31 March, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

March For Cuba

Do you know these guys?

Who says that the Tea Partiers can't police their own?

Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette is trying to identify the following individuals:

Why? Because he takes exception to the message of violence on their signs, and feels they are not what the Tea Party should be all about:
So, are they "Tea Partiers"? Let me answer that one up front: I don't care. (Disclaimer: I don't even know what makes someone a "Tea Partier.") I wouldn't be shocked or surprised if these guys could make that claim - though it's worth noting that these guys' signage - in message or quality - absolutely isn't "typical" of the hundreds of others I've seen online. Likewise if I wanted to discredit the Tea Partiers (or foment violence against them) I would have to invent these guys if they didn't exist. Since either possibility leads to violence - which I absolutely oppose - I can honestly state that's why I don't care if they're Tea Partiers or "plants". These guys advocate violence, and I've spent my adult life helping to ensure domestic tranquility.

Whats more, a large number of Tea Party activists agree with him, and are trying to help him identify the individuals in question... and to do what they can to distance the Tea Party from that message of hate and violence.

Go over to his blog and read his entire write-up.

Mimas Surprises Again

Saturn's moon Mimas is somewhat famous for looking like the Death Star from Star Wars.

Well, it seems as if Mimas is even more of a geek than we thought.

The Cassini spacecraft recently made a pass by Mimas and took surface temperature measurements. Scientists at JPL processed the data in order to get a view of what the temperature distribution was like on the surface, and as is their standard practice they assigned a color scheme whereby colder areas would be colored blue to purple, warmer areas red to yellow. This is what they got:

Wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka....

Bad Astronomy asks:
If the warm part eats that dot in the middle, will the other moons of Saturn turn into ghosts so Mimas can eat them and get points?

More details at the Bad Astronomy blog.

More Fuzzy Warm Feelings from the Caring, Tolerant, Rational, Completely Hate-Free Left

Some pictures from the March 20, 2010 Anti-War Rally in Los Angeles, CA, courtesy of Ringo the Gringo at Ringo's Pictures:

Since when did anti-Semitism become such a big thing in the Anti-War movement?

Oh. Never mind, I just answered my question.

 Again, where is the condemnation?  Why are these racist bigots tolerated by the progressive Left?

You always hear liberals talk loudly about how conservatives need to condemn the Birther movement, but you never hear them condemn the Truthers in their own midst.

Nothing like walking around with a poster of a psychopathic mass murderer displayed proudly.

I find the fact that there is a price tag on this t-shirt to be both hilarious and quite zen.  Oh, and look!  There's even a trademark symbol on the shirt!

Ah yes, it wouldn't be a protest without the LaRouchies.

Based on the content of these last several protest images, I eagerly await Keith Olbermann's upcoming Opinion Commentary condemning the entire Anti-War movement.

This is just a small sampling from Ringo's Pictures Blog.  I strongly suggest you check it out!

We're Screwed

According to the New York Times, some state debts are now at a crisis point.

Here's what they had to say about Illinois' debt:

In Illinois, the state comptroller recently said the state was nearly $9 billion behind on its bills to vendors, which he called an "ongoing fiscal disaster." On Monday, Fitch Ratings downgraded several categories of Illinois's debt, citing the state's accounts payable backlog. California had to pay its vendors with i.o.u.'s last year.

"These are the things that can precipitate a crisis," Mr. Rauh said.

This problem is not going to solve itself, and its not going to go away. The standard Democratic playbook is to raise taxes, and that's what Gov. Quinn wants to do here in Illinois. But raising taxes in this bad economy are only going to make things worse, as it just means more bills to pay when people are already having a hard time paying off the ones they have.

I do not like the sound of this. We're just one economic jolt away from some truly catastrophic events here.

30 March, 2010

A Step in the Right Direction

Well, I know some aren't going to like this, but I've always thought that it was better to work from within the system than without.

