Archive for January, 2009

The Chance to do Good–Ivorywinged1 Speaks

January 25, 2009

Howdy, folks, I’m posting a guest’s article as I will others when submitted to me for submission to advance discussion and another point of view.

Take it away, Ivorywinged1:

The Chance to do Good
There’s a reason we keep score in athletic contests.  Keeping score is how we find out what works, what doesn’t and how to get better.  And after all isn’t the real objective in all interscholastic athletic competition to create a framework for learning how to learn?  I am gravely concerned about a culture I see more and more now where a performance resulting in perfect failure is sky rocketed to national fame by the abject failure itself.  The values that generate this misplaced empathy are destructive to those it is intended to comfort.  The loss of the game is nothing compared to the degradation of values these, and all kids who hear of this adulation of total ineptitude, will endure due to the misdirected attention and reward generated by this group of high profile, ignorant, ratings seeking adults looking to feel good about themselves by publicly glorifying commiseration with the team that demonstrated the quintessence of failure. 
 
How about a story that will do the kids some good?  The real opportunity for improvement is in this thought.  Were one to throw a rock into a crowd, one would no doubt hit three people all of whom could literally have done at least as good a job as the coach who fielded a team so devoid of organization, competitive concept and applicable skills as to be incapable of scoring once in a game long enough for the competition to score a hundred points two points at a time.  Oh, but God forbid anyone mention the specter of world class incompetence among those who staff our “institutions of learning.” Or more so a school board so dismissive of, or outright hostile to, the benefits of athletic endeavor as to employ a total no show of a coach.  That’s the message the kids need to hear.  If a plane load of basketballs happened to lose it’s load mid flight, a certain percentage of those balls would, undoubtedly, fall through any random number of basketball hoops prior to hitting the ground.  How is it possible for a coach to guide a group of kids intent on scoring to a result even less successful than random happenstance might promise?  That’s the failure the team ought to be directed to recognize.  That’s the improvement which first needs to take place and from which all future improvements will issue.  The lesson to be learned is the one that teaches a team they are better right now if they just learn how.  That’s education.  That’s progress.  That’s motivation.  That’s why those kids show up each day to practice.  Kids who can-do, will-do, because it’s most fun that way.  Show them the way.  Where is that lesson in this media feeding frenzy of self congratulatory misplaced commiseration?  Sympathy doesn’t help kids do better.  Success does.  Teaching them how to improve is success.  Glorifying failure is child abuse.    
Whoa unto those who deliver unto us the under motivated, over weight, apathetic, value warped youth the very same media louts will complain about in a 60 second segment later in the same broadcast.  Behold the article below.  Probably best read prior to eating.   
 
That’s my take. 
Greg
Dallas Academy Bulldogs, 100-0 losers, gain national attention  

By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News
bhorn@dallasnews.com

01:53 PM CST on Saturday, January 24, 2009

 By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News 

 The Dallas Academy Bulldogs, losers of a 100-0 high school girls basketball game last week, have emerged as America’s sweethearts.

They have become the rage of network television. Today, they’re scheduled to appear on two early morning national shows, and the gifts are piling up.

“Everybody who hears the story is sympathetic if not empathetic,” said Andrew Morse, executive producer of Good Morning America Weekend, explaining the media interest. “Everybody has been on a losing side and felt what it must have been to look at the scoreboard as the other team’s point total continued to mount.”

It’s made for a grueling schedule.

The girls were up late Thursday night to participate in a faux practice taped by ABC’s World News. After the report that mentioned the final score, their traditional losing ways and their learning problems was broadcast Friday night, anchor Diane Sawyer, looking straight into the camera, offered a gentle cheer, “And go Bulldogs.”

Early this morning, the girls will be back in the Dallas Academy gym for a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America Weekend. As soon as ABC is finished with them, CBS’ Saturday Early Show will step in to do its interviews.

Presumably, Sunday will be a day of rest. Then everybody will be back in the gym early Monday morning for a scheduled interview with Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today show.

And there has been Mark Cuban’s invitation to be his guests at a Mavericks game as well as a call from Nike about sponsoring a team trip to the Feb. 15 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. There may be some new uniforms thrown in.

The story unfolded on Jan. 13, when The Covenant School’s team overwhelmed Dallas Academy, 100-0, keeping the pressure on until it reached 100 points. The game was played in an old North Dallas gym with few fans other than parents as witnesses. No media were present. But the score appeared in The Dallas Morning News the following day. It wasn’t until a story about the game appeared in The News that the world took notice.

It was on Thursday, the day the story appeared, that Covenant, a North Dallas Christian School, issued an apology on its Web site, saying its team had achieved “victory without honor” and said it would forfeit the game.

When posted on dallas news.com, the story attracted 665,000 page views, the most since a controversy over who should be the Grapevine High School valedictorian attracted 853,000 in 2008. The season-high story for the Cowboys, perennial Web site favorites, was 300,000 page views in November when Tony Romo took a homeless man to the movies.

E-mails have flooded in from across the country and as far away as China commenting on the story. Most have questioned the motives of Covenant’s coach for “running up” the score. But some have defended the coach for allowing his girls to play to their potential. None have blamed the Covenant players.

The attention has stunned Dallas Academy, which told its side of the story only after it was asked.

“It’s really silly,” said Jim Richardson, the school’s headmaster, who has continually emphasized he has no hard feelings and pointed out that Covenant head of school Kyle Queal once spent time working for him as a substitute at Dallas Academy. “I remember once seeing a 1940s Gary Cooper movie in which people made a big deal about nothing. I think we’re getting there fast.”

 

 

We Cannot Become the LEFT and Bash Obama

January 20, 2009

Today marks a historic day in the continuing experiment of the United States of America. Truly, it is a day that should be a celebration when a man of color is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States–even though he is not a descendant of slaves, still he is the first African-American. In fact, he is literally an African (Father)- American (Mother), where the predominance of those that use that identity are African descendants of American birth. I wonder if someday his identity will be discussed further by those of racist leanings–those on the left–by attacking the very fact that he wasn’t born of American slaves and therefor, not the first African-American President. But, I digress, that will surely be a subject of the future–mark my words.

Today, though we Conservatives must pledge not to become that which we most hated the last eight years. We cannot become as the left, as we termed them “Bush Bashers”, the “KoolAide Drinkers”; we have to be smarter than they–we have to be better.

We must not become lily-livered, we must continue to hold to our principles and moral objections to much of the platform of the Democrat Party. We are the folks that argue for law & order, and the orderly transfer of power is one our oldest laws, so we have to support that. We are the folks that believe in the Commander-in-Chief, so we must respect the Office and the Man that takes that seat. We have to support the President, but we don’t have to be quiet about his policies, his words and his actions; we do have to be civil about the way we go about our opposition, we have to be better and smarter than those whining and crying for the last eight years. Remember, they had, and still have, a left-leaning MSM (Main Steam Media) to support them, we have FOXNews,  blogs and talk radio (as long as the latter last against the promise to re-instate the (un)Fairness Doctrine), so if we go and act as they–we’ll get the attention alright and it won’t be good. They’ll actually turn it around on us, just as I warn–they’ll say that Conservatives should be better than their opposition, just as our transgressors with the (R) behind their names that do stupid stuff, go to hookers, cheat on their wives or have gay trysts are held to a much higher standard because we espouse those moral demands from all, not just our own.

One of the best articles today on that is David Limbaugh’s thought on this subject, below is his take.  I say that we thank President Bush for keeping us safe since 9/11 and for  standing his ground in doing so regardless of the political consequences or the hatred of those on the left. I say we welcome Barack Obama as our new President with as much happiness this day promises. But, I say we watch, read and consider all the things he says and does and ensure that we hold him to our standards and requirements civilly, in words, actions and print–just be smarter and better than they were.

Republicans Must Turn Down the Kool-Aid
David Limbaugh   Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It’s going to take real courage the next four years for Republicans to swim against the tide and oppose Barack Obama — in whom so many have placed their hopes, almost to the point of idolatry. But if Obamagoverns in a way that’s consistent with his promises, the country’s future security and prosperity will depend on spirited opposition.

It’s bad enough for the liberal media to deify Obama, but it’s almost unbearable for right-wing commentators and politicians to jump on this bandwagon, as well, as if Obama’s personal attributes have blinded them to the policy dangers he represents.

 During the Bush years, the left blamed Bush for the absence of bipartisanship, when, by any rational measure, they were the ones whose relentless vitriol made bipartisanship impossible.

Forgive the analogy, but their reversal of blame is reminiscent of a memorable scene in the movie “Animal House,” when fraternity hotshot “Otter” pressured the hapless legacy pledge, “Flounder,” into lending him his brother’s car. When Otter returned the car after having demolished it, Otter chastised Flounder for entrusting the car to him. “You (screwed) up. You trusted me.”

Now, after eight years of this poison, the same specious theme from the Bush bashershas found a new application: “Republicans must work with Barack Obama and restore a spirit of collegiality to Washington,” as if they have any moral authority to be lecturing, but even more importantly, as if a spirit of collegiality will solve America’s problems.

To be clear, I am not advocating that Republicans return the same mean-spirited partisanship with which the left pummeled Bush. But conservatives must not abandon their principles in pursuit of the seductive, illusory goal of bipartisanship.

You’d think this principle too sophomoric to articulate, and so do I — almost. But have you been listening to Republican politicians and “conservative” commentators lately behaving as if their eternal salvation depends on jumping aboard a train headed in the opposite direction from everything in which they profess to believe?

Of course the right should support Obamaon things they agree with him on and never oppose him gratuitously for purely partisan reasons. Indeed, they should rejoice if Obama were to morph into a free market enthusiast, national security stalwart, champion of the unborn, and protector of our borders.

But such talk is academic, as the chances of Obama being substantively Reaganesque are less than his becoming obese, which means that during the next few years, the articulation of principled conservatism could never be more important. They must resist pressures for bipartisanship from those who will continue to use it as a weapon to intimidate principled opposition.

Perhaps a secret desire for approval from the elites and intelligentsia of the Northeast Corridor explains the squishiness of so many on the right today. Or maybe they are paranoid about appearing ever so slightly racist if they fail to extol the virtues of the first black president — no disrespect intended to Bill Clinton — even if his policies are anathema to them.

But can’t we acknowledge the positive aspects of America’s historic strides in certain aspects of race relations without surrendering to the advancement of liberalism just because the first black president is behind it?

What our government does during the next four years — maybe the next 100 days — could have a lasting impact on the future of America’s liberty, prosperity and even solvency.

Republicans are already on seriously thin ice, having presided over an era of unprecedented spending and consistently failing to articulate conservative principles on a wide variety of issues. But what Obama has in store will make President Bush appear, in retrospect, like a libertarian.

If, for the sake of appearing to work with Obama, Republicans reduce themselves to offering merely liberal lite the next four years, we’re going to have trouble recovering from the inevitable damage to which they will have contributed.

They’ve already ceded ground on the need for a “stimulus package,” though conservative realists understand that doing nothing would be far less destructive to our long-term financial health than throwing good money after bad under the illusion that the government mint is a panacea.

Will they have the courage to stand tough against the further socialization of our health care system and offering market reforms instead, even against the demagogic claims that they are without compassion for the “uninsured”? If not, they will be contributing not only to the permanent demise of America’s health care system but also to possibly the end of America’s free market tradition.

It’s one thing for Obama’s leftist cult followers to be oblivious as to the source of their giddiness, but it’s completely unacceptable for the right to be rudderless in the face of this potential juggernaut. Lord help us and this great nation if they don’t regain their moorings very soon.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

 

Crossposted @ The Patriotic Resistance

To All My Valued Employees,

January 19, 2009

I know it’s been around the eMails (I have no Idea who the original author is) for the last few weeks, but I think it explains (tongue-in-cheek although accurately) so much in how to see what’s happening with the Democrat Agenda on taxes and their perceived need to correct the economy with government handouts.

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. 

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests. 

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. 

However, what you don’t see is the back story. 

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. 

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. 

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had. 

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made. 

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. 

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. 

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: 

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch. 

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. 

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. 

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now. 

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. 

So where am I going with all this? 

It’s quite simple. 

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s future. Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more. 

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. 

So, if you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about…. 

Signed, 
Your boss

A Continuation of Yesterday with Thomas Sowell

January 17, 2009
I can add nothing that I didn’t say yesterday, nor will I try, except to reiterate,
May God bless George W. Bush and continue His favor upon the United States of America.
by Thomas Sowell

Whatever history’s verdict on the Bush administration might be, it is likely to be very different from what we hear from the talking heads on television or read from the know-it-alls on editorial pages.

 President Bush’s number one achievement was also the number one function of government– to protect its citizens. Nobody on September 11, 2001 believed that there would never be another such attack for more than seven years.

Unfortunately, people who are protected from dangers often conclude that there are no dangers. This is most painfully visible among those Americans who are hysterical over the government’s intercepting international phone calls, in order to disrupt international terrorist networks.

Many, especially among the intelligentsia, are also obsessed with whether we are being nice enough to the cut-throats locked up at Guantanamo, some of whom have already been turned loose to resume a life of terrorism. The rights of the Geneva Convention do not apply to people who neither obey the Geneva Convention nor are covered by the Geneva Convention.

That a President of the United States protected us from deadly enemies may not seem like much of an accomplishment to some. But it may be more fully appreciated when we get a President who eases up on that protection, in order to curry favor at home and abroad.

We can only hope that it will not take the sight of an American city lying in radioactive ruins to wake people up to the dangers that George W. Bush protected us against, despite an unending chorus of carping.

No one in his right mind would say that the Bush administration was flawless. But many of their worst political mistakes were the kinds of mistakes that decent people often make when dealing with indecent people, both domestically and internationally.

The idea with which President Bush arrived in Washington, that he could gain bipartisan support by going along with the Democrats, and not vetoing any bills that Congress passed, ignored the fact that it takes two to tango.

Having proclaimed his goal as bipartisanship, it was he who was blamed when the bipartisanship failed to materialize. Wooing Ted Kennedy and going along with massive government spending did not stop Kennedy from getting up in the Senate and loudly proclaiming that Bush “lied, and lied and lied!” about Iraq.

Whatever the merits or demerits of going to war against Saddam Hussein, the question whether he had weapons of mass destruction immediately at hand makes a better talking point than a serious argument.

President Bush was not the only national leader who thought Saddam Hussein had such weapons, nor were such weapons the only reason why the Iraqi dictator posed a continuing danger that all diplomatic efforts, over more than a decade, had failed to extinguish.

This issue can be debated, and no doubt will be debated for years, if not generations, to come. But the irresponsible charge that “Bush lied” for some nefarious purpose– to trade “blood for oil” or to generate business for Halliburton, for example– is more than a slander against him. It undermines our whole nation and gives comfort to our enemies around the world.

