January 27, 2009

Geithner confirmed as Treasury secretary

Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination.

This appointment of tax cheat to Tax Chief adds to a list to make a cynic wince:

+ Charlie Rangel, tax cheat, nepotist, Head of House Ways and Means Committee.
+ Chris Dodd, received bribes from Countrywide, top beneficiary from Fannie and Freddie, Chairman Senate Banking Comittee.
+ Nancy Pelosi, pro partial birth abortion, pro gay marriage, Catholic, in line for President after Joe Biden, House Speaker.
+ Joe Biden, serial liar, Vice President.
+ Barack Obama, killed Born Alive Infants Protection Act, nice teeth, pleasant baritone, President.
+ Reid, Clinton, Holder....
It is not nor it cannot come to good.

January 26, 2009

Maybe I will jump out of that window

Every time I think that America will pull out of recession quickly, I'm knocked back to pessimism by the crassness of government. Now I realise that the most powerful female in government is insane:
Sun Jan 25 2009 22:13:43 ET

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Pelosi, the mother of 5 children and 6 grandchildren, who once said, "Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom," seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury.

The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.
This is crass in so many ways that it's dizzying. Apart from anything else, if it's good policy to borrow trillions more from our children, isn't it a good idea actually to have children?

January 25, 2009

Less is more

but more is less:

January 24, 2009

Morning rant #2

Stroll with me down memory lane to the darkest days of The Bush Tyranny. In 2006 Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that:
President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program is illegal and ordered the National Security Agency to shut it down, issuing a sweeping rebuke of the once-secret domestic-surveillance effort the White House authorized following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The ACLU opined thus:
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit, hailed the ruling as a victory for the ``rule of law."

``Today's ruling is a landmark victory against the abuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Bush administration," Romero said. ``Government spying on innocent Americans without any kind of warrant and without congressional approval runs counter to the very foundations of our democracy."
I won't go back into the details. The judgement was a joke and Judge Taylor should have recused herself as trustee of an organization funding the ACLU Michigan, one of the plaintiffs. 'Rule of law', gadzooks! Bush was right both in policy and in law. The NYT that betrayed the secret, the ACLU, yea the whole vast left-wing conspiracy - they were wrong; usefully, idiotically wrong. Now in The Age of Obama, very quietly so far, it turns out that:
The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.
In a filing in San Francisco federal court, President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor.
This isn't quite equivalent to endorsing Bush's policy, but it comports with it and with Obama's correct support of immunity for telecoms which cooperate with the governnment in tapping suspicious calls from overseas. Here comes the rant. I confidently predict that as the Obama cult comes under pressure, it will invoke national security to restrict privacy, freedom of speech and parental rights. There'll be scarce a squeak from the ACLU and pragmatically supportive op-eds from the MSM which will be sucking on the state tit of government job ads and social engineering notices. Repression, damn, that's what Liberal Fascists do. You faux civil libertarians are dupes. Foamy the Squirrel couldn't find invective insulting enough for your dupidity, but he'd try:

January 23, 2009

Reasons to be cheerful #1

Never mock a man with a bayonet:

Morning rant

I can be a bore on this Geithner thing. It doesn't take a holistic view to condemn Geithner. There's no nuance required. It's black and white. You can't appoint a tax cheat as Tax Chief. One more time. You can't appoint a tax cheat as Tax Chief. It destroys consent and taints the whole Administration. It's less Geithner's character that interests me in this matter than Obama's. If he won't act on this elementary point, he lacks cunning as well as good policy. Maybe he's just Carter II. Conservatism's outstanding politicians, Romney and Palin,should team up now and start campaigning for and against Obama's good and bad policies. Why wait? History won't. 'What good policies?' you ask. Oh, I dunno. I just said that as tho Obama weren't the authentic fake that Spengler describes.

January 22, 2009

Taxation For Dummies

The first saying on the quotes page of the IRS website is:
Tax is what we pay for a civilized society.

The New York Times editorialises ahead of today's Senate confirmation vote on Timothy Geithner, Obama's nominee for Treasury:

... the nominee admitted that his failure to pay tens of thousands of dollars in federal taxes had been “careless” but “unintentional” ...

We were not impressed with Mr. Geithner’s excuses for his tax problems, but barring any new damaging disclosures, we heard nothing disqualifying. He is clearly an intelligent man and Mr. Obama is entitled to pick his own team.

I was not impressed with the Times's blatant scofflaw scofflogic. There are 2 ways for Government to ask for my money:

1. Give us your money or we'll take it by force and you will get hurt. That is theft.

2. Give us your money, it's right to obey the law. That is citizenship.

Had Geithner a better record than accomplice in the present mess, it were still wrong to appoint an obvious, serial tax cheat to the job of tax chief. Maybe if he were pro-life that would disqualify him in the eyes of the New York Times as it seemed to disqualify otherwise unassailable appointments to The Supreme Court. It's not only the partisanship of the Times that grates, but also the stupidity. If I were a machiavellian President, I'd conserve colorable moral authority, especially in fiscal matters. Now noone need pay federal taxes because it's the right thing to do. You can't steal from a thief. How about a tax on hypocrisy?

The last quote on the IRS page is:
Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.

Full disclosure: In this society I might cheat at tax were I sure I'd not be punished, partly because I'd be richer, but also because the authority to take my money depends on votes from people who pay little or no tax but receive subsidies. Their votes are bought with my money. However I'm not auditioning for Treasury Secretary. In fact I overpay tax since the effort of tax avoidance is outweighed by the disturbance to the intellectual tranquillity on which my speculator's lifestyle depends.

January 21, 2009

It was agony, darling

I had a back tooth out this morning. The tooth broke and the dentist spent 10 minutes wiggling and extracting each of the 3 roots. At the end he showed me the apex of each bloody root to prove there was no debris. Then I came home and sat thru this:

I'd rather repeat the tooth extraction every day till I have no teeth than watch that again. Then you can start on my nails.

January 16, 2009

You really cannot make this stuff up

Charles Krauthammer has mischief in his eyes, thank God, when he tells of his crush on Obama:
It's pleasant to fantasize that Obama will enact conservative policies when reality bites, but here's the truth: Obama is a piece of fluff. He's never been sternly tested, but when he's been gently tested he sides with convenient evil then lies about it, whether it's Reverend Wright, Professor Ayers or, most definingly, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act in Illinois.

There's little chance he'll have the guts to do the inconvenient right thing, but, oh my, he'll sure sound as tho he wants to. Don't watch his lips and don't watch his hips, watch what he does. He'll convene a Fiscal Responsibility Summit. He says:
his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.

"What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further," he said. "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."
Yadda, yadda, yadda. His nominee for Treasury secretary is a blatant tax cheat. If Obama persists in nominating Geithner, you'll know he's stupid as well as immoral. Every time an American completes their tax return, they'll be thinking about Geithner's scam at the IMF.

January 15, 2009

What might have been

In the late '90's I had an apartment in Galaxy Towers, Gutenberg, New Jersey, looking out on Manhattan from the 2nd highrise from the right in this picture. Had I been there this afternoon I might have got a great shot of US Airways flight 1549 ditching in the Hudson. Alas. The shot below I took from a ferry like the ones at the rescue, looking north to the GW Bridge with New Jersey left and Manhattan right.

Update: Imagine the stricken plane gliding down over the GW Bridge. Apparently the plane came within 600 feet of the bridge, but it was ok as the pilot, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III, had the presence of mind to hold his EasyPass up to the cockpit window.

January 14, 2009

So he passed the test

To add my admiration to Mick's appreciation of George W. Bush, Kipling's lines are apt:
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

January 13, 2009

Homer's Guide to Healthy Living..

..work in a nuclear power plant.
"It's safer to work in a nuclear plant than it is in real estate," says Patrick Moore, a scientist and founding member of Greenpeace who began supporting nuclear energy several years ago. He cites data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and notes that a Columbia University study published in 2004, which followed 54,000 nuclear-plant workers for 15 years, found that they had fewer cancers, less disease and lived longer than the average person.
Other pluses -

It's good for the planet:
"If you honestly believe that greenhouse gas is the seminal issue of the day, as world population and economic growth continue to expand, so will the need for electric capacity," says Sheila Slocum Hollis, a partner at the Washington law firm of Duane Morris who specializes in energy law. "Whether to power electric vehicles or for general manufacturing needs, ultimately people are looking toward nuclear as the big power source."
Waste is well-managed:
Exelon and other operators have addressed the problem of nuclear-waste disposal with "dry-cask storage" -- high-tech sealed containers that they keep on their sites. Due to innovations like that, many of the safety concerns that arose after accidents at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979 and Chernobyl in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) in 1986 have eased.
There's a huge construction backlog that doesn't need new public borrowing....talk about stimulative infrastructure spending:
"Nuclear power is in a renaissance," says Tom Neff, a physicist and research affiliate at MIT's Center for International Studies. In fact, 17 applicants are seeking government approval to build 26 nuclear plants, meeting a Dec. 31 deadline for federal tax credits and potentially ending a 30-year hiatus in the construction of new U.S. nuke facilities.
I trust we'll all be driving to work in nuclear-powered Humvees rather than prissy Priuses. It's greener too! 

Convenient truth.