Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Conservatives And GOP Establishment Are Still At Odds

Now the debate among conservatives continues as to the best way to fight the Dear Leader, President Obama, the Democrats and their left-wing agenda continues as this article in National Review accentuates.
Well, Drew M. at Ace of Spades also makes some very salient points here and I do tend to agree a bit more with Drew M. on what he focuses on.
But National Review is also correct that conservatives need not despair and that there is a way forward, especially on Obamacare and how we deal with it.
First, let me take you on a trip to the Wayback Machine and the debate over the Panama Canal treaties that took place in the late 1970s.
The United States completed the Panama Canal in 1903 and maintained control over the canal and a strip of land on either side. It was known as the Panama Canal Zone. It was governed in a rather complicated manner. But the United States controlled it. Needless to say that the people and government of Panama fed on each other for the United States control of the Canal Zone was the real eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll.
The situation strongly divided conservatives. And do you know who led the opposition to the PCT?
Ronald Reagan.
And he debated with one William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review, over the treaty. Mr. Buckley and National Review favored the treaty. It was in the debate that Mr. Reagan repeated the famous line from the late Republican senator, Strom Thurmond (R-SC), "The canal is ours, we bought and we paid for it and we should keep it".
Reagan and his allies did lose and the treaty was ratified by a vote of 68-32. In that vote, out of 38 GOP senators, 22 voted no and 16 voted yes. A majority of Republicans were opposed but the treaty won anyway.
Guess who won the GOP nomination in 1980? Who won the presidency in a 44-state landslide with 51% of the vote in a three-way race?
Ronald Reagan.
So why the trip in the Wayback Machine?
To make the point that conservatives and the establishment have long been fighting each other and sometimes over whole issues.
Thus while the Democrats and the left are salivating over what seem to be open cracks, no fissures, in the Republican/conservative coalition, lets get some things straight.
One, there are very few true Rockefeller Republicans left in congress. The only one that I can name off hand is Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME.). I suppose now many would like to add Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) but when one has an American Conservative Union lifetime rating of 75%, I would classify him as a moderate conservative.
When some are referred to as RINOs, Republican In Name Only, it is on specific issues and or overall demeanor in dealing with the other side.
But the bottom line is that open honest debate does not hurt the movement. But not coming together at some point will hurt overall.
In the National Review piece by Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru, they make a valid and important point.
We are not going to see more conservatives elected as it appears that the United States does not have enough conservative voters to elect conservatives. Here is the point:

There is no alternative to seeking to expand the conservative base beyond its present inadequate numbers and to win the votes of people who aren’t yet conservatives or are not yet conservatives on all issues.

Very true. At some point we need to do a better job at keeping the base and trying to find more voters that may not be as conservative as we may be. But the other fact is that many do not realize how much they are conservatives but just have that block that they will not vote for a Republican. That is on us to not dismiss but encourage those fence-sitting voters. Some people talked with one Ronald Reagan and made him realize that the Democrat party was not going to change, that he did and he became a conservative Republican.
But Drew M. has a devastating point about how establishment candidates were not all that stellar in the 2012 election, especially in several senate races. He names names:

Have there been setbacks in Senate races? Yes. Have some "tea party" favorites been disasters? Obviously. But let's not pretend that "establishment" candidates haven't lost races either. Connie Mack in Florida, Pete Hoekstra in Michigan (not only wasn't he a "tea party" guy he ran an ad that was worse than Christine O'Donnell's notorious "I'm Not A Witch" ad), Denny Rehberg in Montana, George Allen in Virginia, and Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin all were "establishment" picks and all lost.

The only name I disagree with is George Allen. He has always been a solid conservative. I think that the argument in regards to his candidacy is that his time as an elected official has past. Not because of his record, but because some people in politics just have a certain shelf life. And Mr. Allen past his.
But otherwise, Drew M. is spot on.
BOTH the establishment and Tea Party candidates took some hits in the last election. The Tea Party did have a couple of clunkers. Christine O'Donnell and Todd Akin come to mind. OK, Mr. Akin was not all Tea Party, but he did court their support before he went crazy about rape. Sharon Angle was in Nevada state politics before running for and winning the GOP nomination for senate. In fact I think that she ran a great campaign and no one would have beat the repulsive Sen. Dingy Harry Reid (D-Nev.). And before anyone screams that Mike Castle was a lock to win the Delaware senate race that Miss. O'Donnell ended up losing, where is the proof? Ask Sens. Allen, Hoekstra, Mack, Thompson.
Oops! My bad!
Why they did NOT win yet we were told that they were locks. Each and everyone of them.
The fact is both the establishment and Tea Party took a hit in the last election. An election that the incumbent president won with 51% of the vote, two less than in 2008. Whenever one hears how he, the Dear Leader, President Obama won in a landslide, just yawn. Because he had to fight, lie, cheat and maybe even steal to win every vote that he has.
That is part of the debate between conservatives. Should we go balls-out, scorch the earth and slam Democrats in every way possible. Or should we be more strategic, sober, and try to reach out to new voters?
Both my friends. Both.
We have to show the other side that we are serious about what we talk about. That we want to repeal O-Care and replace it with something that will be better. That is more market oriented and makes it easier for people to purchase insurance as they wish. To have the coverage that they want. Without offering a viable alternative, then what is the point about repealing O-Care?
That when we talk about a strong and capable armed forces, we mean to encourage and recruit the best and the brightest. We do not need to use the armed forces as some social petri dish. That our friends and allies respect us. And our foes and outright enemies fear us.
We need to call out Islamofacist terror for what it is. We need to be clear we are not against the Islamic religion but those that seek to pervert enough of it to create animus. We do not need psychobabble about so-called historical wrongs.
There are three examples.
The bottom line is that we in the conservative movement will disagree and sometimes it will be ugly. But we need to unify on the common threat and what we would do differently. The threat is the left-wing dominance of the Democrat party. What we would do differently is return the federal government to its proper role.
We are not in disagreement on that and while we will debate, when it comes time for elections we must unify and speak in one clear and unmistakable voice.
That is the trick we must learn.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Can We Adults Leave Halloween Alone?!

As an adult with no children at home, I am more or less ambivalent to Halloween except when adults get involved and screw it up for all children.
I do believe that Halloween is really for children. It has truly evolved into a day that adults seem to want to revert to being a kid for one day. OK, fine. But at heart it is something where kids can dress up and go around the neighborhood and collect candy and or other treats from neighbors. And even have a party, maybe at school, and have some fun. Adults that partake in such frivolity as well.
But understand that Halloween does have religious roots as well as pagan roots. So yes, both can lay claim to the day and it is one of the reasons that it is so misunderstood by many.
And that is where we adults come in.
In a strange way, lefty lets-not-offend-anyone types and religious social conservatives had their problems with Halloween.
A digression.
The costume trend began in the United States in particular in the mid-19th century when a wave on German, Irish and Scots came to the United States. Most of those immigrants were Roman Catholic. To the Protestant, Halloween was pretty much a no-no. The Puritans were strongly opposed to celebrating the holiday. But the RCs changed that. And children and adults going around the neighborhood asking the now familiar phrase, Trick or treat. And there is even some religious value in dressing up in some, frightening costumes that pokes fun at the Devil.
Sooo, now we are treated to this from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Yes, there are a whole list of "offensive" costumes.
And what are said "offensive" costumes?
Well, according to this at The Washington Times, here are some of them:

"Geishas, ‘squaws,’ or stereotypical, such as cowboys and Indians."

And if you look at this from the UofC website, you see four photos with sad looking people. Sad that someone would dress up in costume mocking their culture. And they even throw in a. . I can't believe it. . . a White male. One that should not be mocked for maybe being, a hick. White Trash.
Ooh boy!
Grow a frickin spine you whinny losers!
Remember, dressing up in costume is meant to be something one is not. So what if a White guy dresses up as a stereotyped Asian brainiac? A Black gal dressing up as some White Trash gal? Hey, I think it would be cool to have a Black gal dress up as Miley Cyrus. Nothing says White Trash more than Miley! Really you overly sensitive college folks, can you free yourself from victimhood and let loose just one day or night of the year?
Apparently not.
Oh, but you Social Conservatives are fuddy-duddies too.
Because of your perception of Halloween as something along the lines of Satan's birthday, many public institutions no longer refer to the day as Halloween.
No, no, no.
Now it is referred to as a "Fall festival" or something along those lines.
And yes, in many cases the costumes are out. Because they maybe Satanic you know! But pumpkins, hey they are cool.
Again, look at the origins of Halloween. It is BOTH pagan and religious.
I assure all concerned that dressing up in hokey costumes and having fun is not against the Devil or the politically correct agenda.
Once again, the adults screw up and perfectly fine day for children and in turn everyone else.
Can we adults please give Halloween back to the kiddies? Please?
And if we adults want to partake or not, don't infringe on others by falsehoods as being offensive or demeaning to religion.
Is it too much to ask?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obamacare Imploding Sooner Than Expected

I have been suggesting that Obamacare needed to go full steam ahead for one simple reason.
Because it would implode under the whole scheme of funding and its own unsustainability.
I figured that it would take longer, but I am beginning to think that the implosion has occurred sooner than I expected.
That implosion actually began on October 1, 2013 when the health insurance "marketplace" officially went online.
While I sympathized with Sens. Cruz and Lee wanting to simply defund O-Care, they did not get all on board long before the October deadline in which all Americans could go to www.healthcare.gov and easily plug in some information, compare many different plans and why sign-up with little if any problem. I got their righteous fear that health care in America would be destroyed forever. But sometimes, even when one is right, we have to simply burn it down. Let the law come into being to see just how bad it is.
Once again, I refer you the former House Speaker, Congressman Nancy Pelosi (Dim Wit-Cal) said about the need to pass the so-called Affordable Health Care Act:

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

I will not torture you once again with video I used in another post. I think that goes against the Geneva convention or something like that.
Yes, the bill passed with not one single Republican vote in either chamber. And what we found out is this.
That they can not even begin and or run a functioning website, what is a huge feature of signing up people to purchase health insurance. We are reduced to seeing our president, the Dear Leader, President Obama, acting worse than a used car salesman all but begging people to get health insurance by phone or that old-fashioned, antiquated way. . .using paper applications!
It's not just an inoperable website. It is that once one goes beyond the home page to provide information, they have no privacy. Now I'm sorry, when I am providing a government website with my personal information, my personal health information, hell fricking yes they better go all out to insure that I have privacy. Which is why I go no further than the home page.
No I totally admit, I am not a computer genius. I can barely get the basics. But I know this much. If you are providing a website such as the "marketplace", I think that the people who operate www.amazon.com would be awesome to bring on to set up the website. Or what about the people at Progressive car insurance? One of their claims is that you can compare policy rates between them and other car insurance companies. Why how do they do that?!
So why should any American that is signing up, some to avoid paying any fines not having health insurance and some because they have not had health insurance for whatever reason, trust that they will even get the insurance that they have signed up for?
Again, while the website is the most pressing issue now, the real issue is the unrealistic basis on how this whole scheme works.
The goal is to sign up 7,000,000 Americans at least by the time that the deadline comes into being. Out of that will be about 2,500,000 healthy, young Americans. The target demographic is 18-34 year olds. A problem is that as part of the original legislation, anyone 18-26 years old can stay on their parents health insurance. Again, I ask the question that if their parents have health insurance and they ask their kids if they want to stay on or get their own, how many are going to turn it down? You are taking a huge chunk of people out of the pool for very few will opt in. After all, why should they? The reality is that the overwhelming majority of those that will sign up, if they can, will be people that have preexisting conditions or the elderly that could not afford the insurance in the first place.
And that my friends will lead to the Death Spiral.
To put it simply, much of the cost of O-Care to implement will be put on the backs of the young and healthy. Many who will not participate unless they absolutely have to. The following is from the Forbes article I linked:

The actuaries make educated estimates and decide on a premium. But they won’t have “experience”—actual utilization rates—for a year or 18 months. If they get a disproportionate number of sick people in the pool, which ObamaCare is designed to do, premiums will rise. That increase usually drives the healthiest people out of the pool, looking for lower rates to match their healthier condition. The pool gets smaller and sicker, forcing up the rates again, driving out the next wave of people, and so on, until the insurance pool is very small, very sick and very expensive.
That’s the death spiral.

And that is pretty much why O-Care will totally implode. The writer, Merrill Matthews, sums it up very nicely:

Summing up, getting the young and healthy to sign up for ObamaCare will only be the first challenge. Getting them to stay, once they find out just how unaffordable the Affordable Care Act is, will be an even bigger hurdle.

But won't many of the young and healthy be subsidized by the federal government in the first place?
Yes, that is correct.
But again, one of the monumental problems with the infamous website is determining the information that will  determine the subsidy. There have been reports of how a lot of that information is wrong and thus an accurate subsidy may not materialize.
Let me write it bluntly if I may.
The whole scam was based on rainbows and unicorns.
At least rainbows are real.
With an unworkable website, a plan that bases costs unrealistically on young, healthy people, and just the rank incompetence of those behind O-Care, it is on the road of implosion sooner than expected.

My Date With Angiogram

No, not THAT kind of date! Besides, I am a married man!
The date that I am writing about is my date getting an angiogram this past Tuesday.
I have been having some medical issues lately and as part of making a determination, my regular doctor referred me to a cardiologist. As he put it, to rule every possibility out.
So about three and a half weeks ago I went to the cardiologist. After he did the routine questions and a short exam, he asked if I had an echocardiagram in the last five years and I have. So he suggested that I should have the angiogram based on family history.
My mother, God rest her soul, had a heart attack before I was 10 years old. And two more after that and a stroke for good measure. Eventually 20 years ago on November 1, 1993, her heart finally gave out. And one other thing that piqued the doc's curiosity was that she was also Type 2 diabetic.
So I agreed to the procedure. The nurse explained the bare basics of what would happen.
I got the call from the doctor's office last week that this past Tuesday was open at 1:30pm. I kind of hemmed and hawed because Mrs. RVFTLC and I were going to the local apple country, Oak Glen, California that day. But I realized that this was important to do. So I made the appointment.
And being a good little patient, and having the best wife, we showed up at Arcadia Methodist Hospital right across the street from the Santa Anita race track. No, I did not stop off and place a bet before the procedure. Besides, the track was not open and I was with Mrs. RVFTLC, not a fan of playing the ponies.
I came in the bare minimum of a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops for I knew that I would have to change in one of those lovely hospital gowns. Why are they called gowns?! Anyhow, after a very pleasant registration process, a nice young hospital volunteer took me to the pre-op observation center. And Mrs. RVFTLC could be there with me which made a sort of disconcerting situation less so. And it did not take long to go from my civvies to the gown. BLEECH! To me, it was the mark of humiliation. Then a lot of the prep work began. The IV needle, gage as the nurse called it, was placed in my hand and then some blood was drawn. After that, the IV packet was all tubed up and I had to wait. And wait. And wait. After a while the nurse came back and explained that in their testing of the blood, I was low on potassium. And they had to give me some before they could proceed. OK, in comes another pouch. To be honest, it kind of looked like urine. Seriously. But the nurse explained that they would just feed the potassium through the IV and it would be going in at the same time. And she warned that it might hurt. And she was not kidding. It was painful for the rest of the time in the pre-op room. At that point the nurse asked if I wanted to watch TV. Of course, why not. But I figured it would just be the local channels. That is was it was my last hospital visit. But to my happy surprise, there was cable. And yes, even Fox News Channel. HOORAAY! So I was able to watch that and rail about health care all in the joys of Arcadia Methodist Hospital!
Enduring the pain of nutrients and medicine going through a vein on top of my left hand, it seemed like forever before the nurse said that I was about to go to finally take the test. After taking a mild sedative, some short dude came in to tell me he was taking me to the testing room. Then I was able to walk from the bed in pre-op to the gurney. Rather uncomfortable one at that. And to be honest, I kind of wondered if this guy was going to be able to transport me to the basement of the hospital. But he was in pretty good shape. He had no trouble. We got into the bowels of the hospital and I felt more that I was suddenly on a movie set. And I was able to get a good look at the attendant and he was pretty buff. It made me feel better that he was able to wheel my 250 thereabout girth all over the hospital.
But I still had to go from the gurney and I was placed on to an even narrower one. And that is where the magic of the angiogram was to take place.
A nurse, a through male nurse, explained everything he was doing. First the numbing agent was being applied to my right groin area. A little on the left side. But mostly on my right groin. Then he said a slightly stronger sedative was being connected to my IV tube. That replaced the potassium and was much less painful. And yeah, I felt no pain in just a little bit. No, I did not go to sleep. I was awake throughout. Then the catheter was being put in by the doctor. He did his thing and was able to determine quickly that I had not only no arterial blockages but that my heart muscle was very strong.
I was so glad to hear that news.
As it turned out, the whole time I spent in the basement was about 40 minutes if I remember right. Then I had to find out I was nowhere near done. I was being wheeled to a private room and would have to stay several hours. That is the way it is for the procedure. Because they do use a dye to determine if there are blocked arteries, one has to stay at least three to four hours getting a lot more IV juice and in my case, eating.
What a surprise!
I was able to snag a hospital dinner out of the day. I had not had anything but a couple of small containers of Jello at 6:30am. It was already 7pm. Now mind you, it was hospital food, but I was hungry. so I ate all of the chicken, taters, rice, graham crackers, pudding and an orange all topped off with apple juice and a lot of water.
Water is very important to drink because one must be able to urinate to flush a lot of the dye out of the system. I had a lot to drink. Eventually I was helped by a lovely nurse's assistant to the restroom. And to add to more humiliation, she said that I had to do my business in a bottle because they had to measure how much I went. So I did. And did. And did. when I was finally done, I filled 28 ounces of a 32 ounce bottle. Amazed the NA and the nurse. That sped up the check-out and I finally was done at about 10pm. A total of nine hours for about a 40 minute procedure.
But it is necessary. To do the prep and post time. Even as I type this, my right groin is very sore. And I also have a strange burning sensation just below my bandaged area.
Super, super kudos to all the staff of Arcadia Methodist Hospital. Not only were they professional but very nice and made me feel like I was the only patient in the hospital.
I usually do not like to write such things, personal things especially dealing with my own health. But I think it is important enough to advise that if you do think you have something not right and it is the heart, make your cardiologist give this test. For many people it has been a lifesaver.
As for me, my date with angiogram turned out to be, thanks be to God, piece of mind.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Federal Government Shutdown Comes To A Predictable Close

