Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bush served them well, but it is time
for a new villain to blame now

Back in the George W. Bush era Mr. Bush got blamed for everything, problems real and imagined, and even though he’s been out of office for 31 months, he is still getting blamed. The troubles of today are his fault, they say, and he will likely be blamed for stuff for the next few years.

Mr. Bush certainly made mistakes during his presidency. He presided over increased federal spending and budget deficits, and failed to seal the southern border and address illegal immigration. Critics even blame Mr. Bush for the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction issue and the financial collapse. Believing the latter two requires one to be either fact-challenged or be someone who plays fast and loose with the facts.

The far left always needs a villain, but realizes this “blame Bush” strategy is losing steam, and needs a new villain to shift responsibility to for their policy failures and has changed its focus.

Enter the Tea Party, which really is a philosophy more than a party, and in fact consists of several separate organizations with “Tea Party” in their name, as well as individuals not associated with any organization who identify with Tea Party principles and favor restoring the United States of America as it was originally configured by the Founding Fathers. It seeks to return the government to its limited and Constitutional boundaries, and also supports fiscal responsibility, low taxation, border security, and personal freedom.

No wonder the far left wants to demonize the Tea Party. The principles it advocates are poison to everything these folks believe. If the movement is successful, the country will thrive and the far left is out of business, and they clearly cannot allow that to happen.

The desperate reaction to the Tea Party movement manifests itself in comments that are well beneath the high level of tolerance the left demands from the right. Here is an example, via Tom Friedman of the New York Times, who wrote: “If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission.” So, Mr. Friedman believes Tea Party folks are not sane and their ideals compare to those of Islamic terrorists.

Following along on that theme, Nicholas Kristof, also in the New York Times, commented: “Wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists....The blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.”

The hallowed halls of academia are not immune to these wild-eyed reactions: William Yeomans, Fellow in Law and Government at American University in Washington wrote this on the Politico Web site: “It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House ‘hostage takers.’ But they have now become full-blown terrorists.” Iran is not a threat, al Qaeda is not a threat, our out-of-control spending is not a threat, but the Tea Party idealists are a threat.

Before the moderate left called Tea Party advocates “terrorists” it called them “racists,” like this example from the Keith Olberman show on MSNBC, where “actor and activist” Janeane Garofalo said that “they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about. … This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.” Democrat Representatives Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel appeared on the Fox News channel, both also saying racism was at the core of the Tea Party.

So, the Tea Party is a bunch of racists because they want a government that stays within its dictated boundaries and behaves sensibly with regard to taxes and spending, and personal freedom?

But while you likely have heard comments like the previous ones, chances are you haven’t heard about Tea Party advocate Lloyd Marcus, who writes, “I am a black performer/activist traveling on my third national Tea Party Express tour,” and he told of the “numerous white patriots [who] shook my hand with tears in their eyes thanked me for what I was doing for our country.” “These are the decent hard working great Americans Waters, Rangel and the left continuously attempt to portray as racist,” Mr. Marcus wrote.

A lot of folks believe the racist, terrorist bilge because it is being spread by folks they trust, lending credence to the maxim, “tell a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.” Others suffer along under the same confusion as those who mischaracterize and demonize the Tea Party folks, apparently believing Tea Party principles are “radical,” and still others simply hate people that disagree with them, and resort to name-calling.

Everyone who regards limited and Constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, low taxation, border security, and personal freedom as “radical” ideas are grossly out of touch with everything the United States of America stands for. They are the ones who pose a great threat to the United States, and it is they, not the Tea Party folks, we should be concerned about.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Americans are getting way more
than we deserve

When you hear of someone getting more than they paid for, or more than they expected, you know immediately that they aren’t talking about some item or service they’ve bought. We all know that the big corporations are greedy money machines that gouge the public so they can pay their executives millions for finding ways to avoid paying taxes, and small businesses are just in it for the profits, and don’t give a hoot about their moral responsibilities.

So what is it that Americans get a real bargain on? Government.

One excellent example of going above and beyond is the case of Schylar Capo, an 11 year-old juvenile delinquent who lives in Virginia. She stole a woodpecker from a cat and set it free, but fortunately was caught by a federal Fish & and Wildlife officer and state troopers who charged her with the illegal transportation of a protected species and fined her $535. Justice was served.

