Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Olympics: Are they Worth the Cost and Attention?

I admit I am a fan of the Olympics, both Summer and Winter. Every two years, if gives us an opportunity to view competitions that few of us see all that often or even know much about. Unless you are Canadian, few people appreciate a good curling match, but might be able to tolerate it for a few minutes on the world's stage.

Chicago is is a dog fight with Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Madrid and Tokyo don't have much of a chance.

I am sure there is great data that describes the financial impact to a region. But I think more than anything, it is a very short-term gain, benefiting, primarily the key sitting politicians -- local, state or even federal. It puts a city/area on hold for years. Everything takes a back seat to showing the world what a great town you have. Chicagoans are evenly split on the bid, some anti's taking the protests to the streets.

Olympics benefit the well-to-do more so than the average bloke. When the Winter Olympics were here in Salt Lake City in 2002, ticket prices were astronomical. I felt obligated to attend at least one event (against my wife's better judgement) -- loser ice hockey teams at $100 per ticket. $500 for a a family of five plus the other associated expenses of attending, albeit a local event for me, was justified as a once in a life time thing. Most people I knew that came in from out of state bought ticket packages in the $2500-5000 range per person plus travel-related expenses (~$7000-10,000 total per person)

Global polls, are against Chicago getting the 2016 games. But never count out a group of people that have set the standard for corruption. If Chicago wants the Olympics, they will stop at nothing to win the bid. They are using everything including the loser President and his loser wife.

It is perfectly fine for them to lobby for the games with tax payer dollars, all in the name of ambassadorship.

Because Obama's name is associated with it, I find myself pulling for anyone other than Chicago. Certainly, Republicans are getting on the anti-Obama-to-Copenhagen-for-the-Olympic-announcement. But it seems un-American for a sitting president to do this. He and his cronies are so caught up in his so-called rock-star appeal. I only hope if backfires.

I have always disliked Obama for his politics, but this is expected and accepted. However, I have really come to despise the man due to his arrogance and out-of-control ego, politics aside. I hate the man more so than any one ever I have run across, including people that have stolen from me. Obama has become the biggest thief of all.

How To Tell Which Bands Suck

We all have our taste in music. Some like country while others like rock, rap, pop, jazz, classical. Always question anyone understanding or opinion if they say they "like all music except rap" or "everything except country."

There is good music in just about every category, though personally I have little insight into rap, lacking an appreciation for that genre.

There is a saying that my dad told me when I was you: "you are known by the company you keep." He was mainly talking about friends or the people I hung around. It was and is still very poignant. I say the same goes for music.

If your favorite artist has a Grammy, more than likely you have poor taste in music. If you like U2 (now, they use to be okay years ago), the Dave Matthews Band, or Aerosmith (now), you have poor taste in music. They have let fame cloud their craft.

If Nancy Pelosi joins you at a U2 concert, then I feel sorry for the company you keep.

Record companies make artists. Many artists start out focusing on their craft but money and fame changes them, in most cases, for the worst.

I chuckle at artist that start out working hard, playing small settings, year after year, get huge, and hit back at their critics for calling them sell-outs. They will say, "yea, we sell out...every night." A sold out venue is nice for business but has nothing to do with the quality of the product. It becomes a social event, not a quality musical event.

For the record, I have always been interested in four genres of music: hard rock, blues, classical and opera. I will be as likely to attend a Tool, Megadeth, Dream Theater, Chevelle, Sevendust, Kings of Leon, Black Keys as I would the Utah Symphony or the Utah Opera. You'll never seem me at a U2, Blink 182, Metallica, Dixie Chicks, Eminem, Brooks & Dunn or an event featuring any person that appeared on American Idol. If they are overly popular, my interest wanes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obama Loving His Global Socialism Stage

Only Obama will get giddy after being praised by Fidel Castro. He gets goosebumps when Hugo Chavez complemented him on not smelling like the Bush sulfur.

He is in his realm this week. On stage at the UN -- anti-American at its core. On stage in Pittsburgh at the G-20 colluding on a deal that will require members to subject their economic policies to a type of peer review.

I wonder what it is going to take for the American people to realize how devastating the changes the Obama administration have and are planning on implementing?

Elections do have consequences. The sad thing is that there is little difference between the two parties.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

U.S. Stalling Climate Summit

Congressional deadlock is bliss. Deadlock means no new laws. Perhaps there should be a new law: for every new law, two old ones are eliminated.

Today's news from the global warmists is that the U.S. Senate is so caught up in the game of passing healthcare, they don't have time for the environment.

