Wednesday, March 31, 2010


From here:

"There seems to be an inverse correlation between those who worship the intellect and those who use it."

--Mark Shea

And Now For Something Completely Different

The jet-lev flyer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Consistency Is The Hobglobin Of Small Minds


Mystical Hocus Pocus

Mark Shea:

Being pro-life...
is a "matter of biology".

One of the weird paradoxes of the abortion debate is that it is the supposedly mystical Christian who is the hard-boiled empiricist while the pro-abort indulges in all sort of mystical hoodoo to justify the murder of babies.

The Christians says, "Look! 46 human chromosomes. It's human. The zygote is alive. Ergo, a human life." Meanwhile, the pro-abort is indulging in all sorts of hand-waving about the need to decide when a "soul" or "personhood" or something else turns this living organism into something worthy of not being killed in cold blood. Curiously, his own philosophy often has no room for admitting the existence of such things, while simultaneously trying to figure out where such a thing enters into his moral reasoning about when one can legitimately slay innocent human life.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Can You Spot The Subtle Differences?

Compare and contrast.

No Administrator Left Behind

Quoted by Mish:

A further point which I did not see mentioned, the non-teaching costs in government schools are extremely high. Check out the size of the buildings devoted to educational administration in your city, you will probably be shocked.

Japanese educators touring the Chicago Department of Education thought they were looking at the National Department of Education, it was so large.

A New York reporter had to make half a dozen phone calls to find someone who knew how many administrative staff were in the New York City Department of Education; it was about 5000.

The reporter called the Diocese of NYC, which has about 1/5 as many students, and asked the secretary "How many people administer the Diocese schools?" She replied "Hold a moment," and he thought he'd have to make several calls ... then he heard her counting. "1,2, 3, ... 22. We have 22 people."

I once had a son in Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, and a daughter in North Catholic High School. I asked for my children's attendance records. At Schenley, I spoke with five people before finally speaking to an attendance clerk, who finally released the information; this took about 30 minutes. At North Catholic, the secretary greeted me by name, I explained what I wanted, she reached behind for the attendance book, and had it in front of me in 60 seconds.

Government schools are extremely top-heavy. In addition, the entire idea that it takes 12 years times 180 days times 6 hours to teach children is absurdly inefficient.

My grandchildren are home schooled; they spend about an hour or two per day "in class", and their level of achievement is way beyond that of their peers. At the age of 7, the eldest tested at the 6th grade level in math.

Public schools cost far too much in both time and money, and deliver far too little.

Would Someone Please Inform These Jokers That It Was 'Game Over' A Long Time Ago?

Good Charles Hugh Smith piece re: the impossibility of reinflating the housing bubble.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ignorance Is Strength: Shouting "Courtier's Reply!"

This short article is about as concise an introduction to the thinking of the philosopher Edward Feser that you'll find. He's glorious, as always, as he takes a clue-by-four to Dawkins, Myers, Dennet, et al.

A Couple Or So

They ain't in the truth business.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

There's Hope

Stouffers To Include Suicide Prevention Tips On Single Serve Microwavable Meals

H/T The Anchoress.

Venn Diagram Explains All


Indeed, Why Not?

A Life Insurance Mandate to ensure the government gets its income taxes.

"Sort Of Like Shooting Somebody And Then Having Them Arrested For Lying In The Street."

Generally accepted accounting principles are to Congress as garlic is to a wherewolf. From a comment at A.J. Strata's:

I read where Waxman and some of the other tin-pot dictators in Congress are now going to hold one of their televised witch hunts to ask why all these businesses – Deere, AT&T, 3M, etc – are announcing large non-tax charges due to Obamacare. As you noted, Obamacare changes the tax rules for Medicare Part D reimbursement; publicly-held companies are REQUIRED by accounting rules to make adjustments and REQUIRED by the SEC to announce them publicly. But Waxman and his fellow Thug-o-crats don’t like all the bad news coming out (which makes them look like the clueless chimps that they are) and so are gonna try to deflect the blame or obfuscatre the issue with some televised intimidation.

Sort of like shooting somebody and then having them arrested for laying [sic] in the street.

The Parable Of The Satellite Dish

This is genius.

Interesting Take

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini:

Darwin made a wonderful move in this game: he offered a mechanistic explanation for the apparent finalism of the life forms. The differential reproduction of slight variations in traits, spontaneously produced one generation after the other, followed by the filter of natural selection, did the trick. It was all the teleology we needed, but based on a perfectly mechanistic process. This idea looked unbeatable. Immediately, applications of it were discovered in the diffusion of goods, in the financial markets, in the spread of fashions, songs, tunes, even scientific hypothesis. It was a smashing success.

Moreover, it’s a clever idea, not something obvious, not the kind of idea that everyone discovers spontaneously. Teach it to a class of kids, and they will realise that it never occurred to them beforehand, but that it’s so damn clever. They feel so damn clever just for grasping it. This is, I think, crucial. Adults also feel clever for just grasping it, and for developing on the spot an intuition of zillions of examples and applications.

I would submit that a lot of people feel "so damned clever" for grasping it, because they are told that it really is some sort of advanced form of thought, when in actuality it doesn't go in any essentials much beyond what the philosopher/poet Lucretius wrote more than two thousand years ago. As David Berlinski points out, it is the mere work of an afternoon to understand the idea, and one needn't be particularly clever at all to grasp it.

Full Faith And Credit

Vox Day:

On a tangential note, consider the intriguing implications of the following comparison of interest rates:

4.78% 30-year Treasury Note
4.99% 30-year mortgage

In other words, Federal Debt is priced as being nearly as risky as a home mortgage in a market where a significant number of mortgages are underwater or in default.

Be Careful How You Evaluate Relative Standing

My message to militant internet atheists:

If absolutely everyone who disagrees with you in any substantial way is thus a complete idiot, then what precisely does that make you? Just a tiny shade above complete idiot?

My message to self-righteous, conservative-hatin' leftists:

If absolutely everyone to your right is irredeemably selfish and evil, then what does that make you? Just a tiny shade above irredeemably selfish and evil?

As for myself, I'd far rather live in a world where everyone who disagrees with me is absolutely brilliant, and also at the very pinnacle of sanctity. That would be heavenly.

In encountering various forms of know-nothing vitriol, I'm often reminded of the aphorism: "If just about everyone around you is a complete and total assh*le, please consider: it might not be them."

The Creature From The Barack Lagoon

Gagdad Bob continues his "must-read" streak:

The problem with the left in general and Obama in particular is that they violate the fundamental purpose of politics, which is to nurture order for the purpose of liberal (in the true sense of the word) goods that can never be found in politics.

But for a liberal flatlander with no awareness of, or grounding in, the Transcendent, politics itself becomes the highest good. And again, this is why it is so difficult to do battle with these people, because for them, politics is everything. It is their religion, so all of their religious energy is channelled into it, not unlike a sexual pervert who focuses his libido on shoes, or on a cosmic cult leader with light emanating from his butt.

But for the normal person who just wants to enjoy the higher goods that political order makes possible, it's a little like having to learn how to survive long periods in the dark or under water, where these people dwell all the time. Folks who live in the Light don't want to have to go down there into that fetid swamp and do battle with deformed entities that have adapted to those conditions and are able to comfortably live there without light or oxygen. We can't stay down there that long -- which explains the doggedness of Obama-Pelosi-Reid. They actually like it down there. They have evolved "backward," so to speak, from walking on dry land to crawling beneath the dark waters.


Read it all!

Simple, Straightforward, Easily Understood Campaign Slogan

"It's Time To Kick Some Commie Ass."

If This Doesn't Sum It Up...


Friday, March 26, 2010

No Such Thing As Compassion At Gunpoint

Very good piece at the American Thinker. Plenty of good stuff, including this:

Another misguided compassion is directed to a woman who refuses to act responsibly and practice safe sex. We convince her that the human life she gestates is not what it is. Just abort it and be free; it is the compassionate thing to do. Never mind that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness presuppose that one gets to have a life in the first place. (And do we honestly think anyone capable of justifying the murder of innocent viable human life that is no real threat to the mother, other than being inconvenient, is capable of governing a just society? If they can condone that, then they will champion anything that suits their appetites.)

Not to mention that they'll champion any number of cockamamie schemes to sooth their depraved consciences...

The Stakes

From a Cleveland Plain Dealer column:


Politics and power -- not anything related to improving health care -- is what this whole, long wrangle has been about from the beginning: Putting the governed in the position of needing the consent of the government to live their lives, and ensuring that promoters of the power of the state do the governing in perpetuity.


Oh, yes, Obamacare will get a few more people covered. But what "coverage" will mean is merely a place in line to await treatment. That line will grow longer and longer as expenses increase, as care is rationed, as the medical profession shrinks, as the incentives to innovate dry up and blow away, and as a bureaucracy dedicated chiefly to its own growth and preservation shifts the purpose of medicine away from healing and toward the making and enforcement of rules.

In short, we will buy -- at tremendous expense, using money we don't have -- a system far inferior to the one we have now.

