Saturday, April 25, 2009

It Screams “Pork”

If you don’t remember the “bridge to nowhere” and the outrage over that pork project in Alaska, I shall remind you. It centered on the federal government supplying the funding for the multi-million dollar project to bridge a waterway to connect a handful of citizens on an island to the town proper. Alaska’s senior senator was at the center of the controversy and took endless flack for the project from the press, the blogs, prosecutors, and just about everyone but the folks who lived at the end of the bridge. It never materialized.

With better backing from a friendlier congress, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) had a more successful result in his “airport to nowhere.” He managed to receive about $150,000,000 for his constituency in federal funds to construct this useless airport. Over ten years of existence, it has enjoyed passenger traffic of twenty (20!) per day spread over the three (3!) flights to Washington, D.C., the only possible destination. The cost of The John P. Murtha, Johnstown Cambria County Airport over the ten year span currently figures out to a federal subsidy of $2054.48 per departing passenger using the facility. We use no magic numbers here: $150 m ÷ 10 years ÷ 365 days ÷ 20 passengers = $2054.48 per departure. For a 200 mile flight to D.C., that is over $10.00 per mile.

Why dwell on the arithmetic? For starters, let me say that I was thrilled to see an ABC report on this travesty which was remarkable if only for its presence and implied criticism. However, once I crunched the numbers I found they had used a different means arriving at their conclusions which you can easily see for yourself. They do not give you the arithmetic progression to see how they figure it. It looked to me as though for the cost of 5 flights each passenger could have been given a decent used pick-up and driven to D.C.. It would also have been more cost effective to send a chauffeured limousine to Johnstown to deliver the passengers to the Pittsburgh airport for multiple destination options. I’m certain that wouldn’t have exceeded two to three hundred per trip and with am included prepaid round trip flight to any US (and many foreign) destinations it would have been a comparative bargain.

The old chestnut goes like this: “figures don’t lie, but, liars figure.” Surely you don’t suppose? The AIG bonuses were in the same price range, contractual, and went to people who actually worked for a living. Is the moral equivalence outrage the same? Does this prompt me to criticize my local representative to Washington for not supplying Lawrence County with a chunk of pork the same size? He will not do this because of his party affiliation but rather because he is sane. It has little to do with party and much to do with personal promotion, ego, and self-aggrandizement.

While I have a measure of respect for John Murtha’s service to his country as a Marine it is not a suitable excuse for the rapine of the public purse. The actual guilt lies in the greed of his local supporters who are willing to return him year after year to a job for which he shows no fiscal responsibility.

One final thought: there was an entry in the stimulus package to furnish an additional $803,000 for relief to above mentioned airport.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Tea Party Conclusion

After the excitement and intensity of last week one can only ponder where we go from here. The Tea Parties were a resounding success. Everyone had the opportunity to blow off steam and criticize those in Washington and even local politicians who fell short of their advertised expectations. We prayed, we sang, we applauded, we cheered, and we waved our flags and bobbed our signs. For once, we felt that we were “doing” something. Private complaint is not the equal of a public protest. More important, we were happy as we perceived a restoration of the people in the process.

All of that was important. I certainly hope and pray that the title of this post is not a prediction. Historically, the Boston tea party was not just a dramatic statement to seek redress from grievance. It was a bold announcement of things to come. It sent a message to London that an intolerable level of governance had been reached. And, like highly placed leadership in every corner of the world today, it was heard and largely ignored. The powers at that time figured that now they had that out of their system, the people would return to their lives and the oppression could continue.

Our version of the Tea Party, as far as we have taken it, has had a profound affect on those who would lead. I do not look to the noisy leftist critics for an evaluation of the progress we have made. Rather I look to the lack of comments from the White House staff and the president himself. He claimed that he had no knowledge of the activity of a million of his fellow citizens engaged in protest in every state in over 800 cities on a common date. Media comments were equally dismissive and events were under-reported. This was a singular moment in the American experience and apparently those who should be on the alert to changes in the American mind didn’t notice.

Observing this “head in the sand” approach, I am now convinced that the Tea Parties had a profound influence. The message was heard and prompted “the one” to announce an improved surveillance of wasteful spending in government. His idea: answer the $3.2 trillion in porkulus with a reduction of 1/32,000th of that amount. One of us is woefully under educated in mathematics. I seriously doubt that Mr. Toft (God bless him) would have let me out of my algebra class without seeing that relationship clearly. Plainly stated; in Washington if the figure is not followed by at least nine zeroes; it aint “jack.”

This then necessitates the question; what now? We had our day in the park (capitol steps, city hall, stadium, rotunda, etc.) so what is required of us now. The pep rally isn’t the game. We (the people) are now charged up and ready to go. We are excited, willing to work for what we believe, and ready to engage the enemies of the treasury. To continue the sport’s metaphor we need to maintain the momentum. Every Sunday afternoon you can see what happens when the home team fails to do just that. Once you have the lead; bury them! If you fail to do so, you risk the fate of failure.

If we do fail to continue the pressure by expressing displeasure with the actions of the Washington elites we shall have no one to blame but ourselves. We have heavily advertised that the current movement is grass roots. Using that descriptor we must conclude that it is of the people. We are not following a charismatic leader. We have no political action committee to hand down our marching orders. This by no means implies that we should not respond to that leadership which rises to the top to encourage us. If a neighbor, friend, fellow congregant, or unknown asks for your assistance in organization, land use, or in any supporting role; rise to the occasion. The most effective speeches I have heard in three experiences have come from ordinary people who understand their plight and that of all citizens in facing the ever mounting debt. Although well prepared, they spoke from the heart and were easily understood. Public speaking is easy if you actually know what you are talking about. If you don’t; get a teleprompter or shut up! Educate yourself, have the correct figures, know the people involved, understand the programs, and most important, innovate.

Stay alert to events in your area and state wide. Dial your radio to local personalities who are eager to announce community events. Scan the news at every opportunity for hints of upcoming events. Find the clearing house for keeping abreast of local developments. If necessary, let it be you. And, most important, share your experiences with your friends and neighbors. There is more good news coming over the back fence than there is on television. Once you get the word of an impending event; share it. This is what grass roots is all about. The people carry the message to the people.

We cannot let this die! If each and every one of us who understands the perils which the nation now faces acts within the reach of his talents and abilities we will prevail. Review the history of our nation and realize that the truly great leaders of our country always recognized the un-named citizenry without whose help they could not have led. This is our job; let's do it!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Katrina Pierson

I was absolutely thrilled this morning to find a YouTube video from the Dallas Tea Party. If you want to see an impassioned conservative who is remarkably articulate and has a keen understanding of our present dilemma; she is it.

This young woman has an exceptional grasp of current issues and a history which you may agree denies her evident accomplishment.

Many thanks are offered to Instapundit and Glen Reynolds for the original posting.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 88

Let’s get right to it this morning. If you are looking for yet more outrage, you have come to the right place. This story is so vile that it defies description.

We will start with exactly what happened. In Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania there were two judges (Mark A. Ciavarilla and Michael T. Conahan) who had a cozy relationship with the operators of a privately owned juvenile detention center. They were paid by the operators, by the head, for each person sentenced for incarceration there. The center’s revenue was garnered per head by their prison population numbers. The two judges then assured the operators of huge sums by sentencing juvenile offenders to the facility; the judges’ kick-back, $2.6 million dollars.

The justification for the sentencing was more often than not for such offenses as being in a playground fight, posting unkind remarks about school officials on the internet, and other trivial matters which normally would have resulted in detention at the individual school. For their own personal gain, they committed naughty kids to a penal environment for ninety days and up. Once convicted, the children now carry the stigma of the sentence throughout their lives. Thousands of kids were involved.

While pointing to the despicable judges, who received 7 years in prison, is appropriate, the case has many more actors. Among them, the prosecuting attorney, the operators of the detention facility, social service workers, and other courts right up to and including the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. I would suggest that the deprivation of the rights of a child might also hold some interest at the federal level.

One might suggest that not only did the system fail the victims of this scam but also points to rampant corruption at every adjacent level. For what ever reason, any of the above mentioned participants, whether remunerated in kind or influence should swell the population numbers of Pennsylvania’s prisons. I shall be particularly alert to the actions of the new attorney general, Eric Holder, in encouraging further investigation of all the miscreants involved.

A Few Thoughts from Jim Treacher

This guy comes up with some marvelous quotes of which I will share a few and you can click for the rest.

“One anagram of "President Barack Obama" is "An Arab backed imposter." Just one of those weird things that has nothing to do with reality.”

“When it comes to deficit spending, Obama burns down your house and reminds you that Bush once lit a match.”
“President Obama just sent Kim Jong-il a strongly worded apology.”

“Wepwesentative Bawney Fwank weceives incweasing evidence that wunnin' things, it ain't all gwavy:

“Newly discovered documents reveal Lee Harvey Oswald acted on orders from 12-year-old Rush Limbaugh. Jack Ruby's dying word: "Megadittoes."

Try him, you’ll like him.

Some Other Random Thoughts

Walking on water is an appropriate action if one does not have feet of clay. Then, things are apt to get muddy and bogged down.

I apologize to my readers for supplying the reality of the film of your host. Perhaps it would have been better to let you imagine how I appear rather than confirming your worst suspicions.

Have we about come to the reality yet that “the one” can not speak without a teleprompter? I may have posted this earlier but if I didn’t; it’s priceless. If I did, you can always enjoy laughing one more time.

One of greatest things about the attendees at the tea parties is that the crude jokes from the left about “tea bagging” underscores that the humor has gone over their heads. It is difficult to either criticize or laugh at that which one does not understand or experience.

Obama today pledged that $100 million in "inefficiencies" would be eliminated from the federal budget. Let's see; that would be 1/32,000th of the total "stimulus" package. Wow! 1/32,000th!

Listen carefully to the “apology” which Janet Napolitano offered over the Assessment from the Department of Homeland Security. At no time does she actually apologize or acknowledge the hurt she caused to those who have served in the armed forces. She simply says that “an apology is called for” and then only for the footnote.

I could not have been prouder than to hear my adult Sunday school teacher confide that she had attended her local Tea Party in Miami, OK. She loved it!

The Real Thing

This is the resource for the following article. You will probably find much of interest on this website so don’t be bashful about clicking it. Please note that although they identify Coke as the villain, it applies almost equally to any soda you can name.

“Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness..
45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
>60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
>60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
>60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.
This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke; it’ll make you feel better.

*FYI: The Coke itself is not the enemy, here. It’s the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid. Things which are found in almost all soda.”

And finally

Life is good; life is full and life is active. Church, Tea Parties, spring cleanup and plantings, writing, and all the other things which keep the body and the mind sound (?) are in abundance here in the Ozarks.

On the south side of the new deck on either side of the entrance I built foot-high rock walled planters to accommodate the grapes. On twenty acres of trees and rocks I didn’t have sufficient good topsoil so I bought it at Wal-Mart in addition to natural fertilizers. I did cheat a little; we have the Missouri Extension Center research farm close by and they are running about a three acre experimental patch to evaluate the possibilities of vineyards for Missouri farmers. I went there for verifiable information on how to do it. The plants, from Lowes, are now about a foot high, mulched and leafing out. We were blessed with an easy shower over the weekend so no need to water today. I chose three different varieties and hopefully, one will climb up to the cross-hatched roof and provide what we need in cover, food, and decoration for us.

The balance of God’s world is in full-speed spring mode and flourishing. The grass (4 acres) is ready for its second complete mowing and all’s right with the world. My prayer is that you are able to enjoy this season of rebirth as much as we are.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a Day!

Let’s have a quick look at the Tea Party in Springfield, MO on Sat. April 18. The forecast was for an 80% chance of thunderstorms but about 2000 of us didn’t pay any attention and went anyway. These people are serious. The event was “sponsored” by radio station KSFG (1260AM) and guided by their early morning guy, Vincent David Jericho. He was also the master of ceremonies at the event.

Since it was my third in as many days, I was a little more blas√© about my timing and just barely made it in time. I had also “tuned” my display material a little and was still fiddling with it when I should have been on the way.

Since the recent reading of the bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security and the revelation that I am now officially classified as a “right-wing extremist” (I’m against abortion, illegal immigration, and insane spending and not incidentally, a dangerous trained veteran) I felt that was an issue I needed to address. I took a 100 yd. small bore rifle target and put my newly acquired title in the two outer rings in red capital letters and stapled it to a black leather vest to give the new oppressive authorities a clear target. These folks need all the help they can get.

Although I lack a picture of the new edition of display material there is a video available at this site to see some of the other signs which I carry. You may have to register to see it and do a little navigating to the video section. Wait for the Pepto-Bismol commercial to finish. Look for the one entitled “Springfieldians gather for the second tea party.”

The two hour rally featured many inspired speakers and an extremely enthusiastic crowd totally consumed with the actions of the current congress and administration. As is typical, the crowd was friendly, well behaved, courteous and widely diverse. Mutual consideration was the absolute rule. After attending three of these I can only conclude that it is possible to raise a protest without foul language, physical violence, law enforcement intrusion, or any of the other plagues so visible on demonstrations from the left. No child was ever safer than at this Tea Party and there were plenty of kids of all ages; and dogs. Unlike our first lady this was not the first time I have ever been proud of America but I have never been prouder.

Two hours and twenty minutes after I arrived, I wandered back to the car and as I sat down inside, the sky opened and the advertised storm arrived. It was a dilly. God is good! It rained nearly all the way home (fifty miles) and only stopped after I parked and gathered my things to go inside.

It has been reported that the president was asked what he thought of the events that occurred in hundreds of cities nationwide on tax day. He responded that he was “unaware” of these going on. This leaves me to draw from a choice of conclusions: he is either clueless, ill-advised, or a liar. None of these options gives me any comfort.

I shall repeat my advice: if you have a chance to attend one of these gatherings, do so. You will be rewarded with an experience which is unbelievably uplifting. You will meet people who love their country, their families, and share serious concerns over the state of the nation. Most of all, you will discover that you are not the only one who feels as you do.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon