Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Memorial [to Obama] Day! May 28, 2012

In Opinion on May 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

What follows are 481 words out of approximately 1250 words that made up Barack Obama’s speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark Memorial Day 2012.  The words I deleted did not mention the objective or the mission of the men and women he sends to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The rest of the speech lists the names of some fallen soldiers and a few bromides about the costs and sadness of war.

Thank you very much. Please be seated. Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Secretary Panetta, for your introduction and for your incredible service to our country. To General Dempsey, Major General Linnington, Kathryn Condon, Chaplain Berry, all of you who are here today — active duty, veterans, family and friends of the fallen — thank you for allowing me the privilege of joining you in this sacred place to commemorate Memorial Day.

Together, your footsteps trace the path of our history. And this Memorial Day, we mark another milestone. For the first time in nine years, Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq. (Applause.) We are winding down the war in Afghanistan, and our troops will continue to come home. (Applause.) After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.

Especially for those who’ve lost a loved one, this chapter will remain open long after the guns have fallen silent. Today, with the war in Iraq finally over, it is fitting to pay tribute to the sacrifice that spanned that conflict.

To the families here today, I repeat what I said to the Hickmans: I cannot begin to fully understand your loss. As a father, I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to hear that knock on the door and learn that your worst fears have come true. But as Commander-In-Chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm’s way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make. I can promise you I will never do so unless it’s absolutely necessary, and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation. (Applause.)

And as a country, all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder a burden that nobody should have to bear alone. As we honor your mothers and fathers, your sons and daughters, we have given — who have given their last full measure of devotion to this country, we have to ask ourselves how can we support you and your families and give you some strength?

As President, I have no higher honor and no greater responsibility than serving as Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military the world has ever known. (Applause.) And on days like this, I take pride in the fact that this country has always been home to men and women willing to give of themselves until they had nothing more to give. I take heart in the strength and resolve of those who still serve, both here at home and around the world. And I know that we must always strive to be worthy of your sacrifice.

God bless you. God bless the fallen. God bless our men and women in uniform. And may God bless the United States of America.

Give me a break.  He hasn’t a clue.

It’s Memorial Day – What are your children reading? Do they recognize “civilization”?

In Opinion on May 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

The last few paragraphs of Niall Ferguson’s Civilization: The West and the Rest read as follows.

At its core, a civilization is the texts that are taught in its schools, learned by its students and recollected in times of tribulation. The civilization of China was once built on the teachings of Confucius. The civilization of Islam – of the cult of submission – is still built on the Koran. But what are the foundational texts of Western civilization, that can bolster our belief in the almost boundless power of the free individual human being? And how good are we at teaching them, given our educational theorists’ aversion to formal knowledge and rote-learning? Maybe the real threat is posed not by the rise of China, Islam or CO2 emissions, but by our own loss of faith in the civilization we inherited from our ancestors (emphasis mine).

Our civilization is more than just (as P. G. Wodehouse joked) the opposite of amateur theatricals. Churchill captured a crucial point when he defined the ‘central principle of [Western] Civilization’ as ‘the subordination of the ruling class to the settled customs of the people and to their will as expressed in the Constitution’:  Churchill asked:

“Why should not nations link themselves together in a larger system and establish a rule of law for the benefit of all?  That surely is the supreme hope by which we should be inspired . . . But it is vain to imagine that the mere . . . declaration of right principles . . . will be of any value unless they are supported by those qualities of civic virtue and manly courage – aye, and by those instruments and agencies of force and science which in the last resort must be the defence of right and reason. Civilization will not last, freedom will not survive, peace will not be kept, unless a very large majority of mankind unite together to defend them and show themselves possessed of a constabulary power before which barbaric and atavistic forces will stand in awe.

In 1938 those barbaric and atavistic forces were abroad, above all in Germany. Yet, as we have seen, they were as much products of Western civilization as the values of freedom and lawful government that Churchill held dear. Today, as then, the biggest threat to Western civilization is posed not by other civilizations, but by our own pusillanimity – and by the historical ignorance that feeds it.

How many 18-year olds do you know who can come close to defining the term “rule of law.”  How many of your friends have read and thought about what the Constitution says and means?  How many of us know more than “Four score and seven years ago” of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address?

How many of us know the name of the company Mitt Romney used to run and his estimated net worth?  How many of us know Barack Obama’s 2008  campaign slogan and the name of the minister of his church?

What is our civilization giving to our youth? Dancing with the Stars and Harry Potter.

What are your children reading today?  What knowledge of western civilization will they possess because YOU taught it to them; what are they learning in school?  Will they be able to defend Western Civilization to the awe of today’s “barbaric and atavistic forces?”

