September 02, 2009

I AM UNSETTLED

I envision an ugly future.  Despite the fact that I have joked with my mother that I was born during the Carter administration and everything turned out OK, I worry.  I see my child being born into an America I can't even recognize.

I find myself channeling my inner Sarah Connor lately.

I used to think that we were living Atlas Shrugged.  But lately, I think we're seeing a different ending.  I don't see the politicians kidnapping Galt and asking him to fix it fix it fix it; I think they want the broken system.

I don't know how to live in a broken system.  I feel like I need to spend some time learning how.

And even the plains aren't enough to calm my soul.

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August 17, 2009

SINCE WHEN IS AN X-BOX A SCHOOL SUPPLY?

People suck.  I can't even tell you how mad this makes me.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said the state school supply grants handed out to New York State food stamp and welfare recipients are not being used as intended by many families. She said the program has “widespread, rampant abuse.”
[...]
“We actually received a telephone call from WalMart on Hudson Avenue suggesting that there was welfare fraud, and indicating they were going to call the FBI because people were going in and buying X-boxes, Wii systems, flat-screen television sets,” said Kelly Reed, the county’s commissioner of social services.

This is a great example of why it's useless to give a man a fish.

I'm sure non-welfare New Yorkers would like the government to give them money to buy a Wii too.

I hope George Soros is glad that his "help the poor" idea just helped people to afternoons of Guitar Hero.

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BLASPHEMY FROM WHOLE FOODS

Wise ideas from the CEO of Whole Foods: The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

Of course, now this means that loons are calling for a boycott of the traitorous lefty store.  How dare they oppose Obama?

I take back all the snarky things I've said about Whole Foods.  I still don't have any interest in shopping there, but good for their CEO for being brave enough to oppose something that the majority of his clientele supports.

(Links found at Althouse's great post, Are We Having a Conversation Yet?, via Boxenhorn)

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August 15, 2009

OVER A BARREL

I meant to say this a while ago but just never got around to it.

20/20 ran a special a few weeks ago called "Over a Barrel" about oil.  First of all, I simply hate the expression "addicted to oil."  It's like saying we're addicted to houses or restaurants.  It's necessary for our lifestyle.  Just because we need it doesn't mean we have to sneer and call it an addiction.  And it's not like cigarettes, where we'd be better off if we stopped using them.  Our lives would be infinitely worse without oil.

Second, T. Boone Pickins really ticked me off.  At the very end of the show, he said:

You are the problem, you, America.  You and I, Charlie [Gibson].  You are the problem because you're using 25% of the oil with 4% of the population.  You're not entitled to that.

Um, we are if we're paying for it.  You're entitled to anything available on this earth if you come by it fairly and pay for it in the free market.

To say otherwise gets right down to the core of my values and ruffles 'em up.

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August 10, 2009

THEY GET THEIR DIGS IN EVERYWHERE

I just watched last night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent and flipped out.  I checked to see if I was the only one who noticed...Lorie did too:

A former Baader-Meinhof communist terrorist is murdering Wall Street fat cats and talking about overthrowing the capitalist pigs, and somehow the writers for the show tie him in with the Tea Parties.

My eyes are rolling so hard they hurt.

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July 31, 2009

THE RICH ARE GETTING HOSED

Via The Corner:

Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.

To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.

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July 26, 2009

THEY JUST PAID FOR IT

I had this conversation this weekend:

Friend:  Well, I think people need health coverage.  And I include dental in that because I think dentist visits are so important.

Sarah:  Oh, my family never had dental insurance growing up.

Friend:  That's terrible!  My kids go to the dentist twice a year, no questions.

Sarah:  Oh no, we went to the dentist twice a year too, just that my parents had to pay for it out of pocket each time, for all five of us.

Friend:  [horrified look, as if I had said my dad did all our own dentistry at home in the garage]

The conversation turned to other matters, but as I think back on it now, I wish I could go back and restart the conversation from this point.  I find it fascinating that this friend equated not having dental insurance with not visiting the dentist at all.  My parents took us regularly, and they paid for everything on their own: cleanings, x-rays, fillings, sealant, my broken front tooth that rebroke six times during my teen years, retainers, four sets of braces, Mom's crowns and root canals, etc.  I know it wasn't cheap, and I have since thanked my parents for all the dental work they bought for me, especially since now I have to buy my own retainers each time the dog chews one up.

But we received dental care.  The lack of insurance didn't keep my parents from taking care of our health.

Why is it that people act like they have no concept of taking care of routine health concerns on their own?  As if to say that if it's not covered by insurance, you're out of luck?  We weren't out of luck; we just paid for it.

I mean they paid for it.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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July 25, 2009

NO ONE HAS THOUGHT OF THAT YET?

Jim Manzi:

So, naturally we just go to the escrowed set of [anthropogenic global warming] models with their predictions made over the past 20 years or so, enter in all data for actual emissions, volcanic activity, and other model inputs for the time from the prediction was made until today, and then run the mdoels and compare their outputs to actual temperature change in order to build a distribution of model accuracy, right? Ha ha. Needless to say, no such repository exists.

Yeah, why not?

I heard the other day that the Marines SF are going to start being trained in Pashto, Dari, and Urdu.  My first thought was, "What took you so long?"  Really, we haven't had this idea until eight years into the war?

I had the same thought when I read that Manzi paragraph: no one has thought to compare global warming model predictions to actual data?  Sheesh.

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July 19, 2009

GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEE

This should indicate how much quality Democrats really think they're going to offer us peons:

On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Yet all Democrats -- with the exceptions of acting chairman Chris Dodd, Barbara Mikulski and Ted Kennedy via proxy -- voted nay.

In other words, Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse won't themselves join a plan that "will offer benefits that are as good as those available through private insurance plans -- or better," as the Ohio and Rhode Island liberals put it in a recent op-ed. And even a self-described socialist like Vermont's Bernie Sanders, who supports a government-only system, wouldn't sign himself up.

I think Congress should be required to use the public system that they created.  And I'm on board with Instapundit's idea of requiring Congress to always pay the highest marginal tax rate as well.

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THINKING ABOUT GUNS

I've been thinking about guns this morning.

Ever since we started trying for a baby, I have tried to figure out what I think we should do about our guns and teaching our child gun safety. So I read the post Guns, sons & the good old days of parenting and its comments with interest. I think I agree with many commenters that it comes down to respect: children need to learn respect for the power of guns and respect for the authority of adults.

I also found a clip at Gateway Pundit about a car dealership that's giving away AK-47s with truck purchases. Can you hear the condescending sneering from the reporter? I love how she says that people might be offended to hear the dealership equate God and guns. Really? Which people exactly? The gun people or the God people? I generally find those two groups overlap. Especially the ones who are looking to buy a truck in small-town Missouri.

Ah, liberal condescension...make sure to ask him if he thinks Jesus would approve of AK-47s (I literally rolled my eyes as I typed that, heh.)


Both links via Instapundit.

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July 14, 2009

CANADA CARE

Via Insty, a great PJTV video called Steven Crowder Investigates Why CanadaCare Sucks...Will ObamaCare Be Any Better?  It's worth watching the whole thing, but one of the most galling bits was when they go to a free clinic to try to get his cholesterol checked.  The nurse says they cannot do that at the free clinic and gives him two options: 1) go to a private clinic and pay $900 for a check-up, or 2) call a family doctor and ask to be put on the two to three year waiting list.  "You're young, so you have time; normally you don't have a problem at your age," she said.

And mostly the video just reminded me of military care.  We don't have to wait months or years for appointments, but our emergency room and weekend clinic is exactly like this video.  Plus we get to share ultrasound rooms!

UPDATE:  drblast is on the same wavelength, with Free Lunch, Please

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July 09, 2009

A SAVAGE HYPOCRISY

Via AirForceWife:

A group of 50 black males beats up a white family, shouting "This is a black world!" while they do it, and, quote,  "Akron police say they aren't ready to call it a hate crime."

Fantastic.  Because we all know if a group of 50 whites beat up a black family while yelling "White power!", the police would tread lightly and not jump to any conclusions.

I think we all need to sit through a presentation:


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PLEASE ELABORATE, PREFERABLY ON NATIONAL TV

Here's a perfect example of a Lefty doing exactly what the Right is accused of: being elitist and racist.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg on abortion:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

To quote Ed Whelan, "Gee, Justice Ginsburg, would you like to tell us more about your views on those populations that 'we don’t want to have too many of'?"

That is old-school Margaret Sanger creepy, and Ginsburg just said that this week.

But I thought Republicans were the mean ones?

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July 08, 2009

GIVE A MAN A FISH, AND HE'LL ASK FOR 700 BILLION MORE

We just gave a man a fish and fed him for a day, and now he wants another:

The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an adviser to President Barack Obama.

