Monday, October 29, 2012


Sshhhh. Come closer. Listen. Did you hear it?

Well I heard it. It’s the same old talk about growing the economy and the middle class from the middle out. This works for my waist line, but I’m afraid that the very idea of its working on the economy defies what we call the laws of science.

People want to think that economics isn’t a “real” science because you can’t put it in a test tube, but in fact economic principles have been observed in the laboratory of society for many centuries, and the results are well documented.

In the trickle down scenario the physical analogies are so plentiful and simple as to delight even the youngest student. EVERYONE has experience with this concept:

Let’s say you want a glass of water. You have lots of water, but it’s in the pipes. You want it in your glass. You can’t just blink your eyes and wiggle your nose and “poof” it’s in your glass. There are steps that must be taken. I won’t go into them all here, but ultimately, if you get up from your chair, walk into the kitchen, get a glass and go to the faucet in the sink, and turn the tap, the water will trickle, or flow into your glass. If you try to put it in too fast you get a mess. EVERYONE has experience with this.

Want to put air in a tire? Same deal. Things will naturally flow from an area of high concentration to a lower level all on their own if you properly prepare a path. Once the path is prepared the gates can be opened and flow will commence. It’s the same principle used in irrigation and hydro power. It’s wonderful. It’s natural. It’s (dare I say) organic. But there is no step skipping. You can't move directly to lush crops from a dry level plain. First you have to do the preparation, first you have to dig the canals and ditches, and then you have to be willing to allow the FLOW to do its work.

In job creation it’s exactly the same. No job was ever created by two middle class guys each wanting to work for one another. Wealth flows, or can flow, from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower. Every job I’ve ever had was offered to me by someone that had more money than I did. I was grateful to have them. The preparations were made, the work was done, the gates opened and some of their wealth flowed to me. I, in my turn, passed that wealth along to others. People in the government today are claiming that they want to grow the economy from the middle out, but the claim makes no sense. The government can’t create jobs out of thin air, and it most certainly can’t create wealth. Now it CAN confiscate wealth from those that have it and transfer it to those that do not. But when all the wealth is gone, what then? Then we will have removed the incentive to achieve wealth and there will simply be no more produced. The Soviets tried this and the Chinese. Tens of millions of people died as the result of this experiment in “social justice” in the 20th Century and yet somehow there are people who say “just one more time”. “I just need more time”.

Politicians can not do what has been proven to be physically impossible.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I need some help from the people of America. I’ve got this thing with dog crap. I can’t stand it. Can’t stand the look. Can’t stand the smell. Can’t stand the IDEA of it. The mere suspicion that a dog may crap in my house or the thought of stepping in a pile of the stuff, and permanently ruining a pair of sneakers is almost enough to make me a shut in like that guy on October Road. It’s true, he’s pale, but in his house there is no dog shit, just a quirky, perky pizza girl. I could do that. Actually, it isn’t just dogs. Don’t care much for cat crap either, but cats are at least deranged enough to hide it in a box in the closet where you can’t see it for the most part. Suburban geese are another offender; grazing (and shitting) peacefully there on the golf courses and soccer fields that are our favorite places to go these days. If geese can learn how to get from Texas to Wisconsin they had ought to be able to find a patch of bushes or a pond to crap in. Nice quiet place to crap, a pond, and if no one’s watching your face, or listening, no one’s the wiser. But I digress.

Now I’ve been sort of a blue collar guy most of my life. I’ve worked as a plumber where I developed a crack habit. Ahahahahahahahahahaha. Sorry. What I meant to say is that I’m no stranger to human waste. It isn’t my favorite thing, but I can cope. I’ve worked in the livestock sector…… animal husbandry you know, and I don’t mind being ankle deep in bullshit. It can be really bad, but hey… they’re cows for crying out loud. We’re going to kill and eat them. They get some slack for that. And, I’ve worked in beef slaughter. I’ve waded in blood over my boot tops and entrails so deep that I couldn’t touch the floor. Didn’t like it, but babies have to eat and you DO get used to it. So WHAT is this thing with dog crap?