More importantly, will they be able to tell the difference?  Is there any difference between today’s American Civilization and barbarism?

Bill Maher Says Obama Loves Eating Watermelon

In Opinion on May 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm

OK, he didn’t really say that.  Instead, Bill Maher spends a few minutes lying about and insulting Mitt Romney.  Everyone knows that Mormonism no longer approves of polygamy, but Maher has decided that blatantly dishonest and insulting crap about Mormons is funny.  (See his hate here.)

Yeah, and all blacks like watermelon.

Now, come after me.  I’ll hide behind Mr. Maher.

Romney Concedes Election and Admits Wealth is Created by Bankrupting Companies

In Opinion on May 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Asked by Time’s Mark Halperin Wednesday why he wouldn’t push major government spending cuts in his first year, Mitt Romney responded as follows:

“Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5 percent. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.”

If that’s what Mitt Romney believes, I suggest that he concede the election immediately and save us the trouble of watching him pretend that he can make a difference as the next President.  If he doesn’t believe those words, I want him to explain why they are wrong, so that we know he might at least try to make a difference.

Has he really adopted the governing philosophy that is based on the fallacy that ‘spending’ by either government or private parties is the same thing as economic production?  Does he really believe that buying things is the same thing as or has the same economic effect as making things?

Economic activity happens when someone deploys labor or capital, or both, to produce a thing or service for which someone else will pay with money he earns by being productive.  The trade of dollars for the thing or service makes the activity measurable, but the respective acts of producing are all that have any economic value or consequence.

Assume a government of a country of three men, Ted, Joe and Bill.  Having the government take money from Ted and give it to Joe to buy a widget from Bill IS NOT economic growth or activity.  If Bill makes another widget because he thinks there will another buyer, that IS economic growth/activity.  But, Bill will not do so if he thinks that the only way he will sell widget #2 is if the government lets or forces Joe to buy it (with Ted’s money again).  Bill knows that eventually Joe will have too many warehouses full of widgets, and Bill will not expend more of his labor/capital to make widgets that sit on a shelf.  He loves his labor and capital (a.k.a. his life) too much to waste it that way.

Furthermore, eventually Ted runs out of money, as does Bill, because nothing of value is being created in this exchange of dollars for widgets.  Ted shuts down whatever he did previously to earn the money the government took from him.  (If he were being economically productive, the government’s rationale for taking his money was flawed and immoral, right?)  Then there’s Joe, and since he’s busy storing useless widgets he bought with someone eles’s money, he is not busy producing something Bill wants to buy with all the stacks of money the government took from Ted for Joe to ‘spend’ on widgets.

Scoreboard:  Ted’s broke.  Bill has money but nothing to buy with it.  Joe has widgets no one else, including Ted, wanted.  (If Ted had wanted widgets, he would have bought them with his own money before the government took it from him, correct?)  That’s the end of the story, and it’s not a story of economic activity, it’s a story of lives confiscated and ruled by Mitt Romney or Barack Obama; lives wasted in favor of getting someone’s vote – Joe’s and Bill’s, probably not Ted’s.

If Mitt Romney believes that reducing government spending will reduce economic activity, then perhaps we know the reason he won’t or can’t defend himself against the silly accusation that he got filthy rich by bankrupting dozens of failing companies while running Bain Capital; maybe he believes that lie as well.  (I don’t > Why “Vulture Capitalism” is a big lie.)

Our choices in November aren’t inspiring much hope, are they?

Obama Insists That Only White Men Can Save Julia

In Opinion on May 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I get it now; Julia has to have our help.  All these many years, I believed those words I memorized in 8th grade: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they [ALL men] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Much to my new-found delight, the modern Democratic Party, particularly the Obama administration, has improved on what our selfish Founders wrote in July, 1776.  Our new national credo reads more like this: “all men, except most white men, are created equally needy” and “that among some people’s rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit and Fulfillment of Neediness.”  Whereas our Founders constituted a government to protect those inalienable rights that left them free to produce and trade with other free men, to modern Democrats, our Founders’ aim, production, the fruit of human endeavor, is a given, a constant.  So, to Democrats, the primary objective of human endeavor is fulfillment of needs by distributing more fairly the things that have been produced.  The right to consume, even what others produce, is the modern inalienable right.  Health care, shelter, decent food, seat belts, good grades, self-esteem, contraception and depression counseling are rights!  And, better yet, they are free of charge, if you’re the right age, creed, race, gender, or national origin or if your sex-life isn’t what used to be called normal.  Taking from Citizen A is justified by Citizen B’s right to fulfill a need.

