Saturday, May 31, 2014

I am Mad as Hell

Obama might be the maddest President to ever hold the office.

His immediate response to any allegation of malfeasance or scandal in his Administration is to blurt "Nobody's madder than me!"  or "I'm angry about it".

Imagine if the manager of your Target store had the same response:

Me: We need a clean up in aisle 5...
Manager:  I just learned about this, and I am mad as hell, and if true, people will be held accountable.

Me: The checkout lines are really long
Manager:  I just learned about this, and I am mad as hell, and if true, people will be held accountable.

Me:  You are out of stock in the dairy case
Manager:  I just learned about this, and I am mad as hell, and if true, people will be held accountable.

Me: You employees are all out in the parking lot on a smoking break
Manager:  I just learned about this, and I am mad as hell, and if true, people will be held accountable.

This interaction would be frustrating because it is the manager's job to know about these things.

Ignorance is no excuse.  A store manager who professed such profound ignorance about the activities in his store would be fired on the spot.

It is Obama's job to know.

Getting angry about everything is the response of a petulant 5 year old child, not an adult holding the highest office in the land.

Obama is the most immature man to ever hold high office.

And come to think about it, that makes me mad as hell.

Friday, May 23, 2014

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

Mark Manson has a few things to say about America in his blogpost that has gone viral on Facebook.

 "This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment."

Why the love-hate relationship with America, you ask?

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us

"they’re not going to be excited that you’re American. It’s not some badge of honor we get to parade around....As Americans, we’re brought up our entire lives being taught that we’re the best, we did everything first and that the rest of the world follows our lead. Not only is this not true, but people get irritated when you bring it to their country with you. So don’t.

We are were taught that America did everything first because...well, we did do everything first.  Radio, Television, microwaves, moonwalking (the astronaut kind, not the Michael Jackson kind...well, ok, both kinds), the internet, the transistor, the movies, the Ferris wheel, the zipper, you get the picture.

If people around the world are not so impressed by us, then how come they are all wearing American brands, watching American movies, and using American inventions?

They say if you invent a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.  Well, guess who invented the mousetrap?  That's right, William Hooker, an American.

2. Few People Hate Us

most people in the world don’t really think about us or care about us.

People in the rest of the world may not think about us as much as we might think, but I know for a fact that we think about them WAY LESS than they think about us.

There are entire countries that fewer than 5% of Americans ever heard of that hate us with a passion.  If you are so certain that the world does not hate Americans, then I am sure you will feel comfortable walking down the street in Baghdad.  Or Tehran.  Or Paris, for that matter.

There are plenty of people in the world that hate America.  Just ask the Ambassador to Libya and his protection detail.

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World

For all of our talk about being global leaders and how everyone follows us, we don’t seem to know much about our supposed “followers.”  In a recent survey of young Americans, 63% could not find Iraq on a map (despite being at war with them), and 54% did not know Sudan was a country in Africa. Yet, somehow we’re positive that everyone else looks up to us.

This is an indictment of the government run school system more than anything else.  So the teacher's unions have taken in billions of dollars all the while committing educational mal-practice and that give you cause to hate America? 

The flaws in our understanding of the world come from three sources. 
1.  Bad government run schools, 2. a popular culture that does not value history, 3. the uncomfortable fact that what happens in the rest of the world is really not that important.

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection

There’s a saying about English-speakers. We say “Go fuck yourself,” when we really mean “I like you,” and we say “I like you,” when we really mean “Go fuck yourself.”

In our culture, appreciation and affection are implied rather than spoken outright. Two guy friends call each other names to reinforce their friendship; men and women tease and make fun of each other to imply interest. Feelings are almost never shared openly and freely.

Mark is condemning much of Anglo-Saxon culture, and he really needs to get out more. The coarse 'fuck you' culture to which he refers may be prevalent on the East Coast, but here in the Midwest that sort of behavior does not fly.

Our dispassionate behavior is taken from the behavioral standards of the puritans and the mainline Protestant congregations that were the earliest 'lifestyles of the rich and famous'. 

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great

If you’re extremely talented or intelligent, the US is probably the best place in the world to live. The system is stacked heavily to allow people of talent and advantage to rise to the top quickly.
The problem with the US is that everyone thinks they are of talent and advantage. As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

This is a load of horse crap.  Life here is better for more people than anywhere else in the world.  How many people give up their life here to emigrate to these foreign paradises that Manson idolizes?  None.  How many people come here?  Millions.  