Yes my friends, the long national nightmare (16 days) of a partial government shutdown (roughly about 13% of the federal government) is about to end more or less predictably.
Part of why we got here was an attempt by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and Mike Lee (R-Ut.) to force a total defunding of Obamacare.
The problem with that strategy is that they went on their own and figured that all would come to their way of thinking.
That is not how things work.
One of the problems with their approach is that it appears they not get anyone in house or senate leadership involved at all. Had either or both made a convincing case to the leadership and had one leader totally on board, a unified front could have gotten more concessions from the Democrats that, while eventually getting the same end game of funding the federal government and increasing the debt ceiling. The two senators tried to stage a revolt from the ground up. And thus it was a a bad strategy to begin with. Now we get nothing tangible and the Democrats can gloat for a while.
But there are silver linings.
One, we know who the spineless Republicans are.
Yes, Congressman Peter King is a leader of the spineless brigade. For some petty reason, he is still smarting from fellow Republicans for not rushing to vote for immediate federal government assistance for people recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. King, get over it.
Of course there is always Sens. John "F--- You" McCain (R-Az.) and Lindsay Goober Graham (R-SC) and they are just, well losers is the word that comes to mind. Why they could not bear to lose their permanent seats on the Sunday television talk show circuit to use to beat up on fellow Republicans.
Another thing that we have learned is that Obamacare is the disaster that we on the conservative side said that it was.
The roll out of the Exchanges is not nearly the story here. It is the reality that many, many Americans are coming to realize that they were blatantly lied to by the Dear Leader, President Obama, and his Democrat allies.
First, those who think that the federal government shutdown clouded the picture on the roll out of Obamacare do not give the public any credit. Yes, we can chew gum and walk at the same time. We can deal with the federal government debacle and the Obamacare debacle. The reality it only accentuated why Sens. Cruz and Lee were trying what they were doing.
When it was not all the difficulty (still occurring) of actually getting on the website, it was millions of Americans realizing that they were going to lose their doctors and not able to keep their health care plans as promised by the Dear Leader, President Obama, et al. And if they could, their health care costs would rise dramatically, even if they meet the requirements to obtain a subsidy. I highlighted two people right here. The most precious is this lefty from the Daily Kos website realizing that yes HE would have to pay a higher premium. Hey Tigre, don't say that we crazy right-wingers did not try to warn you. Oh yeah, Tigre is from California. As are the other two people in my link. Hmm, are they realizing that welfare comes at a cost? Just askin . . .
And for the rest of you out there, if you are dumped onto an Obamacare exchange and are lucky enough to get that federal government subsidy, most of you will have an unbelievably high deduct able should you actually use your new found affordable (Guffaw! Guffaw! Guffaw!) health care. (Need to sign up for a digital subscription to read the linked article but there is a free option-the story is important to read.)
The reality is that the federal government shutdown did make the Obamawhore media take notice of the multiple pitfalls of Obamacare. Regrettably, long after the fact that the law was passed. They took the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) at her word about having to pass the bill to see what was in it.
And we learned that there is a rarefied air in Washington, D. C. That the political class cares about themselves and not really the American people as a whole. And throw in the punitive nature of how Team Obama dealt with what they did and did not shutdown and it is really apparent.
But make no mistake, the Republicans did lose on battle points. But I still believe we will win the war in the mid-term elections next year.
And in the end the reason will be Obamacare more than anything. Because people that like the idea of health care for all are beginning to realize that there is a cost to that. Not just in higher hidden taxes but in the quality of health care going down. The long waits not just to see a doctor but in getting a referral to see a specialist. This is the predictable results of health care for all and the government subsidizing it.
At least Sens. Cruz and Lee were willing to fight the predictable effects of Obamacare. However the best way to fight is to adopt the Burn It Down approach. Let Obamacare go full force. And make sure to force the political class to have to take it too. And employee mandates? Vote to have that as well. Sometimes the best approach is to let the damage happen. Yes it is going to be painful, but sometimes people need that cold water in the face to realize what they should have known in the first place.
Yes, the can is kicked down the road and the federal government will be funded and the debt ceiling will be increased. But the war is not over at all. Not by a longshot.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Your Dog A RAAAAAcist?!

Remember dear readers, there are always five r's in raaaaacism!
But the question, sadly, is a serious one.
At least if you believe this story in the London Independent.
Yup, the Los Angeles county sheriff's department has a bunch of raaaaacist police dogs.
The article cites that in the following period from 2004 to 2012, eight years, dog bites on Hispanic suspects went from 30 incidents to 39, an increase of 30%.
OK, that is a total annual average of, rounding up, five whole incidents each year of the reporting period.
So, based on this beyond flimsy "evidence", we are to assume that police dogs are raaaaacist?!
Now the article also says that during that period, police dog bites on Blacks increased 33% but did not cite the actual number as it did for the Hispanics.
This is all according to a non-profit group known as Police Assesment Resource Center which studies such things and is supposedly interested in advancing effective and accountable policing.
After a cursory look at the website linked above, it is pretty much into finding such things and creating problems rather than solving problems.
But here is something helpful if you go to the actual report here. According to to a chart on page 10 in which highlight LASD dog bite incidents by race (Asian, Black, Hispanic, White and other races), it is actually going down from from highs in 2009.
Too bad that the article did not mention that.
But the report overall blasts the use of police dogs because they are supposedly deployed in minority areas.
Shockingly, a lot of crime happens in these areas.
And police dogs are not always used in the majority of situations in which police have to report and take action.
So how does a dog become raaaaacist?
Well, nothing in the report and or the article really explains. But in the article it reported that a police dog in Pennsylvania in 2004 named Dolpho was suspended for his propensity in biting Blacks.
In my experience as a dog owner, usually there are signs that a dog is anxious around certain people that have nothing to do with race.
Our dog the late Scout the Wonder Dog, did not really like strange men in hats. Did not matter the race. She would bark not menacing but out of fear. Master Barney is very young and while exposed to many people does not seem to have any anti-race tendencies. Mr. Cashew, he does not exhibit anything that could be construed, by a huge stretch, not liking people who are of different races than ours. He doesn't like full-grown bulldogs, so I guess that makes him a breedest, right?
Well, maybe in training a police dog. But again, even in training police dogs, there is no way that a dog can be trained to focus only on one race. A dog is trained and follows commands.
AHH! Can it be said maybe, again by a stretch, that it is not the dog at all but the trainers and or handlers?
Once again, it is not like they will say "Attack the fill-in-the-blank race group!" The commands must be specific and very short. Even and especially police dogs have short attention spans.
What is needed to ascertain is each situation rather than such generalizations.
Often times police dogs are used in car chase situations. And sometimes it is a member of a minority group that is being chased. And while many end up with the driver getting out of the car after a chase, falling to the ground, being handcuffed and put in a police car. But sometimes police dogs are used and are very effective in catching fleeing suspects.
But the implication that somehow dogs are raaaaacist is so over the top it is total theater of the absurd.
It is strange people foisting human foibles on animals that have no concept of racial animosity for they have no clue what the hell it means.
So people, no your dog, my dog, police dogs are not raaaaacists. It is a helluva a lot of projection in a report that is very flawed to begin with.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Will O-Care Turn Liberals Into Conservatives?

