Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who won the Orlando GOP debate?

From best to worst, based on who did the most to further their chances to win the nomination:

1. Mitt Romney. HUGE night for him, and he hit it out of the park.  He killed Perry, and for him that counts more than anything else.

2. Herman Cain. His best night so far. In fact, he's been improving dramatically with every debate. He came out of nowhere -- the only real "outsider", who has never held political office, and now he's competitive with any candidate on that stage, and did better than anyone except Romney. No surprise if he surges in the polls after tonight.

3. Gary Johnson. Being the low man on the totem pole, he got shafted with time. But crowd reaction to him was great, and he had the most memorable line of the night. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a presidential debate. He came across as a serious, and in my opinion far better, libertarian alternative to Ron Paul. The other networks did our country a great disservice by not including him in the previous debates.

4. Michelle Bachmann. She did very well tonight. Every answer was on target and well thought-out. And she didn't claim that vaccines cause mental retardation. Her best performance yet. She's a serious candidate but still hurt by her lack of executive experience.

5. Rick Santorum. Maybe just because he was given disproportionate time relative to his position in the polls. His attacks against Romney were hard and effective. As were his attacks against Huntsman. He is a consistently good debater, though he gets too emotional at times.  His fumbling answer on DADT was a low point. He had a rehearsed answer, and when the moderators threw him a curve ball, he stumbled big time.

6. Ron Paul. He did relatively well in this debate. No gaffes -- or perceived gaffes, I should say, since he means everything he says 100%. But he did a good job explaining his hard libertarian positions, at least better than he usually does given the limitation to short sound-bites.

7. Newt Gingrich. He's the smartest guy on the stage, and always comes across that way. Nobody dares attack him, and it is beneath him to attack anyone. Every answer is close to perfection, but he sounds academic. Like he's the teacher and the other candidates his students, and his responses sound more like he's giving his opponents advice, rather than trying to win it himself. Newt would make a great President, but I think his destiny lies elsewhere.

8. Jon Huntsman. He basically rehashed his performance from the last debate, when he needed to step up his game big time. He looks presidential. He sounds presidential. He has some good policy positions. But his answers seem to lack substance, and his "America's core is rotten" line was effectively eviscerated by Santorum. Maybe he's coming across as too much of a politician to gain significant support in this election cycle.

9. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, Rick Perry. He did not do well at all. In fact, he was forgettable. The attacks against him were more memorable than his responses. His answer on Pakistan made no sense. His answer on Social Security made no sense. He was the only candidate without a specific economic plan, and he admitted it! His answers all boiled down to "look what I did in Texas". Yeah but man, you're not running for Governor of Texas anymore; you're running for President of the USA. That crap is not going to cut it. He's not ready for the big leagues.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is Google hiding Jon Huntsman's campaign website?

Jon Huntsman's official campaign website ( does not appear anywhere in the first 5 pages of Google search results for "Jon Huntsman 2012". In Bing search, it is the very top hit. Is Google is deliberately hiding Huntsman's website in an attempt to hurt his campaign?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obama: Return to the spinning wheel to grow our economy

President Obama just blamed our high unemployment rate on "companies learning to become much more efficient".  Apparently we need to be inefficient to save our economy!  We need to roll back industrialization.  Think of all the jobs we'll create if we abandon automation and the assembly line and go back to the days of 100% manual labor!  Sure it'll take a week of labor on the spinning wheel to make that new shirt you want, but wow will it get our economy growing!

Ugh.  I'd say someone really needs to teach Obama basic economics, but with only a year and a half left in his presidency, what's the point?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here's who to blame for those tuition increases

Administrative bloat is the major driver of rising education costs. Looking at the absurd, dysfunctional administrative bureaucracy here at my university, I'm not surprised. In the private sector, managers who don't control costs get fired. In the public sector, they get a lifetime of employment, a gratuitous pension, and a building named after them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finally, something to celebrate

At least here, finally, is something to celebrate. Earth's ecosystem is thanking us for the record levels of CO2, one of the basic building blocks of life, that we are liberating back into the atmosphere after harmful eons-long geological sequestering underground. Who, 100 years ago, would have thought that this would be one of the wonderful unintended beneficial consequences of mankind's industrialization!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Canada: The Last Principled Nation?

Canada has once again become a role model for the world. Responsible fiscal policy, shrinking deficit, rapid economic growth, and the latest, a principled and commanding foreign policy. Prime Minster Stephen Harper: "When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand."

Yesterday, Canada took a leadership role in the G8 statement regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, explicitly opposing President Obama's call for using the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations. All references to the 1967 borders were removed from the G8 joint statement, at Canada's insistence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fracking Vindicated Yet Again

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has confirmed there has not been a single case in which the process of "fracking", or hydraulic fracturing, has caused ground water contamination.  The left-wing smear campaign against fracking, including the unscientific documentary Gasland, has once again been proven false.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Good-will" message beamed to first habitable exoplanet. Alien invasion to follow.

We have discovered a habitable planet, possibly with liquid water oceans, 20 light years away. Shortly after the discovery, we beamed a high-intensity "good-will message" to the planet. Approximately 40 years from now, we can expect to be invaded by space aliens from Gliese 581d. Start preparing now, people.

We should have ended that good will message with "By the way, we have nukes so don't even try it."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fracking Vindicated

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vindicates the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". The charges and scare tactics against the natural gas industry by so-called environmentalists are shown to be unfounded, including the wildly inaccurate claims made in the anti-industry smear movie Gasland.

In summary, the NAS scientists found no leakage of any chemicals from the fracking process into groundwater. They conclude it is unlikely that methane or any pumping fluids can leak up through the thousands of feet from the gas deposits to the groundwater. They found high levels of methane in shallow drinking water wells, but only when those drinking water wells were within 1,000 meters of active natural gas wells. The conclusion is that some of the well casings are leaking methane. This has nothing to do with the process or technology of fracking. Instead, it means companies must engineer more robust solutions for cementing and casing wells to prevent methane leakage into the immediate surrounding area.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Death of Bin Laden: Public Relations Vs. National Security

President Obama is being praised for his decision to take out Bin Laden. But seriously, who WOULDN'T make that call? The decisions he's made since the successful raid are the true measures of his leadership.

If I'd been President, I'd have hid the death of Bin Laden for as long as possible. I'd use a cover-story for the raid and implore/threaten the Pakistani government to go along with it. I'd use the intel from Osama's computers to take down the rest of Al-Qaeda before they even knew what hit them. I would not sacrifice national security for a PR event.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Bin Laden was killed in a mansion outside of Islamabad. The previous government that harbored him was bombed back into the stone age. But they didn't have nuclear weapons. I wonder if the situation over there just got a little more complicated.

Monday, April 25, 2011

USA Ranked #2 in Internet Freedom (tiny Estonia #1)

The U.S. is essentially the best country in the world when it comes to Internet freedom. Which is why the federal government needs to regulate it, obviously.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How much did your vote for Obama cost you?

In this post I determine how much your vote (or someone else's vote) for Obama will cost you throughout your working career to pay for the interest on Obama's massive deficit spending. The results may astound you. I welcome suggestions and attempts to help refine my calculations. But first, just how massive is Obama's deficit spending? This massive:

To do the following calculations, I assumed you are a college student graduating this year (2011), and you will have a 40 year working career ending in 2051. I also made the safe assumption that between now and 2051 the principal on the federal debt will not be touched, but only the interest payments will be made each year. Why did I include only the interest? You can argue all day about the cost vs. benefit of Obama's deficit spending, but one thing is certain: taxpayers get nothing from paying the interest on the national debt.


All my budget data came directly from the Office of Management and Budget's 2010 analysis, or the excellent website, which aggregates the same OMB data into easily downloadable spreadsheet format. My tax calculations used the 2006 IRS tax brackets, FICA rates, and standard deductions (I wanted to pick a pre-recession tax code) -- in other words, I assumed your actual tax rates will NOT go up any time in the next 40 years, which is a very generous assumption. Nationwide average wage/salary data by occupation came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics database. Inflation rates came from

Methodology and analysis:

I calculated the average annual interest rate paid on the national debt from 1980-2010 by dividing the yearly federal interest payment by the gross public debt for each year. That average comes to 5.875%. The 2010 interest rate was very low at 2.19%, but OMB projections have interest rates increasing in the coming years, and given historical trends and the S&P's recent downgrading of the U.S. financial outlook, I think 5-6% interest on our national debt is a good estimate for the next 40 years.

Next I needed to estimate total federal spending from 2011-2051. I did this by taking the OMB estimate for federal outlays from 2012-2016 and extrapolating that trend to 2051. I did the same for federal revenues. The OMB projects both revenues and outlays to increase linearly from 2012-2016, and extrapolating those trends, the federal budget will be balanced in 2029, and from 2030 on revenues will exceed spending. By 2051, revenues will have exceeded spending by a total of $815 billion. Looking at the historical spending and revenues trends back to 1980, I think a linear extrapolation is quite reasonable, and is the most fair and politically balanced estimate -- e.g. it does not include any massive increases or cuts to spending or revenues. By this method, total federal spending from 2011-2051 will be $321,845 billion, or $321.8 trillion. This may seem like a huge number (and it is!), but this was arrived at with a linear spending increase each year, and we can project GDP growth will increase by a constant percent each year -- which means GDP grows exponentially instead of linearly. From 1980-2010 the average rate of GDP growth was 5.68%. Assuming this is the average growth rate from 2011-2051, that $321.8 trillion in federal government spending will account for only 16.6% of the total GDP for that period. At the peak of the US economy in 2000, federal spending was 18.0% of GDP (it is 24.9% in 2011). So the financial outlook from these projections is actually pretty favorable, and in fact may be a little too much so.

Now on to the cost of Obama's deficit spending. I calculated the total public debt added by Obama's deficit spending from 2009-2012 using the OMB data (2011 and 2012 are estimated of course). To be as fair as possible, I subracted from each year the 2008 deficit of $459 billion. Even though the 2008 budget was passed by Democrats when Obama served in the Senate, it cannot be ascribed to him. In other words, $459 billion was the annual deficit "baseline", and I included only the 2008-2012 deficits over that amount in determining the cost of Obama's spending. The total debt from 2009-2012 is $5.45 trillion, and Obama's portion of that is $3.62 trillion.

Next, I used the average annual interest rate of 5.875% to calculate the total cost of the interest payments on the $3.62 trillion in Obama debt. From 2011-2051, interest payments on Obama's 2009-2012 deficit spending will total $8.72 trillion. To look at it another way, when Obama sold us his 2009 "Stimulus" bill at a cost of $1 trillion, he failed to mention its true cost to taxpayers is actually $3.4 trillion ($1 trillion principal + $2.4 trillion in interest over 40 years). When the government is running a deficit, any politician's sales pitch for new spending is a bait-and-switch scam so massive it should be illegal.

We now have enough information to calculate the cost of a vote for Obama. The $8.72 trillion in interest payments on Obama's 2009-2012 deficit spending will account for 2.7% of total federal spending from 2011-2051.

Using IRS data, I calculated the total federal taxes (income tax + Social Security and Medicare taxes) paid by heads of household earning incomes between $10,000 and $240,000. I then matched and interpolated these numbers with Bureau of Labor Statistics data to calculate the average total taxes paid during a 40-year working career for each occupation in the BLS database, and adjusted for an annual inflation rate of 4.1%, which is the historical average rate from 1980-2010. Finally, I calculated the fraction of those tax dollars that will go to pay for the interest on Obama's 2009-2012 deficit spending. The results for various occupations are given in the table below. The first entry, average of all college graduates, assumes a lifetime average salary of $45,000 (in 2010 dollars).

According to these results, the average college student graduating this year will pay $25,941 just to cover the interest on Obama's deficit spending. Many students will pay much more. If you voted for Obama, that 30-minute trip to the polling station was probably the most expensive 30 minutes of your life.

Table: Scroll down to find your occupation and see how much your vote (or someone else's vote) for Obama cost you.

Your occupationYour vote for Obama cost youDays of lost income to pay for it
Average of all college graduates$25,94189
College professors$53,18997
Kindergarten teachers$34,03894
Elementary school teachers$34,44794
Middle school teachers$34,50695
Secondary school teachers$34,74395
Chief executives$137,415122
Sales managers$88,514114
Engineering managers$98,317116
Education administrators$61,797108
Social and community service managers$43,215100
Financial analysts$61,585108
Loan officers$43,464100
Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents$34,54395
Computer programmers$52,600105
Architects, except landscape and naval$53,065105
Aerospace engineers$70,588110
Biomedical engineers$61,320107
Chemical engineers$70,180110
Civil engineers$61,185107
Computer hardware engineers$79,091112
Electrical engineers$61,684108
Environmental engineers$61,142107
Materials engineers$61,626108
Mechanical engineers$61,126107
Anthropologists and archeologists$35,05096
Political scientists$79,062112
Community and social services occupations$25,64889
Child, family, and school social workers$25,75189
Paralegals and legal assistants$33,99394
Art directors$70,167110
Fine artists$34,07594
Multi-media artists and animators$43,413100
Fashion designers$52,569105
Graphic designers$26,31090
Interior designers$34,27694
Reporters and correspondents$25,71589
Broadcast news analysts$44,069101
Technical writers$43,768101
Writers and authors$43,635101
Sound engineering technicians$34,56495
Dentists, general$127,700121
Family and general practitioners$137,487122
Obstetricians and gynecologists$180,178129
Pediatricians, general$137,081122
Physician assistants$61,544108
Registered nurses$43,885101
Physical therapists$52,770105
Radiation therapists$52,894105
Recreational therapists$25,45488
Respiratory therapists$34,60295
Speech-language pathologists$44,115101
Dental hygienists$44,053101
Radiologic technologists and technicians$34,59995
Emergency medical technicians and paramedics$18,99186
Pharmacy technicians$13,69889
Massage therapists$20,03190
Fire fighters$26,23890
Police and sheriff's patrol officers$34,74795
Private detectives and investigators$26,22090
Chefs and head cooks$25,84289
Janitors and cleaners$12,70984
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists$13,31487
Flight attendants$25,72689
Sales representatives, technical and scientific products$61,203107
Real estate brokers$53,007105
Real estate sales agents$34,44094
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants$25,81289
Legal secretaries$25,67289
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters$26,57791
Structural iron and steel workers$26,39590
HVAC mechanics and installers$25,76889
Commercial divers$35,17396
Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers$88,943114
Air traffic controllers$79,541112
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer$19,95190

Note: my original post contained some errors in the interest and inflation rate calculations, which have been corrected now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Public Vs. Private Sector: Not Two Sides of the Same Coin

Somebody asked me this question the other day, with regards to government jobs vs. private sector jobs:
Isn't it two sides of the same coin? Taxes make more gov't jobs and public services, which puts money in the economy. Isn't that the same as investments in corporations who provide jobs, etc...? Do you know why one stimulates the economy better than the other?
Here is my reply:

There are many ways to answer this question.  I'll go with the most simple one.  The private sector involves a feedback loop that incentivizes productivity and efficiency, and punishes waste and inefficiency.  The private sector is centered around making a profit.  And what is a profit?  It is the transformation of things of lesser value into things of greater value.  That is the essence of human progress, and the free market capitalist system quantifies it with money.  If you're doing work and you don't make a profit, it means you've transformed things of greater value into things of lesser value.  Whoever does that in the private sector loses money and eventually goes out of business.  The profit motive is a feedback loop that ensures that activities done by, and money invested in, the private sector will contribute to economic expansion, not economic contraction.

This feedback loop is not present in the government.  Unlike the private sector, the government does not generally have a competitor, and where it does (e.g. the postal service and UPS/FedEx), it does not compete fairly.  The private sector depends on customers making willful choices to buy from them or to buy from someone else who provides a better product or better value, and on investors making willful choices about where they think their money will produce the most value.  The government takes its money by force.  The government can never go out of business.  If it needs more money it simply confiscates it by force.  There is no punishment in the government for the action of taking things of greater value and turning them into things of lesser value; the government can (and does) do this all day, month, and year, ad infinitum, destroying wealth instead of creating it.

Even when it comes to creating jobs, not all jobs are beneficial to the economy.  If I pay somebody $100/hr to dig a hole and then fill it again, nothing will be accomplished by that work and eventually I run out of money.  If I pay somebody to go around breaking everybody's windows in order to create 10,000 new jobs in the window repair business, I haven't done a service to the economy; I have destroyed wealth instead of creating it.  The private sector has that feedback loop that ensures the jobs it hires people to do create wealth and grow the economy, because the private sector will only hire you if your work produces more value than what it costs to pay you; otherwise the company would lose money on your work and lose out to its competitors.  With the government, on the other hand, there is nothing at all stopping it from hiring people to do work that produces less value than the money paid to do it.

That is why money invested in, and jobs created by, the private sector stimulates the economy, and money/jobs in the government do not.

That is not to say that SOME jobs in the government produce value and create wealth.  But the federal government employs more people than the entire manufacturing, construction, and farming industries COMBINED -- and pays its workers significantly more than the private average.  Think of all the value created for our society from those private industries: just about everything you use, eat, wear, and live in every day.  Compare all of that to the things of value you encounter every day that are made or provided by the federal government.... there's really not much of that, is there?  There is no comparison.  We're spending way too much on government and that's a big part of why our economy is struggling.

Canadian "Human Rights Court" Fines Comedian $15,000 for Lesbian Insult

More human rights abuse by the Orwellian "human rights" tribunals in Canada. The tribunal ordered a stand-up comedian to pay $15,000 to a lesbian audience member he insulted at an open-mic night. Canada, you've gotta put an end to these disgusting tribunals and their abuse of basic human rights.

For some background on these Canadian "human rights" courts, check out the story of human rights hero Ezra Levant and watch the videos as he awesomely attacks this abusive legal system.

The Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Rule Becomes Reality

I can't believe it.  It's the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Rule" from Atlas Shrugged come to life!  Boeing is building its factory for the new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, a "right to work" non forced unionization state.  The Obama Administration is trying to force Boeing to built the factory in Washington instead, where the workforce will be unionized.  Boeing originally wanted to build the plant in Washington, but after long negotiations it was unable to accept the demands of that state's labor unions, and so decided to build the plant elsewhere.

In the words of John Galt, "The removal of a threat is not a payment, the negation of a negative is not a reward, the withdrawal of your armed hoodlums is not an incentive, the offer not to murder me is not a value."

If our nation is ever to recover, we must put an end to this insanity.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crony Capitalism costs US taxpayers another $11,000,000,000

Our bailout of Government Motors is looking to cost taxpayers at least $11 billion. What a terrible, terrible deal. We should have let that company fail. Here's to 2012 and the end of Crony Capitalism! (If one can be so optimistic.)

Let's give this a try

I might have _just_ enough free time these days to update this blog regularly. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don't compare Egypt's rioters to the American revolutionaries

There is nothing inherently good about "democracy". Democracy is simply mob rule, in which the will of the majority can oppress the minority. The reason we view our own democracy as good is because it is a Constitutional democracy, in which the will of the majority is severely limited by a set of supreme laws. Our Constitution was designed to insure that, whatever the will of the majority, individual liberty will remain the basis of our society. When our government was created, we deliberately set up roadblocks against democracy. Read the Federalist Papers. They argue extensively of the perils of Democracy, and explain why a Representative Republic with a separation of powers (one of those powers being the States) helps eliminate the problems of mob rule and an uneducated populace.

Whatever you say about the fundamental "right to vote", no such right really exists. You do not have a right to vote to oppress your neighbor. The wellbeing of the people is not served by a government mandated to follow the uninformed temporary whims of the majority.

The danger of the situation in Egypt is that their "revolutionaries" are in no way similar to those that fought for freedom in America. Our revolution was debated and decided by representatives of the people, which happened to include some of the greatest minds of the generation. When it moved forward it was for the noble principles declared in one of the greatest political documents in human history. Our revolution had strong leaders, an organized army with a chain of command. American revolutionaries were not a spontaneous angry mob rioting in the streets, burning and looting. When our revolutionary goals were complete, we built a Republic based on the doctrine of individual liberty, not "democracy".

What doctrine or principle is guiding Egypt's revolutionaries? Who are their leaders? What is the great and noble principle they are fighting for? If it is for nothing but "democracy", than we have every reason to be worried. If it is for the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood, then the rioters are tools of oppression worse than anything Mubarak ever employed.  I'm not saying we should not support the struggle for democracy in Egypt.  I'm saying we should not support it blindly.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Translating the State of the Union

Despite his supposedly renouned oratory skills, it's sometimes difficult to understand exactly what President Obama is talking about.  To facilitate better communication of some of the finer nuances of his State of the Union Address, I've provided the following translation.

Obama on green energy:
I know we have abundant resources of coal, oil, and natural gas here in America, which we could use right now for cheap, profitable, private-sector, no-government-spending-(er, I mean "investing"), job-creating energy.  But if we do that, we'll release more plant food into the atmosphere -- the horror!  So instead, I want to spend (er, I mean "invest") billions of tax dollars on alternative "green energy".  Sure, "green energy" has been an economic disaster everywhere it's been tried, killing 2 regular jobs for every "green" job created, but hey, it'll mean less plant food in the atmosphere!  Oh, and those billions of dollars spent (er, I mean invested) will actually be borrowed from China, and payed back 3 times over in interest by our children and grandchildren.  But making those payments will be tricky because switching to "green energy" will double our electric bills and slow our economy.  But it'll be worth it to get rid of that plant food!

Obama on the deficit:

I just got finished raising government spending to an all-time-high, and now I want to freeze it there! Suckers!

Obama on the economy:
Look guys, I know in my first year of office I promised that if you passed my trillion dollar stimulus bill, it would create millions of new jobs and keep the unemployment rate under 6%.  I also know that I promised that if we did nothing, the unemployment rate would go all the way to 8%.  And I know that after you passed my stimulus bill, unemployment skyrocketed to 10%, and it has stayed there for 2 years.  You could say we'd be better off if we'd done nothing.  And I know that my stimulus bill was filled with spending on infrastructure and "green jobs".  Now stay with me here... today I want to do exactly the same thing again!  It'll work this time, I promise.

Obama on health care:

I heard today that 27 states are suing the government to stop Obamacare, and the House just voted to repeal it by a wider margin than they voted to pass it.  And my local SEIU, which donated over $20 million to my campaign, applied for and got an Obamacare waiver.  Maybe it's because the bill will do none of the things I promised it would.  Maybe it's because I totally misidentified the problems with our health care system, and now my bill is causing costs to go up instead of down, and coverage to get worse instead of better.  But it's still a good bill, because it spends half a trillion dollars and taxes even more!  Come on, tax and spend, what's not to like?

Obama on the Internet:

I propose spending tax dollars to give wireless Internet to every American, because the real reason our economy is growing so slowly is because not enough people have access to Facebook.

Obama on taxes:

When I say we passed tax cuts in December, what I mean is I tried to pass a tax increase and was blocked by Republicans.  But I promise if I get my way, you'll get your tax increase! Oh, and taxes aren't about punishing success; they're about giving your money to me, because no one knows how to spend it better than people who didn't earn it!

Obama on earmarks:

I just got finished signing every record-setting earmark-laden bill the Democratic Congress sent to my desk these past two years, despite my campaign promise to ban earmarks.  But now that Congress is controlled by Republicans, my promise is renewed!

Obama on education:
I want schools to compete for money! No, I don't mean "school choice". *I* need to be the one who decides the winner.  Sure, letting consumers decide winners works for everything else, but things will be much better if politicians and bureaucrats decide where the money goes for our public schools.  I mean, it's worked so far, right? 

