Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where does ultra liberal domination lead?

... to California.

I have lamented before on this blog over the mess the state of California finds itself in. How the Golden State, the place that once upon a time epitomized everything that was great about America has literally become the place that showcases everything that's wrong. It's not much of mystery, really. California has been dominated by ultra liberals for decades. Even when they've had semi-conservative governors the lunacy of the liberals running the state house in Sacramento has ruled the day.

People - I should say, people with money and business have been moving out of California in droves. Soon there will no one left to pay the high taxes. Sure you could write off California as a loss cause, but it doesn't take long to realize that as severe as California is it's not alone. Everywhere liberal government dominates we see similar fiscal and societal carnage. (everywhere except where I live, but I'll get to that later). Take Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and even New York for example. Each of these states is virtually broke. Each one of them is hemorrhaging jobs. Each has failing school systems and crumbling infrastructure. They have all been dominated by liberal legislatures, with liberals running their cities and their school systems. Sure occasionally a Republican is elected mayor or governor but they are never strong enough to stem the tide of decay and collapse brought on by endlessly smothering liberalism.

Liberalism may have moved in with the departure of heavy manufacturing as a "humanitarian movement", but the billions of dollars spent and decades of liberal policy domination has seen so little in the way of actual progress, rather we've seen only a growing dependence on government programs and so-called entitlements.

The fact that school systems all over this country are dominated by liberalism should be enough to drive home the fact that it's a failed philosophy, but it never seems to stick. The problem is always that we just haven't spent enough on "the children". Our students finish so low by international standards that it's embarrassing.

Recently John Fund had an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal (April 22 2011 pg A11) that highlighted a trip taken by several California state house representatives and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to Texas. It was a fact finding mission to see why so many California businesses were moving to Texas. While Newsom didn't see the exodus as a partisan issue clearly the California public unions did. The unions threatened several Democrats who planned to attend who then abruptly canceled the trip.

To add insult to injury after their meetings with Texas governor Rick Perry they learned another California business, Fujistu Frontenach was picking up stakes and moving to Texas. It was the 70th business to leave California this year. Why so many departures? Again, not much of a mystery. High taxes, onerous business and environmental regulation. It could also be said that Sacramento doesn't really care. While their state is tens of billions in debt and business and wealthy people are fleeing their state like rats from a sinking ship they are busy passing bills that mandate that school children will be taught the history of gays and disabled persons.

My heart breaks for California, I've loved every minute I've spent there. It's hard to say if they will ever wake up. We thought maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to be a turning point, but he was a bigger disappointment than Governor Ventura was.

That brings me to my home state of Minnesota. This state has also been dominated by liberalism my whole life. And yes, the fiscal health and the good standing of Minnesota's famous quality of life is in some question, however it is not a failure waiting happen. Things are relatively good here. How can that be if liberal domination leads to collapse and decay? Minnesotans by and large are very conservative people. We are very hard working and have had held together a decent education system (until recently) for decades. These people vote liberal but live very conservatively. To be sure the state is closer to 50/50 than 60/40 in favor of Democrats, but liberalism is what's taken for granted around the water cooler and church halls. People here may say anything goes, praise diversity and declare tolerance from the rooftops, but just not for them. It's an odd thing, but that's the way it is here. That's why liberalism hasn't quite destroyed our great state - yet.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Paintings

"It's Something You Are"
18 X 24 acrylic

by Craig Willms

For my daughters boyfriend Blake, who is a fireman and EMT.

"Babcock's Garden"
18 X 24 acrylic

by Craig Willms

For my Mom in remembrance of her sister Lois who left us last year. Her garden was her joy.

Much more to see at


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where's the blame:Obama & high gas prices

Around here - the upper Midwest - prices at the pump are nearing $4 a gallon. In Chicago and California they are already over $4 a gallon. Yet, does anyone else find it odd that there are so few stories by the major news outlets - including Fox News- about these high prices?

Oil prices have topped $110 a barrel just a day or so after President Obama laughed off high oil prices. Essentially blaming ordinary Americans for the problem and not his policies by ridiculing those who drive big vehicles. I'm sorry but the man is an asshole. When was the last time he took out his wallet to fill the tank? My wife's small Toyota now costs twice as much to fill as it did last year.

The media is still doing his bidding, allowing this bizarre interaction with the audience during a recent speech to go by with minimal comment. Interestingly as gas prices rose in 2008, reporters mentioned President Bush in 15 times as many stories, than they brought up President Obama in a similar period in 2011. But you see Bush was an oil man, obviously he was to blame. But it's not about blame now, this is the desired effect the Obama administration had hoped for when they took office.

All the networks but Fox News fail to mention Obama's serious anti-oil actions.

The President has taken specific steps to limit domestic oil production including a moratorium on deep water drilling in May 2010 after the BP spill as well as a recent imposition of new regulations on the industry. Still, the media refuse to notice. Few of the news stories about rising gas prices brought up any of Obama's anti-oil policies despite the impact they have on supply and prices.

Obama's deepwater drilling ban was overturned by a federal court judge in June, but the administration continues to enforce it. In a Feb. 3 story, Bloomberg News reported that the administration has "acted in contempt" of court by doing so.

There are few things that have such a profound impact on the economic health of regular families than skyrocketing energy prices. This President not only doesn't care he actually applauds high prices.

Did I mention I think he is an asshole?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Arab/Muslim world just isn't appealing to me...

