Monthly Archives: March 2009

Cap And Trade: FAIL.

So this afternoon, the Cap and Trade tax amendment to the budget bill passed with a vote of 54-43…. one step closer forcing this into reality. Of course this is a disaster of epic proportions. 

First of all let’s talk about how much this will cost the average American. From Anthony Fabiano:

If a new program will initiated, the average American household would have to pay $800 to $1400 more a year in energy bills (electric, gas, etc). Even more liberal scholars and foundations note that the potential increases hit hard at every American’s check book.  Add to that an increase in electricity prices by 35% to 65% and your Obama Tax Credit magically disappears into thin air.  

 

So in short, Americans are so poor they can’t afford health care and need welfare and companies that “need” government assistance… but they’re not concerned with the extra burden that this will place on American households. So much for that poor people love, Democrats. Not to mention businesses, as their energy usage is way above those of the average household.

One of Obama’s biggest selling points was the creation of jobs that cannot be outsourced. This is also a huge fallacy, as anyone who pays attention knows, but let’s think this through. Businesses will outsource when operations become too expensive domestically. That’s the nature of business, and as of right now, there are still some shreds of free market left. A Wall Street Journal opinion piece claims that this will usher in the “greatest outsourcing boom in history”, and will most likely negate any decrease in CO2 we achieve inside our borders by increasing CO2 output in less energy efficient nations.

Meanwhile, carbon trade barriers would almost certainly violate U.S. obligations in the World Trade Organization. Since carbon energy cuts across so many industries, a tariff would presumably have to hit tens of thousands of products. Any restriction the U.S. imposes on imports can also just as easily be turned around and imposed on U.S. exports, whatever their carbon content.

Why is nobody thinking this through? While prominent liberals have spoken out against this, many of the Congressional GOPers rolled over and allowed it into the budget bill. This makes my head hurt.

Cap and Trade sucks. The end.

Control Of Production Much?

This, folks is what happens when the government hands you money. They get to make “suggestions” and “requests” regarding how you should run your company.

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

So essentially, what we’re seeing is the government seizing the auto industry. The government is officially exercising the influence it bought up with the multi billion dollar bailouts.

Obama: “And that’s gonna mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved — management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody’s gonna have to come to the table and say it’s important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.”

Why is he referring to them as “us”? There should be no “us” in this, Mr. President. The auto industry is supposed to be a PRIVATE industry. YOU should have nothing to do with their restructuring. You should NOT have the power to request the resignation of their CEO. If you hadn’t bailed them out he’d be history by now anyway.

We’re seeing it in banking, we’ll see it in health care, and in every other industry the government is throwing money at. This money does NOT come without strings. The feds know that. Too bad businesses, state governments, and governors aren’t figuring that out.The feds are not doing this by accident.

THIS KIND OF CONTROL IS NOT OKAY. It’s not okay AT ALL. I don’t care how big the auto industry is – they are NOT too big to fail. We have competitors to pick up the slack. Competitors who are making better cars for the same prices, because they are unencumbered by the UAW. Americans will not be without automobiles. And jobs will be replaced by Nissan, Honda, and Toyota plants.

Will all of you who are so convinced this administration is NOT heading toward socialism please explain to me how this isn’t socialism? Anyone? Because I’m pretty positive that this is the government controlling production, buying up the private sector, etc. Which is the definition of socialism.

The Obama administration calls its task force “a cabinet-level group that includes the secretaries of Transportation, Commerce, Labor and Energy. It will also include the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the EPA administrator, and the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. The Task Force will be led by Treasury Secretary [Tim] Geithner and [National Economic Council] Director Larry Summers.”

What’s that? A “Task Force” headed up by Timmy G. and Larry Summers?! Well that restores ALL my confidence. CLEARLY they’ve got all the answers. I was just kidding about all that “this is not okay” stuff…….

Ugh.

Ooh! Ooh! RACIST!

It’s not too often the Left gets called out for racism, since that’s normally reserved for us. So I get to do it this time. Is it wrong that I’m excited?

Don’t care.

From McClatchy:

PLAs are collective bargaining agreements with labor unions that set the terms and conditions of employment on large construction projects. They typically make unions the bargaining representatives for workers at sites, even though 85 percent of U.S. construction workers aren’t union members. They also require nonunion workers to join unions and pay membership dues for the projects’ duration.

Because white males dominate the membership of the skilled construction trade unions, however, jobs for minorities and women could be hard to come by on large stimulus-bill projects unless the PLAs set goals for their inclusion.

I’m kind of confused. Where are the minority hiring pushes they love so much? That’s right, they’re not in the bill. Oops. Oversight by Team Lightbringer.

Moral of the story? The Left cares about minorities and women when it helps them politically. It’s so not about a bigger picture equality-giving-people-a-hand-up squishy “helping your fellow man” crap. In this case, that would require undermining unions… and we can’t have that! It’s about power and winning more votes to increase that power. Period. People won’t bite the hand that feeds them, even if that hand is rifling through their wallets.

Banging Your Head Against A Wall…

Let’s get a little up close and personal for a minute here. It’s been a rough week. As I become more and more in tune with media and government and the general disarray I find the world to be in, it’s more and more difficult to find the little victories in what can be a very bleak big picture. Call me jaded. Yesterday I kind of hit a wall. Granted, my emotional stability was questionable to begin with, as I kicked off my morning by crying to a Nickleback song on my way to work (don’t judge me), but I digress.

By lunch time, I was waging battles on 3 fronts. I sat there in my office, bantering on Twitter, watching comments pile up on my facebook page, watching people go back and forth on my blog. After a while, I felt my blood pressure rise and declared a blackout for an hour. Things eventually died down. And guess what? At the end of it all, the socialists still thought socialism was a good idea, and the capitalists still thought capitalism was a good idea. No one had been able to decide whether Obama was a socialist or a fascist (yes, my facebook page is a wealth of information… ).

On a larger scale, we have the same out of control situation in Washington. For some reason, they don’t seem to care how loud I yell. North Korea’s fixin’ to light some serious firworks, and ABC calls the launch “provocative”. Uh, duh. Meanwhile, we have a White House “Town Hall” full of college students begging Obama to legalize pot and wondering how the government is going to provide for them now that the evil fascist Bush regime is gone. (Side note: If one more person responds to an argument against Obama’s policies by saying “what about Bush” I am not responsible for my actions. The answer is that Bush shouldn’t have done a lot of what he did either. That argument is not valid.). Congress is still spending $1 Billion a day. Nancy Pelosi is still getting facelifts.

Despite – well, probably because of – all that, I can still hear the voices of other bloggers and activists and patriots – people that are sick of what’s going on, and not willing to let the media and the government tell them to sit down and shut up. I have moments of doubt. Isn’t being a conservative blogger sort of like throwing yourself in front of a train to get it to turn around? On some level, yes. Yes it is.

On the other hand, mobilizing the silent majority is what we’re trying to do. And every day we get new SGP members and people join committees, every time someone signs up to call NY-20 voters to get people to the polls for Tedisco, every time someone steps up and says “enough!”, we’re one step closer to our goal.

For about 7 seconds I considered running away and abandoning the entire scene before it swallowed me whole. Then I realized that I can either watch my country be swindled and pretend nothing’s happening, or use what little skill I have to be a part of REAL change. Not Obama style Clinton redux “hopenchange”, but restoring our country getting the government up out of my business style change.

Short story? I’m not going anywhere. Even if it means working a second full-time job for free, blogging on my lunchbreak and sleeping 4 and 5 hours a night, I’m in.

Maybe I’m a bit of a masochist. Bring it on.

Socialism Sucks.

I just took it for granted that everyone knew socialism was a bad idea. Recently, I’ve been alarmed by the number of people wondering why the US isn’t trying it. The left has basically given up the argument of this administration not socialist in nature and has resorted instead to defending socialism.

I’m not even sure that many people understand what socialism is. Well here’s a definition, albeit incomplete. Socialism is an economic system in which society (in our case, elected officials, since they are supposed to represent the people) exerts considerable control over the markets and property in the interest of the “greater good”. Now, this is not to say that “considerable control” is full on ownership – that may or may not be the case. The “greater good” is entirely subjective and is determined by whoever is in charge. There’s a vague definition, but in all honesty, the goals of socialism are comparably vague.

The inherent problem with this is the “greater good” part. Who gets to determine that? You could say that the needs of all people are met would be a “greater good”. This is why socialism regularly begets tyranny. People are receptive to it as long as they like who is in control. But the tables are going to turn in 4 or 8 years, and guess what, Obama supporters, you just may not like who is in charge. They may have different ideas. They may not support your ideals. And they will have every bit as much control as your current economic savior does.

I’d wager that the reason socialism is more palatable is that it appears on the surface to be a middle ground between communism and capitalism. Everyone runs screaming from the idea of communism, because of it’s totalitarian nature. What some choose not to see is that the leanings of socialism are much closer to communism than capitalism; they are both rooted in a belief that without a restriction of freedom, the needs of the people cannot be met.

Socialists cannot get past the emotional aspect of the idea – the idea that everyone is being taken care of. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Tammy Bruce filling in on Laura Ingraham’s show. As she says, there is a reason people are running away from Cuba. Nobody is running to socialist countries.

Socialism doesn’t work because it’s got a faulty foundation. It does NOT consider the human desire to compete and achieve. It leaves people stifled and renders them complacent. There is little motivation to discover, invent, or improve. It feeds into the desire of leaders for power, which has consistently lead to tyranny. From a great article on the fundamental failure of socialism:

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

At the core of socialism is the assumption that humans are selfless and are working for the greater good. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Humans are selfish and have their best interests at heart. When offered the opportunity to give or receive, the prominent human response is to receive. We’re takers. And when there are more takers than givers, the system is bled dry. Countries are destroyed.

Countries like Venezuela. Countries like Cuba. Countries like Russia. Countries like China.

This is NOT a new direction. This is a very old direction that has NEVER succeeded. Countries that have tried it are telling us NOT to go down this road. Why do we insist on making their mistakes? Why do so many believe that Obama can accomplish what no one else has?

UPDATE:

Thanks VoxAZ for posting the dictionary definition in the comments. Which basically summarizes what I said, for “anonymous” commentors who love to tell me I’m wrong.

so·cial·ism (s?’sh?-l?z’?m) n.

1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism

Open Letter to Congress.

Dear Congress,

Stop. Right now.

Stop forcing legislation through faster than you can read it. No one actually thinks you read the stimulus. And we’re pretty hacked off about it, too.

Stop spending $1 billion a day. It’s not your money, and you’ve made it pretty apparent that you’re not even sure where it’s being spent. See: AIG debacle.

Stop raging about AIG. We know you don’t care. Your faux anger is entirely out of proportion, and we still don’t believe that you care about wasting taxpayer dollars.

I’m listening, Princess Pelosi. And apparently hearing things you aren’t. We DO hold you and Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and the rest of Congress responsible for things like this. You signed the bill that put the bonus protections in place. So, the options are that you either read it and were okay with it, or you didn’t read it at all – neither is flattering. Your idea of correcting them? Signing an entirely unConstitutional Bill of Attainder into effect to cover it up.

Stop. Just stop what you’re doing. Think about the ramifications. Can we sustain this budget? Can we sustain the spending? As I said in my American Issues piece yesterday, the answer is no. From Fox:

Deficits under his policies would exceed 4 per cent of the overall economy over the next 10 years, a level White House budget director Peter Orszag says is not sustainable.

The result, says the budget office, would be an ever-expanding national debt that would exceed 82 per cent of the overall economy by 2019 — double last year’s level — and threaten the nation’s financial stability.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – socialism will fail here, just like it did everywhere else in the world. Why do we insist on repeating failed experiments? I certainly don’t have faith that this administration can pull off what no one else in the history of the world has been able to accomplish.

So, Nancy Pelosi, et al, I say again, stop the bleeding.

Just stop.

Signed,

Tab.

Freedom Is…

I had someone say to me today that America’s idea of freedom was guns. It made me sad. I suppose they bought our President’s line that we’re bitterly clinging to our guns and religion.

People are buying guns in droves because they know that it’s their right to defend themselves and we are irrefutably in uncertain times. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s their Constitutional right. Anyone who has read the 2nd Amendment understands that this was one of the first freedoms our Founding Fathers saw necessary to protect.

Thomas Jefferson said that the beauty of the 2nd Amendment is that we don’t need it until they try to take it away. And you better believe that there are a TON of people in this country who would come out shootin’ if the government tried to take their guns… but guns are just the beginning. “Freedom” is not that narrow.

It’s about being able to decide where my money is spent, instead of giving it to the government and trusting them to do so.

It’s about being about to make my own decisions regarding health care. I’ve seen what they do with my money – the last thing I want the government to have their hands on is my body.

It’s about being able to question your elected officials and know where your tax dollars are going instead of blindly throwing money the bureaucratic abyss that is our government.

It’s about small businesses who are able to get their feet off the ground because they aren’t taxed to death. It’s also about “big” businesses who are able to hire who they choose and are allowed to succeed – as well as fail – on their own… without the dead weight of unions.

It’s about a government who trusts the abilities of it’s citizens and doesn’t try to mandate what’s “fair”. Who sets the bar high and don’t tear down the successful to level the playing field.

Freedom is a government that knows it will never be able to police morality, and instead enforces laws to protect the freedom of others.

Freedom is the way God intends us to live. We are not to be accountable to anyone but Him.

Freedom is responsibility. By relinquishing responsiblity, you relinquish freedom. There is a direct correlation between the amount of responsibility you give the government for your health care, your education, your business decisions, etc. and the amount of freedom you have.

How much are you willing to give them?

+1 For Governor Palin…

So Palin’s taking heat for refusing stimulus funds. I’m just grateful SOMEONE is thinking it through, and isn’t entirely blinded by the “free” money…

“It is a matter of discussing with our lawmakers if the expansion there is something we’re willing to pick up the tab for when the federal dollars dry up, when they no longer flow into Alaska,” Palin said.

Finally. I’m so sick of officials being bought off with the obscene amounts of borrowed cash being thrown at them.

Members of the all-Republican state Senate minority said Palin is taking a wise course and it’s important not to accept federal money that could end up costing the state in the long run. People could come to expect the programs, leaving the state paying for them to continue, said the governor and her allies within the state Legislature.

“This offer from the Congress and the Obama administration is a little bit like having way too much to drink,” said Sen. Con Bunde, a Republican from Anchorage. “A good time may be had by all, but the hangover the next day, and the consequences of what you did while you were drunk, may be with you for a long, long time.”

Hallelujah amen. I almost considered moving to Alaska until I heard what the mayor of anchorage had to say about it:

Acting Anchorage Mayor Matt Claman said he’s disappointed Palin chose to turn down funding that would create jobs and maintain services. “Her rationale is like turning down a gift card because it expires in two years,” Claman said in a written statement.

Uh, no. The money is not free money. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It is coming from tax dollars. Palin turning down money is more like not buying a house because you’ve got the down payment. What happens when that first mortgage payment rolls around and you can’t afford it?

I suppose we could just relinquish Alaska to Russia when we can’t afford the payments.

You Might Be A Militia Member If…

According to the State of Missouri:

  • You have a Ron Paul, anti-abortion, or right to carry sticker on your car.
  • You are a Christian
  • You are a tax-revisionist
  • You are anti-illegal immigration
  • You are anti-abortion
  • You don’t trust the Federal Reserve, IRS, FBI, CIA, etc…

Hmm. Where do you fall? Because apparently I should be on a watch list.

I’m so not a tin foil hat wearing crazy “let’s take out the government” conspiracy theorist type. But honestly. Why is this okay? Where were these reports when the government was being blamed for 9-11? Did we see cars with ‘Bush lied kids died’ stickers and ‘Buck Fush’ stickers on a watch list? So it’s okay to be an anti-establishment conspiracy theorist… as long you’re blaming Bush and aren’t discussing the theoretical super-highway between Mexico and Canada. That’s just crazy talk.

Not like blaming the person you spent 8 years believing had the mental capacity of a baboon for orchestrating the largest terrorist attack on the US just 9 months after his inauguration.

Welcome, Ana.

This was left as a comment on my last post and I wanted to share it.

I came from South America to the US seven years ago and got my citizenship in the summer 2006. I’ve come this far by obeying the laws of this great country, playing by the rules (fiancee visa then a green card and finally naturalization), paying fees and going into the whole immigration process.

I just can’t stand people who think they’re special and so much better than others that they should be allowed to come here despising the law and playing the “discriminated victim” card.

I feel no sympathy for illegal immigrants. None what-so-ever. People should respect the law. If you don’t qualify to get a work visa, well just get over it. If you simply don’t want to pay the fees or wait for your petition to be processed, shame on you and learn to play by the rules.

And I wish latin american governments (including my homecountry Brazil) would finally start taking care of their people and quit whining and blaming richer countries for their own disgraces and incompetence.