Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We're in for it.

One week from today millions of Americans will go to the polls to cast their votes for the next president. And millions won’t, and not because they early-voted. Some of those millions are uninformed, uninvolved dolts and it’s just as well, I guess, that they don’t vote. But others have just had it with the political process and don’t want to dirty their hands by being a part of it even to the extent of voting.

I’ve been close to being counted among the latter myself, but a sense of duty alone keeps me from foregoing my right to vote—even though my gut tells me that Barack Obama has fooled enough of the electorate to take office next January with or without my vote. He’s fooled them into thinking that he’s the “anything” that’s better than George Bush. This is fallacious on more than one level.

First of all, how are we worse off as a nation or individually because of George Bush?

Granted, he’s not the most likable guy ever to hold office, nor the most articulate. But the most damning thing anyone can seem to say about him is that he’s stupid. Went to Yale and scored a better GPA than John Kerry, but he’s stupid. Flew fighter jets in the Guard, but he’s stupid. Had the sense to marry a good woman like Laura, but he’s stupid. Governed the state of Texas, but he’s stupid.

Granted, he got us into a war on faulty premises. Some would say he lied, but he was looking at and interpreting the same information Congress had when they passed the resolutions giving him authority to go into Iraq. And because of the U.N.’s bungling of inspections in Iraq, there is no way now to prove one way or the other to what extent Iraq did indeed have WMDs and how much might have made it over to Syria or elsewhere before we got in.

Granted, he did not lead a team that had a good plan for the aftermath of the invasion in Iraq. But all the Democrats’ dire predictions for Iraq and their insistence on the futility of the surge, on which they themselves surged to victory in the last Congressional election, were Flat. Out. Wrong. Today Iraq is making more progress than even the sunniest optimist would have thought two years ago. It is a counterbalance to Iran and as a legitimate democracy, a far cry from the totalitarian state of Saddam Hussein. Bush may have initially bungled the “peace” after the war, but he has seen the job through successfully when weaker souls would have wilted in the face of popularity polls. And he's left us with quite an advantegeous forward operating base in the Middle East when trouble might arise. And it will.

Granted, at the end of his term he lost his nerve and blew it by backing the Bailout. The Bailout is going to be his enduring legacy, I’m afraid, and it isn’t a good one. But all of Congress, Democrat and Republican, is complicit in that travesty.

In fact, until Nancy Pelosi and Co. took over Congress two years ago, the economy was humming along quite well after recovering from the jolt of 911. Taxes were reduced and revenue was up. Since they came to power, it’s been all downhill.

Now we have the prospect of an Obama administration which will play out his childhood and adolescent frustrations as an abandoned child without a country, so evident in everything from his embracement of communist concepts like redistribution of wealth and anti-Constitutonal pronouncements about “negative liberties” all the way on down to his reluctance—as a full-grown adult!—to honor the flag. I outgrew such “throw the baby out with the bathwater” anti-Americanism as a teenager. Obama, unfortunately, is still wallowing in it, and yelling at all the other dispossessed, maladjusted, and willfully ignorant people out there who will vote for him: “Come on in! The water’s warm!”

We’re in for it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Paucity of Hope

Let’s hear it for Joe the Plumber. He asked the question heard round the world and all the messiah’s horses and all the messiah’s men are busy trying to keep the messiah together now. Moreover, in interviews of Joe the Plumber I’ve heard since his momentous question, I’ve been quite impressed at his eloquence. He’s a sharp guy, not just a one-question wonder.

Unlike Joe the Seven Term Senator. As much as I personally like Joe Biden—I’ve known several lovable blowhards like him in my life and they usually are the life of the party, if a little hard to get to leave at the end—I certainly wouldn’t want him as my mouthpiece and the person I chose to fill in for me as President upon untimely death. He might make a decent godfather, however. I do get the sense that he’s a decent guy beneath all the bluster, kind and respectful to old ladies and children.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. The point that Joe the Plumber made is that Barack’s philosophy of government takes hope away from one class of citizens to give handouts masquerading as hope to another.

And that first class of persons is me. I’m by no means a rich man. But I do make a good living and I work very hard and risk everything I’ve got for it every day. By the way, I have no cable, no flat screen TV, no Blackberry or GPS, and I drive a ten year old vehicle. My house is usually a little too warm in summer and too cool in winter. I eat leftovers until they’re gone. And I recycle, just on principle, not because I worry about global warming.

I don’t live over the top but I do make too much to receive a stimulus payment in the last go-round. Meanwhile the government is still advertising on the radio trying to find every last non-income producing citizen to whom they can give one.

I didn’t choose to be an entrepreneur so that I could live like a state worker. I’m not knocking state workers. There’s good and bad as in all groups. You can make a decent living as a state worker, with good benefits and above average job security. But as a state worker, there is no big payoff for excellence. That is what the free market offers. That is what makes people like me bust our be-hinds to beat the next guy to the prize. And when competition motivates you to try that hard, even second through hundredth places turn out to be pretty good as well.

And that is exactly what Obama’s confiscatory tax system will kill. The best we can hope for, unless we’re in politics, is to live like state workers.

