Is There A Lesson In The Wisconsin Elections? 5

picture of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Scott Walker, Governor of the State of Wisconsin

Depending on which newspaper you read, or which network news you watch, there are many lessons that might have been learned. I think it is simpler than that, and it doesn’t take a lot of bandwidth to explain.

Here we have a state governor who effectively stuck his finger in the eye of Big Labor by legislatively out manoeuvring state employee unions, and canceling some of their awesome political power. Therein lies the genesis of the fight. It was all about power.

When it came to crafting messages for the electorate, the argument was always economic. To the voter it was all about money, and the unions could not argue on that basis. Union employees would not be fired, and their pay would not decrease. But, here is the winner. Union members would be forced to fund part of their pensions and part of their healthcare. Every private employee in Wisconsin was already funding their own pensions, and a good bit of their healthcare if they could afford it.

Logically, why should the taxpayers of Wisconsin fund all of the state employees pensions and healthcare when they couldn’t afford to pay for their  own? In retrospect the results were obvious.

The unions did not lose any rights. They lost the power to blackmail the citizens of Wisconsin into paying more and more for state services, higher and higher union pensions, and using non-competitive healthcare providers. The power to take money from a population is not a right. The unions message could never could dominate, and the governor’s common sense message won.

I believe this election will have little effect outside of Wisconsin, but the unions are gearing up for a similar battle in Ohio. A skillful governor can use the same tactics on the unions in Ohio because I don’t believe the unions understand why they were defeated.

Being outspent seven to one is the union excuse, but that number that doesn’t stand up to inspection. The unions paid workers to go door to door, and to protest Governor Walker’s events. A good bit of the governor’s money came from small donors outside of Wisconsin.

This will be the mother of election years.

High Profile Profiling 11

As I was on the way to my next appointment, I coasted up behind a new Mini-Cooper convertible at the light by Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, Burger King, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Starbucks, and Walgreens. OK. There were not that many corners, but you know the intersection I am talking about.

Lots of expensive cars show themselves in that intersection, everyday. After all, there is the local high school traffic, the Catholic High school traffic, and the Christian High School traffic, with scads of Mercedes and BMW SUV’s, Lexus, and now, one Mini-Cooper convertible. In my neighborhood we have an absolute surplus of rich soccer moms to drive those SUV’s, and a few not so rich dirty old men.

What is a Mini-Cooper? It is an effort at building a starter BMW, and, indeed, the Mini’s are sold at BMW dealerships, everywhere. This car would be cool, but it has a damaged reputation. Once upon a time, Mini-Coopers were cool rally and race cars. They were formidable little buggers, and the drivers were no-nonsense suicide jockeys, afraid of nothing. Hence, the tough reputation. The present day Mini is now known as a “chick car”. Yup! No red-blooded American male would be caught in one of those egg-shells on wheels.

As I pulled up behind the Mini convertible, three bumper stickers shouted their messages loud and clear. Let’s see if you can break the code on the basic identity of the driver.

The stickers were, from left to right:

1. An Apple logo.
2. An NPR (National Public Radio) sticker.
3. An Obama/Biden sticker (new)

Consider the Apple sticker. Apple is on of the largest computer companies in the world. They didn’t get that way with their computers, it was the iPods and iPads that made them big. Apple is a marketing company, not a technology company. People who use Apple computers can be teachers, technology challenged individuals, rich kids, old-people, or people who move their lips when they read. Apple products are supposed to be cool, and easy to use.

NPR  listeners tend to be richer, older, and more educated than the population at large. However, this does not make them smarter. It makes them liberal. Most listeners are male, and part of the baby-boomer generation. The second largest group of listeners are in the 18 to 24 year-old category. NPR is considered to be government news for the socialist.

Obama election stickers get stuck on the back of the cars of people who want to send a message. Many Obama voters are young, many are black, and all respond to feelings rather than logic. Obama voters think they are cool. Time Magazine says that Barack Obama is our first gay president.

No black person would be caught dead in a beige Mini-Cooper convertible. Since I sold cars for a while, I can tell you that black females are all about appearances and value. The Cooper is not much value of a car. Black females would rather have a used Lexus than a new Mini-Cooper. Forget the idea of a black male driving a Mini. No heterosexual black or white male would even look at a Mini.

The Mini costs in the neighborhood of $25,000. It was probably all the driver could afford. The car is cute, stylish, moderately popular, and was probably leased.

Finally, I have to question the intelligence of anybody who puts bumper stickers on their cars, no matter what year and model. You see this, occasionally, as you drive around town. When someone pastes bumper stickers on their car advertising how they will vote, what they listen to, and that their personal computer is the technological equivalent of a Fisher – Price toy, that’s stupid, and not cool.

Putting together all the clues, I can make a fairly certain statement that the driver of the car was female, white, about thirty years old, financially insecure, and technology challenged. The driver is not very intelligent, in spite of an assumed college degree.

The driver was probably gay.

Defensive Positions 4

picture of human embryonic stem cells

Embryonic Stem Cells

Things are getting heated out there, folks. You cannot have a conversation about anything resembling politics, anymore. Everything you hold dear has been polluted in some way, down to the point that your viewpoint is bastardized into a single word or sound-bite.

Think about those inadequate terms, pro-choice and right-to-life. These terms have trivialized the debate, and that was done to limit the discussion to the liberal’s advantage. In my opinion you cannot be an absolutist on either side of the abortion debate.

Similarly, economics takes a hit from socialists describing capitalism as corporatism, or as some sort of greed machine that is totally insensitive to individuals. None of these are true, of course. All of man’s endeavors, I believe, are built on greed. But, wait!

Greed is defined as an excessive desire for wealth or possessions.

How do you define excessive? If you are a critical person, you will stay away from restrictive definitions. All of this stuff will be different from person to person. That’s where advocacy groups try to confuse you.

We are so involved in social and economic issues that we get hooked into the sound-bite world. Once you let yourself get into the sound-bite world, you are compromised, and have no freedom to debate. You will have let someone else define your position.

We have got to stop penalizing our debates with black and white, go/no-go positions. The real world is rarely that way.

With that in mind, I will step up to the plate and give you my conservative position on some of the critical issues of the day.

1. Abortion – Abortion by its definition is the ending of a life. Period. We all understand that sometimes abortions will be necessary, but I believe that a woman who depends on abortions to underpin a promiscuous sex life is just an unforgivable murderer. Nobody can choose freely what to do with themselves. If you do drugs, you will be jailed. If you unsuccessfully try to commit suicide, you will be institutionalized for your own protection. The term, pro-choice, is empty of meaning.

2. Gay marriage – This is one of those things where, as a conservative, I do not understand the prevalent conservative view. Who cares of a couple of men marry? Why would anybody care if lesbians marry? Gay people are no threat to the institution of marriage. They are not even in the gene pool, and constitute such a small proportion of the world’s population that any sociological effects will be trivial!

Married people are the biggest threat to marriage. If we can get married people to stay married, the institution of marriage would not be in trouble. Any challenge to the institution of marriage is not by gay people,but by liberal ideologies that minimize the social importance of the institution. These ideas are promulgated by the same people who believe the only difference between men and women is attributed to environmental conditions, i.e., how people are raised.

I think people who make a major issue of gay marriage have something else as their agenda, and that is anti-gay people in general. The gay marriage issue is just a smoke screen for a more sinister attitude about gays.

People are so sensitive about homosexuality, they will many times not discuss it, at all, if they disagree with you. I suppose this is one of those issues that genuinely scare people.

3. Prayer in school – As a Christian and political conservative, I am against organized prayer in public schools. I know this is not what mainstream conservatives advocate, but it took about five seconds (thirty years ago) for me to realize that if we allow this to happen, somebody we don’t know, and probably don’t respect, will be teaching our children how to pray. This is so obvious that I cannot believe thinking people would advocate organized prayer in a public setting.

Even having a quite period for prayer is not necessary. If you want to pray, do it on your own time and don’t make a spectacle out of it. That is what we as Christians are taught.

4. Stem cell research – There is no inherent moral problem with stem cell research. The problem comes from using stem cells from embryos whose purpose was to bring life into this world. When you destroy an embryo, you destroy a potential person. Notice my use of the word, potential. I don’t know when an embryo becomes a person, but we do know embryos were alive at some point. George W Bush was right.

However, he did not cut off government spending for embryonic stem cell research. He approved such spending, as it had not been done before. The liberals’ problem was that President Bush didn’t approve all embryonic research. Instead, he did the right thing.

Now, we get into weird. Are frozen embryos alive or dead? They must be alive, somehow, because they can become people. So, how do we take into account that a frozen embryo is alive, but not yet a person. If an embryo is not a person, is it a human? Until I can figure out all this stuff, I say, “Hands off the embryos!”.

There are undoubtedly other positions I can talk about. Remember, I really am a conservative, but I take my conservatism with a dose of critical thinking. How do you see these things?

We The People 4

Congratulations to the Obama Administration for implementing an internet service to allow US citizens to present petitions to the White House. This is a first, and I hope people will use the system responsibility and keep the Government  UFO coverup and space alien stuff to a minimum. Yes, these people are still with us.

In my last blog post I excoriated the White House for running a blog and not turning on the comments for people to reply to the propaganda generated there. While on the White House site, I found the We The People section. To the defense of my last blog, the petitioning process is not exactly like being able to comment to a blog article.

Since the Anthrax scare, US Mail to the Government has been discouraged. I don’t believe sending an email gets the job done, either with the recipients sending automatic replies and answers formulated by staff assistants. There aren’t many ways to make your voice heard by the White House, but the petitioning process is a good start.

The petitioning system is limited by the number of subjects you can address, plus you have to register for an account on Whitehouse.gov. Some people will shy away from putting their name on a White House list.

This is the way the system works.

  1. Register for an account to either create a petition or sign a petition.
  2. Create your petition, or sign a petition.
  3. Collect 150 signatures in 30 days. Otherwise, your petition is dead.
  4. Collect 25,000 signatures in the next 30 days and your petition will be reviewed by White House staff, and forwarded to the appropriate federal bureau.

It’s easy, and all you have to do is give your name. Good luck on that.

The Richest Counties Reply

Picture of pig with suckling piglet

Pigs Begat Pigs

A story published by Yahoo! reveals some interesting statistics. It should come as no surprise that four out of the five richest counties in the nation are in the same metropolitan statistical area.

The average income in these counties exceeds $100,000, pretty much double the national average income. So, where are these enclaves of wealthy people, and what is the basis of the economy of these areas of splendor?

Washington, DC.

Indeed, four counties in the Washington, DC metro area are among the richest in the nation. Maybe this is not surprising to you, but it sure is meaningful.

Washington, DC houses the biggest money collecting machine in the world. With the Federal Government spending a Trillion dollars each year more than it takes in, it is no wonder that a lot of that green stuff settles in the DC suburbs. Picture millions of pigs at the national money trough.

With the average Federal Government employee earning more money than employees in the private sector, the way to wealth has fundamentally changed. Now, it is more profitable to be on the begging side of the equation than on the producing side.

It is basic economics that the Federal Government does not produce any economic gain for the nation. All that money taken from taxpayers is re-packaged into gifts to millions of people who will vote for the most generous politicians. Remember, not one car has been built, and not one product has moved off a store shelf in this process.

Then, there are the lobbyists. These are the big earners, and they get paid to convince politicians to vote for one spending program or another. There’s big money in being able to persuade people of weak moral ability. Traditionally, lobbyists have succeeded by paying politicians for their vote. There has always been a good relationship between lobbyists and politicians.

Yet, the lobbyist game is not illegal. It is not illegal because the law makers get rich, too. The funny thing is that they run the greatest risk of getting caught. It is hard to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra income, even in your freezer as did one enterprising Louisiana Congressman, Rep William Jefferson (D).

Jefferson had about $90,000 in cold cash stored in his freezer, with the bundles wrapped in foil. I guess he wanted to keep it as fresh as possible. Jefferson is a Democrat.

The problem is that we let men of low principles look after our money, and we don’t make them accountable. Here lately, we haven’t even been able to make them pass a budget.

What kind of fiscal responsibility do you expect from those who refuse to operate on a budget? What kind of men plot politically to thwart any attempt to establish a budget? In the Senate we have the oldest, most crooked club in the world.

We have done it to ourselves. We have let irresponsible and malicious elements take over the purse strings.

The next time you see a Mercedes or BMW from Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, or Maryland on the road, remember that you are paying for that car.

Ka-Ching! The tax man commeth.

Modern Gladiators 2

Our political system has devolved into just another Roman circus.

Witness the Republican debates. They started with a bunch of pretty credible candidates, and they are now dwindling down to the precious few. Most of the candidates have taken themselves out of the race because of shrinking poll numbers, or shrinking bank accounts. In politics these two measures have a deadly equality.

Herman Cain did not take himself out of the race. Opponents found some women to charge him with inappropriate conduct, and each one was a he-said/she-said kind of thing. With the current bias in the media, these possible dalliances did not get covered up like the documented sexual escapades of Bill Clinton.

Not one of the Cain accusers offered any evidence of an affair. One was even represented by Gloria Allred, feminist lawyer and Democrat political operative who has a reputation of staging phony witnesses, as in the California gubernatorial race two years ago. Herman could not survive against a press hungry to kill off a legitimate black opponent of Barack Obama.

The whole nation looks on  waiting for either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum to kill his opponent.  They are waiting for a career ending gaff during one of the debates. Everybody is waiting to see blood, and nobody is going to give the Roman Emperor’s thumbs up gesture.

I don’t know who will survive the GOP debates, and become the great hope for America to escape the dreams of our first Marxist President. Maybe that person will have enough juice to finish the race, and win one for freedom.

Update: I watched the Arizona GOP debate last night. There was lots of back and forth, but no campaign ending mistakes.

Looking Presidential 5

In the South Carolina GOP Primary debate last night, John King, exhibiting the lowest common denominator of journalism, asked Newt Gingrich about his ex-wife’s statement that he had asked for an open marriage. This kind of stuff is interesting to us only in prurient ways, but has nothing to do with a Presidential Candidate’s ability to hold the office.

Newt responded as only he should have. The issues of divorced people are usually messy, and political campaigns are not the place to air them.

Tired Of Politics? Try A Reality Show 3

This political season started the morning after the last election, and will not end until November of this year. We have had non-stop political coverage on the cable news channels for the last year or more, and it has become really tiresome. It is even worse now that the primary season has started.

Picture of Rick Santorum

You Are All Sinners!

Now, I like politics almost as much as the next person, and my opinions are more correct than most others. Why should I waste my time giving others a chance to convince me of something for which I have no respect? I can find better ways to spend my valuable time than watching Rick Santorum explaining why condoms are bad. A lot of people think that way.

In my search for other pursuits, I have stumbled on even more entertaining, and sometimes stupid, television productions. Oh, yes, bring more of those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with all their trivial concerns and parties. We all know the whole thing is staged. Even so, the girls do a credible job with their acting.

Kyle Richard, Actress And Beverly Hills Housewife

Kyle Richards, Actress And Beverly Hills Housewife

The Real Housewives of Atlanta is a real kick, too, with all those lovely, big-busted ladies pretending to be relevant. One of them recently said that they make their living with their  , uhmm, somethings.

On this Saturday afternoon before football starts, I am watching that hugely popular reality show, Ax Men on the History Channel. This is one of the best productions since Ice Road Truckers and The Most Dangerous Catch. Logging is a dangerous job, and these guys demand respect for the chances they take everyday on the job.

The newest, and most entertaining reality show this season is on the Discovery channel, The Moonshiners! In this series, Tim, and his little brother, Tickle, make moonshine literally by the light of the moon. Tim is trying to make enough money to go legit and make whiskey legally, but the law is after his kind, using infrared imagers, airplanes, helicopters, and the usual set of informants. Plus, little brother, Tickle, seems to drink a good bit of what they make, staying drunk most of the time.

In one scene, Tickle got all patriotic and exclaimed, “If you love your country, you’ve got to love moonshine!”

Tim, Lead Moonshiner On Discovery Channel Reality Show

Tim

You know, I kind of agree with Tickle. Our country was built by famous whiskey makers and whiskey drinkers. George Washington was one of the largest whisker distillers in the young country, and, certainly, Ben Franklin was no slacker in his consumption of that product.

Tickle, Tim's Little Brother

Tickle

Tim and Tickle are the primary stars of the show, but there is a really good segment on the most famous moonshiner of all, Popcorn Sutton.

