Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Invest in this, sucker

While you are hearing all the wailing and despair over "cuts" to education, ponder this:
K-12 public education costs four times as much as it did in 1970, after adjusting for inflation.
But that is just measuing inputs. How has the "investment" paid off? Zero increase in education, measured by test scores.
Meanwhile, test scores are improving in most other countries, which spend far less.
Liberals ignore the facts, and continue to throw money at the problem, as long as taxpayers allow them to do so.
Barack Obama, after saying we must stop spending money on wasteful programs because of the budget deficits he has increased, proposes a huge increase in the budget of the Department of Education, which has no successful programs.
Meanwhile, schools are shutting down in Wisconsin because teachers are protesting in the state capitol and getting fake doctors excuses to shield them from accountability. A number of people who say they are either socialists or communists are supporting the union effort. Why wouldn't they?
The huge increase in spending roughly tracks the rise of the teacher unions, which now virtually run the school systems in many urban districts. They also fight off any attempts at reform, while using the forced union dues to get more big-spending liberal politicians elected.
The governor of Wisconsin is rocking the boat. He promised to do that when he ran and the voters of Wisconsin supported his stand. So it is unions, socialists and communists vs. the people of Wisconsin currently. Other states, including Florida, also are targets of the education elites who are fighting to prevent their empire from toppling.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everything is OK

Gasoline is $3.13 a gallon.
The national debt is equal to our Gross Domestic Product.
The dollar is a joke throughout the world.
China's military might is increasing rapidly.
Unemployment is (officially) at 9 percent, nearly two years after a recession (officially) ended.
Several cities and states are (unofficially) bankrupt.
Strife and chaos are erupting throughout the Mideast. It could be an eruption of democracy or it could be the start of an Islamic revolution against Western civilization, capitalism, and Christians and Jews.
But, don't worry. President Obama is in charge. He has everything under control, as he promised in 2008.
All of the above is the fault of George W. Bush. Obama may not have it corrected completely by 2012, so he may need four more years to finish the job.
By the end of that time, peace and prosperity will have returned and all will be well.
I have it on good authority from George Soros. He has a slightly different view of the United States than the Founding Fathers, but what did a bunch of dead white guys know?

Changing times

Let's imagine for a moment that sharia law prevails in the United States.
Don't quibble about which "denomination" of Islam. Let's suppose it is the one used by the barbarians in Bangladesh, who whipped a 14-year-old girl to death because she had been raped by a 40-year-old relative.
So the multicultural, tolerant and wonderfully worldly progressives get their way and Islamists are in charge in America.
Now, what would they do about:
The Hollywood hedonists.
Cable television.
San Fransisco's homosexual community.
Playboy magazine and all its imitators.
And, finally, the National Organization for Women.
The "progressives" want a "fundamental transformation" of America? They would get it, and more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is ridiculous

Both sides in Washington are avoiding tackling entitlements because neither wants to go first.
Are you kidding me?
Social Security and Medicare are not sustainable. Even before adding on Obamacare.
It will only get worse as the baby boomers pass 65.
Here's the crazy part. No one is proposing to do harm to anyone collecting the benefits now. But those who don't have them are going to lose them one way or the other. The sooner they start getting trimmed the better it will be for everyone.
Thus, the spineless politicians have a perfect position. They can say, truthfully, we didn't promise you these benefits so don't blame us for reducing them to what we can afford.
You can't have your pie in the sky and eat it, too.
Update: Soon after this was written, Republicans said they would tackle entitlements. News reports credited the freshmen in the GOP, who told the leadership they wanted to go for it, after Obama passed up his chance.
This is the Tea Party talking, and it may be a new day in Washington.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why there will never be peace in the Mideast

