"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scariest Thing I Saw as a Child

In honor of Halloween, I was thinking back to my earliest memory of my life - the first time I went trick or treating. I was dressed as a farmer. Thirteen months old. I had a hat and overalls on, and possibly some type of prop which I carried. A rake maybe? Anyway, my babysitter took me to a few houses to knock on doors for candy. But that's not why I remember it. I remember it because it had been raining heavily that day, and a car full of teenagers drove by, splashing a huge puddle of water from the street to where I was standing. Needless to say, I got soaked from head to toe. Being just thirteen months old, it must have felt like a tsunami hit me. I'm pretty sure I cried and that was the end of trick or treating for the night. They say very few people can remember much before their second or third birthday, but I will always remember being drenched by cruel teenagers on a dark, rainy Halloween night dressed as a farmer.

But the scariest thing I remember as a child has nothing to do with Halloween. It has to do with the movies. I remember sitting in the theater watching the most horrifying visual I could ever imagine. So disturbing was this image, I couldn't wrap my head around it. I just knew it freaked me out. This image was so visceral, so iconic, I'm sure almost everyone is familiar with it. It's the camera shot of blood pouring out of an elevator and flooding the lobby from The Shining.

No, my parents weren't so thoughtless as to take me to see The Shining as a child. It was a trailer for the movie which ran before whatever movie they felt was appropriate for me to see. The Shining was not appropriate, although I stayed up late a few years later to catch it on HBO. But it was the trailer itself that scared the bejesus out of me, perhaps the greatest movie trailer ever made. Stanley Kubrick made a lot of uneven films, but when he was at the top of his game, he was a twisted genius. The schizophrenic music is pure artistry. It still makes my skin crawl, not as much as watching Pelosi's botox facial tics, but certainly a close second.

So in honor of Halloween some 30 years later, I've posted the original trailer for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Not nearly as effective on the small screen, but still a classic. Enjoy and have a safe weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Government as Goldilocks: If It Ain't Just Right, Tax It

The more Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and select Democrats meet behind closed doors to formulate their partisan version of health care reform, the more it starts to look like the government's version of Goldilocks. If they don't think your private health insurance coverage is just right, they're going to penalize you for it. And what is "just right"? Whatever the government arbitrarily decides it is. In fact, they're going to penalize just about everybody outside of government, because one assumes only government can meet their high standards of colossal waste and inefficiency. Think of your neighborhood association times a hundred. Thus, the House's new bill on health care, along with the Baucus bill, are setting the standard for Big Brother's intrusion into our private lives with endless fines and regulations.

Let's examine the absurdity of the proposed legislation in a little more detail. If you don't have health insurance, you will be fined. If you don't have enough health insurance (according to the government's strict regulations), you will be required to pay more to cover things you don't need or be fined. If you have too much health insurance, your benefits will be taxed as part of your income.

Just like there's no such thing as a free lunch, there's no such thing as free health care. But not only is it not free, no one is free under these plans to make their own choices. ObamaCare appears to come with more strings attached than the $700 billion of TARP money, which you may have noticed last week, resulted in mandatory government-enacted salary cuts of 50 to 90 percent for employees at bailed out companies. Just wait until 50 to 90 percent of your health care treatment gets cut by some unelected bureaucrat based on the same rationale.

The attacks on the private sector don't stop there. If you're a small business who can't afford to provide health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a big business who doesn't provide enough health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a business who provides too much health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a private health insurance company that makes "too much" profit or spends "too much" on administrative costs, you will be fined. Somehow this all seems very bad for business. Good thing the stimulus bill created all those jobs, or I'd be worried about rising unemployment.

If you're a doctor or hospital, more of the medical devices you offer your patients will be taxed, from breast pumps to dialysis machines. When the government's taxing breast milk, suffice it to say we've moved well beyond the nanny state. In essence, the government will now own you.

Doctors who order "too many" tests will also be fined. Ten percent of doctors will be fined under this system every year, so there's no escaping the fine, even though tests are often ordered as a safeguard against medical malpractice lawsuits brought by trial lawyers (trial lawyers, of course, will not be fined). If you're a patient, you will end up paying more for everything as these expenses are passed down to the consumer.