When I think of other cultures on this great big planet as I sit snug in my middle class American life I can think of none that appeal to me less than Arab/Muslim cultures. Put another way when I think of all the places in the world that interest me or fascinate me only one Middle East country even makes the list and that would be Israel. Maybe I'm being short sighted, but I doubt I'm the only American that feels this way. Frankly I wish America would just get out of that part of the world all together so I could go on and blissfully ignore it.

The truth is America and the West have created this reality and the Arab/Muslim world is just in reactionary mode. With this so-called "Arab Spring" happening across the Middle East and Northern Africa we are seeing the inevitable backlash against decades of the West propping up brutal dictatorships in the name of stability. In many of these tribal cultures there has been little chance that democracy or free societies would ever temper centuries of inter-mural conflict and violence. Such instability is totally unacceptable to the West because it interrupts the spice flow. The spice of course is the oil that is absolutely vital to all civilization on Earth. Due to the luck of geography the Middle East sat atop a gold mine it could have never hoped to exploit without the West and for that they have been under the thumb of one dictator or another for a the better part of a century.

All that, it seems, is about to change.

One has to wonder if the powers that be - the ones above and beyond Presidents and Prime Ministers - love this chess game that much? Or perhaps they need endless conflict as a cover. It asks the question: are we all then merely puppets? These men in the shadows have all the money they need, it can't be about money. Money then is just the way they keep score. However, this clash between the Arab/Muslims and the West has the potential to remake the world. Are the shadow men playing the ultimate game of "chicken" this time? Many are convinced the West cannot win. The West has the weapons, the technology and enough money to win, but it lacks the one key element necessary to prevail. The will to win.

The Muslim world has two weapons the West is unwilling to develop or utilize that will make all the difference in the world. Oil and the womb. Western economies and therefore Western war machines are dependent on oil. The West is unwilling to stand up to the self-loathing aspects of our own societies and make a commitment to end the dependency on Middle East oil. Secondly, we have convinced our own women to forgo motherhood and thereby have embarked on a path of self extinction.

Europe is particularly fragile. Having made a deal decades ago with Arab oil kingpins to allow mass immigration from the Middle East and Northern Africa in exchange for no interruptions in the oil flow. Simultaneously they've been replacing their own religious underpinnings with political correctness resulting in a dearth of native born children. They have all but submitted to eradication. Demographically Europe may already beyond the point of no return. Underneath Europe is slowly transforming into a Muslim culture, and their own self-loathers stand in the way of any meaningful effort to turn the tide.

I think it's a ways off for America to be transformed into a Muslim culture. While Political Correctness has polluted everything here as well there is still enough resistance and backbone to defend America - at least for a while.

World history is replete with cultural expansion and domination. Cultures rise and cultures fall and there's no reason to suspect the fall won't happen to America itself. There's is just something wrong when cultures literally give up as it seems many European countries have. I'm not alone in believing that the great things about American culture are worth fighting for. The people on the ground are willing, but we lack any leadership at all. Our fearless leaders won't buck the prevailing religion. The ultimate battle is not going to be Islam vs Christianity, rather Islam vs Political Correctness. As a religion Political Correctness is doomed to failure the question is are we stupid enough to follow it down?


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Showdown on Capitol Hill

The budget battle for the second half of FY2011 is heading for a climax, but it is the battle over the 2012 budget that will be the key ideological battle of our generation. One side is convinced that the Federal government is simply out of control and is strangling the American economy. The other side is equally convinced that only government spending ( a government that can legally create money from thin air) will save the country from a depression and mass poverty.

With his budget plan for 2012 Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has laid down the gauntlet for the progressives and the Democrats to cross. It remains to be seen if government austerity and tight budgets are the prescription for prosperity. It seems counter-intuitive in some aspects, but it seems rather obvious that unrestrained government spending with the attendant massive budget deficits are not a panacea either.

What is clear is that Paul Ryan will become an absolute lighting rod. He will be called every rotten thing in the book. I can already see the cartoons of him with the Hitler mustache. He will have to be portrayed as evil or at least totally self serving, because he can't be portrayed as stupid like all other Republicans are. He also seems to have a backbone made of something other than jelly (like all other Republicans have). He is a bright and articulate man and if he had a little more seasoning he would easily give Obama a run for the money.

Again, I'm not sure if Ryan's prescription is going to work. Intellectually I understand what MMT'ers (Modern Monetary Theory adherents) claim to be true. Namely that Federal deficits don't really matter. Technically they are correct in saying the the government can not run out of money. The government is an issuer of a fiat currency, a floating rate currency tied to nothing. It's been that way since the 1970's when Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard. If the Federal government needs more money they just add zero's on balance sheets. Taxes are collected to temper the public's ability to spend and potentially overheat the economy, but not to actually fund the Federal government. It's a hard concept to grasp considering how much emotion and rhetoric goes into the tax question. Still, I have a hard time with the notion that deficits don't matter at all. Small deficits really don't matter, but multi-trillion dollar deficits???

Yes, 2012 should be a pretty interesting year. Either the Republicans will join Ryan and really take the fight to President Obama or they will capitulate and enjoy another four years of multi-trillion dollar Federal deficits while they wring their hands in dismay. The problem I see with allowing the Federal government to spend without restraint is the overreach and power grabbing that will inevitably result. Freedom just slips away. More states and more individuals will become wards of the Federal government. It's already happening.