Monday, December 28, 2009

Beaming With Pride: Our Senator Franken

We here in Minnesota couldn't be more proud

Seriously, not again, first Jesse "the body" Ventura as our Governor and now Al Franken as our Senator.

Let me just say this from the bottom of my heart: "America, I'm so sorry." Granted I did not cast a vote for this guy - I didn't vote for Ventura either. In both cases it was a three way race and the third man in siphoned votes from the candidates who should have won. Alas, there is nothing saving us from these embarassments.

I had no doubt that Franken would turn out to be the bull in the China shop in Washington DC. He is an angry guy with no class when it comes to dealing with those he disagrees with. He has on the periphery sponsored and supported a few minor but very good initiatives that will benefit members of the armed forces and he should be commended for that. But his boorish and in your face demeanor is off putting to his new colleagues. It reflects badly on Minnesota, particularly after the popularity of Norm Coleman in and around the Senate halls was so well known.

Both Sen. John Thune and Sen. Joe Liberman are men of class and distinction and should never be treated like insolent children. Franken should be taken aside by the leadership and given a lesson in protocol. Probably won't happen...

Only 5 more years of him.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Black Dog

A new painting:

"The Black Dog"
18 X 24 acrylic

by Craig Willms

This is the first grayscale painting I've ever attempted. It won't be my last. It was very satisfying. I really enjoyed the challenge of using just 2 tubes of paint. This is another entry in my Vacation Photo Project. Click HERE to see the paintings I already presented.

Be sure to check out the rest of my online art gallery Static Art Online.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apocalypse When?

With the impending doom, err, I mean impending Senate health care legislation the demise of the republic is being stepped up. The blogoshere is imploding. Insanity reigns! Well... Frankly, I don't think it's all crazy talk anymore. The nation is already bankrupt and the people in power seem to have no restraint mechanism whatsoever.

The comment sections of these blogs and mainstream web pages often make the most interesting reading. Here I pulled just 3 comments that I think they sum things up pretty well. FYI I've done some minor editing for brevity.


There is absolutely no chance that the US can get out of the fiscal mess we are in. The Great Society in sequence with the Vietnam War was the financial ruin of the US, one not sustainable and the other not winnable. With unfunded liabilities in the scores of trillions, and yearly budget deficits in the trillions, and the forced monetization of the debt due to the lack of demand for treasuries, we are finished financially. Finished.

The question. What should we do? On a personal level, reduce or eliminate your debt, buy land if you can, or invest in precious medals if you can't. Get the hell out of major cities now, before it's too late. The end of the welfare state will cause massive disruptions, and violence will take place. Learn a trade, it might be as simple as gardening or as complex as an automobile mechanic, but do something other than sitting in an office behind a computer. Local junior colleges offer many of these courses.

As for the nation at large, the events will now play themselves out. One doesn't know exactly what the large scale effects of massive defaults will have on the world's financial makets, but it is likely that the entire multi-national system will fall apart. World trade as we know it will cease to exist, at least for a period of time. It is very likely that we will no longer live in the world that we know, but one much different. One more like it was much longer ago. We shall see, and I hope and pray that I'm wrong.


By all reasonable, logical standards the world economy should have ALREADY collapsed as a result of the financial meltdown caused by the US invented and backed shell game of derivatives/credit default swaps/etc. as well as the predictions of U.S. debt as far into the future as the eye can see.

The financial markets have been exposed as a Las Vegas den of gamblers ponzi scheme that is backed up by nothing other than the investor confidence, there is no 'there' there. And yet, S&P and the Dow have risen over the past year even though on the ground nothing has changed.

Same goes for the dollar, there is no reasonable way the U.S. is going to be able to manage the debt load w/out massive inflation some time in the future. Logically, a person/country would sell all of their dollars now and cash out. But, that isn't happening, investors are still confident about the U.S. dollar, even though the numbers would argue otherwise.

I would say we will have to pay the piper and one day there WILL be a collapse of epic what happened to the French when they defaulted on their debt and lo and behold violence and revolution ensued. But when? How long can the patient AKA global financial system be kept alive on life support? Ten years? Twenty years? Fifty years? Five years?

Here is what I sent to Rep. Boehner:
Forget about the Democrats and their socialist running dogs, they have been lying, corrupt, power hungry scum for at least 50 years now. It is no surprise that they have engineered this convoluted monstrosity of a bill. And it will pass – to the utter damnation of their souls. But, Congressman Boehner, you and your fellow Republicans in the House and Senate are to blame for allowing these vermin to come to power. You squandered the support and faith we citizens placed in you and the Republican Party.