If you're on Medicare, your benefits will be cut. If you're someone facing expensive treatment options or a possible terminal illness, you will be asked to take pain medicine and die quickly (Democrat Alan Grayson's favorite phrase) if the number of "quality years" you have left fails to meet the government standard.

If you're a state, you will be asked to pick up more of the tab for Medicaid, forcing state legislatures to make drastic cuts or raise taxes. And if you're a taxpayer, you will have less disposable income, less money to spend in your community and on your family.

The ObamaCare bills proposed so far can best be described as Government On Steroids, and the unintended consequences are just as dire. This is the beginning of a war against the autonomy of the individual. If ObamaCare passes, we will all be funding a new entitlement program doomed for bankruptcy, taxing ourselves to death while the big donors of the Democratic Party fleece America.







Medicare Recipients

Medical Device Manufacturers

Private Health Insurers

Those Without Insurance

Those With Not Enough Insurance

Those With Too Much Insurance

State Governments



Trial Lawyers


(all Democratic Party special interests... coincidence?)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Your Health is Important to Us, Please Stay on the Line

In Canada, it takes an average of six months to get an MRI. Here's what America's future may look like under ObamaCare (or as I like to call it, FauxbamaCare):

Too funny to not pass along. Hat tip:

Monday, October 26, 2009

President Pantywaist Gets Butch Makeover

When the New York Times runs a front page story bragging about what a masculine president Barack Obama is, complete with a photo of him in the midst of a jump shot, it immediately raises my suspicions. After all, this is President Pantywaist we're talking about. I've seen him bowl, attempt to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game, and ride a bicycle. None of these efforts could be described as great displays of testosterone. In fact, Hillary Clinton, pantsuit and all, has often appeared more masculine.

The New York Times, of course, disguises their bragging by pretending to raise the question of whether the president is ignoring some females in his administration by not including them in basketball games and golf outings. Seriously. That's the premise of the article. Would it even make the back page of your corporate newsletter? And yet the Times, the same newspaper that couldn't find any space to mention the Van Jones or Acorn scandals, has room to ask "Is the president too masculine?" on the front page of their Sunday edition.

Which disenfranchised females at the White House does the story quote, you ask? None. Okay. One. Communications Director Anita Dunn, but she defends the president from these accusations. Which is probably why I'm comfortable calling out this story as completely bogus. This is a planted piece of propaganda if I ever saw one. No wonder Emanuel and Axelrod are attacking Fox News. It's the only media outlet they can't manipulate into running PR pieces for their guy.

Don't believe me? Take a look at this dribble masquerading as news that tells us how butch we should think our president is:

"The president, after all, is an unabashed First Guy's Guy. Since being elected, he has demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of college hoops on ESPN, indulged a craving for weekend golf, expressed a preference for adopting a "big rambunctious dog" over a "girlie dog" and hoisted beer in a peacemaking effort.

He presides over a White House rife with fist-bumping young men who call each other "dude" and testosterone-brimming personalities like Rahm Emanuel, the often-profane chief of staff; Lawrence Summers, the brash economic adviser; and Robert Gibbs, the press secretary who habitually speaks in sports metaphors."

Beer. Check. Sports. Check. Rambunctious dog. Check. Why he's one of us! Barack Obama isn't the arugula eating, Whole Foods shopping, Ivy League elitist I thought he was. Don't you usually have to pay to run a commercial like this? Somebody pinch me and tell me which side of the iron curtain I'm living on.

Of course the proof that Emanuel and Axelrod are behind this memo comes in the second paragraph, when Rahm, the 5'6" tall former ballerina, is laughingly described as masculine. Talk about pushing their credibility. What's next? Ronnie Reagan, Jr. on the cover of Sports Illustrated? I certainly didn't realize that fist bumps and saying "dude" were a sign of manliness. I'll be sure to tell my twelve year old neighbor.

But in case you still have doubts, the Times gives away the ruse a couple of paragraphs later:
"In interviews, five women who work in the White House or advised officials there described the culture with more of a collective eye-roll than any real sense of grievance or discomfort."
In other words, it's much ado about nothing. We don't have a grievance, we don't even have a source for a quote. All we've got is women rolling their eyes about sports. Stop the press!

