they would say it something like this: rights, hah gotcher rights!

May your gods be with you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Workers Unite!

What thinking person would ask for legal advice from someone who majored in biology in school?  Who would want cataract surgery performed by an accounting major?  What sort of parents would place their children's futures in the hands of a local school board that allows teachers without science degrees to teach science, to teach math without mathematics degrees, or to teach English without English degrees?  Surprise, it is your own school board and virtually all of the others across the US.

In his article "What Are Your Favorite Ideas For Improving Public Schools?" Bruce D. Price lists eight ways that public schools can be vastly improved.  Aside from requiring that all "teachers must major in the subjects they teach," he addresses the problem of bullying.  He asserts that we need to "Make schools safe and secure."  In most schools, violence seems to be "tacitly accepted."  In the educational environment, "children [are] committing acts that adults would be jailed for."  The problem is often three-fold; administrators resolutely avoid reporting crime to local law enforcement; state attorneys are reluctant to prosecute; and schools have discipline quotas that are determined by demographics.

The article offers other recommendations that merit consideration.
  • Support fast-track alternative credentialing.
  • Teachers must not be required to join a union.
  • Repeal, rescind, or scale back Race to the Top.
  • Cut the Department of Education in half.  And then do it again.
Nonetheless, making schools safe may be the most effective way to improve education in America.  By only prosecuting crimes that enhance their re-election prospects, local state attorneys general enforce the notion that crime and violence are acceptable from some perpetrators but not others.  This is little more than a government rationing system for violence.  Realize that whoever controls access to information gets to call all the shots.

The federal Education Department conducted a confidential survey of principals in "1,234 regular public elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."  These are some of their findings.
  • 53% of public elementary and secondary school principals reported that one or more incidents of crime or violence were reported to the police
  • 10% of all public schools had one or more serious violent crimes (murder, rape, sexual battery, suicide, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery)
  • The most reported crime was physical attacks or fights without a weapon
  • Most of the serious violent crimes occurred in the middle and high schools
  • A larger percentage of violent crimes occurred in city schools and large schools (over 1000 students)
When crimes go unreported by responsible officials, information about the crimes that actually get reported is difficult or impossible to access, and popularity contests determine which crimes state attorneys prosecute, we are subsidizing violence in our schools.  Remember the axiom which states that if a condition persists in government, there are politicians benefiting from it.

There is a direct correlation between educational achievement and crime.  As education levels rise in a population, crime, especially violent crime, correspondingly decreases.  However, education level is not the only variable involved in violence in schools.  Children tend to model the behavior of the adults who are in their lives.  Poorly educated parents generally have poorly educated offspring.  Children who are shown how to get what they want through violence and intimidation perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Poverty is another factor that deserves examination.  People who are poor and uneducated are more likely to commit violent crimes.  Better educated and economically successful people tend toward white collar and victimless crimes. The aforementioned survey of school principals found that crime is relatively high in inner city schools.  Subsidized housing exists primarily in urban areas that are populated predominately by undereducated, economically distressed, violence prone people.

Since bullying and other forms of school violence are tacitly accepted, significantly underreported, rarely prosecuted despite the blatantly harmful effects on children, it exists because someone is benefiting from it.  Add to this sad mess that school administrators are bound by their superiors to a de facto system of discipline quotas that is determined by demographics.

The students who are most likely to commit violence are aided and abetted in their transgressions by school officials who help them avoid commensurate consequences for their actions.  They are disciplined less often, if at all.  Their punishment is in no way proportionate to their behavior.  Under this system, discipline, suspensions, and expulsions must reflect the ratio of student bodies' demographics.  White, Hispanic, black, and Asian disciplinary actions must be of equal proportions; therefore, allegations of rules infractions are contrived and fabricated in order to balance the numbers.  Those students who are least likely to be violent are scrutinized and disciplined more than those who attack them.     

Children do not thrive in violent environments.  Who could possibly benefit from subjecting unsuspecting children to a race and class war?  Worse yet, who could stoop so low?  Who would want to destroy merit based education by pandering to violent disruptors of schools?  Who profits from low graduation rates and graduates who lack vital job skills?  Who is behind sending pregnant adolescents straight from middle school to the welfare rolls and housing projects?