Manson's opinion is that idle time and less material goods are better than effort and stuff.  Well, based on the flow of immigration, the rest of the world thinks differently.

And Steinbecks observation is not the problem with poor Americans, it is our greatest virtue.

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

If there’s one constant in my travels over the past three years, it has been that almost every place I’ve visited (especially in Asia and South America) is much nicer and safer than I expected it to be. Singapore is pristine. Hong Kong makes Manhattan look like a suburb. My neighborhood in Colombia is nicer than the one I lived in in Boston (and cheaper).

Here Mark is projecting his own prejudice on the rest of us.   Just because you assume the rest of the world sucks doesn't mean we all do.

7. We’re Paranoid

Not only are we emotionally insecure as a culture, but I’ve come to realize how paranoid we are about our physical security. You don’t have to watch Fox News or CNN for more than 10 minutes to hear about how our drinking water is going to kill us, our neighbor is going to rape our children, some terrorist in Yemen is going to kill us because we didn’t torture him, Mexicans are going to kill us, or some virus from a bird is going to kill us. There’s a reason we have more guns than people.
In the US, security trumps everything, even liberty. We’re paranoid.

Americans are falling for this paranoid crap precisely because we are the greatest nation on earth.  We have vanquished all real danger.  We live longer, we have less discomfort, we live in amazing luxury.  And so we invent stupid little scares like Alar and Radon to replace the real fears of malaria and starvation that plague the rest of the world.

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention

We’re status-obsessed. Our culture is built around achievement, production and being exceptional. 

Uh, yeah.  I thought this was obvious.  We are a nation of achievers and do-er's.  Nearly every person here is descended from someone that had enough balls and motivation to leave their home village and emigrate to America.    This is wonderful.  Our competitive nature is what makes us a great people, not some defect that we need to apologize for.

Why does Mark hate everything that makes America great?

9. We Are Very Unhealthy

Unless you have cancer or something equally dire, the health care system in the US sucks. The World Health Organization ranked the US 37th in the world for health care, despite the fact that we spend the most per capita by a large margin.

This is a load of crap -- the study to which he refers uses such measures as 'social justice' to rate the quality of our healthcare system.  Naturally, we get a big fat mark down in the category, and yet we still rank 37th.

Here is the true test of the quality of the healthcare system:  How many Colombians come to the US for surgery versus how many Americans travel to Columbia.  Score one for America.  What about the poor you ask?  Fine.  How many American doctors travel Columbia to provide free medical services, and how many Colombian doctors travel this way and set up free clinics?  Score two for America.  A 'survey' that ranks the US 9 spots behind Columbia is a load of crap.

...we eat chemically-laced crap because it’s cheaper and tastes better (profit, profit). Our portion sizes are absurd (more profit). And we’re by far the most prescribed nation in the world AND our drugs cost five to ten times more than they do even in Canada (ohhhhhhh, profit, you sexy bitch).

How, exactly, is serving cheaper, better tasting food a bad thing?

I have news for you, Mark.  Large portion sizes decrease profits.  If restaurants served less food per meal they would make more profit..  So your commie world view is a bit off.

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

The United States is a country built on the exaltation of economic growth and personal ingenuity. Small businesses and constant growth are celebrated and supported above all else — above affordable health care, above respectable education, above everything. Americans believe it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and make something of yourself, not the state’s, not your community’s, not even your friend’s or family’s in some instances.

Yes, Mark, this is the country of the individual.  It is one of our most cherished values.  And if you don't understand that, you don't know as much as you think.

Unfortunately, a by-product of our massive commercial success is that we’re able to avoid the necessary emotional struggles of life in lieu of easy superficial pleasures.

So suffering is a value to be worshiped?  Imagine how happy Mark would have been as a Jew in the 1940's.  How fulfilled his dreams would be as a black sharecropper in the antebellum South.  Success is a problem to you only if you have never really been through a bad time.

Throughout history, every dominant civilization eventually collapsed because it became TOO successful. What made it powerful and unique grows out of proportion and consumes its society. I think this is true for American society. We’re complacent, entitled and unhealthy. 

Civilizations collapse when they lose sight of the core values that made them what they are.  The US is in fact losing touch with our core values, but it is because of socialist whiners like Mark.

In summary, Mark is ashamed of America because he does not understand or appreciate the core values that make us great.   It is a shame that this anti American drivel has gone viral.