The poll numbers must look pretty bleak for the White House to start pretending Barack Obama is a cross between Roger Clemens and Larry Flynt. Democrats always face a gender gap, wooing more female voters than males. One can only guess that males are pulling away in droves having watched the president practice wiener diplomacy around the world, apologizing for America for everything, looking indecisive and uncommitted in Afghanistan, and basically giving concessions in return for nothing (see Iran, Russia). Even female voters generally prefer leaders who make them feel secure.

But it's not just conservatives and moderates who recognize Obama is a beta male. The far left is also getting impatient. They want President Obama to be more aggressive in pursuing his statist policies. They want him to ram through government-run health care no matter what, close Gitmo, pull completely out of Iraq and Afghanistan, penalize and redistribute the wealth of Wall Street, and yes, insult and demonize as many Republicans as possible like Rep. Alan Grayson. So classy, the Left.

So far the only thing Obama has provided for his nutroots base are endless campaign speeches and promises. In their opinion, Obama hasn't "manned up." In fact, that was the exact language used by Joe Queenen in an editorial today in the Wall Street Journal:
"Barack Obama, raised by a single mother, born with no discernible financial advantages, clocked Hillary Clinton, clocked John McCain, and got himself elected the first African-American president of the United States. He got himself elected in a country that was still lynching black people when he was a child. Barack Obama... doesn't need anyone telling him to man up. Especially visual op-ed columnists."
Seems like everyone is getting the butch memo from the White House these days, but Queenen is so slick he even works in the race card. As I've written before, the White House is going to make every issue and piece of legislation about Obama the Symbol, because his progressive policies aren't nearly as popular as he is. That's the thing about cults of personality. You have to keep feeding the legend of the personality.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Even More Cause for Alarm

It's been almost 60 days since General McChrystal presented his recommendations for winning the war in Afghanistan to President Obama. And while our troops wait breathlessly for "the new strategy," guess whose expertise the president is deferring to? (Hint: it's not the previous administration's, the one Cheney revealed they left behind earlier this week.)

“Let’s assume they left us a review that was absolutely correct. Is that review relevant and totally applicable to today in light of the changes that have taken place in the region, in Afghanistan itself? So I think that is sort of irrelevant. Not sort of – I think it’s irrelevant.
"That’s why the president asked me to get in the place in January and go to Afghanistan. I came back with a different review. I came back with an assessment as to what I thought was, what we were inheriting, okay?...

He has sought my opinion not generically but in detail. And if he reaches a different conclusion than I do, that's okay. He's the president. But, I am... Anyway, I guess that's the best way to answer the question."

Who is this expert? A military strategist or a general perhaps? Only if you refer to him as General Knowledge (and even that's mostly in his own mind.) That's right, the man who wanted to divide Iraq into three separate nations, the bumbling mouthpiece who accidentally disclosed the hidden bunker at Number One Observatory Circle, our current vice-president.

Rest easy. No one messes with Joe.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is Obama the New Nixon?

If you're the POTUS and you have two wars on your hands, one going worse than the day you took office; if your economic policies are failing by every objective measure; if unemployment is approaching 14% in some states; if small businesses are closing in record numbers; if the dollar is weakening while energy prices are on the rise; if you are awarded a Nobel Peace prize for doing nothing; if independents are fleeing you in droves and your poll numbers are shrinking; if you have failed to live up to even one of your campaign promises, then you might be tempted to solve the problems you can't solve by silencing your critics. So until we get a "Fairness Doctrine", Obama's thugs are on the job. Barack the Magnificent may not be adding any troops to Afghanistan, but the commander-in-chicanery has deployed the heavy hitters to kill the messenger - Fox News.

On Sunday, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel hit the talk show circuit to make the claim that Fox News isn't a "legitimate" news organization. That's right. The founder of a PR firm famous for astroturfing (or fake grassroots campaigns) and the Democrats' most partisan attack dog (who is nicknamed "Rahmbo") went out to lecture news organizations on what real news was supposed to look like. This is akin to the "balloon boy's" family lecturing the PTA on proper parenting or Wolf Blitzer giving Alex Trebek pointers on Jeopardy! It's like if the cast of MTV's Real World taught classes on how to actually live in the real world.