Police in Coralville, Iowa earned special recognition for protecting the public when they closed down an illegal lemonade stand operated by a known criminal, 4 year-old Abigail Krutsinger. The evil Abigail was determined to prey on dozens of bike riders who were coming through town in the Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and set up her stand in violation of the Town’s ordinance requiring vendors to have a permit in order to prey on bicyclers.

But Abigail isn’t the only vicious criminal targeting the thirsty. Julie Murphy was confronted by health inspectors for Multnomah County in Oregon who told the 7 year-old she would have to shut down her stand or pony up $500 in fines.

As egregious as the acts of these unscrupulous merchants are, Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan is far worse. This dirt bag was growing vegetables in her front yard. Can you believe that? Even after the City issued a warning, then a ticket, Ms. Bass persisted in growing her own food. And now she faces up to 93 days in jail for perhaps not having “suitable” live plant material. Aren’t you residents of Oak Park proud of your municipal government?

Then there is the miscreant in Pennsylvania who purchased some property that was littered with illegally dumped tires and abandoned cars. After cleaning up his property without first asking all appropriate government agencies if it was okay to clean up his own property, the idiot got his just desserts: a year-and-a-half in jail for destroying wetlands under the Clean Water Act, and declared bankruptcy. Not appreciating this outcome, and rising to defend the public’s best interests, three environmental groups filed complaints charging he got off too easy.

And thank goodness for the Consumer Product Safety Commission for its diligence in protecting the public from unscrupulous sellers of old stuff they found in their attics and basements. So concerned with the public’s safety is the CPSC that it has expanded the prohibition against new Chinese-made products that exceed the limits on lead to include the deliberate re-selling of the old recalled toys by people trying to slip them to the unknowing public at garage sales, yard sales and bazaars. Not only that, these wicked people are charging a dollar or more for these items. "Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. (Oh, Tenenbaum, oh, Tenenbaum, how wondrous are your efforts!)

Not to be outdone by other government agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued an unprincipled Raleigh, NC insurance office for not hiring a recovering drug addict who tested positive for methadone in his system. Those rotten insurance companies are nearly as bad as oil companies and drug manufacturers.

In an effort to protect the public’s investment in the continuing education of young people, the Department of Education has decided to make sure the enormous irregularities in the operation of the Student Loan program are corrected and the public’s money repaid by employing SWAT teams in some cases. Suspecting Michelle Wright of Stockton, California of funny business in the program, the DOE sent one of its SWAT teams to her home at 6:00 a.m., whereupon Mr. Wright was dragged without explanation from his home in his underwear, handcuffed and then imprisoned in a police car with his 3, 7, and 11 year-old children for six hours while the feds searched his home. Unfortunately, they didn’t find any evidence and didn’t even find the suspect, because she had the unmitigated gall not to live there anymore, and not tell the DOE.

These tales of glory of our public servants show what a bargain Americans get from government at all levels, what intelligent and resourceful people we have working for us, protecting us from unscrupulous lemonade merchants, private property owners who do horrible things on their land, and others who exist only to take advantage of their fellow citizens.

These examples magnificently illustrate the stupidity of former President Ronald Reagan when he said, “the nine scariest words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Really; what was that man thinking?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We’re doing the same things, and
expecting to get different results

On November 4, 2008, the day Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, Andrew B. Wilson presented five myths about the ten years of the Great Depression in an article for The Wall Street Journal, dispelling each in turn.

One of the myths he discussed is that Herbert Hoover, who was president of the U.S. from 1928-1932, was a laissez-faire, free market advocate. If only that had been true.

On the contrary, President Hoover ardently supported government intervention to solve economic problems, promoting make-work projects like the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and the Hoover (Boulder) Dam. He also had a bad habit of interfering in the natural flow of the business cycle, and increased both government spending and deficits during his term. Mr. Hoover gets credit for engineering the biggest increase in federal spending ever recorded during peacetime.

A second myth is that the 1929 stock market crash caused the Great Depression. The market crash was a substantial financial disruption, but it was not what caused the Depression. The reaction to the crash actually threw the country into depression, Mr. Wilson states. “What the crash mainly precipitated was a raft of wrongheaded policies that did major damage to the economy – beginning with the disastrous retreat into protectionism marked by the passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff, which … was signed into law by Hoover in June 1930.” Smoot-Hawley was, in fact, the result of Mr. Hoover’s tinkering with agricultural policies.