Reparations are a Bad Idea

Reparations are Owed is the title of a recent article in Slate Magazine.

The basic premise is that Black people are owed something for all the trouble they went through during slavery and all the hardship they endure as minorities in this country.

The writer will accept either direct cash payments or government programs as a way to pay back the trillions in stolen wealth.  Quite generous of him, I must say!

This idea is unfair, unworkable, and unjustified.

Never mind the details of who pays whom.  We could spend weeks debating whether Barack Obama, son of a black man who was neither an American nor a slave, is entitled to any money. Or is Barack Obama, the wealthy son of a white woman, on the hook to pay?

Never mind the welfare state, or Pigford, or affirmative action, or any of the myriad of things that could already be called reparations.

Never mind that hundred of thousands of civil war dead paid a very steep price to liberate the slaves.

Let's look at the basic premise: Are black people today owed anything as compensation for the fact that black people in the past were held as slaves and discriminated against?

The answer is no.

There is no moral or legal justification to confiscate wealth from one group of people and give it to another based on some wrong committed centuries ago.

There is also no net harm done to blacks.  

In fact, it appears that American blacks got a pretty good deal in the long run.

Reparations advocates point out that the labor of millions of blacks was stolen from them and that this amounts to trillions of dollars in damages.  This is true.  Wealth was stolen, though probably not to the extent that the advocates claim.

But what about the benefits to current blacks?  Don't they get some benefit from living in one of the wealthiest nations in the world?

If the slave trade never happened then most black people that descended from slaves would still be living in Africa.  Mostly central Africa, where GDP per capita is around $2,000.  Life expectancies are in the 40-50 range.  There is little in the way of basic infrastructure like running water and electricity.

US per capita GDP is over $50,000.  99% of American poor people have running water and electricity. 98% of American poor have color television.

For a group of people that had trillions in wealth allegedly stolen from them, and who are oppressed by the Man on a daily basis, American blacks sure seem to be doing pretty well when compared to the places that they left behind.

Other people have to swim through shark infested waters or cross a burning desert to get to the land of milk and honey.  Blacks were born here.  They already won the lottery.   They were born Americans.

Instead of focusing on the grievances of the past, perhaps black people would be better served by focusing on the gifts of the present.

They live in the greatest country in the world with nearly unlimited opportunity.

Shut up about race grievances and get on with your life already.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Voter ID is un-Reasonable

In a recent article on, Steve Chapman attempts to poke a few holes in the case for Voter ID.

His claims are flawed and his conclusions are weak.

In his attempts to claim that many people don't have ID's, he trots out some statistics that hint darkly of racial bias:

Fifteen percent of white adults in Wisconsin, and half of blacks and Hispanics, don't drive. Passport holders are a minority of the population. A lot of people don't need a photo ID to board a plane because they don't fly.

Disparate racial impact does not prove bias.   If Voter ID laws are racist because they impact minorities more often, then traffic laws are racist because they impact white people more often.  This is silly.

He then features a few anecdotes from people that have a hard time getting an ID.  An elderly Puerto Rican, a homeless Veteran.   These prove nothing -- we already know that there are people out there without an ID.   And for every "no ID" story there are matching stories of voter fraud that have resulted in criminal convictions.

He then tries to discredit the list of activities that require an ID in everyday life:

In fact, the Transportation Security Administration doesn't bar anyone who shows up without an ID. In that case, the TSA says, "You'll be able to fly as long as you provide us with some information that will help us determine you are who you say you are."

The fact that the TSA doesn't require government issued ID is irrelevant -- they still require you to prove your identity.  The fact that they allow some flexibility does not change the fact that you cannot fly anonymously.  You must prove who you are in order to fly.

His over reach in his attempts to discredit all the simple life activities that require ID gets him in trouble:

Opening a bank account? Larry Dupuis, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation, says he never had to show an ID to open his account, which he did some two decades ago. "It's really a post-9/11 thing," he says, for banks to require one. But many poor people don't have bank accounts.

You did not need an ID 20 years ago?? So what?  You need one now.  This anecdote does not undermine the claim that ID is required for most every thing, it reinforces it.  And again, the fact that poor people don't have bank accounts does not make ID laws racist.  It just proves that poor people don't have money.

