Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 2010 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Tomorrow's a day off, so this was my last chance to get a good picture of the tree. I was headed home before it was dark, however.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Once again, the New York Times has no shame and resorts to a lie

A Google query shows that a lot of liberal blogs picked up on this New York Times tripe. It would be too much to expect that this Leonhardt would have done his actual homework, instead of linking to a liberal hack.

Being a little versed in Reagan's speeches, I could smell something was fishy from what Michelle Malkin has called "the fishwrap of record." Leonhardt took a quote from Reagan's 1964 speech, "A Time for Choosing," where Reagan was referring to Social Security, and -- purposely or in typical liberal ignorance -- merged it with his 1961 speech opposing Medicare.

It would have been too much to expect that Leonhardt would tell the truth, like linking to "The Southern Manifesto" as evidence that "conservatives have often viewed any expansion of government protections as a threat to capitalism." The 101 signers were primarily (perhaps all, I didn't check all the names) Democrats, like the anti-semite Thomas Abernathy.

What a liar Leonhardt is! Or perhaps he'll excuse himself that Democrats were conservatives then, like the Earth's magnetic poles are thought to reverse over time?
The federal income tax, a senator from New York said a century ago, might mean the end of “our distinctively American experiment of individual freedom.” Social Security was actually a plan “to Sovietize America,” a previous head of the Chamber of Commerce said in 1935. The minimum wage and mandated overtime pay were steps “in the direction of Communism, Bolshevism, fascism and Nazism,” the National Association of Manufacturers charged in 1938.
And these warnings were correct, echoed in 1961 when Reagan warned of Medicaid as a way for socialism to get its foot in the door: let government start a small program under the guise of charity, then gradually expand it. "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So governments' programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth."

Reagan wasn't perfect. He believed in some government, including one powerful enough to force you to fund a massive defense of the homeland and allies. Nonetheless, he said a lot of good things that any lover of liberty should take to heart. People don't oppose Medicare because they want the elderly to be without health care; we oppose it on the basis of liberty, that a person should not be forced to subsidize the life of another. If you want to save an individual, or the world, open up your own pocketbook and inspire others. I understand the Obamas made a few coins last year, so let them go first.

But it's the very fact that the cause isn't worthwhile, that the administration is inefficient, and/or that there aren't enough people willing to fund the goal, that a government is needed to force people to participate. What rational person today, more than 20 years from retirement, would "invest" any money in Social Security? Or pay into Medicaid and Medicare, considering all their fraud? It's the same with socialized health insurance. Leonhardt talks about "lowering costs," which is because people are forced to pay for a service despite not needing or wanting it. It's certainly true that many healthy people buy health insurance policies they'll never fully use, but that's a risk they take voluntarily. The tyranny and collectivism Obama and the Clintons would lead us into is that all healthy people are needed to pay for everyone else.

"Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we're always 'against' things—we're never 'for' anything."

"There is no [Social Security] fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is 298 billion dollars in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble. And they're doing just that."

"Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the—or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment."

Now contrast the Gipper with Leonhardt's idiocy: "Guaranteeing people a decent retirement and decent health care does more than smooth out the rough edges of capitalism. Those guarantees give people the freedom to take risks. If you know that professional failure won’t leave you penniless and won’t prevent your child from receiving needed medical care, you can leave the comfort of a large corporation and take a chance on your own idea. You can take a shot at becoming the next great American entrepreneur."

In other words, Leonhardt says the government should take care of you, no matter how stupid you are in your life choices -- at the expense of everyone else who was responsible and did make good choices.

