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In Obama's Pocket

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I happened to catch a snippet of ABC's World News and I could not believe what I was hearing.

To all intents and purposes, ABC has already declared Obama the winner in tonight's debate, a full 2-and-a-half hours before the debate has even started. George Stefanopoulos and Diane Sawyer gushed about Obama's commanding presence, how he is so good in a debate environment and that Romney appears weak in comparison.

Yet another bit of proof that the major media networks are firmly in the pocket of the Obama campaign.

I think that even should Romney crush Obama in the debate, ABC, CBS, and NBC will declare Obama the winner.

When I first read this I thought it might be a parody by way of The Onion. But it turns out it was anything but.

The latest bit of wackiness from the watermelon environmentalists in New York are their claims that fracking - the hydraulic fracturing of oil or natural gas bearing rock - will cause an increase in syphilis. And that's not all. Their reasoning? Try this:

They argue that a drilling boom would draw an influx of male workers from other states who would engage in activities of a kind that would spread sexually transmitted diseases.

They also contend that a boom would trigger a housing crunch, adding to homelessness and the health ailments that go along with it.

And that increased truck traffic would not only lead to more road fatalities, but would also -- again, no kidding -- discourage people from getting the outdoor exercise they need to stay fit.

Yeah. Right.

It sounds like these folks are related to the West Coast wackos who have been claiming the decrease in population (and businesses) in California is a good thing because "it gives the municipalities and the state the opportunity to plan and build for future population and business growth." They don't seem to understand that there will be no money available to do those things because most of the people who would supply that money through the taxes they pay no longer work or live there. (And we musn't forget the multi-billions of taxpayer dollars that will be spent building a high speed rail system to nowhere, again with money they won't have, for people who don't want it or need it.)

All of this sounds like it came right out of Atlas Shrugged. (One wag commenting on a WSJ opinion piece about California's accelerating economic decline suggested banning businesses from moving out of state, reminiscent of Directive 10-289. At first I thought it was sarcasm, but it wasn't. How sad.)

So, economic growth and the jobs that go with it are a Bad Thing™? I'm not sure how they came to this conclusion, but obviously some deluded soul has sold them on the idea that anything that helps the economy must automatically be bad's just bad!!

(H/T Synthstuff)

Going Out Of Business

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Bill Whittle has another great video, this time dealing with "Going out of business". In this case he's not talking about a company or corporation, but...well, I'll let him tell it.

(H/T Instapundit)
That fount of Marxist wisdom, 'former' Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, is trying to sell his fantasy of US economic collapse, something I think he's been hoping for for a long time. But rather than citing financial shenanigans by Wall Street, draconian government economic regulations, unsustainable spending on entitlements, or government cronyism, he states the cause will be runaway spending on another arms race. He doesn't say who else will be involved in this arms race (Russia doesn't really have the capital and China's economy is teetering on the edge).

He continues to spout his disconnected-from-reality beliefs that the US is a greater threat to world peace than Iran. Then again he's always seen the US as a threat to everything he's believed in since the 1960's. But the one thing this bomb-thrower he hasn't been willing to do is to go live in one of the Marxist utopias he wants to see the US turned into to see if his beliefs match reality. Over the past 5 decades he's had the chance to go live with his brethren in socialist harmony in the many Marxist/socialist utopias, but has turned down the opportunity. Could it be because he knows that those 'utopias' are really nothing more than brutal police states with no freedom to speak one's mind? Where the only equality is the equality of misery and fear?

If the US is such a horrible place, then why isn't he languishing in some super secret super-max facility as political prisoner? Why hasn't he been killed by right-wing death squads? Because this guy has become nothing more than an armchair revolutionary.

His bomb-throwing days are long gone, and he wants others to fight his fight for him. Could this scenario he's selling be his way of trying to remain relevant? Bill Ayers only problem is that he hasn't been relevant for over 40 years.

Have any of you out there noticed that no matter how bad the economic numbers are, the Obama administration (and campaign) try to twist them around to make it seem things are getting better? That's certainly the case with both the latest jobless numbers, retail sales numbers, food prices (and by extension, gasoline prices), and manufacturing output. They're all heading in the wrong direction and Obama's folks trumpet them as if they're a prelude to the Second Coming.

One interesting spin on the latest jobless figures? "It's not 8.3%. It's only 8.254%!" Yeah, that makes it better.

Then there's the "unexpectedly" poor sales and manufacturing numbers. How is it explained away? Well, it's like this...ummm...uh...I guess they can't explain it away.

Perhaps they can borrow a lesson from California. After all, the Golden State political machine has gotten pretty good at taking bad economic news and making it sound good. Take one of their latest ploys, stating the state's falling population is a good thing because "it gives the state and the municipalities the time to rebuild and replace infrastructure for future good times." But they never explained that with falling population they also have falling tax revenues to pay for it all. Even Detroit never tried to pull that, knowing it would never fly. Perhaps the Obama camp will say the fall off in sales and manufacturing will allow retailers and factories to prepare for future demand? I wouldn't put it past them.