That, my friends, is a paucity of hope.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get your Isms right.

It’s nice that the stock market rose over 900 points yesterday to crest all the way over 9,000. Wow. It would be a lot nicer if we were talking post-10,000 numbers, but I suppose we should be thankful for 9,000 just as we should be thankful for $3.00 gas.

But don’t let all the euphoria over a slight cutting of losses distract from the real dangers we’re facing, and while we’re at it, let’s call them by the right names. There’s one word that’s being overused: Socialism. And another that isn’t being used at all: Fascism.

Here are their primary definitions from the Columbia Encyclopedia via AOL:

Socialism – “general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership and management of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

Fascism – “totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life.”

The Bailout is being falsely characterized as Socialism. It is not socialism. It is fascism.

The word fascism comes from Latin and refers to a bundle of rods, a symbol of Roman authority which was adapted by Mussolini when he created the fascist party in Italy.

Thus fascism is based on the idea that the state should control all key industries, i.e., that they are all bundled together with the central government. The Bailout was the biggest step toward fascism in the history of nations. Even Germany could not move so fast in the 1930s. In one fell swoop the Bailout gave unelected government officials power over the entire market. I propose that the government use that old Roman fasces symbol as the Bailout logo on all checks which for deadbeat creditors’ assets with taxpayer money.

Fascism is not incompatible with capitalism, though socialism is. Socialism will pretty much sap the motivation of productive people as the fruits of their labor are given to nonproducers. But there is plenty of room for entrepreneurship in a fascist society. It’s just that all the major economic engines of a country—financial institutions, resources, agriculture—are controlled by the state.

Fascism can be a very efficient way for countries to compete with other countries, which is, in essence, the rationale for martial law in times of war. The problem is, fascist states have nearly always been ruled by dictators. That is no surprise. But Congress seems to think that a government can be both fascist and democratic. At least that’s what the preponderence of America’s politically correct political class seems to think today as banks, the insurance industry, finance and investment concerns, and now the auto industry are subject to intense government control and ownership.

Read my lips: the oil industry is next.

And all the while they’re quietly accepting the faint criticism that it is socialism.

We are talking Republicans and Democrats alike here. Both parties seem to have lost faith in free enterprise and individualism as they rush us headlong into a fascist system looking more and more like Mexico’s or Venezuela’s. Pass the “Fairness Doctrine”, in fact, and we’ll have approximately the same freedom of speech as that enjoyed under Hugo Chavez. Ride around Mexico for a while and see how well such an economic system works. Great on paper, crummy in practice; proving a basic law of nature which says that all utopia tends toward dystopia.

At least in the Republican party, and to an increasing lesser extent among Democrats, there have been some true believers in the Constitution and in Federalism who fight against increasingly centralized government. This is food for thought as we consider for whom we will vote in November. The party that wins will have the greatest control over this new fascism created by the Bailout. Do you really want Nancy Pelosi in the driver’s seat and Barney Frank riding shotgun?

So let’s make sure we get our Isms right:

Socialism is the window dressing the proponents of fascism use to dress it up. It sounds great to help the poor and underprivileged to say you’re redistributing wealth from the top down, when in fact it will be more like the middle out. Anyway, let’s just not call the Bailout socialism when it is in fact fascism. Socialism is the nicest possible euphemism for what is happening to our country.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I wont be voting for Lamar Alexander.

I wasn’t going to vote for Jim Cooper, anyway, so he didn’t lose my vote. He just missed a chance to pick it up.

I was solidly in Lamar Alexander’s camp, however. Although he’s at best conservative-leaning, something of the country club type who tends to be in the conservative camp as long as it’s socially acceptable, Alexander has at least kept some pernicious Democrats at bay over the years.

Unfortunately he and Tennessee’s other supposedly Republican senator couldn’t help but vote for the Bailout Bill last week, paving the way for the House to reverse its earlier courageous vote. The Bailout Bill is the biggest sham ever perpetrated upon the American people by Congress all at one time and in one place with both parties on board. They did damage in one vote that other efforts have taken years to inflict.

Unfortunately both Barack Obama and John McCain supported that travesty. That makes it all the harder to support McCain. But as a bealeagured taxpayer and one who wants the economic slowdown to pass sooner than later, there is no doubt I still have to vote for McCain to keep Obama out. Not to mention that McCain will be less likely to get us into an accidental world war.

But I’m talking local politics now, not presidential. I’m talking about the people who represent me in Congress. And the problem is, they don’t. And it’s not like mine is a minority view. Some seventy to eighty percent of the electorate opposed the Bailout but Congress went ahead with it anyway, just as they have ignored the clear will of the people on other issues such as illegal immigration and use of natural resources, weakening our country.

So, much as it pains me, Democrat Bob Tuke will get my vote. I don’t know enough about him yet. He doesn’t seem the typical Al Franken Democrat of these Move-On days. He served in the Marines, so that definitely’s a plus. But the main thing he’s got going for him in my book is that he’s not Lamar Alexander.

If we don’t vote the rascals out, no matter what their stripe, how can we expect Congress ever to get any better?