The fall of the United States of America…and make no mistake sir, it is coming about, will be laid directly at your feet by future historians. You have not the backbone to stand up, the honesty to stop playing along with Democrats in the interest of ‘compromise’, nor the courage to stand at the gate of freedom and defend it. The Democrats play Monopoly with our money and you have made no effort to cry foul; to bring the game to an end, to tip the board over and scatter the cards. In short, sir, you and your minions have no shame. Being professional politicians instead of Statesmen, you will pat yourselves on your backs, thump yourselves on your chests and declare that you have done everything you can to defend our interest, but it will be a lie.

Posted by: Philip McDaniel | Monday, December 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM

It's really hard to argue with any of these points. Unless and until someone comes along to really bring hope and change - not this pablum from Barack Obama we've had to endure for 2 years - but real ideas, real discipline and a real "vision" the United States of America is doomed. One almost gets the sense that this is what the current regime wants.

Many are saying we can't leave this up to the politicians (of either party) to fix, since they are precisely the ones who screwed it up. It's like giving the bull a tube of crazy glue and telling him to fix the China shop. It is far too complicated for sound bite drivel and special interest pandering - this is all the politicians are capable of - yes, including President Obama. It seems by way of their actions that the Democrats care only about power and the Republicans care only about money. The only thing keeping this rust bucket afloat is the hard work of the American citizen - and I include the public sector worker too. But we simply can't bail out a boat with a ten foot gash with an ice cream pail.

Apocalypse When?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Any Bill at Any Cost

The Democrats in the Senate have reached agreement. They now have the 60 votes they need to ram through their "historic" health reform bill. They need zero Republican votes and can defeat any filibuster. It's even possible that the House will simply put the Senate bill up to a vote without any conference committee compromises. Almost no one including the President will know what's in the bill. What they know is that it will cost us all dearly. The demands of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for tighter restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions not withstanding this Senate sold it's soul for any bill at any cost.

Nelson's Nebraska will get billions for his vote. Senator Landrieu's $300 million deal is being called the 2nd Louisiana Purchase. These deals are just the tip of the ice berg... Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake -- this bill will reshape our nation and our lives."

Medicare is slated to suffer billions in
cuts in order for the Democrat's fantasy numbers to line up with all cost savings their reform promises. Does anyone believe that when push comes to shove even $1 will be cut? This thing will bankrupt the country.

All I can say is elections have consequences - this is what the voters get whether they wanted it or not. Close to 60% of the public was not in favor of this sweeping power grab. The real brilliance is that Americans won't start feeling the pain until 2014. How convenient that the 2012 elections will be in the rear view mirror by then.

It's anybody's guess what this ram job will actually cost in direct dollars, but I am reasonably sure it will stifle the economy for some time to come until businesses large and small sort it all out.

It's hard to be optimistic about anything coming out of Washington these days - I pray to God I'm completely wrong when I say nothing good will come out this.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is American Decline Inevitable?

True or False

Decline is inevitable?

Decline is a choice?

The answer is to both questions is true. For an individual physical decline is a certainty. The mind, however, can be sharp as a tack until death. For a nation decline is a choice. Individual aspects of any culture or economy will decline, ebbing and flowing like the tide. But a nation, a culture, an economy can choose to reinvent parts of itself and grow to prosper again and again. Or it can choose to give up.

The American people, at least a vast swath of them have not chosen decline, however, many of our political and cultural leaders have.

In a fine exercise in thinking the incomparable Charles Krauthammer wrote recently for the Weekly Standard "Decline is a choice". He is without a doubt correct.

The question of whether America is in decline cannot be answered yes or no. There is no yes or no. Both answers are wrong, because the assumption that somehow there exists some predetermined inevitable trajectory, the result of uncontrollable external forces, is wrong. Nothing is inevitable. Nothing is written. For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice. Two decades into the unipolar world that came about with the fall of the Soviet Union, America is in the position of deciding whether to abdicate or retain its dominance. Decline--or continued ascendancy--is in our hands.

Not that decline is always a choice. Britain's decline after World War II was foretold, as indeed was that of Europe, which had been the dominant global force of the preceding centuries. The civilizational suicide that was the two world wars, and the consequent physical and psychological exhaustion, made continued dominance impossible and decline inevitable. The corollary to unchosen European collapse was unchosen American ascendancy.

We--whom Lincoln once called God's "almost chosen people"--did not save Europe twice in order to emerge from the ashes as the world's co-hegemon. We went in to defend ourselves and save civilization. Our dominance after World War II was not sought.

