Saturday, May 31, 2008

Globalization is helpful

The globalization of our economy is helping to buffer the impact of the current economic downturn. A portion of our problem is the weak dollar. I have heard that 30% of the cost of oil is due to the dollars weakness. (That sounds about right.) The weakness of the dollar is perhaps our biggest problem. Fortunately, the fact that our economy is tied to the global economy keeps our national economy from totally going in the tank. The world's economies are highly dependent upon one another and as long as there is strength somewhere, that helps to support the rest of the world.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Susan Sarandon to leave U.S.

If you don't really like any of the Presidential candidates, then here is a reason to vote for Senator McCain.

Of course, we've been hearing celebrities say for years that if they don't get their way they will leave the country. They never have the courage of their convictions. But if Susan Sarandon would take her (and her husband's) whining elsewhere, it would be worth a vote for McCain.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Republicans should become Republicans

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has good advice for the Republican Party; start being Republicans. There is no reason to vote the Republican Party back into power if all they will do is act like they have for the past few years. If we want tax and spend government, we can elect the Democrats who, since FDR, have been the party of big government. There is no good reason to elect Republicans to do work that the Democrats are more competent to do.

Standing at the border and screaming "Mexican go home" or picketing abortion clinics is just not any reason to vote for the Republican Party. The first issue is a sure-fire loser and the second is not really one that grips the majority of Americans. The Republicans have come to stand for nothing of any importance.

The Republicans were not elected in 1994 in order to support the more liberal urges of President Clinton, though aside from his wife's health plan he didn't demonstrate a lot of liberalism. They were elected to bring discipline to our national government. And, they succeeded for a time. Unfortunately, they came to love power for the sake of power, rather than using it in order to effect a more responsible form of government. The final straw was the incredibly expensive expansion of Medicare with the addition of Part D. I am happy to know that my parents and their peers are well taken care of, but it saddens me to know that my son, and his children, will still be paying for it after my parents are long dead.

I found this statement of Senator Coburn's to be quite pointed: "Spending other people's money is not compassionate."

Compassion is sacrificing willingly in order to aid another. Tax and spend is not compassion. It is coercion, and a binding of golden chains.

End of rant.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Everybody is against Hillary

President Clinton is sure there is some sort of conspiracy to keep Hillary from winning the nomination. He claims she is the one that is electable in a general election, inferring that Senator Obama cannot win.

The Clinton "win at all cost" play book is only hurting the party in the long run. But then, it is not about the Democrat's winning, it is about Hillary winning. I can't say I will be saddened when these two exit stage right.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gone floatin'

That's what I'm going to be doing for the next couple of days. Floating down the Llano River on a tube or a kayak, having a beer or two, eating some good food and swapping stories with my extended family.

Climate change

Now we are affecting the climate of Jupiter.

Would someone please alert Al Gore!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary is a woman?

Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, Benazir Bhutto; what do they have in common? Obviously they are all women, and they are all women who rose to the top of the government in their respective countries. Peggy Noonan in her incomparable way discusses the difference between the first three of these women and Senator Clinton. Her bottom line is that they didn't make their femininity an excuse. They played the game with the big boys and won.

What Ms. Noonan doesn't say, that seems evident, is that Ms. Clinton belongs to the party of the victim. Of course she didn't lose the nomination because Senator Obama was a better campaigner, or because people didn't like her ideas, or because the voters just don't trust her. No, she lost the nomination because she is a woman and misogynists just would never stand for a woman being the nominee. She is the victim.

If she had won the nomination we would be hearing that racism is the reason that Senator Obama didn't win the nomination. He would have been the victim.

These people, meaning the liberals (damnit, I keep forgetting they are progressives now,) are not adults. They are two year olds. It is never their fault that things don't work out. Someone or something else is to blame. And by God, something should be done about it. Americans are such narrow minded, bigoted, misogynists that they just can't see what is best for them. Puhleeze!!

End of rant.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Texas overstepped

The Court of Appeals finds that Child Protective Services overstepped in seizing all of the children from the YFZ Ranch. Apparently, there has to be some sort of factual basis before children can be taken from their parents. Anyone who has ever dealt with CPS knows that CPS will be shocked and more than likely try to ignore the Court.

It will be interesting to see how CPS reacts to a Court order.

Buy a car get a gun

This is a great idea.

I recall that a Colorado bank used to give away deer rifles when a CD was purchased. (No, not a music CD, a certificate of deposit.) This bank did a great business on time deposits. I wonder what happened to that program. Even Michael Moore got one, though I doubt he passed the necessary background check. (The background check excludes gun ownership by dirty, socialist, hippies.)

