Monday, December 19

Keystone XL Pipeline - You Don't Get a Much Better Example of How Anti-Business (and Petty) This Administration is

There is one thing that really gets me about the battle over whether the Obama Administration will permit the building of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada to oil refineries in the United States. That is that this battle is going on at all. Really, at it's simplest level, the Keystone XL pipeline is a business project. A pipeline.

Sure there are regulations to be met and it will have to be done a certain way for the project to be safe and to protect the environment. But for such a project to involve the President of the United States to not just get involved, but to become the center figure in this issue is just crazy.

Worse is how the President decided to get involved, in that he shelved making any decisions on permitting this private business project to go ahead until after the 2012 Presidential election, well over a year away. Delaying not only the project itself, but all the jobs that come with it.

This of course did not sit well with lots of people, and members of Congress decided that the President should be forced to act one way or the other on this pipeline. And amazingly, word is coming out that the President will use this prodding as an excuse to kill the project.
Republicans hailed inclusion of the pipeline provision as a victory, but Democrats said the practical effect of the language would be to kill the project. “They’ve just killed the Keystone pipeline. They killed it because they forced the president to make a decision before he can make it so he’s not going to move forward with it,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and an ally of environmental groups. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he was not concerned about giving in to Republicans on the Keystone provision. “The president is apparently just going to use the option given to him not to let it go [forward],” said Levin. “There’s a waiver in there which we understand the president is going to exercise.” - The Hill
As a reminder, they are all talking about whether a pipeline will be built. And it's not like this is a new idea. As the map below illustrates, the United States is already covered by pipelines. Then there is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, built in one of the world's most sensitive, and environmentally brutal climates. Nor would this be the first oil pipeline from Canada either. The only reason this pipeline is having problems is because this is the first time the US Government was being run by an Administration that is both anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-oil
(Map found here) 

Apparently, the excuse that will be used to kill this project will be the risk to the environment that this project popes. This of course is a lie. As it stands, sending oil by pipeline is not only the cheapest way to move oil, but it is also the safest.

The alternatives to moving liquids by pipeline are moving them by tanker truck, ships and barges.

Liberals however like to pretend that this oil will somehow just remain in the ground if they put up enough roadblocks in the way of getting this oil to market. This of course will never happen. Instead the oil will most likely be sent through existing pipelines to be exported by tanker. In which case others will benefit for America's stupidity. Worse, some of this oil may still end up at the same refineries that it was destined for via the pipeline. See the map to get a reminder of how far oil from the Middle East travels to get to the US. Taking this oil from Canada is a no-brainer, even if it has to travel a more expensive, more dangerous route. Really, just how do they think we get oil pumped out of the ground in Alaska?

Is it possible that there will be an accident over the lifetime of this pipeline. It sure is possible. But this also goes for all the alternative methods of moving this oil, all of which carry a greater risk of a mishap. Even better, the oil transported by this pipeline will reduce the US need for other foreign oil coming by ship. I understand that there are concerns about the process involved in extracting the oil from the ground. This however is irrelevant to this debate, as the Canadians are going to extract it regardless. And frankly, if we are going to look into issues like this, then why not look at the human rights abuses being conducted in the countries we currently buy our oil from?

To conclude, beware of the regulators who claim to be acting on projects like this for our benefit. It is just not true. Take the DEEPWATER HORIZON disaster. 'Environmental Concerns' are part of the reason why oil companies are drilling in such deep water far offshore. Simply, the thinking appears to be, lets make it as difficult as possible for the drillers to operate and then lets crucify them when there is an accident. Here is a thought, if you want to reduce the risk of accidents, and want to increase our chances of dealing with problems when they come about, how about letting these companies drill closer to shore in shallower water. Everything is easier, from finding your keys lost overboard, to drilling on the seabed. 

Update: 28 Feb 2013
So it is two months later and our petty President has still not gotten out of the way of construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Liberals are doing their best to silence criticism of the President in this matter. Take a look at a recent post on Business Insider, 'Why We'll Have To Keep Waiting For Obama's Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline', where Liberals killed every comment by flagging them as offensive, including a comment by the author who eventually turned comments off for the post.