And, I’ve decided Obama is right.  I used to believe that those consumables, those life-extending good things, are purchased as we exercise profitably our right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – as we earn our keep by living FREE.  I’ve argued that granting those things to some people presupposed that freedom could and would be taken from another person(s).  I was mistaken, and I credit The Life of Julia, the Obama/Biden campaign’s brilliant illustrated piece that teaches “Julia” (and me!) how the US Government can and will take good care of its dependents, from cradle to grave.  Julia proved to me, once and for all, that the lesser humans (women (including lesbians), gay men, blacks, hispanics, students, the young and the elderly . . . everyone except productive white men) need the federal government to provide for them and guard them against the higher beings among them.  Left alone, left free, left exposed to the complications of life and without help from the government, those frail, lazy, weak, inferior beings will be out-earned, out-smarted and generally bested by white men.

The mistake we freedom-loving Americans were making is our failure to recognize the inferiority of other people.  We thought women and minorities were our equals, that they could compete with us, head-to-head, and, sometimes, beat us.  We were wrong.  They can’t.  Just ask Julia’s creators.  All of the Julia’s desperately need, can’t make it, much less succeed, without big government’s power to take from the better, self-supporting humans so as to prop up Julia’s so-called life.

As I read it, there is nothing in Julia’s story that tells us she had an accident or some other acquired deficiency or defect.  She’s innately, genetically deficient.  Her problems and weaknesses are congenital and will not be overcome by effort, diligence, initiative, self-reliance, hard work, study and a little bit of good fortune.  She inherently needs, her life would collapse without, Uncle Sam.  Furthermore, she’s been indoctrinated with the self-evident truth that America is a male-chauvinist, patriarchal, racist and unfair place for her and her similarly inferior comrades to reside.  Consequently, she rejects the companionship and aid of a man who would subjugate her, use her for his own purposes.  Since that, in turn, leaves poor, little ol’ Julia alone, exposed to the travails of life, Uncle Sam sails in to fill the void, else she’d collapse under the weight of providing for herself.

So, come on, my fellow American white men.  Step up and embrace your superiority and start taking care of all those sad excuses for humans.  The Democrats have been telling us for years how much better we are than everyone else.  Be real men.  Say a polite Thank You for the compliment and give Barack/Biden your votes this November so they can take care of Julia for us!

Without rich white men, she has no Hope, and no Change.

Yes We Can.  Let’s help these poor, pitiful Julia’s.  They need us.  Men, man up.

It’s okay to hate Mormons, as long you’re seeking votes.

In Opinion on May 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

On Friday night, Bill Mahar spent five minutes spewing more of his fowl criticism of religion, this time specifically Mitt Romney’s religion, Mormonism.  Cult, horse-shit, bull-shit and other words that we’re accustomed to hearing from this genius’s gutter mouth were among his most lucid and articulate.  He was particularly offended that Mr. Romney’s millions of dollars in contributions to his church are tax deductible, and he said that such illegitimate tax deductions cost the rest of us billions of dollars – as if we’re entitled to have Mitt Romney’s money or tell him how to spend it.  He stated that the mission of the Mormon church was comparable to funding opera houses and art museums and that funding such things with pre-tax dollars was bogus.  (I’ve summarized the nice parts of the monologue.)

As I recall, four years ago a few people observed that candidate Obama’s 20-year spiritual mentor, the clergyman who married him to his wife and baptized his children, was prone to say provocative things from the pulpit.  When candidate Obama or his surrogates were asked to comment about Obama’s minister, the responses ranged from ‘you’re a racist’ to ‘how dare you question the spiritual life of a candidate for the highest office in the land. Haven’t you ever heard of separation of church and state?”

So, here’s how I score it:

Asking questions about hateful rhetoric from a church pulpit – not allowed.

Spewing hatred about religion – just a comedy routine.

I understand the rules; but I won’t play by them.  I’ll keep asking questions and let $1,000,000 contributors to Obama’s campaign war chest continue to spew hatred over the airwaves.  I think we will like the results when people start comparing Bill Mahar to everyone who asks questions.

Hatred doesn’t sell and it only gets votes when someone is campaigning to direct the hate.

Who do you think it’s ok to hate?  Whom do you want your friends and supporters to hate?

I’m a Roe v Wade convert. Women do indeed have the right to choose. In fact, they must.

In Opinion on May 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I’ve realized that I agree with the premise of Roe v Wade.  Women positively have the right to choose, and I want to make it more certain.  That choice deserves a more tangible, less tenable basis than a Supreme Court decision based upon a penumbra right that could be taken away if five out of nine “unelected people” (BHO’s recent description of the SCOTUS) decide that the penumbra is less inclusive than Julia hoped.  Let’s give women an inviolable contract right.