Arabs don't want peace.
Israel is a tiny speck of land surrounded by 22 Arab and Persian nations consisting of more than 15 million square miles. They could easily create a "Palestinian state" in that area if they gave a damn about the Arabs they call Palestinians. But they don't.
The major obstacle to peace is that Arabs demand the "right to return" for Palestinians and will NOT compromise.
Israel rightly refuses and it will not compromise.
What it means is this: Some 800,000 Arabs (at most) fled Israel when it became a state. Arabs attacked it on the date it became a state. The Arabs left of their own volition, many at the urging of the attacking Arabs. Many Arabs stayed and are citizens of Israel today.
But the Arabs demand the right to return for (pick a number) millions of "Palestinians." The certain result would be to turn Israel into an Arab state and Jews then would be as unwelcome as they are in any other Arab state.
It would be like the United States inviting 200 million Islamic fundamentalists to move in, and start voting.
Another issue is the "occupied lands." Israel defeated another attack by Arabs and kept some of the land it conquered, for strategic reasons. They turned part of it, the Gaza strip, back over to the Arabs and now are constantly attacked from that area. Wisely, it refuses to give the remaining land back, because it would not only constrict Israel's growing population but also would put most cities in Israel within artillery or missile range.
As long as the Arabs make demands they know are impossible to meet, there will be no peace.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Confusion reigns in Washington

After a day of predictions Mubarak would step down in Egypt, he didn't.
Meanwhile, a CIA official says our spies warned the White House last year that trouble was coming in Egypt. They just didn't know when it would blow.
So why was the Obama administration so obviously unprepared?
Even now, Obama's defiense intelligence head says, not to worry. The Muslim Brotherhood is a secular benevolent organization. So, presumably, if they wind up in power after Mubarak leaves, there is nothing to worry about?
Not unless you believe the Muslim Brotherhood itself. It was formed and exists today to make shariah law the law of the world, to destroy capitalism and exterminate the Jews.
Is that unclear?
It may say something less threatening on its English Web site, but go to and read the translation of what it is saying in a language Muslims understand.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders already are calling for war against Israel.
Some naive Americans think Egypt will not abrogate its peace treaty and attack Israel because the last time it did so, it was soundly defeated.
This narrow view overlooks important facts. Since that time Egypt's military has been trained by U.S. forces and equipped with U.S. weapons. Furthermore, if it teams with other jihadists, including Iran, Israel could be faced with the fight of its life.
So what?
Well, if extermination of the Jews in Israel does not excite you, consider what would happen next. There would be an united Islamist front dedicated to ending Western civilization.
That means America, and dear liberals, you will not be spared.
Yes, Egypt could have a transition to a democracy that will keep the peace. But the prospects do not look good and the United States does not appear to be doing anything that will enhance those prospects.

Making it here

It makes headlines when The Prez talks about shipping jobs overseas and the U.S. not making anything anymore. Especially when he leaves out the fact that government policies hamper domestic manufacturing efforts significantly.
So, a few more facts.
Measured in constant dollars, America's manufacturing output today is more than double what it was in the early 1970s, according to Rush Limbaugh. So much for decline.
More, from the National Association of Manufacturers.

  • The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, producing 21 percent of global manufactured products. Japan is second at 13 percent and China is third at 12 percent.
  • U.S. manufacturing produces $1.6 trillion of value each year, or 11 percent of U.S. GDP.
  • Manufacturing supports an estimated 18.6 million jobs in the U.S.—about one in six private sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing.
  • In 2009, the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned $74,447 annually, including pay and benefits. The average non-manufacturing worker earned $63,507 annually.
  • U.S. manufacturers are the most productive workers in the world—twice as productive as workers in the next 10 leading manufacturing economies.
  • U.S. manufacturers perform half of all R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.
  •  Taken alone, U.S. manufacturing would be the eighth largest economy in the world.
Darn, pesky facts. They sure louse up a good story.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Comeback for Britain?