But they cannot stop the flow of oil coming out of Canada. One recent story which validates my original post is the following noting the rising demand for tank cars for the transport of oil:
The number of tank cars ordered for shipping crude and expected to be delivered by the end of 2014 will be enough to move two million barrels of oil per day, almost three times what is currently extracted from the Bakken shale basin, Mr. Kolstad said. That’s the size of two Keystone XLs and one Seaway pipeline. As much as 40% of the orders are from Canadian entities desperate to get their crude out of Western Canada and into U.S. refineries in the East and on the Gulf Coast. - Financial Post (22 February 2013)
Read the rest of the story. So good job liberals. The oil you hoped to keep trapped in Canada is coming to the US, in a more expensive mode of transportation, which happens to also be less safe and less green.

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Monday, December 12

2012 First World Borrowing - $1,500 per Human!

The OECD is warning that the Industrialized World is expecting to borrow over $10 trillion in 2012.
The OECD says the gross borrowing needs of OECD governments is expected to reach $10.4tr in 2011 and will increase to $10.5tr next year – a $1tr increase on 2007 and almost twice as much as in 2005. This highlights the risks for even the most advanced economies that in many cases, such as Italy and Spain, are close to being shut out of the private markets. - FT
If you want an example of just how out of control Government spending is, keep in mind that $10.5 trillion comes out to $1,500 borrowed per human on Earth. This is not how much is being spent per human, that clearly is much more. As a bonus, almost the same amount was borrowed this year.

It is worse when you consider that this number does not include any third world borrowing. I'm also rounding up the planet's population to $7 billion.

Such amounts cannot be paid back. The planet does not make enough money to tax these funds back.

The US 2011 deficit is $1.27 trillion. That is $4,100 borrowed per American, $16,500 for a family of 4.

The US debt is about $15.1 trillion coming to $49,200 owed per American. For a family of 4, that is close to $197,000. The average US family income in 2011 was just under $50,000. If the US were a business, it would be bankrupt.
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Monday, November 28

You're Not Going to Get Job Stimulus From Democrats - They Hate Your Job

With the President demanding that Congress pass his latest job stimulus bill, keep in mind that there are very few jobs that President Obama and his fellow Democrats actually like. These jobs include:
  • Government Jobs
  • Union Jobs
  • 'Green' Jobs
  • Teachers
  • Firefighters
  • Policemen, although only when they are making endorsements and looking the other way
Of course they like their own job, but they are not going to lift a finger to help you get one of those.

Other than union jobs for private employers, all of the kinds of jobs that the Democrats like require the rest of us to pay taxes to that they have the money to pay the salaries for these workers. This is the heart of the problem. Government needs more private workers so that more tax revenue is collected to pay the salaries of Government employees. So it should be an easy task to pass a bill that will result in stimulating the creation of jobs. One problem, Democrats hate most kinds of private jobs. These jobs include:
Think I am being dramatic? Here is an example of the President and his Democrat allies idea of 'Stimulus':
New documents obtained by Judicial Watch show acting National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Lafe Solomon joking that the NLRB's suit against Boeing would kill jobs in South Carolina. Commenting on a Planet Labor article whose headline suggests Boeing might not be able to open its new plant in South Carolina because of "antiunion behavior," Solomon writes:
The article gave me a new idea. You go to geneva and I get a job with airbus. We screwed up the us economy and now we can tackle europe.
The NLRB is upset that Boeing decided to open a second assembly plant not nearby it's current union-staff plant, but instead in worker friendly South Carolina. The Government's position is that Boeing did not have the right to build a new plant where it wanted. Nancy Pelosi has even declared 'that Boeing should either unionize its production facilities in South Carolina, or shut them down entirely.' (Link) Well, you can bet that Boeing won't union it's production. I suspect that they would first simply decide to move the assembly plant outside the United States. This is a perfect example of how many US jobs are not running overseas, they are in fact being driven overseas, by over-regulation and a Government that is hostile to business.