Domestically, the Bush legacy leaves a lot to be desired. Going along with the McCain-Feingold bill restricting free speech was perhaps the Bush administration’s biggest dereliction of duty. Maybe they figured that they could pass the problem along to the Supreme Court to stop it, since this bill so clearly violated the First Amendment to the Constitution.

But the Supreme Court was also guilty of a dereliction of its duty and let the McCain-Feingold bill stand.

Advocating amnesty for illegal aliens was another political disaster, especially when accompanied by denials of the obvious.

Although the Bush administration went along with the chorus of calls for promoting home ownership among people who could not afford home ownership, President Bush at least sounded a warning while others were still pushing lenders to lend to people who proved unable to repay their loans.

A mixed bag? Aren’t we all? But an honorable man.

Thank you, President Bush; May God Bless You

January 16, 2009

With all having been said and printed, I believe that George W. Bush will go down in history with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR, as one of the few Presidents that saved the United States from obliteration.

Many will say that he failed the country because of the Economy Crisis, but even in that, eventually and if the truth can or will be told, he tried years ago to warn of the impending doom because of Fannie & Freddie–it’s all there but no one wants to work through it as it’s to popular to tear this man down and discredit him (perhaps that will be another article soon).

The Wall Street Journal this morning has the best article regarding President Bush’s victory and success in keeping us safe since 9/11–or as Dennis Miller says as he keeps track–2,673 days or 7 years & 117 days. However you’d like to count it, none of us or those that attack the President, would have ever thought on Sept. 10th, 2001 that we wouldn’t again be attacked on U.S. soil in the intervening years.  We haven’t and it is the testament to Presidenty Bush’s courage and selfless love for this country, his country, our country, that made it so. So, even though these last days of his tenure are an economic nightmare, and many of us struggle–I am part of those as I was laid off on Dec. 29th because of the consumer/commercial electronics industry’s  fall off–at the very least , we still have a great Country to have this economic debacle. Never forget that George Bush gave his all to ensure that the United States survived and continued it’s Grand Experiment.

The 9/11 Presidency

Long after George W. Bush boards Marine One next Tuesday bound for Texas, the enduring image of his epochal eight years will be the September 20, 2001 evening a relatively new President stood before a nation traumatized and in mourning.

[Review & Outlook] AP

“We will direct every resource at our command — every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war — to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network,” Mr. Bush told a Joint Session of Congress. “I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.”

In that moment, he set the standard for the Bush Presidency: To protect Americans from another 9/11 and hit Islamist terrorists and their sponsors abroad. Whatever history’s ultimate judgment, Mr. Bush never did yield. Nearly all the significant battles of the Bush years — the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Guantanamo and wiretapping, upheavals in the Middle East, America’s troubles with Europe — stemmed directly from his response to the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon that defined his Presidency.

By his own standard, Mr. Bush achieved the one big thing he and all Americans demanded of his Administration. Not a single man, woman or child has been killed by terrorists on U.S. soil since the morning of September 11. Al Qaeda was flushed from safe havens in Afghanistan, then Iraq, and its terrorist network put under siege around the world. All subsequent terror attacks hit soft targets and used primitive means. No one seriously predicted such an outcome at the time.

[See more at WSJ]

The world remains a very dangerous place. Yet thanks to Mr. Bush’s post-9/11 willingness to act decisively, and at the risk of his own popularity, Americans are safer today than on September 10, 2001.

 Thank you, President Bush; May God Bless You

Crossposted: The Patriot Resistance

Today’s Cartoon

January 11, 2009

hamas-vs-israel

Artist/Source unknown, received via eMail

My Multi-Trillion Dollars Stimulus Plan

January 11, 2009

Forget the headaches in doling out money (who gets it and how much?) to needy corporations or industries that ran their businesses into the ground.  Forget Obama’s grand revisiting of FDR’s 30s WPA  (that never really worked) in redoing and repairing the Nations/States/Cities infrastructure. And for Heaven’s sakes–Don’t Bail Out The Porn Industry! Geez!! Forget the “tax credits” for 95% of American “workers”, which means a majority of those receiving a check haven’t paid any Federal Income Tax, so those checks become welfare checks–also, forget the “Alan Colmes” argument that those folks pay state/city/sales taxes; excuse me Alan, the money is coming out of the taxes paid to the Federal Gov’t, not from States’ & Cities’ coffers.

And then there is what are the totals? Some estimates are that the total so far with all the stimulus and bailouts is around $7.2 Trillion (yep, that’s 72 with 11 zeros after it) and that doesn’t include Obama’s plan that he says is around $775 Billion–Prince Harry Reid says it’s realistically over an additional $1.2T!

Instead, of a measly $500 individual or $1000 family of “working” folks (you can’t even buy a decent-sized flat screen with either of those numbers–Holy Moly, what kind of stimulus is that?), let’s just give a straight lump sum stimulus check to every last U.S. Citizen (legal, of course) man, woman & child, which according to the U.S. POPClock Projection of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the resident population of the United States, projected to 01/11/09 at 09:03 GMT (EST+5) is 305,593,220 (now, that includes (unspecified classification) immigrants but we’ll presume they are legal).

