Do tell…

30 12 2008
Christmas day the Washington Post had on it’s front page a story about Obama and his workout:
“The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.”The subtitle of the piece is “Gym Workouts Help Obama Carry the Weight of His Position.”
But Los Angeles Times writer Jonathan Chait had this to say, “Am I the only person who finds this disturbing? . . . What I mean is the fact that [he] has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy.” Recounting how [he] ran 3.5 miles a day and preached more cross-training to a federal judge.
“Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?” he jeered. “It’s nice …that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does.”Why the difference? Why would the Washington Post praise Obama so over his physical fitness when the LA Times writer was so very critical? I wonder…, could it be the fact that the Post was writing about their new Super Hero, Barack Obama, while the Los Angeles Times article was done a few years back, and written about George W. Bush? Hmmm.

There is a simple truth here. If they like you, you can virtually do no wrong. If they don’t like you, it really doesn’t matter what you do.

The press has never really been free of bias, but they have never been quite so blunt about it as now. A few years back we’d never have referred to a “liberal media” or a “conservative media”, even if there had been such a thing. Once upon a time the press was out to dig dirt where they could find it, because that’s what sold newspapers and selling newspapers was their business. Now, apparently, that must not be where the money is.

And their business this last election cycle was in displaying their muscle. They wanted to put their editorial page out front. I’m surprised that they didn’t literally do that, put their editorials on page one. You gotta believe they wanted to.

Sadly it would seem, it didn’t quite work out, as with opinions, well, like other things – everybody’s got one. And there are plenty enough to go around… so they don’t ‘sell’ very well. Prospects in the newspaper business have never been this low.

Maybe if they would have just stuck to the news… Choosing sides might not be a good business plan when there is cash money involved. There are plenty of channels on the TV, enough for everybody.


Thanks RightWingSparkle


Love, political style

29 12 2008
Someone once said that marriage was like fine dinning. You’d look over the menu and see just what you thought you wanted and make your pick. And you’d be perfectly satisfied, too, until you saw what the guy at the next table had and you’d wish you’d have ordered that. While that might not be entirely true it does have some merit. People can be awful fickle.

I was over on Cassy Fiano’s blog and came across an interesting article by Joel Stein. In it he pondered why it was that conservatives seemed to have such a deep love for America while he, and most other liberals, only “liked” the country. At least they (liberals) don’t ‘love’ their country in the same sense that conservatives seem to.

Stein – “I don’t love America. That’s what conservatives are always telling liberals like me. Their love, they insist, is truer, deeper and more complete. Then liberals, like all people who are accused of not loving something, stammer, get defensive and try to have sex with America even though America will then accuse us of wanting it for its body and not its soul. When America gets like that, there’s no winning.”


“But I’ve come to believe conservatives are right. They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws. But calling your wife fat isn’t love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for.”

It’s always stuck me as sad that people can grow up here in American an not acknowledge what a blessing that truly is. No, we’re not perfect, but we are closer than most want to give us credit for.

To silly old me it’s kind of like your alma matter or a sports team you root for. “We’re number 1! We’re number 1!” Maybe we didn’t win all the games, but we’ve always come out on top. And I don’t care who you are, France, Sweden, whoever, you and I both know it. And we both know that when it hit’s the fan everybody will be looking to us here in the good old US of A. I don’t have the least bit of trouble acknowledging that. Liberals seem to.

Liberals, it would seem, always want to dig up the faults. And yes, we do have faults. But instead of working to rid us of those faults while maintaining a lot of the perfections that we surely have, they want to chop us off and bring us down to some common level. As if we’ve no right to be better than anybody and if we can’t make them equal to us we’ll do what we can to lower ourselves to make them more equal. But the world isn’t a level playing field. Never will be.

Conservatives, on the other hand, strive to build a better world through ways that benefit. Benefit us, benefit them. But don’t forget, we love us best and we are perfectly satisfied to keep us first in the pecking order of things. Liberals don’t think that is right. They tend to believe that if others can’t rise, then America has no right to its lofty perch. Thing is, none of this was given to us. America earned its way and it’s place. Something liberals seem to overlook.

Stein goes on to quote from a conversation he had with Glenn Beck on conservative love of country. “It’s absolutely true, deep love. As a parent loves a child,” Beck said. “But I think liberals laugh that off, the way the rest of the country laughs off the love Texans have for their state. Texans don’t think, ‘Oklahoma, you suck.’ Well, yes they do — but they don’t think other states suck. They just have a love for the republic of Texas.”

Beck’s right, conservative do love this country very much in the way a parent loves their child. While we’re not blind to its problems we know its potential, because we know OUR potential. And our potential has been proven time and time again, where much of the rest of the world…, well I could make a list, but so could you.

Glenn Beck goes on to say in Stein’s article, “If I were born in Great Britain and read about Britain and America, I’d love the values and principles and the men who founded this country,” he said. “I love that we crossed these mountains and didn’t know what was on the other side. I love that the Pilgrims didn’t want to come here, but they came here because they felt prompted to by God. There’s always been a spirit of adventure and awe in this land. And I don’t think any other country has that.”

That’s a big part of who we are and what we love about our country. Nothing can hold us back. Liberals like limits. Love to restrict, and control. Conservative love the opportunity and the risk and the chance to make it happen, or fail. But if we fail it isn’t for lack of trying. Liberals don’t trust each other enough to take the risk. They want the outcome and the benefits, but don’t want the risk involved. So they so often opt to maintain the status quo. Or use your sweat for the benefit of others.

Stein says, “Conservatives feel personally blessed to have been born in the only country worth living in. I, on the other hand, just feel lucky to have grown up in a wealthy democracy. If it had been Australia, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Israel or one of those Scandinavian countries with more relaxed attitudes toward sex, that would have been fine with me too.”… “This doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated by American history, impressed by our Constitution or don’t appreciate our optimism and entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, I love everything [FOX’s Sean] Hannity listed on his TV special other than Madonna. But there are plenty of things I don’t like about America: our foreign policy, our religious fundamentalism, our provincialism, our intellectual laziness, our acceptance of sweat suits in public.”

On Stein’s article Cassy writes, “I understand the point of the column. It’s a criticism. We’re “blinded” by love to the point where we don’t even see America’s flaws. But that’s not quite true. I see them, as do many conservatives. But unlike liberals, that’s not all I see. I look at America and love her for everything she is, both the good and the bad. I look at my country, and despite the mistakes we have made and inevitably will continue to make, still know that this is the freest, best country on the face of the Earth, know that anyone from anywhere in the world can come here and build a good life for themselves if they’re only willing to work hard and play by the rules, that America will always stand for freedom and justice and democracy.”

Cassy Fiano gets it. Sadly, most liberals won’t. They’ll go on living in a world that they only see succeeding when they can mitigate, accommodate, control, take away, and give away whatever it is they think will lead to more well balanced and equal world. Even if that means less freedom. Less liberty. Less quality of life. For some at least. If not most.

Yes, I want to see a better world. I don’t want to see suffering and starvation and heartbreak. But I think it can be achieved through innovation and hard work and through shining this light of liberty and freedom to all the world and showing them just what can be accomplished when people are allowed the opportunity. Not through reformulation and redistribution.





December 25th

25 12 2008

Merry Christmas!

Today we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, sent to us, God’s children, to redeem and give salvation. Jesus, Savior. The greatest gift of all.

May your day be all you wish it to be!


Daily reading.

18 12 2008

Do you read Conservative Grapevine? John Hawkins compilation of great posts from around the more conservative areas of the blogosphere. Aaah, you should!

There you’ll find some great great stuff. Like today’s article with the quote – “We could find pictures of Obama spooning Blagojevich on a bed of cash and the MSM would respond by launching a hard-hitting investigation to find out exactly which pairs of Sarah Palin’s pumps were purchased by the RNC.”  at ‘America Needs Me’ blog by Stephen Kruiser.

That’s just one, there plenty more like it every day of the week. Not great quotes maybe… but great articles anyway.

It’s a resource I use like a reference book. If you can’t find it there you can find where to go to find it there. I’ve found some wonderful blogs there and I wanted to pass some of them on to you. They are well worth the read.

Althouse Ann Althouse is a Law Professor from Madison Wisconsin. Always good stuff found on her blog.

Atlas Shrugs Pamela Geller is female, Jewish, and in their face. While her blog is mostly of the perspective of Jewish concerns and what’s happening in that forum, that forum is perhaps one of the most important in its pertaining to world events. Israel and America have always been important friends of each others, and in a world of growing Islamic radicalism, its good to keep an eye there. Geller relates it well to the conservative world. Always informative about the stuff your not likely to get informed about too much.

Cassy Fiano I’ve just recently discovered Cassy and am really enjoying her blog. She describes herself as a twenty something Florida native. Ms. Fiano is a REAL journalist. Smokin’ Hot Commentary, yes, I think so.

Gateway Pundit Don’t know who. Don’t know why. One of my favorites.

Girl on the Right Canada Girl, Wendy Sullivan. Complex. Rude. Wonderful. Funny as hell. Right. Always interesting. Yes, Conservative Girls ARE Hot!

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds is a great source for all kinds of stuff. Another Law Professor. University Of Tennessee. One bad cancels out the other bad doesn’t it? Leaves you with something good.

Dr. Melissa Clouthier Born in Michigan, now residing in Texas, the good Doctor brings some good insight and commentary to the blogosphere. She also blogs for Right Wing News , John Hawkins Conservative News and Views.

Rightwing Sparkle Another Texas lady, she’s a writer and ex-actress, and she’s another that I’m glad to have found. You’ll find some great stuff there.

And if you want to read some of the best conservative viewpoints and opinion you got to go to Townhall There you’ll find authors such as Ed Feulner, Dave Ramsey, Cal Thomas, Ann Coulter, Michael Reagan, Thomas Sowell, George Will, Brent Bozell III, Walter E. Williams, etc., etc. Some of the best and brightest minds of conservatism.

There are plenty more I go to daily as I visit almost everyone on my blog roll. I usually start my day first, however, with Hawkin’s Conservative Grapevine and if your interested in politics it would be a good place for you to check out daily too. And it’s not just for politics either. John Hawkins has a pretty eclectic mix there for you. Yes indeed, I do enjoy Conservative Grapevine.

And pay no never mind that most of these blogs are from women. For some reason there is some kind of purer insight or something there. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m glad I found them.


CEO’s and Car Czar’s…

15 12 2008
All this rhetoric on the car companies, it’s almost become mass hysteria, or some kind of mob mentality. And nobody seems to be looking out for the little guy here. The guy that put in his life’s work, expecting a fair return for it all.

What exactly IS the car companies fault anyway? Haven’t they been giving us exactly what we asked for? Supply and demand, we asked, they delivered. Nobody forced those big SUV’s on us. Nobody made anybody buy a Hummer, or a big four door extended cab 4WD F-250 with a big motor. We wanted one. We wanted the comfort of a Crown Vic and the power of a big V8. That’s not the car companies fault.

Most of the problems that the car companies face are systemic and originated long before any of the current “3 CEO’s” ever took over those companies. In fact, at least two of them I understand to be fairly new on the job and HAVE made some changes necessary to the companies long term survival. However, and who ever, those changes couldn’t be made fast enough to keep up with the economic situation nor the gasoline shortage and accompanying huge price increase. The troubles that the American automobile manufactures face come from a massive pension system that lacks solvency, Union contracts that limit necessary moves the company’s need to make to expand or retract or change with the times, and a multitude of regulations and standards and ever-changing ‘political’ requirements that have to be met. Those don’t come cheaply. And toss in those skyrocketing oil prices we had… well, it doesn’t take a genius.

People, especially congressmen, attacking them for using corporate jets is somewhat Don Quixotesq. Those people, if you figure what they make in salary and turn that into an hourly rate, flying a corporate aircraft makes a lot more sense. Like the old saying, time is money, and if they are that important so as to earn that much money would it be wise to have them standing around an airport waiting for an Airliner which may or may not be on schedule, a schedule that may or may not be convenient, or direct. Sure, maybe they could have all pooled the trip, but were their agendas all the same? Their schedules concurrent? Maybe so. Maybe not.