There's a partisan political element to this outcome, too. You can see it in the e-mails that Eric Schultz, late of the Al Franken Senate campaign and now spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is busily sending out about Republicans who have called for repeal of the health care takeover bill: They're trying to take away your health care!

You'll hear that over and over again, because it's the line the Democrats believe will keep them in power forever, once they endure just one or two losing election cycles. They think that once the Republicans regain Congress and the presidency, they won't have the guts to follow through on repeal pledges.

But the Republicans must follow through, because that's only half of the Democratic strategy. Here's the other half: Once their bureaucratic, financially unsustainable, lower-quality, lower-access parody of today's excellent health care system structure is fully in place, the Democrats can add a new threat: "Do as you're told, or we'll take away your health care."

That's what happens when you give government power over your life. The state giveth and the state taketh away. Buy insurance or we put you in jail.

The Democrats think you're too stupid to catch on, too incompetent to get organized and too weak to fight back.

They really believe that in one brief moment of uncontested power, they have set in motion a process of subjugation that will radically change not only the politics of America but also the character of its people.

The people need to prove them wrong. And the Republicans the people put in the Congress and the White House need to have the guts to do the right thing for the health of the country and its citizens: Repeal this monster before it can sink its socialistic roots into our soil.



This latest Dem hysteria over the scariness of tea partiers is just beneath contempt. Obviously nobody should do anything illegal, but, heck, you trample on people's basic rights in an area of intimate concern to them and put the financial survival of the nation at risk, and everybody is supposed to just lie down and be all polite about it? What a bunch of cry-babies. But dangerous crybabies. They're making omelettes like crazy, breaking eggs by the gross, and when one of them squeaks, "I'm a little chick, please don't hurt me!" it's all, the right wing terrorists are on the loose! Transparent, contemptible political theater and utter cluelessness about, you know, freedom. People, as in the People, have every right to be angry, furious, shocked, appalled and disgusted by what Congress and our ambitious young prince have done. And bringing the FBI into it? Oh, the FBI is watching! Everybody be careful that they not get too angry! Or else who knows who might come knocking at 3 in the morning! It sure looks like a disgraceful attempt to intimidate those of us who don't like what the Dems have wrought, who hate it in fact, into silence. Ironic, of course. Somebody yelled at me! Me! Call the FBI! And these are the people to whom we are handing over our own and our parents' and childrens' health care, and medical records, and our access to drugs and care. What a f*ing nightmare. The reaction of our masters to a little popular anger is a lot more chilling IMHO than a few rednecks gone wild, if even that has actually occurred, about which it seems there is considerable doubt.

A commenter adds:

Gee, where are all the usual call from the Left to 'understand the root causes' of violence, which they seem to muster within nano-seconds of ACTUAL violence committed by members of their politically-fashionable grievance groups?

Where are all the reminders that not all members of X are committed to violence?

/sarcasm off

We're dealing here with the ideological successors of those behind the Great Terror, Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom and the Reichstag Fire. We shouldn't be surprised.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doom, With Literary Flair And Panache

John C. Wright's take on things.

It begins:

I promised myself (without success) that during Lent I would write fewer political screeds, and stick to topics less controversial but no less interesting for all that, such as science fiction. I am sure my father confessor, the Jesuit Father de Casuistry, will forgive me if I break my Lenten vow one more time, merely to comment on the passing away of the American Republic.

The experiment in government by the people was fascinating and brave while it lasted, I admit, and will inspire commonwealths of the future for as long as the grandeur and tragedy of the fall of the Roman Republic, or the fall of the corrupt democracy at Athens, inspired all Christendom for centuries. In the same way that barbaric kings among the Franks and Germans and Russians called themselves Emperor and Kaiser and Czar in imitation of the glory of Caesar, so, too, for many years to come, leaders in North America will call themselves President, Congressmen, Justices of the Supreme Court, and so on. They will continue to revere the US Constitution and do their works in its name, in much the same way the Imperators of Constantinople, who were military dictators of a totalitarian Christian Theocracy, still held up the standards before the troopers bearing the letters SPQR, and did their works in the name of the Senate and People of Rome.

The Internal Revenue Service is now in charge, and will be collecting the fines from anyone who does not buy health care insurance. The student loan programs of all lenders has been nationalized. The faceless and inert bureaucrats of 127 new bureaus, offices and divisions of the government will be the ones denying you health care, asking you to produce records, and sending you letters explaining that you claim is being reviewed. Everyone pays into the system, and a few people get the health care they need. If you are among those few, you may see nothing wrong with the system. The newspapers will never report anything wrong with it.

You children will never know a republic in which economic freedom and prosperity existed. Since this loss is a loss of opportunity rather than a loss of a concrete good or service, the general misery and squalor can be blamed on the free market, such as on the abuses of the health insurance industry.

The spirit and moral character will depart from the American people as it has departed from the English and the French. Once people are reduced to being dependents of an all-embracing government, they lack pride in their customs, institutions, and themselves, and instead of pride, they become whining and demanding and condescending: spoiled brats. The more literate among them become smug spoiled brats, and the less literate become violent thugs and yobs. The charity, forbearance, courtesy and common spirit necessary to maintain peace between the various classes, factions, and special interests of society diminishes, as the struggle over government-supplied goods and services, whose distribution from an ever-diminishing pool is based on political considerations, replaces the free and peaceful competition for privately-supplied goods and services, whose creation from an ever-growing fountainhead is rewarded by the self-interest and gratitude of the beneficiaries thereof.

I foresee...


His first commenter opines:

I hear you, sir. Even though I am not an American, I am dismayed almost beyond words.

There is only one bright patch in this leaden sky: the knowledge that dollars are dollars and man-hours are man-hours, and there are not enough of either of them in your country to begin to keep the promises by which your masters have procured your enslavement. Half the American people, as we see, are willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage; but the pottage will not be forthcoming. The current level of government spending is absolutely unsustainable; already, in little more than a year, Mr. Obama has caused the Federal Reserve to double the amount of fiat money in circulation. Not even the Chinese are willing to buy any more of your government’s worthless debt. And yet he proposes to purchase the souls and freedom of his subjects by spending even more — by writing blank cheques for trillions that he has not got and has no idea how to obtain. He wants to turn the American people into pigs feeding at his trough. What price power when the trough turns out to be empty?

It's So Strange. Why Doesn't The Populace Enjoy Being Dictated To By Moral Defectives?

AJ Strata:

What did the Democrats expect? Were they really so naive to think, once they pronounced their superiority over all others, people would just bow down to them?? People were promised the Moon & The Stars by Obama and the liberals. They were promised the good life, where all our needs would be met! The promised to take all the ill gotten gain from the rich and sprinkle it on everyone else (because everyone else is needy in some way). They were going to create wonderful green jobs and bring us wealth beyond our wildest dreams.

Obama not only over promised, just the opposite has happened. Instead his liberal stimulus bill sucked records amount of money out of the people for generations, and then promptly failed to do a damn thing for the economy. Everyone’s pockets are being raided to fund liberal fantasies and power grabs. The rejection of broad tax cuts along with spending cuts by the government – a method that has worked every time it was tried before by President Kennedy, President Reagan and President Bush II – doomed the liberals to failure. Nothing else can lift the economy across the board. Right now only government contractors and government employees (and their unions) are getting any relief, everyone else is all their last legs.

No jobs means housing values continue to fall as people fall behind on payments. Savings are being depleted to zero and the economic engine of consumer spending has gone into neutral. The stock market collapse means once rosy retirements now look dreary. There is dwindling hope that the next generation will be bequeathed an America in better condition than when it was handed to us. It looks more and more like that America is being stolen by power mad fools in DC.


When the government golden goose keeps laying stink-bombs it is no surprise people are ready to carve it up for dinner, especially if they are hungry. The threats of violence are wrong, but so were the actions in DC which prompted this anger. You don’t attack a person’s life and well being and expect a pleasant thank you. In the view of many people, the government is now just another form of organized crime stealing protection money and living the high life while the minions slave away on meager earnings.


Until Democrats back off their madness, anger and frustration is going to continue to grow, and the focus of that anger is going to be the wasteful activities of DC (for example, this mess trying to dictate school lunch menus from the White House). Liberals hit their tipping point all right, now the mood of the country is to tear down the bureaucracy. Everything they fought for is now ‘on the menu’.

The "Deals" Are Going Downhill

From a comment here:

Square Deal

New Deal

Fair Deal

Big F***in’ Deal

Historic, Indeed

A great Neoneocon piece.

We Report, You Obey

Another classic from Klavan.


And thoroughly ass-backwards. It is AGW and Darwinism that are birds of a feather, "open-minded", "centrist" nitwit.

We'll Be Seeing A Lot More Of This

A hardcore pension reform bill in Florida.

Meanwhile, the SEIU is scheming to seize your 401K.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oooh, I Like The Sound Of This!

Something I hadn't taken into consideration:

One of the most important things to realize is that if we can get a Constitutional Convention, it’s one state, one vote: ratification is by state. The big states with large populations who are dependent on government largess will no longer be in control: Nevada and Utah have the same voting weight as California and New York. The states with relatively small populations which have been fiscally responsible can amend the Constitution to prohibit the kind of welfare state that has benefited the large states that have been fiscally irresponsible. These states could even provide a mechanism for state bankruptcy for California and New York, they could prohibit public employee unions. These states could limit progressive income taxation and repeal the Reynolds v Sims/Baker v Carr line of cases that forced the states to give up their geographic upper houses.

Perhaps the founding fathers, in their genius, have left us a major ace in the hole.

The State Is Not The Source Of Slack

Gagdad Bob hits another one out of the park.

And I liked this comment to the post:

What can the left do to us, really? Destroy our economy, strip us of our freedoms, imprison us for thought crimes, even murder us if they follow their standard script through the final act? Really?

That's all you got?

Eternity is a long spell, lefties. While you're salivating over the prospect of reeducation camps (all leftist fantasies converge in such camps, or in mass graves) you had better be damned sure that you're right in your belief that when you die the lights go out forever and nothing really matters.


IMHO we are witnessing Socialism's last hurrah. It is my considered opinion, forged over many years, that the global economy is set up for absolutely catastrophic collapse in what amounts to a multi-century-scale Black Swan event (but it's not like you couldn't see this one coming). Folks in general have been all in favor of creeping socialism because they actually rather enjoy picking their neighbor's pockets. But when in the implosion we reach a point where there is absolutely nothing left to be had, and when all welfare-state promises worldwide have self-evidently amounted to nothing but a ludicrous pipe dream, and government is widely seen as an entirely useless destroyer of limited resources, chock to the brim with petty tyrants, freeloading public union leeches, and pathological con men, then, and only then, will most folks be ready to try something different.

Winston Churchill once said something along the lines of (and this applies to citizens of all the "advanced" socialist industrial powers):

"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, once they've exhausted all other alternatives."

So from where I sit, I don't worry in the slightest what the long term consequences of this latest f*ckover are going to be, simply because the cake is already baked, the train left the station a long time ago, the ship has already hit the iceberg, and there simply does not exist another five or ten years for anything to play out before the genuine gotterdammerung is upon us. In the event, the federal government will be rendered absolutely, visibly, and irretrievably unable to deliver on any of its promises, and will have thereby lost most of its reason for being.

This is not 1933, when the nation embarked on something that had never been tried before and under terms that would allow the pyramid scheme to run for most of a century. Nor is this 1965, when the nation was at the absolute peak of a no-smoke-and-mirrors prosperity. Instead, the current scam is being foisted in 2010, in the midst of the exponentiating collapse of all the previous schemes. As such, it will have almost no chance of success.

One simply cannot run a successful con if the mark's pockets are already empty from the previous cons.

The commies in Congress remind me of folks who have just noticed that the tide has suddenly gone way, way out. Instead of reflecting on what it portends, they rush into the newly uncovered sea bed to see what kind of treasures they can gather up. In all their childish excitement, they don't notice that the entire edge of the horizon has taken on an eerie white sheen. They are wholly oblivious that their fate is now absolutely assured. While most of them have no idea that the game is damned near up, the worst of them do, but they are confident that they still have plenty of time to grab some lobsters before the wave arrives, and maybe get some amusement picking the pockets of all those standing around gaping at the starfish.

Just Sayin'

Theists consciously enjoy the ultimate prospect of total, absolute, eternal vindication. Atheists consciously enjoy the ultimate prospect of...nothing (if they're lucky).

Worth A Thousand Words

Here ya go.

Now, That's A Good Question

In another good piece, Doctor Zero asks:

The Democrats have long coasted upon the inertia of an inexorably growing State. They will come to appreciate the danger of handing their opponents a simple banner of “Repeal!”, which they can raise above an electorate angry about being deceived and ignored. The American tradition is to elect representatives… and depose rulers.

The last few months have produced a dangerous degree of clarity, for an ideology that thrives on endlessly manipulating language and changing its brand name – progressive, liberal, socialist, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week. It’s commonly said that independents provide the decisive votes in national elections. How can anyone call themselves “independent” without fighting this monstrous bill and its authors, tooth and nail? What are they supposed to be independent of?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Francis Beckwith in a comment here:

This health care bill requires a property tax on all persons that exist in the United States. So, how ironic is that the first black president would be the one to bring back the first principle of slavery. Just as only Nixon can go to China, only Obama can reinstall the chains.

Gagdad Bob Channels Charlton Heston


Keep Your Stinking Paws Off My Body and Out of My Pocket, You Damn Dirty Apes!

Know what I hate? I hate it when the left drags me and everything else down to the crudest level of raw power politics, so that I can't ignore them even if I want to. The point is, real Americans mostly just want to be left alone by the State, just as they would be pleased if criminals would refrain from breaking into their cars and houses.

But just as we must take precautions against criminals and sociopaths, our well intended liberal fascists force us to take steps against them. Who would want to spend a moment thinking about the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid unless they were in your face, trying to purloin your slack? What did I ever do to them? Nothing. Indeed, I pay their salary and for their travel, retirement, and healthcare (hair plugs and botox injections included). All I ask in return is that they leave me alone.

But no, they can't do that. They can't keep their hands off my body and out of my pocketbook. And not one of them can acknowledge that they are committing an act of naked aggression when they force us to do something we don't want to do. But that's plainly what it is, by definition. More than half the country recognizes this. Hence the rage. The rage is not taking place in a vacuum. The stock answer of the race-obsessed MSM is that the anger must be because Obama is half white, as if anyone but a liberal would care about such trivia. Nuance.

But -- to cite just one example -- $10 billion to pay for 16,500 new IRS agents is not exactly a peck on the cheek. Only a liberal fascist imagines otherwise. That's raw muscle, baby, Chicago style. Look at yesterday's bellicose reaction from our authoritarian troll. The moment I enabled anonymous comments, he chimed in with Hearing you people froth at the mouth has truly made this a special day for me. This does not put me in the mood to open my wallet to him.

This only proves the adage that people inevitably devalue what is given to them. Indeed, on the very day we are forced to pay for the healthcare of this disordered soul, he responds not with gratitude but by lashing out at his new benefactors.

But was it not ever thus? Since when was a ward of the state ever grateful for his handouts? Statism always breeds ingratitude and a narcissistic sense of entitlement. It literally changes the consciousness of a people. It makes them worse, in that it de-spiritualizes them and renders them material extensions of the state (instead of making the state embody the spiritual ideals of its citizens).

It is literally impossible to imagine the mindset of such flatlanders. Where does one begin?


More good stuff follows. Also, a commenter to the post explains our sorry predicament:

Pelosi's wearing the pants in this American family, now.

Health Care is the mother-substitute and Pelosi is the dominant partner.

"Heather Has Two Mommies" writ large.

What Stupak Has Done, In Effect

Is to stand atop a huge pile of unborn corpses, waving and shouting, "Hey everybody, look at me!!"

Has Stupak forgotten that God is a member of "everybody"?

More Legislation In The Pipeline

We're moving into a golden age, people! An invigorated Congress will soon be considering the following reforms:

  • No private business may discriminate in the provision of goods or services based on a customer's ability to pay.
  • Marriage being a fundamental civil right, the federal government will now assign spouses to everyone. In the interests of tolerance and fairness, the sex of your spouse will be chosen at random. All current marriages are hereby dissolved, pending reassignment. Congress, union members, and Nebraskans are exempt.
  • Free pudding cups on Wednesdays. To promote fairness, puddings will be assigned at random. Congress, unions, Nebraskans, undocumented workers, and lesbians will receive either chocolate pudding, or chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Taxpayers will receive either rice pudding, or rice pudding mixed with an equal volume of tepid water. This way, no one will be guaranteed a particular kind of pudding and everybody gets a mid-week surprise. Chocolate puddings will be delivered by courier, rice puddings by third class mail. Citizens will be required to maintain a garden hose in good working order accessible to postal personnel in order to facilitate the proper mixing of their puddings. The government will not be responsible for overspray or leakage affecting mail delivery. Nor can the government guarantee that garden hoses will be properly turned off. Stiff fines will be assessed for overusage of water.

Glad To See The Citizenry Is Being Protected From Abuse

The government is on our side, fighting important battles on behalf of our freedom:

Fed cracks down on gift card abuses

The more I think about that statement the more absurdly ironic it sounds in every respect.

Just to unpack a couple: the Fed has not thus far seen fit to crack down on financial malfeasance anywhere that it matters. The Democrats are continually abusing us with the prospect of "gifts", which are anything but.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Okay, This Is About As Rabble Rousing As It Gets

Dana Loesch, who caps the piece off with a quote by Samuel Adams which ratifies the whole post.

Gagdad Bob Outdoes Himself

One of his best ever.

This Guy's Not Optimistic

Here's a real mood lifter.

"The Toothpaste Is Out Of The Tube Now."

And "compassionate conservatism" and "reaching across the aisle" McCainism is now dead.

