Scary Nonsense Masks Our Real Problems – Happy Halloween!

OH THE HORROR !

OH THE HORROR !

I must admit, some Halloween costume themes this year (as in every year) really are in very poor taste and are recognized as such by most civilized people. Ones like “Neighborhood Watch,” which portrays George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin with a bullet wound in his chest or the maimed Asiana Airline crash pilots with the phony names Wi Tu Lo and Sum Ting Wong. These are not amusing. They exploit horrific tragedies and show a real level of callousness, of untaught feelings in the people who are amused by them.

But then there are other costumes that some groups of people feign offense toward. Ones like the Sexy Indian Squaw, or Mexicans wearing sombreros, or the Sushi Chef. I mean really, if someone wants to manufacture offense at something silly like a girl in a Japanese kimono, let them go ahead and be offended. But I don’t believe it. Here’s what Anh Do of the Los Angeles Times reported on October 28th: “Pottery Barn apologized for selling a Halloween costume of a sushi chef and a kimono that an Asian civil-rights group had complained were culturally offensive.The retailer confirmed late Monday that the items had been removed from its website.”

Happy Halloween II

WOOPS ! I HOPE I DON’T OFFEND THE GANGSTERS.

People who are easily swayed or cowered by this manufactured offense need to lighten up. And the perpetrators of this offense need to stop pretending that it’s a sensitivity thing. It is not. It is merely a way to gain power over other people. It’s like those who claim that if you are a White person and don’t like Barack Obama’s and the Democrats’ new health care law, it must only be because you are some kind of racist. These are nothing more than attempts by the political left to publicly flog or delegitimize the people who do not share their world view. Believe me – these things are related.

Vintage Halloween pinup girl

NOTHING OFFENSIVE HERE.

So don’t worry so much about offending someone with your or your kids’ Halloween costume. If people want to put their energy into being offended they should be offended by things that really matter. Things like politicians who lie and make promises like, “If you like your health care plan you can keep it,” etc. Or the fact that many of our members of Congress show an utter disregard for the U.S. Constitution, or the $17 trillion (and growing) federal debt racked up by irresponsible politicians, which will greatly reduce the living standards of the next generation of Americans. Being offended by things like that would not be misplaced.

Frotho

(All Halloween photos in the above post are from www.StrangeCosmos.com)

McAuliffe for Governor! – that is, if you like cronyism, corruption and dishonesty.

Terry turns $100,000 into $8 million in less than two years! Genuis or something fishy?

Terry turns $100,000 into $8 million in less than two years! Genuis or something fishy?

I will not advise the people of Virginia to vote for Ken Cuccinelli because I know nothing about him, but to elect Terry McAuliffe would be a grave error in judgment. If one looks into McAuliffe’s political and financial history it stinks like a rotten fish. Have the majority of Americans become so desensitized to corruption in their leaders? If so, people like McAuliffe will continue to be elected and the country will continue its moral and financial decline.

For folks not aware of McAuliffe’s questionable past here’s one tidbit: In 1997, McAuliffe, a close associate of President Clinton, invested approximately $100,000 in Global Crossing, an offshore-based telecommunications company that provided fiber-optic services worldwide. The company went public in 1998. The following year, McAuliffe sold the majority of his Global Crossing stock for an $8 million profit.  How McAuliffe turned $100,000 into $8 million in less than two years is extremely fishy and is quite reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s brilliant $1000 investment in cattle futures, which resulted in a profit of nearly $99,000 within 10 months.

I can only think of three kinds of people who would want  a person like Terry McAuliffe to be the next governor of Virginia.

1. Those who are ignorant of McAullife’s questionable activities in political fundraising and who swoon at his empty promises. (Some of you may not remember those lucrative “sleepovers” at the Clinton White House? It was McAuliffe who devised this unscrupulous way to raise funds by renting out the Lincoln bedroom in the People’s House and selling access to President Clinton.)

2. Committed liberals who care little if their candidates will act ethically or honestly once they are in power as long as they advance left-wing policies.

3. Power players who expect personal favors from Mr. McAuliffe once he assumes power. (This is how McAuliffe has built his career and his bank account.)

Therefore, the likely McAuliffe voter must be one who is either ignorant of recent history,  or one who excuses dishonesty and corruption for the sake of political expediency, or one who has something directly to gain from a McAuliffe victory. Without knowing Ken Cuccinelli or Robert Sarvis, chances are very high that one of them is a better choice for governor than the crony “capitalist” Terry McAuliffe.

Also, McAuliffe’s  bid for governor is as much about that as it is about putting a Clinton machine in place to help Hillary’s presidential ambitions in 2016.

Frotho

Where have all the true leaders gone?

General John J. Pershing

General John J. Pershing

“Courageous leadership is the very lifeblood of a democracy. No matter how well conceived our plan of government may be, its success as the years go by, its very existence in the end, will depend upon the men selected to administer its affairs.

“In government we see politicians forsaking the ideal of representative government, which requires that they be leaders of the people, and instead, trying to cater to every whim of their constituents in order to cling to their jobs. We see legislators neglecting to cut outrageous expenses and waste of government for fear of antagonizing patronage. We see executives and candidates deliberately ignoring certain great issues because they are dangerous.

“As a people we seem to have abandoned the ideal that elective officers of our government should be leaders in the communities, districts, or states which they represent. Generally speaking, such officers no longer feel it their duty to exercise their own best judgment during their terms of office in handling public questions that come before them. They hesitate to express their own honest opinions. Instead, we find most of them with ‘an ear to the ground’ – a strange position for a leader. Their chief endeavor seems to be, not to determine what is right, or what is best for the welfare of the people in general; they seek to find the opinion of the majority of voters upon whom they depend for re-election. They make no serious attempt to influence the uninformed opinion of their constituents, or to change it. Such men are in no sense leaders, and unless we have abandoned our ideals they have no proper place in our scheme of government.”
American General John J. Pershing (1860-1948)

Would a great man like John Pershing be more likely to support President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the other liberal Democrats who pander to ever desire of their constituents or people like Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin who have been trying to bring fiscal sanity to Washington with the intent of preventing the bankruptcy of the federal government and the ultimate destruction of life, liberty and our ability to pursue happiness.

The United States: Too Big to Fail?

It was reported yesterday that the Federal Reserve will begin requiring the largest banks to hold additional levels of safe assets to avoid failure during future periods of market stress. If these banks do not currently have enough capital in reserve to withstand the next financial shock then the Fed’s action would seem to be a prudent thing.

But then, if this sort of good economic planning applies to the banking system, then why does it not apply to the public sector? Actually it does, so why don’t Americans demand it? The federal government now owes $17 trillion in debt and borrows about 40 cents of every dollar that it spends. At present, Americans are so confused by media propaganda that they do not seem willing to force the federal government to operate within its means. If this situation continues much longer it will spell sure disaster for our future.

As the federal government gets deeper and deeper into debt and as interest rates begin to rise, it will become increasingly difficult to fund the entitlement programs that Americans have become so dependent on, things  like Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, Disability, Social Security and the like. These programs will have to be drastically reduced at some point in the not too distant future. This has already happened in many parts of Europe contra the will of the people. No matter how you look at it there will be a lot of pain to come and it will happen right here in the USA. Very few will escape it.

The Future: "They promised that if I voted for them that the government would take care of me..."

The Future:
“They promised that if I voted for them that the government would take care of me…”

At the micro level, mature adults understand that in order to run a sustainable household they have to live within their means and save for future emergencies. The Federal Reserve is applying this same good sense by requiring big banks to shore up their reserves so that they may survive the next financial shock. The bigger question is who is going to hold our bloated federal government to the same economic standard? Every time a patriot speaks out about fiscal irresponsibility in Washington, they are harassed by the IRS  or labeled a right-wing racist by the friends of big government.

Until average folks begin to face reality and muster the courage to stand up to these advocates of big government, America will continue on a path of decline. The media campaign that has been aimed at discrediting fiscal conservatives has done our country a great disservice. It’s not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. We are getting awfully close to the precipice.

If one is able to look beyond the inappropriately dry language of the Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report, it becomes very clear that our federal government’s future is in peril as will be the futures of everyone who depends on it:

“During the last 4 fiscal years, total federal debt has increased by $6,048 billion, or 60 percent….

“Increasing numbers of baby-boom generation members are becoming eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and for Medicare. In addition, although health care spending growth recently slowed, it has been growing faster than the overall economy and is expected to continue to grow at an increased rate as more members of the baby-boom generation retire and become eligible for federal health programs. The aging of the population and rising health care costs will continue to put upward pressure on spending and, absent action to address the growing imbalance between spending and revenue, the federal government faces an unsustainable growth in debt.” (GAO report number GAO-13-114 released November 8, 2012 – a publication of the U. S. Government)

GAO does not offer solutions. Friends of big government will continue to pretend that raising taxes will solve the problem. Government run schools will raise yet another generation that is ignorant of basic economics and continue to glorify a wasteful, corrupt government. The people with the foresight and courage to warn against the coming financial meltdown will continue to be called fools and racists.

While promises of government benevolence and the redistribution of private wealth enriches unscrupulous politicians, it will lead to disaster for everyone else.

Other than that; have a nice day!

Americanus

PS This outcome is not pre-determined. Get involved in politics. Persuade your friends. Do it now.

 

The Affordable Care Act or, Dr. Fuddystuff’s Travelling Miracle Wagon

Bad law is the worst sort of tyranny.
–Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Irish orator, philosopher, & politician.
From  A Speech at the Guildhall in Bristol, 1780.

Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.
–Attributed to Arcesilaus (ca. 316-241B.C.) Greek Philosopher

The mania to control to control everything by law, the attempt to control every action of every individual from the cradle to the grave. This is an outrage upon human intelligence, individuality and liberty.
–Dr. Edward H. Ochsner, Social Security, 1936

I wish people would stop calling the new health care law Obamacare. It should be more properly nicknamed Democratcare. After all, it was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress and not a single Republican voted for it. The Affordable Care Act is a partisan law crafted by liberal Democrats. They own it. The American people need to be reminded of this fact over and over again as the next election approaches.

Socialized medicine is every true liberal’s dream. They believe that if the government can just tax certain people “just a little bit more” that the government can then fund and run a health care system and provide “free” healthcare to everyone. These liberals never seem to want to give consideration to basic economics. Some actually think that doctors, pharmaceutical manufacturers and other health care providers should not be allowed to “profit off of sick people.” They do not understand that the potential reward of profit is one of the greatest drivers behind the innovation and improved technologies that we all benefit from.

A study of the last 250 years or so shows that in free market economies where the rule of law is respected, the selfish pursuit of profit has continually resulted in improved products and services in all areas of human activity. America is one of the greatest examples of this. It is the main reason why the U.S. rose to lead the world in innovation and technology. The benefits to society from the exercise of individual self-interest were masterfully explained by Englishman Adam Smith way back in 1776 in his book Wealth of Nations: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” Liberals have had well over 200 years to study the truth of Smith’s concept of economic self-interest in a market economy, yet they stubbornly refuse to let the truth get in the way of their utopian fantasies. When governments hinder profit-making in the private sector they strip away an important incentive to produce things and improve things. This will be one of the most tragic consequences as the United States moves towards a single-payer health care system as liberals demand more and more government intervention.

Make no mistake about it – the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which we are now beginning to see the consequences of, is merely a step in the direction of this liberal dream of socialized medicine. But the people who rammed this bad law down our throats failed to mention their real intentions when they were selling the Affordable Care Act to the American people. These deceivers were relying on the gullibility and ignorance of a large body of the American public. And it worked!

As a result of Democratcare, we are now seeing health insurance premiums skyrocket and employer-sponsored health care plans disappear before our very eyes. According to the Health Policy and Marketplace Review website, out of 19 million individually insured people about “16 million (of these) are now receiving letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll in order to avoid a break in coverage and comply with the new health law’s benefit mandates––the vast majority by January 1(st, 2014). Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases.” To any Affordable Care Act supporter who disputes this claim – I will gladly show them a letter to this effect that my wife and I recently received from our own health insurer.

No one thinks that the health care exchange rollout that officially began on October 1st has been a rousing success either. Actually, by almost all accounts (with the exception of those coming from a few silly propagandists), the rollout of the online exchange has been a complete disaster.

Advertisers are not the only ones who take advantage of human gullibility. A politician who appeals to "hope" manipulates emotions and discourages critical thinking.

Advertisers are not the only ones who take advantage of human gullibility. A politician who appeals to “hope” manipulates emotions and discourages critical thinking.

What happened to all the warm and fuzzy promises made by President Obama and the Democrat leadership in Congress? You know, promises like, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep it,” or, “This law will save a family of four an average of $2500 per year.” Hogwash! Only dummies believed that. Only the “useful innocents” believed that. Some call them “low information voters.” Shame on them for believing it! When “Hope” replaced critical thinking, I knew we are all in trouble.

It is a big mistake to ever believe a politician that makes a promise that someone else will have to keep. That is exactly what Obama and the other Democrat leaders did. You see, this is their duplicitous way of being able to place blame at the feet of someone else when their health care scheme becomes recognized for the disaster that it is.

Here’s how it works: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid et al. promised that their new health care law would make decent health care available to everyone, make it more affordable, and save most people money. They pretended that they had the ability to control health care costs even though they have no personal expertise in the industry they proposed to regulate. They pretended that their 2000 page law would have no adverse effects on the health care industry. It was all sold to the American public like an all-purpose, good-time elixir off of the good Doctor Fuddystuff’s travelling miracle wagon.

Then they get their pet law passed and the technocrats begin the real work of writing the details into the federal code. (Oh, did I forget to mention the special treatment given by the Obama Administration to some of its allies in the form of waivers? How’s that for equal treatment!) Insurance and health care providers must conform to these new complicated regulations or the feds will simply put them out of business. These regulations now total more than 11,000 pages of fine print. How are people entrusted with delivering our health care supposed to make sense of a complex web of regulations like that?[i] It takes an incalculable amount of time and brain power to try to figure this whole mess out. Somebody please tell me – how does that keep costs down? If health care providers have to spend finite resources trying to conform to 11,000 pages of regulations, what resources will they have left to devote to actually doing things like diagnosing and treating sick patients?

Part of the problem is that schools apparently do not teach basic economics anymore. Every business has finite resources. If more resources must be devoted to onerous regulations and government-mandated paperwork, then fewer resources will be available for other things, like time spent treating sick patients or an upgrade to a new cancer-destroying technology.

The truth is we need less government intervention in our health care system, not more. No one in their right mind should want the body that created and hamstrings the U. S. Postal Service – Congress – to be in charge of “bringing down” health care prices. The Post Office recorded a $15.9 billion net loss last fiscal year and expects to record a loss of roughly $6 billion in the current fiscal year. One of the recent proposals made by the Post Office to close its revenue gap is to raise the price of a first class stamp from $.46 to $.49, which of course will only encourage more people to use fewer of the Post Office’s services because as everyone knows there are other alternatives available.

Another frightening thing about the Affordable Care Act is that the Internal Revenue Service will be the main enforcement arm of the law. God help us all.


[i] According to The Fact Checker article (May 15, 2013, The Washington Post), “At the very least, one can point to 10,000 pages of tiny regulatory type regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” Sourced 10/24/12: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/how-many-pages-of-regulations-for-obamacare/2013/05/14/61eec914-bcf9-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_blog.html

Huzzah! Philly’s Historic City Tavern Re-opens Despite Continuing Government Shutdown

city tavern sign  Finally, someone in the Obama administration has come to their senses – Philadelphia’s historic City Tavern is once again open for business! (See previous story here.)

If you live near Philadelphia, go enjoy a meal at the City Tavern. October is a great time to soak in the colonial atmosphere and warm up with a bowl of Chef Walter Staib’s West Indian Pepperpot Soup accompanied by a loaf cornmeal and molasses bread. Taste one of the ales made from the recipes used by Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. You won’t be disappointed!

City Tavern employees lost 10 days of work because we have a federal administration that thinks the people exist to serve it. Unlike federal employees, City Tavern employees will not get paid for not working. Make a reservation today and support the City Tavern!

Click here for City Tavern Menu

Punch City Tavern

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”            — John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818