Whether the U.S. sought to be a super power all these years later is beside the point, we are. The people in power from the mayor of the wealthy suburb all the way to the current President don't think we should be anymore. There is a belief in all corners of " liberal" worldview that not only is there nothing exceptional about America, but there is a undercurrent of thought that we are undeserving of being a pinnacle nation because of our inherent unfairness, racism, sexism and the whole pantheon of isms.

Again FTA:
Facing the choice of whether to maintain our dominance or to gradually, deliberately, willingly, and indeed relievedly give it up, we are currently on a course towards the latter. The current liberal ascendancy in the United States--controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture--has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policies. Indeed, they work synergistically to ensure that outcome. The current foreign policy of the United States is an exercise in contraction. It begins with the demolition of the moral foundation of American dominance. In Strasbourg, President Obama was asked about American exceptionalism. His answer? "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Interesting response. Because if everyone is exceptional, no one is.

Interesting indeed... I would vote against any politician who uttered such a phrase. Every parent knows regardless of how exceptional the child really is it is their job to be a cheerleader in the presence of the child or not. I honestly get the sense that President Obama has zero pride in this country. His only pride evolves from a government program and not the resourcefulness of the citizenry. He proves this everyday and in every way with policy proclamations that would shackle that resourcefulness and replace it with another inept government solution.

Words can't describe how much I dislike Obama's vision for America.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama: Full of Surprises

The Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech surprized me!

It was very good. This is something I was not expecting. Normally I can't stand his speeches. Kudos, hats off, at a boy and thank you President Obama.

"We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations - acting individually or in concert - will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified."

"Yet the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest - because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

"So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another - that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause and to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such."

These words are true no matter who uttered them and I for one am grateful to this President in particular for standing up and declaring the righteousness of American power before the whole world. Despite the many mistakes made by past administrations from both parties America has been a force for good more often than not.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Obama Continues to Whine

Will some one please tell Barack Obama that HE ran for President and that HE won! Once again the President is acting like the problems of the country were foisted upon him. Well some one should inform him that he wanted to be President, that no one forced him to accept the nomination.

What a putz.

President Obama used his speech rolling out a stimulus-style jobs program Tuesday to point the finger at Republicans for allegedly facilitating the economic crisis and then foisting it off on his administration to solve.

Obama: "We were forced to take those steps (to jump-start the economy) largely without the help of an opposition party which, unfortunately, after having presided over the decision-making that had led to the crisis, decided to hand it over to others to solve."

The opposition party didn't decide to hand over the nation's problems - YOU ASKED FOR THEM and the people elected you with a large majority in Congress. Why is this so hard for you to understand? The opposition party failed, this is true, but they largely failed to undo what a Democratic administration set into motion in the 1990's. That's a subject that's been beaten to death already - and it's just another example of the blame game.

If this was somebody I liked or admired (or a child) this would be my advice: Pointing the finger of blame is unbecoming for a winner. Pick up the ball and run the other way - don't mock the other team all the way to end zone. Try to act like you belong there.


Obama Sucks his Thumb Too

I mean to tell you I couldn't respect President Obama any less than I already do but he is really pushing it.

I read today this quip by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D) MI about how the President called Conyers and demanded to know why Conyers was demeaning him. Wah Wah. For God's sake Mr. President stand up and be a man. My own mother criticizes me when I need it.

Conyers spent most of 2008 schilling for Obama. His criticisms are that The President isn't leading us even farther to the left. What is it with these guys in the White House? No dissension allowed!!!

A few weeks ago Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, declared that this was the most childishly thin skinned administration he had covered in his 20 years in Washington.

What a bunch of babies.


Monday, December 07, 2009

RIP Mesha 1997-2009

This morning I had to do what all pet owners dread. My loyal German Shepard, Mesha had lived a good life and was as good at her job as anyone could ask. Her job was to alert us whenever something was out of place in the area around our home. She was great at it. Mesha lived outside as all my dogs have. Living in Minnesota you can imagine it is not always pleasant. She had a nice dog house that was actually built into the garage and it had a heat lamp for the cold months. Our rule was if the mercury dipped below zer0 F she could come in the house until the weather moderated. She was never comfortable in the house, even though she always wanted to be inside - or at least close to the rest of the "pack".

This summer she started to lose the ability to use one of her back legs. The vet said it was a nerve thing - signals not reaching the leg. He said she was likely not in any pain. In the last few months it began happening to the other leg as well. More often than not she really struggled to walk without having to drag both her hind legs. It was not going to get better...

With very cold weather and large snowbanks looming I couldn't let it go on.

Rest in peace Mesha... We love 'ya.