The stagnation on the global-warming from is being sold as bad news, but it actually comes across as good news. Good news for America and our sovereignty.
In Brussels, European Union officials have grown increasingly frustrated at the US stance, saying it has fallen short on both its level of ambition to reduce emissions and on offering aid to developing nations.

“So far, we thought the basic problem was the Chinese and the Indians. But now I think the problem appears to lie most clearly with the US,” a European Commission official said. Talks were “not going well”.

European officials say the Obama administration lacks focus because its top talent is wrapped up in the all-consuming debate over healthcare.

Prompted by remarks last week by Harry Reid, the US Senate majority leader, that cap and trade legislation might be pushed back to next year, John Bruton, the EU ambassador to the US, blamed the Senate for holding up the global agenda.
The Dems are so preoccupied with one social program, they are slipping on their second favorite. Good news. Let them fail on both. And who really cares what the UN thinks anyway. Nothing more than a useless, corrupt, cash-consuming bunch of worthless bureaucrats. Those are their good qualities.

4th and 3 on your own 20

Life's too short to be worried about the small things. It is better to punt and play another set of downs than to make a big deal about 4th and 3 on your own 20.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama's Newpaper Bailout...Surprise

It was only a matter of time. We have all known that the Democratic breeding grounds -- our traditional media outlets; e.g., newspapers and network TV news -- are hurting for readers and viewers. As Obama and his Democratic cronies in Congress are opt to do, helping out these bastions of liberalism with tax payer funds is bound to get some attention.

The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced S. 673 -- what he calls the "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give tax deals if a newspaper was restructured as 501(c)(3) corporation. Obama said:
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.

"What I hope is that people start understanding if you're getting your newspaper over the Internet, that's not free and there's got to be a way to find a business model that supports that."
Pure rubbish. The mainstream media has poor record of checking facts, just like Obama does. The non-traditional media does a much better job than traditional media at putting the material in context. We are already shouting and if he uses tax payer money to bail-out poor performing news outlets, then the shouting will get louder.

There are plenty of profit producing news agencies; i.e., Wall Street Journal, Fox News, to name but two. Just because an organization is not-for-profit does not mean it will produce "better news" as Obama seems to think.

This is the latest in Obama's attempt to stifle opposition. Whomever funds the business, controls the business, whether it is the advertisers, subscribers or the federal government. The Obama record is on is the same control, control, control message over and over.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler American Defense Policy?

Can praise from Vladamir Putin regarding the Obama administration new non-missile defense decision be a good thing?

It is better to renege on an agreement with our NATO partners Czech Republic and Poland that to kiss Russia's backside?

Will this capitulation really help formulate our UN security council position with respect to Iran?

Warmongering gets us nowhere; that's a give. But the missile defense system had a very worthwhile and meaningful purpose. It was designed to protect western and our more recent eastern European partners against more eastern threats, namely Iran. But it goes without argument that it was also there to protect against the Russian bear.
The White House justifies its decision by claiming to have new intelligence showing that Iran's long-range missile capabilities are not as advanced as previously believed. Instead, it intends to upgrade and deploy currently available missile interceptors that are useful mainly for intercepting short- and medium-range missiles, where, it says, Iranian capability "is developing more rapidly than previously projected."
The Pols and Czechs should feel betrayed. So should Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and any other western European nation that could benefit from a modern defense system against a modern or rouge state.
The European switcheroo continues Mr. Obama's trend of courting adversaries while smacking allies. His Administration has sought warmer ties with Iran, Burma, North Korea, Russia and even Venezuela. But it has picked trade fights with Canada and Mexico, sat on trade treaties with Colombia and South Korea, battled Israel over West Bank settlements, ignored Japan in deciding to talk with North Korea, and sanctioned Honduras for its sin of resisting the encroachments of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.

We're reminded of the rueful quip, by scholar Bernard Lewis, that the problem with becoming friends with the U.S. is that you never know when it will shoot itself in the foot.
In nine short months, Obama has made the U.S. untrustworthy. To say the threat is minimal is not comforting. What most would believe is that the technology has proven too complex and too expensive to build and properly test. Or that we don't have any money because of our Keynesian economic policies -- bailouts, economic stimulus and overall industrial socialization programs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enough With the Government Media Complex

Spend 10 minutes on conservative talk radio and you will hear the host rant and rave at how the main stream / drive-by / state-sponsored media fail to report on this or that.

For those of us that have listened to conservative talk radio for years, it is a broken record. There are new listeners all the time but do we really need to be reminded that there is a "conspiracy" within the media?

The only thing that makes me sicker than hearing the new media talk about the incompetency of traditional media -- which we all know to be the case -- is hearing the media that cover the White House laugh at Obama's pathetic jokes. They think he is so charming. They are the biggest group of butt-kissers going.

Can one even imagine a more useless college degree than journalism? Might as well call it a degree in 'government PR' because traditional reporting that lacks a bias is all but gone.

Let's quit stating the obvious: we all know that the government media complex is real and will not change anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can't Be Fiscally Conservative & Socially Liberal

We hear this all the time: "although I am socially liberal, I am fiscally conservative." This position is impossible in practice.

By its nature, those who are socially liberal feel that government is more often the answer to society's problems. In order to solve these problems through government, funding is required -- very large and continuous flows of monies. These monies can only come from one place: taxation.

These social programs result in large bureaucracies and many morph into entitlement programs.

Regardless of how carefully the monies are spent, it is money taken from the masses and given to those the socially liberal feel deserve it.

You really cannot be both a socially liberal and a fiscal conservative.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Opposition Does Not Equate to Racism

It is a cornerstone of liberalism: if you criticize a person that is non-Caucasian, you are a racist.

I have a liberal neighbor that is very active in politics, who lives this to the core. He has said that if you criticize President Obama, you are a racist.

Racism has all but disappeared in America. Sure there are idiots that are racists, idiots being the key word.

Reference a couple of recent examples involving conservatives being blasted as by liberals as racists. The first involves Joe Wilson and Maureen Dowd:
Maureen Dowd wrote on September 13 that Wednesday's (September 9) outburst by South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson during President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress was racially motivated. As we told you earlier, Wilson shouted, "you lie," when the president said his health care plan would not cover illegal immigrants.

But, fair or not, what Maureen Dowd was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
The second involves Glenn Beck that took place in late July:
Fox host Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being "a racist."

The group was discussing the recent Gates controversy, and Beck exclaimed that Obama has "over and over again" exposed himself as "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is..."

When Fox's Brian Kilmeadeon pointed out that many people in Obama's administration are white, so "you can't say he doesn't like white people," Beck pressed on. "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem," Beck said. "This guy is, I believe, a racist."
You really can criticize a black man, even the president of the USA, without being a racist. I criticize Obama all the time. But I also criticized George W. Bush. My criticism is 100 percent based on ideology, not race.

Accusing a conservative of being racist because of ideological differences is petty and racist in and of itself.

Liberals, when they get emotional in their diatribes and run out of rebuttals, accuse their "opponents" of being racists.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Emotion vs. Logic

I am not sure if American is more divided now than it has ever been. Because of ubiquitous information availability, people have the ability to be educated or influenced on state, national and world events.

Consider a few issues on which Americans have lately been bitterly divided:
school prayer, the Ten Commandments, evolution, the death penalty, abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, affirmative action, busing, the Confederate battle flag, the Duke rape case, Terri Schiavo, Iraq, amnesty, torture, death panels, global warming, and [Obama] "birthers."
In America we have liberals -- socialists that believe in increased government spending, expanding benefits to the poor and lower classes, greater regulations on business, and the power of organized labors -- and conservatives -- capitalists that believe in the opposite. The wildcard is the tens of millions that are uninformed, uneducated and make political decisions along the lines of an impulse purchase while waiting in the grocery check-out line.

Liberals tend to make their decisions and derive their opinions based on emotion. Conservatives tend to make their opinions based on logic.

Logic requires study. Emotion does not; people just react.

America is deeply divided. This is not going to change anytime soon, and rightly so. People need to take a stand and stick by it, defend it. I'll take a logic-based argument every time. I do not want our country to morph into European-style socialism; I want it to be the bastion of capitalism where the government gets out of the way for the most part.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Spin Is Still Spin Regardless of How Many Times It Is Spun

George Costanza from Seinfeld said, "it's not a lie if you believe it." Likewise, if you tell someone the same thing over and over, whether it is accurate or not, it becomes the vernacular.

We keep reading that there are 46 million Americans that are unsecured and that Obamacare is designed to help those unfortunate souls.
Of the 46 million uninsured, 9.7 million are not U.S. citizens; 17.6 million have annual incomes of more than $50,000; and 14 million already qualify for Medicaid or other programs. That leaves less than five million people truly uncovered out of a population of 307 million.
So the Obama/Reid/Pelosi plan is to throw out a system, albeit one with issues, and replace it with one managed by the federal government -- the epitome of efficiency and discipline. All because of 5 million people (1 percent of the population) who are down on their luck, or whatever?

Spin is still spin regardless of how many times it is spun.

The Broken Obama Song and Dance

Yesterday, President Obama felt it was important to talk to our children. His push to learn / personal responsibility speech given in Virgina and broadcast to many classrooms around the nation was nothing more than demagoguery.

The MSM painted a picture that many were unwilling to allow their children to hear his speech. Certainly some people drew the wrong conclusion, that the speech was another of his indoctination chats. For good reason. The problem was not the speech but the speaker. More and more people do not trust Obama.

With his Obamacare on the ropes, he'll try anything to change the sentiment. His going after the children is a flanking maneuver. His real target at this time is socialized medicine.

It has only taken six months and people are sick and tired of hearing his song and dance.

His voice is in our faces constantly. He'll be on TV again tonight to campaign for Obamacare, despite the opposition of the majority of the American people.
He will call for a new spirit of unity and bipartisanship (just as he did in the campaign) and lament the bitterness and divisions roiling the nation when all agree on general goals for health care reform: insuring the uninsured, while making insurance more secure and affordable for those who already have it. He will stigmatize the enemies of reform as political hacks or special interests, and call upon the people to rise above the fear-mongers and demagogues and to embrace reform with hope and confidence. Hell certainly invoke the memory of his fallen friend, the Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, and call for all Americans to go forward in his spirit. The speech will surely spend lots of time talking about bridging gaps and joining hands and singing kum-ba-ya, even while the President knows theres no chance Republicans will feel swayed by his words. Thats not the point of his address, of course. The point is to make those Republicans look bad when they refuse to bridge gaps and join hands and sing kum-ba-ya.
There are so few politicians I can tolerate. It does not take me long to turn off the voice because I know they are just a bunch of blow-hards. And Obama is the biggest blow-hard of all. He may go down in history as the most dishonest and untrusted president we have ever had; and for good reason.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

City Council Elections - Highland Utah

Local, small town elections...

On a micro scale, they tend to parallel the state and federal ones. Too many candidates disguise or hide their true intent.

In the city of Highland (Utah), there are six candidates for City Council. All but one of them based their "campaigns" on LDS Church assignments, number of children, or some list of boards they have served on. Only one of the six candidates actually tells you what they intend to do with any detail.

I only know one of the candidates. I like him as a person. But he would be the last person I would ever vote for. He is as liberal a person I have ever met. He makes sure he hides the fact. He has never met a government spending and growth program he does not support.

I am disappointed in this lot of candidates. They are either stupid thinking people vote based on the candidates' college, employer or hobby or they are hiding something, namely their positions on the issues.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Who Cares Network TV Anchors

If a network TV anchor is replaced, will anyone notice?

I guess if you work in the news groups of NBC, ABC or CBS, the network news anchor is the crème de la crème. So when World News' Charles Gibson announces his retirement and is replaced by Diane Sawyer, besides her mother and co-workers (who are probably just jealous), who cares?

There are some professions that demise over time; and a network news anchor is one.

I have not watched TV news -- cable or network -- in years. There is nothing offered worth the 30 minutes. Might be why their ads are targeted at those 65 and older (a real desired demographic).

At least Diane Sawyer can keep Katie Couric (NBC) company. Two females in this role will get some who cares interest (not me). I don't even know who the anchor is on the network news leader NBC.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Banzai! Changing of the Guard in Japan

On Sunday, the Japanese voters sent the upstart Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) into power, ousting the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that has ruled for over 50 years.

It was a landslide. The DPJ claimed 308 out of a possible 480 seats. Prior to this election, they had only 115 seats. The LDP went from 300 seats to 119.

The recent election in Japan was significant for a number of reasons. It replaces the corrupt, good 'ol boys system with one consisting of hope and change.

At some point, people get so feed up with the status quo and vote out the bums. This typically happens when the opposition is able to offer a charismatic leader. More often than not, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Seemingly, the new administration consists of governmental novices. The challenge for the DPJ is how to deal with the powerful government agencies that have been "ruling" for decades.

They have grandiose Keynesian spending plans -- populism at its finest -- though it will be tough to outspend what the LDP has done over the past 30 years, but they'll give it a shot.

There seems to be restrained optimism in the financial markets.

The LDP deserved its ousting. But I doubt the DPJ will do any better. Just like most two-party/coalition nations, there is very little difference between political groups.
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.