Free Markets, Free People

Culture

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Politics has become a “reality show” of diversion

Over at United Liberty, Louis DeBroux articulates something that has been driving me crazy:

It truly is almost unbelievable. Our national debt is at $16 trillion and rising, with annual deficits of more than $1.5 trillion. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and at a level greater than what Greece was at when its economy collapsed. Our lauded entitlement programs are bankrupt, yet our politicians seek to expand them. Unemployment is still well above 8%, the longest such period of sustained unemployment at that level since the Great Depression. We’re barely past Valentine’s Day and gas is more than $3.50 per gallon, and expected to rise above $4, and possibly as high as $5/gallon, by summer. Iran appears the be rapidly closing in on getting a functional nuclear weapon, and has been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil supply flows. We have a president hell bent on destroying the fossil fuel industry, much like his signature achievement, ObamaCare, is crippling the health care industry.

Our own government has been selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and is now directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Mexicans and Americans, yet they act as if it were of no more import than having incorrectly filled out some government form (actually, they’d probably find that a much more grievous sin). The dollar is weak and the economy anemic, despite the trillions spent on the stimulus, auto union and Wall Street bailouts, and slush funds for the politically connected.

Yet with all of this, what stories are dominating the headlines? That would be the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum regarding birth control, and now the furor over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about a college “coed” called to testify before Congress on the topic of birth control.

It is enough to make you tear your hair out.  There is so much that should be at the forefront of the news and we’re talking about what?  Go look at Memeorandum for the past few weeks.  It’s appalling.

And who benefits by these diversionary and divisive discussions? 

Well certainly not the nation.  In the case of the current diversion of the day, we see the usual hypocrisy from both sides as Rush Limbaugh is crucified for calling a woman a “slut” while one of Obama’s major donors is given a free pass by the same people for calling Sarah Palin a far worse name (and worse, won’t condemn the use of the word).  After all, he’s one of theirs. 

It is a cycle of wash, rise, repeat.  On just about any given week you can find someone on one side or the other saying something outrageous and the other side whipping themselves into a frenzy of outrage and condemning it while demanding the other side condemn it too.   Tit for tat politics.  Juvenile nonsense.

Why any of this is seen as major news can only be understood in a “reality show” culture.  We’ve become a nation of voyeurs who like scandal and enjoy watching the lives of “celebrities” whose only claim to fame is their screwed up life.  And that apparently now translates to our politics. 

Instead of paying attention to the important things about our political world, most are more interested in the “he said, she said” stupidity of situations like that of the Limbaugh debacle.  Apparently politics has become just another reality show where we prefer to be entertained by the unimportant but controversial instead of doing the hard but boring work of understanding our real problems and looking for solutions.

Unemployment, economics, energy, government … boring!

Limbaugh calls someone a slut.  That’s the ticket.

And, naturally, aiding and abetting all of this is the “if it bleeds it leads” media who have decided that sensationalism trumps substance. 

We’re 16 trillion dollars in debt folks and that number is going to go higher if we don’t do something.

B..b…but Limbaugh called someone a “slut”!

Oh.

Never mind.

Turn up the volume and get the popcorn.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Chanting “USA, USA, USA” at a high school game between two American high school teams is now a “racial slur”?

See if you can make sense out of this story … I can’t.

Seems the “right" not to be offended has surfaced again with the usual absurd results.  Unless the “minority students” mentioned weren’t Americans.

And since when has “USA” been a “race”?  Were the “minority students”  Hispanic?  That’s not a race either.

See if you can sort it out. These type stories give me a headache.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Concession prices too high at theaters? Then don’t buy them

But suing to make the theaters reduce the price?  Really?

Joshua Thompson loves the movies.

But he hates the prices theaters charge for concessions like pop and candy.

This week, the 20-something security technician from Livonia decided to do something about it: He filed a class action in Wayne County Circuit Court against his local AMC theater in hopes of forcing theaters statewide to dial down snack prices.

"He got tired of being taken advantage of," said Thompson’s lawyer, Kerry Morgan of Wyandotte. "It’s hard to justify prices that are three- and four-times higher than anywhere else."