Here’s how.

Health insurance plans are supposed to be about sharing risks and pooling resources.  A group of people agree to contribute to a reserve fund and agree further that each of them has access to such funds in the event one of them suffers a ‘covered’ unexpected illness.  Based upon complex formulae, the group determines what everyone’s premiums will be and which events entitle any of the policy holders access to the funds in the pool to cover the cost of curing the illness.

And then there’s a question of things that aren’t really illnesses; for example, pregnancies.  It has become standard practice that ‘health care insurance’ should cover such non-illnesses, because doctors are usually involved in caring for mother and fetus during the gestation period.  As I thought about that presumption recently, a question of ethics came to mind.

What if an advocate of the ‘pro-choice’ persuasion were to be faced with the following question on an insurance application form?

Please place an X below to indicate your coverage election.  (NOTE: Your choice is binding for the balance of your life.)

  ____  (a) pre-natal care, or

  ____  (b) abortion.

As I see it, if that collection of cells is nothing more than that, and you reserve the right to have it removed at your convenience, the group of us in your insurance pool will honor your moral decision and agree to pay for its removal.  However, we can’t agree to let you change your mind and be forced to pay to nurture the existence of that ‘tumor’ because the next time you get pregnant, you want to make a different choice.

So, decide now;  if you are ever expecting, will that blob inside of you be a baby or a choice?  Until after you stop arguing with yourself over whether that mass in your womb is your baby or a some form of excrement, we choose not to let you participate in our insurance program, because the calculations are too complicated.

So, (a) or (b).  YOU choose and the rest of us will honor your choice, no questions asked.

Constitutional Amendment: Minimum age for US Senate raised to 80 years!

In Opinion on May 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan argues that Richard Lugar should be re-elected as the US Senator from the state of Indiana, because he’s . . . OLD.  She stipulates that incumbency is enough to qualify him for a SEVENTH term, to qualify him to celebrate his EIGHTY-SIXTH birthday while serving his FORTY-SECOND year in the US Senate.  Apparently, he knows how to get things done in that august chamber, and Peggy is convinced that having the you-know-what scared out of him (in other words, coming close to losing his seat because he’s being challenged in the GOP primary by something akin to a Tea Party member) will put him back on the straight and narrow, the path he seems to have lost having been holed up in Washington, DC all these many years.  Don’t bet on it – just ask former Senator Spector.

That’s shocking enough, but the most telling part of this piece is her seemingly (and very) snide reference to former VP Dan Quayle.  After GWHB could not win a second term – because Pres. Bush (41) drifted to the center, where Mr. Lugar lives, rather than continuing the Reagan legacy that earned him his first/last term as POTUS – Mr. Quayle moved away from DC, back to the real world and spent the ensuing 20 years living.

Yes, just LIVING.  He spent 20 years NOT governing, NOT spending other people’s money to make himself feel good, NOT graciously and selflessly donating his time to ‘public service’ (the biggest lie politicians ever tell), NOT granting interviews and holding court with the likes of Peggy Noonan.  For 20 years, he lived being what they refer to in DC as an ‘ordinary’ American.  But, Peggy and her ilk worship at the altar of fame and power, and Senator Lugar has had more of those than Dan Quayle, ergo her support of Lugar for Senate.  Dan Quayle is this guy who disappeared from the TV screen and the newspaper headlines, so, to Peggy and her clique, he ceased to even exist.  He became one of those ordinary, every day, plain ol’ people.  That’s the same thing as dead to the DC crowd – except around election day, that is.

She is typical of Washingtonians and the media airheads in NYC who deign to talk about politics on TV for a living.  They’re exceedingly and outwardly disdainful of real lives (insurance salesmen, brick-layers, bankers, house-keepers and plumbers) and in thrall over the pseudo lives of the rich, powerful or famous.  That’s all her crowd knows or cares about.

That’s DC.

The DC crowd thinks that ‘ordinary’ people are, well, ordinary, and, here’s the kicker, that makes the DC crowd the self-appointed . . . uh, extra-ordinary people.  It makes them feel really privileged at their galas and dinners at which they take turns giving each other awards and accolades for fighting for this or that cause de jour.  That’s precisely why they refer to you and me as ordinary, regular folk, because that makes them better than ordinary in their minds’ eyes and gives them the rationale they need to lord it over you without any compunction or regret.

I ran into Dan Quayle about six months ago at a dinner in DC.  We’d never met before, and we talked about the brand of bourbon they were serving at the bar, as I recall.  I found him to be a supremely ordinary man.  I like that about him.