The New York Times, liberal paper of record, issues a retraction almost every week, often after running front page stories with false information. Last year, they falsely reported that GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin belonged to an Alaskan political party that advocated secession from the union. Earlier this summer, they ran images supposedly capturing the housing bust that were clearly doctored and manipulated. And of course, just last month they apologized for failing to write one word about the ACORN scandals until Congress took action against the organization. I have yet to hear anyone call them out as illegitimate.

The New York Times is hardly alone. We all remember Dan Rather's phony report on CBS in 2004 in which he presented forged National Guard documents questioning George W. Bush's service. The failure to authenticate the memos ended up costing Rather and his producer their jobs. Certain anchors on NBC have responded to Obama with all the objectivity of a chill up their leg. And just last week, CNN (among others) had to retract stories in which they attributed fake racist quotes to Rush Limbaugh in an effort to smear his bid for an NFL franchise. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Given these facts and given the number of pundits from both sides of the aisle willing to appear on Fox, it would seem that Fox News is a more legitimate news organization than the very ones which Axelrod and Emanuel chose to appear. That's not surprising, because we all know that Obama and company don't really want fair news coverage. They want a media that they can cajole into mimicking their talking points and intimidate into ignoring stories that might be negative to the White House - a la Van Jones and ACORN.

Greta Van Susteren has been one of the fairer interviewers in all of cable news for the past couple of years, but don't take my word for it. Hillary Clinton said the same thing. On last night's show (yes, on Fox) Greta questioned Senator Lamar Alexander (who worked with Nixon) and Susan Estrich (liberal Democrat and former Dukakis campaign manager) about the White House's sudden desire to go to war with the free press. The Alexander interview is first, followed by Susan, who makes some of the best points of the evening. Why aren't other news organizations standing up for Fox in the name of free speech? Are they willing to take marching orders from the president about which stories they should cover? If so, what does that say about our ability to shed light on the truth and to make our government transparent?

Someone cue Frost/Nixon and tell Opie that he made his film a year too soon. Now we can finally start to compare our current president's tactics with those of the other commander-in-chicanery.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Krauthammer Goes Off on Fox's Critics

Sometimes someone else says it better than you can. This from Charles Krauthammer on last night's All Stars:

Look, the great sin of Fox News is it broke the monopoly of the liberal media.

That's the reason why it is so wildly successful. I once said years ago that the genius of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch is to have discovered a niche audience of American broadcast news, namely, half of the American people.

And the other consequence is that it angers the Obama administration, which is used to, particularly after last year, wall-to-wall adulation.

I mean, this is almost comical if you look at the lineup. On the one hand, in the tank are NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, CNN and MSNBC. Some of these like MSNBC are so in the tank they need scuba gear. Some of them occasionally emerge for a breath of air, but only occasionally. And Fox stands up and refuses to bend a knee, and that's what they can't stand.

Look, CNN was patted on the head by the Obama administration as objective. CNN is an organization that a few weeks ago had a fact-checking on a "Saturday Night Live" skit that was mildly critical of Obama, but did no fact checking on wildly, grotesquely, libelous racist statements allegedly made by Rush Limbaugh which were not made by Rush Limbaugh.

…That's not a matter of sloppiness. That's a matter of ideology.

Very funny, Charles, and on point. I'm taking notes. Always learn from the masters.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rush and the Left: E Pluribus Unum

Last week a megalomaniac in Colorado launched a balloon and called 911, claiming his six year old son had climbed inside. We all know now it was a hoax, and the media helped sensationalize it every step of the way. But that was hardly the biggest hoax that the media perpetuated last week. In fact, it was nothing compared to the fraudulent charges that so-called news organizations launched against talk show host Rush Limbaugh for simply seeking to buy an NFL franchise.

Rush Limbaugh, of course, is not the most popular person in the world. The way he presents the conservative case, though usually accurate and always entertaining, can be abrasive and off-putting to some, even conservatives on occasion. But you don't have to agree with Rush to come to his defense when the media attacks his character based on unsubstantiated allegations and false charges. That's what occurred last week when CNN, MSNDNC, and dozens of pundits started making up racist quotes that Rush Limbaugh never uttered.