As for stimulus to encourage more jobs, as I said before, it is easy for the Government to get this started:
The President can easily set in motion a huge business boom. All he need do is get out of the way of energy production of oil, coal and gas and power plant construction, whether it be natural gas, coal, nuclear or hydroelectric. These two things will then spur the demand, and funding, for improved infrastructure, simply to get the supplies to help build the oil, gas and electric businesses. If we can get this moving, lots of other industries that support this will follow. - Fred Fry, Oct 2011
Validation of my comments can be found in this recent Wall Street Journal post:
So President Obama was right all along. Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs would be "green," when the real employment boom is taking place in oil and gas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period. The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota's Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed. - 'The Non-Green Jobs Boom - Forget 'clean energy.' Oil and gas are boosting U.S. employment.' - Wall Street Journal
This growth in jobs is despite the Government's best efforts to kill 'carbon' jobs. Just image the growth in jobs that could be attained it the Government merely got out of the way and let industry bring these energy sources to market as well as permit utility companies replace their aging power generation equipment with new power plants of their choice. All of this can be done at no cost to the Government. The Democrats will not let it happen though, because to do so will result in lower energy costs, which will surely bankrupt more of their 'Green' pet projects.

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Sunday, November 27

Finnish Triple-Murderer Escapes (Yet Again)

Surprise, surprise, a triple murderer with a history of escape, has yet again made a mockery of the Finnish Prison system.
In 2009, Fouganthine was granted a conditional release (Note: from a 'life sentence' for triple murder), but was re-arrested in Finland in June of this year and sentenced to four and a half months in prison for drunken driving and making illegal threats with an air gun. On Wednesday morning, Fouganthine failed to show up for his prison work duty at the minimum security Kerava prison in Finland, the Finnish Daily Ilta Sanomat reported. According to reports in the Finnish media, the escape comes shortly before he was set to be released. -
A sad fact is that he committed three murders while on conditional release from other crimes. He has a history of escapes as well as ongoing issues regarding theft as well as threats. This is a man who killed three people, one a child, over a bicycle he stole. The man should have been executed for his crimes. However, apparently more sophisticated people think that he should be given an unlimited number of extra chances. The only question I have is just when is he going to kill again. He is already threatening people. It will not take much if someone challenges him. Knowing Finland, there is a pretty good chance that this will happen eventually. Alcohol consumption basically guarantees it. 


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Thursday, November 17

For a Change - School Encourages Wearing the Flag

There seems to be no shortage of news stories covering what you could call Us 'Flag Hate'. Stories from where students have been sent home for wearing clothing with a US flag on it, to stories of the US flag being removed from classrooms and even replaced with the Mexican flag. But all is not lost. Here is a photo of the message send home today with my child. 

Be a Hero! Wear Red, White and Blue or camouflage clothes!
Keep in mind that I live in a very Democrat-friendly suburb of Northern Virginia. That said, I have never seen anything at the school other than efforts to instill patriotism and pride for the US in the very diverse student body. So there is hope for all of us yet! (And not for anything, I get along very well with all of my neighbors regardless of which way they lean politically)
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Sunday, October 16

Behold! The 99% of Baltimore!

The family and I took a trip to Baltimore this morning to tour the USS CONSTELLATION AND submarine USS TORSK in the Inner Harbor and just happen to come across the OCCUPY BALTIMORE squatters. I can't say that I'm impressed. It more appeared to be a pathetic gathering. Not the 99% that you would think.

I don't have any closer pictures as I really did not want to interact with anyone there. I don't deny that many of them probably are in difficult situations. That said, I really don't see why people who have made bad decisions should be rewarded by having those of us who are in better control of our lives pay up to meet their obligations. 

As you can see from their flyer,they are continuing with the idiotic theme they everyone is getting bailed out but them. As I have commented before, everyone else needs to be bailed out because they borrowed and then failed to pay everyone else back.

Giving these people more money is a waste.They see what others have and instead of trying to work hard and save, they would instead prefer to take from the rest of us.

One last thought. Statistically, I am in the top 10%. I think the tagging of these disruptions as on behalf of 99% of the population is an example of how the left likes to hijack issues. Just how much of the population are they representing?

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Wednesday, October 5

Obama 'Jobs Bill'? - School Renovations?

Is it me or does the Obama Jobs Bill have nothing to do with encouraging job growth in America? The more I hear about this plan, the more it stinks.

One of the huge issues I have is that the plan intends to spend money to upgrade schools. It sure sounds nice, but education is something that is traditionally funded within the states. It is after all one of the things that your property taxes pay for.
When buildings are that old, they start falling apart. They start leaking, and ceiling tiles start to cave in, and there’s no heat in the winter or air-conditioning in the summer. Some of the schools the ventilation is so poor it can make students sick. How do we expect our kids to do their very best in a situation like that? The answer is we can’t. Every child deserves a great school, and we can give it to them, but we got to pass this bill. Modernizing America’s schools is just one of the many ways the American Jobs Act will create jobs in industries like construction hit hard by the recession - WhiteHouse.Gov
The issue here is not whether it is a good idea to renovate schools or not. Sure it is. This issue here is how it is paid for. Schools have budgets and many of those needs to be passed by the local population that is asked to pay for it. Spend too much money and the voters are going to start saying no to 'extras' such as after school activities and sports as well as renovations.

So when the local community refuses to pay for these things, why should the Federal Government step in and spend the money on people who have decided not to spend their own money on these things? There is lots of talk about 'fairness' and there is nothing fair in this process. Each state has it's own opportunity to tax. Some tax a little and some tax lots. And some elect not to tax income.

So when the President steps in and promises to spend money the locals refuse to, this is little more than a subsidy to that state's voters. Worse, this is a sort of mission creep by the Federal Government into an are that was traditionally handled by the States. This mission creep will increase Federal spending.

The same applies for the other kinds of renovation work the Presdent is proposing for transportation projects. This is outside of the work on Federal highways. Again, this is work that should be paid for by the people of the state.

Unfortunately, the President can get away with this because for some reason people seem to forget that they pay state income and local property taxes. The quote above is from the President's speech from September 13th in Ohio.

Just today, the President was making promised in Texas that his jobs Act will put close to 300,000 teachers back to work:

The White House today released a report that outlines the devastating impact the recession has had on schools and students across the country. Teacher Jobs at Risk highlights the significant cuts in education spending that have resulted from state budget shortfalls since 2008, including the loss of nearly 300,000 teaching jobs across the country. And in the coming school year, without additional support, many school districts will have to make another round of difficult decisions. As a result of state and local funding cuts, as many as 280,000 teacher jobs could be at risk. Unless they receive federal assistance, many school districts will be forced to reduce the number of teachers in their classrooms, or turn to other measures such as shortening the school year or cutting spending on schoolbooks and supplies. - WhiteHouse.Gov
Again, it is up to the states to decide how much they are willing to spend on education. Who is to say what the right number of teachers is? It could be that many of the jobs that have been let go, were added during years of healthy tax revenue without proper regard to whether the positions were genuinely needed or not. This is what Governments are supposed to do when money gets tight, either find more money, or reduce expenses.

One more thing. None of these jobs is going to create new tax revenue for the Government. These are State Government jobs. The money to pay for these jobs comes from people paying their taxes and mainly private industry jobs. It is those kinds of jobs, manufacturing, energy, building, service, etc that the Government needs to encourage. The President can easily set in motion a huge business boom. All he need do is get out of the way of energy production of oil, coal and gas and power plant construction, whether it be natural gas, coal, nuclear or hydroelectric. These two things will then spur the demand, and funding, for improved infrastructure, simply to get the supplies to help build the oil, gas and electric businesses. If we can get this moving, lots of other industries that support this will follow.

