Friday, July 23, 2010

Facing the "Cap and Tax" Disaster

Mr. “Green Jeans” (Al Gore) has provided a barrel of laughs for those who follow public figures. His constant whining about CO2, his sore-headed response to the 2000 election, and his sexual preferences, recently revealed, have provided grist for the tabloid mill and even so-called reputable journals. Unfortunately, the issue which has the most direct affect on the daily lives of most Americans is the Cap and Tax Fiasco.

Amidst other pressing matters (USDA Sherrod at the NAACP, BP oil spill news, Journalist shenanigans, etc., etc.) it might appear that the matter has been forestalled. But no, like an unattended chigger bite, it is still there with its companion irritation. For a clear analysis of the costs of the proposed Boxer-Kerry legislation and the long range implications (through 2035) click on this article from the Heritage website.

The following is a quote from that much lengthier report but it allows you to evaluate what the result will be for you and your family.

“Americans can expect the following to occur between enactment and the year 2035 (all figures are adjusted for inflation):

  Inflation-adjusted losses to gross domestic product (GDP) of $9.9 trillion;

  · More than $4.6 trillion in higher energy taxes;

  · Job losses exceeding 2.5 million for some years;

  · Annual family-of-four energy costs rising by $1,000, including a gasoline price increase of more than $1.20 per gallon;

  · Annual family-of-four energy costs plus increased cost of goods and services totaling more than $3,000;

  · Average GDP loss per family of four above $4,500 per year;

  · Family-of-four net worth dropping by more than $40,000; and

  · The family of four's share of the national debt rising by an additional $27,000.”

What the above quote doesn’t cover is the affect this legislation will have upon unemployment figures. They will soar. It is difficult to imagine a more crippling exercise upon the American economy. In addition to the recently passed socialized medicine bill it should guarantee bankruptcy for the nation in a very short time.

This questionable crisis is obviously being promoted by those who seek the absolute destruction of the greatest nation the world has ever known. It is little more than just one more tool in an already overcrowded tool-box. Under the guise of predictions of doom if we refuse the use of $10 bulbs over the 89cent variety incadescents, these nannies ignore any natural occurance which produce massive amounts of CO2. For example, the Icelandi volcano Eyjafjallajokull last spring was pumping an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere daily, while active. The Guardian furnished the following comment:

“One extra volcano-related aside: with European carbon market prices fluctuating around the €14 per tonne mark at present, this would mean that Eyjafjallajokull would theoretically be liable to a maximum daily bill of €4,200,000 ($8 million) if it were a fully fledged, carbon-trading nation or corporation. But who would dare get close enough to present it with an invoice?”

The most recent popular quote from Al Gore would have been appropriate for him on observation of that carbon spewing monster: “Take care of that!”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Stranger in our Midst

The following is a piece which was forwarded as an email which I discovered was published by American Thinker back in April. The author has obviously struggled to identify the sense of discomfort that thoughtful people have when trying to figure out our president. The temptation was to simply link to the piece but I opted to present it intact for your consideration.

“April 29, 2010

By Robert Weissberg

As the Obama administration enters its second year, I -- and undoubtedly millions of others -- have struggled to develop a shorthand term that captures our emotional unease. Defining this discomfort is tricky. I reject nearly the entire Obama agenda, but the term "being opposed" lacks an emotional punch. Nor do terms like "worried" or "anxious" apply. I was more worried about America's future during the Johnson or Carter years, so it's not that dictionary, either. Nor, for that matter, is this about backroom odious deal-making and pork, which are endemic in American politics.

After auditioning countless political terms, I finally realized that the Obama administration and its congressional collaborators almost resemble a foreign occupying force, a coterie of politically and culturally non-indigenous leaders whose rule contravenes local values rooted in our national tradition. It is as if the United States has been occupied by a foreign power, and this transcends policy objections. It is not about Obama's birthplace. It is not about race, either; millions of white Americans have had black mayors and black governors, and this unease about out-of-synch values never surfaced.

The term I settled on is "alien rule" -- based on outsider values, regardless of policy benefits -- that generates agitation. This is what bloody anti-colonial strife was all about. No doubt, millions of Indians and Africans probably grasped that expelling the British guaranteed economic ruin and even worse governance, but at least the mess would be their mess. Just travel to Afghanistan and witness American military commanders' efforts to enlist tribal elders with promises of roads, clean water, dental clinics, and all else that America can freely provide. Many of these elders probably privately prefer abject poverty to foreign occupation since it would be their poverty, run by their people, according to their sensibilities.

This disquiet was a slow realization. Awareness began with Obama's odd pre-presidency associations, decades of being oblivious to Rev. Wright's anti-American ranting, his enduring friendship with the terrorist guy-in-the-neighborhood Bill Ayers, and the Saul Alinsky-flavored anti-capitalist community activism. Further add a hazy personal background -- an Indonesian childhood, shifting official names, and a paperless-trail climb through elite educational institutions.

None of this disqualified Obama from the presidency; rather, this background just doesn't fit with the conventional political resume. It is just the "outsider?" quality that alarms. For all the yammering about George W. Bush's privileged background, his made-in-the-USA persona was absolutely indisputable. John McCain might be embarrassed about his Naval Academy class rank and iffy combat performance, but there was never any doubt of his authenticity. Countless conservatives despised Bill Clinton, but nobody ever, ever doubted his good-old-boy American bona fides.

The suspicion that Obama is an outsider, a figure who really doesn't "get" America, grew clearer from his initial appointments. What "native" would appoint Kevin Jennings, a militant gay activist, to oversee school safety? Or permit a Marxist rabble-rouser to be a "green jobs czar"? How about an Attorney General who began by accusing Americans of cowardice when it comes to discussing race? And who can forget Obama's weird defense of his pal Louis Henry Gates from "racist" Cambridge, Massachusetts cops? If the American Revolution had never occurred and the Queen had appointed Obama Royal Governor (after his distinguished service in Kenya), a trusted locally attuned aide would have first whispered in his ear, "Mr. Governor General, here in America, we do not automatically assume that the police were at fault," and the day would have been saved.

And then there's the "we are sorry, we'll never be arrogant again" rhetoric seemingly designed for a future President of the World election campaign. What made Obama's Cairo utterances so distressing was how they grated on American cultural sensibilities. And he just doesn't notice, perhaps akin to never hearing Rev. Wright anti-American diatribes. An American president does not pander to third-world audiences by lying about the Muslim contribution to America. Imagine Ronald Reagan, or any past American president, trying to win friends by apologizing. This appeal contravenes our national character and far exceeds a momentary embarrassment about garbled syntax or poor delivery. Then there's Obama's bizarre, totally unnecessary deep bowing to foreign potentates. Americans look foreign leaders squarely in the eye and firmly shake hands; we don't bow.

But far worse is Obama's tone-deafness about American government. How can any ordinary American, even a traditional liberal, believe that jamming through unpopular, debt-expanding legislation that consumes one-sixth of our GDP, sometimes with sly side-payments and with a thin majority, will eventually be judged legitimate? This is third-world, maximum-leader-style politics. That the legislation was barely understood even by its defenders and vehemently championed by a representative of that typical American city, San Francisco, only exacerbates the strangeness. And now President Obama sides with illegal aliens over the State of Arizona, which seeks to enforce the federal immigration law to protect American citizens from marauding drug gangs and other miscreants streaming in across the Mexican border.

Reciprocal public disengagement from President Obama is strongly suggested by recent poll data on public trust in government. According to a recent Pew report, only 22% of those asked trust the government always or most of the time, among the lowest figures in half a century. And while pro-government support has been slipping for decades, the Obama presidency has sharply exacerbated this drop. To be sure, many factors (in particular the economic downturn) contribute to this decline, but remember that Obama was recently elected by an often wildly enthusiastic popular majority. The collapse of trust undoubtedly transcends policy quibbles or a sluggish economy -- it is far more consistent with a deeper alienation.

Perhaps the clearest evidence for this "foreigner in our midst" mentality is the name given our resistance -- tea parties, an image that instantly invokes the American struggle against George III, a clueless foreign ruler from central casting. This history-laden label was hardly predetermined, but it instantly stuck (as did the election of Sen. Scott Brown as "the shot heard around the world" and tea partiers dressing up in colonial-era costumes). Perhaps subconsciously, Obama does remind Americans of when the U.S. was really occupied by a foreign power. A Declaration of Independence passage may still resonate: "HE [George III] has erected a Multitude of new Offices [Czars], and sent hither Swarms of Officers [recently hired IRS agents] to harass our People, and eat out the Substance." What's next?”

Robert Weissberg is Professor of Political Science-Emeritus, University of Illinois-Urbana


In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

"Doing a job which most Americans won't do."

First a snippet of history: each of the original colonies was established as a governmental unit long before the momentous events of July 4, 1776. For example; Massachusetts Royal Charter as a Colony dates from 1691, New Jersey was established in 1738, New Hampshire became a Royal Colony in 1679 and so it was for each separate entity which comprised the thirteen original signers of the Declaration of Independence. Each joined in that declaration on the premise that they were sovereign states with rights and privileges granted by “nature’s law”--“and nature’s God.” The document then proceeded to well understand their individual nature as self-governing states occupied by free men. They then spent the next thirteen years compiling one of history’s most compelling documents; The Constitution of the United States of America.

Through both documents is a constant reference to the importance of recognition of each individual as a participant and his voice in all matters. The equality of each man was uppermost in the minds of the framers and the first ten amendments are dedicated almost exclusively to the protection of their rights. They also recognized that it was impossible to assemble as a body to administer the new nation. Thus they elected leaders to meet in their stead to conduct the nation’s business and serve the people of their districts or states. In recognition of the necessity of a group effort for self defense, international relations, interstate squabbles and matters of concern to the population generally, they provided for those specific national interests and made no move to interfere with local governments.

The result of the founder’s genius has been the formation of a nation of free, liberty loving peoples who unfortunately, have lost sight of the vision of the originator’s. As an eye-witness to exactly one third of our nation’s history I have watched the decline of individual liberty in favor of an ever increasing federal influence. With that example, the states have followed suit as well. We have gone far past the point where any man, no matter how righteous, can conduct his daily life without giving offense to some statutory requirement at some point or another. If you claim otherwise you must be a “Philadelphia lawyer” with a huge memory. Lacking expertise in every discipline and experiencing a change in individual laws as we travel into another political authority, we find our knowledge lacking due to variant rules and regulations as we change jurisdictions.

As our officials at every level of government increase in numbers exponentially, along with secretaries, directors, mangers, chiefs, “fill-in-the-blank” generals (attorney-, surgeon-, solicitor-, etc.) they assume entitlement to various honoraria. If your home town mayor, with its tiny population, is not addressed as your honor he will no doubt be miffed. It is a tradition but it should be a title which is earned and not conferred by an uninformed populace. Our officials, both elected and appointed, remain the servants of the people who hired them and pay their salaries. This would also apply to each and every level of office from the president on down to the dog-catcher. Of the ten counties in America with the highest per capita income, we find five of them adjacent to the District of Columbia (three in Virginia and two in Maryland.) I have no confirmation but I’ll wager they also enjoy the least unemployment in the nation.

As the budget continues to bulge and the payroll in every state capital expands we find the sovereignty of individual states lessening in proportion. With an ever more intrusive federal government, this is not in the least surprising. The opinion of the citizens becomes less important by the day. For verification of the last remark we recommend checking the constant polling on the issue of Arizona SB 1070. In Arizona and many other states where polling has been done, the citizenry favors their legislation by at least 60+%. Despite the preference for defense of our borders on the part of the people, the Justice Department continues to seek redress of some imagined grievance over a law which essentially is comparable to the federal statute which is largely un-enforced.

This raises the question of whether the state of Arizona has the right to implement laws which protect their citizens. It is fairly apparent to even those who live beyond Arizona’s borders that they have some very real problems with illegal immigrants. It thus becomes an issue of sovereignty. If the federal government has decided to abrogate their responsibility, it would appear that Arizona’s citizens are more than willing to “do a job which most Americans won’t do,”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 156

Did you miss me? I went up to Iowa to be with fourteen of my closest friends for the 60th anniversary of graduating from high school. Half of my classmates managed to survive to an equal age of 78 which I consider a remarkable achievement. The gender was an even split and a great time was had by all.

We enjoyed four meals together, toured various venues, and even worked in an opportunity to visit our former homes and haunts around town. We also took the time to visit and reminisce about the adolescent years when we were constant companions. Although a few are local they assembled from far away places: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, TX, the Ozarks (both MO and AR), Washington, D.C., Alabama and neighboring towns in Iowa. Only one member (from Florida) didn’t show and many brought spouses or other family members. Granny didn’t make the trip because of caring for the critters and the growing things.

