Monday, February 22, 2010

What is your price?

I know a guy...

He lives with this woman and has for about 15 years. They aren't married although they refer to each other as husband and wife. Both believe in marriage and they do love one another. Money isn't scarce. He has a good job with benefits and she makes a good living so they could certainly afford the marriage license. It's been the cause of many arguments and a lot of hurt feelings. What could possibly be keeping these two people from pursuing the formal decree that would legitimize a situation that both of them admit some shame over?

About $600 a month.

You see, this guys "wife" is actually a widow from a previous marriage and receives a widows pension. The exact dollar amount escapes me at the moment, but it was about $600 a month. She works under the table making cash to the tune of about $1600 a month [that's cash money- no tax withholding]. The husband makes about $2000 gross a month not including his benefits package. Together they make many times the amount that she receives each month, but if they marry, she will lose those benefits. This couple has chosen to place $600 between themselves and true happiness and fulfillment. To them, $600 a month is worth more than their happiness.

We all know a story like this one. Someone who is willing to give up a portion of their liberty, their personal happiness, for a seemingly insufficient price. The woman who stays with a husband who beats her for the security of the money. The politician who tramples his personal integrity to pay back a special interest group of importance to his campaign. A more than cursory glance around us will show that these instances are not only common, but they are sadly rampant in our culture.

Kentucky has some unkind, albeit true, distinctions from other states in the Union. It didn't take Diane Sawyers skewed and shoddy reporting to get us to admit that there are areas of Kentucky where families choose to live by a lower standard because it is easy [ BTW, did anyone else notice that Sawyer stuck the skewers to Appalachia shortly after the 2008 election where Kentucky was the first state to go red for McCain?]. Social Services in the eastern part of the state have a shocking proficiency at garnering entitlement goodies. A single mother can live in government housing, get food stamps, WIC and the state will even pay her child care if she works at least 20 hours a week. But for each of those things that she is told she is owed, she auctions away a little of herself. The EBT card only buys permitted foods and government housing has rules about behavior. Every deal has a price to pay. How much of your liberty, your privacy, your sacred honor are you willing to auction and is the price fair for something so precious?

For those of you not familiar, those on Social Security, Disability and SSI are subject to liquid asset restrictions. They are not permitted more than a MAX [there's a - hehehehe- progressive scale on this amount] of $3000 total in liquid savings, whole life insurance policies, annuities, and stocks. They cannot have more than one vehicle. Medical benefits stop after one month of violating the income "cap". Hmmm, capping a persons production. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Now, if a person makes a combined total of $1600 a month from which they are able to live fairly comfortably and for which they only have to make some "minor" concessions on their liberties, what is the incentive to cast off the "cap" and strive to do better? The culture war has hardened people against the notion of the American Dream convincing them that it is only attainable for the well-connected or "lucky". For many of us, simple personal pride makes us want to make it on our own merit without the "leg-up" from government or the numerous strings attached. But working our way up is now being de- incentivized for the safety of a more austere government-sanctioned lifestyle.

Sure, with all of these programs our single mother can survive without the child's father being involved and that may be a good thing. Maybe, he is a drunk or perhaps he's violent. Maybe they just don't get along. Maybe she just wants something better. But if all of the cushions that soften the impact of the fall take away the pain of the plummet, then will we think twice about making the same stupid leap the next time?

Social Security is upside down for the first time ever, we are spending out more in benefits than we are bringing in in payroll revenue. It won't be there when the workers of today are of traditional retirement age. Hell, it probably won't be there in five years.

What will become of ours seniors then? What did people do before the government stepped in? They depended on each other. They depended on the families that they had raised throughout their lives to see to their needs in their twilight years. When there was a disaster, neighbors helped each other . There were no bailouts after the Civil War. Sure, times were tough and resources were scarce, but through their connection to each other people had a connection to reality and their souls that we have frittered away piece by piece for the sake of safety.

Benjamin Franklin said [and I am paraphrasing] that the man who values safety over liberty deserves neither and will lose both. This change in the American consciousness has robbed us not only of our personal integrity- our sacred honor- but it has worn away at the exceptionalism that was the beacon of the American spirit to the rest of the world.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It starts...

I apologize. This post is a few days old, but I was unable to finish it at the time.

Months ago, when the nation was just beginning to wake to the reality of an orgy in government spending and a representative Congress rife with whores and thugs, when the Tea Party movement was only in the embryonic stages, it was warned that our protests should be only peaceful. We were warned that should they turn violent and our demostrations become destructive, we risked illegitimizing the entire movement and could potentially destabilize our economy further. As it was, liberals were mounting antagonistic counter-protests and the media was looking for any way to discolor those in attendence. We met peacefully, showed solidarity not only as white or black or rich or poor, workers or business owners, but as Americans. The close to two million protestors who marched on DC in September who left less of a mess than a modest convention of hippies, managed this showing without a single police incident.

Then comes Joseph Stack. The media has, as usual, jumped the gun in absolute imprudence and has asserted that this anti-government murderer is somehow connected to the Tea Party movement.

Joseph Stack has given the left-wing media the tooth to pursue the extremist label for those attending the Tea Parties. As we have all seen, truth is an irrelevent element when dealing with the leftist media. Everyone has seen the quote from this nutcase's manifesto where he's railing against the IRS, its been everywhere. This is the quote that the media outlets have been using to prove that Joseph Stack was an anti-government, right-winger:
Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

What they don't mention is what immediately follows:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Now, I am not a brain surgeon, but I am pretty sure that since a hearty percentage of Tea Party activists are also small business owners [myself included], trying to lash them to this capitalism -hating, whiney whack job isn't an argument that is going to hold with any person with full brain function.

Here's a ditty that precedes the "big brother IRS man" quote. It shows just how far down the spiral this guy had gone because if he hadn't been completely eroded mentally he would have seen the irony in his own words with regard to his final plan.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity.

So, Islamic terrorists crash planes into buildings to disrupt our economy and kill innocent people and it plunges us into a worldwide war to pursue those who have wounded us. It becomes the Pearl Harbor of our generation. Each attempted attack further strengthens our resolve and somehow Joseph Stack thinks that committing the exact same action will somehow lead to lucidity instead of revulsion and rage?

This was an act of bitterness by a man who had had his ass kicked by life just like every one of us. Only this man chose not to learn from mistakes. He chose not to evolve his business with ingenuity and meet the challenges of the changing market. And when his inability to adapt caused him to lose his business, he allowed his rage to swallow him. He wanted punish those who had wronged him. This is what happens when everyone gets a trophy- you end up with grown persons so consumed with bitterness over the fundamental unfairness of life that they mentally and emotionally cannot cope with failure.

To Joseph Stack, the end- bringing light to his perception of an injustice- justified the means. That's Saul Alinsky, Mr. Potok, not the Tea Party movement.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama Teaches The ABCs

Now, listen up boys and girls. Your parents may have been receiving some mis-information from those evil Nazi's waving tea bags around and as your divinely-appointed leader, it is my duty to re-educate you so that you may become responsible global citizens. I was planning to do this back in September, but it seems that, um, the timing wasn't quite right.

We'll begin with the ABCs...

A is for Alinsky, ACORN, and apology
B is for bailouts, bonuses and Bernanke
C is for climate- change, czars and Chrysler
D is for debt, deniability and distraction
E is for entitlement, economy and entitlement again
F is for Fed, freedom [to do exactly what you are told] and Fairness Doctrine
G is for green, Gitmo and GM
H is for health care, Hillary, and H1N1
I is for ideologue, illegal immigrants and interest
J is for Jeremiah Wright and justice- the social kind
K is for knuckles- the brass kind, Kennedy and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
L is for liberalism, legislation and land grab
M is for medicare, misinformation and Marxism
N is for NBC, Nasdaq and Nazis
O is for Obama [and nobody else]
P is for Progressive, polar bears and Pelosi
Q is for qualified, quadrupled-debt and
R is for Rasmussen, racism and reconciliation
S is for shame, single-payer and stimulus
T is for TARP, taxes and Treasury
U is for unconstitutional, unions and East Anglia University
V is for Venezuela, vendetta and Valerie Jarrett
W is for wall Street, water-boarding and windfall profits
X is for eXtremists- the tea baggers I mentioned before
Y is for You Tube, Yemen and Yellow
Z is for Jay-Z, Zelaya and Zimbabwe

Tomorrow, you will be taught "new" math by Ben Bernanke. 'Social Studies' will be permanently replaced with 'Social Justice' and will be taught by Van Jones. For extra credit, you can attend a quick lesson on how to use Turbo Tax by Tim Geitner. I will personally be teaching you about all 57 of our glorious United States. Lunch will be served by the SEIU.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No more placation...

I had a loved one recently request that I take a step back . He pointed out that I was losing my usual tolerance, that I was becoming demanding with my kids and had stopped being as easy-going with everyone else. I value this person [I don't necessarily agree with their views or opinions.] and I wanted to make them happy so I decided to give it a whole-hearted try. I backed off listening to so much talk radio, I stopped most of my blogging [I have some late night drafts from when I couldn't sleep.] and stayed out of the political loop. I tried, honestly, I did.

But, I can't do it anymore. And what's more, I realized that it was a foolish thing to agree to attempt. The hope is that we as a society will get tired of the angst and upheaval and just plop our heads back in the sand. The assertion is that Americans don't have the tenacity to stomach the unrest. We as American, perhaps even as humans, inherently want everything to be normal and deep down most of us are just waiting until things return to "normal" enough that we can go back to our lives. I realized a while ago that "normal" wasn 't going to cut it. We have to be fully invested in this struggle, completely sure of the side we are on because we are going to be waging this war for many years to come. It is going to take serious fortitude to stick it out, because this mess is going to descend into a sub-level of Hell that many of us have never seen. I will get more into that in coming days.

The opposition truly is not a particular administration or political party. We are fighting to preserve our right to liberty as it was defined to us in the Constitution against a mentality of entitlement. With all of the snow, D.C. was pretty much shut down and most meetings were cancelled. Which single appointment did Obama keep? His meeting with the heads of several minority organizations. It was important enough to him to meet with these groups to assure them that his plans for wealth redistribution are still a go. He's given lip service to the issues that voters are most concerned with in his State of the Union [State of the Union? Ummm, it sucks. Wow, I didn't even need the 70 minutes.] address and then in the same breath that he says that his focus of 2010 will be jobs, he reverts back to Healthcare and resurrects Cap and Trade. Reconciliation has reared its ugly head again. The rumor going is that the new "Jobs Bill" [see Stimulus #2] will have CardCheck legislation written into it. The Senate refused to approve the formation of a Deficit Panel [aka Tax Hike Committee] so Obama has decided to use an executive order to create one. His choice for the Head of the National Labor Relations Board was denied a confirmation vote by all Republicans and two Democrats, so he is threatening to make an incontestable recess appointment. What is the point of all of this?

The lips are moving and there are words coming out- BUT THEY MEAN NOTHING.

Growing up, most of us were told that a person is not what they say. We all know the adage, "Actions speak louder than words." This presidents' actions show us that he
ideologically cannot deviate from his agenda. He is convinced that Socialism is the best path for Americans and that we are only fighting it because we are too stupid [or fearful while clinging to our guns and religion] to accept that academics know better what our future should be. Therefore, he and his Progressive Congressional comrades keep pushing forward unpopular legislation, martyring themselves politically to "do the right thing" for our future.

There's a problem with academics: very few of them are successful at anything. Academics are the thinkers who don't have the courage to actually take the risk to put their thoughts to action. They lack, for the most part, any practical knowledge whatsoever. They discount morality as an intangible, almost theological after-thought, which is how the monstrosity of eugenics was born. When the colossal failure of Socialist regimes passed are brought to light- the massive slaughter of human life compared- academics discount these arguments as fear- mongering or flat-earth. Their reasoning is so much more sound, the learned plan so pristine that it could only succeed.

Anyone who has ever worked up a household budget knows how often learned plans come to perfect fruition and since most academics have never really done anything with all of their thinking, it's no wonder that their theories are not tempered with experience. Socialism is doomed to failure- always. Its most intrinsic precepts- that man, society, and its environment can be bred into perfection- discount morality, defies reality and most importantly it decimates personal liberty. And the kind of thinking that leads to larger government control of our lives and our choices cannot be allowed. We have allowed the Progressives to drag the term "normal" further and further left until "normal" means little to none of what it used to and the original definition is no longer even visible.

NO more making nice.
NO more middle ground.
NO more keeping the peace.

That "normal" needs to come a hell of a lot further right. Further than it was a year ago. Further than it was fifty years ago. So if you're of the opinion that a large central government that regulates everything is the cure for humanity's ills, that by doing enough everything should be guaranteed and the idea of a nanny state wraps around you like a warm blanket, then I am here to rip the covers off.