Think about that. The media took on a mob mentality, making up facts to stop an American citizen from completing a private transaction in the free market. That's the stuff of authoritarian regimes and Pravda. It's banana republic in nature, showing a complete disregard for truth, justice, and reason. It's the exact type of abhorrent behavior that the Left accused the Bush administration of despite the facts in the Valerie Plame case. Now we see that the Left was merely projecting how they would use their own power.

Rush has been on the air for 15 hours a week, almost every week, for the last twenty years. In the age of YouTube, with all that audiotape, they couldn't find any evidence of incendiary, racist remarks to back up their claim that Rush was a bigot. So they made them up. Or they took quotes out of context where Rush was clearly being sarcastic. In one case he was quoting a liberal columnist.

But perhaps the worst part of all this is that no one in the media has expressed shame over their coverage. Even the retractions and apologies have been snarky. They may have missed the exact quote or even made it up, but still in their minds that doesn't prove that Rush isn't racist. In today's poor state of journalism, if the truth doesn't back up their agenda, the truth falls by the wayside.

These are dark days for America, brought to you by the most intolerant people our nation has produced - progressive Democrats. I don't think I'm understating that fact. I have never seen an angrier, more cowardly bunch than the progressive thought police. They undermine our freedom to act as individuals every step of the way, attacking not our ideas, but the very essence of our being. Disagree with their limited world view and you will be demonized, often labeled a racist, divisive, or an ignorant bigot.

The Left orchestrated a smear campaign against Rush, because they disagreed with him. Rather than debate his views point for point, they attacked him personally. They actively set out to destroy his pursuits outside of politics, to ruin him for his audacity to speak his mind. If it can happen to Rush, it can happen to anyone who finds themselves speaking truth to power. The Left's goal is to intimidate all conservatives into silence, not to debate but to suppress debate.

This runs completely contrary to the founding of this nation, but that's no surprise given the Left's hostility to America's founding principles. These people would shred the Constitution tomorrow if they could get away with it, because it's the only thing that prevents them from establishing a government that controls which rights are granted to the people, as opposed to a state where people grant power to the government.

If there's a phrase that best describes the democratic foundation of our country, it's "E Pluribus Unum," a latin inscription that means "Out of many, one." It's been a part of our national fabric since the founding, a motto that appears on the official seal of the United States as well as all of our coins.

Out of many, one. We are one nation made up of many ideas, many backgrounds, many religions, and many political persuasions. We don't agree on everything, but we elect a government that represents all of us, takes all differing opinions into account. We don't demonize those that disagree with us. We don't try to punish those that don't share our views. We take our debate to the open floor. We honor the traditions of this country and we make adjustments slowly after lengthy debate. America is a marketplace of ideas, and may the best ideas win.

E Pluribus Unum. This ideal is why we have succeeded like no other nation before us. It is the call to accept others, to work with others, to value individuals for their contributions to society rather than walk over individuals for fear their contributions may run counter to society.

Unfortunately, the Far Left in this country, the Obama administration, and to some extent the Democratic Party in general, no longer holds this to be true. We are supposed to be of one single mindset - to support the president as he passes his progressive agenda. Dissent and risk being called out as racist, homophobic, a hate monger, un-American, or standing in the way of progress. You will be vilified. Your motives will be questioned. For a political ideology so focused on diversity, progressives sure seem to have a problem with diverse points of view.

You might say the Democratic Party believes the motto reads backwards, "Out of one, many." They believe we are one collective, where the rights of the individual are infringed upon in the name of "the greater good." To defend the rights of many individuals is to break from the necessary conformity the Left desires to attain their collective Utopian vision. When the Left refers to the many, they refer only to the cosmetic ethnic makeup of the country. They don't wish to celebrate America as a whole. Instead they divide it up so that there's a celebration for black America, a celebration for gay America, a celebration for Islam or Jewish America. They fragment us and pit us against each other, try to make us envy one another, in the hopes we'll be too distracted to notice the loss of our liberties, negotiated behind closed doors.

