The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

This Kid Gets It!

juwannadoright:

LIFE IN MODERM AMERICA

Originally posted on Oyia Brown:

BY a 15 yr. OLD SCHOOL KID who got an A+ for this entry
(TOTALLY AWESOME)!

Since the Pledge of Allegiance
And The Lord’s Prayer
Are not allowed in most Public schools anymore
Because the word ‘God’ is mentioned…..
A kid in Arizona wrote the attached
NEW School prayer:

“New Pledge of Allegiance”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene..
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all..
In silence alone we…

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GOOBERS AND GRUBERS

It finally arrived – the long awaited envelope.  It had been well over a week since I had sent away for it – but my letter had to make it from New York to Arizona and then the response had to come all the way back.

I had found an ad in one of my “Fantasy and Science Fiction” magazines and had responded.  Who wouldn’t answer this ad?  It promised to send the person who clipped the ad a “secret” way to accumulate wealth without really having to do much of anything.  It didn’t matter if you were young or old, a PhD or a high school drop out, the system would bring riches to whoever used it.   It was the American dream – and the information would be sent absolutely free of charge.

Some people are motivated by theory and others by practical concerns.  In my case, I wanted to become a fourteen year old success because I was tired of sleeping on the Castro convertible sofa and sharing my “bedroom” with the “dining room.”  If I made a lot of money we could move from our small apartment into one of the new high rises that were being built throughout Manhattan.  My parents had looked at several apartments in these new edifices, but decided that quadrupling the rent for just a small amount of additional space just didn’t make sense or fit our budget.

When Grandma handed me the envelope containing the “secret system” I took it and held it with the reverence due a holy relic.  I went to my desk, placed my school books on the side and laid it gently in the middle of the blotter.  I took the seldom-used letter opener and carefully opened it, making sure that my cut was even and neat.  After I completed that I waited a minute or two before daring to pull out and read its contents.  But I finally summoned up the courage.

Before me I had a pamphlet that explained how a person could make a huge amount of money by getting into mail order.  I read every word of this brochure, replete with “testimonials” from people who were identified only by their first names and an initial for their surnames and the city in which they lived – stories about how they had made a small fortune in mail order thanks to the secret system.

And what was it that they were selling?  They were selling copies of a booklet that explained how to get into mail order – a copy of which was reserved for me – if I merely completed the enclosed order form and returned it with my five dollar remittance.  Once I had received my copy, I would have the opportunity to purchase additional copies which I could sell at a “huge profit” and the booklet would explain the step by step way of doing that.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Even though I knew that something just didn’t add up, I was reluctant to give up so quickly on this opportunity to get my own bedroom.  So at dinner that evening I asked my parents to read the brochure and give me their opinion.  Needless to say, it did not survive their imprimatur.  Nevertheless, having explained why this was a scam  they still permitted me to purchase the book if I chose to spend my five dollars on it.  My parents allowed me to make my own mistakes – as long as they weren’t likely to be dangerous to my health or well being.  Their theory was that rather than hearing them preach, a little personal experience would be far more enlightening to me.

Even before I had given my folks the brochure I knew that something just didn’t sound right.  But I was hoping that I was wrong and that my parents would agree with my original opinion that I had latched on the key to riches.  After several days of soul searching, I concurred with my parents and tossed the brochure in the wastebasket.  My father summed up the experience with the statement, “When something seems too good to be true – it probably isn’t.”

In 2010 the Congress passed and President Obama signed the PPACA into law.  Now more commonly referred to as Obamacare, the law was touted by Obama and lawmakers who supported it as the best thing that had happened since the invention of sliced bread.  It offered every American the opportunity to get “affordable health insurance”; we would be able either to keep our existing insurance or get a better policy through the healthcare exchanges that were going to be established; despite the fact that these new policies would be better they would be less expensive; every American household would save $2500 per year for this insurance; and on top of all of that, this three thousand page bill would reduce the national debt.  It almost seemed too good to be true – and it wasn’t.

Nobody who took the trouble to read through the law believed that the promises could be delivered for a simple reason.  The numbers just didn’t add up – and they still don’t.  But without going into a detailed analysis of the math, if you think about the law’s purported primary goal – insuring all Americans with affordable, quality medical care – it should be clear that goal is inconsistent with providing quality healthcare.

