I spent the afternoon down at my brother's with the WP Parents, celebrating the matriculation of John's No.2 son. Unfortunately I was the only one from our household able to attend as BeezleBub was working at the farm (catching hay all day) and Deb had to work, too.
We headed over to the WP Parents' place on the other side of the hill (The Manse and their place are literally on opposite sides of the same hill) for a Father's Day celebration, wending our way through the large number of bikes making their last runs of Motorcycle Week before heading home.
The weather certainly couldn't have been much better, with no rain on Saturday and a few quick passing hit-or-miss showers late on Sunday.
**********Speaking of Bike Week, Bogie has a few pictures she and her Wonderful Spouse took along Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach.
**********It appears Obama's honeymoon period is now over. With even purported supporters now questioning his abilities and competence, one has to wonder if he will indeed be the next one-term president.
Obama's biggest problem is his disconnect with the American people. Is it because he believes he's the only one with the answers and that the people are too stupid to see his brilliance, or is it because the American people see that he's an arrogant elitist without a friggin' clue as to what's really important? Or is it both?
Easily frightened? Hmm. I'm not sure about that. Maybe easily pissed off when they're being talked down to. The only reassurance most Americans need is that the government is going the leave them alone and
On one side is America — fickle and excitable, hotheaded and prone to overreaction, easily frightened and in constant need of reassurance.
,a href=http://jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2010/06/hundreds-of-construction-workers-forced.html>not take away even more of their money and not spend money it doesn't have.
The more successful presidents were willing to make compromises and work with the people rather than telling them “I know better than you, so sit down and shut up.” It is clear Obama is the more the latter than the former.
On the other side stands Obama — solid and sober, rooted in the belief that his way is the right way and in no need of alteration. He’s the emotionally maimed type who lights up when he’s stroked and adored but shuts down in the face of acrimony. Other people’s anxieties are dismissed as irrational and unworthy of engagement or empathy. He seems quite comfortable with this aspect of his personality, even if few others are, and shows little desire to change it. It’s the height of irony: the presumed transformative president is stymied by his own unwillingness to be transformed. He would rather sacrifice the relationship than be altered by it.
**********To add fuel to the fire in regards to Obama, it doesn't help that most of the world sees Obama as incompetent and an amateur.
Hey, they're only seeing what a lot of us here in the US see, too, that being Obama is the 21st Century Jimmy Carter.
**********Ace of Spades has a breakdown of the state Moocher Index, described as “the percentage of state residents who receive some form of welfare and subtracted the percentage who fall under that state's poverty level.”
An interesting observation points out that “the 5 of the top 10 mooching states also have some of the country's highest effective tax rates.”
Why doesn't that surprise me?
While my home state ranks pretty low on the tax burden scale (#46), I wish it rated at the same or lower level on the Moocher Index than it does (#32). (Note: the tax burden rating is based on 2008 figures.)
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
All my life I've heard the pundits and the politicians talk about poverty in America. Listening to them one would think all those we define as poverty-stricken are living on the streets or in slums, with little food to eat and none of the comforts the rest of us above the poverty line take for granted. But the truth is that many of those presently at or below the poverty line are living better and are better off than most of the middle class in the 70's and 80's.
I'm not saying that there aren't any poor out there. I'm saying we may have to redefine poor in order to reflect the reality. And 'poor' here in the US would be considered wealthy in a number of other countries. It's all a matter of perception.
...the poor's material well-being has improved. The official poverty measure obscures this by counting only pre-tax cash income and ignoring other sources of support. These include the earned-income tax credit (a rebate to low-income workers), food stamps, health insurance (Medicaid), and housing and energy subsidies. Spending by poor households from all sources may be double their reported income, reports a study by Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute. Although many poor live hand-to-mouth, they've participated in rising living standards. In 2005, 91 percent had microwaves, 79 percent air conditioning and 48 percent cellphones.
In the book MiG Pilot: The Final Escape Of Lt. Belenko, Viktor Belenko describes watching Soviet propaganda films showing the desperation of the poor in the United States and how the capitalist system exploited them. But what Belenko saw were the 'poor' with their own apartments furnished with the modern conveniences (ovens, refrigerators, TV sets, etc) - something that was rare in the Soviet Union at the time – and in many cases, owning their own cars. The 'poor' in America were far better off than the average Soviet citizen in the 1970's.
Maybe it's time to change the definition of poor.
**********I have to agree with David Thompson on this one: “...the more egalitarian a person says he is, the more superior he wishes to be, or assumes he already is.”
Basically, they believe everyone should be equal in all things...except for themselves. This is because they also believe some people are more equal than others. Frankly, anyone pushing for a more egalitarian society should immediately be taken out and put in the stocks or pillory, making sure, of course, there is a large supply of rotten produce handy for passersby to throw at the hypocrite.
As I have written more than once, 'egalitarian' societies always end up being the most oppressive and tyrannical because they are based upon the false premise that they can force people to be equal. Unfortunately equal usually equates to “equal to the lowest common denominator”, which in the human species is always a Bad Thing™.
**********Oh, yeah, let's make sure there will be big incentives for foreign investors to not invest in the US by making sure they'll know the Obama Administration will ignore the rule of law and use threats and extortion to get its way.
Obama is starting to make the US look more and more like a corrupt Third World nation every time he opens his mouth. Like that will help our economy recover.
November 2012 can't get here soon enough.