“Hoover's disastrous agricultural policies involved the know-it-all Hoover acting as his own agriculture secretary and in fact writing the original Agricultural Marketing Act that evolved into Smoot-Hawley,” Mr. Wilson wrote. “While exports accounted for 7% of U.S. GDP in 1929, trade accounted for about one-third of U.S. farm income. The loss of export markets caused by Smoot-Hawley devastated the agricultural sector.”

Mr. Wilson also shatters the myth that greed caused the market crash by demonstrating how easy credit and the market speculation spawned by that foolish government policy caused the crash.

What remains after reading Mr. Wilson’s analysis is the realization that too much government intervention in the private sector drove the country into depression, and that it is as destructive today as it was in the 1930s.

He wraps up his myth-busting with this: “the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations – in disregarding market signals at every turn – were jointly responsible for turning a panic into the worst depression of modern times. As late as 1938, after almost a decade of governmental ‘pump priming,’ almost one out of five workers remained unemployed. What the government gave with one hand, through increased spending, it took away with the other, through increased taxation. But that was not an even trade-off. As the root cause of a great deal of mismanagement and inefficiency, government was responsible for a lost decade of economic growth.”

Like today, the press of the Depression years and thereafter served as a willing accomplice for the big government faction of American politics. And Mr. Wilson concludes his article of Election Day 2008 with this: “With the vitality of U.S. and world economies at stake, it is essential that the decisions of the coming months are shaped by the right lessons – not the myths – of the Great Depression.”

Good advice, but unfortunately unheeded.

Many people believe that Herbert Hoover acted properly trying to prevent the Great Depression, but they are wrong. And many Americans believe that Barack Obama is acting properly to fix the economy. They, too, are wrong.

National GDP had bottomed out and was on its way to positive territory when Mr. Obama took office, but leveled out below 4 percent near the end of 2010, then began falling and is today about 1 percent.

Less than a month after his swearing in, the president signed into law a so-called stimulus bill spending $787 billion to fund “shovel-ready” projects and investments in health care, infrastructure, energy, education and, most importantly, job creation.

It didn’t work. Instead of stimulating jobs, unemployment rose, and a couple of months ago Mr. Obama came clean with the American people about jobs not being as shovel-ready “as we thought.”

Rather than create a better business environment Congress jammed ObamaCare through, making employers too nervous to create jobs. And two rounds of creating phantom dollars have failed to stimulate economic activity.

The administration banned oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP disaster, and the ban continues today, de facto, keeping thousands unemployed. The EPA persists in taking actions that kill jobs and raise costs, ostensibly to clean our air, which today is cleaner than it’s been in a century, all at a time when Americans are suffering terribly.

We are still waiting for Recovery Summer 2010, and the promised upper unemployment limit of 8 percent was breached the month after Mr. Obama took office, and has remained above 9 percent ever since. The national debt is virtually double what it was when he was elected, and the country is on the brink of a double-dip recession, or worse.

The evidence is compelling: We have elected as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hoover Obama.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's wrong with Washington, DC

Barack Obama met with the Queen of England.

He asked her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"

"Well," said the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Obama frowned, and then asked, "But how do I know the people around are really intelligent?"

The Queen took a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle."

The Queen pushed a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?"

Tony Blair walked into the room and said, "Yes, Your Majesty?"

The Queen smiled and said, "Tony, please answer this. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answered, "That would be me."

"Yes! Very good," said the Queen.

Obama went back home and asked Joe Biden, his vice president, the same question. "Joe, answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," said Biden. "Let me get back to you on that one"

He went to his advisers and asked every one, but none could give him an answer.

Finally, he ran into Sarah Palin out eating one night. Biden asked, "Sarah, can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"

Sarah Palin answered right back, "That's easy, it's me!"

Biden smiled, and said, "Thanks!" Then, he went back to speak with Obama.

"Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Sarah Palin!"

Obama got up, stomped over to Biden, and angrily yelled into his face,

"No! You idiot! It's Tony Blair!"


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Growth of entitlement mentality in US
mirrors Greece and England

First it was Greece where big-government socialist policies ran the country into bankruptcy and forced self-serving politicians to confront fiscal responsibility, and where in reaction to fiscally necessary change people who had become dependent on government largesse rioted in protest of the frightening prospect that they might actually have to take responsibility for their own lives and well-being.