The piece begins:

We have the debate over ObamaCare to thank for one thing, at least: the treating of the preexisting childlike delusion that bipartisanship is possible, let alone desirable, when the other side is the Obama Democrats.

It is neither. And it never has been nor ever will be as long as there is a segment of a society that wishes to control the wealth and activities of other segments of society. With such people, there are only two options. Either you defeat them -- or they defeat you. If you strive to get along with them, you will awaken one day to the fact that they have won. Period.


When, In The Course Of Political Events, It Becomes Necessary For The Government To Dissolve The Political Bonds Which Constrain Them...

The Declaration of Dependence. Read it and weep.

Damned Right!

Let's start rallyin' for this:

There is a fundamental right being denied 55% of all Americans. This denial costs over 16,000 lives per year, meaning more than 44 of our fellow Americans will die every day that we delay. What should be done in light of these shocking figures?

Using the example set by President Obama and the Congressional Democrats, there is only one answer: Universal Gun Care for every American. Surely a right outlined in the Bill of Rights (2d Amendment) is just as important as a right NOT found the Constitution (Health Care).

Bonus, it should be easier to implement. After all, gun dealers and manufacturers are ready and willing to help solve the problem. Unlike the evil insurance companies, gun dealers don't want to take your weapon away from you when you most need it. Nor will they deny selling you a weapon simply because you haven't purchased one in the past (i.e. a pre-existing condition).

• Conventional estimates state that 45% of all US households own a firearm. This leaves at least 55% of all Americans "uncovered."
• In 2008 there were 16,272 murders in the USA. How many of those could have been prevented if the victims had been able to protect themselves?

My proposal is a modest one:

• Mandate for every American to purchase a gun or be provided one by their employer (children under the age of 26 can share a weapon with their parents)
• Tax credits to offset the cost of purchase (for those making less than $250,000 per year and everyone in Nebraska)
• For those that can't afford it, a grant or subsidy to purchase a weapon (union members can get two weapons subsidized before 2018)
• Funding for a series of community based gun dealers/clinics and firing ranges (especially in under-served urban and rural areas)
• Monthly ammunition benefit so that no one has to choose between feeding their kids, paying the rent, or buying a box of .38 special cartridges

Contact your representative today. The time to act is now.

Rube Goldberg

In response to the diagram shown in this post, a commenter explains:

The patient (A) reaches for the government cheese (B) which jiggles a lever (C) that leverages a buyout of a bankrupt investment house (D) that saves or creates two million jobs (E) which go to SEIU thugs (F) who beat the patient into unconsciousness (G) while the IRS steals his wallet (H).


Rand Simberg:

Just A Coincidence, I’m Sure

Today is the 245th anniversary of the Stamp Act. We’ll see if yesterday’s version plays out similarly.

And just to kind of help move things along, take a look at this.

Amusing Litany

Hits the mark with plenty of bullet points, including this:

# Question for Nancy Pelosi: If you guys had achieved socialized medicine 100 years ago like you keep saying, would medical science have progressed to the point where you’d see this when you look in the mirror?

Whittle Pep Talk

Good stuff.

If It's A Royal Screwover For 85% Of The People, It's Repealable

Ace of Spades:

It's important to point out the differences between this bill and Social Security and Medicare. Those bills had bipartisan support... partly because they each had a bipartisan constituency. Everyone gets old, Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal. While seniors might tend this way or that, it's never been the case that one party dominated the elderly.

On the other hand, Obama's bill is aimed with laser-like focus on heavily-Democratic constituencies at the expense of every other constituency. There are niche groups that will be aided by the bill (maybe) which may be considered a bipartisan constituency, but those groups are small.


Make no mistake, this bill is intended to make the Haves pay extra to cover the Have Nots. In some cases it does so directly -- taking $500 billion from seniors with Medicare to give health insurance to younger people. In most other cases, it will do so indirectly, in much the same way that our Medicare system of below-market reimbursements impels drugstores to raise prices on everyone else in order to not take a bath on its Medicare clients. Obama's bill contains a lot of legally-required cross-subsidization and encourages a lot more economically-necessary cross-subsidization.

On the net, everyone who has insurance now -- through Medicare, or through their employment, which is really part of their wages, paid instead to a third party to purchase an insurance plan -- will have to give up part of their weekly check to buy a pricey policy for someone they don't know.

This is not the sort of bill that becomes "unrepealable" as Social Security and Medicare would. Social Security and Medicare paid their benefits to everyone who became elderly; there was something in each program for everyone. Sure, there were a lot of people who did not get out of these programs what they paid into it, but they got something out of it. Even if some richer seniors only got 80% back or so, well, eight cents on the dollar isn't a deal you'd normally take but it's also not so horrible a deal you'll get riled up enough to change your political behavior.

That has always been the secret of how the progressives shift income from the middle class to the poor -- they establish programs which have benefits for the middle-class, too, even if those benefits are less than what the middle class actually pays into the system. The middle class at least feels like it's getting something out of the deal, and, well, if they're not quite getting out of the deal as much as they put in, they shrug it off in the interests of being nice and helping the needy and so on.

But this bill doesn't do that. There is, in fact, no benefit for the 85% of the country that have part of their salaries diverted into a third-party insurance plan. There is nothing for them but additional taxes and additional rationing of their care so that part of their salaries -- I am stressing, a health insurance plan is just a part of your salary -- can be paid to someone else.

On top of that, the plan will add trillions to the deficit, as even with all those new taxes and rationing of care and impounding people's salaries to give them to someone else, it still isn't paid for.

I just don't see this like Social Security or Medicare. Those benefited the middle class, and furthermore benefited everyone, eventually (assuming they didn't die earlier in their lives). This bill benefits only a discrete, easily-identifiable fraction of the population at the direct and unambiguous expense of everyone else.

I just don't see this plan ever becoming popular with those being forced to hand over larger and larger parts of each paycheck to perfect strangers. People are never going to be unsure whether or not they're the ones Taking or they're the ones being Taken From.

And the Taken From is 85% of the country.

What's Next?

Michael G. Franc (Heritage Foundation):

Just as the Dred Scott decision inspired the creation of the abolition movement, and Roe the pro-life crusade that continues to this day (especially this day!), today’s passage of the single most significant expansion of the government’s role in our lives marks the first day of a new political order. That the 2010 elections will be a national referendum on one word — “repeal” — is a certainty. Voters will want to know how politicians running at both the federal and state levels stand on one overriding question: Are you for or against repeal? No one will have to ask what it is they want repealed.

Want to take a guess what H.R. 1 will be should Republicans regain control of the House in November? It will consist of one succinct sentence: “Public Law 111-___ is hereby repealed.”

Passage of H.R. 1 will be the first order of legislative business on the first day the next Congress convenes. The appropriations process will become a bloody legislative battleground where lawmakers who support the repeal movement seek to limit funds to agencies tasked with hiring the tens of thousands of new bureaucrats to write the regulations and otherwise implement health reform. In the Senate, the repeal movement will mount legislative assaults as well, but the supermajority requirements there will necessarily impede their efforts. Until the 2012 election cycle begins in earnest, that is.

Slowly, it will become clear that it is this new relationship between Americans and their government that lies at the crux of the seemingly endless political controversies swirling around us. If you thought ordinary citizens set new land-speed records for hurling heretofore arcane provisions of the Constitution or direct quotes from the Declaration of Independence at their elected representative, get ready for even more. The public’s healthy appetite for more knowledge of the principles of America’s founding, and what they mean relative to all this new government authority, will only grow in intensity. First-principles book clubs, anyone?

The good news for conservatives is that the natural instincts of the American citizenry lie firmly with the values that animated the Founding Fathers, and therefore with us — a government of limited power; a nation of laws and not of men, where the spirit of entrepreneurship is honored and encouraged; and a government that recognizes that the most important institutions in our society are families, churches, communities, and then, and only then, government.

The new law has already inspired a reaction among the states. State attorneys general are receiving instructions from their governors and state legislatures to challenge various provisions of the new law. Legislation to negate the effect of the new mandates has advanced in dozens of states. The vast expansion of the state-federal Medicaid program has prompted similarly dire concerns over the fiscal implications for state budgets. Two offshoots: First, candidates for even the most obscure state offices will quickly realize that their would-be constituents want to know their position on the new law. Second, a long-overdue rebirth of the concept of federalism may be in the offing.

So, if you get the feeling that something profoundly important just changed, you’re right.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memo To Obama Voters

Seen in comments here:

We have a high-tech business near Chicago. We modeled this "health-control" disaster scenario recently. Since it has now come to pass we are moving R&D and manufacturing over-seas. We will be laying off staff in the US and hiring in China and India. It's pretty clear others will be following us. All you folks who voted for Obama and his crazy leftist friends - have a nice day. Bye


Dan Riehl:

Most importantly, the Democrats are exposed. Obama flushed them out of their hole to save himself. That's not a hero, it's a selfish traitor to his party. On top of that, we now have what matters most on the heels of this fiasco - something to fight for. And fight we will.

And we will win in the end. Too many solid citizens were already up in arms, taking to the streets before this. Those numbers will not shrink. They will grow exponentially. As the saying goes, this is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning.

Let them have their self-congratulatory night and day or two. They've been drunk on power and ideology throughout this debate. Kicking the snot out of them when their hangover sets in - and it will - may be the political highlight of many of our lives.

The Ongoing Depression Now Has Its Smoot-Hawley Tariff

The Jackasses have just made our financial/economic problems exponentially worse.

That is, unless we get redress from the judiciary. There is ample reason to justify such redress: How is it that Congress has the power to compel citizens to buy a particular good or service while compelling other citizens to sell it to them at a loss? If this doesn't violate the Tenth Amendment, just what would? What, exactly, is the point of the Tenth Amendment if no obvious violations of it can ever be admitted to exist? What protections does it afford if it can never actually result in nullification of Congressional action?

Good Parallel

Vox Day:

I found this exchange in the comments to be more than a little amusing, as Darth clearly picked up on the same scientific ignorance of the design process in reading about the Pagel paper that I did in reading Richard Dawkins's latest book.

Darth Toolpodicus: "'Rather than designing each species from scratch, as an engineer might, evolution is conservative, using the same designs over and over.'

Are you freaking kidding me?!? SERIOUSLY?!? Pagel plainly doesn't know the first thing about design engineering... Wow is that gaspingly ignorant. Of course, what would I know...having only spent my entire career in R&D design engineering."

Schadenfreude: "You're right. Let me rephrase it for him: " an engineer who, unlike human engineers, was not limited in time, resources, or ingenuity, and who did not for some hidden reason want to make every organism appear related just as one would expect if evolution had occurred."

The reason that this is so funny to a game and technology designer like me is that whenever evolutionists attack the idea of creation from a design angle, they almost invariably do two things. First, they make what is best described as the Scheisskopfian Plea, after the character from the Joseph Heller novel.

“‘I don’t believe,’ she sobbed, bursting violently into tears. ‘But the God I don’t believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He’s not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be.’”

The Creator God in which the evolutionist doesn't believe is a good designer, a careful designer, an efficient designer. He's not the lazy and careless designer that the apparent design imperfections make him out to be.

The Next Move

I understand that the next piece of legislation the 'Democrats' are going to pass will force car companies to sell Porsche Boxsters (or the equivalent) to all Americans for $2000 (with an exemption for GM and Chrysler). After this, they will take on the profiteers in the citizen-enslaving food industry by requiring Safeway and all other supermarket chains to charge no more than $10 per bag of groceries (hemp bags only, and all food will be organic).

Can you imagine how awesome this will be? We'll stick it to The Man and all drive bitchin' roadsters, and have cheap, abundant, healthy food!

After this, they intend to pass a law making it illegal to age past 35. We shall become a nation of young citizens!! We'll all live forever, driving roadsters full of cheap groceries!!!

Anything, anything is possible when legislators care for us!!

I Hope He's Right


Heard a lot of nonsense and obfuscating from the Dems all morning. The worst was pretending the details don’t count, or the costs don’t count, or the Americans want this…

The denial was puke-worthy. But the worst of it was the question of which path would damage Obama and the Dems! Earth to liberals – the damage is done. Democrats will be wiped out this November, and Obama is a one term disaster. And not only will all this Health Care madness be tied up in legal limbo for years, rejected by over two thirds the states, and eventually repealed and replaced with something more reasonable, but the entire federal government and its intrusive liberal policies will be dismantled.

This is not the dawning of far left Nirvana in America. This is the straw that will provide the energy, the rallying cry and the example for tearing down the federal beast. Democrats are not just going to lose a president and control of Congress along with many dozens of house seats and probably 8-9 senate seats (Boxer (CA) is now in trouble, Murray (WA) is in trouble and Feingold (WI) is even starting to slip). No. They are going to lose a century of federal infrastructure that has been built up, and now needs to excised like a cancerous tumor.

The mood of the country will be to not only repeal this madness, but to make sure it cannot happen again. The mood will be to clip the federal bureaucracy down to its barest requirements. Power to decide issues will be devolved to the states. Every issue the left holds dear will suffer devastating and irreversible set backs.

If Liberals think Americans will sit back and let them dictate to the majority, they are as clueless as they are arrogant.

Hold this vote now. Get it over with. Pretend this country is not run by the voters and citizens. Pretend you are the greatest and wisest leaders to ever grace this planet. Delude yourselves all you want liberals.

Because today you have awoken the sleeping giant, and the silent majority will be silent no more. Tomorrow we embark on a new path, one that will no longer tolerate liberal madness.

So How Does It Feel To Be A Bolshevik And A Baby-Killer, Bart?

What a surprise. No principles whatsoever.

This guy is going to get buried in November. The contempt America has for Ben Nelson will look like affection compared to what Stupak is in for.

Update: A commenter at Hot Air asks (in jest): "So how much money did Stupak make on intrade?"

And another comment quotes Mark Twain:

I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.
- Mark Twain

To Pass Or Not To Pass

Great piece.


[O]ff a cliff is exactly where the Democrat party is going. In 1994, the party lost 54 seats in the House, losing control for the first time in 40 years. 54 seats is my opening bid for November 2010. They will lose that amount if ObamaCare somehow fails tonight. If it passes, their losses will be much worse in the House (hell, I’d take odds on a 100 seat loss) and they likely will lose the Senate as well. Worse for the parties future, they will be decimated in state house races, which is critical to the future of they party. The winners of these races will draw new legislative districts next year. A GOP rout in statehouses could doom the Democrats for a decade.


So, looking to tonight’s vote, I am torn. The policy wonk in me desperately wants the bill to fail. There are simply far too many provisions with sweeping consequences that we can’t fully imagine. There is too much damage that could be done and I don’t fully trust that the GOP will repeal every last provision. Clearly, the Democrats are betting that they won’t. They believe that, even if they have to lose their majority, enough of ObamaCare will remain that health care dominates our political discourse forever and they will always be able to outbid the GOP on the issue.

That said, the political animal in me is hoping they find 216 votes. A victory for ObamaCare tonight, It will spark a public revolt that will wipe clean the progressive agenda for at least a generation. In battle, it is critically important to have clarity; to understand the fight you are in. If the Democrats pass ObamaCare tonight no one will have any doubts about the battle ahead. So, my political instincts say, “Bring it On. Let’s sort this out once and for all.”

Tonight, if the Democrats get 216 votes, every one of those “yes” votes will be the deciding vote on ObamaCare. It will also be the deciding vote on the Democrats’ political oblivion.

It's Bolshevism Uber Alles, Baby!

Let's see, protect the unborn or impose Stalinism? The choice is clear, ain't it? It looks like 90% that Stupak caves. There is no such thing as a moderate Democrat. There is no such thing as a "pro-life" Democrat. If the guy had any actual convictions he would not now be involved in negotiations of any kind. Here's hoping his defeat in November is especially brutal.

Prove me wrong, champ.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

17,232 MPH Worth Of Cool

My wife and I just went outside to swap cars in the driveway. It was a nice looking sky, with the crescent moon and Orion dominating the picture. But then a very bright light made its way across the sky roughly from northwest to southeast, looking much like a jet airliner at high altitude. But I knew from having watched satellites go overhead in the past that it had more of the "satellite look," with no flashing lights and an eerie silence. It was so darned bright that I figured it was the International Space Station. I checked the online tracker and that's what it was! 17,000 MPH looks darned fast, even 200 miles away.

Just A Few More Hours Until We See If Stupak Folds Like A Cheap Suit

We'll see. He seems to be all for bolshevism, as long as there is plausible deniability concerning baby-killing. The latest, I take it, is he might be swayed by some sort of asinine executive order gambit.

But not the Catholic Bishops! They're all for bolshevism ("With deep regret, but clear in our moral judgment, we are compelled to continue to urge House members to oppose the Senate bill unless these fundamental flaws are remedied." In other words, lose the baby-killing and we'll applaud the unconstitutional commie takeover!), but at least aren't going to fall for the Executive Order thing. It amazes me that the bishops think a grotesque increase in government power (but please promise with sugar on top that you won't kill any babies) is somehow in the interests of goodness, the Church, or the (non)citizenry.

Why Lesbian 'Parents' Need To Seach Elsewhere For A School

An excellent defense of the Catholic school in Boulder, CO.

Nice Job, Dems

This piece was so-so, but had a couple of good sections:

The Obama administration has managed to take what has been a standard Democratic vote-getting ploy -- promise government largesse to core constituencies and let the rest of the country pay for it -- and screw it up so badly that regardless of whether HCR passes or fails, Democrats will suffer heavy losses in the midterm election.