Well, to the Kool-aid drinking true believers, not in the least.
But to some people that may not be the above yet have a liberal, do-gooder heart, I think that this will be at the same level as the tax-revolt of the 1970s.
Now I read this article yesterday and the reason it has taken so long to extrapolate on it is because I could not stop laughing.
Now to set it up, the San Jose Mercury-News talked with two people that are big supporters of the Dear Leader, President Obama, and are proud that they voted for the Dear Leader, President Obama, not once but twice. Also, they have been huge supporters of the Patient Portability and Affordable Healthcare Act.
Both are high-income earners that earned four times the poverty-level rate. And both buy their own health insurance.
And a funny thing happened when they got their latest bill from their respective insurance companies.
And they were shocked! Shocked I tell you!
Because, surprise! Their rates went up. And waaaay up.
One of those interviewed, Cindy Vinson, is single and self insured and her rate will go up $1,800 a year.
The second interviewed, Tom Waschura, pays insurance for a family of four. And his rate will go up a cool $10,000 a year! Yes, you read that right, $10,000 a year.
Now, do you remember how the Dear Leader, President Obama, on many, many occasions said this, especially as he was running for president:

I think that the video speaks for itself. But in case someone wants to say, but he said about people who have insurance through their employers. No, watch the whole video because really, it all depended on who he was speaking to. The fact is that he sold the public that voted for him that their insurance costs would go down.
Well, maybe Miss Vinson's bill was a typo. Maybe it really should have been a savings of $1,800 a for the year. And Mr. Waschura must be hoping and praying that he is getting a huge savings of $10,000 for his annual premium.
No to both of you. And really, you really should have known you saps.
According to Dana Howard of Covered California, the statewide health exchange why some people's rates are going up and many if not most will not change or even go down. Here is what he said:

"Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance, but most people will not."

Dana, that is NOT what the Dear Leader, President Obama said in selling this scam plan.
Now Covered California is suggesting that 570,000 out of 1,900,000 are eligible for subsidies that could see their rates decrease. OK, that still leaves the overwhelming majority, 1,330,000 to be exact, possibly SOL and see their rates go up.
And you know, people can not be denied health coverage due to a preexisting condition (a good thing and one that at best needs to be kept even after repealing O-Care) and in the case of Marilynn Gray-Raine she also gets a government subsidy that lowered her monthly rate.
Guess who is really paying for that?
Why people like Miss Vinson and Mr. Waschura, of course!
They are apparently healthy people and in the case of Mr. Waschura have a healthy family.
Well, being healthy and buying your own health insurance coverage, taking personal responsibility, gets them the shaft.
It is wealth redistribution, pure plain and simple.
And when people like Miss Vinson and Mr. Waschura come to realize that they, not some magic fairy from the sky, are paying for the federal government subisdy and those with preexisting conditions, well let me have Mr. Waschura explain:

"I was laughing at Boehner (Speaker of the House, John Boehner R-Oh.)-until the mail came today. I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."

But if you think that Mr. Waschura is rather now pissed about it, Miss Vinson is even more biting:

"Of course I want people to have health care. I just didn't realize that I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."

And once again, BINGO! And an OUCH!
I'm sorry for these two people, but again, how did they think that this was going to be paid for? Did they not realize that for the federal government to provide a subsidy for people the money would have to come from somewhere? Did they really think that they would not, because of their own success and financial status would not be touched? While both realized that their premiums would go up, they did not realize quite how much.
This goes to what I believe is the heart of the matter.
I too want to see people have access to decent health care. The problem is that if the government gets involved, it will come at many costs. One, people who pay for their own coverage out of pocket have to pay more because of the complexity of this plan. And do you remember this constant line from the Dear Leader, President Obama:

"First of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan -- you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."

Neither is true for many people.
Ask those that are seeing their hours cut and fall under the 30 hour threshold at major companies. It automatically puts them in the exchange market. And if they have to choose a plan that their doctor is not part of and a plan different from what they had before, well you know the rest of the story.
The reality is that, as I have been arguing, we need to have O-Care take full effect. We should be fighting for not one exemption, period. We need to show the people that a huge undertaking such as this is unworkable and unfeasible.
In other words, to be blunt, we need to show people like Miss Vinson and Mr. Waschura that while their heart is in the right place, they need to think beyond that. They need to think with their brains. And yes, for their own interests as well.
They will more than likely be part of a next generation of conservatives. And we will be able to thank O-Care for that.

Monday, October 07, 2013

More On The Continuing Decline Of California

Yeah, I know, why in the name of Almighty God do I continue to live in this Bronze state.
What happened to the Golden State?
Well, I just thought that I would just jump ahead of the O-Care "metals" plans and go for the lowest.
Much as what is happening here in Cali.
Another article by  Joel Kotkin in The Daily Beast really hits the nail on the head of what is wrong with unfettered socialist Democrat control of state government.
Oh, Mr. Kotkin does point out that the Cali Democrats and with a big boost of the leftywhore media are touting how wonderful life is in Cali now. Now that they have had since 2012 full control of the state legislature, all the constitutional offices and control all the major populated cities in the state.
Mr. Kotkin points out, accurately, that there are really increasingly Two Californias.
One California is along the coast, the Pacific Ocean. If you take a look at a map of the state, save for Orange county in the south and Del Norte county in the north, it would be an almost straight line of Blue. Democrat central. The only seriously competitive county now in San Diego county.
The other California is mostly inland areas.
Again taking a look at a map of California, you can draw a line from Kern County and all the way to the Oregon border and it is Red. Republican central. There are a few Democrat pockets like Sacramento county in the north and Imperial county in the south. And two competitive counties in Riverside and San Bernardino. But by and large, that is your Two Californias.
A serious problem is that the coastal counties have some of the major population areas of California. That includes Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose. I leave San Diego out because it is still a competitive city that does elect Democrat and Republican mayors. But the other four, forget it. They are four of the major cities of the Bronze state. All in deep and or deeper control of the Democrat party.
Another problem is that the state can only rely on Silicon Valley growth to fund the ever-expanding state government. But it is only one viable industry. Gone are the days of manufacturing, energy, aerospace, and increasingly agriculture jobs. There is not a diversity of industries that people can actually be employed as it once was in California. There is a reason that people came here from all over the United States. And now, that is gone.
Consider these alarming stats.
California now has the highest levels of poverty in the United States. Higher than that of such perpetually high-poverty states such as Mississippi. In California, the poverty rate is an astonishing 23.5% according to Mr. Kotkin's article. The national average is 16%.
And we lead the nation as the state with the most welfare recipients as this report indicates. California has one-eighth the population of the United States and yet one-third of the welfare recipients.
And, not really all that surprising, California is pretty high in income inequality, a very big deal in left-wing circles. Although I don't particularly think it is something that can ever be evened out, a strong diverse economy does usually work.
And this is the shameful and saddest of all.
First that native born Hispanics can expect a lower life-span than their parents. Parents that almost certainly had it much tougher financially and physically than those born today. And if that is not enough, most people in California expect their incomes to stagnate in the coming six months. And that is shared by a diverse group of Hispanics, Whites, the young and the less educated.
The group that surprises me is Whites.
Because as you continue to read Mr. Kotkin's piece he will cite this piece by Victor Davis Hanson about, I love this, 'liberal apartheid'.
It is very, very true.
But it is coastal people that are dominating this state and who are they? Mostly Asians and WHITES!
But the fact is while Whites are now almost certainly a minority, no group tops 50%. Thus Whites are still a majority-minority in Cali. And they most certainly do not all live on the coast.
But this at the end of Mr. Davis Hanson's piece is the dagger through the leftist heart:

Modern liberalism, among other things, is a psychological state, in which very-well-off Americans find ways through their income and privilege to be exempt from the ramifications of their own ideologies, while adopting causes and pets that exempt them from guilt over their own status and limitless opportunities. Judging by their concrete actions, they are indifferent to the poor whom they romanticize at a safe distance. In short, voting for larger government and subsidies is seen as a necessary cost of being a reactionary, liberal elite.

And that is what has happened in California.
One other thing that I want to comment on is when the inlanders and the coastals collide.
A recent article in the Left Angeles Times illustrated this point rather sadly IMHO.
The recent U. S. Open of Surfing was held in Huntington Beach. H. B. is in the 714 area code. And is important to the story. On the last day of competition, in the early evening some people got rowdy and caused a mini-riot.
So, who should be blamed for it? I mean it can't be any local people. Can't be any people from H. B. and certainly it must be outsiders. And by outsiders, yeah it has to be people from San Bernardino and Riverside. And they are in the 909 area code. Although Riverside within the last five years got a separate area code, 951. But that does not matter because whether its 909 or 951, it those dreaded inland ya-hoos.
Read the comments in the article and you read resentment that inlanders dare to go to "their" beach. Correctly, many inlanders, and I have to say I am one even though I am in the San Gabriel Valley area code of 626, take offense to such blanket discrimination. And many people who have lived at the beach community for years do to. For people that make such illiterate statements are the nouveau riche types that have made Huntington Beach into a land that people want to come to. And overwhelmingly not to cause problems. And really, who is to say that those that caused the mini-riot were not in the words of Rick Fignetti, owner of Rockin Fig Surf, "a bunch of spoiled rich kids causing problems?"
The thrust of the article is the divide between coastal elites and inland everyone else. And the ill effect that it has on the state as a whole.
And here is where Mr. Kotkin's explanations of the four classes of Californians comes in.
Mr. Kotkin uses these terms:

New Serfs
Old Yeoman

Read the article for the explanation of each term.
One other reality is that now for the first time, the majority of Californians are renters, not homeowners. Thus the largest potential tax base is in the hands of not a cross-section of middle class people but a lot of speculators. The very people that were a huge part of the bursting of the housing bubble in the first place. That more than anything will drive class divisions even deeper than they already are in the Bronze state.
What Mr. Kotkin refers to as a New Feudalism is keeping California from regaining status as a positive trendsetter.
What can be done?
Understand that this problem is not something that happened overnight. It has been a bipartisan effort to get us here. It will need to be a bipartisan solution to get us out of this mess.
First, we need to be open and friendly to all kinds of businesses and that includes manufacturing, aerospace, conventional and unconventional energy coming to do business in the Bronze state.
Second we need to much less bureaucratic dealings with small business. Cut all red tape. The more business that there is the better in terms of employment and yes tax revenue for Sacramento.
Third, total revamping of all taxes collected by the state.
Here is a great litany of taxes the average Cali resident has to pay.
Income tax, sales tax, property tax.
In Cali, sales tax statewide is 7.75%. But if you so lucky as I am to live in Los Angeles County we get to pay a sales tax of nine percent.
Understand that some people will go to another county where it is lower to purchase big-ticket items such as appliances, autos and furniture. And the fact is that 7.75% is still too high. Many states have a reasonable state sales tax of four to six percent.
Fourth, a total overhaul of the state education system. California ranks at the bottom of all education statistics. We have to come to the reality that there is not enough money and too much money has gone down a rabbit hole. It is not all money. It is what we are teaching K-12. We should be totally ashamed that public school students that are fortunate to end up in a California university often have to take remedial classes just to catch up to college level. Where we should spend money is on junior colleges and tech schools. Education is a crucial long-term problem and needs a serious long-term solution.
Fifth, we desperately need to return to a part-time legislature. I will not bore you with the inane legislation that has passed and has been signed by Gov. Moonbean Brown. But most are detrimental to the state as a whole and a huge payoff to Democrat constituencies. And they are the fringiest of the fringe. It is not helping our economy, education and overall state well being.
Sixth, the Republican party needs to regain some strength beyond their strongholds. Again, that has been a long-term demise and will need a long-term solution. It will not take one or two elections. The fact that the Republicans have been set to the sidelines and the Democrats control the state legislature with a super-majority is not a good thing. Both parties need to be strong and yes, beyond their strongholds. It appears to be a good start that the Cali GOP is focusing on a lot of local races in this off-year election season and trying to build a bench.
There are others, but this is a start.
We can not continue going this road and expect that all will be A-OK. it will not.
Otherwise these California decline posts will continue to write themselves.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Shutdown Follies And The Real Battle Over The Debt Ceiling

I don't know what to say about the federal government "shutdown" that has not been said already.
What is amazing though is the totally arbitrary nature of what does and does not fit in the "shutdown" category.
OK, it appears that war memorials, most outdoors and not in great need of having a great deal of on site staffing, are cool for "shutting" down.
But Camp David, the presidential retreat, not so much.
In fact, the National Park Service is making damn sure to make in painful for visitors to access our national parks.
According to this in the Washington Times, a park ranger openly expressed his disgust at making things hard for American and international tourists

"It's a cheap way to deal with the situation," an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. "We've been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. Its disgusting."

I know, hard to believe, isn't it?
But nothing says that this whole "shutdown" is nothing but theatre is forcing veterans out of open-air memorials to the wars that they served in.
We know about the World War II memorial and a bunch of late 80 and early 90 year olds basically telling the NPS to take a flying leap. But hey, why not pick on the Vietnam vets?
Yeah, this should be a public relations disaster for the Dear Leader, President Obama.
But he gets a huge assist from the senate majority leader, Sen. Dingy Harry Reid (D-Nev-one thing that you can't blame on California!) and this choice comment he made in a exchange with CNN's reporter Dana Bash:

         BASH: “You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials, the House is          presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you’ve said, will you  at        least pass that? And if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?”
          REID: Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well, and he did it on the floor earlier. As did Senator Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.
          BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?
          SCHUMER: Why pit one against the other?
          REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.
          BASH: I’m just asking a question.

Ahh, before we discuss Sen. Dingy Harry's compassion, I suppose that Sen. Chuckie Schumer (D-New York) does make a better attempt at answering the question at first than does Sen. Dingy Harry.
But yes, why care about one child with cancer? How about the multiple people, children and adults, that can benefit from the National Institutes of Health being funded and open to continue clinical trials? The fact is that Sen. Dingy Harry does not really care about the children with cancer any more than the 1,100 people that he cited at Nellis Air Force base that are not working due to the "shutdown".
It's all about who is going to "win" the "shutdown" battle.
Really, no side will "win".
Seriously, at this point some adults are going to have to come out of this and state the obvious.
Hey, knock it off! This has gone on too long and no one wins. So unless each side gives up on something, both sides will lose.
It is painful to write that. Because I do believe that O-Care is truly an abomination. That the vast increase in the size and depth of the federal government goes against all that is American. But we have a real battle coming up in the debt-ceiling negotiation. And that is a way to exact concessions from Team Obama. For no matter how Team Obama spins it, the fact is that if it comes to pass, it will be that under his watch, the Dear Leader, President Obama, the United States will default on loans. If the economy totally tanks, it will be really hard for Team Obama to blame the House Republicans as the culprits.
The "shutdown" is making its point. Yes, the president can just make life miserable for the American people in many needling ways. But a default on our loan obligations will affect every single American, born and unborn. Thus time to end the "Shutdown Follies" and fight an winnable battle for the American people