Let’s assume that magically everyone suddenly signed up and there were no longer Americans who couldn’t see a doctor for lack of insurance.  How would this impact the quality of delivering medical services?  It would cause a lower quality of health care if, for no other reason, than that we have now added forty million potential patients to a system to which no new medical practitioners or hospital facilities have been added.  The overall effect would necessarily be longer wait times to get an appointment which in and of itself constitutes a decrease in the quality of healthcare.

We know that few if any legislators actually read the bill before voting to approve it – per then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  That in itself is disturbing as that is the reason that we pay these people quite handsomely.  But if they had read the bill I sincerely wonder if they would have been much more elucidated on its contents than before they began that exercise.  Besides its length, the law is convoluted and the language goes beyond what we have come to expect from Washington speak.  For that reason perhaps, we employed an MIT professor, one Jonathan Gruber to advise those who wrote the law on how to craft it.  The Federal government and various state governments apparently paid Professor Gruber the sum of nearly $6 Million over several years for his insight.

Over the last ten days a series of videos have surfaced in which said professor has been recorded delivering a number of talks to various groups, mostly within the hallowed halls of academia, and explained that in order to secure the law’s passage, basically its contents had to be both disguised and lied about because it would never have passed if the public new what it actually contained.  In the course of his explanation he pointed out that, “The American public is stupid.”

While this academic apologized for the statement from the first of these videos which was released as an unfortunate malapropism, on several other occasions he made essentially the same comment.  This is not a faux pas but a reflection of the professor’s world view – and more generally – an example of the world view of most on the liberal left.  People are simply too stupid to do what is in their best interest – so it is up to enlightened do-gooders to enforce what is good for them on them.

These comments brought me back to the time I was able to attend “The Howdy Doody Show.”  It was much earlier than my experience with the magic mail order system.  I think I was about eight – and like all the ther kids who attended, I sat in “The Peanut Gallery.”  Like all the other “peanut attendees” I was wowed by Buffalo Bob, Princess Summerfallwinterspring and Mr. Bluster.  It was a half hour of pure fantasy and delight.  But I graduated from The Peanut Gallery.

I wonder if Professor Gruber ever had that same experience.

“Goober – a peanut.”  {Colloquially – A person of limited intelligence}.

“Gruber – a pompous, cynical ass paid nearly $6 Million by various government agencies to deceive the American goober to buy into Obamacare.”

DOUBLE DOWN OBAMA

Although it is unlikely that this post contains enough controversial information to make its way through the dark halls of the NSA and to the White House, it would be of value to the president should he have the opportunity to read it.  It would require him to put on his “Big Boy” pants and evaluate a view that is radical – in its divergence from the one which forms his ideology.  That, in itself, is probably too much to ask.

In life we all make choices.  Some of those we make have good consequences – others not so much.  It is only the stubborn and arrogant who, having made a poor choice, continue to insist that theirs was the correct one, the evidence notwithstanding.  Sadly, Obama has, to this point, followed that path – not only to the detriment of his approval rating but, far more importantly, to the detriment of the country.

Let’s take a lesson from the real world of stock trading – a galaxy away from the not so real world of Washington, D. C.

There are a number of rules of trading which have become rules because those  who are engaged in the activity realize that they are correct and work far more often than they fail.  Successful traders observe those rules because they realize that doing so helps them achieve their goal – which is to earn a living.  Failure to observe these rules has its consequences – usually involving finding a new line of endeavor.

The first rule of trading is quite simple.  “Never add to a losing trade.”   Here’s a simple example.

A trader buys XYZ stock at $50 a share.  Within minutes the stock declines to $49.50.  At this point that trader has only three options.  He may do nothing and maintain the position hoping the stock will recover; he may sell it and accept the loss; or he may add to the position and double down on his position.  Although most non-professionals would adopt either options one or three, the professional would most likely take the second option, accept the loss and move on, looking for a better trade.  Here’s the rationale behind all three choices.

Doing nothing is essentially a denial of having entered into a bad trade.  Clearly, when the trader bought XYZ stock at $50 he did so for one reason.  He thought the stock price would increase from his purchase price – otherwise there would be no reason to initiate the trade.  Doing nothing is simply ignoring the reality that he was wrong in his assessment.

Selling the stock at a loss, while painful, is the correct choice because it recognizes some very basic facts.  The trader bought the stock with the expectation of a rise in its price – but he was wrong.  Admitting that you’re wrong – and limiting the amount of that mistake is the correct response.  We all make mistakes.  It is acknowledging that we have made a mistake and learning from that so we don’t repeat it, that makes the trader successful.

The third option, purchasing additional stock is the worst of the three because it not only ignores the reality that the trader was wrong in his initial decision but that pure hubris causes him to deny that fact.  Unfortunately, ego has caused the demise of more traders than bad decisions.

Now this simple example from the real world will undoubtedly be lost on the president for the simple reason that he has never held a job in the real world.  Despite the repudiation of Obama’s policies which was a message by those of us who took the trouble to voice our opinion on November 4th delivered, the president prefers to focus on those non-voters who didn’t bother to show up as a “silent” endorsement of his six years in office.  That’s like saying that because no one mentions anything to the person with a dreadful case of bad breath because they don’t want to offend him, that halitosis is a condition to which we all should aspire.

This president has seldom shown an interest in how the American people feel about any issue.  Obamacare has never enjoyed a majority positive view and is now at its lowest level of support since the law was passed; Americans in a vast majority view the country as moving in the wrong direction;  the president’s own approval rating hovers at the lowest levels of his presidency.  To these fact the president, like the six year old who is determined to have his own way despite his parents’ admonishment, turns a deaf ear to these facts.  Hubris reigns supreme in the White House.

If it were simply a small man’s refusal to see the light it would be one thing.  Sadly, this president, by virtue of his office, is the most powerful man on earth.  And while he doubles down on his own failed policies and refusal to find common ground with those whose responsibility is to provide an alternate view, it is not only those in America but people and nations around the world who will be his victims.

I guess if I really wanted the president to read this I should just print it out, pack my bags and plan a trip to Washington to deliver it in person.  I understand that getting into the White House isn’t all that difficult.

Forty-three Mexican college students, studying to be teachers, were out fund raising for their college – soliciting money to buy supplies for the school.  They were stopped in Iguala by the police and three of them were shot by these same police.  Apparently, the Mayor of Iguala was concerned that the students were planning to disrupt a speech that his wife was scheduled to give.  The surviving students were turned over to a local drug cartel “to be disposed of.”  And the cartel did its job well.

They executed these kids at a trash dump and then the cartel had a “student roast,” burning the bodies in a fire that lasted for sixteen hours – as the cartel members stood by and watched.  Except in the case of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who was finally released after six months in Mexican prison for inadvertently entering the country while in possession of legally owned weapons, Mexican “justice” can be inexorably efficient, swift – and terminal.

The mayor and his wife were arrested in Mexico City a week after the students disappeared.  He has had several charges leveled against him and  is currently in jail awaiting further processing.  As of this writing, no charges have been brought against his wife.  Although it is only an allegation, there appears that there may be a tie between these two and the local drug cartel.

Subsequent to the students’ disappearance a search began for them.  The announcement by the Mexican Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam that the students’ remains had been found resulted in protests throughout the country with tens of thousand marching in peaceful protest against a government that has corruption at its most basic foundation.  Additionally, other protesters with a less pacifistic view of the events, burned government buildings, cars and blocked highways in Guerrero state where these murders occurred.  In the course of the search, several mass graves were discovered – apparently additional victims of the local drug cartels.

It is probably difficult for most Americans to conceive living in a country where the police, rather than occupying a position of “serving and protecting” people actually function as the judiciary and dispatch summary “justice” with impunity.  Difficult unless you believe that is the same system we have in the United States.  And if you turn your attention to Ferguson, MO and the protests that have been ongoing for the last three months you might believe that is the case.

On August 9, 2014, a shooting occurred in Ferguson, MO resulting in the death of Michael Brown.  The deceased was a young black man; the person who shot him was a white police officer, Darren Wilson.  Those are the facts that no one disputes.  The specific circumstances of causality have now been before a Grand Jury for several months and we are awaiting their determination.

I believe it is fair to say that if, under the same set of circumstances a white police officer shot a white teenager; if a black police officer shot a black teenager; and perhaps if a black police officer shot a white teenager, there would have been no lootings in Ferguson, MO; no businesses would have been burned there; neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder would have expressed an opinion on the event; and the media would have not covered it.

The only reason for interest and the tension that it has evoked has, unfortunately, nothing to do with the late Mr. Brown.  It has to do with race and, more specifically, the allegation that the black community has no reason to have confidence that the police are there to protect them but rather, Mexican style, are self-serving racists whose ultimate goal is their annihilation.  If that theory were in fact true, there would be legitimate reason for concern by the citizens of Ferguson, MO.  There would then be validation for their peaceful protests – although it is hard to understand how committing additional crimes such as lootings and burnings can be justified, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

Neither my readers nor I have all the facts and details of what happened between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson.  Hopefully, the Grand Jury will have those presented to them and will make an informed and fair judgment based on what they review.  And, whatever their decision, it is incumbent on those who truly want to live in a country where the rule of law is respected to accept that verdict.  Otherwise we invite upon ourselves a system of “justice” like that which we just saw in Mexico.  And that is something that no intelligent person would bring down on his own head.

We know how that system played out in Mexico.  We’ll soon see how things work out in Ferguson, MO.

Originally posted on :

Iran’s Letter to Obama: Thanks for the Nukes! Israel Today, Noah Beck, November 14, 2014

131015_iran

Dear President Obama,

You’ve been a great friend for the last six years and, to express our appreciation, we’d like to acknowledge some of your many helpful actions:

1) In 2009, our presidential election results were so dubious that millions of brave, pro-democracy protesters risked their lives to demonstrate throughout our country. When our Basij paramilitary force brutalized them, you kept your response irrelevantly mild for the sake of “engaging” us. That surely helped Iranians understand the risks of protesting our “free” election of 2012 (involving our eight handpicked candidates). It was indeed a very orderly rubberstamp.

2) After eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, we KNEW you’d fall for the smiles of his successor, President Hassan Rouhani! Human rights abuses have actually worsened under his rule and his polished charm only makes him better at duping the…

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GET A ROOM

What do football and wealthy liberal donors have in common?  Apparently, not very much.

You may remember the controversy that was roiled up over the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins team.  Outcries of racism surfaced faster than videos of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber calling the American people “stupid” for buying into the lies that were used to pass Obamacare.

The outrage extended to the highest levels of our elected government with soon-to-be-former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spearheading the effort in writing a letter (co-signed by many colleagues with a similar limited mental capacity) demanding that the team’s name be changed.  Fortunately, because the good senator had altered the Senate’s rules, no filibuster on the content of the letter was permitted.

This issue, of course, superseded the need to vote on any of the 340 bills that the House had sent to the Senate and which are presently accumulating dust somewhere in that upper chamber (possibly in violation of an EPA regulation regarding the permissible amount of dust that may be accumulated before it constitutes a health hazard).  It is likely that OSHA may soon weigh in on this matter as well.

So what does this manufactured “controversy” have to do with liberal donors?  We know that liberals, being liberals, have etched into their DNA an inherent abhorrence of racism in any form and are dedicated to stomping it out wherever it rears its ugly head.

This week the Democracy Alliance, a coalition of well-heeled liberal donors dedicated to electing leftists in state and national office got together to discuss strategy going forward to the 2016 elections.  The meeting took place in Washington, D. C. – at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, an extremely attractive property and one of the city’s finest.

Stop.  Did no one tell these self-styled do-gooders that “Oriental” is a pejorative term and is denigrating to Asians?  It has been officially deleted from the PC Handbook and no longer exists as a word.  And there they are, patronizing what obviously is a racist hotel.

Hopefully the reality of the situation may have dawned on some of these contributors and, if they decided to hook up for a little afternoon delight, they booked themselves into a Motel 6.

PIPE DREAMS

After a mere five years’ worth of dawdling which is possibly a record even for moribund Washington, D. C., the Congress is now going to take up a vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The timing of this couldn’t be more transparent as Sen. Mary Landrieu grasps at straws to maintain her seat in the upper chamber for a fourth term – a contest to be decided on December 6th.  This caused me to refresh myself on the definition of a word that I think describes the reason that so many of us voted to change the makeup of not only the Congress but further entrenched Republicans in many many statehouses and legislatures.

Cynic – A person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons.

The timing of the pipeline vote, while clearly an attempt to salvage Senator Landrieu’s sinking campaign comes at an interesting moment in history as the president, acting in his capacity as Chief of Negotiating Bad Deals, makes a commitment that the United States, the world’s second biggest “polluter” will make further efforts to reign in our carbon dioxide emissions while the People’s Republic of China, the world’s worst polluter will be allowed to continue to increase their emissions until the year 2030 and then will “try” to limit those going forward.