With the drought taking a toll on crops throughout the Midwest, you'd think Obama's administration would allow corn to be used primarily for food and feed rather than being burned in our fuel tanks. But that isn't going to happen and the result has been a spike in food and fuel prices.. I expect Obama will explain that away by saying "it's good for you" without really explaining why. That's pretty much par for the course for him.

A Rant To Top All Rants

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I had all kinds of intentions of writing something dealing with the latest round of Chicago-style politicking from the Obama campaign, or about how the case for AGW is still falling apart (our 'local' heat wave notwithstanding), or how we deal with those who still somehow believe that what we earn somehow belongs to them.

But then I came across this over at Maggie's Farm and it struck such a chord in me I had to watch it again and again. And every time I watched it I became both angrier and sadder at the same time.

While this video did not come from a real debate (it's from a new HBO series The Newsroom), the fact that this character spoke his mind rather than act like a gladhanding politician by giving a 'safe' answer in order to at least not lose ground to his competitors shows that at least in some screenwriter's mind, someone recognizes the problem we have with this nation. (I am not a fan of HBO, particularly after the hatchet job they did on Sarah Palin.)

It all comes down to this, as expressed by one commenter on the original YouTube page:

We WERE the greatest country in the world until socialism, lawyers, unions, and television lulled us into mediocrity. They convinced us to give up our lofty pursuits for the security of never failing.

While the sentiment is a little simplistic, it does get to the heart of the matter. Over the last 5 decades we have been told by our supposed 'betters' that by merely being American that we are somehow inherently evil, that we must pay for the crimes of our long-dead forebears and that we must apply late 20th/early 21st century 'sensibilities' to 18th, 19th, and early 20th century actions, laws, and morality. How incredibly stupid is that?

But we've seen this kind of stupidity multiplying over the years and the fact that it no longer surprises me brought me up short. When did I get so jaded that I no longer point out such stupidity?

It's been a while since I've pointed it out and ended up looking through the Weekend Pundit archives and came across something I posted a little over three years ago. It illustrates just how much damage we have allowed to be done to this once great nation, how we've been fooled into becoming nothing but a mediocre nation more concerned with feelings and not about facts.

Unless we change that this nation will go out with a whimper, and woe to us if that is the case.

Detroit Goin' Dark?

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The implosion of Detroit continues, with the city taking more actions to cut its costs even as revenues decline and more people leave the city seeking greener pastures. Their latest action: shutting off and/or removing half the street lights in the city. That ought to help the crime rate in the city...go up.

Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can't afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing's plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year.

When you have block after block of abandoned commercial buildings and homes, it makes no sense to waste money lighting streets where no one (except squatters) live. Of course many of those buildings and homes wouldn't be abandoned if decades of Progressive leadership hadn't driven the city into these dire straits. The city is a perfect example of the Thatcher Axiom: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." That certainly fits Detroit to a 'T'.

Detroit's dwindling income and property-tax revenue have required residents to endure unreliable buses and strained police services throughout the city. Because streetlights are basic to urban life, deciding what areas to illuminate will reshape the city, said Kirk Cheyfitz, co-founder of a project called Detroit143 -- named for the 139 square miles of land, plus water -- that publicizes neighborhood issues.


Meantime, [Detroit Chief Operating Officer Chris] Brown said, the city will fix broken streetlights in certain places even as it discontinues such services as street and sidewalk repairs in "distressed" areas -- those with a high degree of blight and little or no commercial activity.

As Glenn Reynolds stated in his link to the story, it's like something right out of Atlas Shrugged or I Will Fear No Evil.
Much as cities in California have made mistakes when it comes to their finances, it appears here on the East Coast the city of New York is about to shoot itself in the foot, but in a different fashion.

While New York also has problems with its public employee unions, it's nowhere near the level seen elsewhere. Instead, the City Council is proposing rules that will help drive the last surviving industry out of the city - the financial industry.

For the life of me I can't figure out how making it too difficult and too expensive to remain in New York City is going to help the city's finances. Is it possible the City Council has been infected with the "California disease"? After all, California's state and local level governments have been doing their best to drive businesses out of business or out of state. They have succeeded. That's why California is in the fiscal mess it's in. And now New York City wants to do the same thing?

Yet in the wake of JP Morgan's massive losses last week and the continuing controversy surrounding the Wall Street bailouts, the New York City Council is debating a measure that would require city banks to publicly disclose their efforts at "socially responsible" banking.


Many bankers, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have voiced their opposition to the new plans. The regulations, they say, would add another burdensome layer to the web of regulations that already exist at the federal and state levels. The Council, however, appears unmoved, and support of key council leaders...give it a fighting chance at making it into law.