Okay, so if we give 306M (rounded up since that’s going to happen within the next three months) legal citizens of the United States an equal share of the Bailouts/Stimulus why wouldn’t that work better than the stupid buyout/bailout/socialist plans that President Bush, President-elect Obama, Hank Paulson & the Congress, et al, came up with.

Let’s see, at $7.2Tthat means each check would total $23,530; at 8.4T, that’s $27,450–talk about trickle down economics! Now, the rules for the individual checks–everybody gets one and of those that go to the children (we’ll use 18 years old as the cut-off, unless they are emancipated minors–and no fair emancipating yourself between the news statements and getting the checks) the money goes to the legal guardian/parent/overseer. Okay, so in using the smaller of the two numbers, a couple will get approximately $47,000.00; a family of four (minor children), $94,000.00! And you could forget the need to cut or mess with the Capital Gains Tax, but of course, the economy would be even stronger if it was repealed.

How couldn’t this money get to where it truly needs to be given (a better distribution plan per need and to those that should stay in business, even the UAW would end up with some through car purchases). It’ll go into banks to start, then out to where ever. Sure, smart folks will pay down their debt and payoff the credit cards, most will still have some money left over to go spend which helps the city/state tax coffers, who’ll then spend the money on the infrastructure. Some, maybe a large proportion, will use the money as a 20% down payment to buy a house; another clear majority will go buy a car; many will invest it into the US markets (the DOW would break and stay above the 13,000 by the end of the year); and the rest and all with extra money will go on a monumental spending spree! 

But, wait you say, what about the trashed economy? This will instantaneously fix the economy. But, wait you say, what about the folks that just put in savings or 401K, etc? Fine, it’s in a bank somewhere, which means assets, which means LENDING!  Lending for the Homes, Cars, etc.! As well, all those college age and college students (those over the 18 yo cut-off) can pay a pretty sizable sum toward their education, pay on the College Loans, etc. Oh, sure, there will be some epic keggers (they’ll make Animal House look like a kindergarten juice and cookies snack), but again it pays into the city/state taxes, and, guys,  you could BUY your own tap and upgrade to the good stuff–from Keystone to Budweiser!

Yeah, I know this ain’t gonna happen, duh; but, isn’t it a much better plan than any of the numbnuts in Washington have come up with to stimulate the economy–forget stimulating–this fixes the whole issue in an instant!

 

Crossposted @    HopLedHed–TPR &  The Patriotic Resistance

I Love Burt Prelutsky

January 9, 2009

This guy writes for me most of the time–this time, in particular, he has it right on, IMHO.

Taking Sides in the Middle East

Just for the record, I am a non-observant Jew. That means that my mother’s father, Max Lashevsky, who kept kosher and attended an orthodox synagogue every day of his life, would probably have considered me a heathen, while Adolph Hitler would have exterminated me in a gas oven.

I want that to be perfectly clear so that when I declare my concern for Israel, nobody will simply assume it’s because I’m Jewish. I am on the side of Israel because it’s a western democracy, an ally of America, and because I regard her enemies as the scum of the world.

Israel’s foes believe in targeting women and children just so long as they’re Jewish or Christian. They are not only intolerant of the freedoms we take for granted — speech and religion — but they are polygamous, treat their women as chattel and encourage their children to achieve martyrdom as suicide bombers. Moreover, so-called honor killings are part of what passes for their culture.

In order to realize what a paternalistic society they have, you need only look at a photo of an Arab mob carting a corpse through the streets of Gaza; even when it’s the corpse of a child, I challenge you to find a woman anywhere in sight. So far as the Arabs are concerned, the mother, grandmother, aunts and sisters, are of absolutely no consequence.

Yet here in America and even more so in Europe, you will find millions of theoretically civilized people who find a moral equivalence between Israel and her sworn enemies — and even more millions who favor the Arabs.

In a recent Rasmussen Poll, 62% of Republicans in America sided with Israel, while a mere 31% of Democrats favored Israel in the current conflict.

As you may have noticed, the world’s media rarely if ever remarked about the thousands of missiles Hamas fired into Israel over the past few years. However, once Israel finally got around to announcing that enough was enough, and went on the offensive, Condoleezza Rice and the European Union didn’t waste a second before crying “Foul!” and throwing a penalty flag.

This same pattern is followed each and every time that Israel responds to unprovoked attacks. You can invariably count on the nations of the world agreeing that Israel is out of line. While it’s nice they can agree on something, it’s a shame that “something” never seems to be Islamic terrorism, Arab barbarism or slavery in modern- day Africa.

Can you imagine anyone in his right mind 67 years ago claiming that America was over-reacting to Pearl Harbor? Would anybody but an idiot have suggested that once America had sunk an equal number of Japanese battleships or killed an equal number of Japanese soldiers and sailors that we should have ceased hostilities and turned things over to European diplomats, especially after seeing how well those fellows had kept Hitler and Mussolini in check?

