Thursday, January 31, 2008

Polls...Schmolls

Polls are nothing more than the polling and/or poll-sponsoring entities' attempts to sway public opinions. They sould be ignored and discarded as media-lead political marketing.

After five to seven state primaries / caucaus -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan (Rep only), Wyoming (Rep only), Nevada, South Carolina and Florida -- we are to assume that every thing is settled? Who is saying the elections are all but over for the Republians? The media and their associated pollsters.

I hope the American people are smarter than that -- that they will not be bamboozled by the MSM.

I never go for that arguement that you should vote in the primary for the candidate you feel can win in the national election. I don't favor people not registered with a political party being able to vote another party's nomination process, including independents. Registered Democrats should only be allowed to vote for their candidate; Republicans only for theirs. The other lesser parties, likewise.

Too much will happen between the party convention, nomination and platform creation and November. The "best" and most damaging things will come out at that time.

Remember, Republicans need 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination; Democrats need 2,025. There is a long way to go until the nomination is locked up. I hope Super Tuesday does not settle it; that it'll go all the way to the party conventions.

Republican delegates (as of today):
- John McCain: 95
- Mitt Romney: 66
- Mike Huckabee: 26
- Ron Paul: 6
(Thompson has 8, Hunter has 1 and Giuliani has 1)

Democrat delegates (as of today):
- Hillary Clinton: 48
- Barack Obama: 63
(John Edwards has 26; none of these counts include superdelegates)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Economic Stimulus Package

I scratch my head at why many economists and investors are behind the economic stimulus package package the White House is encouraging and Congress is threatening to pass.

The House bill passed on Tuesday (1/29/08) 385-35 (one rep voting present).
The bill calls for one-time tax rebates to go primarily to individuals making less than $75,000 and to married couples making less than $150,000. It would also provide temporary tax breaks that would let businesses deduct more of their investments in plants and equipment more quickly, and it contains two measures aimed at helping homeowners get or refinance mortgages.
What the Senate will do with it is any one's guess. It is almost a guarantee they'll want to add their pork on top of it.

Bottom line, it a bad deal for every American and business because there is no reduction in spending. Where does the money come from? They borrow it from the American people. It is mind boggling that people actually are behind this. What level on intelligence causes people to believe that they are entitled to receive something from nothing?

The best government-sponsored economic stimulus package would be to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Inspiration and Endorsement Dictate Voting?

Every time some media outlet reports that so-and-so endorses candidate "x," physical sickness is imminent. The egos of the people who think their opinions count more than any others' opinions is sickening.

Would anyone really vote for Obama just because Ted Kennedy endorses him? Would anyone vote for Huckabee because Florida Gov. Charlie Crist endorses him? Only those which do not study the candidates as it relates to the issues.

How many times have I hear people say, "I vote for the man, not his party." Ignorant fools.

Do we vote for someone because they inspire us? Apparently some do. However, it is rare to see an inspiring politician. Caroline Kennedy is inspired by Obama, dissing all Democratic Presidents since her father -- LBJ, Carter and Slick Willie (easy to do). But who cares?

Obama is a good orator, clearly. However, he is not partisan. He is a liberal. He will govern as liberal. McCain will also government as a liberal. He will not address conservative issues. He'll be worse than GW Bush. Conservative congressional reps will have no voice against a so-called middle-of-the-road Republican president. They'll have better luck with a liberal Democrat.

Political posture should trump inspiration every time. Likewise, leadership and experience should trump inspiration.

Hopefully, we will cast our votes based on a candidate's conservative stance on the issues, followed by his/her leadership and experience. Inspiration should be way down the list. Endorsements (along with race and gender) should not be on the list.

Friday, January 25, 2008

NY Times Endorses Liberal Candidates


The New York Times has spoken: Hillary, a top ear-marker, for the Democrats and McCain, liberal in disguise, for the Republicans.

The editorial board strongly recommends that Democrats select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election.
On the major issues, there is no real gulf separating the two. They promise an end to the war in Iraq, more equitable taxation, more effective government spending, more concern for social issues, a restoration of civil liberties and an end to the politics of division of George W. Bush and Karl Rove.
...
The next president needs to start immediately on challenges that will require concrete solutions, resolve, and the ability to make government work. Mrs. Clinton is more qualified, right now, to be president.
On the other side, they feel John McCain is the best choice for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.

Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.
Kiss of death for McCain. What "conservative" in their right mind would want the NY Times endorsement? That tells the voters than he is the most liberal of the Republican candidates and the one closest to its well-established and communicated leftist politics.

Anyone favored by the MSM should be doomed in conservative circles. The only conservative talk show host I know who favors McCain is Michael Medved. Most of the time I like Medved but I disagree with him on his premise that McCain is the best Republican out there among the leading candidates. He sites six McCain lies; but I would challenge him on each of them. The NY Times may have doomed McCain's candidacy, despite Medved's campaigning.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

DNC Presidential Candidate: Mr. Clinton

If Obama wants to win the DNC presidential nomination, he should focus his marketing and PR campaign against Bill Clinton, completely ignoring Mrs. Clinton. In other words, put a "hit job" on Bill.

Mrs. Clinton is nothing without Bill. The only reason she is where she is today is because of who she married. He is a master campaigner. His skills at manipulating the press is second to none. He has proven over his years his expertise at lying, misleading and spinning his message. Mrs. Clinton is right there with him, one with him on deceit and negative tactics. Obama (and the Republican candidate, if he can't stomach it) must counter-attack unrelenting.

Bill Clinton, who up until 2000, lived in public housing for most of his adult life. His income was provided through the public payroll. Since then, he has earned in the $100 million range -- serving on boards, giving speeches, and who knows what with foreign governments and NGOs. On the positive side, he has also been engaged in his non-partisan, philanthropic Clinton Global Initiative, library and foundation. Now that his wife is running for president, and having a hard time with it, he has tossed aside his non-partisan post-presidential years. Instead, he has become an angry, red-faced man in bitter railings against Obama for "raising false hopes."

This campaign has become Bill Clinton's. He is running for a third term. He yearns to get back to the White House. His "legacy" is again in play. That woman, Hillary, is not going to let him down.

This campaign is going to be great. It will be as brutal as we have ever witnessed. There is nothing he or she will not do, nothing. Those competing against them are in for a battle they probably may not have predicated. The faint in heart and squeamish need not apply.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

District of Columbia v. Heller: Right to Bear Arms

On the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court is the the case known as District of Columbia v. Heller (Docket 07-290): whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns.

In a statement from the NRA (I am a dues paying member):
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun ownership and self-defense in law-abiding residents’ homes. The Court will first address the question of whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, protects the rights of individuals or a right of the government. If the Court agrees that this is an individual right, they will then determine if D.C.’s self-defense and handgun bans are constitutional.

The position of the National Rifle Association is clear. The Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms for any lawful purpose. Further, any law infringing this freedom, including a ban on self-defense and handgun ownership, is unconstitutional and provides no benefit to curbing crime. Rather, these types of restrictions only leave the law-abiding more susceptible to criminal attack.
In the February issue of American Hunter, NRA-ILA Executive Director summarizes ten facts about the pending case:

-- Case roots deal with bearing of arms outside of a militia.
-- Because DC's gun control laws are so strict, it may not have national implications.
-- Second Amendment right goes to the founding of the nation.
-- U.S. v. Miller (1939) had nothing to do with bearing arms in a militia.
-- U.S. v. Miller contradicts the DC's claim that handguns are not "arms" protected by the Second Amendment.
-- The right to bear arms existed before the Constitution. The Second Amendment does not say "the people shall have the right..." rather "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
-- Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms.
-- DC's gun and self-defense bans don't work.
-- If the DC ban is upheld, new battles will occur in Congress and in the states.
-- Because of of is limited scope, a victory will not overturn all gun control laws.

Gun-control advocates are few in number when compared to gun-rights advocates. This issue, like most issues, are affect by the few -- most people have no opinion because they have not studied the issue.

The gun-rights/control topic (along with federal judicial appointment( is one of the most important political issues of our time. God help us all if we get a gun-hating liberal in the White House.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mrs. Clinton = Bigger Government

Mrs. Clinton wants to be the czar of the U.S., the American caesar. She is a 100 percent socialist.
Mrs. Clinton said that if she became president, the federal government would take a more active role in the economy to address what she called the excesses of the market and of the Bush administration. [She will place her] emphasis on issues like inequality and the role of institutions like government, rather than market forces, in addressing them.
Historically, market forces have proven better than any government intervention. Things get out of whack from time to time; i.e., sub-prime mortgage. If left alone, economic problems will solve themselves, albeit painful for many. Capitalism has its good times and its bad times. Government involvement will do more harm than good.

Consider the following statements from Mrs. Clinton recorded in the NY Times:
“I want to get back to the appropriate balance of power between government and the market.”

“If you go back and look at our history, we were most successful when we had that balance between an effective, vigorous government and a dynamic, appropriately regulated market. And we have systematically diminished the role and the responsibility of our government, and we have watched our market become imbalanced.”
Today, Americans have the highest standard of living in the history of the world. It is our Constitution and free market economy that give people pure freedom.

Capitalism is hard. It takes work. But it rewards hard word, creativity and risk. Socialism provides mediocrity at best. It discourages hard work, creativity and risk. If you want a social safety net, America is not the country for you. There are plenty of European nations that you could go to and participate in average everything.

Mrs. Clinton’s approach to the economy would have three main components.
She would roll back the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes over $250,000 while creating more tax breaks below that threshold; impose closer scrutiny on financial markets, including the investments being made by foreign governments in the United States; and raise spending on job-creating projects like the development of alternative energy.
Populism. Her real goal is to make government bigger, with a greater say in everything you and I do. She'll appeal to the less-educated members of society that are swayed by populist remarks. These are those that want the money and services she is promising. They are society's consumers, not her producers.

Consumers gravitate to Democratic populism and larger government. Producers tend to be conservatives. More often than not, they align themselves with the Republican Party. However, most are discouraged with the Party because of the lack of conservative principles and candidates.

Republicans will only be successful if they run on conservative principles. They'll never out-liberal the Democrats.

Mrs. Clinton is a liberal -- a tax and spend Democrat. But so are Obama and Edwards. Whichever Democratic candidate wins the nomination, there is a chance he/she will win the Presidency. The resulting government direction will be more government and higher taxes for all (even greater than under GW Bush). Socialism will become more mainstream America, little by little taking us into a centrally planned economy and society, which have failed wherever tried, unless you'd like to live in Russia, China and North Korea.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Set

The Patriots held off the Chargers in the AFC championship winning 21-12. It took overtime for the Giants to beat the Packers 23-20 in the NFC championship. Although the Pats will be favored (and going 19-0) in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, AZ, the Giants certainly have the talent to win the game.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

U.S. Abortion Rate Declines

According to a new Guttmacher Institute census of U.S. abortion providers:
In 2005, the U.S. abortion rate declined to 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44, continuing the downward trend that started after the abortion rate peaked at 29.3 in 1981. The abortion rate is now at its lowest level since 1974. The number of abortions declined as well, to a total of 1.2 million in 2005, 25% below the all-time high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990. Despite these declines, slightly more than one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2005.
According the the report, one of the reasons is the number of abortion providers declined. But there are plenty of other reasons including: culture, religion, emergency contraception, restrictions on abortion access, family planning services and sex-education. Cost, harassment/pickets (which are diminishing) and travel requirements also play roles.

Whereas this is a good sign for the US, the numbers are not as good in other countries where half the pregnancies end in abortion.

As I listened to various reports by the MSM, I kept hearing a voice of concern if not subtle shock; as if the trend should be going the other way.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Economic Stimulus Package

When Bush and congressional leaders who hate him with a passion decide to pal-up and call for $145 billion worth of tax incentives, red flags need to go up.

I get the feeling Bush is working on his legacy, other than Iraq. Just this week he thinks (all Presidents think the same) he's going to bring peace to the Middle East -- that the Arabs living in Palestine and the Jews living in Israel are buddy-up and decide to get alone. Now he thinks a tax package is going to solve all of our economic worries.

Our issues seem to resemble a three-legged stool: mortgage melt down, energy costs and a fat government.

The mortgage problem resembles the dot com issue: poor investment decisions. People getting mortgages than could not afford them, people buying properties for get-rich-quick schemes and bankers and brokers jumping on board. This will work itself out through normal market dynamics -- not to say some people are going to experience some pain, but that's capitalism. Anyone that has a 401k or invests in the stock market feels it when they see the short-term market results. Thank goodness we are in it for the long-haul, right?

The repercussions of the energy costs are fueling inflation. Every price (and cost) has shot up, from food at the grocery and restaurants to gas, electricity, heating oil and any product derived from petroleum (which is just about everything). Inflation is the killer. It is theft of the most subtle form.

The U.S. government is enormous. Duh. Aside from the military, it defines inefficiency. Bureaucrats work to preserve their jobs and their funding. They have no interest in doing what is best for society. There are entire departments that could be eliminated and few would notice, except for the unemployed bureaucrats and the hit it would have on the federal unemployment budget. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is sucking down billions daily, benefiting some government contractors and large NGOs. Foreign wars are cash sinkholes that never seem to end. Medicare/Medicaid are worse than any European socialized medical system. It is bad for the patients and terrible for the providers. The fraud is enormous. Until they get a handle on the cheats, the federal/state health system will continue to be a disaster.

The economic stimulus package is window dressing for our core issues. It is easy to provider surface solutions to massive internal problems. "W" working on a legacy; Pelosi actually rearing her head from her world of incompetency. A sound bite here, some freebees there, to what end? Perservation of legacy or power; neither benefiting society.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ACLU - Protected Sex in Public Toilets

Want more proof that the ACLU is, as Michael Savage calls them the Red Diaper Doper Babies, made up of a bunch of wackos...
In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.

The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Aren't our elected official setting the standard for all to follow: first it was Bill Clinton redefine sex and now Larry Craig justifying gay sex (or in his case, attempted) in public bathrooms. Decadence at its finest with Bill's and Larry's picture in the definition margins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Find Bill Stickers

Why Racoons Like Garbage

Children Born to Unmarried Women

We all have known that Paris leads in fashion but now they can lead in highest birth rate in Europe. The caveat is that half of those children are born out of wedlock.
With 1.98 children per woman, France's fertility rate is now ahead of Ireland on 1.90, according to the latest government figures, and well above the European Union average of 1.52.

Babies born to unmarried couples represented 50.5 of all French births in 2007, compared to 48.4 percent the previous year and merely 5.9 percent in 1965, according to the French national statistics institute INSEE.
The French are easy targets but their leadership in this area is a trend no one can be proud of. It is like a headline for the the beginning of the fall of western civilization.

If the French are at 50 percent, the Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians and Brits are not far behind. The Spanish, Italian, Greeks, Canadians, Australians and Americans are right there also.

This number also points out that most of these children will be raised by nannies/au pars or by daycare centers or will be latch-key children.

Socialism is such good stuff for our collective future. The most important thing we can do -- raise our children -- is outsourced to government, the bastille of inefficiency.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Casino Voting in the Nevada Democrat Caucus

I have lived and voted in Ohio, California, Utah, Texas, Missouri and Minnesota. In all cases, I had to vote at a designated location. This location was close to my home, at a school or city building. When I read that the Nevada Democratic Party, in association with the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, are going to allow voting at certain casinos, my interest was peaked.

This has all the makings of vote tampering and possibly vote dictation. It also reeks of voting being done by non-citizens.

With no identity required to vote, anybody can sign next to a name, receive a ballot and vote as they were told. Most probably cannot even read English.

Where's the correlation of the voters' names between precinct or voting location taking place? Did they all disclose a preferred place to vote? Could the government get that information transferred to the casinos? Of course not.

Is there no shame? Are we sure there's no (Chicago) Daley family member running party politics in Clark County?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Yes Mrs. Clinton, Some Women Are Illegal

Mrs. Clinton is campaigning in Nevada, pandering to the Latinos. No problem with that, provided they are citizens, but when you are actively engaging in dialogue with many who are not here legally, your ethics and willingness to follow the rule of law must be questioned.

When some shouted that their wife was illegal, her response was "no woman is illegal." The response was applause.

Every candidate -- regardless of party affiliation -- that believes in strong, secure borders ought to hammer her on her illegal immigration stance until she crys.

Conservatives Unite -- Hurray for Thompson!

Finally, hints of conservatism. It has taken us way too many debates and public diatribes to hear at least one candidate -- Fred Thompson -- tell it like it is. He did it by attacking a wolf in sheep's clothing -- Mike Huckabee.

From last night's Republican debate in South Carolina...Thompson said:
This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have a Reagan revolution; you have the Reagan coalition of limited government, and strong national security. On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies.

He [Huckabee] believes we have an arrogant foreign policy in the tradition of blame-America first. He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually. He believes in taxpayer funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas. He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers. He said he would sign a bill that banned smoking nationwide. So much for federalism, so much for state's rights, so much for individual rights. That's not the model of the Reagan coalition. That's the model of the Democratic Party.

We would be a nation of high fences and wide gates, and we get to decide when to open the gate and when to close it. It's not just 12 million people. We have to be concerned about another 12 million people. I disagree with my friend John McCain on the bill that they proposed last year. I disagree with my friend Governor Huckabee when he supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, when he fought the legislature when they tried to impose verification requirements (Bing! Bing!) before a person could vote so you could determine they were American citizen. I think that we have got to enforce the border, crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and stop sanctuary cities and policies that encourage people to continue across the border while we claim to be trying to enforce the border.
Now Thompson and Romney need to hit McCain on his liberal record:

- McCain-Feingold — freedom of speech control
- McCain-Kennedy — amnesty
- McCain-Lieberman — reporting, regulating, and taxing on greenhouse gases
- McCain-Kennedy-Edwards — phony patients’ bill of rights
- McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs — American drug manufacturers be damned
- McCain-ACLU — rights for terrorists
- McCain-Guantanamo Bay — close Gitmo and bring terrorists into our own prisons and courts...and eventually into society
- McCain-Military Downsizing — we appreciate his service in Vietnam but he did nothing to stop the Clinton administration from gutting the military prior to 911

Conservatives of the nation unite. There are many more primaries before we have the Republican nominee. I can't see Huckabee or McCain surviving their left-wing records. Huckabeee will always get the evangelical vote (at least the ignorant ones) and McCain will get the elderly vote (at least the ignorant ones) who are infatuated with his military service. Anyone who studies their records will realize these two are not conservatives.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kerry: Obama's Kiss of Death

Endorsements, by the endorser, are egotism run amok.

Does anyone really care what John Kerry thinks? The only reason he came close in 2004 was not because people liked him, it was because more Americans are left-leaning and because of Bush's negativism.

Let's get this straight, Kerry picked Edwards as his running mate in 2004 but now selects Obama to endorse. He liked Edwards four years ago but now likes Obama more. Could it be that Kerry endorses people he thinks will win? Certainly. This just might be the kiss of death for Obama.

You can bet on it now that Obama will not win the nomination.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Hampshire Votes

Listening to the media, you'd think that a few thousand Iowa and New Hampshire voters etch in stone who wins the parties' nominations.

Obama was expected to win in a big way due to independents. He did not, though he did win the same number of delegates as Mrs. Clinton. Obama should make it interesting but my bet is on big machinery - it tends to beat the "new" every time. Mrs. Clinton should still be the Democratic nominee after it all over.

Romney finished second again (although he does have the greatest number of delegates among all Republican candidates). He has spent so much money in these early rounds that you wonder how long this can continue. McCain is going to fade. Giuliani has a chance in some larger, more liberal states. Huckabee might be the favorite right now.

However, if McCain, Giulani or Huckabee win the nomination, they will fundamentally change the Republican Party, taking in further to the left. The fact that a growing number of people like these candidates, shows that true conservatism is waning.

Americans appear to be gravitating to populism and allowing, if not encouraging, socialism.

Utah's Presidential Primary Ballot

The ballot that will be used for the 5 February Western States Presidential Primary allows voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote for both a Democrat and Republican. This is the ultimate in an open primary -- they could care less if you are an Independent, Communist, Green, Libertarian, Constitution affiliate -- vote away.

Seems incorrect to allow voters that are not members of the party to be allowed to vote in another party's primary. It is their party, they should be allowed to select their candidate, without cross-over.

UPDATE 2/1/08: It turns out that in Utah, you must register as a member of the Democrat or Republican Party to vote in the Utah primary. You can do this at the voting location. You then only can vote for one candidate in the party your registered with. So if you are not one of those parties you cannot vote in the primary. A good thing, IMO.

Finally, why have the western states only allow the election of the two major parties? Why aren't the other, lesser parties' candidates listed as well? I really don't like any of the top candidates. It is becoming apparent that conservatives are going to have to settle for non-conservative nominees and the eventual president.

P.S., I wonder how many losers will fail to follow the instructions of voting for only one Democrat and one Republican by completely darkening the appropriate oval?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Red Flags: "Vote For Change" and "Non-Partisanship"

For as long as I can remember, the Democrats have stressed the need to change. Republicans have opted for change if there was a problem to fix.

Change for the sake of change is idiotic.

Today, we see this "vote for change" coming out of every presidential candidates' mouths. We hear them talk about how bad things are and how every thing's going to the dogs. You know, living in America is a pretty darn good gig. Our standard of living is as high as it ever has been. Sure there is poverty and people who struggle. Struggling is part of life.

I feel that my children's lives will be better than ours. They will have more opportunity, better health and a higher standard of living. The biggest battle they will face is complacency and abundance.

If you vote for change, what are you voting for? If you have problems in your life, are you going to wait for the government to fix them? You are if you have Democratic tendencies. It is sad to hear some Republicans banging the same drum. This is populism 101.

Is change good if we increase taxes, create more government programs, increase governmental control over more of our lives? Absolutely not. Besides the military, the government can't do anything effectively. It will perform inefficiently, with marginal skills. It has a 230+ year track record of ineptitude. (National healthcare -- what a disaster in the making.)

It comes down to human nature. For example, communism is great for those destitute; once they have a little, it is forever stifling. Today, we see the government of those who encourage change are those that want the government to take a larger role into people's lives. The end result is that it'll help some but in the long run, enslave the masses.

Which brings us to non-partisanship. This country is founded on partisanship. If partisanship disappears, then one side won. We want diversity of opinion. The best Congress is one that does not pass any new laws; it'd be even better if most laws had sunset clauses in them so we could decrease the surfit of our useless laws.

Any time you hear the "change" and "non-partisanship" words, assume demagoguery, stagnation and dictatorship. Yea, it is a vote for change but the changes will consume more and more of our personal finances and freedoms.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sub-Prime Bailout Wrong Policy

Last month, the Bush administration and the Congress are trying to get involved in the sub-prime mortgage woes by freezing interest rate increases for five years for those with adjustable rate plans. This is bad policy.

This policy awards poor financial decisions. People who should not have been given loans -- who should have saved a bit longer for a down payment and opted for a fixed-rate mortgage -- were given loans they really could not afford. Only ignorant people would assume that an adjustable rate mortgage would stay low forever and that the value of their home could only increase.

People are in bliss when their payments remain low and their property value increases. Who wouldn't? But that's not the way the world works. Over the long-term, the value will increase, but those short-term peaks can be painful for those living on the margins.

If someone takes out a loan for a home and then loses their job, is it the other taxpayers' responsibility to help you out through your troubled times? No. Each person is responsible for their life -- for their financial well-being. It is not the government's responsibility to bail-out people who live beyond their means.

These government-lead bailouts reward poor decisions and penalize those who make prudent decisions by raising their costs and future rates.

The market will recover on its own. Those who made poor decisions will be brought down to size, both the financing companies or the borrowers. Natural selection in a capitalistic world.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Burgers In Connecticut

The past week, I found myself in Connecticut. Really quite a love state once away from the NYC area. While there, my driving paths took me through two areas that have some of the best hamburgers in the country.

My first stop was Ted's Restaurant in Meriden. They steam their burgers (and cheese) in these cool old steamers. The meat goes in a little aluminum tray, the cheese in a separate tray. The device can steam what looks like 12 to 24 trays at once. The cheese is scraped out with a spatula onto the burger (for those wanting cheese). You can have them add whatever condiments and accessories you desire. There are three small booths and about 6-8 counter stools. $3 for a burger, $4 for a cheeseburger; $1.5 for home fries, $3.25 with cheese; soda's a buck. They sell steamed hotdogs also.

The second stop is Louis' Lunch in New Haven, near Yale. Established in 1895, they claim to be the inventor of the burger. Great burgers, just don't ask for ketchup. (My kind of people; ketchup is the most abused and unneeded additive for any meat; mustard rules.) They are only open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday.

Nothing better than these classic icons. If you are ever in Connecticut, play some golf and have a burger from Ted's or Louis'.

Tsunami Museum

Where were you on 26 December 2004? Actually it was 25 December in America when a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean and took the lives of nearly 230,000 people in 12 countries. 2.3 million were left homeless.

Recently, the people from Western Washington University in Bellingham established a museum and research project in Khao Lak, Thailand. The International Tsunami Museum is free to the public, although few of those living in Tsunami areas will ever attend. The key is the research.

Education of the masses in these susceptible areas is a worthy goal for the Museum.