According to this AP piece, President Obama is now acknowledging that the Tea Party movement have some "legitimate" concerns about government reach and spending, but he still contends that the core of the movement is on the fringe. I personally think he's wrong about the "core" of the movement -- I think they are far closer to mainstream America than the Left gives them credit -- but at least there seems to be some curbing of the incendiary rhetoric from the Obama camp. I suspect part of the reason may be that the internal poll numbers they are showing could be indicating that support for his policies may be even worse than that USA Today poll indicated.

I guess we'll see if this means any softening on some of his economic positions. But I suspect on the key elements (namely further government control and more spending), it will not mean much.

Hot Damn!! ID4 Sequel(s) on the Way?

Independence Day remains one of my all-time favorite brain-dead popcorn movies. And now, it looks like 20th Century Fox is going to move forward with not one but two sequels.

More news: ID$ Sequel(s) May Be Closer Than Ever Before!

Note to Liberal Elite: It's Not About Race -- Real Clear Politics

I've said it before, and the more I hear people play the race card in regards to the Tea Party movement, the more I think it is true: These unfounded charges of racism say more about the people making them than about the Tea Partiers themselves.

David Paul Kuhn has a great piece at Real Clear Politics today, about why these baseless charges are going to end up hurting the Democrats the more they make them.

From Ace of Spades blog, a great point:

Here's something I know about calling people racists and hatemongers when they aren't racists or hatemongers.

It pisses them off.

Another dose of political reality: not only is the racism charge not sticking, but Health Care Reform continues to be unpopular, according to a USA Today poll released today (and USA Today is one of the more Democratic-leaning pollsters around, which probably means the dissatisfaction is being under-counted here).

29 March, 2010

Rasmussen: Tea Partiers Have Better Grasp of Issues Than Congress

From Rasmussen Reports:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.

When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.

Finally, 46% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is more ethical than the average member of Congress. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say that the average member of Congress is more ethical.

Now, having posted this, I would be a little cautious about using this as a snapshot of mood of the country; Rasmussen is notorious for giving its samplings more weight towards conservative and Republican voters than most other polling services. But even if they are off by a few percentage points, that is a startling sign of the mood of this country -- and does not bode well for incumbents, some Republicans included. This election cycle sounds more and more like it will be another "Throw The Bums Out!" election.

DC/Marvel: Zero Hour, Season Three #2

Hot damn! Itsjustsomerandomguy is back!

An Open Letter to Sean Penn

An Open Letter to Sean Penn, from actress Maria Conchita Alonso, in response to recent pro-Chavez comments by Penn on Real Time with Bill Maher:

Dear Sean, WHY?

Even though I have great respect for your artistic talent, I was appalled by a recent television interview where you vigorously showed support for the regime of Hugo Chavez. Therefore, I’ve decided to set the record straight for you regarding the Chavez regime, supporting my case based not only on my political ideologies, but on proven facts you choose to ignore. Otherwise, I believe your position would be different.

Being born in Cuba, a country where freedom of speech is non-existent, it’s startling to observe how Venezuela, where I was happily raised, is fast becoming Cuba’s mirror image: Dismantling of fundamental democratic rights deserved by its people and citizens of the world.

For example, you said that all Chavez-winning elections in Venezuela were “transparent.”

Then WHY didn’t the government allow a manual recount of the votes and computer information when doubt set in? After all, how do you explain how these votes that were strongly favoring the opposition mysteriously reflected the opposite results the morning after, thus permitting Chavez to continue on? On what are you basing your conclusions? I strongly recommend that you read a report by the U.S. State Department written in 2009 entitled “The Fraudulent Elections in Venezuela”.

We live in a Republic comprised of three autonomous branches of government: Supreme Court, Congress and Executive, thus, a true democracy.

Then WHY do you accept violations by part of the government of Venezuela to ignore its Constitution whereby one man, military-educated Chavez, controls all branches of government? His military background is revealed by his philosophy: “I order, you obey and if you disagree you’re a traitor to the country.” And your voice is silenced along with the ability of freethinking. Did you know solely the government controls 92% of media communications?

