With the state of North Carolina about to enter even further into the depths of eco-stupidity next week by outlawing the trashing of plastic containers, I thought it would be appropriate to dust off an article that I published back in the 1990s. Forced recycling is no less silly today than it was a dozen years ago when I wrote this piece and neither the facts nor the arguments have changed. Thanks to the Heartland Institute, my musings from back then are still available to share.
Despite being in the minority in Congress, Republican campaign committees outraised Democrats by $1.7 million in August as they have aggressively collected political cash amid the rancorous debate over health care.
Republicans also held an edge over Democrats in the amount of money available, when counting debts, as both parties set the stage for the 2010 elections, in which more than three dozen competitive House and Senate seats are at stake.
The GOP spike is a departure. In each of the past four years, the party in power — whether Democrat or Republican — raised more than the minority's fundraising committees in August, a USA TODAY review of campaign records shows.
"Republicans have been able to tap into some of the anger against Democrats in power and translate that into fundraising," said Nathan Gonzales of The Rothenberg Political Report. "There are a lot of Republicans who wish the election were this November, not November 2010, because they feel like the momentum is on their side now."
Czech President Vaclav Klaus referred to this week's UN meeting
on climate change as "propagandistic and undignified.” His first piece of
evidence was the opening of the meeting which featured 13-year-old Yugratna
Srivastava of India telling the audience, in the form of a rehearsed poem, that
governments were not doing enough to combat the threat of climate change. It
sounds to me like the UN was also engaging in child abuse. Klaus is the
only world leader wiling to speak the truth on climate change issues. He
regularly points out uncomfortable and irrefutable facts; like the earth has
been cooling for at least a decade and that the scientific community has been
moving further and further away from the alarmist stance taken by the hard-core
statists at the UN. Klaus has also written an excellent book on the climate change movement titled Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What is Endangered, Climate of Freedom?
I won't say it often, but today's Washington Postcolumn from David Broder offers stellar analysis. Referring to an article in the latest issue of National Affairs, Broder explains why any attempts to implement grandiose, centrally planned policy agendas will always be in conflict with that pesky thing known as the U.S. Constitution.
The progressives believed that the cure [for the role interest-group politics plays in slowing social-engineering schemes] lay in applying the new
wisdom of the social sciences to the art of government, an approach in
which facts would heal the clash of ideologies and narrow
Obama -- a highly intelligent product of elite universities -- is
far from the first Democratic president to subscribe to this approach.
Jimmy Carter, and especially Bill Clinton, attempted to govern this
way. But Obama has made it even more explicit, regularly proclaiming
his determination to rely on rational analysis, rather than narrow
decisions, on everything from missile defense to Afghanistan -- and all
the big issues at home.
Democracy and representative government are a lot messier than the
progressives and their heirs, including Obama, want to admit. No wonder
they are so often frustrated.
The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) will hold their Annual Joint Professional Development Issues Conference in Greensboro next month. The theme of the conference is: "In the Circus Act of Life, Strengthening Your Tightrope to Meet the Demands of 21st Century Schools."
Breakout sessions include:
- Classroom Management Strategies for Success: Being a True Ringmaster!
- Coping with Difficult People, Even Clowns
- Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Strategies for Teaching to the Male Brain
I have no problem with the idea of a professional development conference for teachers. I believe that public school teachers are professionals who require occasional opportunities to refine their skills.
But it is hard to take teachers (and their professional development) seriously when the conference theme is a damn circus. This is an insult to the intelligence and professionalism of every teacher in North Carolina.
Jon, you left out the shift (segue) to the musical salute at the end (with some lyrics unintelligible):
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all [do? doth??] say "hooray!"
Hooray Mr. President! You're number one!
The first Black American to lead this great na-TION!
Hooray, Mr. President something-something-some
A-something-something-something-some economy is number one again!
Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And the same for all Americans [in?] the great Red White and Blue!
So something Mr. President we all just something-some,
So here's a hearty hip-hooray a-something-something-some!
Hip, hip hooray!
He said that all must lend a hand To make this country strong again Mmm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be fair today Equal work means equal pay Mmm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand To make sure everyone gets a chance Mmm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama
He said red, yellow, black or white All are equal in his sight Mmm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama
Yes! Mmm, mmm, mm Barack Hussein Obama!
I credit the hymn-writer for finding a way to blend Obama's acclaimed sort of godlike aspect along with his ubiquitous image's resemblance to a Campbell's soup label. For all we know, the song might be entitled "Mm-mm god!"