The education collective benefits.  More violence and academic failure has translated into more spending and more education employees.  Academic progressives in US universities (meaning almost all of them) and the other elements of the hate America crowd that delight in biting the hand that feeds them enjoy implementing their agenda.  Corrupt politicians who maintain public office with campaign contributions from money fleeced from taxpayers and money-laundered through education unions' PACs are benefiting also.

Perhaps it is time to end collective bargaining for most, if not all, public sector employees.  After all, we pay their salaries with money earned at jobs that often pay less than we are paying them.  Why subsidize people whose selfishness and greed is realized at our expense?  Workers (private sector) unite!

May your gods be with you.     

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watch It, SEIU: We are Coming for You!

Apparently, members of Wisconsin's government unions are about to get their collective comeuppance.  "The nation's most aggressive anti-union proposal has been speeding through the legislature since Republican governor Scott Walker introduced it a week ago."  This bill will align public sector compensation packages more closely with those of the private sector.  The gravy train has run out of steam.  "In addition to eliminating collective bargaining rights, the legislation would make workers pay half the costs of their pensions and pay at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage--increases Walker calls 'modest' compared to the private sector."

"The union concessions will save the state...$300 million over the next two years to address a $3.6 billion budget shortfall."  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald opined, "I think the taxpayers [at least the ones who are sentient] will support this idea."  This proposal's effects will be wide ranging since it ends "collective bargaining for state, county, and local workers, except for police, firefighters, and state patrol."  The union has launched a fierce counterattack.

Union members and their supporters have brought out their heavy artillery and have delivered a whithering intellectual attack on the logic behind this bill.  Using keen perceptual acuity and disciplined rational deliberation, they have landed a knock out blow to the reasoning of the proposal's sponsors.  Let's hear it for chanting, sloganeering, rhythmic hand clapping, and shouting down civil debate

These intellectual titans have convinced themselves that the louder they shout, the righter they get.

May your gods be with you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Downward Gyre Revisited

As a nation, we are in what is known as a debt death spiral.  We simply cannot repay the debt that we have amassed.  "Hence the unpaid balance is added back to the amount owed, making the problem worse next year.  The debt spiral is growing exponentially.  There is no way to avoid a certain mathematical end--BANKRUPTCY." 

According to the Washington Post, interest on the national debt, the accumulated deficits from previous years, is projected by the current administration to be $251 billion for fiscal year 2011.  At a quarter of a trillion dollars a year in interest alone, the Chinese government is becoming Uncle Sam's Tony Soprano.  O-buma and company want Congress to allow the federal government to spend $3.83 trillion while taking in only $2.57 trillion in revenue, leaving a $1.27 trillion shortfall.

We cannot make good on the financial commitments that we have already made.  To put it into perspective, if "the Government confiscated everything, [an Obamatron utopian dream] the social programs would still be $50 trillion short and the Government would still be bankrupt.  Furthermore, no company or individual would be left with anything."  If O-buma and the other Saul Alinsky type Theftocrats had their way and private ownership were to be ended, we would all be landless as well as penniless.  Still, Corruptocrats want to spend one-and-one-quarter trillion dollars more than we will take in this year.

What sort of spending schemes have gotten us into such deep kimchee?  Federal workers' compensation is an area where the burden on taxpayers pockets could be lightened.  This article points out that in "the private sector, productivity determines workers' pay.  Firms that overpay their employees are driven out of business by firms that more accurately price their employees' economic contribution.  [think Government Motors]  If the federal government paid market rates for their employees' skill, education, and experience, it would save taxpayers $47 billion in 2011 alone."

If former Senator Everett Dirksen were alive today, he might observe that saving $50 billion here and $50 billion there could eventually add up to some real money.

"The gravy train doesn't end there.  How much would near-absolute job security be worth to you?  While their private sector counterparts have seen unemployment rise from 4.2% to a high of 10.6%, the percentage of federal employees who lost jobs barely budged, going from 2.0% to 2.9%."  Abolishing the current seniority-based system "and implementing performance-based pay would go a long way toward getting taxpayers a fair deal."

Unemployment decreases federal revenue and increases its expenditures.  However, productivity also improves the government's balance sheet, and it is influenced by the national debt.  The Congressional Budget Office advises that "economic output per person will tend to rise under normal conditions (about 1.5 percent year), but could stagnate or even fall if rising government debt 'crowds out' the ability of the private sector to make productivity enhancing investments...CBO economists are warning that debt poses a direct threat to economic growth."  However, growth can be created artificially.

In "The Fed Trashes the Dollar," author Pat Buchanan observes that the US Federal Reserve's prime responsibility is to "protect the dollars that Americans earn and save."  Unfortunately, its chairman Ben Bernanke is going to have the Fed "buy $600 billion in bonds from banks and pay for them by printing money that will be deposited in those banks.  The more dollars that flood into the economy, the less every one of them is worth."

"This is Weimar economics."  The prices for oil and gold indicate that we are on the way to hyperinflation.  During the time of the Weimar Republic money was plentiful; unfortunately, it took a wheelbarrow load of money to buy a week's worth of groceries.  When the Fed was created in 1913, "a $20 bill could be exchanged for a $20 gold piece.  Today, it takes seventy $20 bills to buy a $20 gold piece, which means that the dollar can buy in 2010 what you could get in 1910 for two pennies.  Quite a record for a central bank set up to protect the dollar."

Inflation is a kind of theft that is perpetrated by the federal government's fiscal and economic policies.  It increases the dollars that the nation's coffers receive as they tax artificially bloated incomes and prices for property and commodities.  Politicians use this backdoor tax to finance the largesse that Corruptocrats use to buy votes and finance the theft-welfare state.     

National problems have their origins at the highest levels of government.  Our present leaders have left the ship of state rudderless in foreign affairs and aggressively anti-American in domestic matters.  This article describes how the The One's imperial presidency is leading us down the path to third world status.  "It is almost as if a collective schizophrenia dominates policymakers.  Impotence abroad, omnipotence at home; shrinkage of the reach of government abroad; expansion at home; frugality in foreign and military affairs; profligacy at home; appeals for public approval of foreign citizens; deafness to the desires of voters at home."

May your gods be with you.     

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Education Nation

Let's reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools - and use it on the teachers.  PJ O'Rourke

The following is a repost from 2/15/11.

The Center for American Progress is a  progressive organization that recently published a report exposing gross inefficiency in government-run education programs.  It is a return on investment analysis of each state in the country on a county-by-county basis.  The report describes itself as a district-by-district evaluation of educational productivity, or "how much learning a district produces for every dollar spent."

Among the more interesting findings are that "more education spending will not automatically improve student outcomes," and that there is "no clear relationship between spending and achievement."  Further, students "from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be enrolled in highly inefficient schools."  This is an interesting correlation.  The least efficient, and presumably least effective, teachers are flocking to work at those schools that have the greatest percentage of disadvantaged students.

"States and districts fail to evaluate the productivity of schools and districts.  While the nation spends billions of dollars on education, only two states, Florida and Texas, currently provide annual school-level productivity evaluations, which report to the public how well funds are being spent at the local level."  The people and government entities being paid to provide our educational product are accountable to those who pay them in only two of fifty states.  Parents are getting the green weenie.

For anyone who does not recognize that tenure essentially means lifetime employment regardless of unproductive or incompetent performance, this chart might be enlightening.  It illustrates the process required to fire a teacher in New Jersey.  Perhaps there is a correlation between intelligence as reflected by academic achievement and college major.

This chart shows that among the ten listed majors, education majors score most poorly on standardized tests.  Hmmm...the least intellectually gifted among us are striving to get government positions from which they virtually cannot be fired for being shiftless, irresponsible, or inept.  These jobs include lavish pensions and benefits that are guarantied by taxpayers.  Speaking of the green weenie.

May your gods be with you.

We Are Not Happy

Today's effort is a jumble of eclectic electronic articles, images, and opinions that are intended to enlighten, provoke, challenge and, possibly, inspire.

The prevaricator-in-chief just cannot bring himself to acknowledge the inconvenient truth; he lied about raising taxes.

The Patriot Act may be a necessary evil; however, parts of it give the federal government far too much power and cost citizens too much liberty.  This is a welcome and heartening consequence of trying to stampede authorization through Congress without adequate examination, analysis, and debate.  This odd consortium of left wingers, tea partiers, and Republicans snatched the arrow out of midair and dragged it back for reexamination.

WalMart is targeting 8-12 year old girls with a makeup sales campaign.  Eight year old girls should look like eight year olds, not fifteen year olds.  This article about two moms who write a blog about motherhood is a call to arms for everyone who opposes child exploitation and sexualization.  These women also exposed a company that is best described as Victoria's Secret for pre-pubescent girls.  Together, these two business operations seem to offer a pedophile's fantasy-land.  Little wonder that the television show Skins is popular.  Yuck!

A book has been released recently that punctures progressives' pandering balloons.  A newly discovered cache of documents in England reveals that Abe Lincoln conspired with the British Government to ship newly freed slaves to Belize and Guyana.  Lincoln wanted to free the slaves to punish southerners for objecting to his confiscatory tax policies, but he was squeamish about having freed slaves mingling with whites in northern cities.  

This information must be a terrible affront to those whose delirious naiveté prevents them from recognizing the folly of believing that, in the 1860s, millions of white guys got together and fought a war to free a bunch of slaves.  They killed some 600,000 of themselves and squandered untold fortunes to fight a war on principle, not because the Confederates wanted to be equitably compensated for the unlawful seizure of their property.  You bet, now to look for the Easter Bunny.

Surely the American Association of University Professors would not stoop to featherbedding by trying to bloat the number of unqualified university students in the US, no more than they would want to add members to their fiefdom at almost any cost.  It seems mercenary that they oppose a report revealing that abroad and in 'sharp contrast to the US, vocational education is seen as a mainstream, well-respected pathway while a university education is reserved for people interested in a narrower band of professions like law, medicine, and research.' 

The authors of the article continue by asserting that placing 'all our bets on classroom-based simply unacceptable for anyone who cares about America.'  "Many students are dropping out of high school and becoming delinquents and single mothers.  Those who complete their schooling are often unemployed and...dependent on their parents."  This "is because there is not enough correlation between studies and future careers."  Barack Obama called on all students to commit to a year or more in "community college, a four-year school, vocational school, or an apprenticeship."

It seems as though vocational school is an idea whose time has come once again. 

"Oh fatherland, fatherland, show us the sign your children have waited to see.  The morning will come when the world is mine.  Tomorrow belongs to me!"  For those who are thinking pre-WWII Germany, think again; this is Egypt 2011.  The Muslim Brotherhood intends to establish Sharia law from border to border and ocean to ocean in the US and Europe as well.

There was a country once that was founded, in part, upon the principle of religious freedom.  This guaranty was even enshrined in its supreme laws and upheld many times by its courts.  As it has repeatedly revealed, the national education collective is above laws and has given itself the privilege of abiding only by those legal requirements that are expedient.

Finally, here is an article about teaching ethics.  At one time ethics was a required course in order to earn a degree from universities' four year programs. Nowadays, it is sometimes not even part of the curriculum.  We have suffered as a nation since the national political dialog became about economics rather than ethics.  

May your gods be with you.      

Friday, February 11, 2011

I've Got Your Birthers

About a month ago, Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie publicly promised to produce Barack Obama's original birth certificate; interestingly, he has been unable to do this, despite O-buma's claim that he was born in that state.

At first, birthers claims seemed implausible.  After all, how could the media collectively miss out on such a story?  Well, there was a day in November, 1960, when this fellow Jack Kennedy desperately needed to take Chicago in order to take Illinois because if he lost Illinois, he would have lost his bid for the presidency...

Surely so little coverage of such a significant event is mere coincidence; however, it has been observed that coincidences usually take a great deal of planning.  Given the relish with which O-buma's Progressive Punks have been dismantling the nation, perhaps we actually do have a Manchurian Candidate.

As a result, there are ten states as of now whose legislatures have plans to require proof of citizenship before they will allow anyone's name to be put on the ballot for a presidential election.  The Georgia version "not only demands original birth-certificate documentation, it establishes a procedure and declares that citizens have 'standing' to challenge the documentation."  It is galling that we must have specifically enacted new legislation to require candidates to prove that they are eligible to hold the highest elected office in the country.

After nearly bankrupting the nation and shafting future generations with massive debt, NOW, they want to eliminate Fannie and Freddie.  Now that all we can see of the mess that they made is the backside and a cloud of dust following our rapidly escaping economic horse, they are formulating plans to fix the lock on the barn door where we once kept our national treasure.  Way to go Theftocrats!  Hopefully, voters' memories will last until 2012.      

European Space Agency scientists are working on a pilot program to use microorganisms that can both produce food and recycle waste.  If it is successful, this could be the first step toward colonizing Mars.

Cassy Fiano decided to take on some of the more hideous elements of radical, left-wing feminism.  Cassy seems to be a Christina Hoff Summers sort of feminist who believes that women can and should stand on their own two feet and do not need to be coddled, pampered, and protected from life's harsh realities.  She came out swinging both fists at the Femiwacko crowd for their urging of women to be self-destructive.  What woman in her right mind would raise her daughter to live like an unpaid prostitute?

Here's a tip-o-the-hat to Cassy Fiano for fighting the good fight.

For a look at some interesting art work go here and here.

Barack the Buffoonish and Napolitano the Nefarious have done little more than to pay lip service to securing our borders.  This ticking time bomb is going to blow up in our collective face.  As things stand now, it is not a matter of if, but rather when we are going to experience another 9-11.

However, there is good news.  Police in Amsterdam are deploying a device that could be used along the Mexican border for positive identification of illegal border crossers.  Think about the potential impact on smuggling of all varieties.  The spraying could be done via unmanned aerial vehicles controlled from a central location far from threats presented by smugglers' gunmen.  Invaders could then be readily collared in the towns along the border.

All it would take is proof of citizenship to avoid detention.  The time for all states to require proof of citizenship or a valid work permit in order to qualify for a driver's license is now.  Issuing licenses that expire simultaneously with the holders' visas could be a good place to start.

Lastly, it is clear that O-bumaCare is a planned economic hosing of taxpayers that Corruptocrats want to use to buy votes from their permanent welfare constituencies.  Now, Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf has testified before Congress that if this wealth redistribution hustle were to be put into effect, it will also cost the US 800,000 jobs in addition to $500 billion.  Can sentient beings fail to recognize that the Obamatrons are driving the nation into third world status?  Perhaps the only way to avoid this recognition is to adopt one's beliefs by convenience.

May your gods be with you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Their Legacy is Blatant Vote Buying

Contrary to Obamatrons' beliefs, housing is not a right bequeathed by the almighty.  Nor is it a right created by government fiat.  In some parts of the US, it is a privilege granted by government agents who enjoy lifetime employment in return for their skills at giving away others' resources.  Government housing guarantees are one of the prime causes of the recent financial, economic, and housing meltdown, and even longtime supporter Barney Frank, Socialist MA, is calling for their "abolition."  Here are some plausible arguments against entitlement housing.

If taxpayer funded housing provides temporary shelter to help people who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own get back on their feet, the  public may benefit.  The benefit is realized when workers rejoin the workforce, become self-sufficient, and resume paying taxes to help support the government.  Lifetime subsidies of public housing should exist only for the totally and permanently disabled.

Federally funded housing projects should be torn down in order to make way for private developments of housing, offices, and shopping districts that provide tax money to state and local governments.  This urban blight can be removed and replaced with housing vouchers from the federal section 8 program that funds housing in existing apartment communities and other approved places.  Doing this would support the sagging housing industry, increase tax revenues, and, perhaps more importantly, dismantle some crime fiefdoms.

As they exist now, many public housing projects are havens for drug dealers, prostitutes, child exploiters, illegal aliens, and violent offenders.  Subsidizing crime by providing hidey-holes for predators who prey on weak and vulnerable members of society is a slap in the face to every taxpayer who believes that it is the legitimate role of government to protect the weak from the strong.  Some advances in this direction have been accomplished in Atlanta, although much is still to be done.

The primary function of federal housing projects today is to cluster together Theftocrat supporters so that they can trade their votes for permanent entitlements.

May your gods be with you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Coming Soon: Ration Cards for Political Discourse

Of course you are guilty.  The state would not expend the resources to investigate, arrest, and try you if you were not.

The voices are starting to mount.  They are issuing a clarion call to warn of the intentions of O-buma's Fascista to censor free speech on the Internet.  The Washington Times has exposed Barack's Bullies' schemes to create Internet Pharaoh Obama by squelching inconvenient dissent on the Web.  In the name of protecting unfettered communication, they want to appoint a cadre of inept bureaucrats with suspect motives to control, regulate, and ration the liberty of uncensored expression.

Concerning this thinly guised Web takeover, the referenced editorial asserts that "the slow moving entities of the federal government are least capable of responding to fast-paced, evolving technology threats...companies have more of an incentive to protect their billion dollar investments than '9 to 5' bureaucrats with guarantied lifetime employment."  The same group of dullards who have woefully mismanaged the economy want to mismanage liberty by rationing free political speech.

Despite the fact that "Congress specifically exempted the Internet from regulation by the Federal Communications Commission...the Obama administration remains committed to getting its hands on the private infrastructure that serves as the backbone of online discourse."  One way to gain control of it is to make it inaccessible.  Theftocrat Thugs are trying to force Internet users to have a national online identification card that will prevent "anonymous Web commentary."

The Obamatrons poo poo objections to national ID cards by claiming that participation will be strictly voluntary.  When Social Security was first implemented, it was a voluntary program also.  This is merely a ruse; it is standard issue Corruptocrat incrementalism.  Once their collective foot is in the door, no American will be allowed to access the Internet without federal approval and supervision, and another avenue to discuss and criticize the acts of government agents in a public forum will be closed forever.

To eliminate speech is to eliminate the thoughts that it expresses.  Censorship is almost always unjustifiable.  Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart observed that "censorship reveals society's lack of confidence in itself.  It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime."

One enduring trait of the Totalitarian Theftocrats is that "they want to maintain power by any means necessary.  No politician should ever be given a button to silence the Internet.  That rule applies as much to Washington as to Cairo," because when people surrender liberty, it is almost impossible to regain it.

May your gods be with you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why Juan and Pamika Can't Read

This video concerns America's future, tomorrow's leaders, and the direction in which the next generation will lead us.  Notice that its main speaker is Juan Williams of National Public Radio fame.  Recall also that O-buma turned his back on some 1700 economically disadvantaged inner city children in Washington, DC, in favor well-to-do campaign supporters in the National Education Association.  In the film, Williams asks incredulously, "you mean you're not standing with the kids?"

Open Secrets reports that between the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers, educrat unions donated over $67M to politicians during 2007-2008.  The NEA alone "spends more on campaign contributions than ExxonMobile, Microsoft, Walmart, and the AFL-CIO combined," and they send "95% of their contributions to Democrats."  What a neatly convoluted funding loop.  

With states hurting financially, their leaders are searching for ways to trim budgets and to maintain essential services.  One effective way is through vouchers or school choice.  The old guard education unions represent an expensive failed experiment.  We cannot afford economically or socially to continue pursuing past mistakes.  "Empowering parents to choose the best school for their children...makes good fiscal sense." 

In New Jersey, both Republican and Democratic legislators are supporting Governor Chris Christie's proposals to eliminate lifetime tenure and benefits that are cost free to education employees.  Teaching union claims that without tenure good teachers could be fired arbitrarily are specious.  "In 2008, there were 35 education tenure challenges for school employees," out of some 120,000 total workers. 

In contrast, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel claims that teacher evaluations should "not root out bad teachers."  That's right, Roekel believes that a teacher evaluation should be a cozy, hand holding exercise to determine the amount of teacher's raise.  No valid reason exists to justify why education employees should not face the same occupational uncertainties as those who pay their salaries.

