December 31, 2012

Happy 2013 Everyone!

Wishing all of you a happy new year and a wonderful and successful 2013.

December 30, 2012

Descent Trajectory 2013-2016

I've been game theory playing out some of the scenarios for the fiscal cliff negotiations and I could not come to any outcome where the negotiations were successful prior to hitting the cliff deadline.  What I was able to conclude, was that it's not a cliff.  If it truly were a cliff, there would not be negotiations, only action to halt it. If you were in a car headed towards a cliff, you would not be in a debate about whether to turn the steering wheel or hit the brakes.  So take as a given that a deal does not get reached - barring complete capitulation by the Republicans, which seems to be not entirely out of the question.  Indeed at this point even if enough Republicans were to side with Democrats, it's too late to stop the car going over the cliff Thelma and Louise style.

Succinct Summary of 2012

In short, 2012 sucked from a conservative perspective.  America re-elected the wrong guy.  If all you want to read is the headline, you can stop there.  But slightly less succinct is the following summary.

There were some horrible shootings in Connecticut and Colorado.   While this part is not news, liberal Democrats blamed the guns rather than the shooters. 

Republicans nominated a weak nominee in one Mitt Romney.  While this part was completely predictable, many conservatives thought on the strength of one VP selection, one conservative speech and one good debate soundly defeating Obama, he was suddenly a cinch to win the White House.

Not Mayans, it's Democrats' debt that flood America.
Despite massive unemployment and crushing new Obama-induced debt, President Obama won the White House, proving many polls correct and many polls wrong.  What happened to the polls?  Predictably Republicans were left scratching their heads.

Meanwhile Republicans maintained control of the Congress and Democrats kept the Senate.   America, foolishly voted for the status quo.  Foolishly? Yes, because...

Finally, the fiscal cliff on the Bush Tax rates and government spending cap and the sequester mandated cuts to the military and social programs looms with only days left to reach an agreement.  President Obama seems to be fine with the cliff diving.  He has tactical reasons to be okay with it.  Meanwhile Republicans will not come out of this looking good.  They look disorganized, they're still being unfairly portrayed as the party looking out for the rich rather than for everyone, and they are going to get caught seemingly reactive to new plans from the president.

Meanwhile in foreign affairs, the world became a much less safe place because president Nobel Peace Prize,  Captain Capitulate & Apologize just doesn't get it.  Everything else, from the Mayan Apocalypse to Whitney Houston is not that relevant. 

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my readers and friends.and a belated Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers and friends.

December 21, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse Check-In

It's been a bit longer than I'd like since I've posted - I've been busy with family stuff and getting ready for Christmas.  But I thought it'd be worth checking in and letting you know that I'm still here and as far as this portion of the planet goes, the Mayan Apocalypse has not yet happened.

Not happening.
On the downside, my PVR is freezing up today, but hey, that's nothing to worry about unless I end up missing something worth recording.

Also, not happening.
Barring some global catastrophe in the next 11+ hours (or even fewer in the Eastern Hemisphere) I'll be back soon to talk about the real threat - the fiscal apocalypse better (but inaccurately) known as the fiscal cliff.

You might not get to see Emilio Estevez fighting a demonic clown truck, but you might see a significant, personal financial impact that you won't be happy with.  It will go beyond the fiscal budget.  It will mean giving up something tangible and personal.  And if you don't choose, as a nation something specific to cut back on, the choice will be made for you by elected representatives and it won't be pleasant.

Apologies for the tangent. Enjoy the rest of the Mayan Apocalypse.

December 17, 2012

Newtown tragedy leads liberals to jump the gun

It's saddening when there's a tragedy, particularly one involving children.  I have children and I cannot imagine a world where they are taken away, particularly by senseless violence.  My prayers and thoughts are with those victims' families in Newtown, Connecticut.

But progressives have, forgive the expression, jumped the gun in their response to this act of senseless violence by a disturbed individual.
CREDO, a progressive grassroots group, is organizing a march on the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. Monday.

"After the shooter Adam Lanza, no one is more to blame for the massacre of 20 first graders and six women at the Sandy Hook Elementary School than the National Rifle Association," CREDO wrote on the Facebook page where the march is being organized. "To stop the senseless killing we must first stop the NRA."
Here's why they've jumped the gun:

(1) This tragedy requires a period of mourning not an immediate finger pointing crusade.

(2) No one is more to blame than the NRA?  REALLY? No one is more to blame than the guy who did the killing.  Claiming the NRA as the primary culprit is immoral, misleading and self-serving hyper-partisanship. 

(3)  They're planning a march on the NRA.  Again it's premature given the first two points but more importantly it is another example of the left's attempts to demonize opponents and divide the nation.  To do so using this tragedy as a reason is downright disgusting.

(4) It's not clear how far they want to take this effort, but it's not hard to imagine the absurd extent that they could take it.  Assault rifles have to go.  And then hand guns.  And then hunting rifles. And then archery equipment and knives.  And then any type of poison that could be used instead of a gun after guns are prohibited.  And then anything that could be used to manufacture poisons.  Where does it stop?

I'll admit, guns can make mass murder easier, but would have a gun ban prevented this tragedy or others?  Perhaps the form the tragedy took but not the evil intent.  Killers have used guns in countries where they are banned.  Mass murderers have used all sorts of instruments, even Tylenol and Kool Aid.

Knee-jerk reactions we've come to expect do not make the tragedy preventable.  They're designed to make those who believe certain things feel better about themselves in light of a horrific tragedy, that's all.

December 13, 2012

FAT: Defending the problem, is the problem.

This morning I was looking around Facebook and I came across what was meant to be a humorous picture that spawned a string of comments in response that were certainly not humorous in nature.  In fact they were a fairly serious discussion.  What it struck me as was a specific example of what is wrong with America.

You can probably guess what conversation the picture (below) started.

December 11, 2012

A Re-org is in Order

I've been both too busy and too tired to blog the way that the epic win of socialism in the United States this past November has demanded. As far too many people in the United States seem content to soak their realities in a political morphine as the country drifts into a coma.  The country more than ever needs people explaining the problem to those who have become addicted to the easy answers and the false ring of the claim that nothing is terribly wrong.  The country needs a wake-up call.

My voice should be one of the many harping on that message, but my day job - survival - keeps getting in the way.  Maybe I should just keep quietly going about my own efforts at bettering myself in hopes that as America and the rest of the Western world succumb to socialism, China, debt, decaying morality and increasingly bold and aggressive national adversaries, I can further my relative position as compared to those who wish to live off the government's phony largess.  When the time comes, a socialist government will need people who can do things as much as any capitalist government does.  But, that's not my motivation. 

December 9, 2012

Open letter to American liberals

America was forged as a nation out of a legitimate distrust of government.  The The English King was replaced with a government that deliberately was designed to impede its own ability to infringe upon the rights of its citizens and its states.  For many people, over two centuries that distrust of government has ceded ground to a distrust of business - particularly big business.  Perhaps that's because for so long the government has done such a great job of restraining itself because of the decentralized nature of its power structure.

Think about it.  The Constitution has limited the powers of the federal government to those enumerate powers not given to the states.  The rights of citizens and states are paramount.  Further, the government has spread the power out between three branches - executive, legislative and judiciary.  Each have powers distinct from each other, and the legislative branch is split further between the Congress and the Senate.  In order to prevent tampering with the Constitution, the ability to make Amendments requires a really high bar be cleared.

Yet over time the interpretation of the Constitution has been the workaround that has allowed the government to encroach on the liberties of the states and the people of America.  Maybe that doesn't matter to you because you are one of the people who believe that the government has needed to encroach upon the unfettered excess of business that might otherwise take advantage of uninformed, innocent consumers.  Business is inherently dangerous because it will do anything to make money, including breaking the law, cutting corners and being unfair to customers.

But is that a fair portrayal of business?  Businesses are comprised of people making decisions.  So what you believe then is that people are self-interested to the point of being a potential danger to society.  That's a highly debatable point, but let's grant it for now.  People make bad societal decisions out of self-interest.

But it begs a question.  The government, which is supposed to be the overseer of fairness is fundamentally comprised of what?  People.  Business is made up of people and government is made up of people too.  The same self-interested people.  The people in government are not a better breed of altruistic people than everyone else.  They are people too.  They may have different motivations but they are still flawed.

If you work in government, what does self-interest look like? Job security?  Power?  It's not that different than business.

So how is it that you believe that government is immune to the supposed evil that you ascribe to business?  In fact, because government has a much greater 'mass' than business, its capacity for anti-societal decision-making is even greater.  Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot were not business moguls.  They were leaders of governments with overly centralized powers.  The United States has decentralized its decision-making power but the trend over its history has been to re-centralize its powers is undeniable.  Even without fully centralized powers some pretty autocratic decisions get made on a regular basis.

And the power to make gross errors in decisions is especially true when the power resides in those not spending their own money.  That's why you see $2000 toilet seats on the government balance sheet.  That`s true whether the decisions are made by an autocratic cabal with a tiny locus of power or by a vast faceless bureaucracy.  

No one would argue that government has no place in society, but you have granted by commission or omission of action far too much power to the government sector of society.  There is an imbalance.  The inevitable outcome of the trend towards centralized power is Julius Caesar, or Hitler or Stalin.    It`s time you reconsidered your motivation and your vote.

December 8, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - More Thatcher

Saturday Learning Series, continued from last week, on Margaret Thatcher. Here's episode 2.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

To be continued.  Maybe....

December 7, 2012

Tracking The Unemployment Rate

Today the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7%, surprising people, modestly, with the slightly better than expected result.  There's danger for conservatives in tracking the unemployment rate too closely.  With such a high unemployment rate we expected Obama to lose the election - he didn't, defying the odds as far as unemployment is concerned.  

There other other reasons not to fixate on the unemployment rate.

December 4, 2012

Republican and conservatives paths must diverge

My ability to post of late continues to be seriously compromised by real life.  As I've mentioned before that is both fortunate and unfortunate.  Lately, it's been more unfortunate than fortunate but I have managed to distill some learnings down to a more consumable amount for readers - I just haven't put fingers to keyboard yet.

One of the more salient learnings is that the paths for the GOP and for conservatives and/or libertarians must by nature of the respective needs, must diverge.  That is not to say that the strategic goals of both have diverged - far from it, regardless of how the current GOP braintrust is behaving.  Rather, working towards the same goals for America requires Republicans and conservative citizens take different paths, and cover different ground, to get to where things need to be for 2014 and 2016.

December 1, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Thatcher

Forget Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher.  This documentary tells the story of her conservatism and success in a far better way.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

Part 6.

To be continued.
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