Murder by Suicide

With the suicide bombings in Israel still at the forefront of the news, the ongoing struggle between the so-called 'martyrs' and the Israeli people continues. James Carroll of the Boston Globe has an interesting, though ominous view of the phenomenon of these suicide bombers. We ignore his words at our peril.


Global Warming....or Global Lying?

Despite all the other goings on around the world, such as wildfires, islamofascist human bombs, Al Qaida, Enron, and so on, the ugly monster of global warming keeps raising its head. The title of this post ought to tell you my take on the whole thing. I must admit that I stole the second half of the title from Thomas Sowell's June 6th column. Though I can agree with some of those touting the effects of global warming, I'm not convinced that it's all the fault of us big bad humans. Global warming and its companion, global cooling, have been going on for billions of years without any of us being around. To think that we are the sole source for climate change is stupid at best and egotistical at worst.

The fact that some of the global warming fearmongers are willing to color the truth or lie about reports or extracts supposedly written or endorsed by respected scientists shows the lengths that some of them are willing to go. They wring their hands at the fact that the U.S. has no intention of impoverishing itself to live up to the Kyoto treaty (assuming the U.S. Congress would be foolish enough to ratify it).


Money, The Root Of All Foolishness

It seems that the U.S. has barely finished redesigning its currency and already the Treasury is moving to change it again. Now they’ll be adding different colors, holograms, and goodness knows what else. Do you think they’ll get it right this time? After all, twice in as many decades the U.S. introduced a 1 dollar coin and both have failed miserably, for different reasons.

The first, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, looked too much like the quarter and was often mistaken for one. Americans stayed away from them in droves.

The second, the Sacagawea dollar, has faltered because the Treasury failed to do away with the dollar bill. The coin, distinctive in its color, is not confused with other coins. Even the blind (Oops…um…sight impaired. Damn political correctness!) can tell the difference between the quarter and the dollar. The Canadians understood that in order for its dollar coin, affectionately known as the loonie, to succeed it needed to do away with the dollar bill. The UK replaced the one pound note with a coin and did away with the bill. Neither country has collapsed due to the change. Neither would the U.S.

It’s about time the U.S. Treasury got its act together and stopped wasting the taxpayer’s money by fooling with the taxpayer's money.


Freedom of Speech…but only if you agree with us.

Despite what David Horowitz wrote in his article, he has overlooked one salient point about the radical left taking over our university and college campuses— The First Amendment doesn’t exist when someone disagrees with them.

How many times on how many campuses around the U.S. have conservative (or even moderate) campus newspapers been confiscated and destroyed by the radical left in the name of ‘Free Speech’? How many times have learned and erudite speakers invited to campuses been heckled and shouted down by the radical left, in effect silencing them because they hold a viewpoint different from the leftists?

Too many times.

What can be done to stem the tide of leftist-think in such situations? The answer is quite simple.

Prosecute them.

Haul them before a court for civil rights violations. Their right to free speech ends where someone else’s begins. This is something that they seem to forget. We should do it before the radical left uses more draconian measures to silence the critics. Think ‘gulag’ or ‘brain hemorrhage’ of the 9mm variety, or a ‘mental hospital' where psyche-destroying pharmaceuticals are used on the poor deluded souls having the audacity to speak out.


Political Correctness is Fascism

The concept of Political Correctness has been with us now for some time. If memory serves correctly, it started somewhere out on the Left Coast (probably at Berkley). The idea that we should strive to not offend people may have been a good idea, but unfortunately it had flaws. The biggest of them is that in trying to offend no one, Political Correctness (PC) offends everyone.

It started small, trying to get people to use less offensive terms in describing people-
‘vision impaired’ rather than ‘blind’; ‘hearing impaired’ rather than ‘deaf’; ‘differently-abled’ rather than ‘handicapped’ or ‘crippled’. (An acquaintance of mine served in Vietnam. Towards the end of his combat tour in 1971 he stepped on a landmine and had both of his legs blown off. Tell him he’s ‘differently-abled’ and he’ll beat you over the head with one of his artificial limbs as he tells you "I’m crippled, dammit!")

Then it started getting really ridiculous.

‘African American, rather than ‘black’ (Actually, shouldn’t it be American Africans? They’re Americans first, aren’t they?); ‘Native Americans’ rather than ‘Indians’; ‘vertically challenged’ rather than ‘short’; ‘horizontally challenged’ rather then ‘fat’; ‘socio-economically disadvantaged’ rather than ‘poor’; ‘misunderstood’ or ‘victim of society’ rather than ‘criminal’. The PC crowd bends over backwards in their efforts to offend no one. In the process they make themselves look silly while at the same time annoying everyone in earshot. Paradoxically many of them sound so condescending while being PC that they offend just about everyone…..except another Politically Correct fascist.

The push for PC speech has gotten more strident as the years go by. And as I have watched it I have gotten the feeling of déjà vu. It took me a while to figure it out. But then someone I worked with was talking about George Orwell and it all came together-
Politically Correct speech is identical to Orwell’s Newspeak in the novel 1984.