The people of Palau also think they deserve another fish, because they took our piranhas off our hands:

Palau is asking longtime benefactor the United States for a 35-year extension on direct aid funding — and hinting Washington should say yes because of its offer to take in 13 Guantanamo Bay detainees.
[...]
U.S. government aid to Palau over the past 15 years has totaled more than $852 million, according to a congressional estimate.

The ridiculous thing is that we don't even have any fish to give out.  The Fed is just printing new fish, but for some stupid reason, we just keep giving them away like they're real fish.

Enough fish metaphors.

This stinks.

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July 05, 2009

WHERE IS OUR VANGUARD?

(Via Insty): Gay Patriot has a post called As people flock to conservative/libertarian banner, fewer politicians seem ready, willing & able to carry it into battle.  I really liked the first two comments on the post:

A Conservative Teacher:
This could be the very nature of the Republican Party- a party built by people not liking big government may have trouble finding big leaders in government. The party that loves power and elitism (Democrats) has no problem finding elite powerful politicians.

DoDoGuRu:
It would be nice to find politicians both normal and politically savvy. Unfortunately, if you’re normal you get hounded out of politics. And if you’re politically savvy, you’re probably a kleptocratic vampire.

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NOT FEELING SO INDEPENDENT

I didn't write an Independence Day post yesterday.
I just didn't have it in me.

Neal Boortz hates the 4th of July.  Every year he refuses to work that day because he says he cannot stand people's superficial displays of liberty and independence.  Americans ask more and more of Uncle Sugar and relinquish more of their freedom in exchange for government security, and then they have the nerve to celebrate being free on the 4th of July.

I've always snickered at Boortz and thought he was overreacting.
But this year, I am slowly joining him...

As the future of our country goes down the tube, I had a hard time feeling very celebratory yesterday.

Many months ago, I happened to catch Sean Hannity doing a man-on-the-street interview with a young girl.  He was asking her questions about what she believed people had the right to.  According to her, they have the right to everything: jobs, education, shelter, transportation, health care, and so on.  But when Hannity pressed her, saying that surely she can't believe that every single person deserves free everything, she frustratedly replied, "No, you're twisting my words around.  Not everybody, only the people who can't afford it.  If you can pay for your own college, you should, but if you can't afford it, the government should help pay."  So Hannity goes, "Oh, OK, let me see if I can rephrase it.  You mean we should function to each according to his need and from each according to his ability?"  And the girl excitedly said, "YES, that's it, that's exactly what I meant!"

He then asked if she knew who Karl Marx was, and naturally she had no idea...

I just don't think my countrymen understand what true independence means.  I don't think they understand that freedom also means the freedom to fail, to have bad luck, to lose it all.  I don't think they understand what the signers of the Declaration of Independence risked and sacrificed.

I don't think they understand risk and sacrifice at all anymore.

And I can't help but note a new "long train of abuses and usurpations" with each passing day...

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July 03, 2009

GLOBAL TEMPERATURES

I saw Glenn Beck's discussion with Alan Carlin of the EPA this week, which is available here.  And this graph struck me as too crazy to even be true.



The red lines: "UN Predictions for Temperature Levels"
The yellow line: "UN Predictions: What Will Happen to Temperatures If Their Restrictions Are Put In Place"
The green line: "Global Temperatures from Surface Station Measurements"
The blue line: "Global Temperatures from Satellite Measurements"

So the red and yellow lines are what the UN says will happen, and the green and blue lines are what is really happening.  Note the enormous plummet away from prediction.

If this is accurate, then what is actually happening on our planet is nothing like what was predicted.  In which case, all decisions based on global warming predictions are moot.

It also reminds me of this unemployment graph.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:44 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 23, 2009

LACK OF OPTIONS

I have always been frustrated by my lack of options.  If you wish for the United States to look more like Canada or Europe, then please just move to Canada or Europe.  Don't try to turn our country into something that already exists elsewhere.  Because if I want the United States to look more like what the Founding Fathers envisioned, with far less government intrusion, I have nowhere else to go.  There is no other existing country that matches the vision of where I want to live.  (And the US today ain't exactly it either, but it's the best we've got.)  Please don't turn my only option into another Canada.  Canada is already Canada.

Stephen Green: Once Upon a Time in America

Whatever liberty we have right here, right now, in America … well, for all practical purposes, that’s all that’s left anywhere. If France had our freedoms, there would be no French here. If China had it, there would be no Chinese here. If it existed in Latin America, there would be no Spanish spoken here. And so it goes.

And so if we, here in America, throw it all away in a fit of panic or pique, then what we once called “America” will become as false as a fairy tale.

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June 21, 2009

GRAN CANYON

So there we were...

I hate that I have to type this story.  I wish I could tell it to you in person, with wide eyes and lots of expletives.

We took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon yesterday.  And as happened when we went on a cruise, my husband and I remembered why we don't like being trapped with strangers.

Since it was a long drive to and fro, we watched movies on the charter bus.  There were a couple of kids on the tour, so the bus driver insisted we watch appropriate movies.  On the way there, we watched Marley and Me and Evan Almighty.  You get the idea: family movies.  And on the way back, this lady...

Wait, let me back up.

My husband and I were the first people on the bus, and we accidentally picked the worst seats.  On a tour of polite Japanese and snoozing Italian tourists, we happened to sit behind the most hoopleheaded, annoying, creepy American family.  I can't even do their annoyingness justice; it was just one of those situations where you find yourself unwittingly eavesdropping on their inane chatter for fifteen hours because they just won't shut up.

It was going to be a toss-up over whether the mom or the dad was the more annoying, but then the mom made a shocking leap into first place.

On the way back, the mom volunteered to choose the movie we'd watch.  And on a bus filled with Asians and black people, this lady picked out Gran Torino.

I am crapping you negative.

Here's how it played out.  Keep in mind that this conversation is being shouted the length of the bus, with the lady up front at the DVD player and me about 2/3 of the way back:

Lady: I really want to see Gran Torino.
Sarah: Nooohooohoo.  Not a good idea.
Lady:  But I want to see it!
Sarah:  It's not really, ahem, socially appropriate for this setting.  It's very controversial.
Lady:  Well, what else do you want to see?  No suggestions?  Then let's watch Gran Torino.

Now I am starting to lose my cool and get knots in my stomach.  There is no way we can put that movie in on a bus full of minorities.  (My husband wondered if the Japanese people would even catch the "zipperheads" and "gooks."  I said perhaps not, but everyone knows the n-word when they hear it.)

Meanwhile, I am trying to insist to the lady's husband that we simply cannot watch the movie.  I tried so hard to be diplomatic, saying that while it is an interesting movie to watch and discuss, this was just not the right time and place.  When the lady returns to her seat, her husband says maybe we should pick something else.  The lady starts pouting.  Finally, I lost it and said, "Whatever.  I'm glad you're comfortable playing a movie filled with the n-word."  Then the black ladies next to us start to get involved.  I swear one of them went all Bon Qui Qui and muttered that she would cut her.

Thank heavens someone else must've told the bus driver the deal, because by the time I marched down the aisle to insist that the movie was absolutely unacceptable, he had already figured out the gist and put the kibosh on it.

But seriously, oh my lord.  I about died.

My husband and I spent the rest of the trip giggling about other movies that we could suggest to watch: American History X, Crash, Deliverance, Pulp Fiction, and (the LOL suggestion from the husband) Brown Bunny.

We may as well have suggested porn.  It might've been less uncomfortable on a bus full of Asian strangers than Gran Torino.

I hope this lady goes home, rents the movie, and then realizes what she almost did and feels like crap.

No more group tours for the Grok family.  We're flying solo from now on.

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June 12, 2009

PALAU 4, AMERICA -200 MILLION

Am I crazy? I'm starting to think I'm crazy.

While British officials publicly slammed Bermuda, they were privately annoyed with the U.S.
[...]
President Obama's aides told Britain the Gitmo group was headed to Bermuda less than 24 hours before the ex-inmates' chartered jet landed there, the Daily News has learned.

Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown said, "We are confident this decision is the right one from a humanitarian perspective."
[...]
Bermuda will also receive an unspecified "small sum" to cover their costs, said a U.S. official.

The "small sum"? $200 million. Kimberly Morin says it best:

Humanitarian? How about monetarian? I’d be willing to bet $200 million that the Palau government would not have taken these detainees without Obama bribing them with a cash payout. Of course the White House says that the money has nothing to do with the detainees. It is for development for the country of Palau. What is to develop? They are a gorgeous tropical island whose economy is based on tourism. Why would we be giving this tropical island money for development in the first place? Earth to Obama - horrible recession, highest unemployment in 25 years, non-stimulus doing nothing and you are going to give $200 million to a country that does not warrant development and has absolutely nothing to do with our economy.

It costs somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million per year to run the entire facility at Guantanamo Bay. So there's two years of operating costs to unload four guys. Furthermore, Palau's GDP is apparently $164 million. Hooray, Obama just doubled their yearly intake!

Seriously, when did the whole world become the Mad Hatter's Tea Party?

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