We have thrown good money after bad for so long that few people have any concept of a reasonable baseline for student and teacher performance.  Tests have been re-centered, revalued, and otherwise made irrelevant until they are useless as tests; they no longer evaluate what they claim to examine, which is exactly what union leaders want.  They desperately want to avoid any system that requires individual and total accountability.  Union "officials invariably respond to the deterioration in schools by seeking to abolish the gauges of decay, tests, for one."   

Author Peter Brimelow observes about union leaders how "masterful the educrats are at mounting a noisy, well-masked offensive at the slightest threat to their Soviet-style status quo."  They have two main objectives, to maximize the financial aggrandizement of union members and to increase the numbers in their bureaucracy.

For union leaders, it's actually all about the kids, really.  

May your gods be with you. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

O-buma: Destroyer of Hope, Effector of Unwanted Change

For everyone who still believes that the Obamatrons are not engaged in a concerted effort to control, regulate, and censor Internet content, please read this article.  Information is power, and these totalitarians are power hungry.

Flash News Report: ultra-right wing reporter Chris Mathews says that O-buma's handling of the Egypt crisis made him feel "ashamed as an American."  Hmmm, welcome to the club, Chris.

The people who are asked to serve as part of a presidential administration are chosen, at least to some extent, because they reflect the philosophical and moral nature of the president.  Attorney General Eric BumHolder protects and defends the Constitution only when it is politically expedient.  Avowed communist and environmental advisor to O-buma Van Jones claimed that Bush officials had "deliberately allowed 911 to a pretext for war."

Nonetheless, it is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who may most accurately reflect the true nature of Beast O-buma.  She "hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing Obamacare would cost $311 billion more than promised and would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance." 

So far Sebelius the Slippery has granted 733 waivers from the healthcare takeover to significant campaign contributors such as the SEIU.  First they send their goons to disrupt the town hall meetings and suppress the truth about this blatant act of theft, and then like magic, they are granted a waiver from having to participate in it.  Well, there is a tiny bit more to it.  SEIU did "donate $27 million to President Obama's presidential campaign."  However, that is not a quid pro quo arrangement of privileges granted in return for money.  Honest.

An interesting side note is that the $27M began as tax dollars taken from workers and given to SEIU.  They gave them to O-buma.  There is something perverse about getting robbed to support one's enemies.

General Electric contributed almost $500,000 to O-buma and company.  In January, 2011, the White House announced new global warming regulations for businesses; in February, GE received an exemption from them.  DEFINITELY not quid pro quo, and definitely not a political payback for GE CEO and Jobs Czar Jeffrey Immelt.  You bet.

O-buma is proving to be a mashup of Jimmy Carter's massive ineptitude and Bill Clinton's amorality.

Homeland Security Secretary and wholesale importer of illegal alien welfare recipients  Janet Napolitano has abandoned work on our virtual fence that was begun to protect the country's border with Mexico.  Unfortunately, that border is terribly porous, and terrorists are being smuggled into the US.  We were lucky enough to catch one of them, but how many more are already here?

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack O-buma have all been touted by the mainstream media as people with good intentions.  Jimmy's intentions created the Communist Redistribution Act that was one of the primary causes of the financial meltdown of 2008.  Bill's intentions sprang mainly from his loins.  O-buma intends to expand the theft welfare state until there are more people riding in the wagon that there are pulling it.  Intentions are cheap and easy; it is in the consequences that the devil gets into the details.

This is information that Corruptocrats would like buried.  After all, they are prodigious practitioners of Soviet style nonfactual historical revisionism.  Now, there is a growing European movement demanding the power to sanitize the inconvenient past.

What do US taxpayers get for $363M a year?  Apparently, covering up statutory rape is not enough, nor is accepting donations for race-based abortions.  It seems as though what we also get from Planned Parenthood is help facilitating child prostitution rings.

Finally there is a bit of good news.  Republicans have succeeded in pressuring the Theftocrats into banning earmarks (pork) from spending bills, at least for now.

May your gods be with you.