So the Left pits minorities against Rush Limbaugh, organized by race-baiters like Al Sharpton. The Left pits a Van Jones or Anita Dunn against Glenn Beck. The leftist administration pits the media that they can influence, the media in line to receive huge amounts of money from the government (like General Electric, owner of NBC) against the independent-minded Fox News. They pit unions against tea party protesters. All of it is orchestrated from the highest levels of the left wing machine, whether it's Rahm Emanuel, the Center for American Progress, or MoveOn.org. If you don't believe me, just take a look at this video where Juan Williams, a liberal Democrat, starts to wake up to the truth behind the politics of personal destruction as left wing attack dogs try to paint him as "a house n**ger." Remind me again why conservatives are considered the divisive ones.

First they came for the banks. Then they came for the insurance companies. Then they came for Rush and Glenn Beck and Fox News. How long do you want to wait to stand up before they come after you?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Set DVRs to Torture: Super Horrific Health Care Hour Returns

In case you're a masochist who missed it the first time, or maybe you're interrogating someone (clearly not at Gitmo) and need to create intense emotional distress, there's good news for you on cable tonight. Keith Olbermann will be rerunning his hour long special commentary on health care reform, perhaps the biggest waste of airtime in television history. On a similar note, the National Geographic Channel will air the 1986 live TV special of Geraldo unveiling The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault.

Should you care to catch the "encore presentation" (talk about bastardizing a phrase) of Keith Olbermann's Super Horrific Health Care Hour - an hour of liberal nonsense, tortured logic, unrelated personal anecdotes, and Charles Dickens references - you'll note the MSNDNC host actually makes a tiny amount of sense when he asks for donations at the end of the show (no, not for his show, though with MSNDNC's ratings they could sure use them). Keith wraps up the hour by encouraging viewers to donate to the NAFC, a group that provides free health clinics around the country.

That's right, Keith accidentally shoots his own argument in the foot once again. Free clinics that rely on donations and volunteers are the exact type of health care programs that conservatives support. It's not a transfer of wealth to the government. It doesn't unconstitutionally force Americans to buy a particular product. It doesn't increase taxes or force gross new regulations on insurance companies causing premiums to go up. It doesn't limit the treatment one patient can receive in order to pay for the treatment of another patient with a "more curable" disease. It doesn't create an unsustainable entitlement program forever plunging the nation into debt. In fact, this is a win-win situation for the entire nation.

How Olbermoron comes to believe that supporting this program will somehow prove that the government can do a better job by attempting to provide the same service for everybody in the entire country AND reduce the deficit is not something he explains. Probably because he can't. Needless to say, I agree with Keith (and that's not something I've ever said before) that this non-profit organization deserves our support.

There's a big difference between encouraging people to give their time and money to help others (think Mother Theresa) and confiscating wealth by force to establish government agents with the power to control who gets help (think Hugo Chavez). Socialized medicine pushes the latter under the guise of the former. That's why progressivism is such a poisonous ideology. It uses people's desire to do good and help others in order to gain control over citizens lives, a point that statists like Olbermoron never seem to grasp.

To donate to the National Association of Free Clinics as a conservative and possibly make Keith's head explode, go here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stimulus Dollars for Saunas (model not included)

There's no denying saunas can be stimulating. But stimulus dollars for saunas? Sadly, but not surprisingly, our tax dollars are now being used to build saunas. So if you know one of the millions of people of Scandinavian descent lucky enough to work in the sauna industry, rest easy. The government is committed to saving their jobs. This, according to the recovery.gov website:




It's true these saunas are for the air force, and I'm usually the last person to criticize our troops. After all, we all want to provide the men and women who serve this country with world class amenities. But Hill Air Force Base just built a brand new, state-of-the-art recreation center with a rock climbing wall, a child care center, and saunas in 2006. That was less than three years ago. Spending three-quarters of a million of taxpayer dollars during a recession for more hot rocks seems frivolous to say the least. Besides, without world class models like Svetlana, pictured above, what's the point? And why not request this in an appropriations bill? It's hardly a project that will create many jobs, the supposed aim of the stimulus.

Not that it matters. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. the stimulus bill) is a boondoggle that commits money to all sorts of pet projects that have nothing to do with jobs, which is one reason why unemployment is about to reach 10% nationally (and could hit 15% in some states).