I love the Brits. Both sides of my family came to America from England nearly 500 years ago. Since the unpleasantness of 1776 and another slight misunderstanding in 1812, they have been good friends and allies of Americans. Arguably, they saved the world 70 years ago by repelling Hitler's crazed ambitions.
Inexplicably, the Brits lost their way in the late 1940s and embraced socialism. Predictably, they have been in decline since then.
Among other things socialism weakens the national spirit (Germany was an exception, for several reasons). So Brits have lost pride and patriotism and were convinced they needed "multiculteralism" just as liberal/fascist/socialist/communists/progressives are trying to sell in the United States at the behest of George Soros.
But, first Germany and now England's leaders are calling for a reversal of this trend.
This may not signal a reversal of socialism as well but it certainly will help restore national sanity in a nation that helped give birth to the cause of individual freedom.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saints preserve us

Preservationists want to prevent any building in Jacksonville from being torn down.
Apparently it does not occur to these progressive thinkers that if we had been doing that since the 1940s, Jacksonville would look like it did in the 1940s.
None of them remember what it looked like. I do. It wasn't pretty.
Here's a suggestion. If they want to preserve a building, let them buy it from the owner. Let them use their own money to pay the property taxes and maintenance on the 50-year-old building while they try to figure out how to make it earn some income.
Waxing nostalgic and criticizing the institution of private property is fine, and very progressive. Putting your money where your mouth is, as folks in this part of the world say, would be more impressive.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are you kidding?

Shortly after saying in no uncertain terms that Mubarak must step down as head of Egypt "yesterday" the White House now supports an "orderly" transition that could last months.
This is nothing more than a replay of Jimmy Carter, whose helpless thrashing around during the Iranian revolution led to American hostages being held more than a year, and Carter's defeat for re-election.
Furthermore, it has an ironic twist. It was the left, during the 1970s, that led the effort to cripple our intelligence agencies. Today, as a direct result, a liberal president has no clue what is going on in Egypt and was caught completely by surprise when an uprising began.
Talk about being bitten by your own dog.
(Update: Soon after this, the White House said the diplomat who made the statement that Mubarak needs to stay was "speaking on his own." Translation: His career is over, and that trial balloon didn't fly.)

What it takes

If I understand the president correctly, when a few thousand people go into the streets protesting, looting and burning, the leader of that country should step down.
But, isn't it strange? That's what happened in the 1960s and Lyndon Johnson stayed in office -- at least until the next election.
The current president says the head of Egypt should not wait that long.
Tea Party protests were peaceful. But apparently if they had been a bit more vocal, we would have a new president now.
The downside is that it would be Joe Biden, who may be one of the stupidest people ever to hold public office.

The Great Uniter

We are now in the third year of what was to be the Era of Good Feeling, and Gallup reports that Barack Obama is the most polarizing president of the past 50 years.
So much for hope.
Polls are helpful, but some of the questions people are asked really are pointless.
Case in point: Gallup reports most people want politicians to "work together."
To do what?
The two major political parties want to go in different directions. Can you imagine a team of horses "working together" to do that?
The solution is for the conservative party to soundly defeat the obstructionist Democrats and then they can work together to help restore America to where it was from 1789 to 1932, the years that it went from backwoods colony to leader of the free world.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh, the horror

"Shutting down the government" is back.
Liberals are saying conservatives should not "shut down the government." Conservatives have no such plan, nor has it been discussed.
What's that all about.
Libs have not had many good days. One they think was good was when the government "shut down" in the 1990s during a dispute between the Republican Congress and Bill Clinton over spending.
Let me ask this: Do you remember where you were the moment the government shut down? Is it firmly etched in your memory, like the morning of Sept. 11, 2001?
What actually happened. Thousands of government employees got a few days off with pay.
No one died. Hardly anyone noticed.
But the polls showed people didn't like it, and so libs think they had a great victory.
May all their victories be so triumphant.
Now, can we talk about 9 percent unemployment 17 months after the recession supposedly ended, and the trillion dollars that was spent to "create jobs"?


What is going on in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mideast is a true mystery, for all the wall-to-wall coverage.
I've read a number of opinions as to what will happen, both positive and negative. Some of the sources I consider reliable think there is a shot Egypt will wind up with a viable democracy.
I'm not so sure. The odds seem otherwise.
Mubarak is not a wise and benevolent leader, but throwing him under the bus as the Obama administration is doing does not seem the best course.
Egypt has been getting the second largest check Uncle Sam writes to other nations each year. We own him. While we can't control him entirely, at least we had him by the pursestrings.
We won't own the Muslim Brotherhood, if it winds up in charge. Already it has threatened war with Israel. That is not in the best interest of the United States.
The reason we don't know what is going on and have to operate in the dark is liberalism. For the past 35 years, liberals have fought to cripple our intelligence agencies and they have done a good job. We knew next to nothing about the Iranian revolution, or the situation in Iraq before it was liberated.
We may have better intelligence about Egypt but it is just not for public consumption. The evidence against that, however, is the actions of the White House. It must know what the intelligence agencies know, but it is acting as if it knows no more than the man in the street.
We'll know when it is over.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Scratch one