Obama on college tuition:

Look, everyone knows the only reason college tuition keeps going up is because colleges know the government will just pick up the tab with taxpayer dollars.  That's why I'm proposing we pick up even more of the tab.  It's not like it's a vicious circle or anything.

Obama on illegal immigration:

The people who break our laws by entering our country illegally, and consume tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars by enrolling their children in our taxpayer-funded schools, need to be rewarded!  Let's make their kids U.S. citizens.  It certainly won't encourage more illegal immigration, and after all, these well-trained moochers will surely vote Democrat. 

Obama on infrastructure:

Sure there isn't a single business in America that's struggling because they can't deliver their goods to market, or a citizen who can't get to work for a lack of roads.  But I want to spend even more money, borrowed from China of course, into our nation's perfectly adequate infrastructure.  It'll create jobs -- union jobs paid for with your children's money!

Obama on the TSA:

Sexual assault is a joke. Seriously, I think it's funny.

Obama on the War on Terror:
We must continue our wars abroad.  I guess I really shouldn't have accepted that Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama on foreign policy:
We stand with freedom.  Except in Honduras.  There, we stand for Marxist would-be dictators and an attempted coup funded by Hugo Chavez.

Obama on securing the boarder:

We must secure the boarder! The Afghan boarder.  Not our own.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Political rhetoric and the Tuscon shooting

My article on political rhetoric and the Tuscon shooting is up on the Orlando Sentinel website here.  I will probably be contributing frequently to that blog over the next year.  The text of my article is below:
Colorful rhetoric has been part of politics since the dawn of civilization. The term “campaign” itself is of military origin. Military metaphors are common not only in politics, but in business, sports, medicine, science, and every-day life. In 2009, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee published on their website a map of the country with bulls-eyes over the districts of “targeted Republicans”. Nobody complained, because the word “target” and associated symbolism have long been accepted in the non-violent American lexicon. We do not presume advertisers intend to actually kill their “target audience”. We all know that Target superstores do not sell guns and ammo. On October 23, 2010, Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski said of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, “they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.” Inappropriate? Yes. An actual call to violence? Of course not. Yet when Sarah Palin published her own now-famous “target map”, Democrats accused her of inciting violence. At the time, conservatives laughed off these accusations as being childish, disingenuous, and hypocritical. With the eruption of new accusations against conservatives after the tragedy in Tuscon, we must address this issue head-on.

Political rhetoric becomes heated because people are passionate about politics – and rightly so. When our government is squandering our national wealth, committing generational theft, and destroying an opportunity for prosperity built by generations of Americans, anger is an appropriate response. For Liberals, anger was an appropriate response to “war for oil”, at least while a Republican was President. What we have in American politics is not a climate of hate; it is a climate of passion. We cannot not allow the tragic violence of a lone madman to quell our passions, or use it to lay false accusations of hatred on our fellow Americans.

But that’s exactly what Democrats did after the Tuscon massacre. Within literally minutes of the shooting, the leftist blogosphere and media organizations were saturated with articles and commentary accusing Republicans and the Tea Party of inciting the shooter to violence. In an epiphany, the Left came to believe that, despite non-stop exposure to guns and violence in movies, TV, and video games, it is non-violent military metaphors on conservative websites and radio talk shows that incite lunatics to kill and turn ordinary men into murderers. When the Tuscon shooter turned out to be an anti-Christian, anti-Semetic, God-hating, anti-Constitution, Flag-burning, Marxist, George W. Bush hating, pothead 9-11 Truther, intellectually honest Democrats should have then argued he was incited by their own “violent rhetoric”. Instead, the charlatans on the Left continued to promote the idea of a conservative “climate of hate”, and are using the Tuscon tragedy to push for new restrictions on free speech, including a modern-day Sedition Act. The truth is Jared Loughner never listened to talk radio. He was not motivated by any political ideology or rhetoric, and the only real climate of hate was the one in Loughner’s own deranged mind.