You’ve strongly criticized your own governments’ overspending and corruption, whereby the budget for We the people never ends up in the hands of those who need it most.

Then WHY do you support a government with over $100 million in oil revenue that has 71% poverty? Or don’t you know that corruption is so rampant that the rightfully deserving poor never sees a “red cent”? In addition, the fact is that Chavez gives away millions of dollars; belonging to the Venezuelan people, to other countries in order to build a false sense of philanthropy of a man whose self-proclaiming ego is blinded by power behind a communist Cuban-style revolution, expanding such regime.

We live in the U.S.A., the land of opportunity to do and say what we desire, respecting dissenting points of view, of course and without reprisals.

Then WHY do you defend a government whose stronghold upon its people is so oppressive that a big price is paid for exercising freedom of speech: Persecutions, closing of radio and television stations, jail…and even death?

You are fortunate enough to live in a country where you can buy property and claim it as your own to do whatever you want with it.

Then WHY do you promote the interests of a government that violates the Constitution by hindering the possibility of development: Land, industries, commerce, communications companies, foreign investment opportunities, financial institutions and private property? This is an everyday scenario in Venezuela.

Then WHY haven’t you informed yourself on these facts by reading Venezuelan and international newspapers exposing thousands of cases?

Given your sense of community and respect for all people, I think you would defend the security of the citizens in your country.

Then WHY do you validate a government that has converted Venezuela into the second most dangerous country in the world, where impunity is above 90% and its people live in a constant state of stress and fear of getting killed? Many wonder if this situation isn’t but a diabolic strategy by the part of the government, something to think about. Do you know that the weekend of March 13th there were 67 counted homicides only in Caracas? Furthermore, in the first 50 days of this year, there have been 140 express kidnappings for fast money (a 50% increase in 2009 versus previous years). After 11 years of the Chavez government, more than 16,000 people has been murdered by armed gangs and we’re not even at war like in the Middle East.

In the U.S.A. the arm of the law comes down hard on government or private sector where cases of fraud and corruption are discovered.

Then WHY do you defend a politician who promised to sweep corruption, but has ended up sponsoring illicit enrichment by part of his closest allies and civil servants, placing Venezuela as the most corrupt country in the Americas and in its political history? Corruption has increased 68% and inflation 31% in 2009. What a coincidence, Sean that the majority of those “corruptors” are members of the government you have chosen to embrace.

You’ve demonstrated admirable assistance to those in need, due to natural disasters or poverty, those with desperate pleas to get their misfortune exposed for the whole world to see.

Then WHY do you applaud the efforts of a government that has notoriously increased poverty (65% to 71%), produced scarcity of staple products and created an energy and water shortage crisis never seen in Venezuela? Not to mention the numbers of children begging in the streets. You may have missed it because the government tends to take the scenic routes for its guests. I invite you see the real Venezuela, stay for a couple of weeks without the logistics the government of said country organizes for you and you’ll be amazed with the results in your unaided observations.

Sean, you live in a country where your parents had the freedom to teach you principles and respect for entities and human beings, where education hasn’t been manipulated by political agendas of those in power.

Then WHY are you in favor of a country where day after day education isn’t plural by obligating a single-minded agenda and lack of respect for family structure? Did you know Sean that in Venezuela there is political indoctrination at a very early age, better known as “brainwashing”? And let me tell you that if parents don’t agree, they will lose custody of their children, just like in Cuba, a country you’ve placed on a pedestal.

You are a product of a Jewish father.

Then WHY is your fascination with a government that has overtly stated its hatred against the Jewish community worldwide, to the extent that the State of Israel condemned anti-Semitic attacks in Venezuela? Do you think it’s fair that many Jewish-Venezuelan families have emigrated because the Chavez government robbed their personal files when their temples and offices were under attacked in 2008?

I don’t think so, Sean, that you would support violence as a means to impose your agenda.

Then WHY do you support a government with close relationships with FARC, ETA, Cuban G-2, Government of Iran, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, among others, which are the most feared terrorist movements in the world?

You have said that you applaud the actions that Chavez has instituted for his “pueblo”.

Then WHY do you back him up when he himself has recently publicly recognized his failure for effective social programs (missions) in the areas of education, social service and hospitals; where each day the number of the uncared rises for lack of appropriate facilities and respective upkeep, and a country where the mothers give birth in the streets? This you can see on YouTube in investigative programs run on German, Swedish, Italian and Spanish television stations.

Sean, have you considered researching the existence of the growing list of political prisoners, including journalists, on your own? For your information Chile, Peru and Costa Rica has that data. Furthermore, many of these prisoners are tortured and their families persecuted and threatened, just like the Cuba you stand up for.

Is that what you support when you publicly declare that all those that say that Chavez is a dictator should go to jail?

Sean, you have the right to say what you want, but as far as I know, your statements are contradictory to “Freedom of Speech”, the same one you enjoy in this country; by coincidence, “The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.”

My intention isn’t to convince you, but to let you know what is truly happening in this beautiful country of noble people, Venezuela. I would encourage you to investigate in depth the “inside story” and realize for yourself the dark side behind the person you choose to idolize.

Agreed, Chavez did win his first elections, but like Hitler, he betrayed what the country gave him: The vote of confidence.

Hat Tip: Frugal Cafe

Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation: The Flat Tax

Violence Against the President

So, the Democrats are accusing Republicans and Tea Partiers of "inciting violence" against Democrats and the current administration. They bristle at the notion that some people wish to exercise their right of free speech and protest, and claim that such protests are really thinly veiled attempts to promote violent and bigoted attacks against others. There is no place in American politics, they claim, for comparing Obama to Hitler, or wishing death onto the President.






Here's a doozy: John Kerry wishing to kill then-President George W. Bush:

Maher: You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.

Kerry: Or, I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.

(Real Time with Bill Maher, October 2007)
Transcript can be found here.

Zomblog has a great write up on this subject, with many, many more examples.

So I must ask: Where were Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and Ed Schultz when these people were exercising their "hateful" free speech? Could it be that they didn't see any of this as a problem, because they agreed with it? [sarcasm] No, that can't possibly be the reason.... [/sarcasm]

Oh, I forgot. Its only Patriotic and American to protest the Government when a Republican is in the White House. If the government is controlled by the Democrats, then you're a racist, violent bigot who needs to shut up.

Yes, I am starting to get very pissed off about this. There is a double standard in clear evidence, and I am frankly sick and tired of the lies and hypocrisy.

Tea Party in Searchlight, NV

According to CNN, "at least dozens of people" bothered to show up for the Tea Party rally this weekend in Searchlight, NV.

"Dozens", I tell 'ya! Dozens!!!

I guess "dozens" look something like this:

Memo to CNN: Please hire this guy. He can teach you a few things.

Hat Tip: American Border Patrol

Review: The Road to Serfdom, by F.A. Hayek

The Road to Serfdom: The Definitive Edition, by F.A. Hayek.  Edited by Bruce Caldwell.
(283 pages, University of Chicago Press, ISBN #0226320553)

F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom was written as a warning. As a young man from a prominent Austro-Hungarian academic family (among others, his second cousin was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein), he was well aware of the social and economic debates going on in Austria and Germany in the years prior to and immediately after World War I. Indeed, from his perch at the University of Vienna, he was in a unique position to watch the rise of Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany, and Communism in Russia. Twenty years later in war-torn London, he realized with alarm and disgust that the same collectivist arguments that had spawned totalitarians such as Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, were now being seriously considered in Britain and America -- not in the guise of Fascism, but under the more “pleasant” masks of government planning and Socialism. Hayek had already gone through these arguments before, and had sadly seen where they had led. This time he was prepared, and The Road to Serfdom was written as his attempt to refute and turn back the brewing tidal wave of Socialism, and to remind readers just what the consequences of state control of society -- both seen and unforseen -- were.

Hayek’s thesis is thus: Any collectivist form of government, whether they be Socialist/Communist or Fascist (for all practical purposes, both are viewed as different aspects of the same thing, because both require strong centralized government power), will always require an ever increasing amount of authority over society in order to survive. Such authority will inevitably erode and destroy individual rights, resulting in increasing oppression and tyranny. It does not matter how “good” or “moral” the people who are doing the centralized planning are, because inevitably those who are in control will either be corrupted by the power they wield, or be supplanted by those who crave power. America and Britain, he feared, were heading down the same road that Germany and Russia had already traveled, and in that direction lay the death of individual liberty.

Hayek backs his theory up with history and logic, and lays out a compelling case for why those who value individualism should look with deep mistrust at any attempt to organize, nationalize, or otherwise collect into government controlled units that which had heretofore been the province of private enterprise and private citizens. Further, he shows how the suppression of individual rights has long been the aim of Socialism and Fascism, extensively quoting both the academics of his day and those of the generations before. The rights that we take for granted -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to travel or own property or even to pursue the career we choose -- have always been in the crosshairs of collectivists and central planners. Seen by many social thinkers as a direct threat to their stated aims, individual rights were often categorized as something that must be controlled or suppressed in order to reorganize society along what the planners considered to be more rational, scientific, and equitable lines (with naturally, only the planners themselves allowed to decide what was rational, scientific, and equitable). If you had always wondered how societies can so easily succumb to totalitarian ideals, Hayek offers a very lucid (and frightening, when one considers the world around us today) explanation for how that might occur. As a warning against the dangers of centralized government control, The Road to Serfdom succeeds well beyond even the writers expectations.

But for those who think Hayek is thoroughly on the side of Laissez-Faire capitalism, think again: Hayek also attacks monopolistic corporations, as a sort of “socialism by proxy”, for much the same reason he distrusts centralized governments. He was also an early -- and enthusiastic -- proponent of European Union, as the later chapters of his book show (and something which even his detractors seem to find surprising). And while his criticisms of collectivism are thorough, it should also be noted that Hayek states unequivocally that he was not against government regulation or intervention per se, only that such intervention should only be used in circumstances where private society was not adequate to compensate. Thus, Hayek’s work should not be viewed as right-wing or left-wing; it is thoroughly Libertarian, and a Libertarianism that recognizes the totalitarian tendencies on both sides of the political divide.

Hayek’s prose is generally readable, but has the misfortune to be at times somewhat academic; those not used to that style of writing may find themselves periodically going back a few paragraphs and rereading, just to make sure they understood his line of thought. Hayek’s work also has an annoying tendency to presuppose some knowledge of political and social debates going on in Britain during World War II, details which are now mostly forgotten; thankfully, this edition does have substantive footnotes. But the largest problem with the book is still the same one that many critics have previously complained about, namely that while Hayek extensively criticizes Socialism/Communism and Fascism, he offers very few proposals as to how to remedy the problem, or even as to where the lines should be drawn. That was left for another day.

Many Keynsians would have you believe that this book is irrelevant, that the Austrian School that Hayek was a member of has long since been “thoroughly discredited”, and that Hayek himself should be dismissed merely because he was a favorite of such conservatives as William F. Buckley, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagen. Ignore these fools. I do not think they understand Hayek, and are only interested in discrediting someone they view as a polar opposite of Keynes (despite the fact that Keynes himself spoke glowingly of The Road to Serfdom). Just because the totalitarianism that Hayek was writing about -- primarily Nazi Germany, but also Fascist Italy and Communist Russia -- have long since disappeared does not mean that his criticism and analysis are without merit, nor that it remains no less invalid today than it was sixty years ago. One only has to logon to the latest news and read the opinion pieces, where the questions of whether or not to nationalize certain industries or to what extent ordinary citizens must expect to “sacrifice” for the good of the whole, to realize that the threats that Hayek was warning about are still very much present, and will continue to do so for as long as government is permitted to assume more and more responsibility over our everyday lives.

The Road to Serfdom is an important book, and one that should be read by students of politics and economics of all persuasions.

28 March, 2010

Double Dip on the Horizon?

The Consumer Metrics Institute is an economic think-tank. For the past four years they've been tracking retail economic activity, and matching that with the government's official GDP figures. The result has been a fairly consistent prediction of economic upturns and downturns, with the sales figures generally having about a three-month lag time ahead of GDP downturns (although admittedly, by no means an exact correlation).

So why is this significant?

According to their latest chart, retail sales figures have tanked. Dramatically. Which means if the pattern holds true, we are on the verge of a second ("double dip") recession, probably starting in the next few months.

Here's the chart:

Here's their current chart on the economic contraction (March 21, 2010):

Unless the 'demand' side of the consumer economy picks up substantially over the next few weeks the blue line on the graph will drift laterally to the right. If it continues to move in that direction it will be tracing a shape unlike either the mild 2006 (green) or the catastrophic 2008 (red) contractions, indicating instead a relatively shallow but persistent contraction consistent with the oxymoronic 'jobless recovery' that nearly everyone expects.
-- CMI Commentary 3/21/2010

Further information plus more charts that suggest we're heading for another recession (or actually, may already be at the beginning stages of one) can be found at their website:
Consumer Metrics Institute

For my part, I will say that my Ebay business was down in January and February, but seems to have picked up significantly in the last few weeks. So I guess time will tell if we're entering another recession or not.

Yet another Doctor Who Series 5 Clip!

First few seconds of the first episode:

27 March, 2010

More Doctor Who Series 5!

More sneak peeks to Season 5!!

Here's an excerpt from the vampire episode that's been hinted at in the series promos:

And here's yet another series trailer:

25 March, 2010

C2E2 Promo

This is where I'll be in a few weeks!

This Saturday is Human Achievement Hour!!

Don't forget: this Saturday is Human Achievement Hour, where we get to celebrate humanity's long climb from superstitious barbarism to the world of today! Join us in celebrating Man's glorious achievements in Modern Medicine and Technology! Longer, healthier lives! Democracy! Efficient transportation! Accurate weather prediction! More leisure time than we know what to do with! Wii Game Systems!! All the things that have made modern life a million times better than having to shovel cow shit every day and living in insect-ridden mud huts surrounded by cholera-infested water!

How do you participate in this celebration?

Simple: at 8:30 pm this Saturday (March 27, 2010), TURN ON EVERY LIGHT IN YOUR HOUSE!!! Turn on the TV, too! And the stereo system -- heck, CRANK IT UP!! Keep them on for ONE ENTIRE HOUR!! Celebrate the advent of technology by USING AS MUCH OF IT AS YOU CAN FOR ONE ENTIRE HOUR!! Woohoo!!

Join us on Facebook and TELL THE WORLD!!

Celebrate Human Achievement Hour! For the things we shouldn't have to live without!

Hat tip: Zelmane, via email (re-posted with permission)

Human Achievement Hour 2010 on National Review Online

Obamacare Backlash

The news is becoming filled with reports of violent behavior being directed at Democrats who voted for the Health Care Reform bill. While I admit to having some sympathy for those who feel frustrated at the most recent turn of events, I also have to say that there is no excuse for this kind of behavior.

We're the United States of America, not Venezuela or Nicaragua or Cuba or some other tinpot South American dictatorship, where death threats against politicians are the norm (and more often than not, carried out). These sort of tactics are no different than those employed by the brownshirts who prevented Ann Coulter from speaking in Canada. We're better than that. Our opposition is principled, but it should also be non-violent. The way to deal with politicians with whom we disagree with is through the ballot box, not with a brick through their windows.

This crap has to stop. Now. If you want to change things, work for it by supporting organizations, causes, and candidates with whom you believe in. But don't employ the tactics of thuggery to achieve your aims.

24 March, 2010

Three Things

Three things I think libertarian activists need to start insisting on, if we are to have any hope of getting even a vague handle on our impending economic train-wreck:

1. A Balanced Budget Amendment, which would mandate that all government spending must be paid for with the funds the government has rather than allowing it to get further and further into debt.
2. Replacement of the current income tax structure with a Flat Tax (might require a constitutional amendment, perhaps even a partial repeal of the 16th Amendment). I would suggest a flat tax of 15% for incomes below $100,000/yr, and 25% for those above.
3. An amendment giving the President the power of a Line Item Veto, so as to target ear marks and pet pork projects that really have no place in these bills.

I'd also like to see a Term Limits Amendment for Congress, say 6 consecutive terms (12 years) for Congressmen and 2 consecutive terms (12 years) for the Senate.  I don't think its something to insist upon, but if it can be done I think it would be a good idea.

We're Screwed

According to that radical right-wing think tank, the U.S. Government Accounting Office, in its just-released Financial Report of the United States Government, the Federal US Government currently has $45.8 Trillion in unfunded liabilities which it is obliged to pay when they come due, mostly in the next 20-30 years. This is in addition to the current deficit, which as of the moment is only at a mere $11.4 Trillion (look at Page xiii, at the "Nation by the Numbers" table). And that assumes our deficit doesn't grow under Obamacare, which no one really believes will happen.

Guess who is going to have to pay for this?

Government spending has not only indentured our children, but their children as well.

Hat Tip: Veronique de Rugy @ NRO - The Corner.

Them Crazy Canucks & Free Speech

Exchange on Fox News this morning, between Susan Cole of Toronto Now, and host Megyn Kelly, on the cancellation last night of a speech by Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa:
G: "Ann Coulter got exactly what she deserved."
MK: "Why do you believe that."
SG: "I don't think she's an appropriate choice to be speaking on campus' in Canada...We're trying to create an environment which is a safe place to think and learn and I don't think that Ann Coulter contributes to that."
MK: "Here in the United States...we believe the answer to speech you don't like isn't less speech, it's more speech, and that's the bedrock of our 1st Amendment, of which we're very proud."
SG: "We don't have that same political culture here in (Canada)....We don't have a 1st Amendment, we don't have a religion of free speech...."
MK: "Ann Coulter was invited to speak at the University, an invitation she accepted."
SG: "That's true, and it was inappropriate for those who invited her to invite her, because she wasn't going to contribute to an actual conversation, she was mostly going to provoke..."

SG: "Students sign off on all kinds of agreements as to how they'll behave on campus, in order to respect diversity, equity, all of the values that Canadians really care about. Those are the things that drive our political culture. Not freedoms, not rugged individualism, not free speech. It's different, and for us, it works."
MK:"It is different, not freedoms, and not free speech. Here in American, we had Ahmadinijad come onto the campus of Columbia University and speak, but that's us."
(underline mine)
Hat Tip: Sharpe Stick Blog

In other words, "the only kind of speech we want in Canada is the kind that fits our narrow definitions, and anyone else who wishes to express different opinions should be forcibly shut up."

And they call libertarians and conservatives "Intolerant".

Just to be clear, I do think Ann Coulter is a bit of a fanatical nutjob who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the governing board of a flower arranging society, much less actual power in government. But that doesn't mean I think she should be shut up and denied the right to speak. There is something fundamentally wrong with an attitude that says someone should be denied the right to speak merely because they have different opinions.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
-- Voltaire

Doctor Who Series 5 BBC America Trailer

I am sooooo looking forward to this! :)

Keith "Anyone Who Disagrees With Me Is Evil" Olbermann

Memo to Mr. Olbermann: It is not racist to demand fiscal responsibility from one's government.

I particularly like the bit at 0:54...

12 March, 2010

Andrew Klavan on The Oscars

I need to get back to this blog. But in the meantime, here's another video.