Senate selection in Mass

Sometimes political maneuvers end up biting you in the end.

In 2004, since Senator Kerry was soon to be President Kerry (God saved us), and the Governor was a damned Republican (Romney), the Massachusetts legislature changed the method for filling a vacated Senate seat. Previously, as is the case in most states, a vacant seat would be filled by a gubernatorial appointment until the expiration of the term. The change calls for a special election to fill the seat.

Now the possibility of Senator Kennedy resigning or dying leaves the seat somewhat at risk, not much, but the Senator cannot direct his successor. He would like for his wife to have the seat, but she will have to stand for election, elected not selected.

Too smart by half.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Senator Kennedy has cancer

Sadly the prognosis for Senator Edward Kennedy is not good. This likely spells the end to what might have been an incredible political dynasty. This family has been tragically doomed with the exception of Edward. He has been a constant and steady voice for the liberal faction of the Democratic Party. The loss of Joe, then Jack and then Bobby left Teddy the bearer of the family's, specifically Joseph Kennedy's, expected destiny. He has fulfilled his role admirably, while not being the charismatic personality of his older brothers.

Our Republican Democracy cannot function without the tension between opposing points of view. Senator Kennedy has reliably upheld the liberal side of the argument. It is sad to hear of the debilitation of one who has contributed so much to our history.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Frontier America

In today's WSJ online Michael Malone has a very interesting essay. His theory is that the new American Frontier is one of technology, and that technology will create a nation of entrepreneurs.

This certainly seems plausible. The internet has penetrated the market faster than television did. It enables anyone, anywhere to work with anyone, anywhere else. Communications are rapid and global. The millennial generation and those following it for the most part do not anticipate having an employer. One of his observations is that 20% of Intel employees have never met their boss face to face and 10% of them never expect to. Surveys of other technology companies show those numbers to be on the low side.

For many of us the commute has already been reduced so that it is now from the kitchen to the spare bedroom, which is now an office. Business is transacted with other people all over the world with no more than telephone and email exchanges. This revolutionizes business and forces corporate America to scramble to adjust. Talented people will go to work for the competitor if you tell them they must show up at an office in Dallas at 8 A.M. and work until 5:00 P.M., when their preference is to work from home in Happy, Texas from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Entrepreneurs and small companies are nimble and can adjust, large corporations have structure which is more difficult to alter.

The future looks very different than the present, but it is a bright and interesting one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama appeals to the FAR left

For the Bolshevik-constructivist, skate-punk crowd, he is the one they've been waiting for.

Not exactly a group to which one would expect an American presidential candidate to hold appeal. Apparently I am not the only one that gets a strong whiff of socialism off of the Obama campaign. I cannot believe that there is even an outside chance that voters will elect someone who is so comfortable with Marxist principles. And I know he would disavow Marxism, but the things he says are filled with Marxist-socialist ideals.

The article the quote comes from discusses the iconography of Obama. It is quite interesting.

Just say no to the border fence

If the people who live on the border and are most affected by illegal immigration think the border fence is a bad idea, shouldn't we perhaps listen to them?

The Texas Border Coalition, which is chaired by the Mayor of Eagle Pass, has filed a lawsuit to stop construction of the fence. Mayor Foster says it is "an antiquated solution to a 21st century problem."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Forget some things

Roger von Oech over at Creative Thinking has an interesting post on the art of forgetting.

One of the major obstacles to making change in business is "tribal custom."* Tribal custom is what keeps employees doing redundant, inefficient or useless tasks because "that is the way we have always done it." If only we could manage to attain some creative forgetting, processes could be tested and improved.

*A term I will attribute to Jack Duffy until corrected.


The left has been squalling about the Iraq war since before it began. It took them about two seconds to start screaming it is another Vietnam.

This seems to be because they are a bunch of babyboomers, stuck in the 1960's and unable to see anything without fond memories of how they stopped the war in Vietnam. It has to be Vietnam all over again or the U.S. might actually achieve its goal.

But now Senator McCain is being accused of reliving the Vietnam War and it is just awful.

According to Dan Amira of the NYMag :
A 71-year-old who is still reliving the Vietnam War in his mind? That’s not scary at all!

What is scary is how this generation is incapable of growing up and moving on.

End of rant.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Racism emerging

Bonnie Erbe spends some time analyzing her thoughts on race and the 2008 Presidential race. Her opinion is much the same as mine.

More global warming insanity

The polar bear is listed as a threatened species. This despite the fact that polar bear numbers have increased from roughly 12,000 in the 1960's to approximately 25,000 now. This is a direct surrender to the global warming cultists and environmental warriors.