As anyone who has ever looked at a government program knows, if HCR is this junked-up at the start, then it will take no time after passage before it becomes the biggest bureaucratic mess ever inflicted upon a free people. We all -- or or at least most of us -- will rue the day. Never mind the lost jobs, tax increases, medical rationing; that's just the tip of the iceberg that we can see from a distance. This thing will be worse. America's medical system will become riddled with government inefficiencies, politically-correct tinkering, and endless corruption. A two-tiered medical system will emerge, each coexisting as separate worlds: one for well-connected elites, and one for everyone else. Chills will crawl up your neck the first time you hear that someone in this country had to "tip" a hospital staffer in order to make sure a loved one got clean bed sheets.


Well Said

A blogger responds to a DailyKos taunt in Texas style.


A buddy of mine said to me back in December of '08, "Man, it's going to be a long eight years." It sure looked like it at the time. As SteveP also pointed out, we have no power. We're losers. Yet here we are 13 months later with the House almost assuredly flipping R and the Senate a coin toss. Obama is a lot more liberal than advertised, he over-reached, and he left the nuts and bolts to Congress. Congress is an inherently verminous place. So much the more when one party controls both houses. Yep, Republicans too.

Which is where pragmatic, post-partisan Obama should have stepped in - no, he should have consulted with Republicans and presented a bi-partisan blueprint to Congress. This was his chance to shine. I'd say he voted present, but pragmatic, post-partisan Obama was an illusion from the get go.

I know nothing I say will change your mind if you believe Obama has managed the health reform process well or even competently. From here he blew it big time. Electoral fortunes can change, but at this moment in time he's eight months from a wave election followed by two years of hearings in front of Republican-chaired committees. I don't think anyone saw that coming.

As to whether he is leading us to ruin (you started this, and since I just threw a couple more snow leopard pelts in the potbelly stove...), one thing they did learn us in Texas schools is math. We've already added more to the debt in one year than under Bush in eight. If the cost of this health bill doesn't vastly exceed projections it will be the first time an entitlement hasn't. Again, what percentage of the GDP can the government consume before it has a detrimental effect on our capacity to grow?

You and I are already upside down $100 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities. Realistically, Obama is just another in a long line of captains on the Titianic as it continues on the course Admiral Roosevelt plotted. That doesn't mean he needs to start throwing life rafts and deck chairs in the boilers to hasten our voyage.

Regardless of who started it, it is unsustainable. We're pretty much doomed since no one has the stomach for the harsh measures needed to avert disaster. Particularly the public. So why complain? By the time the bills come due I'll have had a good run or by the grace of God, these Marlboros, and the moonshine I cook up in an old truck radiator I'll be deep in the all-forgiving ground. Unless I'd give off more carbon dioxide being cremated...

We Have Their Billing Address

They broke it, they bought it:

I don't know how the final vote will shake out, but for a while, I've said that we know they don't have the votes until they call a vote. They've called for a vote. It should occur Sunday. We've seen a few folks fall into place. They probably have (at least) 216; it seems like a lot of vulnerable Democrats are saying they'll vote yes and roll the dice on their reelection in November.

But if it passes Sunday, as of Monday, if Americans have problems with their health care, they know where to send their complaints. If your premiums jump, thank most House Democrats, Senate Democrats, and the Obama administration. If your doctor takes early retirement, you know who to call. If you can't get an appointment because the system suddenly has 30 million new patients, don't blame the GOP. Patient care, premiums, what's covered, access to prescription drugs, the rate of innovation in new drugs and procedures, the out-of-date magazines in the waiting room — hey, it's all Obama's show now. We laid out all the reasons this wasn't going to work according to plan. (Exhibit A: Government programs never work according to plan.)

A lot of Democrats seem to think that they'll vote this into law, and then the anger will go away. Nope. In the months and years to come, they'll have the anger of the opponents and the anger of all the supporters who thought this would give them top-dollar care for low costs.

If The Democrats Destroy The Entire System, It Might Happen Surprisingly Quickly

If the doctor's opinion highlighted by The Anchoress is correct.

Of course, the quicker it happens, the more vivid will be the proper assignment of blame, as well as retribution, one way or another.

The House Gives The Senate Its Lunch Money

Amusing Ace of Spades post.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"What An Abominable Woman; What A Power-Mad, Ruthless, Mendacious Grotesque She Is"

The Ancoress has had it up to here with the faux-Catholic Pelosi. The Anchoress has never been this hard-hitting.

Everything Was Going Fine Until The Tyrants Turned Up The Heat In The Pan Too Fast

The frogs have finally taken notice:

Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips — they've gotten off the fence. They've woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven't seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we've slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and “disabilities.” Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest...

It Cannot Possibly Turn Out Well

Another great Doctor Zero post re:government health care. It contains this line:

Remember, this Administration’s idea of a “system working” consists of frantic airline passengers tackling a terrorist seconds before his underwear detonates.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great Punchline

Watch this:

H/T Edward Feser.

David Brooks Didn't Know Who The Patsy At The Table Was

But he is starting to get the picture:

David Brooks says he’s out on the ledge, morose, and about to have a “Howard Beale” moment. Just last week he was telling us that Obama was a misunderstood moderate. Now he confesses that Obama is aiding and abetting unlawfulness of the worst kind. He explains:

Barack Obama campaigned offering a new era of sane government. And I believe he would do it if he had the chance. But he has been so sucked into the system that now he stands by while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about passing health care via “deem and pass” — a tricky legislative device in which things get passed without members having the honor or the guts to stand up and vote for it.
Deem and pass? Are you kidding me? Is this what the Revolutionary War was fought for? Is this what the boys on Normandy beach were trying to defend? Is this where we thought we would end up when Obama was speaking so beautifully in Iowa or promising to put away childish things?

Not very moderate. Not even defensible. Brooks is left, as many of us are, blinking in disbelief:

It’s unbelievable that people even talk about this with a straight face. Do they really think the American people are going to stand for this? Do they think it will really fool anybody if a Democratic House member goes back to his district and says, “I didn’t vote for the bill. I just voted for the amendments.” Do they think all of America is insane? … It’s just Democrats wanting to pass a bill, any bill, and shredding anything they have to in order to get it done.


This is what the GOP sounds like when it finds its balls:

Here are [Senator Tom] Coburn's actual words, from K-Lo at the Corner:

I want to send a couple of messages to my colleagues in the House.

If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think any nomination to a federal position isn’t going to be held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you. It’s going to be held.

Number two is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I’ve already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators that we will look at every appropriations bill, at every level, at every instance, and we will outline it by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote. So, if you think you can cut a deal now, and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen. And be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Parable of the Bread Aisle

Absolutely outstanding post by Doctor Zero.

So Obama's Spiel Will Officially Become 'Faux News'

A friend in need is a friend indeed:

What a tool.

In an “extended, exclusive” interview tomorrow [Obama] will sit down with Special Report anchor Bret Baier to make his health care reform pitch to the FNC audience. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

The interview will air in full at 6pmET tomorrow and will take place earlier in the afternoon. “We welcome the opportunity to sit down with the President and try to get some specifics on the health care legislation,” said Baier in making the announcement right after NoonET today on Fox News.

The history between the White House and Fox News has been a shaky one. In September he went to every major news outlet except Fox for an interview. That started things, and with FNC essentially winning the war it came to a head in late October with a meeting between Robert Gibbs and Michael Clemente.

So Fox is a just a bunch of right-wing extremists watched by right-wing extremist teabaggers… until Obama is on the ropes.

What. A. Tool.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dead Congress Walking

Don't miss this outstanding Weekly Standard piece.

Comic Relief

Here and here.

He Will Not Comply

A good read:

But now, I’ve lost my passion for continuing the debate. I’ve lost my motivation to identify the bill’s flaws and failures. I’ve even lost my anger at the arrogance of Washington politicians who think they know best how to manage my medical care and rearrange my personal finances.

Why? Because it’s becoming clear to me that I and other critics of ObamaCare have already won the intellectual battle. We’ve already succeeded in informing the public about the particulars of the bill, and the public now strongly opposes ObamaCare. The more President Obama shouts into his microphone, the more the public comes to oppose his plan. There is no conceivable way that the president or the leaders of Congress can legally enact their legislative monstrosity.

Instead, they are going to cheat.

They are going to employ some kind of legislative trickery to pretend to pass a bill that, they now realize, will never become law through constitutional means. They may use the now-infamous Slaughter Rule, which would allow House members to claim to have voted to amend the objectionable Senate bill without actually having passed it through the House. Or they’ll come up with an even-zanier scheme, including a subsequent reconciliation process in the Senate designed to overcome the very filibuster they’ve used to block conservative bills and nominees in the past.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding. I’m not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees.

I will not comply. If the government tries to make me comply, I’ll sue. And I’ll win.

This is not (yet) a banana republic where constitutions are seen as inconvenient impediments to the rule of the despot. This is not (yet) a European-style welfare state where some powerful parliament can exercise legislative, executive, and judicial power all in one stroke. This is a constitutional republic in which government power is divided, its exercise is strictly limited, and our rights are not some generous gift of those in power, to be withdrawn at their whim, but are instead a permanent check on their power.