I usually don’t go to movies. Believe it or not, since I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to get motion sickness in a theater if there is a lot of action on the screen.  It’s weird but that happens to me (also happens with first person shooter games). 

But, when I did go, I never went to the concession stand.  I agree with Thompson, prices are too high and I’m not willing to pay them.  However, I’m also not willing to use the force of government to “force” prices down, for heaven sake.

The way consumers make this point is to quit buying the stuff.  Yeah, it takes will.  It takes perseverance.  It takes a collective action over time.  But what it should never take is bringing government in to it.

The suit accused AMC theaters of violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act by charging grossly excessive prices for snacks.

The suit seeks refunds for customers who were overcharged, a civil penalty against the theater chain and any other relief Judge Kathleen Macdonald might grant.

So who gets to decide what is a fair price?  A judge?  Or the consumer?   How does the consumer decide what a “fair price” is?  By not paying what he or she considers to be an unfair price.  That’s how.  Not by going to the state and attempting to use its power to force a lower price.

No one forces anyone to go to a movie, pay what they’re asking or eat their snacks.  Everyone of those is an individual decision and choice. Just as we decide not to buy other products we can’t afford or think are priced too high, it is up to us to make the same sort of decision at a theater concession stand.   If enough refuse to buy, it will eventually come to the attention of the theater chains.  That’s how pricing is set by markets (you know, all that talk about pricing signals and such?).  And the state has no business being involved in that system whatsoever, either legislatively or judicially (and the law suit probably won’t go anywhere, I understand that, but I’m addressing the mindset).

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

When is it OK to use homophobia? When the target is a right-winger

The Daily Caller spots another example of leftist hypocrisy in action.  

Talking about Andrew Breitbart’s death, a poster at the Daily Kos decides it would be cool to send him off with a nice little protest from the homophobic bigots at Westboro Baptist Church.  You see, Breitbart was a friend to gay right-wing groups such as GOProud.  Instead of celebrating that, the true bigotry of at least this leftist shows through in his (or her) little scheme:

A post dated March 1 by “dragon82a,” titled “Let’s Help Andrew Breitbart go out In Style..Get Westboro Baptist Church to Protest Him” encourages readers to post on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Facebook page calling for the group to protest Andrew Breitbart’s funeral:

Here is the Facebook of the WestBoro Baptist Church:

Send them a message anything will do, about how much publicity they would get by Protecting [sic] Andrew.

http://www.facebook.com/…

Lets give back to Andrew what he has so generously given to us all these years.

We could call this “Operation Sendaway”

Because you see, using homophobic fundies (who’s leader is a Democrat activist by the way) in their cause is okay, but utter one word that could even sound like it might be anti-gay and they’ll be on you with all the false righteous indignation they can muster in a heartbeat.

Of course, don’t bother pointing this out to them … they simply won’t get it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

China makes reincarnation without government permission illegal

No, really, you read it right.  The Chinese government has banned reincarnation without government permission.

In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

Actually, despite the article’s claim (and as the article eventually points out), it really isn’t as an absurd of an act as it may seem, even though it is certainly representative of totalitarianism.

In fact, it is all about China’s war with the Dalai Lama.

At 72, the Dalai Lama, who  has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it’s under Chinese control. Assuming he’s able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks.

We can all figure out how that will work. 

The Chinese communists surface very visibly every now and then as if to remind everyone that China is far from a free country.  And, in such a totalitarian country, no detail is too small for the government to ignore … even something in which it likely doesn’t even believe.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

PETA: People Exterminating Thousands of Animals

peta-2

You have to just shake your head at these hypocrites:

Documents published online this month show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011.

The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were published online by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit organization that runs online campaigns targeting groups that antagonize food producers.

It is amazing to me how they suck in all these gullible celebrities to do their publicity stunts for them and in the meantime they’re slaughtering animals right and left.

Consider this:

Fifteen years’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA.

In a February 16 statement, the Center said PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year, finding homes for only 24 pets.

Really?  24?  That’s it?  They could only find homes for 24 animals out of 1,935?  A .01% success rate.

Yet they have the chutzpa to go after others about the “ethical” treatment of animals?

Next time you see a group of these yahoos, ask them about the slaughter house they maintain in Norfolk, VA.  Ask them about the thousands of animals they kill each year.

Don’t expect a coherent or rational reply in return.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Don’t ever call Buzz Aldrin a “liar and a coward”

Buzz Aldrin is 72 years old.  He’s also a national hero.

Watch this this  moon landing denying D-bag harass Aldrin (and tell me that jerk doesn’t remind you of a cleaned up Michael Moore).  Watch him get in Aldrin’s face and call him a “liar” and a “coward”.

Finally, watch the result:

 

Consider it your "feel good" vid of the day.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Obama in trouble? Time for racial scare tactics …

And from all people, the purveyor of more racial hatred than the KKK, Louis Farrakhan:

In a fiery lecture to thousands of followers of the Nation of Islam on Sunday in Chicago, Minister Louis Farrakhan warned that racial hatred could lead to attempts to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Farrakhan spent much of his oration decrying what he cast as Satan’s influence over racist forces in politics and society before asking a pointed rhetorical question: "Do you think they’re wicked enough to be plotting our brother’s assassination as we speak?"

Wow, there’s Satan again. And there’s the racial scare.

So who is he talking about? Oh wait, here it is:

Farrakhan drew a distinction between noble Jews and followers of "the synagogue of Satan," and he pointed to a recent incident in which the publisher of a Jewish magazine suggested Israeli security forces could help preserve Israel by killing Obama.

Got it.  The Joooooooooosssss!  Well the ignoble Jews anyway (i.e. anyone in or associated with Israel, a country which, apparently, actually rules the world and dominates our politics).

Our guy also addressed many other timely topics:

He spoke for more than three hours on a broad array of topics, excoriating U.S. foreign policy, suggesting that the 9/11attacks were a government-planned pretext for war in the Middle East, lamenting recent extreme weather and attacking mothers for serving their children food from McDonald’s. He also returned repeatedly to a topic that has attracted intense controversy in the past: the influence of Jews in politics and media.

Truther, warmist, and anti-Semitic with a swipe at Mickey D’s.  A trifecta with a daily double thrown in. 

Look, he’s an 78 year old kook.  Got it.  But trust me on this … it is a harbinger of things to come and a preview of accusations and tactics you’ll see in the near future.  Perhaps not trotted out as blatantly as this and probably not blaming Israel or Jews (domestic right wing will do), but you can count on seeing racial scare tactics in the near future as Obama’s numbers, which are relatively high right now but nothing to brag about, begin to slip.

The usual suspects will begin the drumbeat of racism and attempt to divert the public’s attention from the real problem in this election – Obama’s dismal record.

Oh, and in honor of Black History month, an image from a series at All American Blogger where Duane Lester provides a historically correct lesson and reminder of the real history blacks should know but the left tries to avoid during this month:

 

twoplatforms

 

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Americans don’t pay government for the ‘privilege’ of being Americans

There’s a quote going around from Timothy Geithner that again demonstrates why he has no business heading the Treasury Department.

In it he says things which are hard to attribute to a Treasury Secretary but certainly indicative of someone who could be labeled a political hack.

The quote in question:

"That’s the kind of balance you need," said Geithner. "Why is that the case? Because if you don’t try to generate more revenues through tax reform, if you don’t ask, you know, the most fortunate Americans to bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American, then you have to – the only way to achieve fiscal sustainability is through unacceptably deep cuts in benefits for middle class seniors, or unacceptably deep cuts in national security." [emphasis mine]

James Pethokoukis literally takes this quote apart line by line and makes the technical argument as to why it is poppycock.  It’s worth the read.

However, I’m most interested in those phrases I’ve emphasized in a more cultural/political/philosophical vein.

Since when do Americans, any Americans, have to pay government for the “privilege of being an American?”

I can’t think of a quote that more starkly differentiates the philosophies of right and left than Geithner’s.  At its base it points to a philosophy that puts the state and collectivism before the individual and liberty.  It is the polar opposite of the philosophy on which this country was founded.  It is a mindset which must constantly be exposed and rejected. 

tim-geithner-beavis-3-e1273328553646We, as Americans, don’t pay anyone for any such “privilege”, and certainly not government.  But the Elizabeth Warrens, Tim Geithners and Barack Obamas of world believe otherwise.

That statement tells one all they need to know about a philosophy that drives this current administration and much of the left.  Americans, apparently, exist to serve government (and pay whatever cost government deems necessary) and not the other way around.  The fact that they’re only attempting to use the “rich” in this case doesn’t mask the fact that they don’t limit this belief to only the “rich”.  It’s just that politically, that’s all they can get away with at the moment.  Make no mistake, they are elitists and collectivists and the path they want to take this country down is a path of limited liberty and no return.

As to the final emphasized phrase, note the false dichotomy.  It is as fallacious as any argument you’ll ever see.  The “only” way to achieve fiscal sustainability is by cutting only those two programs?

BS!

There are entire executive departments, agencies and bureaus which could be dismissed and cut before either of those other areas had to be touched.  There are literally billions of dollars that could be saved by reducing government at all levels.  To pretend that the only solution is to make “deep cuts” in benefits for “middle class seniors” or “national security” is the biggest crock of crap yet foisted on the American people since Al Gore invented his get rich quick scheme called global warming.

Obviously both of the areas mentioned by Geithner are areas in which cuts must and will be made.   But it is pure and unadulterated sophistry to pretend that they alone will suffer if we don’t tax the ‘rich’ for the ‘privilege of being an American’.

I can’t tell you how much Geithner’s words rankle me.  It is people like he, Obama and Warren that must be shown the door (or, in Warren’s case, never let in the door), politically speaking.  They are a danger to liberty and freedom.  The philosophy under which they operate is unacceptable and as I’ve said many times, must be defeated. 

If you value your liberty at all, I suspect you feel the same way.  How we got to this point, where high government officials feel comfortable saying such nonsense should bother you.   It points to a tacit acceptance of their view by many.  To those who love liberty, their view is unacceptable.  It just makes you wonder how many of us are left that actually do value and love liberty, doesn’t it?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Seriously stupid: Political correctness out of control

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but ESPN fired a couple of folks for using an old, old, old saying in a perfectly appropriate way because they, apparently, aren’t familiar with the difference in use and misinterpreted a word for a racial slur.

The PC police, apparently just as ignorant, called for the heads of two members of ESPN when they used the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe Jeremy Lin’s on court vulnerabilities (turnovers as it happens).  But, but, but, Jeremy is of Chinese descent, so “chink” is therefor a “racial slur”.

Right?

Pure and total outraged ignorance.  Those who’ve pushed this ought to be ashamed of themselves.  HuffPo, naturally, is at the forefront of the stupidity:

And, now, we may have found our most offensive headline from a mainstream media outlet.

Several hours after the Knicks’ Lin-spired winning streak was snapped by the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN ran the headline "Chink In The Armor" to accompany the game story on mobile devices. ESPN’s choice of words was extremely insensitive and offensive considering Lin’s Asian-American heritage. According to Brian Floyd at SB Nation, the headline appeared on the Scorecenter app. The offensive headline was quickly noticed, screen grabs, Twit pics and Instagrams were shared and it began circulating widely on Twitter.

The use of the word "chink" is especially galling as Lin has revealed that this racial slur was used to taunt him during his college playing career at Harvard. After a brief run, the headline was changed to "All Good Things.."

Being so ignorant of the proper use of the word “chink” in this context is even MORE galling.

Professor Jacobson educates the dummies:

Chink in the armor” is a non-racial idiom, not a single word, denoting:

A vulnerable area, as in Putting things off to the last minute is the chink in Pat’s armor and is bound to get her in trouble one day . This term relies on chink in the sense of “a crack or gap,” a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.

The term “chink in the armor” is used frequently in sports analogies, as this 2005-2010 Google search indicates.

“Chink” standing alone also is a slang pejorative for someone of Chinese or more generally of Asian descent.

In discussing Jeremy Lin’s playing vulnerabilities, an on-air ESPN announcer used the phrase “chink in armor” and it was repeated in an ESPN web headline early the next morning.

Absurd, disturbing, ignorant.

A virtual trifecta brought to you by oversensitive and ignorant popinjays who cost two people their jobs because they were too stupid to understand the proper use of a word.  And ESPN, you’re no better.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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