And now we see Great Britain experiencing the same sort of behavior. As Omri Ceren describes things in Commentary online, “the British government slashes benefits in a desperate attempt to move toward fiscal solvency. Then British citizens angrily take to the streets because they think that ‘stuff costs money’ is a capitalist fiction” invented solely to disturb their comfortable existence. Most recently, he reports, an increase in student tuition resulted in riots breaking out as “UK’s cradle-to-grave welfare recipients try to wreck London.”

Reflecting a national media that, like ours, is largely incapable of honest reporting or accurate analysis, Mr. Ceren writes that “rather than hold the children responsible for their temper tantrums, … papers like the Guardian castigated London police for ‘criminalizing’ the poor dears,” as if violence and looting are allowable “tantrum” behavior.

Our forefathers broke away from Mother England 235 years ago because they disliked the way it was treating them, and now when we look around we see the high degree to which we have followed Britain’s lead in allowing government to grow like a cancer and screw up what was the most enlightened form of government yet devised by man. This has put us on a path to devolve into nothing more than another failed European-style socialist state.

If you challenge that assertion, perhaps some facts will enlighten you.

In the United States in 2009 there were 37.2 million food stamp recipients (12%), 4.1 million on welfare and 9.1 million receiving unemployment support (4.3%), and in 2010 Medicaid had 58 million participants (19%). Allowing for duplicates, that number is close to one-third of Americans who receive financial assistance from the federal government, and that doesn’t include Medicare or Social Security (which recipients pay for), student loans or government subsidies.

And, 51 percent of the households in the country paid no income taxes to support their federal government in 2010, while fifteen million American households, or 10 percent of all taxpayers, received cash back from the IRS, thanks to ‘refundable credits’ that can make wage earners the recipients of tax monies paid by their fellow Americans.

Despite spending billions of dollars on Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, record numbers of Americans get federal assistance today, and some of them are taking advantage of the situation our self-serving political class gave them, which means taking advantage of their fellow Americans who pay the taxes that support them. We’ve made it easy for people to forsake self-reliance in favor of dependency, and they are availing themselves of this opportunity by the millions.

The result is that many Americans now believe they are due these government handouts as a feature of citizenship, just like the Greeks and the Brits and other Europeans do.

The UK Monitor reported, “And now the worst riots in living memory, which seem to have less to do with politics than with opportunistic, loosely networked lawlessness and looting. ‘We’ve shown we can do what we want!’ two young women rioters told the BBC. They described smashing into shops to obtain ‘free alcohol’ as ‘a laugh’ and said they would definitely be at it again the next night.”

“The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form,” Theodore Dalrymple writes in the City Journal. “A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class),” he continues.

So while venerable, historic old Europe implodes from decades of socialistic foolishness, the leaders of the United States seem content to follow along the same path, apparently without even a suspicion of the disaster their ideological obsession holds for their country.

Britain has been taken over by young people taught to believe the public owes them something. They are unconstrained by civility, morality or personal responsibility. However, the United States is not far behind.

We give people welfare money, rent subsidies, food stamps, health care. Never mind that many of these programs began with the goal of providing basic support, they have grown to over $1.5 trillion a year.

As government pays more and more money to more and more people, the entitlement mentality grows and the sentiment among recipients that society owes them taxpayer support deepens. Millions of people now expect to get something for nothing.

This is the United States of America, and it provides its citizens the opportunity to be whatever they can make of themselves. But beyond that opportunity, we aren’t entitled to anything else.

Monday, August 15, 2011

200 words on: Pedophiles

From the “You Must Be Joking” department

Would you believe there is a group of mental health professionals that favors decriminalizing pedophilia? The group calling itself B4U-ACT, perhaps following the lead of the Obama administration to call hideous acts something other than what they are, refers to those who sexually prey on children as “minor-attracted persons,” a euphemism designed to get people to accept this perversion as, if not exactly normal behavior, something that we ought to try to understand, rather than condemn outright.

This is a strategy to condition people into accepting the bizarre and creepy – and criminal – behavior of pedophiles, in the opinion of Dr. Judith Reisman, a visiting professor at Liberty University’s School of Law. “The first thing they do is to get the public to divest from thinking of what the offender does criminally, to thinking of the offender’s emotional state … to empathize and sympathize” with him or her.

Terrorists acts have been magically transformed into innocuous sounding “man-caused disasters,” the global war on terror has become merely bureaucratic sounding "overseas contingency operations," and perverts who prey on children are sanitized into quirky sounding “minor-attracted persons.”