If it does, its supporters on the Council will hail it as a major victory, but it will be a loss for the city as a whole. The financial industry is the one industry keeping the city alive, yet New York's blue politicians seem unconcerned about the risks of antagonizing their major cash cow.

This is the same attitude held by many politicians in California and we've seen how well that's worked out for them. The City Council doesn't seem to understand that the banks and other financial institutions will have no problem departing the city for greener pastures. As the post linked above states, Fortune 500 companies have been leaving New York for decades. Wall Street firms will have no problems following them to places with better business climates. And with today's telecommunications infrastructure, those greener pastures can be anywhere, even here in New Hampshire.
Every story we hear coming out of the once Golden State gives us more insight into the coming collapse of California. What's worse is the state government, including the legislature and the governor, is doing everything it can to hasten the process. How is it that it can't see the very actions it's been taking are only making things worse while those it chooses to ignore are the ones needed to set things back on the path to prosperity?

As more than one pundit has stated, California does not have a revenue problem but a spending problem. Even the once-and-again governor Jerry Brown knows the state is in a deep fiscal crisis, but his solution is raise taxes again. This after the last tax increase failed to raise the projected revenues, leaving the state with a $16 billion budget deficit. Whether he and the rest of the tax-and-spend Democrats realize it or not, they're on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve, meaning even if they continue to raise taxes, revenues will be well below projections. At this point the taxes have become punitive and outright confiscatory, punishing financial success. Once you start doing that people either stop trying or they leave. In the case of California, it's both. And it's not just those providing jobs who are packing up and leaving, so are many of the workers, including illegal immigrants. The net population change has shown more than 4 million more people have left California than have entered over the past 10 years. And this figure does not include the illegal immigrants, many whom are heading back home because there's no work to be had in the economic wasteland that is California.

Other states have been struggling with economic crises, including New Jersey. It is here where we see the difference in approaches taken to solve fiscal problems. Governor Chris Christie dove head first into the problem, understanding New Jersey's fiscal crisis was due to runaway government spending at all levels and overreaching public employee union demands. He went after both and managed to cut spending and dial back a lot of the union benefits that were unsustainable, particularly during this ongoing recession. As the piece linked above stated, "More states are realizing that the road to fiscal hell is paved with progressive intentions." Christie gets it. Brown does not.

There was also another thing Christie did that Brown did not: Canceled a multi-billion dollar commuter rail project between New Jersey and New York City that his state could not afford. He knew it for the money-wasting boondoggle it was and wanted nothing to do with it. Brown on the other hand, caved in to federal demands and decided to go ahead with a high-speed rail project that is doomed to fail before the first rail tie is laid down, committing California to billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars it doesn't have for a project no one (except the watermelon environmentalists) wants or needs. What use is a high-speed train to nowhere? (The initial stretches will be built out in economically depressed and less urban and suburban areas. Why would they need such a train when the only place it will take them is to another economically depressed area?)

Need more proof California is heading to an inevitable financial meltdown? Then look at the local level where municipalities are struggling to meet unrealistic demands from their public employees and the state. Here's an example:

A mere handful of people are left to hear the San Jose city manager offer the latest bleak financial news: the state of California was clawing back tens of millions of dollars more, and "140 employees have been separated from the city." (New times call for new euphemisms.) A pollster presents his finding that, no matter how the question is phrased, the citizens of San Jose are unlikely to approve any ballot measure that raises taxes. A numbers guy gets to his feet and explains that the investment returns in the city's pension plan are not likely to be anything near as high as was assumed. In addition to there not being enough money in this particular pot to begin with, the pot is failing to expand as fast as everyone had hoped, and so the gap between what the city's employees are entitled to and what will exist is even greater than previously imagined. The council then votes to postpone, for six weeks, a vote on whether to declare the city's budget a "public emergency," and thus to give to the mayor, Chuck Reed, new powers.

The relationship between the people and their money in California is such that you can pluck almost any city at random and enter a crisis. San Jose has the highest per capita income of any city in the United States, after New York. It has the highest credit rating of any city in California with a population over 250,000. It is one of the few cities in America with a triple-A rating from Moody's and Standard & Poor's, but only because its bondholders have the power to compel the city to levy a tax on property owners to pay off the bonds. The city itself is not all that far from being bankrupt.


[Mayor Chuck Reed is] a Democrat, but at this point it doesn't much matter which party he belongs to, or what his ideological leanings are, or for that matter how popular he is with the people of San Jose. He's got a problem so big that it overwhelms ordinary politics: the city owes so much more money to its employees than it can afford to pay that it could cut its debts in half and still wind up broke. "I did a calculation of cost per public employee," he says as we settle in. "We're not as bad as Greece, I don't think."

We're not as bad as Greece. Not exactly an overwhelming vote of confidence from the mayor, is it? San Jose isn't the only municipality facing the same kind of crisis. It is, unfortunately, an all too common problem across the state.

