Picture 2

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Mar 27, 2014

Constitution Protects "Religious Kooks"

This is a recent comment on Freedom of Religion by a typically tolerant liberal: “You should be thrilled if you religious kooks are afforded any freedom whatsoever, after all the atrocities and crimes you've been responsible for.”

The Bill of Rights contains Freedom of Religion. It specifically includes all of us religious kooks. By the way, I go to church once a year for Easter. Does that make me a religious kook, or is it my tolerance of other folks' religious beliefs that is the problem? Further, these rights are not from the government, according to the Declaration of Independence. They are God given rights. Where in the Constitution is a woman's right to free contraceptives? Where in the Constitution does it say that Freedom of Religion requires that the government approve of an individual's religious beliefs before he or she has any rights? 

Free Market Best Way to Unravel Obamacare

Recently, Byron York wrote a piece on the difficulties of unwinding Obamacare.  I think the free market can easily adjust to Obamacare repeal.  I believe ACA repeal should be coupled with regulations that open the market for both medical insurance and medical care. The Republican consensus seems to be an interstate insurance market, tort reform, high risk pools and making private medical insurance payments deductible to individuals. We also need to require transparent pricing from healthcare providers. By transparent pricing, I mean that the hospitals and doctors need to publish price lists showing at least the asking price for common procedures. This would allow healthcare consumers to shop around. All of these feature together would bring beneficial changes very quickly. They should be implemented cold turkey, with no bureaucratic "transition period" which would likely be extended indefinitely. I think the speed with which the mess will be cleaned up will be a pleasant surprise. 

Is There a Constitutional Right to Free Contraceptives?

Freedom of Religion is in the Bill of Rights.  Every woman's right to free contraception is not.  It's not even a penumbra.  The pills we are talking about are relatively cheap.  Why can't Sandra Fluke buy her own contraception?  I think the real issue here is the Liberal/Progressive Democrat Party's desire for absolute governmental power.  This article gives the real motive away by making a slippery slope argument that once businesses can resist government orders on religious grounds, there's no end to the other government orders that might be resisted.  Sandra Fluke wants everyone to be forced to do the government's bidding no matter how arbitrary the rules are and no matter how often and capriciously they change.  Just to be totally clear, there is no desire on the part of the businesses involved to outlaw contraception.  They just don't want to have to pay for it.  If people think free contraception is a desirable outcome, they can set up charities to fund it.  Why does government coercion have come into the picture?  It's clear to me that private enterprise is a check on government power, and that's why enforcing arbitrary regulations is so important to Sandra Fluke and friends.  They want an all-powerful government. 

I don't understand why the government has to force businesses to pay for things. If government wants women to have free contraception, the government should pay for it directly. If the government chooses not to pay for contraception, then private charities can be organized to do this. Contraceptives are available for purchase legally at every corner drugstore. The folks who are forcing things down throats are the Big Government Democrats trying to coerce others to pay for things because the Feds are too broke to buy it themselves. Nobody is advocating making contraception illegal. The argument is about who has to pay. 

The left wants to claim more and more power for the central government. They will lie, cheat and steal to achieve their goal. Contraception is cheap and available at every corner drugstore. Why is the contraception mandate the only thing our Dear Leader won't change about Obamacare?  The reason is the left wants unquestioned obedience to government edicts. The level of outrage liberals are expressing towards religion in particular and diverse beliefs in general, is a measure of how badly they want to crush any resistance to any government edict. I think they object to the resistance to government edicts much more than to the specifics of this case. This is about removing any private organizational checks on the exercise of governmental power. The specifics are just a smokescreen. 

Mar 21, 2014

Sochi Olympics Was a Cover Story for Crimea Invasion Preparations

This invasion was planned way in advance. Ironically, all that Russian bragging about how there were 40,000 troops guarding Sochi for the Olympics shows that Sochi was the cover story for concentrating Russian troops within striking distance of the Crimea. I remember several comments on military sites and also in the TV coverage that the Russians were over reacting and 10,000 should have been enough. It's possible that the Russians advanced Sochi as a site in the first place with a Crimean invasion in mind. Remember, Putin is a chess player who thinks many moves ahead. The One We Weren't Really Waiting For doesn't even think about his next move. The Community Organizer in Chief makes it up as he goes along. Our Dear Leader is sending food rations to the Ukraine so as not to upset Putin. LOL. Welcome to the second coming of Jimmy Carter. 