Somewhere in the afterlife, George Orwell is rolling a cigarette, drinking tea, and smiling, self-satisfied.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Many Americans are poorly prepared for
responsible citizenship

The current economic chaos and the shear silliness surrounding the debt and the debt ceiling issues illustrate dramatically how unprepared many Americans are to comprehend what is going on.

Ideology, self-interest and ignorance combine to produce gross misunderstanding of these circumstances, and gross misunderstanding produces confusion about economic policy and dangerous decision-making.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the simple math of the debt crisis, but it apparently exceeds the capacity of those in the administration and many of those in Congress. It’s easy to convince people who understand simple math that spending 40 percent more than you bring in is not just dumb, but dangerous. Yet, many of those in one political party are prepared to do virtually anything to steer clear of the fiscal responsibility this situation demands, preferring to continue the over-spending that brought us to the brink of financial collapse, and then call members of the other party who are trying to gain control of the economic situation “terrorists.”

Never mind that we’ve been endlessly lectured by the self-appointed guardians of good behavior (or at least political correctness) to always be “moderate” in our speech, lest we offend someone, somewhere. But we see that the guardians have now abandoned their own rules, happily indulging in idiotic hyperbole and viscious smears.

There seems to be only two explanations for this intractable attitude favoring excessive spending: One is that its advocates receive benefits from improper spending by getting votes from those that receive money from the government. The other is a tax-and-spend, wealth redistribution, government-dependency ideology. Both are contrary to everything the United States stands for.

Those people either do not understand the United States of America, its origins and its founding principles, or they dislike the US. The latter reflects folks who would be happier in Greece, Italy or France, while the former indicates a failure of our schools to teach basic civics.

According to the Colorado Model Content Standards for Civics: “Public education in the United States of America has a civic purpose: to prepare informed and participative citizens committed to the preservation of the constitutional republic of the United States.

“The civic culture that defines the United States can be sustained as long as each generation develops a deep understanding and commitment to the principles of our founding documents. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Federalist papers provide a basis for helping citizens to resolve differences and address increasingly complex policy issues.

“It is through systematic instruction in civics and government that young people develop and apply the intellectual and participatory skills that result in understanding what government of the people, by the people, and for the people really means.”

That is what is wrong. It is difficult to imagine that people who understand why the Colonists were willing to engage in armed conflict to break away from the control of King George, and who understand the principles and goals of the United States, could believe that our government was ever intended to exercise powers such as dictating the purchase of health insurance, or banning incandescent light bulbs, or dictating how much water toilets can use, or trying to prevent a private company from opening a new plant employing a thousand people.

They would understand that federal bureaus and agencies such as the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Energy, and a host of others are not constitutionally allowed.

They would also understand that as badly as people need help sometimes, it is not the government’s job to hand out taxpayer money to people for food, or because they had lost their job, nor is it proper for the government to provide free birth control, or to help kids go to college.

But when you don’t understand what your country is all about, or you don’t take your oath of office seriously, doing improper things isn’t a problem.

The total of all debt outstanding is now $14.58 trillion. That’s $54.2 billion more than average 2010 U.S. GDP. And it surpasses the $14.52 trillion value of all of the goods and services produced in the United States in 2010.

For the first time the United States’ credit rating is below AAA, a direct result of our elected leaders’ failure to maintain fiscal discipline and constitutional government. Their eagerness to spend our money on inappropriate things and out-spend revenue collections for years on end has the nation in the most precarious position since 1776.

Some say that taxes are not high enough on the “rich” and on corporations. However, the US has plenty of revenue, as it currently takes 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product out of the economy to run the government. If we need more than one of every four dollars the US produces to pay for government, we have too much government, not too little taxes.

We are seeing what Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to “fundamentally change the United States of America” really means, and the changes we see are high unemployment, job-killing policies, looming fiscal disaster, and a huge abyss where leadership belongs.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Reflecting on the past, and looking at
what may be our future

Among the thousands of email messages being passed around are two that combine for a thought-provoking scenario. Both have been edited a little, and shortened, but the gist of them is intact:

To all the kids who survived the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s

We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

And we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps on our heads, not helmets.

As infants and children we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, and no air bags. Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose, not from a bottle. Four friends drank one soft drink from the same bottle, and no one got sick or died.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight.

