Friday, May 20, 2011

Hysterical history

We are hearing that Jacksonville is making history by having "the first African-American mayor."
For the last eight years, we also made history by having the "first Gate Petroleum executive mayor."
Before that, we had "the first mayor from the Beaches."
Before that, we had "the first former state attorney and also former public defender mayor."
And, of course, if Audrey Moran had been elected we would have had "the first woman mayor."
Seems like we have made a lot of history in the past 20 years and will do so every time we elect a mayor.
On some civilized planet, they probably are saying, "What is the MATTER with those people? What possible difference could a person's skin pigmentation make in his job performance?"

Balancing act

There are still people arguing for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Many of them are conservatives.
I don't get it. No one has proposed an actual amendment, including the all-important wording.
The only amendment I can conceive of that would make any sense would be "Congress may not pass a budget in which expenditures exceed revenues."
That would be a disaster.
It would be an open invitation for politicians to spend whatever they want and raise taxes to meet it, justifying their actions by saying, "The Constitution requires us to raise taxes."
Let's think this out before we press on.
Meanwhile, if anyone wants to amend the Constitution, how about one that says, "Public employees may not belong to unions."
That one has my vote, and it might make the need for a balanced budget amendment unnecessary.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Utopia isn't here yet

Liberals are all aglow about Alvin Brown being elected mayor. Predictably, they are playing the race card, as if electing someone with slightly darker skin than his opponent is a big deal in the 21st century.
What it actually means for poor black people is higher taxes, which means less money to spend on their families. That's one reason liberals try to keep them poor and uneducated on the liberal plantation.
Many who voted for Brown probably think that the higher taxes Brown will seek will be paid by rich white people.
Many of those voters probably are renters. Renters pay property taxes.
They pay them in their rent, and they pay them when they buy goods from local businesses.
Naturally, they are not taught such basic economic facts in school. They are lucky if they can even read or write when they leave the government schools.
Now, the City Council may not approve higher taxes. There is no reason to and there are conservatives on the council.
That is why it was ridiculous for pundits to get into a snit about Mike Hogan pledging not to ask for higher taxes. The council sets the taxes and it can do so, or not do so, no matter what the mayor wants.
The happiest people are the liberal fat cats who hope to get handouts in one form or another from City Hall. Their chances are greatly increased with a liberal Democrat as mayor.
By shifting costs from themselves to the poor, they come out ahead, again.
The idea that it means a great new boost for downtown also is bogus. City officials have lavished money on downtown Jacksonville since the 1950s and downtown in no way resembles the downtown of the past, but still the plea for more money goes on.
After the grandiose new courthouse is completed, there is really little the city government needs to do. The private sector will continue to lead in downtown redevelopment, when it is warranted.
I see no reason to expect any noticeable improvement, and some reason to expect a worse situation for those who can least afford it, as a result of the election.
But like those who voted for the incumbent president, and are unemployed as a result, they may never make the connection.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Birther pains

I wish birthers would get off it, and focus on electing a new president next year.
Not only is it a waste of time -- Barack Obama was born in Hawaii -- but they take away attention that should be on the loony left "truthers" who think George Bush and the CIA blew up the twin towers.
The latest kerfuffle is about the birth certificate. But it is not evidence of anything.
If you are not going to believe a birth certificate, newspaper accounts and the word of people who knew the parents and claim they saw baby Obama, then what?
Diehards say they have to make sure he meets the qualifications in the Constitution.
Sure, but what if he does not?
Do they seriously think that the Senate is going to remove him from office, even if he were impeached by the House?
Do they think the Supreme Court is going to declare a four-year-old election invalid?
Do they think the megalomaniac is going to resign? 
The best course is to vote him out of office and try to undo the damage he has done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Worst case scenario

Inevitably, the market will make adjustments and overcome the obstacles and hurdles put into place by the federal government.
It always does. Recessions, on average, last about nine months. Government intervention usually is too late, or makes it worse, which has been the case since the current recession began.
If recovery happens before November 2012, liberals nevertheless will claim that their harmful policies of wasteful spending, bailouts and inflation are responsible for the recovery, rather than the reasons it took so long.
Thousands of Americans who have not been educated about how our economic system works, and either are unable or unwilling to learn for themselves, will accept that claim and vote for more of the same.
If the current president is re-elected as a result, he will be freed from any concerns about the electorate and is certain to embark on a course of all-out socialism not seen since the 1930s.
With a conservative majority in Congress, the damage might be limited. If somehow Congress slips back into liberal hands, America is in deep trouble.
Therefore, all the current chattering about who can win against the incumbent is meaningless. If the economy remains in tatters, anyone can beat him. If it recovers, he wins.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What they don't teach

The government schools need help.
Here's how parents can help them.
Find out what your child is being taught. Check the textbooks. Ask the child what the teacher is saying.
If the child is being indoctrinated instead of educated, enroll the child in a private school or teach him at home.
Schools used to teach children to read and write. They used to teach the history of this country and how its economic system works.
Children also were taught that they should not kill. Or steal. That they should honor their parents. Today, that kind of teaching may be the one thing that would get a teacher fired.
One of the ways that schools indoctrinate students is to teach them liberalism.
It is standard practice to teach children of high school age that the political spectrum runs from "communism" on the left to "fascism" on the right. Thus, students believe, "right wing" or conservative means fascist.
This of course is liberal doctrine. It is also total nonsense.
For a thorough treatment of the subject, read Jonah Goldberg's well documented book Liberal Fascism, but even a basic knowledge of history or politics reveals that the political spectrum must be based on the amount of government because politics is all about government.
Therefore, the actual spectrum runs from totalitarian government to anarchy, or no government.
This is a more accurate version, although not necessarily drawn to scale:

Another fact: America is a capitalist nation and a republic, not a democracy.
But children in the government schools are taught that they live in a democracy. (So vote Democrat, get it?) They also are taught that being conservative -- that is, in favor of the government envisioned by the Founding Fathers, who also are disappearing from the textbooks -- is a far-out mode of thinking, tainted by the greed of capitalism. No mention of the overwhelming greed of the elites who rule in a collectivist society.
You need to know what your children are learning, unless you want them to grow up in a country far different than the one you were born into.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Change again?

In 2008, millions of college age students went to the polls having been indoctrinated in government schools and by the liberal media to think that if a black person wanted to be president, they must vote for him to show they were not racists.
Now that age bracket enjoys record unemployment, and they see the nation in debt and disarray.
They may very well have a different mindset when they vote for a president next year.
Democrats were smart. They ran someone who was not qualified, but had the requisite skin color.
Had Republicans realized the value of that asset, they might very well have found a well qualified person of African ancestry and might very well have won.
Next year, there are a number of well qualified conservative candidates who would serve the nation well in the White House. They have many different ethnic and racial backgrounds.
It would behoove GOP voters to choose well. Many more votes may be attuned to qualifications and leadership abilities this time, and if the best happens to have ethnic appeal -- for those voters who find that appealing -- they might have a winning combination.
It won't be easy because of our silly election system. It is way too long and gives way too much clout to people in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
But occasionally we muddle through and get a true leader. It happened in 1980 and it can happen again.

Why not the best?

Curious about the opposition to the candidate for mayor who clearly is the most experienced and knowledgeable, I asked a prominent Alvin Brown supporter what is wrong with Mike Hogan.
Hogan will set the city back, he said.
He surmises that Hogan would not do anything about the public employee pension fund obligations.
That's just nonsense. Hogan has plans to reduce pension costs in the long run and has made them public. It is Brown who has no plan.
Also, he fears that Hogan will eliminate the Human Relations Commission, as well as pare down the Children's Commission and Economic Development Commission.
The non-paid Human Relations Commission is a do-nothing body, as is the Commission on the Status of Women. Both of these liberal sandboxes are anachronisms and need to be eliminated, in my view. However, Hogan has never said he would eliminate them.
One problem with liberals is that no government bureaucracy is ever seen as temporary, no matter how temporary the problem they are created to address.
In 1803, the British created a civil service position for a lookout on the cliffs at Dover, watching daily for Napoleon's fleet. Napoleon died in 1821. The position was eliminated in 1945.
That's also how the so-called "business community" in Jacksonville thinks. They have been calling downtown redevelopment a problem for more than 50 years and for that entire time the city government has been spending oodles of time and money on the alleged problem. Today, downtown Jacksonville is in far better condition than most central cities throughout the nation but they remain fixated on the idea that it is in collapse and they persist in spending on fluff and stuff like roundabouts, which accomplish nothing.
Apparently they haven't noticed that the marketplace, in the meantime, has created newer, better "downtowns" such as the St. Johns Town Center, because that is what people want. The central city is merely where government offices are located and increasingly people are able to use the Internet and satellite offices to avoid going downtown.
The real business community is out in the suburbs, doing its job without government largesse.
What Hogan needs to do for downtown is mothball the people mover, which is moving more money than people.
Liberals allege that Hogan would sell off precious park lands. Hogwash. Jacksonville has been on a land-buying binge that has increased taxes on property remaining on the tax roll. Hogan has said he might sell some land as a last resort, but not any that has environmental value.
Hogan also should ignore liberal complaints that he is ducking debates. Of 20 forums before the primary, Hogan attended 11 (six were skipped because of schedule conflicts). Brown attended only 7. Who's ducking?
Brown supporters complain that Hogan supported a revenue cap as a member of the Tax and Budget Reform Commission.
True. So did Gov. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, then the House speaker. It was a way of protecting taxpayers by limiting local governments to how much they could soak the taxpayer -- if voters approved. It would not have affected Jacksonville, which has never approached the proposed limit.
Brown supporters and other liberals, including the morning newspaper -- which has supported the liberal candidate for governor and mayor now -- simply want to have the ability to raise taxes ad infinitum.
Hogan prefers another approach. Help the local economy grow, which will produce jobs, wealth and higher tax revenues, without penalizing those who have lived here all their lives.
For example, Hogan wants to help develop the port, which is a major engine of the local economy. He wants to help people get jobs, in spite of the federal policies that hamper growth.
Hogan speaks in specifics, and has the experience. Brown is a novice who talks in platitudes.
Liberals are grasping at straws and spreading untruths in their desperation.
As he tries to help modernize Jacksonville, Hogan probably will shake up a lot of people who are used to business as usual.
Good. We haven't had any new ideas since consolidation, more than 40 years ago. It is time for a fresh approach, just like we are getting in Tallahassee.
Is it a fatal error for Hogan not to grovel before the kingmakers?
When Jake Godbold ran for mayor he didn't kiss up to the fat cats, he lambasted them. He also won.