Mar 16, 2014

Mess in the Ukraine, Global Implications

War weary commentators of the left and right are arguing that the Ukraine is not our problem.  In disagreement with any contrary argument, these folks like to ask whether the holders of opposing viewpoints are willing to be on the front lines personally.  I think they are completely wrong.  Remember that NATO now includes Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The first 3 are Baltic States that used to be part of the USSR and might be next on Putin's list of targets. We made a commitment to the Ukraine to guarantee its territorial integrity in exchange for Ukrainians giving up their Soviet era nuclear weapons. If we ignore our commitment, we will need to quickly move a large number of US and NATO aircraft to Poland, because at that point Putin will really be tempted to grab the Baltic States. Regardless, just letting the Ukraine be cut up will make countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel wonder about our commitment to them. This could start a general, probably nuclear, war in the Middle East brought on by Iran's unchecked move towards making their own nuclear weapons. So enjoy playing games with who's going to get shot at. And get some popcorn, because the show is only just beginning. 

I think the best possible response to Putin would be to withdraw from the New START disarmament treaty now in effect with Russia. It is a unilateral step that the president can take immediately. Unfortunately, the One We Weren't Really Waiting For will not do this. As I said before, another thing we could do is start moving a significant number of US and NATO aircraft to Poland and the Baltic States. Our Dear Leader won't do that either. Our Smartest President Ever will at best tell Putin that the Ukrainian border is a red line he should not cross. Most likely, our Community Organizer in Chief will warn Putin that Russia risks condemnation from the whole international community and all Citizens of the World if he grabs any more Ukrainian territory. I feel sorry for the Ukrainian people. They lost the last US election and will have to pay for it even though they didn't get to vote.

Give US Army a Better Air Force

The Pentagon Budget assumes retirement of all of our best ground support aircraft, the A-10 "Warthog." As an Air Force vet, I have a solution to the A-10 "Warthog" problem. Give them to the US Army. They really want to keep "Warthogs" and would cut something else to keep them. The Air Force has never liked dedicating airplanes and pilots to the single purpose of tactical air support. The key is the plane is low tech. That means it's relatively cheap to maintain, but not the "dual capable" holy grail of USAF desire. The Army lost almost all of its aircraft in a deal in 1948 that gave the newly established Air Force all current and future fixed wing aircraft. Currently, the Army can only operate helicopters as attack aircraft. But helicopters are a lot less capable and a lot more expensive to operate than "Warthogs." Congress should revoke the 1948 deal and give all the A-10 aircraft to the US Army.  The Army should also be allowed to buy other fixed wing ground attack aircraft as needed in the future.

Affordable Care Act Not Affordable & Liberals Don't Care

The commentators of the Pravda Press are wondering where all their support from Millenials went.  It seems obvious to me.  Liberals are running a Ponzi scheme, borrowing today so the Millennials will have to pay later.  Pension and social spending promises are unsustainable, and can't continue at current levels when the Millenials try to collect.  Our Dear Leader has added $4.8 trillion in total Federal debt in just one term and is on pace to easily beat Bush's $6 trillion in 2 terms.  The suburbs of Washington, DC, contain 11 of the 25 richest counties in America.  So it looks like Federal spending in DC is making a lot of government workers and their connections a large part of the 1%.   Meanwhile, Millenials like my son in law take 2-3 years to find a job that uses their law degrees.   So how is the Pravda Press going to convince Millenials that Liberal Economies work better for everyone, not just the politically connected 1%?

Reality does not seem to be involved in the MSNBC world.  The Left's strategy of trying to run healthcare has totally failed, and alienated a lot of Millenials now without affordable health insurance.  The Affordable Care Act is not affordable and Liberals don't care.

How Much Government is Enough?

The Republican slogan for the 2014 election should be a repeated question that Democrats can't answer: "How much government is enough?" It summarizes our position and at the same time focuses the increasing mistrust voters have for ever bigger government. It should be on bumper stickers and buttons. It should be the first thing every Republican candidate says in their stump speech. It should be our first talking point for every media appearance. It should be everywhere the Democrats and their Pravda Press friends don't want it to be. From this starting point, it is easy to say Democrats want big government so much they lied through their teeth to get control of healthcare. The Affordable Healthcare Act is not affordable and liberals don't care. All of our other issues come back to the ever increasing size and power of government. The reason our economy is a mess is that the government is borrowing, taxing and regulating too much. Let's talk about the 1%. Eleven of the 25 richest counties in the US are Washington, DC, suburbs. Further government expansion will just impoverish the rest of the country and concentrate more of the 1% around DC.