Why? Because we were always outside playing. When we weren’t in school we would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. We were out of touch with mom all day, and we were okay.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill; only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video tapes or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits resulting from these accidents. We were given BB guns for our birthday, played “Army,” and “cowboys and Indians.”

Sports teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. And the idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Those generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Thanksgiving 2022

"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband. "In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered.

Actually, Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game. Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence," Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.

Yet it was more the thought of eating another tofu turkey that Winston dreaded. Even though it was the best type of veggie-meat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which included potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce), it wasn't anything like real turkey.

And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, the holiday had lost a lot of its appeal.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit weird, due to the unearthly glow of government-mandated CFL light bulbs that made the tofu turkey look even worse, and the room was always cold, since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored - be kept at 64 degrees in the fall and winter.

Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled,” he was told. “I'm sorry for your loss."

Brother Ed couldn't make it, either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, mandated after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines.

Yet the family still had things to be thankful for, Winston thought. And, he had his memories.

But he felt sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days. He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2011, when most of the real nonsense began.

"Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Well, Congress passed it, and now we are
finding out what is in it

On March 9, 2010, speaking to the Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties about the health care reform bill, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it ..."

Ms. Pelosi was oblivious to the high degree of arrogance in her statement, and the contempt it displayed for the America taxpayers who pay her salary, and so were her fellow travelers in Congress and the fawning liberals in the main stream media. But it was not lost on most of the American people.

Even though no one knew all of the horrors contained in the 2,700-page document – because no one had had the time to read the thing before it was voted on, including those who voted for it – the measure still managed to garner the opposition of a majority of Americans.

The amended version’s narrow margin of passage in the House of Representatives – 219 to 212 – reflects the unpopularity of the measure, with 34 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in opposing the bill. But the final vote also shows the effects of the 59 percent Democrat majority in the House that dragged the bill across the line, despite the objection of voters.

The bad news continues to roll in, although if you depend upon the main stream media for information, you likely don’t know that.

Citing data from the Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Establishment Survey/Haver Analytics, the Heritage Foundation addressed Obamacare’s effect on employment: “Between the recession’s low point in January 2009 and April 2010 net private sector job creation improved by 67,500 jobs a month. President Obama signed his health care legislation into law on March 23, 2010. After April 2010, the improvement in net private sector job creation stalled, dropping to just 6,500 jobs a month.”

The Heritage Foundation's Senior Policy Analyst James Sherk explains that the law discourages employers from hiring in several ways:
• Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, which allows them to avoid the mandate to provide government-approved health coverage or face a penalty;
• Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty; and
• Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.
Kaiser Health News reported recently that contrary to promises of miraculous results from its passage, the health care reform bill will cause spending to grow faster than before the health care overhaul, and that “with that growth, the nation is expected to spend $4.6 trillion on health care in 2020, nearly double the $2.6 trillion spent last year.”

Kaiser based its report on information from the Medicare Office of the Actuary, and further reported that beginning in 2014 when the major coverage expansions of the health care law take effect, the number of Americans covered by their employer’s health insurance will increase to 170 million from 163 million last year, which tends to support the promise of health care reform that it would cover heretofore uninsured Americans.

However, the Medicare Actuary goes on to say that 2 million of those will drop off the roles as some of them age into Medicare, and others lose coverage as employers respond to increased costs.

They expect the penalty for high-cost “Cadillac” insurance plans to convince some employers to provide less generous insurance plans, while other employers in certain industries such as retail sales are expected to reclassify many full-time employees as part-time, allowing the employer to escape the substantial expense of health insurance plans under Obamacare. Further, some large employers with low-wage employees are expected to discontinue offering health insurance to their workers and instead pay the penalty mandated in the Affordable Care Act.

When major provisions of the law go into effect in 2014, the actuaries project a spending increase of 8.3 percent. And as more individuals qualify for Medicare, that program’s spending is predicted to increase by more than 20 percent. “For 2015-20,” according to the actuaries, “national health spending growth is projected to average 6.2 percent per year.”

Furthermore, Obamacare requires the creation of at least 159 new federal commissions and boards for healthcare reform. And a new analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee minority staff estimates up to 16,500 new IRS personnel will be needed to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses in the reform legislation – just what we need in this economy: more federal employees and red tape.

This boondoggle has few advantages and a multitude of negatives. It is another Obama promise that not only hasn’t materialized, but does real harm to the country. The manner in which it was passed was scandalous and un-seemly, and it must be repealed as soon as possible.

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