He then tries to claim that voter fraud doesn't matter anyway:

If a person forbidden to vote manages to cast a ballot by pretending to be someone else, by contrast, the election result will almost never be affected. Besides, the sort of fraud that an ID would prevent is exceedingly rare. The court in Wisconsin found the requirement would block vastly more legal voters than fraudulent ones.

The election will almost never be affected??   I seem to recall that Al Gore lost an election for President by a few hundred votes out of 55 million votes cast.  And never mind that the election might not be affected, when you vote illegally you invalidate the vote of a legitimate voter.   That alone is reason enough to protect the right to vote with some simple requirements for proving who you are.

This logic cuts two ways: If a fraudulent vote does not matter, then disenfranchising a legitimate voter who has no ID does not matter either.   You can't claim that voting is an act so sacred we cannot place barriers around it and also claim that a fraudulent vote does not matter.

This entire article is un-reasonable.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Another Day, Another Hate Crime Hoax

From the perspective of someone who reads only the headlines in the national news, the last 20 years has been and endless string of hate crimes:  Rapes, graffiti, hangings in effigy, and more.   Every few months the ugly dark side of American racism or sexism would burst forth on the national scene.  This has resulted in much self flagellation, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and finger pointing.

Truly a mark of shame on our great nation that we have such people in our midst.  

Fortunately, none of it is true.  

Virtually every single hate crime that splashed across our national consciousness was fake.  The list of fake hate crimes is endless. 

But while the 'hate crime' is front page news, the inevitable retraction is buried in the middle of the paper. People remember the initial hoopla and never learn that is was all a fake. 

The latest revelation comes nearly 10 years after the initial incident.  A lesbian student faked a hate crime to get out of doing a homework assignment.  There were press releases, candlelight vigils, and a huge uproar as the initial crime was followed up by a wave of anti-lesbian crimes.   All of it perpetrated by the student that wanted to get out of a homework assignment.   This is no cute student prank: people were arrested at gunpoint as possible suspects. Committing this sort of hoax is a serious crime. 

From Tawana Brawley to Duke Lacrosse to a nearly endless list of famous faked crime of hate there is a drumbeat of faux hate being used for political purpose to drive an agenda.  

This is very damaging to our nation.  

It creates a false impression that we are an incorrigibly racist and homophobic people when exactly the opposite it true.  It reinforces the impression that hate crimes can happen anywhere -- they don't.  They only happen when they are faked. 
Umm...... Actually, no, they can't 
The fake race crimes also serve as a smokescreen for the real race crimes that happen regularly but don't get reported -- the black on white hate crimes like the Knockout Game. 

America is one of the most enlightened places on earth when it come to race and sexual orientation. You don't think so?  

Go live as a black person in Japan.  Go wave that rainbow flag in Iran.  Go drive a car in Saudi Arabia, lady.  

You will quickly realize what true hate crimes are. 

The United States is the greatest nation in the world, and Americans are the best people in the world, and I am tired of fake-hate crime perpetrators making us look bad and not paying the price for it. 

Don't believe me that the hoaxers don't pay?  Watch Al Sharpton on his nationally broadcast television show and then tell me what price the hoaxers pay for their crimes. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Rule of Law is dead. Welcome to the Rule of Whim

The Rule of Law is dead.  Welcome to the Rule of Whim

The US Government is now deciding what businesses deserve to have bank accounts and which ones do not, all without the benefits of legal authority or passing laws.

It seems that the Department of Justice has been pressuring banks not to do business with shady customers such as payday loan franchises, tobacco sales outlets, and porn stars.   Also on the list are firearms dealers, fireworks stores, and coin dealers.

If you are involved in businesses that the government does not like, they are going to shut you down.

The problem is that none of these business are illegal.

No laws have been passed.  No judges have ruled.  

This sort of rule-by-whim is wildly unconstitutional and a blatant assault on the values that have made this country great.

Pornography and porn stars may be unsavory to the DOJ, but these people are not doing anything illegal. Selling guns and ammo might be shady to our overseers, but it is a constitutionally protected activity.  The opinions of the Department of Justice are not relevant here, only the actual laws matter.

Making it difficult or impossible to to do business has the same effect as a ban -- these activities are eliminated or driven underground.

This is not only an affront to our liberty, this is going to trash the economy as well.  There is a direct and proven correlation between the rule of law and economic activity.   Businesses cannot thrive where they don't know the rules and their money can be seized at any moment.

When history looks back at the collapse of America they will see this -- the destruction of the rule of law -- as one of the primary causes.