I made this comment to this article.

Another commenter made the further suggestion that we should be spray painting it on walls, just to make sure everyone got the message.

Mar 3, 2014

Ukraine 2014 and Sudetenland 1938

The Crimea may not be Poland, but it really looks and sounds like the Sudetenland in 1938. Putin is even talking about defending people who speak his language just like Hitler did. The Sudetenland problem was settled by a German occupation army seizing all of Czechoslovakia. While I don't think we have much of a military option, Our Smartest President ever has to do something more than suspend preparations for the G-8 summit in Sochi. The Magnitsky Act of 2012 would allow the expansion of the list of Putin backers with frozen assets and canceled visas, just for starters. We should also be actively investigating the financial dealings of Russian government officials with an eye towards revealing embarrassing details that name names. Since personally targeted sanctions would have little effect on European economies, they would be likely to cooperate as well. Talking big and carrying a twig is just going to encourage Putin and other lesser thugs to grab whatever they want. 

Mar 1, 2014

We HAVE to Close Ranks After the Primaries

I hope that the total lawlessness of our Dear Leader is remembered in November. The Republican establishment and tea party folks can fight all they want in the primaries. Once we have a nominee, whether we voted for the candidate or not, we HAVE to turn out and vote Republican in November. If we don't have Republican majorities in the House AND Senate, we have absolutely no chance to enact any of our agenda. Even a RINO is a sure vote against Obamacare. Any Democrat, no matter how "conservative" he tries to be during the election, is a sure vote for whatever Harry Reid and the Community Organizer in Chief cook up next. I we control both the House and Senate, we can pass a budget and appropriation bills in the normal order. The Smartest President Ever would then have to veto the bills to stop them. Again, even RINOs will vote for a much tighter budget than any Democrat, no matter what the Democrat promises to get elected, period. Conservatives sitting out the election in November because their candidate didn't get nominated are, in effect, voting for further mischief from The One We Weren't Really Waiting For.

I share the frustration that many conservatives have with GOP leadership. But during primaries is the time to have the argument. Once the candidate is nominated, I become a "Spot the Dog" Republican. I will vote for Spot the Dog if he has an R next to his name. I do this because our country's situation is becoming critical. If our Dear Leader gets away with ruling without Congress, the country becomes an elected dictatorship at best. Our Dear Leader and his friends have circumvented almost all of the checks and balances originally in the Constitution. The Pravda Press excuses this behavior with discussion about the meaning of "shall" in the Obamacare law. This has to be stopped as soon as possible, before we reach a point of no return. So even if the GOP candidate is not to my taste on a lot of issues, I vote for him because a Republican Congress is the only mechanism available to put a stop to creeping dictatorship before it's too late. We have to hang together because if we don't, we'll hang separately. 

Settled Science = Oxymoron

Progressive Liberals like to say that man made global warming is "settled science."  "Settled science" is an oxymoron. Scientific theory is always open to change due to new experimental results. Global Warming's scientific foundation is rotten to the core. The raw, unadjusted, data supporting the initial "hockey stick" graph of global temperature was "accidentally" erased. Only the "adjusted" data remains. This is the scientific equivalent of the dog ate my homework. Models predicting global warming have a uniformly dismal record in predicting future temperature averages in the real world. Global Warming is a cult, not a scientific result.

Remember that the original climate hockey stick work depended on raw data that was "accidentally" erased. To this ignorant red neck, that sounds like the scientific equivalent of the dog ate my homework. As someone with a little bit of statistics training, I have always been amazed that climate scientists are willing to use less than 150 years of rigorous temperature records and proxies for earlier observations to predict temperature patterns that unfold over thousands and tens of thousands of years. For just one example, look up the patterns of Lake Missoula glacial floods over time. During a 2000 year period between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, ice dams would build up a huge amount of water, then burst. Geological evidence indicates that this happened at least 25 times. Missoula is a town of about 45,000 people today. There is no lake. (I used to live in Missoula.) It's clear that temperatures varied widely over the period of time before man was a factor. Anthropomorphic global warming has always struck me as extreme hubris. 

Mean Greens want to prohibit the use of petroleum products and natural gas.  However, we can't go back to whale oil lamps, as you might suggest, because we have to save the whales. Animal tallow lamps offend animal rights folks in PETA, so they are out. I think the only solution is a banner I saw on a college dorm window years ago. It said, "US OUT of North America."