Obama has characterized “climate change” as the most pressing issue of our time and has devoted himself during the remainder of his term to focusing on addressing the “problem.”  By pressing, if you are to accept the arguments that are advanced on the imperiling effects of “climate change,” if we delay taking remedial action even for one day, we take the risk of having put ourselves on a path which has only one ultimate destination – driving the planet past the point of no return and wiping out all life on Earth.

If those who consider themselves “environmental good guys” wonder why, despite the purported agreement of 97% of the “scientific community” that greenhouse gases are the root cause for “climate change,” there are still “deniers” who reject or at the least question their conclusions, it might be that the message which they are peddling is inconsistent.

If we are about to head into the abyss, then it is incomprehensible how the person who has the unique position of being President of the United States, a position which still has some swag, although a declining amount, throughout the world could even consider an agreement with China which allows them to increase and further entrench themselves as the world’s worst polluter – for at least another fifteen years.  Particularly if that president has gone on record as saying this is the most important issue facing the nation and the world.

The delay in determining the debate on Keystone XL has, of course, centered around the purported environmental impact which building and using it might cause.  I think it would be fair to say that no one, not the drillers, not the owners of the pipeline nor any reasonable person would want to develop a project that had the potential for causing hazardous leaks.  The operators would, should such an event occur, lose revenue and would undoubtedly be subject to significant fines.  It is in their own best interest to make sure that the pipeline, if constructed, not only functions as intended but does so efficiently on a consistent basis.  The “environmentalist” side argues that no such assurances can be given.

The proposed pipeline was intended to be developed in four separate stages, three of which have been completed and comprise an already built 2,151 miles of pipe.  That portion of the project is fully operational.  The fourth phase, the one under consideration, would be composed of an approximately similar additional amount of pipe.  In total, the entire project is composed of less than five thousand miles of pipe.  America currently has a network of more than 185,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines, nearly 320,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines, and more than 2 million miles of gas distribution pipelines according to the National Resources Defense Council, an organization that has opposed the completion of the pipeline.  We already rely heavily on pipelines to move energy from the source of production to refineries and then the ultimate consumer.

Perhaps the most direct correlation between Keystone XL would be to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline – now forty years old.  Have there been leaks and spillages that have affected that Alaska Pipeline?  The answer is yes – there have been two that have been of significance in its forty year life.  And both of those were caused by saboteurs who purposely attacked the pipeline.  One of those was an “environmentalist” and the other was a drunk.  Should we expect the same if Keystone XL is finally approved?  Well, there are more “environmentalists” now than forty years ago – and anyone who both watches and is concerned by the machinations of this administration is probably an excellent candidate for over indulging in demon rum.

The spectre of true environmental damage, if left alone, stemming from the pipeline seems minimal at most.  Virtually every scientific study that has examined the question has returned that same verdict.  Whether the pipeline would offer continuing high salary employment to tens of thousands is a matter for debate – but it is not debatable that, at the very least, it would provide employment to thousands during its construction.  And the argument that it would not benefit Americans by way of lower energy prices as the pipeline’s product would be shipped overseas, ignores the facts of a global economy in which greater production of a product tends to lower the price of that product everywhere that it is consumed.

The real argument, one which you will seldom if ever hear, is that the “environmentalists” want to replace all fossil fuels with renewable alternate sources of energy.  While that goal might be admirable, it is, at best, unlikely as even the most optimistic sources feel that green energy might someday provide the world with ten percent of our needs.  That falls on deaf ears for people who believe that the only way we will seriously attempt to find new ways to invent green energy is if we make it so painful to use traditional fossil fuels by making them so expensive that we are forced into the effort.  Reaching that goal, whatever the price, is their “admirable” aim – and it doesn’t matter to them that hundreds of thousands might die in the process because they cannot afford to turn on and pay for the heat on which they relied their entire lives.

I try to approach every question, particularly ones of importance, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline and green energy, conservation and environmentalism, with an open mind.  It would be refreshing if those who argue their position on whichever side of the issue, were actually honest and transparent.  Like much of the dogma which is preached by the left, those are two qualities that are conspicuous by their absence.  Dishonesty is one of the things that turns me off the fastest.

Perhaps one day those in the liberal camp will wake up and have an epiphany.  They’ll get out of bed and find that Santa has left them a present – a new pair of “Big Boy Pants.”  And they’ll advocate for their position truthfully and without deception.  That will be the day I will take them seriously and listen to their position with interest and without prejudice.  But that event, should it ever occur, seems to be something belonging to a far distant future.  Or that it will ever occur – well, perhaps that’s just a pipe dream.

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