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Monday, September 26

Operation Fast and Furious - People Will Go To Jail

I haven't commented on Operation Fast and Furious, but I have been paying attention to the developments as they become known. Today's news is that not only did the Obama Administration permit weapons to get into the hands of criminals in Mexico, but they also were directly involved in some of the sales.
According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols -- two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor. Dodson then sold the weapons to known illegal buyers, while fellow agents watched from their cars nearby. This was not a "buy-bust" or a sting operation, where police sell to a buyer and then arrest them immediately afterward. In this case, agents were "ordered" to let the sale go through and follow the weapons to a stash house. According to sources directly involved in the case, Dodson felt strongly that the weapons should not be abandoned and the stash house should remain under 24-hour surveillance. However, Voth disagreed and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office. Dodson refused, and for six days in the desert heat kept the house under watch, defying direct orders from Voth. A week later, a second vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons. Dodson called for an interdiction team to move in, make the arrest and seize the weapons. Voth refused and the guns disappeared with no surveillance.  - Read More at Fox News
(Letter Link) According to a number of stories, over 2,000 firearms were permitted to get into the hands of Mexican criminals. Many of these weapons have since turned up at crime scenes, including the murder of a US Boarder Agent. It appears that the Obama Administration intentionally let these weapons get into the hands of criminals. After all, there has been no explanation of how the Government planned to retrieve these weapons, nor does there appear to have been any attempt to arrest any of the subjects of this apparently bogus investigation. Just what was the reward to the Government in this plan? I can't think of anything that could justify giving thousands of weapons to criminals. I guarantee that the Government is not going to have a justifiable excuse either. The big question in my mind is how many Government employees are going to jail for planning and carrying out this operation? (My initial guess is 3)

I also expect this operation to become a real problem for Obama himself, most likely during election season. I do not think he personally knew the details of this operation, but expect that Holder knew. I also expect Holder to get fired over this at some point.. Sadly, this whole scandal is the direct result of Democrat's irrational hatred of the Second Amendment. Oddly enough, it turns out that the biggest gun criminals are anti-gun Democrats. Maybe one day they will wise up and leave gun control to Conservatives. Too bad this requires a level of maturity that Democrats do not seem to possess.
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Globe and Mail: "IRS bearing down on Americans in Canada"

Many Americans both Conservative and Liberal are upset with how their Government is functioning at the moment. I know I am not happy with the idiocy that is going on and the lies being put forward that somehow, we would be able to continue spending the outrageous amounts of money that the Government is currently spending, IF ONLY rich Americans paid a little more. Even Americans living overseas cannot escape the long arm of the US Government, which has decided to extend the arm of the Internal Revenue Service, the dreaded IRS, into the pockets of Americans overseas, even those who have no link to the country other than to have been born in the US or born by US parents. Apparently, there are lots of them. From this story, there are about a million living in Canada alone:
One person who’s off the hook is my brother. He was 11 when we moved to Canada. At 17, he got a draft notice. So he renounced his citizenship (after a long lecture from a consular official). I suppose I could renounce, too – but they won’t let you do that until you’ve filed your back tax returns. As many as a million U.S.-born residents of Canada are caught in this Kafkaesque nightmare. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has written an indignant letter to leading U.S. newspapers. All of us are getting wildly conflicting professional advice. At first, Brian and his wife, who are by no means wealthy, decided to come clean. But when they were told they’d be on the hook for $250,000, they changed their minds. - Globe and Mail
I lived in Finland for three years while doing my MBA. Two of those years I filed a tax return. The third year I didn't because I didn't meet the minimum reporting threshold. It turns out that it was good that I did because a short while later I moved back to the US and applied for a GreenCard for my soon to be Finnish wife. One of the requirements was providing copies of my previous three years Income Tax Returns, or an explanation of why I didn't file.

This experience did result in not pursuing US Citizenship for my wife. We did have plans at the time to eventually move back to Finland, and we knew that it would be better tax-wise if she did not obtain US tax liability.

