Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember."

-- Ronald Wilson Reagan
Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I've Been Presidentially Spammed!

Apparently, sending an e-mail to the President complaining about how he's handling bailouts was enough to get me on his e-mail list. This strikes me as incredibly funny since I'm not exactly his biggest fan.

Text of the e-mail rah-rahs the ongoing plan/discussion/blustering concerning providing better health care options for Americans. Plus it applies a subtle guilt trip encouraging the recipient to get all his/her friends and neighbors to sign up for the updates.

After the way the Federal government manages to muddy up every little thing it touches, I just gotta say (with respect to affordable federal health care): Good luck with that, buddy. You need it.

Of Strawberries and Bar-B-Q

Miss A. shows a very decided preference for strawberries and anything that could have bbq sauce on it. It's to the point that if we are having one or the other, I have to hide them until after she has eaten the other foods with her meal. Otherwise, she refuses everything until she has gorged herself on the favored foods.

Neither of the first two ever showed that strong a preference for a particular food.

We drove down to Llano, Texas in order to enjoy some of Cooper's BBQ last month. It is Mr. W's favorite place to eat, and this was the first time he ever took me. Kind of a fun place where you pick out your food from the pits outside and take it inside to be weighed, cut and eaten.

Miss A. ate more of the bbq than I have ever seen her eat in a single meal. The kid sucked this stuff down FAST. We had leftovers we took home and reheated a couple days later. When she caught the aroma and saw the plate piled with the brisket and sausage, she squealed. Again, she sucked the food down.

Earlier, she pitched a fit because I did not have enough strawberries to suit her at supper. This was after she'd eaten plenty of other food. But darnit, she WANTED more strawberries!

Is it bad that I still giggle when I watch a baby pitch a wall-eyed hissy fit?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wheezer on a wire

Strange thing I did a couple weeks ago...

I climbed straight up a 20 foot pole (telephone pole type thingy), walked 40 feet across an awfully thin cable while holding onto two ropes, and trusted someone not to let me plummet to the ground in my little harness.



The Libertarian in me likes...

This came out some time in the 80s (as evidenced by the Reagan and Tip O'Neal references), but it pretty well summarizes my attitude about our current legislators.



Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.


Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.O'neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.


It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation" or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

This article was taken from the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper