Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Passing of a Long Time Politician.

Within the last 24 hours the Honorable Senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, passed away. My sympathies go out to the Kennedy/Shriver family.

But that's not what I want to talk about.

What boggles me the most is the fact that also within the last 23 hours 59 minutes the political left has been using his death to make political hay. There's calls that HE really wanted this, and we should rename the Health Care Reform Bull Bill, the Kennedy HCR Bill. HE was a great man and HE worked for this all his life. etc. etc. You get the idea.

What's that other thing that feeds off of corpses? Oh yeah, Vultures.

They could not wait for the corpse to even cool off before they dove in to rend the political capital from the bones of the man. How inhuman, how utterly callous do you have to be to do something like that. Great bouncing Buddhas, they could have at least waited till after the family held the funeral. A week maybe? But when your motto is "Let no crisis go to waste." You can justify just about any action. No matter how reprehensible.

But I guess it's only fair. I mean when Reagan died, the conservatives were right in there saying we should push the war on terror because that's what he would have wanted and he'd spent his whole life... err... umm... They didn't do that did they. Never mind.

All kidding aside, when Reagan passed, the country honored the memory of the man. We eulogized his life and works. We respectfully allowed his family their time to mourn. We didn't use his death to further some agenda that the majority of Americans don't want. We didn't cheapen the man or his deeds by slapping his name on something in the hopes that it will pass by the American public's notice.

The ironic part of this is that they want to put the Kennedy name on the HCR Bill. But this man didn't have to sit before any "End of Life" death panels. His family wasn't told to feed him a pain pill and let him go. No, he fought tooth and nail to live as long as possible. He was given every treatment available to modern medicine, both through his insurance and privately paid for.

You know what. They're right. Everyone should have access to the same level of care that Sen. Kennedy had.

But I digress.

My point. I hope everyone out there is as disgusted as I am with the people who couldn't wait to exploit the passing of this man. I hope that anything that they try to attach his name to turns into a pariah. Not because of his name, but because of the callous way that they're using his name to turn political profit. I hope that some day they wake up and experience the pain that they're causing the family and loved ones of this man by their actions.

But I fear that I hope to much. And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pwnd

H/T to LD for this one.

Quip of the day.

Saw this in one of the comments over at LawDog's blog.

0bama: A man who hasn't seen a line in the constitution yet that he doesn't HOPE to CHANGE.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gun Show Recap.

Spent the weekend at the Grand National. Things seem to have calmed down from the post election panic. But that could be just the fact that it wasn't Wannenmacher's. We'll see.

Ammo prices are coming back down and I was finding .380ACP on the tables again. I picked up 50 rounds of tracer for my M14 at a pretty good price.

Sold all the .45ACP brass that I had collected. Well, all the brass aside from what I plan on reloading. All in all, I came out ahead this time around. Even after the mandatory beef jerky and salsa. So, WIN!

I had fun. How was your weekend?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sign-o-the-times

While picking up batteries today, I noticed that the fun sized candy bars had gotten smaller.

Sign of the times or are people just more easily amused?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Best email I've written all month!

Just now I sent an email to flag-at-white house -dot- gov. Here is the text:

Hi,

I would like to flag myself, {aepilotjim} as opposed to the Obama Adminstration's Health Insurance Reform Bill.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely
{aepilotjim}

Real name redacted for this blog.

I see this kind of tactic by the current administration as a blatant attempt to try to silence the American public by intimidation. This sort of strong arm Chicago politics will not now, nor ever, sit quietly with me. I call out to all of you to flag yourself.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adventures in Customer Service.

I needed to make an international call today. After several failed attempts at randomly punching numbers to get to the right country, I called customer service. Much to my surprise, rather than get connected to someone in India named Ralph, I got to talk to Ernestine...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Town Hall Meetings and the Democratic Leadership

Okay, reading de Tocqueville again and came across this passage that had a surprising relevance to today's news and events.
Municipal freedom is not a fruit of human device; it is rarely created; but it is, as it were, secretly and spontaneously engendered in the midst of a semi-barbarous state of society. The constant action of the laws and the national habits, peculiar circumstances, and above all time, may consolidate it; but there is certainly no nation on the continent of Europe which has experienced its advantages. Nevertheless local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people's reach, they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty. The transient passions and the interests of an hour, or the chance of circumstances, may have created the external forms of independence; but the despotic tendency which has been repelled will, sooner or later, inevitably reappear on the surface.

(emphasis mine)

It seems the democrats (National Socialists) with their socialized medicine agenda are learning what the power of town-meetings are. They're finding out that, despite the force of the governmental propaganda machine and state controlled media outlets, the voice of the people will be heard. They're realizing that the voices they've been listening to in DC are NOT speaking for the majority of the citizens of this country. They go out expecting a cowed populace to meekly swallow what they've decided is best for the uneducated masses and instead run full force into an increasingly discontented constituency. They are finding out that the attitude they've had that they rule over people is a fleeting fantasy of theirs. The fact that they merely are the representative those same people is dashing that fantasy to pieces.

So, much like despotic government throughout history, they are resorting to the same tactics that have worked so well in the past, namely thuggery and intimidation a la the Chicago political machine.

Too bad most Americans are brave enough that that kind of brown shirt politics just makes them madder and louder.

They've also tried to label the opposition as "astroturf" and called them paid political agitators. First off, they are very familiar with astroturfing, having used and abused that tactic for a while now. One only needs to look at the Joyce Foundation, or ACORN to see that. Secondly, to try to demonize and marginalize what is happening all over the country will only succeed in deepening the rift developing between the people and their congresscritters.

They may find their reelection campaigns running on flat tires.

Which brings up a thought I had a while back. I was listening to the radio at work and the voices were talking about blue dog democrats. I forget what the topic of the rift was between them and the DNC, but the commentator made the point that even though they were opposed to what the party was trying, ultimately their loyalty rested with that party. Which made me sit up and want to shout. Their loyalty better be resting with the people they supposedly represent. If the loyalties of the politico's in DC are to a party and not the people, we've lost our republic. Great phrases like; "of the people, by the people, for the people..." have no meaning then, and we're looking at just another form of autocracy like any other despotic nation on this planet.

A rose by any other name....

Much like Global Warming (TM, Al Gore) became Global Climate Change (TM, Al Gore) after the science just wouldn't hold up to the light of scrutiny.

The 0's Health Care Reform(TM) has become Health Insurance Reform(TM).

Do you think that they're figuring out that the lies just aren't being swallowed as easily as the campaign promises were?

My thoughts on Cash For Clunkers

Everybody is buying cars! The economy is SAVED! They saved us!

Yeah. Really quickly, over half the cars purchased under this program are foreign. And some reports go as high as 80% foreign. Not so good for Detroit. But then the auto unions made that bed.

So, for the cost of 10 dollars (so far) out of the pocket of every man, woman, and child in this country. A few people get to drive around in brand new cars. And we get to get these old clunkers off the streets.

Old clunkers off the streets...

Everybody does know that these trade ins are REQUIRED to be destroyed? No salvaging serviceable spare parts from them. No reselling on the used car lot. But that's a good thing right?
Lets see. Yesterday we had; a new car, 4500 dollars and a used car. Today we have; a new car and 4500 dollars. Wait, what happened to the asset that was the used car. Oh right, it's been destroyed. Our government is forcing us to destroy our assets. This smacks of our government forcing us to be poorer and maybe even more dependent on them. Socialism anyone?

Also, has anybody looked at the used car price index in the last few weeks? That's right, skyrocketing upwards.

And this destroying something to stimulate the economy kept poking me on the shoulder, trying to tell me something. Finally, I remembered. Lucky you, because now I get to show you. Yeah, it's like slide shows of family vacations! Only more boring and even more unsettling.



Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented


Henry Hazlitt in his book Economics in One Lesson does a much better job at explaining this corollary to The Law of Unintended Consequences. Go read it.

This is exactly what the Clash For Clunkers program is doing. It's destroying one thing and trumpeting it as a success because it had to be replaced. Never mind that if that thing, a car in this case, hadn't been destroyed the money could have been used somewhere else, to buy something else. Never mind that most of the benefits are going to help overseas car manufacturers. The 0bama administration can point and say "We DID SOMETHING."

We've created a new government program. Of course this one is temporary. As temporary as the TVA. That's all that this has done really. Any bets on whether or not the funding becomes a standard line item on next years budget proposal?

What if instead of $4500 for every clunker, the government had given the auto manufacturers just a $450 dollar tax break for every new car produced? What would have happened then? We'd still have that used car around to resell. The auto companies would have had that much more money to hire more people, buy more modern or just plain more equipment to build cars. Those new jobs would have generated all sorts of spending by the people in them. The MSRP of those new cars would have been lowered because now the cost to produce them would be lower. Lower new car prices makes them more affordable and to a greater portion of the populous. Used car lots aren't starved for inventory and they stay open. The possibilities... Feel free to add other reactions to that action in the comments, please.

But what do I know, I'm just an guy with a degree in aerospace engineering, the training to be a professional pilot and the ability to analyze whats happening to this country and weep.

Sunday, August 2, 2009