The great entrepreneurs were not just risk-takers. They made correct choices, and they never relied on forcing government to save them from their mistakes. Of course, for every Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt or Steve Jobs are uncountable people who failed. But they didn't fail because of moral deficiency, but simply because they made errors in offering a product or service. That still does not give them the right to force others to give them a safety net.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Just about the biggest stupidity I've seen in suggesting how to reduce the federal deficit

In the comments for this,
Ways to cut the deficit Lower all politicians salaries by 25%, lower all gas / diesel / heating fuels to $1.00 a gallon, lower property taxes to $100 dollars a year for all houses and let people have to work to pay for their children to go to school so that people are NOT forced out of their houses and on welfare, make illegal aliens pay for the taxes and medical services they have received free of charge, make foreigners pay for their own college education instead of raising the amount to go to college to pay for those whom get free college, make small companies pay a very small tax amount and let all companies take tax deductions for medical care of employees, stop raising taxes and stop making new taxes for reasons that there are ways to provide for without raising taxes. Have several more reasons that would make a candidate for presidential election get elected but won't post them because the politicians would use them for their own nomination. Posted by Dereck
Cutting politicians' salaries: a drop in the bucket of $1.3 trillion.

Lowering property taxes: this actually increases the deficit at municipal levels. But it does nothing for the federal deficit.

"let people have to work to pay for their children to go to school so that people are NOT forced out of their houses and on welfare": this is a non-sequitur.

Illegal immigrants: another drop in the bucket of $1.3 trillion.

Taxes on companies and their health care costs: this does nothing significant for the federal deficit.

"stop raising taxes and stop making new taxes for reasons that there are ways to provide for without raising taxes": this circular claim still does nothing.

But the biggest idiocy is "lower all gas / diesel / heating fuels to $1.00 a gallon." No energy company could survive on that. They'd lose money without...massive government subsidies, which would massively increase the deficit.

The only way to cut the deficit is to cut spending. The primarily spending outlays are entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and welfare), and you can be sure every last one of the recipients will vote to continue the status quo -- everyone else be damned. The nature of government being what it is, namely an institution whose sole function is to force some people to bend to the whims of others (e.g. taxation), you might as well ask the fox to go on a diet while extending him another invitation to the henhouse.

Art Cummings of the News-Times is a God-damned idiot, and I will cheer when his soul burns in hell

God is truly merciful and forgiving, according to Judeo-Christian scriptures. He'd even forgive this hell-bound piece of shit who supports the theft of other people's property, it's said, when I myself wouldn't consider it for a unit of Planck time.
...the Bush tax cuts and Derek Jeter's contract.

Neither one of those is an earth-shaking matter...
So tax cuts that affect all net taxpayers are not important? Really?

What happens to Jeter will not affect me in the least, but it does affect me when the government decides to rob me of even more of my property. What's more galling is the absurd claim, "Well, the law giving you a tax cut expired." After all, taxpayers are merely prey for government's leeches, and raising taxes (including revoking a previous "cut") is just giving a bigger bag limit to the predators.

Cummings' first idiocy is to ignore that the tax brackets are going up for everyone. They always were. Democrats' efforts were never serious: they knew that Republicans would take a hard line on keeping all the tax "cuts," so Democrats could use that as an excuse that they couldn't extend any tax cuts at all. It's necessary for both parties to increase taxes on everyone, because taxes on "the rich" are nowhere near enough to cover the surge in the federal deficit, a level that previously was only seen during WWII.

Even playing liberals' game, "Bush's tax cuts" only cut taxes for "the rich" by $700 billion. That's not per year, but total. Putting things in perspective, Obama's annual deficits are $1.4 trillion and $1.3 trillion. Taxes on "the rich" for several years wouldn't even come close to covering a single year of the new deficits.

But Cummings' true idiocy is to suggest that people are worse off when the top earners aren't paying the vast majority (and last year, income taxes paid by the top 1% first exceeded what was paid by the bottom 95%, approximately a third of the pot). Why would people be worse off when their neighbors aren't being robbed more? Because the government needs to rob everyone as much as possible to satisfy Obama's fiscal insanity, lest taxpayers in the future will have greater debt burdens?

If he suggests that people benefit from "soaking the rich" because they'll get back more than they pay in, I don't need a government to force a neighbor to pay for my consumption. And I already pay more than I get back.

Therein lies the truth: anyone "worse off" is like a mugger or burglar is "worse off" with fewer victims. Liberals in their innate hypocrisy openly despise "the rich," but inwardly they know that "the rich" are needed to pay the bulk of taxes.