Saturday, October 30, 2010

Teach Your Children Well, About Bureaucrats

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang “Teach Your Children Well.”

Yes, teach your children Civics

Teach your children about government

Teach your children what it means to be an American

Teach your children of the greatness of America

Teach your children about America’s history, including the Boston Tea party, Shay’s Revolt, and Prop 13

Teach your children of the meaning of America

Teach your children about our Founding Fathers and their vision of America

Teach your children about entrepreneurism

Teach your children about small business

Teach your children of upper mobility

Teach your children of the open doors, which encouraged enterprising immigrants from all nations

Teach your children of the 4 branches of government

Teach your children of the Executive Branch, and the Legislative, and the Judicial, but most of all teach your children of the most powerful branch of all, the administrative

Yes, teach your children about administrators, bureaucrats, and the Tax Man

Teach your children not to sell lemonade in Oregon or pumpkins in Idaho

Teach your children that revenuers will squeeze the last juice from a child’s lemonade stand and squash the pumpkin

Teach your children that the Tax Man shut down a child’s lemonade stand in Multnomah County,Oregon, and squashed a child’s pumpkin stand in Lewiston,Idaho.

Teach your children about Patricia Gilmore, Idaho Tax Commission compliance officer, who told the family of the 4 and 6 year old pumpkin sellers, that they had to purchase a license and pay sales tax, or be closed by the state

Teach your children of the Multnomah County inspector who shut down 7 year old Julie Murphy’s lemonade stand on July 29 for failure to obtain a $120 Temporary Restaurant license, and threatened a $500 fine

But teach your children of the people of Oregon, the radio station, and Les Schwab Tires, which raised $1,838.31 for Julie in lemonade sales

Teach your children of the generosity of the American people

Teach your children that the Tax Man may spend hundreds of dollars to collect nickels and dimes

Teach your children that Philadelphia confiscates Cupcake Trucks

Teach your children that hard work and enterprise tempt the bureaucrats

Let them learn when they are still young of the reach of the Tax Man

And teach your children that excessive taxation stills initiative and entrepreneurism

Teach your children that success attracts bureaucrats, regulators, and revenuers,

Teach your children well

Republicans versus Democrats

Republicans believe in the individual

Democrats believe in the state

Republicans believe that what we earn by the sweat of our brow is ours

Democrats believe that what we earn belongs to the state except for the ever shrinking percent which they will let you keep

Republicans believe in capitalism

Democrats believe in the state

Republicans encourage business

Democrats demagogue business

Republicans reward success

Democrats tax success

Republicans believe in small business

Democrats say they believe in small business, but proceed to tax and regulate it

Republicans answer to the market

Democrats answer to Trial Lawyers

Republicans believe in corporations

Democrats believe in unions

Republicans earn dividends, interest and capital gains from oil companies, insurers, and tobacco companies

Democrats demonize these Dirty Three

Republicans support across the board tax cuts for all

Democrats believe in targeted tax cuts

Republicans believe in personal choice

Democrats represent the Nanny State

Republicans are libertarians for individual rights, except for social issues, such
as abortion, drugs, and gay rights

Democrats are often libertine

Republicans like the freedom of the automobile

Democrats worship at the shrine of mass transit

Republicans do not believe in the separation of Church and State

Democrats believe in secular humanism

Republicans believe in equality of opportunity

Democrats believe in the equality of outcome

(All generalizations, of course)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray Are Facing a Close election

Senators Barbara Boxer (D. Ca) and Patty Murray (D. Wash.) are either peas in a pod or overlapping Venn Diagrams; they have so much in common.

By traditional terms, their reelections should be assured, and yet the elections are nip and tuck.

Both were elected to the Senate 18 years ago in The Year of the Woman. Both represent liberal states on the West Coast. Their Senate records are singularly unimpressive. Both consistently vote the liberal line to raise taxes and increase spending, but their names do not appear on bills.

Neither is running on her record.