Also, I failed to mention that I either am, or have been the father of four children who, at one time or other, pooped their breeches, requiring someone (usually me) to clean them up. Perhaps it was more than once. I suppose I have PPTD. (Post Poop Trauma Disorder) I‘ve always suspected that they could’ve used the toilet YEARS sooner but just resisted so they could watch my face as I de-pooped them. They’ll get theirs though. In a couple of years they’ll be changing me. “But honey, Daddy LIKES the hot chili and the pea nuts”. I’ve got it all planned out.

So in the end, I guess that’s what it is: a delayed reaction to babies. It’s horrible. I can barely sleep. All night long I keep hearing the voices. I can’t really be sure what they say, but it seems like “it’s YOUR turn” and “daddy? Can we have a puppy?”

And that’s what an average guy thinks

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ds & Rs

The other day my boy asked me what the difference was between Democrats and Republicans. I had to stop and think for a moment and then it became clear what my political science professor had meant when he told us that as a practical matter, there isn’t a nickels worth of difference between the two major parties. But I felt like I owed the boy an answer, so I tried to distill it down to generalities. What I came up with sounded something like this: In general, Democrats are in favor of more government services and benefits which have to be paid for by more and higher taxes and incremental forfeiture of individual rights. On the other hand Republicans have always claimed to be the party of smaller government and lower taxes.

Republicans assume that people want to be able to provide for themselves and try to enact policy to make that possible; Democrats assume that people are incapable of taking care of themselves and therefore create programs to take the place of their self-sufficiency. Republicans support individual efforts; Democrats assume that individuals are weak, and in need of government assistance. Republicans believe in liberty; Democrats believe in government. What all this means, then, is that Democratic philosophy thus demands more programs and higher taxes and takes from those who’ve worked hard and made good decisions, and gives to those who have not. GOP philosophy then, ideally, encourages individual efforts, creates an environment that supports hard work and achievement, and then gets out of the way.
[OK, so I’m editing my own stuff. Sue me]

I think it’s safe to say that Democrats do favor more government services, and benefits, as well as higher taxes to pay for them, but the Republican Party has lost its way. The problem may have been the success of our economy. There seems to have always been enough money for the Congress to throw around and no one seemed to be getting hurt too badly so it was normal for Democrats and Republicans to “reach across the aisle”, and to display the comity that everyone says they miss so much. But while this made for a nice peaceful picture there was something quite troubling taking place.

Democrats want a larger, more powerful government, and over the years they’ve been very successful at getting what they want. A small entitlement program here, a government guarantee there, an executive order here and there, and hundreds of key judicial appointments over the decades have brought us to where we are today. Even Republican administrations have been guilty of pandering to voters in order to win elections. It’s hard to make yourself attractive as a candidate or party when your opponents are offering FREE stuff, and all you have to offer is the opportunity to earn stuff. If it hadn’t been for the collapse of the housing market as a result of the government involvement in the home mortgage markets we may never have become aware of our predicament until it was too late.

So what I’m seeing now is that ANY compromise that Republicans make on a Democratic agenda is a step down the path to larger government, higher taxes, and reduced personal freedom. I oppose that step and I will support candidates who oppose that step.

Of course by this time the kid had the same look on his face that the local squirrels get when my dog goes into the back yard: they don’t know or care how, they just know they have to get out of there while the getting’s good. But I had the door blocked so he was stuck in his chair. I paused for a moment hoping he’d have a follow up question and when it became clear that he did I don’t know that I’d ever been so pleased. And then he said: “Yeah, yeah. I got that. Which one is the elephant?”