It is odd however, to see the amount of effort that the IRS is extending to track down money overseas the US thinks it can extort from Citizens, however unfair, while at the same time they do little to nothing to hunt down illegal aliens living within the US who are working without the legal authorization to do so, are conspiring with their employers to not pay/evade taxes (in some cases also committing identity theft) and are simply getting a free pass. 
  • It is not fair. 
  • It is discrimination. 
  •  It cannot last. 
 Unfortunately, I think it is going to get a lot more painful before it gets better. This is an illustration of a pile of $100 bills totaling $15 Trillion. That is $2,500 per person on earth. That is a hell of a bill to pay off and it is still growing. And this is why the US Government is trying to fleece Americans living abroad, they are simply running out of places to rind more revenue.

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Thursday, September 15

French Fries - Just Another Example of Government Over-Reach

Today, the Drudge Report has this headline:
Yeah, more Government over-reach.
On Thursday, the first lady joined Darden Restaurants Inc. executives at one of their Olive Garden restaurants in Hyattsville, Md., near Washington to announce that the company's chains are pledging to cut calories and sodium in their meals by 20 percent over a decade. Fruit or vegetable side dishes and low-fat milk will become standard with kids' meals unless a substitution is requested. - AP News
I think this is a bit ridiculous. No kid gets fat from eating fries in a restaurant. They will get fat if their parents take them to a restaurant every day and let them eat fries and other fatty foods. This however is an issue of poor parenting, not a menu issue. And is idiotic to try and make regulations to compensate for poor parenting. But hey, Democrats are not big on the traditional family. So this is what we get as a reward.

There is a reason why restaurants serve fries as a side dish. Parents are not going to take their kids to a restaurant for them to be served fresh fruit. Going to a restaurant for my family is a treat. It is meant to be something special for the kids and us. The important thing is that it is tasty, and you can bet the restaurants know this. If we do not have a good experience, we are not going back. So it will be interesting to find out what percentage of these meals end up with the now optional fries instead of the now-standard fruit. My guess is that the percentage will be high. Will this then prompt the Administration to make fruit

And what is the deal with the war on salt? Isn't all the fresh news about salt that it is not the evil that it was made out to be. 

There are a number of reasons why Five Guys is America's favorite restaurant. Two of them are fries and salt;)

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Saturday, September 10

So Where is the US Government's 2012 Budget?

With all the talk about deficit reduction and job creation, it seems that the simple matter that the US Government does not have a budget for 2012 has not had lots of attention recently. That is a shame given that the 2012 budget year starts in a couple weeks on 1 October, 2011. Are we headed for another last minute showdown?
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Saturday, August 20

Total BS: "These young people should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes."

This week we had President Obama act to give illegal aliens amnesty and work permits. Their excuse is that they want to concentrate on deporting violent criminals. My first problem is that The Government is not following through in it's obligation to enforce the law. My second problem with this is that they even intend to permit criminals to stay, as long as they are not 'violent'. And given the way that these people lie, I am afraid to find out what their definition of 'violent' is. We already know that they like keeping illegal aliens who drive drunk around, at least until they kill someone. And where do they think these violent criminals come from? They are criminals first, and before they were criminals, they were merely an illegal alien.

My next problem is the propaganda being spouted in support of this action. Take Senator Durbin's comment:
The decision would, through administrative action, help many intended beneficiaries of legislation that has been stalled in Congress for a decade. The sponsor of the legislation, Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, has argued that “these young people should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.” - NY Times
I can buy that the children are not the guilty ones. But Senator Durbin, and his Democrat buddies have no intention of punishing the parents of these children either. Hell, he simply calls the actions of the parents to come here illegally 'mistakes'. No, a more accurate statement would be that 'these young people should not be punished for their parents’ crimes.' Their intention is to simply reward all of them, even the criminals, other than a couple token violent criminals which they will use as evidence of being tough on crime. That too is a joke, as we should be putting them in jail, instead of sending them back home to cause havoc there.

The real joke in all of this is that President Obama's actions are going to hurt his supporters the most. It is reported that not only will many illegal aliens be permitted to stay, but they will also be given work permits to compete for jobs against millions of Americans already out of work. The NY times story mentions that there are about 300,000 currently facing deportation proceedings that will be effected, but I suspect that that list will grow once illegal aliens figure out the best way to get in line to see a judge, to be excused from deportation and handed a work permit for a gift. After all, when you reward something, you get more of it. As it is, I have at least two friends overseas looking at ways to get a visa to live here. Clearly, they don't need one.