Stockton is on the verge of bankruptcy. Vallejo's government is all but shut down after that city's bankruptcy in 2008, with police and fire departments gutted, a relocated city hall with few staff, and a general feeling of hopelessness.

Eighty percent of the city's budget--and the lion's share of the claims that had thrown it into bankruptcy--were wrapped up in the pay and benefits of public-safety workers. Relations between the police and the firefighters, on the one hand, and the citizens, on the other, were at historic lows. The public-safety workers thought that the city was out to screw them on their contracts; the citizenry thought that the public-safety workers were using fear as a tool to extort money from them.

Since the bankruptcy, the police and fire departments have been cut in half; some number of the citizens who came to [city manager] Phil Batchelor's office did so to say they no longer felt safe in their own homes. All other city services had been reduced effectively to zero. "Do you know that some cities actually pave their streets?" says Batchelor. "That's not here."

Is this is what is in store for other cities and towns in California? Yes, unless things change and the public employee unions either give up their over-the-top compensation (which has put municipalities into these dire fiscal straits) or are broken or decertified. Otherwise California has no chance at all.

Is Obama A Fascist?

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The WP Dad forwarded this to me, an e-mail he wrote to the pastor of our local church. To say my father and the pastor do not see eye to eye politically would not be an untruth by any means. However it is illustrative of the chasm that can exist between friends, at least when it comes to politics.

I cannot say with any certainty how much history the pastor has studied, remembers, or understands. But it appears to me that he does have blind spots when it comes to the actions of those who do not hold freedom dear and would prefer to run things, even if it means killing millions in order to enforce their will.

This e-mail has not been changed other than some formatting and corrections made to some typos.

I apologize for labeling Pres Obama as a Fascist. I should have done that only after presenting arguments that satisfy me that he deserves the label. I have listed below a variety of reasons I have for believing he is a socialist and will become a Fascist.

1. The President's major political asset is his charisma. Polls show that more often than not voters disapprove of his policies, yet he has a high personal approval rating. His accomplishments are meager other than getting elected. Even there his foray into local Chicago politics succeeded because his opponents for the nomination were mistakenly omitted from the ballot.

2. His cabinet appointments have been disappointing. I think that Eric Holder's major accomplishment has been to shield the President. Prior to his appointment his only noted achievement was to obtain a pardon for a major donor who had fled the country after conviction. He slipped the pardon into the list of Pres. Clinton's last day pardons as if it had been vetted and approved in the normal manner by the justice department. His appointee to the Energy Department, as late as two weeks ago was that it was necessary to drive up fossil fuel costs to make green energy more attractive.

3. Assistant Cabinet members require approval from the Senate. Rather than follow the Constitutional requirement, The Pres. appointed numerous Czars who became de facto Assistants without approval. We got ideologues who were avowed communists or revolutionaries.

4. Under Pres. Obama's stewardship, the nation is being reshaped into a secular society. There has been an increasing effort to drive religion from our society. Witness eliminating prayer from our schools, removal of any religious overtones (like the Ten Commandments) from public buildings. Morality is officially suspect, to be replaced by legality and regulation. Each year we add multiple thousands of pages of regulations to control behavior and Congress feels they have accomplished nothing if they haven't passed batches of laws. Is all of this to replace what was once accepted as morals and ethics.

It is documented that those that call themselves liberals do far less charitable work and give far less to charity. I suppose if Government is responsible for the welfare of every individual, then I have met my obligation to my fellow man if I simply pay my taxes That looks to me as an inducement to accept socialism. Socialism always fails because as Margret Thatcher said, "Eventually you run out of other people's money." When Socialism fails the most common result is despotism.

5. Charismatic leaders tend to have cadres of militant supporters. Cuba and Venezuela, Castro and Chavez have co-opted their armies. Mussolini, Hitler and Lenin/Stalin had Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, and Red Shirts. Pres. Obama has Purple Shirted goons. How else would you identify the mobs of union members who descended on Wisconsin in an attempt to over throw the duly elected Governor. They claim that the Tea Party is violent and racist. Not as violent as the Purple Shirts.

6. Pres. Obama and his administration have diligently worked to expand their natural base. We are reaching a point where too great a portion of the voting populace either work for or are married to someone working for a government. Their unions negotiate for improved pay and perks. On the other side of the bargaining table are the unborn generations who will have to pay the wages and perks "someday".

Another huge constituency are the poor. If we are in danger of running out of poor people we simply change the threshold. Of course we have always had a very mobile society. Thomas Sowell had a very revealing essay about mobility. Many of those who are poor were wealthy less than a decade ago. Many recent graduates from high schools and universities are poor until they get work and earn promotions. Many of the wealthy are recipients of one time windfalls and they won't be wealthy ten years from now.