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Right now, in these past few months I have felt something that I never would have imagined that I could. I am afraid for my country. I was born during the Korean “police action” and grew up during the cold war. I watched the Kennedy / Nixon debates and remember not liking the Vice President. We never did duck and cover drills. We listened to, and were uplifted by the Presidents inaugural, and I never felt threatened during the Cuban missile crisis. I watched on Television as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Nikita Khrushchev) pounded his shoe on the podium at the United Nations and swore that the Soviet Union would “bury” us. I read my first article about advisers in Viet Nam in a Weekly Reader. I learned about Japanese aggression and surprise, and about European entanglements and a world gone mad. And then there seemed to be a glimmer of light with the unofficial end of the cold war, but now it’s gone. I have always believed that the Federal Republic of states that IS the United States of America would stand as it was founded against every storm, every opposing force. Our “instruction manual”, our “founding documents” are intact and I have always believed in their sanctity, their primacy, and that followed faithfully they would protect us from every enemy. But now I am afraid. What I fear is not an opposing force, not an external enemy which is easily enough identified and defeated. What I fear now is an enemy within.

When I was a teen (during the 60s) I wanted to be a pacifist. I wanted to believe as the rest of my generation seemed to that my country was bad, that capitalism was bad. I just couldn’t. My parents weren’t political and I was surprised to find out after I was in my 20s that they hadn’t voted for Kennedy. I just couldn’t make any sense out of the alternative to capitalism. I read the news and listened to Walter Kronkite. I read Animal Farm. I knew that you could be killed for trying to escape from the East to the West. What was the rational behind that reality if it wasn’t that what we had, and have still wasn’t and isn’t better than what “they” had?

And so in the 60s and 70s there were bombings and violent protests and they were put down. The organizers then watched as their fellow students chose to join society in stead of changing it. And you began to see Dead Head stickers on Cadillacs. But the domestic enemies of the United States weren’t stupid. They could see that there was no future in directly opposing the government. And so they went underground and legit. They became educators and organizers but their goal never changed. They still want to bring down capitalism and the United States of America. And their methods are insidious. They’re using the very freedoms that our systems provide the very compassion that we feel, and the openness that we live under to stab at our heart. Just like the World Trade Center highjackers, they plan to start uncontrollable fires in our system with the knowledge that, at some point, it simply won’t bear the weight anymore and will collapse in on itself. Then, they believe, that they will be able to come in and say “See what this horrible thing has caused?” “See what strife this Republic has wrought?” And then put forth the failed Marxist policies of the former Soviet Union as the solution.

I have seen much in my short life, but I have never been afraid till now.

You should be too.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.

Monday, October 1, 2012

He Got Osama

I heard someone say today that if you’re wondering if Barack Obama is soft on national defense, just ask Osama Bin Laden. It got me to thinking back to that evening in April, during the aftermath and someone from the Whitehouse made the comment that the decision to “terminate” bin Laden was “the gutsiest call I have ever seen anyone make”. It might not surprise you to learn that I beg to differ.

Barack Obama was merely an observer of the operation which had been set in motion during the administration of his predecessor. Oh, he may have been asked “the” question: “Mr. President?”, but the question was merely a courtesy. Moot. The answer was “yes”. The answer had always been yes.

Think of it. The United States’ military and intelligence apparatus tracks bin Laden for 11 years since Clinton passed the opportunity to drop a Hellfire missile on his head in the fall of 2000. The US Air Force drops thousands of tons of bombs and expends huge sums of money flying B-52 sorties trying to kill him as he slips away at Tora Bora. Now they come to the president and say “we’ve found him”. What can Barack Obama do? He had no choice. If he says “no” when it leaked (and it would have leaked) there would be a public firestorm. If he calls the Pakistanis and they whisk him away (as they surely would have) and it gets leaked (as it surely would have) there would have been a public firestorm.

No, there was only one way for Barack Obama to have lost on this deal, and that was for him to say “no”. Even if it had gone horribly wrong he would have come out looking the part of the strong military leader.

So when someone says “he got bin Laden”, please feel free to disagree and ask “what were his options?”

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.