The Sky is Falling!

How to un-knot your panties about the Bush Budget...

Many of the big hitters in the blogosphere are experience some bouts of hand wringing over the size of the budget President Bush has sent to Congress. I too hope for a smaller, less powerful federal government - One, perhaps, that does only that which it is its constitutional duty to do. Regardless, the fact remains that politically there is very little wiggle room available to the President right now. Think about the following points when you read such stories.

1) The Democrats in Congress are portraying any cut in the rate of increase as an overall cut in the funding level. Ex: If they expect a 500 million dollar increase in an area, and Bush proposed a 300 million dollar increase they will portray this as a 200 million dollar cut not a 300 million dollar increase.

2) The Democrats in Congress will say that any such reduced increase or outright removal of funding is proof that Bush does not care about the common person.

3) The Media will be more than happy to repeat this nonsense 1000 times a day because they believe it.

Nobody is going to be able to make a federalist argument while out economy is near stagnant and we face multiple incoming wars. Asking Bush to reduce the size of government while also asking him to protect the homeland in a bazillion new ways is ludicrous. Asking him to do so while he rebuilds the military Clinton all but destroyed is nothing short of fancy.

Do we really expect Bush to fight a few wars, rebuild the military, cut taxes, and balance the budget all while in an economic downturn? Deficit spending!? CRICKEY!? I would hope we can live within our means, but as political expediency goes the best way to keep a Democrat from spending until we are bleeding red ink is to start with red ink via tax cuts. Regardless, the proposed deficit as a percentage of GDP is not worth a minute of your time, or mine.

Bob Dole once said, Politics is the Art of the Possible. Reducing the size of government right now is not possible. Bush should be applauded for keeping the rate of increase at only 5.1% while he takes on all the tasks before him. Yes, we should keep an eye on this. Yes, we should tell Bush we would like him to make the case for a more limited federal government. Nevertheless, let us not get too excited when he fails to turn the water into wine.

I'm losing patience with my neighbours

It's been difficult enough watching Nelson Mandela abandon all reason over the past few weeks but now it's gone too far. Terry Jones of "Monty Python" fame has written a commentary piece for the Observer that just makes me weep for the heros of my childhood. Oh foul time! Why is it that thou has't taken that which is most precious to me! My youth in tatters and those whom I loved in dust!

Sorry! A bit melodramatic there. Terry makes a very loose allusion between him being upset with a neighbor and the Bush administration's stance on Iraq. A weak premise to start with that just gets weaker as it goes. I won't quote it, read it if you don't have anything important to do like flossing the cat or polishing your underwear.

Weak Point #1

In order for the imagery to be accurate, your neighbor would need some sort of heinous past. For example, maybe a few years ago Johnson stormed across the lawn into a home next door and murdered a man, raped his wife and stole anything of value he could get his hands on before being forced back onto his own property by a coalition of armed neighbors (let's call them the United Neighbors.) He did however set fire to the prized rose bushes and medical marijuana plants he had coveted from afar just out of sheer spite as he was driven from the property.

Weak Point #2

Johnson needs an established pattern of psychopathic behavior. Let's say that Mr. Johnson is an avowed Nazi who has stated on many occasions that he felt the all untermensch should be killed to make way for the true rulers of the human race. He also is known by the police to have killed several members of his family but, being a progressive and enlightened police force and at the behest of the United Neighbors, they have decided that since the crimes occured in Mr. Johnson's house the family was complicitous in their deaths for having lived there of their own free will in the first place - even though they were not allowed by Johnson to leave or have contact with anyone from outside of the dwelling. The police however are keeping a protective watch on his stepchildren who are hiding in the doghouse out of fear because Johnson suspects that they might be of 2/32nds Jewish ancestry.

Weak Point #3

There need to be some rules that Johnson is clearly violating. At the end of the incident in "Weak Point #1" Johnson signed some documents meant to control his future behavior. But the police have no hard evidence that Johnson has complied with these rules. Although he was supposed to relinquish all firearms he owned, you have seen shadows of him on his draped windows with items that look like firearms. Although he is not supposed to possess knives, there is no evidence that he has removed the knives from his property. When inspectors show up to look at his place he tries to divert their attention at every turn and suspicious activities are noted before they are scheduled to show.