Old Popcorn is not with us anymore. He was caught by the revenuers, and committed suicide because he didn’t want to go to prison. Do not dispair because Popcorn left his recipe with a protege, who later went legit and is legally marketing their moonshine.

Popcorn Sutton

Popcorn Sutton

Life is great, ain’t it?

The message is clear. Whenever you get tired of all the political mumbo-jumbo on cable news, take heart. There is reality show on a channel near you.

Iowa Caucused – So What? 2

I am so tired of seeing nothing on the news but the Iowa caucuses that I could, well, turn off the TV. That’s pretty much what I did.

You see, I don’t care what Iowans think about Presidential candidates. After all, those guys were on the other side during the historical unpleasantness between the Northern States and the Southern States. Plus, if I lived in Iowa, I would see no advantage to getting out in their super cold weather to talk about politics. No, I am more inclined to stay home with a fireplace and something warm to drink.

Who won the Iowa caucuses? Iowa won, and that’s about it. All the candidates got votes, some more than others. Some will drop out of the contest after having spent all their money at the Iowa State Fair. Didn’t our mothers warn us about such things?

Thank heavens that Michelle Bachman will leave the race, and hopefully Huntsman will get the message that he is not even on the playing field. History got repeated with the so-called young people voting for Ron Paul. We have seen this phenomenon before. Young morons voting for off-the-wall candidates. Nothing new, here.

The real race is the money race. The only significant thing about Iowa is that it exposes who has money, and who doesn’t. The eventual winner in the Republican Primary will be the person with the deepest pockets.

That’s the way the world works. We really didn’t need Iowa for that. Any old state will do, and the next boring contest is the New Hampshire primary. It is just another chance for the cash strapped candidates to throw their money away, and another case of a  totally unattractive state to get publicity. Like somebody is going to vacation in that deep freeze.

Ho-hum.

The Political Season 3

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1


This is a Biblical thing that I have always read with an eye to actual experience. To say that there is a time for EVERYTHING is a strong statement, and brings out the legalistic monster in all of us.


For example, is there a season for killing? Does everyone get to go about killing at random, or at will? Is there a season for sinning? I thought pretty much all sinning was open season. For Ecclesiastes to speak in such generalities is to me like one of those sayings generated in small towns by out of work farmers dipping snuff and whittling on wooden sticks.


Like many sayings, there may be some truth in this one. We all know that our year is divided into seasons, and agricultural societies look forward to the seasons to plant, nurture, harvest, and breed. In our modern society all this stuff is transparent, but we can still name seasons like baseball season, football season, and chili season (not seasoning). Hamburgers and hot dogs are good year round.


The National Political Season used to come every four years and lasted only a few months. The cycle is still four years, but the duration is up to about one and one-half to two years, now. Some presidential candidates campaign pretty much full time, including the incumbent.


With the political season come new rules of conduct that should apply only during that period of the cycle. Politicians have the right to modify the rules of language and courtesy, and fling BS…


OK, we need to pause, here, for some language modification. It is not polite to use bathroom or fecal related expressions in civilized circles. Who knows, maybe there are children present. To repair this linguistic error, I will borrow a phrase from my childhood that means pretty much the same thing as the metaphoric BS. Let’s replace BS with Horse Feathers (HF). Now, I feel better.


To continue…
During the political season, politicians have the right to modify the rules of language and courtesy, and fling BS horse feathers at each other with impunity. A pol can lie, twist meaning, misquote, and even accuse his opponent with ridiculous crimes and not be held responsible for any of this calumny. 


Most importantly, a candidate is allowed tons of horse feathers in establishing their political positions on important issues like abortion, gun control, genocide, and jay-walking. The news media awards points to the most creative, and nuanced positions. For example, a liberal candidate is allowed to say that he/she is pro-choice without explaining that their choice is between candy and breath mints. Cool, huh?


After the primary wars have cleared the field to only two opponents, these guys are allowed to change their positions to further comply with a large segment of voters, comically called “independents”. Independent voters are parasites who get taken out to dinner, invited to phony town-hall meetings, and wined and dined by election consultants who need warm bodies for their focus groups. 


The idea that independent voters have not made up their minds is a double load of horse feathers. The truth about independent voters is they always have their minds made up. 


They will vote for whoever gives them the most goodies. That’s the American way.


Happy political season, everybody.