I have no issue with polar bears as long as they stay where they belong and I stay down here in Texas. But it is difficult to see how a species that is growing in population is threatened. This is a fine example of disregarding facts in order to promote a political cause supposedly based in science.

A pox on the Algoreans.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

McCain and the Hispanic vote

Senator McCain is well positioned to garner a significant part of the Hispanic vote. He has spent his entire career connecting with the Hispanic community in Arizona. According to Ruben Navarette he is well respected. He got 70% of their vote in his last election.

He also benefits from being on the sane side of immigration arguments. He has never endorsed the Republican party's stupid and suicidal positions on immigration. Clearly he knows the Hispanics for what they are; an honest, hard-working, family oriented culture.

Additionally, there is an antipathy by Hispanics to blacks. The Republicans managed to nominate the one candidate that moderate Hispanics don't mind fleeing the Democratic nominee to vote for.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Taxation without representation

I am guest blogging at Zane Safrit's place. Check out his blog. He provides great information and links for small businesses. Zane is a truly good guy and it is a pleasure to work with him. My posts there will be more business related, commentary on health care, accounting and taxes.

This morning I posted a graph showing historical tax levels as a percent of GDP. Zane's question was:
So, you're saying:
A. there's no value-added experience from the taxes we pay, or
B. we're not getting our money's worth,
C. we have taxation without representation.
D. All of the above.

My response was that we're not getting our money's worth as entitlements will eventually eat the whole economy if not changed.

Upon further reflection I would add that we are getting close to taxation without representation. Tax law has been simplified by removing large numbers of taxpayers from the tax roles. Nearly 50% of earners pay no taxes because their income does not reach a taxable level.

If 50% or more of the citizenry does not pay taxes but still enjoys the benefit of government, then they can vote themselves benefits at the expense of someone else. There is no end to the things I might like to have if someone else is paying for them. If the majority can vote themselves benefits at the expense of the minority (the taxpayers) then perhaps that is taxation without representation.

ADDED: James Carville (in reference to downscale urban and rural Democrats) says; “people that look to the federal government to soften the harder edges of capitalism.” I like that. Hard edged capitalism can certainly cause hardship on a micro level.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pleasant Monday

No rant today; well yet anyway.

I spent the morning helping my Daddy vaccinate heifers. The weather was cooperative, cool and overcast, so the cattle were fairly cooperative. We only had to chase a couple of them. They were late to the party and didn't really act like they wanted to come into the pen. I got more exercise than I am accustomed to, running across the pasture to head them off. Other than that it went smoothly and we were done in less than two hours.

The spring so far has been kind, but if it doesn't rain soon the kindness will be over. Damn Al Gore and his pet, Global Warming.

Speaking of global warming; I did hear John McCain declaring the debate over and declaring humans responsible. I guess the fact that the climate has actually cooled is not "true" evidence. So much for the wisdom that comes with age. Of course, there is the very small possibility that he is taking the politically smart path of least resistance... Nah, that can't be it.

I think I will make the link of the day the kid who imitates President Bush talking about global warming. If you haven't watched this video do so, it is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Racism and the election

Here is my prediction for the November election; McCain in a landslide. The reason; pure and simple racism.

If this election breaks down like 2000 and 2004, then the margins are very tight. Democrats will vote for Obama, Republicans will vote for McCain and swing-voters will vote against Obama for one or all of three reasons. He is very liberal, he is black and he has a Muslim name. The first of those reasons is the only one that should count, but I don't believe that will be the case.

While overt racism is not rampant in this country anymore, there are certainly many people, especially older voters, who still have strong racist tendencies. And as I noted in my previous post, we are all symbolic racists unless we are black.

Whether we admit it or not, and most have no problem admitting it, the past 20+ years of Islamist terrorism have given us a distrust of Muslims. Having the name Barack Hussein Obama is certainly not a plus for a candidate at this point in U.S. history.

In the past two Presidential elections a movement of one percent in many states would have created overwhelming electoral majorities. It is my opinion, based on nothing but having lived in this country all my life, that there is much more than one percent that will vote against Senator Obama out of racist feelings.

This is my opinion, and everyone is welcome to point out how wrong I was if Obama wins in November.

Symbolic Racism

This campaign season brings a plethora of new knowledge. First, we were exposed to low-information signaling, now we are confronted with symbolic racism.

I love this one. It is such a tidy little theory. As near as I can determine, (and I searched a university library database and found only three scholarly references to the term,) the theory of symbolic racism is that all blame for black poverty, failure to attain average educational levels and even infant mortality is due to discrimination. None of these things can be legitimately tied to despair, lack of effort or even health issues. Symbolic racism is therefore simply the rejection of the idea that, in any instance that blacks do not attain the average it is discrimination at work. You must believe that discrimination is always at work.

So if you believe, as apparently Bill Cosby does, that blacks are somewhat responsible for themselves you are a racist. What a demeaning thought, that if you are black, you can never be responsible for your own life. All references I found made the point that symbolic racism is very subtle and white people do not realize they are racist, but they are.

This whole theory strikes me as social scientists assuming a theory, and when not able to find support for the theory, they created an explanation that is squishy enough that it can neither be confirmed nor denied.

Friday, May 9, 2008


A water bottle that can purify water immediately, weighs 1.5 pounds (less than a kilo) and is good for up to 1,500 gallons of water. This appears to be a huge advance for, not only the military, but public health.

Women don't vote monolithically

Kathleen Parker has an interesting take on the feminists position on Senator Clinton's nomination. It is her opinion that:
What they clearly don't want is a woman president just because she's a woman. If Clinton loses, it won't be because women betrayed her.
She even makes the odd statement that, "Obama is, for certain, the more feminine of the two." It is hard to imagine that Senator Obama would find that a complimentary assessment.

I would like the progressives to remember these comments when people vote for McCain rather than Obama. It may just be that many people consider him to be a better candidate, not because of racism.

I read one waggish comment to the effect that "I have no problem voting for a black man for President, but Colin Powell is not running."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hillary... again

How much can you pander without looking totally ridiculous? If the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the mechanism to break up OPEC, why hasn't it been done in the past 12 years? This is just ridiculous.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Et tu Hillary

I have never doubted that Senator Clinton was an intelligent woman; until now. Her gas tax holiday, which Sen. McCain also verbally supports, is just plain stupid.

I know Americans are largely economically illiterate, but the way to reduce the price of gasoline is not to increase demand through artificially lowering prices; they will pop right back up. And to state, "I am not going to put in my lot with economists" is really nutty. She wants to be President but if economists disagree with an idea she will just ignore them. That is like ignoring your doctor because you don't like what he tells you.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let's not pile on Michelle Obama

It was suggested that I comment on Michelle Obama's college thesis. There is an email circulating that has some fairly inflammatory comments ascribed to her.

I read (so you don't have to, though it's not bad writing for an undergraduate) her undergraduate thesis from Princeton entitled "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community." There is nothing remarkable about her thesis. She was doing an analysis of the affect that being black at Princeton might have as you relate to the Black community. The quotes cited in the email do exist but they are pulled wholly out of context. The most outrageous quote is "...Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." The context is important, she is referring to the Black Power Movement of the 1970's and the entire quote is; "It is possible that Black individuals chose to or felt pressured to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." She goes on to state that the situation (in 1985) is different and Black students are more integrated into campus life.

She clearly identifies with the "Black" community in preference to the "White" community, but who can blame her for that. She was a minority student at an Ivy League University.

Is it getting warm in here?

The Telegraph is publishing doubts about global warming. It seems, from my reading, that global warming is a more widely accepted theory in the UK. So, this took some fortitude.

Globalization is good

This Newsweek article by Fareed Zakaria, though lengthy, touches on many areas of importance, especially to us insular Americans.

The bottom line is that globalization makes other countries wealthier. This can only be good for all of us, as a nation with a functioning economy is less likely to engage in aggression or punitive trade habits, as those activities would damage the economy. (America is the apparent exception to this.)

America, and Americans, needs to accustom itself to being one among equals rather than the dominant hyper-power that it was for the last 20 years of the 20th century.

Take a deep breath, gains some perspective and realize that things are actually pretty good. And they look to get better. The future outlook for the world is rosier than it has ever been.

The commencement speech you wouldn't mind hearing

Even if you don't agree with P.J. O'Rourke's advice, this would not be the boring commencement speech we've all heard over and over.

Go. Read. Laugh a little.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Whither the Democratic voter

According to Rasmussen Reports: "Fifty-six percent (56%) (of likely voters surveyed) say it’s at least somewhat likely that Obama 'shares some of Pastor Wright’s controversial views about the United States'.” Even worse for the Senator is that 48% of Democrats and 49% of independents agree with that statement. Add to that the 81% who have an unfavorable opinion of the Rev. Wright and Senator Obama has a huge problem to overcome.

The problem becomes one of what can the Democratic Party do and more importantly the voters? Democrats are not likely to turn to Senator McCain, but they are having huge doubts about Obama now. Do they grit their teeth and vote for Obama or stay home? Of course it is a long ways to November and time tends to mellow distaste. We will certainly here more negatives about McCain once the nominating process is complete.