Newt Gingrich is off my A-list of presidential candidates.
He is a bright guy. Did a good job bringing Republicans to power in 1994, with a little help from Bill Clinton.
But he bungled the moment of opportunity. After balancing the budget, Republicans went on a spending spree that George W. Bush joined in, and then came 2006.
Now, the final straw for me. Gingrich is embracing the ethanol subsidy, a handout to corn farmers that is a disaster.
I went to see Gingrich when he visited Jacksonville. His speech was uninspired. He has lost his way. Conservatives need to find other options.
The best hope would be Jeb Bush vs. Obama but apparently that just isn't going to happen. There are plenty of contenders left. Sarah Palin -- imagine a Palin-Cain ticket with businessman Herman Cain -- Pawlenty, Huckabee, etc. Mitt Romney is not my first choice but it always "Who is the alternative," so if it was Romney vs. Obama, there would be no contest.
In 2008 I voted for Palin, and had to take the other candidate on the ticket. I didn't expect him to live this long.
Gingrich, however, is just another conservative who lost his way inside the Beltway. It happens.

You gotta love them libs

Not long ago, a liberal answered my query about what liberalism ever had accomplished with "Social Security" and "the public schools."
Oh boy.
So, liberalism's accomplishments are to create a Ponzi scheme that is near bankruptcy and dragging down the economy with it, and a dreadful system that produces children who can't read and write, even if they are lucky enough to survive the rapes and muggings.
Thank a deity they haven't produced any failures.
To protect these accomplishments they steadfastly oppose any attempt to improve either.
Suggest raising the retirement age and they scream "Republicans want to take away your Social Security"!
When it was enacted, the retirement age was 65. That was about the median age of death, so FDR only intended to "protect" half the population anyway. (Social Security also was NEVER intended to be the sole source of retirement income, but that's another story.)
As in most Ponzi schemes, it did well at first. The first retiree put in $22 and got back more than $20,000. As politicians piled on promises and the average lifespan increased, return on the mythical "investment" declined. Fewer workers were supporting more retirees in this instant payout program.
Pegging the retirement age for future retirees at the average lifespan only would put the program back where it was under the sainted FDR.
Choice and accountability are proven ways to improve the government schools. Teacher unions spend millions to elect liberals who will protect them from this "threat." Since unions took over the schools some four decades ago, educational achievement has nosedived, despite the injection of ever increasing amounts of cash.
If you want to see a deer-in-the-headlights look, ask a liberal, "Exactly how much money will it take to get the schools to do what they did years ago for much less money?"
As for giving poor kids the same option rich liberal kids have -- to attend a private school that would protect and educate them -- fuggedaboudit.
One can see why liberals would consider these to be major accomplishments -- if you were to assume that they wanted to bring this country to its knees.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The rule of law

A Florida judge has declared that the Constitution places limits on the power of the federal government. Imagine!
He struck down Obamacare because its individual mandate requires all Americas to buy a product, which has never been done before and is illegal.
"If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,” someone opined in 2008.
Who? A guy named Barack Obama. That was two years before he signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with its individual mandate that would inevitably and inexorably eliminate private health insurance and push the nation into socialized medicine.
So, should we look for the Homelessness Protection and Affordable Housing Act next?
Maybe, but meanwhile we can look for an appeal that will take the case to the 11ith Circuit and then the U.S. Supreme Court.
With its new liberal justices the court may well overrule Judge Roger Vinson's opinion but it cannot invalidate his reasoning or the words in the Constitution -- except by finding that "international law" takes precedence over the primary law of this nation.
If the day comes when sharia law is international law, the court may find itself in a pickle, trying to separate church and state when the church IS the state.