If the House fails to hold a straightforward vote on the Senate bill that was passed a couple of months ago, that bill can neither become law nor be amended by future congressional action. It will have died. There will be no ObamaCare bill, no new taxes or regulations, and no unconstitutional mandate that Americans buy health plans approved by politicians.

The president and his allies may claim otherwise, but that won’t change the reality of the situation. If they command the rest of us to pretend they have passed the bill, I will not comply.

Either Too Stupid Or Too Corrupt To Realize This

Hugh Hewitt:

The strange alliance between hard left San Fran Nan and the Chicago gang headquartered in the White House is pushing hard on first and second term Members of Congress to not only vote for a half trillion in Medicare cuts, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase and Gator Aid, but to do so while suspending the Constitution in the belief that voters are too stupid to notice.

This is political mass suicide.

As noted in yesterday's column, this vote will not only sear scores of Democrats from swing districts, it will also cripple the Democratic Party for years to come, leaving it responsible for every failure of the suddenly top-down driven American health care system. As the Medicare cuts roll out, Medicare Advantage disappears, doctors refuse patients and the tax burden pushes millions from employees with health care into independent contractor status and looking through the so-called exchanges for plans that include the doctors they used to see, every single complaint, grievance and system failure will rightfully lay against the Democrats.

Many of them won't survive the fall campaign to hear them. Take Ohio's John Boccieri for example. The Canton Democrat is allegedly pro-life, but the Senate bill subsidizes abortion and eliminated the House bills provisions concerning freedom of conscience for providers. Boccieri refused to show up for the underwhelmingly attended rally led by the president in Ohio yesterday, but House Whip James Clyburn said that Boccieri, a "no" vote in the fall, will be switching over to vote yes now --demonstrating not only that he's easily pushed around by San Fran Nan, but that his first vote wasn't an honest one but designed for cover.

Unless Clyburn is spinning, that is, attempting to get Boccieri stampeded into voting yes. If Boccieri is reading his e-mail, he got this one which I was copied on:

Dear Congressman Boccieri, I have a 1976 Jeep CJ-7 gathering dust in my garage. I hear you are going to change your vote on health care and vote to approve the cram-down using this sham reconciliation scheme. If you vote for Obamacare, my Jeep is going on Craig's List and proceeds will go to whoever your opponent will be in November's general election. Whatever the President promised you if you loose in November, a job in the administration, the ambassadorship to Norway, that will be the price your constituency will know you were paid. A bought and paid for man in the service of a one term President.
Don't do it, don't sell out.

That was from a Los Angeles area resident, and it drives home that the 2010 House races are already nationalized, just as Scott Brown's race was. Democrats and their allies are telling their embattled "moderate" members that the pressure will relax after the president signs the nightmare bill passed by sleight-of-hand, that voters will forget, that the story will change, but that is absurd --it is health care the Dems are fooling around with for political purposes. A family encounters the health system almost every week, and often every day for extended periods of time. Each "touch" of the system ahead will be a remembrance that Democrats rolled the dice and broke the best system in the world. When the final tally shows up, every "yes" vote goes on a permanent post on every blog and the website gets redone to target voter fury equally at the vulnerable Democrats who provided the margin for San Fran Nan. The issue sweeps out dozens of incumbent Democrats in the fall, but it lives on to burden redistricted House members and every senator up in 2012. It is a lousy bill, a poisoning of our health care system, and Democrats are fighting to the last man standing to pass it --a fact that will never be forgotten by anyone watching right now.


Rarely has voter intensity been at this level, and the opponents far overshadow the Democratic operatives pushing for a yes vote. This sort of conflict is going to "die down?" The furious opposition will simply get very cold and very determined. The Boccieris have to realize that if they are thinking about this at all.

News Flash


The science is settled: Environmentalists are dicks

You already knew environmentalists were insufferably smug and annoying. But did you know they’re also actively criminal?

Don’t take my word for it. This is coming from The Guardian. Yes, The Guardian:

According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the “licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour”, otherwise known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics”…

Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong argue that people who wear what they call the “halo of green consumerism” are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal. “Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours,” they write.

The pair found that those in their study who bought green products appeared less willing to share with others a set amount of money than those who bought conventional products. When the green consumers were given the chance to boost their money by cheating on a computer game and then given the opportunity to lie about it – in other words, steal – they did, while the conventional consumers did not. Later, in an honour system in which participants were asked to take money from an envelope to pay themselves their spoils, the greens were six times more likely to steal than the conventionals.

That’s weird, huh? You mean environmentalists tend to be unethical jerks who justify their behavior by telling themselves it’s for the greater good, and they’re better than their victims anyway? Huh. It’s a good thing we have science, or we couldn’t figure that out based on evidence we see every. Single. Day.

It's been obvious for a long time: leftist environmentalism is for people who can't handle real repentance and real absolution.

"Why Are Those Guys Tearing Down That Flag Pole? Is That William Ayers On The Far Left?"

Amusing quip (in the comments) to this unamusing story of media ignorance.

The Dynamics Of Spiritual Ennervation Under Statism

Great Dennis Prager reflection about how leftist statism destroys one of the most fundamental human drives, the drive to be needed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Putting The Depraved On The Couch

Doctor Zero:

Sarah Palin is Obama by proxy.

Palin’s admirers often marvel at how the charges leveled against her are far more applicable to the current President. People who voted for an undistinguished junior senator from Illinois with few accomplishments are quick to assault Palin’s “lack of experience.” The same folks who instruct us that Barack Obama is a physical paragon, and Michelle Obama is the most beautiful woman in the world – a goddess who causes fashion models to slink from her path in shame – belittle Palin for her good looks. Defenders of the most fabulously corrupt administration in modern history mumble about the murky details of obscure “scandals” manufactured by Alaskan bloggers. They turn away from the sad spectacle of a manifestly incompetent President to sneer that a woman who alters the course of legislative battles with blog posts is some kind of an idiot.

They dismiss Going Rogue as “ghost written” while ignoring the specter of Bill Ayers plodding through Obama’s books, a sputtering bomb clutched in its skeletal fingers. A few lines scribbled on Palin’s palm glow more brightly in their imaginations than terabytes of data flowing across the screen of Obama’s teleprompter. They accuse Palin of being a “divisive” and “polarizing” figure, while Obama launches Taxi Driver rants against evil insurance companies, cops acting stupidly, tonsil-stealing doctors, and everyone else who crosses his path.

I used to dismiss these contradictions as simply hypocrisy, but perhaps these people are angry at Palin because of her perceived similarities to Barack Obama, not in spite of them. They need someplace to ground the lightning of their frustration and disappointment, and they’re not allowed to be angry at Obama. They wear a set of rusty intellectual chains that require them to believe all criticism of Obama is racist, or paid for by his fat-cat arch-enemies. Accepting the notion that government power is morally superior to free enterprise, and a virtuous nation therefore has a very large government, requires belief in the masters of the State as titans of mind and spirit. How could a gigantic State be morally defensible, if its leaders aren’t supermen? If you find yourself suspecting the architect of the largest, most expensive government America has ever known might not be as smart or wise as you were led to believe last November, your entire world-view is threatened.

It’s very important for liberals to deflect those suspicions onto a designated, culturally approved target. Sarah Palin is a convenient hate fetish for increasingly nervous and confused Left, because she embodies the qualities of the red-state America they loathe… and serves as a voodoo doll for uncomfortable criticisms of Obama, which they project onto her. As events continue to demonstrate those criticisms were far more important than any of the superficial or imaginary reasons they voted for him, they’ll jab pins into that voodoo doll with increasing fury, even though the object of their anger now spends her days working for a news network none of them would be caught dead watching.

The pitfall of an insular, heavily biased media culture is that it doesn’t process negative feedback well. Those of us who never joined the Obama cult can only frown at the chunks of bile strewn through discourse that should have nothing to do with politics, and laugh when people who voted Joe Biden into office sputter about what a lousy vice-president Sarah Palin would have made.

Wouldn't You Love To Pay For The Healthcare Of Bohemian Freeloaders?

Asked Nancy Pelosi the other day. For Mary Katherine Ham, the answer is no. Good post. It ends:

[T]he extent to which liberals actively discourage the very productivity that is the life's blood of their beloved entitlements, is astounding.

They Just Never Quit

The NYT has another moment of worship.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Like The Idea

In a comment here:

I would like to see a billboard with a scrolled parchment of the Constitution on one half, and a sonogram of a baby on the other. The words across the top,"Only one of these is living"

The Bell Will Be Deafening, Just As It Was At The Top

But you have to have ears. Charles Hugh Smith:

What seems "impossible" now--that people will repudiate these core beliefs and turn in disgust from "the great opportunities in real estate and stocks"--will not only come to pass but it will mark a long "bottom" characterized by simmering anger at Wall Street and the real estate/lending industries for bankrupting everyone who "believed" that "housing never goes down," "stocks are the best investment in the long run," etc.

Right now our politics of experience is dominated by the stock market and housing. Every "news" website has stock market indices prominently displayed in their top-of-the-fold premium space, and every blip in the housing market is relentlessly hyped in blaring headlines--especially if it's "good news" (foreclosures dipped 1%--the housing recovery is in full swing! Get in now! etc.)

Given that hype about the stock and housing markets is like the water we swim in, it seems "impossible" that a time will come when people either don't care or the very sight of stocks and housing statistics will trigger disgust and revulsion.

This is what happens when the core belief in the goodness and light of housing and stocks is beaten out of a population by relentless, soul-destroying losses.

Here's something else that's currently considered "impossible" which seems highly probable to me, just based on history and human psychology: that stocks will trade at price-earnings ratios of 4 to 6, that dividends will exceed 10% because interest rates exceed 10%, and that houses will routinely sell for 10% or 20% of their bubble highs even in desirable areas. Houses in undesirable areas will have zero value except for scrap, and unfortunately most McMansions have little useable lumber or other materials, being largely constructed of wood chips, defective drywall, plastic piping, fake rock or brick, etc.

Stocks which sold for $40 a share today will trade for $1 or $2. Volume will be light because people will have given up playing the crooked shysters' Wall Street games. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will trade around 1,000 (down from 10,600 today) and after years and years of shouting and screaming and hype about "the bargain of a lifetime" and "this is bottom, the market willl never go lower than 6,700 ever again in the entire history of humankind," etc. etc. etc., people will have finally relinquished their core belief in the fairness, goodness and wonderfulness of stocks and housing as surefire pathways to wealth.

To those of you who consider these wild speculations, I recommend researching valuations in the depths of the Great Depression. Skyscrapers sold for the cost of their elevators. Nobody wanted houses or stocks because they were discredited and repudiated as stores of value and pathways to wealth.

At the bottom in stocks and housing, the bells will toll ceaselessly, but they will be ignored. People will only buy a house if it's cheaper than renting and they have a large sum of disposable cash. The deep-seated notion that housing will appreciate and make the owner wealthy will have been discredited by reality. Nobody will buy for "appreciation" because that belief structure will have been destroyed. Housing will once again be shelter and an imperfect store of value. It will be valued for its "use-value" as shelter and the security of controlling a small parcel of land.

Wall Street will be gutted by one of two actions: people simply opted out, leaving the gangsters, fraudsters, crony "capitalists" and their politico enablers without money to play with/embezzle, or a great political uprising will have overwhelmed the bought-and-paid-for lackeys in Congress and a new political movement will have finally muzzled the ravenous blood-stained jackels of Wall Street, money-center banks and the socialist black holes of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, Ginnie Mae and all the other taxpayer-subsidized moneypits where wealth went to die.

Yes, it's all "impossible," just like the housing bubble popping was "impossible." When you swim in a carefully manufactured politics of experience long enough, the most obscenely blatant hype and embezzlement become normalized. Only when you exit that poisoned water does all become illuminated and the "normal" discredited and repudiated.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Excellent Question

Seen in comments here:

If Nancy can "deem" the law passed, can I "deem" my federal income taxes paid?

And Now For Something Completely Different

Here ya go.

Also this.

It's Both Insane And A Grave Insult

Well said:

SHIKHA DALMIA: THE OBAMACARE DEBACLE: “Even if Democrats extract the votes to put ObamaCare over the top, it will at best be a Pyrrhic victory for them. Regardless of the outcome, this monstrosity might cost the Democrats the Congress this November, ruin the party for a long time and prematurely render Barack Obama a lame duck president for the rest of his term. . . . In fact, the real reason why ObamaCare is so unpopular is that it is proposing a giant expansion of the entitlement state precisely when this state everywhere is coming apart: here and abroad; at the federal level and the state; in the public sector and the private. Suggesting a giant government takeover of a sixth of the economy can’t be a popular selling point in a country whose DNA has a programmed hostility to Big Government.”

There are lots more excellent quotes at the linked article.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not A Single Democrat Has Enough Integrity To Give This Speech

If only:

[W]hen the time comes, you say this, or something very much like it:

"Everybody, this question about whether to vote for this health-care reform package in a tough one. Don't think it is easy, either way. As my constituents surely know, I voted for the House version when it came up for a vote last fall. I make no apologies for having done so. I thought long and hard about it, and it seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed to offer more advantages than disadvantages. We really do need to help the uninsured find coverage. We really do need to help people who feel the system is too complicated, too costly, and too uncaring. And in my considered judgment, the bill we voted on accomplished those goals, or at least moved enough closer to those goals that on balance it seemed a good idea.

"But here's something else I understand: I understand something that politicians too seldom acknowledge; I understand that I can be wrong. Even when I think I am right, I might be wrong. And if enough people tell me I am wrong, on something that I think is a fairly close call anyway, then it is my responsibility to listen. It is my responsibility not necessarily to change my mind, but to leave myself open to changing my mind. Minds should not be changed for slight reasons or momentary advantage, but minds should be able to change if the reasons are of substance.

"We as congressmen have two roles. To us and to our judgment, our constituents delegate much of their governing authority. They know that while they go about the business of doing the jobs that make our country go, and of caring for their families and befriending their neighbors, they cannot examine every clause of every piece of legislation that comes down the pike. They delegate that job to us, and we must sometimes use our best judgment even against what seems to be the prevailing opinion where that opinion is not focused or well-informed. If the issue is ordinary and I am sure, in good conscience, that my position is right, I have a duty to follow my conscience even if a finger in the wind would tell me that a slight majority of my district might disagree. As a delegate, I must not sacrifice conscience for short-term political expedience.

"But we also have a second role, and it is an important one. We are not just delegates free to rush headstrong in whatever direction we want; instead, we also are representatives. We represent those who elected us. We serve them and must respect their collective wisdom. We are their servants, not their masters. This is particularly true on big issues that earn lots of attention: If the public is strongly engaged in an issue, if the citizens themselves have the chance and inclination in the midst of their busy lives to study a major public issue and think about it hard and then to opine about it, then I no longer am so much more an expert on that issue than they are. They defer less to my judgment in those cases, and it right for them to do so. They expect me less to act as an independent-minded delegate than as a representative of their best collective views.

"Now it must be said that there is no simple mathematical formula to say where the two roles intersect or collide. But think of it like this: If I have reason to believe that 52 percent of my constituents take one position, but I feel strongly the other position is best for my country and my district, I should vote with my conscience and let the chips fall where they may. But if I am only slightly sure that one position is the better one, but a large majority, say 65 percent, of my constituents feel otherwise, then I have a solemn responsibility to follow their lead. This is especially true when not only the numbers, but also the depth and intensity of feeling, is on the other side. My ego must not be so great that I act as if my slight inclination outweighs their overwhelming opinions. I may still think that I am right, on balance, but I nonetheless must serve my citizenry's considered wishes. Not only that, but I must do so with pride in this system that insists that here, sir, the people rule.

"So we come to this health-care decision. I could pick a provision that I liked that was in the House bill that is not in the final bill we will consider -- and there are indeed such provisions -- and claim that the failure to include such a provision made the difference for me. Or vice versa: I might claim that the final version contains a new joker in the deck, to which I object. And that claim, too, would be honest.

"But to claim that it is for those reasons of pure policy that I vote 'no' would be dishonest. I could stand here all day and sound like a high-minded policy wonk, and while each statement might be technically true, the whole impression would be false. Because the larger truth is that my vote will be cast not because of my own great wisdom, but because I respect the wisdom of the people who sent me here. It is just not right, especially not in a republic, to cram a major change into law through the barest congressional majority, and a partisan majority at that, against the overwhelming opinions of the American people. And on this health-care legislation, there can be no doubt what the majority of the people believe, and what a large plurality of them believe with great passion after considerable reflection: They believe that this bill moves too far too fast, that it is too big and too scary, that it dictates too much and leaves too little choice to the individual. The majority may be right, or it may be wrong. But it has spoken in polls and at the ballot boxes and in letters and emails and phone calls and town meetings. And its message is utterly clear. Its message is to start over. To build a wider consensus before making such a big change. To slow down even though we in Washington might think our handiwork is not just well designed but of pressing importance.

"We in Washington must listen. Again, we must listen. And listen again. Some of us may not even like what we hear, but still we must listen.

"Toward that end, having not only listened but heard the message, I urge all of my wavering colleagues to make clear, in public, that we will not vote for this package -- and that we further urge our leadership to withdraw it and to try to rework it almost from scratch, with input from whichever of our Republican colleagues actually are serious about solving these health-care problems. Look: I do believe that there has been some bad faith shown by some of my Republican colleagues. But I also know, without a doubt, that many of them are serious and sincere and principled. It is high time we stop bashing each other and start respecting each other.

"So I will vote against the comprehensive health-care legislation soon to come before us. I will do so because sometimes we must take time to breathe and reflect. We should not take a step backward, but there is nothing wrong with taking a step sideways. If the step to the side, for a pause, allow us to better hear the people and act accordingly, it can only be a good thing.

"I will vote no, and many of my colleagues ought to do the same. This is a republic. We are not rulers. We serve. We serve. We serve.

"Thank you very much."