The San Francisco Chronicle refused to endorse Senator Boxer this election cycle, finding her to be ineffective with no reason to believe she will change in a fourth term. The Chronicle’s editors wrote: “There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation.”

The Los Angeles Times on May 5 editorialized Senator Boxer “displays less intellectual firepower and leadership than she could.”

Senator Boxer served 12 years in the House before her election to the Senate. Her House record consisted of 87 NSF checks during the House banking scandal.

In comparison to the two great Washington Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Warren Magnuson, Senator Murray’s legislative accomplishments are an embarrassment. Senator Murray prides herself as the “Mom in tennis shoes.” Her other nickname is “The Queen of Pork.” Senator Murray has brought tons of earmarks to her state. Normally, that would guarantee reelection, but not necessarily this year.

Senator Boxer is running scared. We know it not because she is essentially running almost all negative ads, because that is her historic pattern, but that she has resorted to her ultimate attack plan – attacking her opponent for her opposition to abortion. The Senator has always been a fervent stalwart of a woman’s right to choose without restrictions. Carly Fiorina is pro-life. Senator Boxer has called Carly “a direct threat” to the rights of women.

The reality is that a repeal of Roe v. Wade would have no effect on California. A woman’s right to choose is protected by the California state constitution. Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution expressly recognizes the right of privacy, which includes a woman’s right to an abortion, as an inalienable right.

If either of these two Senators loses reelection, then the Republicans will probably capture control of the Senate in a massive landslide.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Massachusetts and Washington State Have Significant Tax Referemda on the Ballot

Massachusetts and Washington have polar opposite tax referenda on the November 2 Ballot. Washington’s measure is to impose an income tax on the rich while Massachusetts’s is to roll back a sales tax increase.

Warren Buffett has loudly proclaimed that he is undertaxed. His good friends, the William Gates’, senior and junior, now share his perspective. Instead of simply writing out a check to the government for whatever they believe they should pay, they propose that we pay higher taxes to assuage their guilt.

Washington is a state of great natural beauty. Its attractiveness to business and entrepreneurs is the lack of a corporate or personal income tax. The Washington Supreme Court in 1933 interpreted the Washington State Constitution to allow only a uniform tax on property. Attempts to amend the state constitution to impose an income tax have been unsuccessful to date.

The Gates have proposed a misnamed millionaire’s tax, starting at an income of $200,000 for singles and $400,000 for couples. The rate would be 5%. It will rise to 9% for individuals at $500,000 and $1,000,000 for couples. The 9% rate would be among the highest personal income tax rates in the country.

Opponents of the proposed taxes include Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, and Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

$6.2 million has been raised in support of the proposed income tax. Bill Gates, Sr. put his money where his mouth is and contributed $500,000 to the campaign.

However, the biggest supporters, contributing $4.1 million, are the public employee unions, mostly from the SEIU and the NEA. The unions are positively salivating at an additional pot of gold in Olympia.

The Gates’, if successful, are pushing Washington into the ranks of California, Illinois, and New York in over-taxing and over-spending at unsustainable levels.

Washington has been successful as a state without an income tax.

Massachusetts has a different problem. Since the overspending days of Governor Dukakis, the state has had a problem balancing revenues with ever rising expenditures. The state constitution limits the income tax to a flat rate.

The practical limit on raising the sales tax is that a large percent of the Massachusetts public live within a short drive of New Hampshire, which has neither an income nor sales tax. Massachusetts residents, including a state Senator, routinely drive to the New Hampshire State Liquor Store across the state border.

The state legislature, desperate for cash last year, raised the sales tax rate to 6.25% from 5%, and extended it to alcoholic beverages. Merchants and alcohol purveyors in Western Massachusetts lost business since the sales tax rate in adjoining Connecticut is 6%.The Legislature lived up to the state’s nickname “Taxachusetts.”

Voters responded by qualifying two referenda measures on the November ballot.

Question 1 will repeal the sales tax on alcoholic beverages.

Question 3 would roll back the sales tax rate to 3%. Passage of

Question 1 could result in an estimated loss of $2.3 billion to the state’s coffers.

The group founded in opposition to Question 3 is the Massachusetts Committee for Our Communities. It spent $2 million against the proposal from October 2-15. All of the money came from unions, including three teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the NEA. Unions have invested over $4 million into the campaign.

The supporters of Question 3 have raised very little funds. Hence, almost all of the advertising is pro tax.

The unions spent $7.3 million in 2008 to defeat another measure that would have eliminated the state’s 5.3% income tax.

Question 3 is trailing in the polls in Massachusetts, especially in Western Massachusetts. The economy of Western Massachusetts has steadily shrunk, and it is heavily dependent on state funding.

Which way will the voters in the progressive states of Massachusetts and Washington vote on taxes on November 2? If Washington voters vote no to an income tax and Massachusetts vote to rescind the tax increases, and then some, a strong message will be sent nationally.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Winners or Big Losers on Election Day

President Barack Obama or Sarah Palin??

The Democratic Congress or The Republican Congress?

Senator Harry Reid or Sharon Angle?

The Old Congressional Bulls or the Young Turks?

Big Labor or The Chamber of Commerce?

Public Service Unions or Taxpayers?

Capitalism or Socialism?

Optimism or Pessimism?

California or Texas?

Taxpayers or the Public Sector?

Truth or the Big Lie?

Transparency or Dirty Tricks?

Talk Radio and FoxNews or the Traditional Media?

True Conservatives or Blue Dog Democrats?

The Tea Party or the GOP?

Votes or Polls?

Glen Beck or George Soros

Sean hannity or Keith Olbermann?

Pot or Medicinal Marijuana?

Taxes or Public Pensions?

Bondholders or Entitlements?

Workers or Transfer Payments?

Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer?

Freedom of Choice or the Nanny State?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The NPR PC Thought Police Just Martyed Juan Williams

The NPR Thought Police fired Juan Williams Wednesday night, instantly turning him into a martyr for free speech and a greater role at FoxNews.

Juan’s statements were the followup to an episode of The View last week when Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked out on Bill O’Reilly, when he said “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” O’Reilly was technically true, but it wasn’t the world of 1.4 billion Muslims, but only a few radicals on 9/11.

Bill O’Reilly asked Juan Williams last Monday night for his comments on the dilemma between fighting radical Muslims versus fears of normal Muslims.

Juan Williams responded:
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the Civil Rights Movement in this country.
But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims. I get worried. I get nervous.”

NPR purportedly found these comments offensive and violative of its standards, which may have been drafted by Kafka.

Many Americans share his fear of Muslims because of the recent history of radical Islamic terrorism. Since militant Islam, the fanatical few, have declared war against the West, especially Israel and the United States, and executed vicious acts of terrorism, fear has become embedded in most Americans of the next terrorist act.

One of his “sins,” perhaps his original sin or apostasy, is to be a liberal commentator, along with Bob Beckel, and Pat Cauddell, on FoxNews, which purports to be “fair and balanced.” Foxnews is more balanced that MSNBC, which features Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow. NPR, the National Public radio, is no more balanced than MSNBC.

Any organization that has “National” and “Public” in its name should be tolerant of those with conflicting views. We call it Freedom of Speech. NPR is practicing George Orwell’s doublethink, which evolved into doublespeak.

Juan Williams and I disagree on many issues, but that’s what freedom of speech is about.

We are witnessing the intolerance of the hard left. If they could, they would shut down Rupert Murdock and Fox News, as well as the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

Juan Williams has been relentless in supporting President Obama and the liberal agenda.

I would say he is a very “articulate” spokesman for President Obama, but Senator Joe Biden in January 2007 stated “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and a nice-looking guy.”

Juan Williams is a much better counterpoint to Sean Hannity than Alan Colmes, who always appeared, rightly or wrongly, to be echoing the DNC’s daily talking points.
Juan does not express racist or xenophobic views. He is opposed to the proposed mosque at Ground Zero because it had become a polarizing rather than unifying symbol.