Once you start subsidizing poverty you get more poverty. Much of what we give the poor is not counted as income - food stamps, rent subsidies, unemployment is counted. I've often wondered how many of those who collected unemployment for the full ninety-nine weeks had a working spouse and the unemployment benefit amounts to wages for staying home and being a house husband/wife.

7. The stimulus package was going to 'kick start' projects that were 'shovel ready', but a very large portion of the money went to state and local governments to cover their shortfalls. Instead of shrinking payrolls, these government employees were shielded while productive workers in private employment were laid off or downsized. In particular the stimulus money went to Unions, specifically the teacher's and autoworkers unions. In the case of both Chrysler and GM the bond holders who were legally entitled to protection got cents on the dollar and were not allowed to reorganize the companies. I don't understand why there weren't lawsuits. By the way, it is my contention that the UAW created the Asian and European invasion of our market. Every increase in productivity went to overpaid employees and never to the consumer. Eventually prices for domestic cars were so high that they created a spacious umbrella for competitors to emerge.

There was a time when our technology improvements helped us to protect our markets. The unions couldn't organize the Asian companies, but technology is easily exported. It was thought that the Asian workers were not capable of utilizing our technology, but in reality the 'worker bees' were better educated and better motivated than our domestic scholars.

8. The President has been decrying the Do Nothing Congress, but it is the Democrat controlled Senate that is doing nothing. Pres. Obama is complaining that the days of cooperation and compromise have gone away. In those good old days there was a fair consensus about where the country should go and the compromise was about the best way to get there. Today, there are two opposing ideas about where to go. One side says a democratic capitalist society has served us well and the opposing side says the wave of the future is European style socialism. Compromise is seen by both sides as surrender. Progress will hinge on the will of the people. Even if Pres. Obama is reelected, I'm betting that the Tea party will control both houses.

9. Education has been in decline for decades. The only country that spends more per pupil is Switzerland, but the U.S. has continually slipped in the hard sciences. I believe the Universities have become the home of Lenin's 'useful fools' Government subsidized Universities and tuition increases matched the subsidies. Government began to guarantee student loans and in response to fairness dicta Universities began admitting unqualified student and the dumbing down curricula. Lots of students took gut courses and many flunked out. When these ungraduated student began reneging on the loans, government made student loans ineligible for bankruptcy. One drag on the housing industry has been the large numbers of graduates who owe so much that they are not able to get mortgages. They move in with Mom and Dad, don't get married but they do have children. The government subsidizes unwed mothers.

We castigate greedy Wall Street, but Wall Street can't hold a candle to institutes of higher learning. Too many classes are taught by itinerant instructors that move from campus to campus teaching for meager wages without benefits, while professors retire handsomely. There was a recent article by a retired Sociology professor that recounted his perceptions. There are excessive classrooms and laboratories because neither students nor professors want to start work before 9:00 or work after 3:00, The facilities are less than 50% utilized. Administration used to account for about 20% of payroll and today it is closer to 50%. Part of the reason for this is the excessive regulations impose by government.

Colleges aren't the only culprits. Public schools are also overloaded with administrators. My speculation is that teachers who fail in the class room can't be fired, so to protect the students the under-performing teacher become part of the administration.

In the meantime 'shop' has virtually disappeared from high schools. We now have VoTech. Let me tell you of a recent family experience. One of my grandsons had perception problem that made book learning very difficult, but he was good with mechanical tasks, particularly small engines. He was denied access to a Vocational school because the classes he wanted were over-subscribed by college bound kids that wanted easy courses to improve their GPA. Naturally we now have a shortage of skilled mechanics, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. My son has a neighbor that drives his high school kids around Concord and points out the best houses. He tells them that is where my plumber lives...

Goodness gracious. That certainly enough and I really want to go to bed. I have to add, I am slightly optimistic about the future. Life is going to be difficult for a while but the nation will survive even if Obama is reelected.


Today was the first day of arguments about the constitutionality of Obamacare in front of the Supreme Court. The entire thing comes down to whether the federal government has the power to force its citizens to purchase goods and services against their will. It is the individual mandate within Obamacare that is attempting to do just that. The government contends that both the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause within the constitution give it just that power. Opponents claim they do not.

The best hope that we have is that the Court decides the individual mandate is unconstitutional. If it does not it opens the door to even more federal abuses as the government will be forcing its citizens to engage in commerce or actions the populace does not wish to do.

Should the Court decide in the federal government's favor I expect there to be immediate calls for a constitutional convention to address this issue as many of the states will see even more if their sovereign powers being usurped by an even more overreaching and uncaring socialist government. Or, worst case, some states will see their very existence as separate sovereign entities threatened and will secede from the Union, perhaps forming their own nation. I expect a lot of states in the so-called "flyover country" would be the first to threaten such action. I would like to think that my own home state of New Hampshire would do likewise, being the Live Free or Die state.