While the Democrats have been busy "stimulating our economy" with such frivolous investments as hiking paths, frisbee golf courses, turtle tunnels, and yes, even saunas, the rest of the world that didn't follow our lead into debt is climbing out of the global recession. Asia just experienced their best month of retail sales in 14 months. Australia and Germany are looking at robust GDP growth for the second straight quarter. In the meantime, our economy remains stagnant, burdened by increasing and unsustainable debt. In fact, a new report shows that America will soon have the seventh highest amount of debt relative to GDP of any nation. Turns out Obama does believe in making us exceptional at something after all. Look out, Zimbabwe, we're gaining on you!

Everyone but the Sheila Jackson Lees of the Democratic party know that Cash for Clunkers was an abysmal failure, triggering an artificial boost in auto sales at the expense of long-term, market adjusted growth. Witness the 23% decrease in car sales the month after the program ended, not to mention all the other retail businesses that lost out on August customers while everyone was encouraged to buy tiny Japanese cars. And we all know what a boost selling tiny Japanese cars does for America.

But that's chump change compared to the Democrats' stimulus bill. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is basically a trillion dollar Cash for Clunkers, an attempt to spend our way out of too much spending. As a result, the private sector has shrunk at the expense of Big Government. Companies with long term viability and a solid foundation of capital are suddenly losing out to failing companies on the receiving end of bailouts or those with close political ties. As the anemic results of the stimulus trickle in, we see profitable companies facing increased regulation and higher taxes to prop up companies that have an "in" with the feds. The companies being propped up by stimulus money are draining resources away from those who can compete on their own merits.

This country was founded as a meritocracy, but it is quickly becoming an Obamacracy, where the government, and in particular the Left, picks winners and losers. ACORN, for instance, received a million dollar grant for fire prevention awareness, beating out actual fire stations. Many recipients of stimulus dollars have received contracts based merely on their skin color. These minority-owned businesses may not offer the best services or the lowest bids, but the government awards them cash based on laws that require "diversity." Rockwood Contractors is one such company, located in California, but being awarded the sauna contracts in Utah, not to mention construction projects at air force bases in North Dakota and Texas.

Diversity is hardly a worthwhile goal if we have to inhibit the liberties of others to achieve it, if we punish successful proprietors to support the ones we feel have the right "cosmetic look". Diversity shouldn't override freedom. In fact, real diversity can only be attained as a result of freedom. That's what Martin Luther King argued for in his "I have a dream speech" - that one day we would all be free. The diversity that matters is a diversity of ideas and political philosophies, freedom for all men. In other words, the exact opposite of the Left's smear campaign against Rush Limbaugh. But more on that in my next post.

In the meantime, I did some research online and discovered a way to save hundreds of thousands of dollars at Hill Air Force Base. If you call now they'll even throw in an extra belt for free:

Sauna photo compliments of Rule 5 (How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ACL Festival Video: And the Nobel Dance Prize Goes to...

Because I don't feel like blogging about health care yet again (even though Olympia Snowe's traitorous support of the Baucus bill is dominating the news today), I thought I would take this opportunity to wrap up my ACL Music Festival coverage with exclusive photos and video. I wasn't planning on attending at all this year, but my resourceful social butterfly of a sister called to tell me she had gotten her hands on VIP passes early Friday. Even a principled blogger like myself couldn't say no to a junket like that. To quote Olympia Snowe, "when history calls, history calls." Though I'm still not sure what she thinks history has called her to do. Abandon the US Constitution? Compromise conservative values for Big Government? But I digress. Suffice it to say, a mere hour later I was downtown sipping free Tito's with vitamin water (cures hangovers!) and catching some of my favorite bands in sunny Zilker Park (the rain didn't come until Saturday).

There's no denying that Phoenix was the best band to see on Friday, one of the highlights of the entire weekend. In fact, they are quickly becoming one of my favorite acts. I saw them two years ago and was equally impressed. But stealing some of the spotlight from their show on stage was the show in the crowd. Yes, I'm talking about Hair Flip Boy. With his enthusiastic dance routine, Hair Flip Boy showed off moves that I can only describe as Riverdance meets African Anteater Ritual (yes, that was a nineties Patrick Dempsey reference, but trust me, it's so apropos).

And so it is with great honor I present to you the Nobel Dance prize winner of 2009: Hair Flip Boy at the ACL Festival. Hey, at least he actually did something to earn his award.