By today’s PC standards, his statement was out of line. An Administration, which does not expressly recognize “Islamic terrorist,” but “human caused” acts, will find fears of Islamic terrorism reprehensible.

For what it’s worth, I don’t share Juan’s fears of Muslims on the plane. I don’t believe a woman in a burqa will blow up a suicide bomb on the plane. Nor do I believe a man in a turban, who is probably a Sikh and not a Muslim, will pull out a box-cutter and hijack the plane. I also have no fears of the Muslim students, usually Iranian or Iraqis, in my classes.

My fear for two decades is of a terrorist with a surface to air missile attempting to down a plane taking off or landing in one of the New York or D.C. airports.

Ironically, I just finished rereading 1984. Like many high school students in the early 1960’s, I read both Animal House and 1984. No matter how educational and influential the two books were then, the stories are much more gripping today, especially in light of the electronic invasions of privacy not existing in George Orwell’s time.

Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR, later in the day said that Juan might talk to his psychiatrist about his feelings. History tells us that the post- Stalin, Russian Communists send their political opponents to the psychiatric wards.

Schiller’s act of terminating Juan Williams was unprincipled. Her statement about his psychiatrist is reprehensible. She is a poor public persona for NPR. She should be terminated from NPR and become a public non-person.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Perspective on the November Election

The election results will fall into one of three scenarios:

1) An epic landslide of historic significance;

2) A mere landslide; or

3) A normal midterm election in which the opposing party picks up about 20 House seats and 4-5 Senate seats.

The early returns from the east coast and parts of the Midwest will tell the tale.

No seats are safe in a massive landslide.

If the Republicans pick up 5 House seats in New England, including Barney Frank’s, then a rout is underway. Other stalwart Democrats that would then be at risk are committee chairs Ike Skelton of Missouri (Armed Services), James Oberstar of Minnesota (Transportation), and John Spratt of South Carolina (Budget), and House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer (Md.). Other incumbents at risk are Bobby Bright (Ala.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Ron Klein (Fla.), John Boccieri, Charlie Wilson and Zach Space of Ohio, Frank Kratovil of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota, and Alan Boyd of Florida. Even Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County could lose to Van Tran.

In a massive landslide, vulnerable Republicans Joseph Cao (La.) and Charles Djou will be reelected.

A historic landslide will result in Republicans gaining roughly 100 House seats, and 10-12 Senate seats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner should not measure the drapes in the Speakers Office until the results are in.

If Christine O’Donnell wins election in Delaware, Sharon Angle in Nevada, Linda Mc Mahon Connecticut, John Riese in West Virginia, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, and Dino Rossi in Washington, then the Senate will go Republican.

A mere landslide would show Bob Portman winning the Senate seat in Ohio, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Mario Ruby in Florida.

In the case of a mere midterm course correction, we already know the names of several Democrats at risk, because the party has pulled funding from them. They are: Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) Steve Driehaus (Oh.), Steve Kagan (Wisc.) Mary Jo Kilroy (Oh.), Suzanne Koumas (Fla.),and Betsy Markey (Colo.)

Opinion polls are unreliable at this point. Millions of Americans have already voted. We cannot assume in a volatile election that those still to vote represent those who voted early. In addition, responders may lie to pollsters. Seemingly unpopular candidates may vote higher than they poll. Several Tea Party candidates have been demonized by the media this year. An increasing complication is that if the polls are based on land lines, then they exclude an increasing percent of the population, especially the young, who only have cell phones.

For example, Christine O'Donnell is vilified by her comments decades earlier about witchcraft, but her opponent,Chris Coons, escapes criticism for claiming to be a “Bearded Marxist,” and we hear little about President Obama’s indulging in cocaine and other drugs. It may be that O’Donnell’s supporters may not want to reveal their preference.