And remember, this action is all a blatant attempt to buy votes for the next election.
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Tuesday, August 16

Social Welfare is OK, if it results in Lessening the Number of Those in Need

I think many conservatives would have less of a problem with social Welfare if these programs reduced the number of people in need of support.

That said, why is it that it seems that there is a constant growth in the number of people that these programs support? Nobody ever gets off these programs and those receiving support appear to breed more people destine to require/receive support. I would say that the mere fact that half of all Americans pay no taxes is evidence of this.

The UK has an even more substantial benefits system and appears that the problems that result are even greater as the riots demonstrate. Take the story of this one benefit recipient's mother:
She is on benefits, does not live with the boy's father and has 10 other children, the court heard. - Mother of 13-year-old who smashed up shop blames government - The Telegraph, UK
But the woman also suggested her son was not entirely at fault, when asked who she blamed for the looting.

''The government,'' she replied, her son by her side, adding: ''There is f*** all for them to do.'' - The Telegraph, UK
Her 13 year old son caused well over $20,000 in damage during the riot and all the mother can do is blame the Government for not finding something more productive for her 11 children to do. This is madness. Let the father(s) of the eleven children support them. People already have to support their own families, why do they have to chip in and support her's as well?

Also, I always found it strange that the UK is supporting this huge families, where the parents have not worked in years, in houses in expensive areas. Why not just ship them out of the cities and house them more cheaply in the countryside?

This brings up another pet peeve of mine. If I am being forced to support others, why can't I get a say in how they are using this support? For all this talk of 'shared sacrifice', it always seems that the tax-payers are always being asked to sacrifice more, but others on the receiving end are not asked to sacrifice at all. Not exactly fair, is it.

So, social welfare programs that over time reduce the number of those in need = Good

Social welfare programs that we (and the UK) currently have = Bad

All we are doing is growing the ranks of the poor. This support needs to come with an expiration date for those who are of working age.
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Sunday, August 14

Liberals Fleeing (and Spreading) Broken Liberal Agenda

The following comments posted on Instapundit struck a cord with me:
"The ideas and beliefs that have decimated California, are in fact, shared by huge swathes of the populace. In spite of their suffering in the world they helped create, when many of these business owners and workers move to other places they bring their dumb ideas with them. Trust me, they may be economic refugees, but they will be the first to start kvetching about the refineries down the road." - Instapundit Commenter
And this:
"Just read your postings about the attitudes that California refugees bring with them. You might note that the same problem has happened in New England. New Hampshire used to be a pretty conservative place – no state income tax, ‘live free or die’ on the license plates, etc. A flood of refugees from Taxachusetts over the past 20 years has changed that. And just as you described, the newcomers seem to have no clue that the policies they support are the very same ones that ruined the state they fled.” - Instapundit commenter
I have had similar thoughts for a while, but didn't really connect the California refugees to it. I had been thinking this about the legal and illegal aliens coming to America from both around the world, Mexico and central and South America. Many of these migrants are fleeing bad conditions in their home country. And still, they want to bring all these bad habits and practices with them. And oddly enough, they find an ally in the Liberals of this country who are also fleeing the utopias they have demanded be created here. Each group looking to the other to support their goals of legal permanent residency and redistribution of wealth through socialist programs.

The trick is stopping this spread of bad ideas. For starters, one can ask these refugees if their beliefs were so great, why is it that they left a place where they already had such benefits?

Update: An example of pushing their agenda on the rest of us, take the push for acceptance of Spanish in the US as a default second language. Americans are being shamed for not knowing Spanish as a second language and Spanish is showing up on all sorts of products. But the shame of knowing only one language only applies to Americans. There is no push for those coming to America to learn English, even though they too only know one language. Only we are being pushed to better accommodate people who are coming here, many of them illegally.
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