If You fly a lot you’ve probably had your frustrations with it. Certainly you can appreciate the convenience of being able to move at your on pace and schedule. I have both a friend and also a future son-in-law that are both corporate pilots (so maybe I have a bit of bias here). My friend tells me often about plans and destinations that constantly change with the needs of the company he works for. Sometimes a there and back trip ends up going to four or five different plants and dealerships (heavy equipment, not car). Last minute changes to destinations or schedules is common. Flying on airlines can’t accommodate that.

Somebody asked on the radio why those “little” cars they see in Europe aren’t available here in the states. After all, some are even American brands. That’s true. The answer is that those cars are built for the European market and designed for the European standard and many of them aren’t allowed by our government to be sold here because even though they ARE American brands, they don’t meet American standards. The same reason you don’t see many of the foreign brands imported here. The answer is government, not the car companies.

Again, as far as corporate CEO’s are concerned, or bailouts for that matter, Thomas Sowell had some real good comments on that:

“In the midst of a major national financial crisis, what was one of the first things Congress zeroed in on? The pay of Chief Executive Officers of financial institutions.

If all those CEOs agreed to work for nothing, that would not be enough to lower the bailout money by one percent. Anyone who was really serious would start with the 99 percent and let the one percent come later, if at all.”

“But however insignificant the pay of CEOs is economically, it is big stuff politically. Whatever the shortcomings of the Democrats, they are consistent in their message, and class envy is a great part of that message.”

“What really sets some people off is the fact that a CEO who has mismanaged some corporation into losing billions of dollars is rewarded with a severance package worth millions.

Think about it. If the CEO’s decisions are costing the company billions, it is a bargain to get him out the door immediately for millions, rather than having his departure delayed by either internal struggles or battles in the courts.

It is the same principle if you are married to someone who is impossible to live with. The divorce may cost far more than the marriage– and still be worth every cent of it.”

“Politically imposed limits on the pay of CEOs is one of the most penny-wise and pound-foolish things that can be done. The difference between a top-notch CEO and a second-rate CEO can be billions of dollars on the bottom line.

That is what drives up the pay of CEOs. If you want someone who will be top-notch in running organizations as huge and complex as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is no point offering $5 million a year if similar enterprises elsewhere are paying $20 million for people with the kind of ability required.

Who is going to take a $15 million pay cut to go run these enterprises, in addition to having to put up with politicians?”

“The money that can be saved by limiting CEO pay is chump change compared to the money that can be lost because you cannot attract top-notch talent.

Congress itself is a classic example of what can happen when penny-wise policies restrict the caliber of people who can be attracted.

No top-level doctor, lawyer, economist, engineer or CEO can become a member of Congress without taking a big pay cut, perhaps costing that person’s family millions of dollars over a lifetime.”

“…if you paid every member of Congress a million dollars a year, it would cost less than the cost of even a small government boondoggle, much less a whole agency.

It is not that the turkeys in Congress today deserve a raise. They don’t even deserve their current pay. But that is the very reason for attracting different people. Cheap politicians are actually very expensive and the same principle applies to CEOs.” 


And probably the best of all –

“Government bailouts are like potato chips: You can’t stop with just one.” – Thomas Sowell
Change certainly needs to come. But it needs to come with reasoned approaches and well thought out plans, not quick rabble roused demands for immediate actions that are of little real consequence or effect. Rushing to a solution can do no more than be a band-aid approach, and if these problems are to be actually solved its gonna take a bit more than politically popular calls to arms and actions.

Perhaps those CEO’s really do need to go. Maybe they should be listened to and give time to come up with solutions. And maybe our government needs to back off these companies and give them the ability to solve there own problems before creating even more burdensome regulation and controls. The free market is best when allowed to operate freely. Almost every one of these problems that we face today stem from government interference in the first place. What’s the government track record on running enterprises anyway? How do we judge that? The Post Office… Social Security adm…

Before we draw lines in the sand on stuff like bail-outs and such, we need to examine the very real consequences to whatever we do. Who would do the suffering, who would come out ahead? Are we cutting our nose off to spite our face? There are literally hundreds of questions to be address before we say yea or nay about how to spend our collective money. Throwing out rhetoric about golden parachutes and corporate aircraft may make good press, but does it do anything other than distract from the actual concern and taint the issue? We can’t afford to rush to judgment. We need to know where the blame really lies before we can figure out how to fix it, or by who.




Articles by Thomas Sowell can be found at Townhall,




11 12 2008
As a conservative I believe that government should stay as far away from interfering with the marketplace as it possibly can. As I’ve stated before, I’m not what you’d call a libertarian, for I do believe that there is a place at the table for government as far as making things more efficient and easier for the citizenry to function for the mutual benefit of each other. After all, that’s why you have governments in the first place isn’t it? The common good. But only so far. As I said, the less government interference the better.
Government, on the federal level, should limit itself to building roads and bridges and dams and assure our protection from outside forces. Make sure we play fair with each other. Make sure others play fair with us. Laws, regulations, and programs that go farther than that should be pretty much limited to the state and local level where the citizen has more control.

Our constitution was designed to limit the government in both size and power, but over the years we the people have allowed it to escape those boundaries. And we are now seemingly disembarking on an even more comprehensive expansion of federal power in both size and shape. Troubling? To me, yes it is.

I don’t like the idea of Governmental Bailouts of private enterprise. Especially when that “bailout” comes with the price of more Federal control. More control of ‘them’ means more control of ‘us’. But…

Now we find a huge industry in trouble. And with that trouble comes the inevitable witch hunt that Washington so loves. Detroit, with hat in hand, comes a ‘calling for your and my tax dollars. Tax dollars from a wallet that is getting more and more thin. Times being what they are we all just about choked at the thought. Yet, I’m torn.

With the one hand government giveth, and as always, with the other it taketh away. When has it never been so. And so, here too Washington wants something for its efforts. Control.

The witch hunt begin in the press as quick as it did on the hill. The audacity (the new ‘pop’ word for our everchanging political culture) of those chairmen from those car companies coming to D.C. with there hand out and arriving in PRIVATE JETS! You could practically see people keeling over all around the place. The horror of it all. The…, the…, audacity! Those guys had two and a half strikes against them going in.

Now I could at this point break it down for you and show that time being money and the dollars these guys make and what they cost per minute to just exist and tell you all about the efficiency of time management and speeds involved and waiting and flexibility and how overall it probably saved their companies stockholders a fairly nice sum of money to actually take those corporate aircraft instead of flying by airline (they drove the second trip, by the way), but you probably don’t want to hear much about the reality of corporate flying… it “looks” bad, and ‘perception’ is so very important, …so we’ll skip that part of the lunacy of it all.

One major argument that I’ve heard over the last few weeks is all about the inefficiency of the Big 3 and how they don’t produce the cars that people want to buy and how the management is like dinosaurs and… well that’s more than one major argument, but we’ve just piled and piled on the blame and pointed the fingers and tsk, tsked them to near death. But in reality, just how much of that is true?

First, those car companies have been up until recently building us, the car buying public, just exactly what we wanted. WE wanted those big SUV’s and such. Nobody forced anybody to buy a Hummer or a monster four door truck. We asked, they delivered. We didn’t want iddy ibby gas savers till when? When the price of gas skyrocketed. And when we wanted them they couldn’t deliver. Not on the cheap anyhow.

So, is all this their fault? Not entirely. Not even mostly. Have you got any idea how long it takes to design, test, and certify a new car? Do you have any inkling of the regulations that a car must meet? An overnight process it isn’t.

It wasn’t their fault that gas prices skyrocketed. That mostly lay on the shoulders of Washington. It was the housing market that screwed up the credit markets. Who’s fault was that? Again, Washington D.C.

Well, you say, they’ve had plenty of time to prepare. We’ve known about a coming energy shortage for a while now. True, and they do hold a good bit of fault there, but in reality they’ve had cars that fit that mold for years and we didn’t buy them in any kind of numbers. So when the price of gasoline shot up the facilities weren’t there to jump up and run. It takes time to retrofit and modernize, and that’s what it takes to swap a plant from one model to another. Time. And time they did not have.

Besides, they have been steadily working at change. Ford has vastly improved its efficiency class vehicles and made huge improvements in safety. GM lost an entire line – Oldsmobile. Engineering at all of them has blossomed. Take a look at some of the new innovations and that’s plain to see. Motors that turn parts of themselves on and off… computerized fuel management, even the design and production of hybrids has come a long long way in just a short time.

This all leads to why I’m torn about the bailout. A huge part of Detroit’s problem isn’t Detroit, it’s Washington D.C.

I heard in the news a fairly shocking thing, yet I already knew it. Just hearing it again in this context , though… To buy a ‘American’ car costs you two thousand dollars right up front. $2,000.00 Just to buy American.

We’ve burdened our American Car Companies with huge amounts of regulations and taxes and a ineffective way of doing business that has cost them any advantage their product being “American Made” has. Many of their product aren’t even American Made anymore, because it cost to much to make them here in America. That’s terrible. And a waste.

We’ve force fed them Union labor and told them to like it. They have a legacy that goes back years and years of benefits and cost that have grown now to a point that is exceeding their ability to control. And our government hasn’t provided them with anywhere near a level playing field internationally.

The cost to design and develop a new model, configure a factory to build, then bring that car to the market is huge. Huge, before even the first one is sold. There no real way to test the waters with these products. You build it and hope they come. Most of the time they do come…, sometimes they don’t.

One perspective that we as conservatives have lost in this is that a lot of what we need to change with those companies is going to come in human costs. The Union’s? Well, they may renegotiate, but they are not gonna just take a hike. We need to keep ourselves aware of that as this process goes forward. This is gonna cost people jobs and money.

It’s a very risky thing, no matter which way it goes, especially for us republicans. We walk the razors edge with this. If we bail out those companies we stand to be the fall guy when election time comes for allowing our tax dollars to be used for that. And if we force these companies into bankruptcy, and that goes bad and costs large job losses, maybe the loss of an entire industry, we will catch the blame for that. Even the dollar cost to companies that that hold credit with these companies could be huge, and that cost could be widespread, even if the Big 3 are saved. And the lowering of compensation for their employees will be a burden that will reflect back in the future.

Even if the Big 3 are saved other related businesses and industries might not be.

Remember, those things that “could have been” become meaningless with time. That we might have “saved” those companies will matter little to those that lose anything at all in this.

Do we bail them out? That’s NOT the American way. Do we not bail them out? Well, it is a good bit our fault that they are here, doing the asking.

I’m torn.





The Economic Downturn?

6 12 2008
I know it’s there… somewhere. I read it in the papers and see the reports on television. All the layoffs (always at the holidays!!!), the huge numbers of layoffs! So I know good and well that bad times are upon us. It must be true. I believe…, it has to be true.

The last two weekends I did a somewhat (a whole lot) unscientific poll. In fact you might want to call it a search. I’ve looked at Wal-Mart and Fred’s and the local grocery store. Today I searched Jackson Mississippi over. It wasn’t at the Bass Pro Shop, that’s for sure. Not at Target. Couldn’t find it at Belk’s. It was hidden well in the parking lot at the Mall I guess, for if it was there you sure couldn’t see any sign of it. Kirkland’s… not there. Gamestop? Nope. Best Buy…it wasn’t there either. Not to be seen on the highway, coming or going.

Yep, for over a week I’ve looked and looked for any sign of an bad economy, and I sure couldn’t see it…, though it HAS to be there.

I’ve always said this part of the country runs a bit behind the rest of the country, so I guess it just hasn’t hit home around these parts yet. But we’ll survive it, probably better than most. We’re used to hard times. Bad economy is kind’s status quo around here.