Adding Insult To Injury

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Evergreen Solar, a company formerly based in Devens, Massachusetts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closed it's plant, and moved its production to China. To add insult to injury, now Evergreen wants permission from the court to walk away from it's plant in Massachusetts. This is after it had received over $31 million grants, tax, lease initiatives, and other considerations from Massachusetts.

The Bay State taxpayers pony up the cash for yet another "green" company, and in the end the company takes the money and its assets and heads to China. I figure $31 million is just the beginning. As one commenter opined:

It's always fun and easy to spend other people's money. Now the state can spend $20mil on investigating what happened, $30mil on lawyers pressing charges, and then lose the entire case.

That's really adding insult to injury. But then, it's the Obama Way. (See Solyndra.)
I've covered the decline of Detroit more than once, covering the various reasons for its precipitous fall from grace.

It's decline continues as the Democrat policymakers continue their experiment to create a socialist utopia. Too bad it's been failing and in such a spectacular fashion that it's impossible to hide. No amount of dissembling and sleight-of-hand can point observers away from the obvious: Detroit is dying and it's the fault of the Progressives who have been running the city for decades.

They have implemented just about every socialist program, regressive 'redistributionist" tax, and punitive business regulation on their wish list upon the city and its residents and the results are clear to see: Detroit has gone from the richest city in the US (per capita) to the second poorest. (Only Cleveland beat them out for that honor.) Detroit can stand as an example of what the rest of the nation will look like if Obama and the rest of the Progressives get their way. The socialist experiment has failed and no amount of window dressing can change that, no matter how hard the MSM tries.
Very little surprises me about the ever more nonsensical, illogical, and incompetent Obama Administration. Two of the latest examples of this dysfunction: federal fines placed upon fuel companies for failure to blend certain biofuels in gasoline and diesel even though those biofuels don't exist; and new regulations imposed by NOAA that seriously cripple the New England fishing industry even though the need for those restrictions cannot be justified.

With every move Obama and his minions make we move closer to the dystopian hell of Atlas Shrugged. I figure it's only a matter of time before something like Directive 10-289 is handed down by executive order from Obama. (Don't think it won't happen. One clueless leftist on the WSJ Forums suggested stopping the economic abandonment of California by otherwise viable businesses by making it illegal for them to relocate out of state or to trim jobs. Others on the forum informed this idiot that such a thing is tantamount to slavery and illegal seizure of private property without due process or just compensation - the 13th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution, respectively. But then the Left doesn't really like the Constitution, does it?)

Because stupid things like this have been happening a little bit at a time, most of the people in the US don't realize it's happening. But if Obama tried to shove his agenda down our throats overnight there would be armed rebellion by the states and a Second Civil War could result. Except this time it wouldn't be North versus South but Red versus Blue.
Over at Ace of Spades is a list of the things the Left fears should Obama lose the election come next November. Are their fears unfounded? In some areas, yes. But for the most part they are right to fear that much of the damage done by the Congressional Democrats since 2007 and President Obama since 2009 will be undone should Obama lose in November. When you come right down to it, the upcoming elections are about the wholesale damage perpetrated by the Left's minions over the past 6 years. Will the American people allow the ongoing dismantling of a great nation all in the name of some vague sense of "fairness"? And just who defines what is fair? (Of course the Left believe they are the only arbiters of fairness, even though many I have debated with really have no idea what 'fair' really is.)

The problem is that many on the Left don't see the actions that have damaged the economy as bad. They only see it as 'fair'. (I'm still waiting for someone on the Left to show me where it says life is supposed to be fair. So far, they haven't, nor do I expect them to.) Through observation over the years I have come to see that the Left's ideology is both economically and morally bankrupt. Never mind history's lesson showing it to also to be a murderous ideology, in the end.

There are plenty of examples of the fairness of socialism going back over 400 years to show just how bad their ideology can make it. One of their first forays into 'fairness': the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts.

During the initial years of the colony, the Pilgrims tried a social experiment, one that predated Marx by almost 300 years, that experiment being "From each according to his ability. To each according to his need." The results? Famine. Everyone wanted from the common larder, but no one wanted to work to fill it. In the end the colonists abandoned the experiment as a failure and from that point on the colony thrived.

Did the Left learn from that experiment? No, of course not. They've tried that experiment again and again (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Venezuela, etc.) with the results being the same: economic and social collapse, and in some cases, mass murder. Such failures haven't dissuaded them from trying to pull that here. I have little doubt their reasoning is something along the lines of "But we'll do it better this time because we're better than the others were!" They've become a living example of Einstein's axiom about insanity.

So now we come back to present day and the Left's push to drive America in a direction of oft proven failure. Again we return to the so-called fairness doctrine as an excuse to justify large scale theft and interference in our day to day lives. Where does this call for fairness derive?