With WWII just ended before we started our mutual adventure in 7th grade, just about everyone was filled with thanksgiving for the end of hostilities and the opportunity to return to a “normal” life. Thus, we were presented with a general national attitude of gratitude and relief to pursue our studies and other activities. Because nearly all our faculty had been touched by the war, as a participant or as a near relative, they had acquired a re-appreciation of the importance of a foundational education. At their insistence, we also managed to see the necessity as well and accomplished it within our own range of ability. After graduation, nearly every male member served in the military and several were “lifers.”

On the nine-hour drive home I spent some time reflecting on why these gatherings are always such a success. Our former home-town is almost unrecognizable due to improvements, alteration of culture, wear and tear, and rampaging growth, each more apparent with each succeeding return visit. Obviously in sixty years there are going to be some serious changes and our little town has apparently gone through them all. What have not changed, despite failing memories, are those relationships which we formed during our high school years.

In our lives since graduation, some have gone on to college, others straight to careers, and all have become dedicated to chasing the American Dream. We have joined and formed associations with many different groups, organizations, small social groups, clubs, churches, lodges, neighborhood “klatches”, and formed our own individual family circles. Each of these has proven important to us in their own right but manifestly different from our mutual attraction as being part of the WLHS Class of ’50. For those of us who are part of that group; there is no other which takes its place.

For many, the family group is all important as it should be. Part of graduation is assuming the responsibilities and the joys of adulthood. For obvious reasons, the organizational structure of one’s faith draws regular exposure to others of like bent and for good reasons. We could go on and single out the Legion, the bridge club, academic organizations, the quilting society, the literary club, etc., etc., etc.,… But—and this is a big, “but”—none of them is quite the same as the reunion. The others are all enjoyable, informative, supportive, and help to round out our lives socially. So why then, does everyone go to extraordinary lengths to be with those who shared those school days?

Unlike college with its huge throngs of robed graduates tossing mortar boards, most high schools—and ours in particular—are much smaller and consequently more intimate. We actually “know” each other. We were, at the time, heavily invested in each member and continue to be. We were well known by our teachers and the administration. Even in non-academic efforts it was necessary for each person to participate for extracurricular activities to be a success. Collectively, we provided a real source of entertainment for our town’s people with the school’s influence on band, vocal music, drama, athletics; all became a requirement for near universal participation.

Aside from the encouraged involvement we shared what some believe to be the most important of the formative years—adolescence. Between twelve and eighteen, we mutually exerted an influence upon each other and created those activities which most folks are reluctant to ever abandon. Yes, we have a certain memory from our earliest school years but nothing to compare with those recollections which we accumulate in our teens. During that critical time we will prepare to become what we aspire to be but not be saddled with the full responsibilities of adulthood. We gather together and soon find ourselves recalling those precious anecdotes so common to the adolescent life.

For that brief interval, we can dispense with concerns of stiff joints, balding heads, life threatening diseases, irregular breathing and heart rate, which keep our local doctors so busy. Instead we can happily recall the pranks, the thwarted plans, and the failed wooing, and reveal things to each other which we would have never dared to at the time, from the safety of our dotage. We forgive old hurts, offer sympathy and a helping hand, fully understand problems with kids, and gain answers to questions long unasked. Teens are famous for carelessly kept secrets and we also revert without shame. Thankfully, in many cases, we are evaluated by what we were and not what we have become.

So, we rejoice in this golden opportunity so unlike any other to return to those halcyon days of constant programmed activity mixed with a healthy dose of often mis-spent leisure to just be teens again. Only those who carry the credentials of WLHS Class of ’50 can possibly relate to who and what we were and have become. The only exception is our beloved principal who continues to attend our reunions. We couldn’t have been all that bad or he would surely have dropped out by now. We are all in agreement that we pray he and his wife never ignore us.

How about you? Do you make an effort to attend your reunion? Your class mates have gone to a great deal of trouble to create a terrific experience for you. Don’t go because of them however; go because you will have a wonderful experience and learn things you have always wanted know. Better yet, you may enlighten someone else and satisfy their curiosity. Go and try it and I promise more sincere belly laughs than you have experienced for a while. It will be well worth the occasional tear you might shed.

And finally,

Granny reports that the temperatures have stayed in the nineties in my absence. I also noted that the grass has grown exceptionally well in my absence. On balance, that will certainly simplify my planning for activity in the week to come.

Please accept my apologies to you for a short “Rant.” We’ll get around to commenting on the political zoo as the week goes on. For now let’s take a break.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon