Tag Archives: liberals

Mississippi Mud

Much as the liberals amuse themselves with the conservatives’ lack of belief in global warming, the conservatives have a field day with the liberals’ Panglossian notion that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that we ought to keep the planet exactly the way it was when we, the generations currently alive, chanced to embark upon our lives. As if.

I can almost always find the wellsprings for a rant or two in the pages of The Economist, and of course, TED Talks. (If that sounds too snooty, you should see me snort into my beer at some of the comments that Daniel Tosh makes.) I am not picky about the source of my ramblings—generally I want to be amused, entertained, or educated, and preferably all at once. I mention this because, with all of the evidence that surrounds us, at all levels of erudition, I can’t understand how anyone can believe that this world is not all about change. Back to The Economist.

Awhile back, there was an article on the Mississippi River, and how its flow has changed over the centuries. The illustration accompanying the article makes the flood plain painfully clear, and yet our government encourages people to build, and rebuild, in an area that can’t help but be inundated in the future. When will the madness stop? Who will be the first to say, yup, it’s a bad idea to try to drag this planet to a halt, right where it is. It’s the height of hubris to think that a) we can mold this big old earth into our version of heaven, and b) that we are the be-all and end-all of everything.

It’s interesting that conservatives tend to be more religious, but that liberals act as though humans are the teleological result of evolution. Change is the only constant, and evolution is a non-thinking phenomenon, regardless of the way it is portrayed in schools and on science shows. No creature thinks, wow, I got to get me a longer proboscis, so’s I can get the nectar buried deeper in the flower. It’s the poor fella who happens to be stuck with the longer proboscis that finds, or doesn’t find, the flower that happens to allow for that particular trait. Then he either dies off, or passes that mutation on to later generations, who find, or don’t find, flowers that work for them. Evolution is not a forward-thinking process. It’s only after it happens, and we see the current state of things versus what worked in the past, that we can figure out which random mutations are working right now. Even that won’t tell us what mutation will become necessary in the next five minutes as a result of ongoing changes.

Yet daily we are inundated with examples of the pervasive thinking that, because we exist at this point in the lifespan of our planet, this is the way things ought to be forever and ever. We can’t manage to find a source of power that can be made readily available to all, without causing harm to some part of the planet, but we have the right, and the ability, to keep the next ice age from occurring?

How about we get the religion out of the government—the religion that says that we are the all-powerful, all-knowing gods of this planet, and that if we merely tithe enough to Caesar, he will render paradise.How about we make adaptation a conscious process, conforming ourselves to the world we happen to find ourselves in, instead of acting as though throwing more money at the coastline will make the tide stop washing away the beach. Or plunking a house down will hem in the Mississippi River.

Somewhere, we glommed onto the notion that we’ve got all the answers, even in the face of the planet constantly demonstrating that we do not. Maybe this is the time we can step back and think things through, before rushing to an expensive, short-term solution that only ends up aggravating the whole situation. Or, I guess, we can just throw more money into the river.

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Achoo!

Image courtesy of gruar razvan ionut/freedigitalphotos. net

Image courtesy of gruar razvan ionut/freedigitalphotos. net

One of the great things about Thanksgiving is that you get see loved ones that you haven’t seen in too long a time. We have quite the extended family, and our house was the focal point of the excited bedlam this year. The custom is for each of the large crew to bring something to share to the table: a new sweet potato recipe, homemade cranberry sauce, cherry compote, pumpkin pie. This year, someone brought along something not so welcome; something that I must admit I was not very thankful for, to wit: a cold. Since I tend to be, as they say, susceptible, I carried that cold away with me as a memento of our time together. For a week or so, the little virus that could, did, and sapped me of both the strength and the willpower to continue the good fight. However, as I have begun to regain my energy, that dormant flame is rekindling, and I slowly awaken to the need for another round.

So, have I missed anything in my week away? Let’s see: we’re still facing the fiscal cliff, or curve, or slide, or whatever the spinmeisters are calling it these days. The only new aspect of this cliffhanger is that the liberal caucus has now come out and explicitly stated that the deal will be tax hikes now, and spending cuts later, maybe. (Has Lucy got that football all set?) Or, as we say around our house, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

There are a couple of reasons why I believe that no spending cuts will be implemented any time soon. The people who were just elected were not chosen on the basis of their fiscal responsibility. They were chosen, especially the Democrats, to put into practice all of those promises and ideas that they tossed at all of their respective constituencies during the latest campaigns.

If the Republicans agree to the extension of the tax cuts for all but the highest earners (to be determined later), they will have given away all of their negotiating tools—what else can they give to Democrats that would be worth the Democrats in return snatching away any of their base’s goodies?

No, there will be no dealing. The impending fiscal cliff gives the Democrats a perfect opportunity for a Republican smackdown. If the Republicans go along with the tax increase, their base will be unhappy. If they resist, the Democrats will accuse them of speeding over the cliff when it wasn’t necessary. One thing the Republicans can do to divorce themselves from the whole mess is to show up, but vote present, or to abstain.

If the Republicans refuse to assent to whatever bills the Democrats propose, that will force the Democrats to pass all bills all on their own, and to take responsibility for whatever happens down the road. Of course, then the Democrats can also claim all of the credit when the economy begins its sudden upward soar, due to…what? A new quantitative easing? More federal jobs? More borrowing? More spending?

Let the liberals indulge in surfeit of paper money. Let them wallow in their treasure trove of unbacked currency. The Republicans can stand at the side, waiting for the inevitable moment when they are called in to clean up the mess. There are those who say that they have already been called in: that that is why they kept the House, the money side of Congress.

But the comeuppance has not yet come up. Should the Republicans stand steady, hold fast, and attempt to turn the tide of spending, they will merely be seen as obstructionist, not as saviors. The One must play out his hand, bestowing all his gifts until the bill comes due, before the people will realize that they’ve been had.

The liberal constituency is currently embracing what it considers to be its new-found power. “We are changing the world!” is their battle cry. “No more will there be discrimination of any kind (except against white males), there will be religious freedom for all (except Christians who oppose paying for abortion), everyone will pay their fair share (except for rich people, who pay more, and everyone else, who pays less).”

There is no arguing with those who are fervid with religious humors, no matter what stripe they may be. Those pent-up emotions must play themselves out, to the inevitable consequences, before zealots will be amenable to any sort of reasoning. There are too many people in positions of power who are proclaiming the justness of their cause. And there is, as there often is in hyperbole, a grain of truth.

There has been injustice in this world, there is injustice in this world. What the liberals are unwilling to concede is that there is likely to always be injustice in this world. And throwing money at a problem that stems from the inherent nature of the universe will not make it go away. No matter how much money is tossed.

Look at the just the example of lottery winners. Here are people given more riches than they ever dreamed of, and many of them waste no time in squandering that wealth even to a worse financial position than they held before their supposed good fortune. Ah, you say, but not all of them fare so poorly. Thank you for proving my point.

You can give everyone in the world the same amount of money, and within a year, some of them will have created enormous wealth with those funds. Some people will have maintained their position, and some will have spent every dime and then some. No amount of fairness in payments can ever result in equality of result. Some people know how to make money; some people don’t. Some people catch colds, while others who have been exposed to exactly the same situation skirt by with nary a sniffle. The human condition is uniqueness, not fairness.

The tide is coming, and the Republicans would do well for themselves to step out of the way, and let it flow by. There will be plenty of time of pick up the pieces later.

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Katie, Bar The Door

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Every time I try to give the liberals a break, they go and screw it all up. In this time when all of California is broke and getting broker, the city council of Los Angeles thinks that the best way to spend their time is to “back” Meatless Mondays. In a 12-0 vote, the council resolved to encourage residents to forego meat one day a week.

If the city council does not have enough city business to fill its allotted time, then as soon as it is finished with what is absolutely necessary, they should be closing up shop, turning off the lights, and heading out the door. It is because so many governmental units spend a lot of time thinking and considering how they can improve the lives of their citizens, that we are about to head over the fiscal cliff right now.

Of course, having people be healthier is a noble goal. Of course, it is noble that the members of the city council spend part of their own time trying to help their fellow citizens. There are just a few problems with dealing with these sorts of issues on the public dime: 1) trying to fix obesity by limited meat while allowing carbs has been proven to be the wrong way to go; 2) people who eat more fiber (fruits, vegetables and the like) have been proven to have more diverticulitis, an inflammation of the colon that can be at the least painful, and at most, deadly; 3) there are plenty of people who do not want their tax dollars spent on telling them how to live or what to eat; and 4) California doesn’t have enough money to do the business it has already signed up for—they should be the leaders in the minimization of government, so that the rest of us have less to clean up when the inevitable bailout is finally approved.

It is things like this that make me wonder about the wisdom of allowing the tax cuts to expire: the liberals will only find something new to spend the money on. After all, there are always going to be ills to fix in this world; always evils to banish; good that can be done.

And the liberals have time and again stressed how the ends justify the means—so long as the result is eventually to be positive, it doesn’t matter how we get there. President Obama’s playing fast and loose with the immigration laws of this land is just one example. So why should we believe that any cuts today will not simply be ratcheted up next week? No reason that I can tell. I have seen absolutely no indication that the liberals believe that any of their spending programs or proposals is in need of removal—reform is more their mandate.

And reform seems to mean: install another layer of oversight, and increase the revenue to that department. The liberal economists claim that fiscal conservatives wail too much about doom and gloom; that they are too apocalyptic in tone. But where is the call to cut back on raiding the coffers? The liberals are too busy proclaiming that many of those receiving checks from the government have earned their pay, and no conservatives have yet had the temerity to state that even those on Social Security who live to the average age of about 79 will receive more money than they paid in.

The question is how we can break the chain of thinking that the government can be all things to all people. Somehow, just because someone can conjure up a specter of woes, now the expectation is that, with enough funding, that woe can be made to disappear. It hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t deter the fantasizers.

Minimum wage requirements have resulted in higher unemployment rates for the less-skilled; public education has not benefitted the children of the less educated; subsidies to businesses have not resulted in lower unemployment; nutrition labels have not decreased obesity rates; the failure rates of government programs should lead a thinking person to wonder what is the benefit of pooling resources?

True, some people do benefit from some programs—mostly, the people who work for those programs are now able to look forward to a steady paycheck for years to come. But there are plenty of failures that are reported—usually by people who use those failures as a rationale for extending those same programs (read put more money into them). When will it stop?

When will spending cuts mean spending cuts, not just lesser rates of growth? When will any program be deemed a success, and halted? Liberals who claim that conservatives are simply stonewalling, when compromise is necessary, refuse to take into consideration the very real concern that, without a barricade at the gates of the treasury, government continues to grow and grow, without end.

One of President Obama’s cost-cutting measures is to cut the pay of doctors. This at the same time as he has promised health care for all. Maybe those who are currently in the system, and those who are in medical school might find themselves financially unable to change course, but anyone close to retirement age will find himself thinking twice about continuing to be on the hook for people’s lives while earning less for taking on that responsibility. And anyone who was considering entering the health care profession may be tempted to reconsider. Let’s check back in ten years, see how many doctors there are at that time.

What the liberals don’t seem to understand is that you can’t change human nature. You can outlaw as much as you like; regulate things to death; but you can’t make people be inspired. You can get a minimum effort out of them, but you can’t make them rise to the heights of greatness. Of course, that may be the very point, after all.

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