I figure it goes back to the egalitarian movements that drove things like the French Revolution. An egalitarian society sounds like a great thing, in theory. But in practice, such societies tend to be anything but, usually devolving to the lowest common denominator - mob rule. The French Republic after the Revolution didn't earn the sobriquet "Reign of Terror" for nothing. Of those that did not devolve into mob rule, it was a totalitarian government that drove everyone to be equal - equally poor, equally miserable, and equally terrified of their government. I doubt that was the dream of the egalitarians, but that's what their dream ended up being - a nightmare.

The problem with such egalitarian ideals comes down to this: they are based upon two concepts that are poor at best and base at worst, those being human emotion and a false understanding of human nature. Let's take a look at both of these to see where the Left got it wrong and continues to do so.

The first of these two, emotion, is the most troublesome. While a sense of fairness may be an admirable thing and something to which we can aspire, it should not be something based upon envy or greed. Unfortunately the Left's sense of fairness is derived from that very source. All you have to do is listen to their rhetoric in regards to fairness and I think you'll find it has nothing to with actual fairness and everything to do with envy. Oh, they won't admit to it, but when you think about it it makes sense. It all comes down to "Hey, that guy/girl/person has something I don't and can't afford right now! That's not fair! We/I should take it away from them because they don't deserve it!" But if they earned the money to pay for it then why shouldn't they be allowed to have whatever it is? Again, envy comes into play, this time in regards to the money earned to pay for whatever it is. Why should one person make more for their job than someone else for their job? Never mind that one job may be worth far more than another, may create more goods, services, or jobs than another. It just doesn't seem fair. But it is. Too bad far too many of the Left are incapable of seeing this.

The second of the concepts that lead the Left astray is their decision to ignore human nature. Or perhaps I should say their decision to ignore it as it happens to be rather than as they wish it to be. Of the two, the second is based upon pure fantasy. It seems one of the biggest fantasies that endure on the Left is that you can change human nature with enough education, indoctrination, or terror. It's been tried in a number of places, but has never yielded the expected results. The USSR tried for over 5 generations to create the New Soviet Man, a human with none of the ideological weaknesses attributed to capitalists. They wanted someone that would put the needs of The State (or The Good Of The People) ahead of those of their own, ahead of those of their own families. But that way lies slavery, where the individual is merely a replaceable cog in the machinery of state, without free will, to be sacrificed at whim and without a thought to their own welfare. But that goes against millions of years of existence, against millions of years of human nature. You can't overturn something so basic to human existence with education, indoctrination, or terror. Human nature wins out in the end. And in the end that's why Leftist 'paradises' have collapsed and disappeared into history. We're watching that happen now in Venezuela, a once prosperous nation turned into a land of want, broken down infrastructure, and the inability to even feed itself, all done in the name of 'fairness'. And this is what the Left wants to do here?

Thanks, but no thanks.

O'Leary Goin' Galt On The EU

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We've been hearing about the financial turmoil in the EU, with Greece just this side of total bankruptcy, and Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain no too far behind. There's lot's of finger pointing, with very few pointing the finger at Brussels and he unaccountable EU Parliament.

One of those doing willing to do so is the CEO of Ryan Air, Michael O'Leary. He slams the EU bureaucracy, the politicians, the rent seekers, and those trying their hardest to kill off any innovation that might make things better rather than maintaining the status quo, as bad as it is.

O'Leary tells them some hard truths, truths they'd rather not hear. But then he's helped create more jobs than all of the EUcrats combined.

OWS Rant - Adam Corolla

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I promised myself I wasn't going to give any more coverage to the Occupy Wall Street protests, but this was too good to pass up. This came by way of my friend at work, Cathy.

Adam Corolla nails it when it comes to the OWS protesters. As Cathy writes, "This is what happens when you have a generation of 'No one is wrong, no one loses, and we all get trophies.' " (Warning: Strong Language.)

A few highlights of Adam's rant, all of which with I happen to agree.

"They're feeling shame. They've been shamed by life because they haven't been prepared for life. They've had so much smoke blown up their...collective asses, by the time they get out in the real world and they realize the real world doesn't give a f**k about where you're from or about what your mommy said you were, or how pretty you are, or what you do."

"All those lies that were told to you by your parents about how special are and how no one was created like you...doesn't mean s**t when you get to the real world and you're just looked at as Peon #27 who's putting in an application."

"Now your plan is to come back and throw a brick at my window. That's your's this envy and shame and there's going to be a lot more of it."

"We are creating a group of self-entitled monsters."


After weeks of hullabaloo about the various OWS protests across the nation, it appears the whole thing was much ado about nothing.

Between unfocused or contradictory messages, hypocrisy, mob violence, rape, murder, theft, drug overdoses, totalitarian 'councils' confiscating donated money, and just plain foolishness, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have proven one thing to the public at large: they're spoiled children filling the role of useful idiots, showing the worst side of society, not the best as they have claimed.

What have they accomplished other than showing the rest of the country that they're mean-spirited wackos with little understanding of history, economics, or human nature?

It shows in hundreds of different ways, with one of the overriding themes I noticed being "We want you to pay for our stuff even though we could pay for it ourselves, but we don't want the rest of you freeloaders to take our stuff that someone else paid for!" This theme has recurred at more than one protest location, with the protesters not recognizing the hypocrisy of their demands.

Some want to replace capitalism with socialism, even though the socialism they're promoting has never lived up to the promises made and usually end up creating nothing but poverty, misery, and terror. It isn't until countless lives are sacrificed that the socialist utopias implode.

Some seem to think that anarchy is the answer, but all that ever leads to is destruction, lawlessness, and in the end, tyranny.

They claim they represent the 99%, but 99% of what? 99% of the spoiled privileged children of the 1%? 99% of the clueless drones feeling entitled to what others have earned through hard work? They sure as hell don't represent 99% of the American people.

In the end, OWS has been about nothing but selfishness, greed, and a sense of entitlement. In other words, a world class FAIL.

Lazy Americans - Not

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I find it interesting that President Obama sincerely believes that those of us Americans still working have gotten lazy.


I don't know about you, but all three of us here at The Manse are working our butts off. Deb is working at the local veteran's home and going to nursing school. BeezleBub is going to school, taking part in some extracurricular activities, and working at the farm. Me, I'm working, working, and..umm...working.

What it comes down to is that he doesn't think we're working hard enough to support his socialist agenda. This requires people to give selflessly by working harder to support those who can't work and more specifically, those who won't work.

When productivity from those of us starts falling off it's somehow our fault. Never mind that all he's done is given those of us still working more than enough incentive to not work nearly as hard as we have in the past. After all, why should we? All he's going to do is take it away from us.

How do we know this? Because he's said as much during the beginning of his still ongoing presidential campaign. (Remember Joe the Plumber?)

It must be remembered that socialism is based upon two principles: envy, and the belief in altruism.

Of the first, it is envy by those who actually produce little or nothing who have been told that those actually producing the wealth are somehow beholden to them. It usually takes the form of class warfare egged on by the very people who see themselves above all of that. (They aren't.)

The Left sells the idea that the best way to make sure everyone has what they need is to take it away from those who actually provide it. The problem is that eventually the providers will decide it's no longer worth it to do so and they'll stop doing it. Then who benefits? Obviously, no one.

Second, socialist believe big time in altruism, that human condition where individuals put aside their own wants and needs for the benefits of others. There's a problem with this belief: no one can be altruistic all the time because by nature humans are altruistic only now and then, and then only under very specific and limited conditions for a very limited amount of time. Once their 'altruism' starts hurting them and their families it fades away. If we need any proof of that all we need to do is look at the two biggest experiments in socialism to see how well the belief in altruism fared: the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

Both tried it for generations. Both failed to live up to the ideal. One utterly collapsed when their socialist economy collapsed like the house of cards that it was. The other one gave up on the idea when they watched what happened to their neighbor and decided they didn't want to suffer the same fate. They backed away from the socialist 'ideal' and embraced a limited form of capitalism, and so were saved (at least for now).

But now we have a president who has been working very hard to take us towards an ideology that has failed by appealing to ideals that have been proven to be false, and in the end, deadly. And he baits those who actually provide jobs, goods, and services by telling them they aren't working hard enough?

What a putz.

It is said the truly smart will learn from the harsh lessons of others' failures. I can say that one member of the WP clan is that smart, that being the youngest of the WP sisters. (As she says, she made her own mistakes while growing up that our parents never found out about.)

It would be great if the political class presently ruling the US was as smart as my youngest sister. Unfortunately they are not.

They see the economic meltdown occurring in the Euro-zone, yet refuse to learn the lessons countries like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain are teaching us, the primary one being that eventually you will run out of other people's money to fund all the wonderful social programs that have been used to bribe the electorate.

Italy is the latest to teeter on the brink of insolvency, and should it go over the edge it is quite likely it will pull the rest of the Euro-zone with it. Greece's default damaged the European economy yet it has only a fraction of the GDP of Italy. Should Italy default Europe will take an additional $2 trillion hit it cannot afford. Is it any wonder Germany is considering abandoning the Euro and going back to the mark? Can anyone deny that this problem has been driving the British public to demand a referendum about whether or not to remain in the EU? At least those two countries see the problem and realize they'll have to bankrupt themselves in a doomed effort to prop up economic policies from Brussels.

But too many of our own politicians at the state and federal level, regardless of party, seem oblivious to the fact that unless we make some drastic changes in how our federal government taxes and spends we will be headed down the same path. Labor leaders ignore the fact that neither businesses or taxpayers are a bottomless source of funds, shortchanging their own members by making promises no one can keep.

Should the US fail to put its financial/economic house in order, and right quick, it will pull the world economy down with it into a depression unlike any we've seen before.

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