Friday, February 11, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"I don't know what we'll do next [to create jobs]"
-Representative Durbin (D-IL)

Unemployment
While I won't vote for Romney should he run for the presidency because of his fiscal leftist ideas, he does hit the nail on the head with this statement courtesy NPR's The Corner:
This is a moral tragedy—a moral tragedy of epic proportion. Unemployment is not just a statistic. Fifteen million unemployed is not just a number. Unemployment means kids can’t go to college; that marriages break up under the financial strain; that young people can’t find work and start their lives; and men and women in their 50s, in the prime of their lives, fear they will never find a job again.
Sure, its red meat thrown to supporters, sure its making the loudest noise without solutions to make your opponent look bad. But he's right - except its a lot more than fifteen million. If a Republican were president we'd hear no end of how awful it is for people in this situation; I know several. With a Democrat? Crickets.

Speaking of unemployment, the Congressional Budget Office recently released more data on the 1200 page Government Health Care Takeover Act that would have been good to know before it was rammed through congress. Jeffrey Hansen at the Weekly Standard writes:
Testifying today before the House Budget Committee, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf confirmed that Obamacare is expected to reduce the number of jobs in the labor market by an estimated 800,000.
Well that's what we all need; fewer jobs. An unconstitutional law passed without being read that murders jobs. What a winner. Thank you Reid, Pelosi, and Obama!

Meanwhile, in congress, bottled water is stacking up by the metric ton. I like good, cold, clean water, but we have a Brita© filter in the refrigerator and it puts out the best water I've tasted outside a wilderness area mountain spring for the price of a filter every 4-5 months. Congress is racking up more than $800,000 a year on water. Well, I guess its better than whiskey.

Straw man is the term for an argument you invent and assert your opponent holds, then attack. Here's a classic example courtesy NPR:
It's no longer the same game that it was 15, 20 years ago, where you simply had to point out the homo and yell 'Kill it!' And the mob attacked. Now, you have to clothe your homophobia in something else.
That's a quote from Jonathan Katz, courtesy Newsbusters. Its easy to beat an argument you invent. Its a lot harder to handle actual positions a reasoned, intelligent opponent argues.

AOL Time Warner, still alive largely due to older people and farmers with dial up, bought the Huffington Post. Given that the Post has lost money every single year of its existence and AOL's internet service is akin to the buggy whip industry, this seems like a strange choice. The move does seem to confirm that AOL News intends to crank to the hard left, however. I guess they wanted an internet version of Time, which is also a money loser.

Egypt is the big news the last few weeks, with riots and rebellion the rule of the day. In the midst of the riots, Muslims are taking advantage of the chaos to attack and even kill Coptic Christians, but you won't see that reported in the news much. Mubarak, who has been "president" of Egypt since Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, has stepped down and apparently the government of Egypt has been taken over by the military. This sounds alarming but there is precedent for the military taking over from a dictator and returning democracy to power. Lets hope that happens in Egypt too, rather than a muslim theocracy taking power like in Iran. Oh the Shah of Iran stepped down on February 11, by the way.

President Obama, showing the "smart diplomacy" he promised instead of bumbling President Bush's mistakes that made the world hate us, chose Frank Wisner for his chief envoy to Egypt. During this crisis, Wisner spoke for the Obama administration:
President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical: it's his opportunity to write his own legacy
Well, its not like the Obama administration hasn't been swift to support tyrants and thugs in the past. I guess a return to Realpolitik where you support people based on their political leanings rather than their actions and commitment to liberty is what President Obama meant by "smart diplomacy." Rumor has it that John Kerry is seeking the Secretary of State job. Well, he could hardly be worse than Hillary Clinton has been so far.

Sociologists have studied their own numbers and one has discovered something, the fact that must not be said out loud. John Tierney at the New York Times writes:
[Jonathan Haidt] polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.
Haidt noted that given the known breakdown of political positions in America, this was a statistical impossibility. Then he used standard sociological analysis for the results of this inquiry:
Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals.

“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”
Who wants to bet that Dr Haidt doesn't become a pariah and hated in his field for daring to notice this? Personally I think sociology is 99% crap, but if you're going to be a consistent sociologist, then you have to apply your methodology and analysis evenly, even on topics you don't care for. I remember well the sociology class I had to take in college where the prof spent most of the class hating on Ronald Reagan - and it was a fairly conservative college.

Christiane Amanpour was amazed to find out that the Muslim Brotherhood is mostly secular and not at all radical or hateful toward the west. How did she find that out? Why, they told her!
Moslem Brotherhood told me: good feelings toward the west but Islamophobia spread all over western countries. Astonished.
Well that settles it then. Ignore their rhetoric, actions, and clear intent for decades, this is proof they are all nice and the west is mean. If you have a brain the size of a BB. I'm astonished too, Ms Amanpour, astonished anyone can be that gullible and yet functional in society.

Illegal immigration continues to be a concern, although legacy news outlets often leave off that critical qualifier at the beginning. The topic is particularly important to restaurants; take this Reuters story courtesy Yahoo:
Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lot going for it -- an upscale burrito concept, a hip and eco-friendly image, expansion plans galore and a 500 percent-plus stock price gain in just over two years.

And then it has something not going its way -- a federal crackdown on its immigrant labor force that has so far forced Chipotle to fire hundreds of allegedly illegal workers in the state of Minnesota, perhaps more than half its staff there.
Along with farms, restaurants are the biggest illegal immigrant hirers in the nation. They don't go out of their way to find out if someone is legal or not, and prefer illegals because they not only tend to work harder than teenagers, but will bring family members in for jobs as well. Fire one for being illegal and you tend to lose 10 other workers around town. Notice in the story that these people lost their jobs but are still in the US seeking work elsewhere, giving interviews to the news.

Rush Limbaugh gave a quick reminder to listeners about JFK's fiscal ideas. The left loves to hold Kennedy up as a martyred saint but he really wouldn't have a lot in common with modern leftists. Consider Kennedy's ideas on taxes and jobs:
This administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963. I am not talking about a quickie or a temporary tax cut which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm to ease some temporary complaint. The federal government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures.
...
Do not raise expenditures in a recession. Do not rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures in a recession; expand incentives and opportunities for private expenditures." He wanted "an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes; not something quickie, not something temporary. Tax cuts would be appropriate if a recession were imminent, and even more so if we were in one.
Why bring Kennedy up now? Some knuckleheads in the news were comparing President Obama's "how dare you not hire, you need to get going" lecture to businesses with Kennedy's speeches.

Something not considered by most is the cost in tax revenues that shutting down oil drilling causes. President Obama is defying the federal courts by maintaining a ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, using the Deepwater Horison oil leak as an excuse. Rob Bluey points out in the Washington Examiner:
Production in the Gulf of Mexico – which normally accounts for about 30 percent of all U.S. production - is expected to drop this year by 220,000 barrels per day, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

With oil currently at $90 a barrel and the royalty rate at 18.75 percent, that equals $3.7 million in lost revenue each day.

If the agency projections hold over the course of the year, the federal government would lose more than $1.35 billion from Gulf royalty payments this year.
But if you're an academic leftist radical like President Obama, that's a price worth paying to shut down oil drilling and move the nation away from gas powered vehicles. To save the planet.

Amanda Hocking is a best-selling author. Never heard of her? Plenty of e-readers have, she's sold more than 400,000 copies of her books online. She tried hard to find a publisher, but they all turned her down, so she went the route of self-publishing her angsty teen vampire/zombie books and they sold like hotcakes. now publishers are scrambling to pick her up. Next month, she'll be in the USA Today top 50 book sales list, with almost no copies in hard bound print. And yes, I'm seriously looking into this myself. Granted my books aren't as trendy but who knows?

You've probably never heard of it, but a government system called the Screening Partnership Program allowed airports to hire private contractors to replace TSA employees. However, the TSA had decided there's no "clear or substantial advantage" to allowing private contractors. Representative John Mica (R-FL) disagrees:
“Nearly every positive security innovation since the beginning of TSA has come from the contractor screening program,” Mica said. Supporters of private screening say it is easier to discipline and replace under-performing private screeners than government ones.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is pushing to get the TSA unionized, although under the Bush administration that was not permitted due to security concerns. If you think its hard to get rid of malingerers and incompetents now, imagine the TSA under a union.

Finally, David Cameron has said something that has been abundantly clear for decades: multiculturalism is destroying society. As British Prime Minister, Cameron replaced the previous PM who was secretly working to undermine Britain's culture through immigration to maintain power and win votes from immigrants. The BBC reports:
David Cameron has criticised "state multiculturalism" in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.

At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism.

He also signalled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.
Now everyone is wondering if this is serious or just a political stance taken by Cameron who claimed to be conservative but in some ways is more leftist than the Labor Party he replaced.

1 comment:

Peccable said...

We have too many kids going to college, taking courses in "studies" while collecting all sorts of loans and grants.
How about auto mechanics, electricians, plumbers, farmers, cabinetmakers, metalworkers, bakers...

Everybody wants to be a chief. We need a lot more indians.