Negative connotations are illegal in the world of Orwell’s book. Nothing is bad. It can only be ‘un-good’, or ‘plus-ungood’, or ‘double plus ungood’. It was how the fascist government of Big Brother in Orwell’s vision controlled the populace- control the language and you control the thoughts of the people. And that is the message the PC crowd is pushing today.

Of course the politically correct Fascisti keep telling everyone that their intentions are good. But all fascists say that.

And we all know where that road leads.

A Modest Proposal

In the very early Eighties our youngest sister went to Smith College in Northampton, MA. Back then, as now, Smith was a hot bed of leftist True Think with a frightening mixture of rabid feminism and incipient Political Correctness. For four years she slaved away after her degree in Mathematics, finally returning home with her diploma.

As you might imagine, she also came home with a slightly more left-of-center worldview than she had departed with. Our father, a curmudgeonly fiscal conservative, alternated between amusement and despair whenever politics were discussed at dinner. He finally fell back in to the old standby of "Those who cannot be led, must be pushed." One exchange that comes to mind quite clearly came when our sister and her live-in boyfriend of the time stopped by for dinner. Our parents are not prudes so this was not an unusual thing, and they actually liked ‘Geoffrey’ a lot, despite his socialist take on the human condition.

That evening we were digging in to chicken parmigiana while Geoffrey waxed philosophical on the failure of government to effectively deal with poverty. Dad, never one to pass up a good straight line, began taking him to task over the multiple billions of dollars already spent to aid the poor. What did Geoffrey want to do, throw more good money after bad? Then Geoffrey made the mistake: he asked our father what he thought the government should do.

Dad looked him straight in the eyes and said, "Just make me Emperor for two years. Give me complete control of society and in two years there won’t be any more poor people."

Looking for the entire world like a deer in the headlights of an on-rushing Mack truck Geoffrey asked him how that would happen.

"Simple: After two years the malingerers will have jobs and all the others will have starved."

Our dad is a nice guy. No, really!-- he paid to have Geoffrey’s shirt cleaned after he spit a mouthful of chicken and marinara sauce all over himself.

Eventually our sister was forced back to reality by the Great Equalizer: she got a job, saw all that cash being sucked out of what should have been an impressive paycheck for all her hard work and began to wonder just what she was getting for her money. Welcome back, sis.

The reason that particular episode sticks out is that it was the first time we were clued in to a Basic Truth: where governments are concerned tinkering around the edges rarely fixes problems. Even Thomas Jefferson noted that a healthy government probably needs a good revolution every now and then just to keep it fresh and vital. With everything that is and has been going on in Washington we think this idea deserves a new examination, so here we are to toss out a modest proposal.

First, Presidential Elections are irritating to no end. The heck with this Campaign Finance Reform stuff; let’s just do away with the election all together. Let the Senate elect the President and then he can appoint a Vice President with the approval of the House of Representatives. They’ll serve for six or seven years and then are replaced. We should also ease the rules for removing anyone who turns out to be a bum. This change accomplishes a couple of things: it removes the Presidential Election as a source of corruption, and it restores the proper perspective to the relationship between Congress and the Executive. The Imperial Presidency that most of us have grown up with is a holdover from the end of World War II where the President retained an inordinate amount of power due to the semi-state of war that existed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. This was never the intent of the Founding Fathers who wanted most of the political power to be in the hands of Congress.

As for the Senate, we believe it actually works pretty well as is in that it was designed to be the stabilizing force in the Legislative branch. The House of Representatives is where the real change needs to come. People seem to think that because Representatives only serve two-year terms they have no real power, but nothing could be further from the truth. Collectively the House outweighs the Senate and the Presidency and as such it needs to be more accountable to the people. We would make it so by simply returning it to the people. Do away with elected Representatives and institute a draft.

One fine day, there is a knock on your door. There stand two Federal Marshals. One of them hands you a letter. "Congratulations!" the letter would read, "You have been chosen by the Selective Service Administration to serve your Congressional District as its Representative to the House for a period not to exceed three years." They give you five minutes to pack a small overnight bag, kiss the spouse and kids goodbye, and then bundle you off to do your duty.

We could run a draft every year, replacing a third of the House each time so that there would always be a group of Representatives present who were familiar with the way things worked. As far as restrictions go, limit eligibility to any citizen over age 21 who has not been convicted of a crime in the past five years and we would also suggest that no one be allowed to serve consecutive terms. You might be drafted again (unlikely, given the numbers) but never twice in a row.

A final restriction that is almost always suggested by anyone with whom we have ever discussed this: no lawyers in the House.

Beyond the very simple restrictions we would add dispensations for extreme medical situations and the like, but still make it very difficult to weasel out of serving. We also would need to take a close look at compensation, job retention and the fulfillment of contracts and other obligations that might have been entered in to before the prospective Representative was drafted. While this might seem a daunting task we must remember that we would only need to deal with about 150 people a year. Somehow we have to think that the government has the resources to deal with this.

Why do we like this idea? As we understand it (and we freely admit that we are not Constitutional scholars) the House of Representatives was supposed to be the voice of the Citizen in our government. It was intended that Representatives be ordinary citizens who served a term or two then returned to their normal lives. As anyone can plainly see this is no longer the case and has not been for some time. A drafted House rectifies this situation in a simple, brute-force fashion. Spare me the smarmy, glad-handing politician seeking our vote- we want our Representatives dragged kicking and screaming in to office. They would be housed in comfortable, but relatively inexpensive condos in Washington and when in session the Representatives would wear identical lime-green jump suits with their name stenciled on the front and their Congressional District number on the back.

Assuming we could force this idea through the existing political process, what would the over-all effect be? First, the President would at least have the support of the Senate, and he would be very much aware that he served at the Senate’s pleasure. The President would be merely Commander-In-Chief and leader of the Executive, as the Constitution intended. The House would be about as non-partisan as one could imagine since the selection process would be free of any consideration of party affiliation. The People (that’s all of us) would be spared most of the election year displays of lying and corruption as the only officials actually elected would be the Senators. The country could save a lot of money and angst.

Another very positive effect would be that a lot less would get done in Washington DC. With the House in the hands of citizens unbeholden to any outside forces or special interests, what is the incentive to act on anything but the most critical issues? Remember: it is in the House that all spending and budget bills originate. Who better to assess the costs and predict the benefits of programs than those who struggle day to day to make ends meet and who often find themselves at the mercy of laws passed by a Legislature that felt it just had to ‘Do Something’? It frightens us to think of a Congress that feels it has to make new laws every day to placate its money-laden masters. Furthermore, since we take away the need to keep an eye always turned to the re-election campaign, our Representatives should feel liberated to vote their conscience based on their understanding of the law and the Constitution. We would still have the Supreme Court to correct any egregious mistakes, but since we should see fewer laws being passed in the first place there shouldn’t be too many mistakes to deal with.

A President who is very much aware that he is not king, a House peopled with Representatives from every sector of society, absolutely devoid of the corrupting influences of special interest money and election year grandstanding. Yes, we could enjoy living in that America.
Now, about that pesky 16th Amendment…

Of course, this is not the first time this proposal has been aired. We did managed to get it run on World Net Daily
Some others have claimed that attorney Gerry Spence has also proposed something like this. As I've said more than once, where do you think he got the idea?

UPDATE JAE: Actually, I seem to remember Chan and I kicking this idea around 20 or more years ago. As for the title of the article, well, the first time I used it I somewhat jokingly suggested that the solution to World Pollution was to systematically kill two-thirds of the world's population. I mean, sure, it would work, but... You'd be amazed how many folks out there have never heard of Jonathan Swift!


Racist America?

Anyone out there that thinks that America is an inherently racist nation might want to take a look at a book titled "What's So Great About America" by Dinesh D'Souza. I was made aware of this book in an op-ed column by Thomas Sowell. Those familiar with Sowell will know that he does not suffer fools and is not one to recommend books unless he's read them and understands them, even if he disagrees with the author.

In What's So Great, one of the things that D'Souza talks about is racism and discrimination in America. Or rather, the lack therof. Being a gentleman 'of color', to use an old euphemism, he would understand and have first hand knowledge about both of these problems. D'Souza says "I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it."

Despite what we may have come to believe about America and its legions of racists, it is for the most part a falsehood. I've heard too many people lament the fact that the U.S. is such a terrible place when it comes to race relations. Few of them have ever been outside the U.S. or Canada. If they had, they'd see what a bunch of hogwash all this talk really is.

Western Europe is seen by many (mostly the so-called intelligensia) as a place of tolerance and understanding. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been there many times for business or leisure and found that racism and discrimination are blatant. There is nothing subtle about it. One of the countries closely allied to America is Britain. Many have the impression that the U.K. is a bastion free of racism. However I have witnessed just the opposite.

I was visiting friends of mine in the U.K this past January. 'Jim' and 'Ellen' are some of the nicest and finest people you could ever meet. Ellen is the stereotypical English matron-- fair white skin, rosy cheeks, lovely white hair, and sparkling eyes. Jim is a swarthy, dark eyed, handsome man, his hair and beard just going grey, and a perfectly perverse British sense of humor. He is also of 'mixed' race, made up of English, Italian, Portugese, and Malaysian blood. He looks no different than many older American men walking the beaches in, say, Florida. However, Ellen has been accosted many times by her supposedly tolerant fellow Britons for marrying a 'colored fella'. This in a supposedly non-racist country?

Asia is even worse. A friend that I work with is originally from Taiwan. He has seen the ugly face of racism many times. Not in Texas where he lived and went to college, but in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and a number of other eastern Asian countries. And not just against whites and blacks, but against other Asian ethnic groups. He stayed here because he didn't want his kids raised in such a place. He's also made a success of himself, working hard, studying hard, and now living the American Dream with a home of his own in a nice neighborhood in a nice town in central New Hampshire.

So now the questions some of the apologists and purveyors of victimhood must ask themselves before they start their Racist America rant are:

If America is such a bad place, then why are so many people trying so hard to get here?

If the deck is stacked againts non-whites, then why do so many immigrants of other races do so well here?

Welcome to Racist America..........