If your "neighbor" meets these criteria and you still feel comfortable trusting him as you would any other neighbor. I will accept your argument. I'll think that you are an even sicker individual than he is but maybe you can live with that.

I could go on but I think the point has been made...stick to humor Terry because I think you had every intention of writing a serious piece of work here - but it really is pretty much a joke.

I Just Nearly Swalled My Dentures!

(...and I don't even have dentures!)

If this remark from a post over at the DNC blog concerning speeches being given at the convention doesn't frighten you at the thought of these people actually gaining the Presidency...I'm not really sure anything could...

Carter's speech was a powerful reminder of the incredible respect America has enjoyed in the past - and how important this election is.

That's Jimmy? James Earl Carter? The very ex-president Carter? The Carter who was voted out of office by aq 489-49 electoral vote margin? That Carter? The very concept of his name and the phrase "the incredible respect America has enjoyed in the past" in the same sentence without some negative modifiers or at a least a bit of disclosure that none of those times of "respect" occurred under his stewardship is simply revisionist history...especially when you consider that he has to be one of the worst public speakers I've ever been subjected to (saw him at a campaign in the 1980 elections...*shudder*.)

But, a quick look at Carter's speech at least shows that he was astute enough not to claim that any such "respect" was the result of his ham-handed attempts at international diplomacy. His claim as to the effect of Bush's policies in the Middle East?

Instead, violence has gripped the Holy Land, with the region increasingly swept by anti-American passions.

Interesting. So what Jimbo is saying, in effect, is that conditions in the Middle East are the same as they have been for the past fifty years! Yeah, too bad we can't go back to his oh-so-suave maunderings in Middle East policy know, the actions which basically set the tone for the next 20 years and impressed the Islamic militants that America was impotent - especially with a weak-willed Democrat at the helm!

Do these people have any historical knowledge of Carter's past? It sure doesn't seem so...

The October Revolution is Officially Over

It seems that Kalashnikov is upset that the U.S. is supplying many of the emerging mid-east governments with AK-47's supplied by former Soviet bloc countries...a situation which Kalashnikov feels violates Russian intellectual property rights and supposed "contracts" the former Russian imperialist union had signed with satellite countries for AK technology. Of course, until now he was content that the "collective effort" was being used to "protect the motherland"...but I guess that flowery rhetoric died when the "motherland" no longer included the states it had held hostage for half a century and the economic realities of the world raised their ugly heads. Welcome to the real world Mikhail, the Soviet collectivist laissez faire attitude towards the distribution of this technology from should doom any attempt to penalize those making AKs on their own now. The Soviet Union certainly owes those countries that it ravaged and economically siphoned something for their bondage...and I'd say that the ability to manufacture a weapon to prevent it from happening again would be a swell gift.

My Brain Hurts!

Wow! Reading the Kerry Kampaign's response to a recent controversy over the image selected for one of their press-passes made my brain literally ache from the spin! First, here's the controversy...

Ouch! Make it stop! I'll agree, health care costs are well as all other forms of insurance such as auto insurance, liability insurance, and many other overhead costs which all add up to making it more costly to do business in the United States and more costly to live here. Who would I blame? I'd blame the vast seas of lawyers which feast on the vagaries of our twisted legal system in search of excessively punitive "injury" lawsuits which fatten their bank accounts at the expense of the common man. Claim to be "sticking it to the man" all you want, sucking dry corporate America via lawsuits only punishes those who actually pay corporate America's bills...and that would be us. Sue a hospital over malpractice and they pass the cost on to their patients...sue an auto manufacturer for negligence and they raise their prices. And, where I interested in making completely unfounded and unsupported connections like those above from the Kerry Kampaign, I'd blame the only major party candidates who also happen to be lawyers on this year's Presidential ticket - Kerry and Edwards - as being part of that group. I'm sure that would give those on the other side of the fence some brain cramps...but I'll let the November elections take care of that for me.