One final assumption of pollsters is that the undecided tend to vote by the same percentages as the polls show committed voters.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections, so hard he’s reduced his golf.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections because he has to.

The President is the titular head of his Party. He must campaign for them.

He is campaigning for himself, his program, and his legacy.

President Obama is campaigning hard because he is a narcissist. He cannot accept rejection.

If, and this is a big if, the Republicans win both the House and Senate, the country will be lucky if President Obama merely sulks and utters nasty thoughts about the Republicans. A deep funk will not be good for the country.

President Clinton was the consummate politician.

President Obama is the consummate orator.

President Clinton was a flexible liberal.

President Obama is an ideologue.

This election cycle is interesting in that the members of the ruling Democratic Party are running away from their enactments the past two years. Their game plan is to demonize Republicans. In other words, no matter how much damage Democrats may have done to the economy, the Republican candidates are a personal disaster.

Unlike President Bush in 2002, President Obama is not campaigning to gain the opposing party’s existing seats, but simply trying to save incumbents. Many of these incumbents will take the President’s money, but only invoke his name in vain.

Several Democrats in conservative districts are actually campaigning against their Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The irony is that the more they run against their Party and enactments, the more reason they give their constituents the reason to vote for real Republicans. Speaker Pelosi says she’s fine with their position. Her objective is to maintain Democratic control of the House at any cost. However, her reputation is one of vengeance against those who are disloyal.Even in a mere landslide election, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid will lose their positions, but President Obama stays in office for 2 more years.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Miracle of Columbus Day: LA to OC in 65 Minutes During Rush Hour

I live in Orange County, which means driving up to LA is as pleasant has a root canal without Novocain. LA is a great city, but the traffic is a living nightmare.

Pick your poison for the 45 miles, the 5 to the 101, 10, or 134, the 5 to the 605 to the 91, 60, 10, or 210, the 57 to the 91, 60, 10 or 210, the 405 to the 110 to the 10 or 101, the 5 or 405 to the 710 to the 60 or 10, but not the 210 since the 710 dies in South Pasadena. While names might appear on some of these freeways, such as the Santa Ana or the Arroyo Seco, they’re known just by numbers, and the traffic jams distributed equally. The basic rule is to memorize your Thomas Guide.

Driving twice the distance to San Diego is a joy in comparison.

Today I left class at 1:00am for a 2:30 doctor’s appointment at Kaiser’s Sunset and Vermont facilities, a roughly 40 mile drive, which took 90 minutes a couple of weeks ago. I anticipated a 2 hour drive, regardless of the route taken with the assistance of Google Map on the IPhone. The shortest route is often not the quickest.

I was hoping to leave Kaiser about 4:00pm, which would necessitate a visit to one of LA’s great museums until 7:00pm, when rush hour traffic would lighten up. Even then the drive could take 90 minutes.

However the medical visit lasted until 5:00pm. Google Map showed the freeways clear to the OC with barely a trace of red during rush hour. That couldn’t be right, but Google is never wrong. We must trust any company that routinely beats Microsoft.

So I relied on blind faith in Google Map. The drive home, a straight shot on the 101 to the 5 took 65 minutes with no accidents on the road only 8 dead stops in traffic.

The East LA (Boyle) interchange was a piece of cake.

This drive was truly a miracle, as Angelinos and SoCal residents can attest. It could not be humanly possible.

Of course, it’s Columbus Day – not a miracle. It is a national holiday observed by government employees and banks. Most of us do not get Columbus Day off, but even more impressive than Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea on a parking lot at Paramount Studios, Columbus cleared a passage to LA. He never found the passage to India and the spice trade. He may or may not have discovered America – the Vikings clearly preceded him. His sailors may or may not have brought syphilis to the Old World from the New World, and he clearly did not discover the City of Angels, and his name is not on many public places in California, but his Holiday opened the freeways, and that is a miracle.

That and the 12.4% unemployment rate in California and 12.6% in Los Angeles Country.

My colleagues who commute from LA said the drive became much easier two years ago with the economic collapse.