The fact is, only Arabs would continue to call the human refuse of Gaza refugees. The only reason that there were any Arab refugees back in 1948 was because Egypt, Jordan and Syria, promised to exterminate the Jews and divide the spoils, not because the Israelites had exiled its Arab population. Once Israel fought off the invaders, no Arab nation would open its doors to the refugees, and to this day no Arab nation ever has.

But that was 61 years ago! Who ever heard of people being refugees for six decades? How can people who have never lived in Israel, whose fathers and mothers never lived in Israel, continue to lay claim to a place where they’ve never set foot — and which, according to Arab textbooks, doesn’t even exist? They might as well insist they have a claim to Oz, Atlantis or Brigadoon.

Frankly, I marvel at Israel’s spiritual fortitude, at her reluctance to seek Biblical retribution. Even one missile would be enough to get me riled up. To absorb 10,000 missile attacks strikes me as verging on the masochistic. I honestly think Israel continues to be far too concerned with world opinion. After 61 years of hearing one’s enemies repeating Hitler’s plans for the final solution, collateral damage would be the least of my concerns.

I understand that civilized societies are supposed to worry about the deaths of women and children. But in civilized societies, parents don’t raise their youngsters to be suicide bombers and they certainly wouldn’t dance in the street when 3,000 innocent Americans were incinerated on 9/11.

There are still people who regret the A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am not one of those people. That’s because it’s estimated that if the bombs had not been dropped, if, instead, America had been forced to invade Japan, as many as a million lives — Japanese as well as American — would have been lost. Coincidentally, like the Arabs and the Muslims, the Japanese had their own version of youthful suicide bombers — the Kamikaze pilots who sacrificed their lives by crashing their planes into American ships.

One of the young sailors who was in the South Pacific at the time, on his way to the planned invasion, was later to become a dear friend of mine. Last week, he died at the age of 81. Perhaps the reason that Joe X Price got to live those additional 63 years was because when it really counted, America didn’t overly concern itself with collateral damage. 

Today’s Applicable Cartoon

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The Newest Novel

January 8, 2009

For those that would like to sample some of my work, here’s the new novel’s start.

Dragonet: Allah’s Instrument

By Kent Book © 2006

 

PRELUDE

 

The behemoth passes quietly through the pressures of the deep; its blackness makes it noticeable in the stygian water and the light that filters down through the fathoms mottles its skin.

It is a hunter, it’s old and tired, but still aggressive if need be. It is patient; it listens passively; it forebodes ill if aroused; and it is on its last mission. Dragonet, its name given by others, glides forward to its destiny, scattering its much smaller namesake as its masters drive it to its reckoning.

Dragonet moves through the darkness, perhaps not as quietly as when it was younger or as quietly others of its kind, but quietly enough still that few have the aural quality to hear its passage from above. It is fast in contrast to the pressure and resistance of the water that surrounds it, its shape and form increases its speed submerged, but hinders its progress when on the surface.

In its thirty years of life, Dragonet has been a warrior of outstanding successes. It has been to war with others of its kind, opponents and enemies of the deep, its mind made up by other entities as the others are as well. It has killed those of the deep and the surface–water and land–in self-defense and in aggression, but always with the welfare of its masters and their nation in mind.

The Masters are warriors themselves, though seldom confronted face-to-face with their enemy; still they use Dragonet to exert their will over others that would do the same if given the chance. They never attack without provocation and only after much thought and concern. The Masters are not those that make war for the need to make war, they respond to aggression and death to live and preserve their nation against those that would tear it asunder.

It knows nothing; it only serves its masters. It is not sentient and therefore knows nothing of its future or past. The glory it achieves is known only by those that control it and sometimes by the world as a whole, but most of its work and victories are kept by only a few. To be sure, although it knows nothing of its history, Dragonet is a proud name and its service has been exemplary.

Its masters have decided that its usefulness is at an end; it is to retire and is on its way to that rest. But, first a stop to show itself to the Masters’ nation, in recognition of its successful mission, sacred and primary — the defense and protection of the nation and its people. There is to be much fanfare made of its past and arrival; there will be many that will come to look and visit; and some that come for other reasons, but Dragonet knows nothing of any of that. It goes as commanded, blind to the need of recognition, deaf to the applause and music that will greet it; unmindful of its future. The behemoth of the deep moves to history, and all but one of those inside look forward to its arrival and eventual retirement. That one knows more than the rest; he knows that Dragonet has more to do and what that mission will be. He controls Dragonet and uses it for a cause passed to him by others that have little care for Dragonet’s history—they only care for what it can do as it dies.

The mindless warrior slows as it begins its careful ascension toward the surface. The Masters inside listen intently to the water that surrounds it lest another denizen of the water come to close, endangering it.

The United States Ship (SSN-775) Dragonet is coming up from the deep and to its final mission.


CHAPTER ONE

 

“CONN, SONAR, there are no contacts close aboard.”

“SONAR, CONN, Aye.”

“ESM, CONN,”

“CONN, ESM, no close contacts.”

“ESM, CONN, Aye.”

LCDR Robert abu Saliemen walks the periscope around, surveying the grey water and lightening overcast skies; he decides and calls out, “Diving Officer, maintain your head and surface the ship. Chief of the Watch, set the maneuvering watch.”

LTjg Cummins acknowledges the captain, “Maintain my head and surface the boat, aye.” Leaning forward from his bench, he instructs the helm and planesman.

The master chief responds, “Set the maneuvering watch, aye.”

The orders are those that have been given thousands of times throughout the world and its many seagoing nations since the first submarine, the USS Holland, and for over one hundred years. Trained crews respond automatically to such orders without any thought, for hesitation in the sub service is death.

As preparations continue for surfacing, LCDR Saliemen turns the periscope over to the Navigator, who states, “Officer of the Deck, I relieve you.”

Saliemen responds, “I stand relieved. The Navigator has the CONN.” He steps down from the periscope stand and retreats to his stateroom behind the SINS binnacle. It will be a while before they make their way up the Hudson into the New York City waters and there is time for him to relax before he moves into the conning tower to oversee their approach. As he settles into his desk chair, he hears the bustle of the crew moving from their at sea stations to their maneuvering watch stations. Over the 1MC, the COW calls the crew to Field Day—an all hands, other than those on watch, sprucing up of the boat for their arrival and the dignitaries and visitors that will come aboard.

One of the mess hands has brought a silver pot of tea expecting his relief from duty and he pours the light liquid into the porcelain cup on the tray. Robert “Bob” abu Saliemen sips the hot light flavored tea and reflects on the dawning day. Submarines’ design allows smooth passage beneath the waves and because of the drag of the water on the surface, there is tedium in surfacing and maneuvering a submarine into a busy waterway. The design of the exaggerated bullet-nose helps water pass over and around it and increase the speed of the ship as the water moves through the screws; and not meant to slice the waves as a surface ship’s bow does. Today’s cruise on the surface would be smoother than most because of the calm wave action he noted as they prepared to surface. All submariners know the pounding the sub takes when surfacing in any storm or deep swells, and they all hate it. A submarine on the surface is little more than a bobbing, rolling vessel under power and most submariners are the worst surface sailors in any Navy, as seasickness is decidedly more prevalent. When submerged, there is almost no movement other than the vibration the machinery and engine produces –seldom is their world other than one sitting in one’s home. But as a submarine rises closer to the surface, wave action can be felt somewhere between periscope depth and the surface, although sometimes it can be as deep as two hundred feet if there is a high numbered class storm.

The captain noted the slight roll and understood they were now on the surface. The speaker next to his built in desk announced orders for moving the CONN to the on-surface position high above the main deck in the sail. He sipped again at the tea and pulled his log book from its place to make note of the time and action taking place. Another tedium–long centuries have been annotated by all mariners as their various ships have made their way from one port to another. A Master’s sacred responsibility is not only to his ship, but foremost to the lives of his crew, and must note or record just about everything for reasons of documentation, for. His every decision and command is subject to intensive scrutiny if ever the ship is placed in harms way and damaged; whether in time of war or peace. Those that ply the waters of the Earth are led by Captains and they give their lives into their care and direction. It is a fine line for most sailors who readily trust those put in place to command, it’s even more so on submarines for their smaller crews and the inherent danger in its operation. Much is made of the surface fleet mockery of submariners, “Why would you want to sink a perfectly good ship?”

The answer, “To find perfectly good targets.” To submariners there are only two kinds of ships: submarines and targets; and they are a prideful bunch of men that learn and train to live upon and control the undersea vessels.

 Saliemen initials the entry he just made and almost blindly returns the log book to its place; his gaze fixes on the framed pictures on the shelf next to that place where also stands his Qur’an.

Four pictures tell the story of his life. The class picture from his Naval Academy graduation; and the one of he and his best friend at their commissioning, their arms draped around the other’s shoulder, wide and bright smiles on their faces. The third is his wedding party picture, the same friend standing to his left, his best man; and the fourth, the latest picture of his family taken only four months before. He stands next to his wife with their two children—a son and younger daughter—at their feet, it’s a casual setting unlike all the others where he is in uniform.

There is a detachment he notes as he looks at the pictures, as if he has already divorced himself from that life. He feels the shamed pride of that history, but pushes it down so it doesn’t conflict with his mission. His whole life, the teachings of his father, the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, the academic study of his youth and early adulthood, and further study to become a commanding naval officer, has brought him to this time and place.

He takes the Qur’an from its place and holds it reverently. He caresses the leather cover as one would a lover’s skin—he holds his future in his hands and wills himself to think of his studies and the promises contained in the passages. He cares nothing for some of the promises told to him—they aren’t in the book—he believes in the words the Prophet gave to mankind for achieving Paradise.

A knock at his stateroom door interrupts his reverie, and places the book back on the shelf.

“Come,” he answers the knock.

The second-class radioman opens the door and hands the Captain a clipboard, “Captain, here is the latest traffic. There are order confirmations and instructions on top with the other disseminating traffic for your approval.”

“Fine, give me a few and I’ll have them ready for delivery,” he responds.

The radioman shuts the door and Saliemen flips through the papers noting the subject of each. Mostly mundane U.S. Naval pulp work—the thousands of trees sacrificed to military communications down through the centuries stand testament to the redundancy of need. He initials each document as he reads, makes notes to the division officers as needed for clarification and keeps the last message page. He leans sideways and opens the door—the radioman turns back to the opening to receive the clipboard from the Captain, asking “Anything special, Captain?”

“Nope, just the usual. Please deliver as required.” He doesn’t release his hold on the clipboard. “Is the internet up?”

“Yessir, you should be able to get on when you want.”

“Thanks, Robson.” He releases the clipboard and the sailor spins away to deliver the traffic messages.

Saliemen leaves the door alone for the moment, listening to the activity in the control room just outside. The stateroom’s location is convenient but it’s a curse. There is no isolating insulation in the control room’s shared wall and though he sleeps with his head on the end away from the wall, he always hears much of the conversations as he drifts off to sleep. Long ago he acquired the ability to shut the noise out, but the voices always came through. He supposed it was his punishment for being the commanding officer of the ship.

The voices today are light and casual. There is talk of who is going where and what there is to do when they dock and once released for liberty. He looks at the paper he kept and pulls out his laptop, opens it and waits for it to synchronize to the ship’s intranet.

As soon as he had the connection, he sends an e-mail confirming the message’s subject, authorizing the recipient to proceed with reservations and arrangements.

Next he quickly types out a brief communication to his wife,

Syl,

Surfaced. Arriving 1230 Navy Pier. Hotel Confirmed.

C’ya soon,

Bob

His brief syntax was old habit, he had never mastered the longhand capacity of emails, it was the training to be concise and conserve words in message transmissions from the old days. Back then when radio traffic, especially from submarines, was intermittent and quick—as the longer you stayed at periscope depth the better chance of detection, and detection could be damaging to the safety of the ship. Those days were gone, but training and operations still warranted some of the old steadfast rules and he obliged. He also knew his wife was used to his messages, of course the emails he received from her were more letters than messages; still he knew she would be appreciative of his even sending the brief words.

Technology had changed so much, even how the Navy performed many procedures, but there were still the SOPs that hadn’t changed in the last sixty years; and those that hadn’t were almost always for security reasons. Back in the day, he would have never confirmed his ships movement. He had little to worry now as just about everything leaked or posted to the internet; and Dragonet was no longer a threat to anyone in a military sense.

They had left the yards four days before, after stripping most of the warlike abilities from the ship. It no longer had any fire-control equipment or weapons, the classified crypto and electronic gear was gone. There were empty equipment bays throughout the ship evidence of its rape; and still more would be stripped after its decommissioning and before its permanent docking as some museum. Dragonet would be lucky in that regard; saved from the eventual disassembly that many other ships he had served on had met as their fate. Silversides, his first ship, was nothing but a memory for those that had served on her–she was no more; other than the reclaimed scrap melted down and forged into parts for another ship.

They had moved the ship from Newport News shipyards to a sub pier in Norfolk, and then only for a day to take on supplies in preparation for the two day transit to New York for the Fleet Week celebrations. Dragonet would take part in the festivities with her decommissioning with all the pomp and circumstance due her record. At the same ceremony, Saliemen would receive his gold oak leaf in promotion to Commander as well as his orders to take command of the newest Seawolf class submarine in Charleston. He had been the XO of Dragonet before the yard work and took command when the Navy promoted the CO to full four bar Captain and moved to COMSUBLANT as a division head for the Admiral. So his first true and sole command was to take the ship up the coast, dock it and leave it; but he reflected, a command was a command and it worked well for his ultimate mission. He knew he would never again set foot on any other deck of a ship as Commanding Officer. In fact, later this day, the deck he commanded now would be the last deck he would ever walk in this life.

To continue ask in comments below or email me and I’ll forward the First Chapters for you; and if you’ll give some input on the story, characters, etc. I’ll send more. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Hello world!

January 8, 2009

Good Morning & Howdy!

I’ll be back later this morning with my first post.

I look forward to hearing from you, but I will tell you this straight up–there will be NO and I mean, NO offensive words (I will allow those that aren’t downright nasty–if in doubt, blank it out), subjects or threats to anyone here or elsewhere.

I am the arbiter of all things, so you’ll need to think before you comment or you’ll be deleted and/or banned–trolls will not be tolerated. Period. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother (and unfortunately some out there might) then don’t say it here, just don’t. This isn’t theKOZ nor HuffiePost, go there if you really can’t control yourself. Other than that, we’ll progress as we go and see where we end up.

I will be learning as I go, so bear with me. I hope this blog will be something we can be proud of and a great place where all points of view can be forwarded, discussed and criticized equally, rationally, and utmost, civilly. Ultimately though, and again, I will be the arbiter who decides what stays and what goes.

See ya’ soon,

Kent