...you believe that Big Macs are immoral and should be taxed because they encourages obesity, but think that Ben and Jerry's Hubby Hubby ice cream should be subsidized because it promotes tolerance and diversity.
A program intended to support military members and their families, funded with about $10 million in federal money, suffered from serious organizational mismanagement and ineffectiveness, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced Wednesday.
An internal audit and review of the Odum Institute’s Citizen Soldier Support Program was prompted by allegations of mismanagement of federal funds.
The program is intended to help soldiers and their families find mental health support and readjust to life after deployment, according to its Web site.
The audit found the program suffered from red tape associated with the University without taking advantage of the institution’s expertise.
“My view is that this program has serious flaws, and I don’t think we’ve given the federal government the best return on its investment,” Thorp said at the Board of Trustees audit and finance committee meeting.
Thorp said the program was limited in its early years by leadership turnover and funding delays, but has shown some success since then.
Still, he said the program would have to make significant changes to remain in operation.
“This program has to show dramatic improvement in a short period of time to remain viable,” he said.
Lest anyone think that the attack on freedom of speech is just another one of those "lies" about the regime, consider the threats to free speech in the debate over the health "reform" legislation. An editorial in today's WSJ is illuminating on the powers the feds have to prevent speech they don't like.
Earlier this week, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, testified that the Baucus bill would cut $123 billion from the Medicare Advantage Plan, resulting in lower benefits for many and a complete loss of coverage for about 2.7 million.
I suspect that knives are being sharpened for Mr. Elmendorf, but the point here is that the regime wants to keep people from hearing what he had to say. Therefore, Jonathan Blum, a bureaucrat in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has, in the words of the editorial, "banned all Advantage contractors from telling their customers what Mr. Elmendorf has just told Congress."
On the other hand, the Journal points out, AARP's communications that cheerlead for the regime's "reforms" continue without any political harassment, even though they are arguably just as "confusing and misleading" as those of Humana. Actually, more so.
Too bad the talk show hosts don't ask Obama that question.
Here is a letter in today's WSJ by a doctor in Tennessee who says that the uninsured are not denied care:
Better Approach to Free Health Care
The photo of a woman with no health insurance receiving care in Miami, which appeared with the article "Overhaul's Contours Are Starting to Take Shape" (The Health-Care Bill, Sept. 9), gives light to the lie in the debate on health care. In my more than 25 years of practicing medicine, I have seen no one turned away for lack of funds. I have always and will continue to provide appropriate care without regard to how or if a patient pays. I have witnessed the same attitude from other physicians.
With the usual disdain for reality, both political parties have acquiesced to the bait-and-switch of "coverage" and "care." The question should be: "How should doctors, hospitals and other providers be compensated for the care they give for free?" If the political class was really concerned about coverage, it would have some appreciation for care given without expense to taxpayers. Instead, the move is afoot to punish doctors, hospitals and patients with ever more stringent rules and regulations that have little to do with care but a lot to do with government control.
How about this? Get the government out of health care completely. Let doctors and hospitals get a tax break for their charity. The loss of a few tax dollars would be minuscule compared to the cost of a growing bureaucracy. However, I can't imagine lawyers giving up a stranglehold on physicians.
Ed Cline discusses the threats posed to our First Amendment rights by the Obama regime in this essay.
No, they aren't going to try to amend the Constitution to do away with that old-fashioned idea that the government can't interfere with freedom of expression. Instead, through regulations they'll find ways to hurt institutions that don't go along with the regime's plans.
To authoritarians like Obama (and FDR, LBJ, Nixon) political power and control are what matter and anything that gets in their way is fair game. They will gladly whittle away at our liberties to achieve their goals. Property rights and freedom of contract have been on the chopping block for many decades. The First Amendment has suffered some erosion, such as the restraints on employer speech with regard to unionization and the demented McCain-Feingold legislation. I fear that Cline is right -- much worse is may come.
The president’s administration is a “puerile amalgam of exploded imbecilities, many of them in flat contradiction of the rest” which proposes to “lift the burden of debt by encouraging fools to incur more debt, and to husband the depleted capital of the nation by outlawing what is left of it.”
The journalist who wrote those words would find much of today’s political debate familiar, though he would find today’s political rhetoric inelegant and tame. This was H.L. Mencken discussing the Franklin Roosevelt presidency.