Thank you Christopher, and thank you Barack.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Failure of Obamanomics

Obamanomics has clearly failed. The unemployment rate was 7.6% when President Obama entered office in January 2009. It is now 9.6%. 11.1 million were unemployed in December 2008. 14.9 million are now unemployed.

Keynesian economics and pump priming, in spite of its seductiveness, failed in the United States and England in the Great Depression, just as it failed more recently in Europe. ¾ of the Obama economics team have left or are leaving the Administration in the detritus of the economy. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who has spent almost all his life in the government sector, remains.

It doesn’t matter; the economic plan is that of the President.

He is a true believer. He believes that the United States is an economic oppressor of the less developed countries, and that the wealthy in America, anyone earning over $250,000, oppress all others.

He fails to understand that consumption comes from the disposable income of the middle class in America and around the world. Marx referred to it as “capitalistic bourgeois decadence.” We view it as jobs and a rising standard of living.
He made it clear in his confrontation with Joe the Plumber – it’s about “fairness.”

Fairness to Obama means income redistribution – not creation. President Obama is anti-business, anti-private sector, and anti-capital, but pro-government.

Obama is a true believer; 20 years of listening to the Black Liberation Theology of Reverend Wright, consorting with William Ayres and Bernadette Dohrn, He is a true believer in class warfare. He shares the envy for those who succeed.

He is also narcissistic and arrogant. He cannot admit a mistake because he cannot recognize a mistake. He believes he is the One. He fervently believes he is the One to transform America.

President Obama is a true believer who wants to transform America into the “fair, socialist paradise” of Western Europe, the bankrupt Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Greenland. To restore Americans to their jobs, to restore the status quo, to rebuild the private sector, would be a defeat for President Obama’s vision of America.

The Obamanistics play by Chicago Rules – Reward your friends, and screw your enemies. Thus, the Stimulus funds were not intended for the American people, but for their benefactors, the unions and trial lawyers.

“Enemies” are demonized, such as insurance companies, the Chamber of Commerce, banks, doctors, Fox, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh.

The Administration has nationalized, semi-nationalized, or demonized significant segments of the economy, including student loans, health insurance, mortgages (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA), GMAC, most of Detroit.

The members of Congress think they are smarter than the Market. They are, in fact, economically ignorant. Because they are smart enough to be elected to Congress, and then, corrupted by power, they believe they are smarter than the Market in picking winners and losers. What they do is reward their political favorites. Keynesian pump priming in America is simply politicians deciding the winners of government largesse.

Just recently Congress enacted a small business bill to provide loans to small businesses that need them to survive. Taxes are going up on January 1, 2011, hitting successful small businesses especially hard. Now due to the Congressional geniuses, small business will have to borrow back, with interest, the monies that were taxed away from them.

The President and the redistributionists in Congress believe that government creates wealth and jobs – not people. He let the Congressional redistributionists draft the Stimulus and Appropriations Bills. President Obama believes wealth comes from the government, for in his years as a community organizer, it was about getting money from the government.

The President was a political science major and his wife sociology. Economics is an alien concept to them.

The Fed is running out of tools to jumpstart the economy. Heresy of heresy, it is talking about introducing inflation into the economy.

They keep shoveling money out the Capitol, attempting to shore up the economy, but they won’t get out of the way.

The theory of Keynes is that priming the pump will jumpstart the economy. Obamanomics is not even normal Keynesian economics, but a bastardized form in which the monies are distributed to a favorite few, usually in the form of transfer benefits. It’s not egalitarianism; it is simply Animal Farm.

To spend hundreds of billions on transfer payments, shoring up existing programs, and state and local expenditures is not Keynesian. The coffers of state and local governments are depleted. Simply sending them more federal funds is simply postponing the inevitable correction. They can’t raise taxes fast enough, but pensions and entitlements are strangling them. Bailing them out will end soon.

The Stimulus Bill failed and with it the failure of Obamanomics.