Monday, February 9, 2009

"The Fierce Urgency of Pork"

I just read an interesting piece by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post entitled "The Fierce Urgency of Pork." If the new "economic stimulus package," and all the shameless-insertion-of-shameful-extraneous-spending contained therein, doesn't infuriate you, I don't know what will. The inconsistency? The hypocrisy? The idiocy?

Whatever you think of the author (most liberals will dismiss him as a conservative wacko, while many conservatives will find him a bit too liberal for their liking), the points he makes regarding the President's newest actions are well-taken. Here it is, in his own words:

"A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe."
-- President Obama, Feb. 4

Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared "we have chosen hope over fear." Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

And so much for the promise to banish the money-changers and influence-peddlers from the temple. An ostentatious executive order banning lobbyists was immediately followed by the nomination of at least a dozen current or former lobbyists to high position. Followed by a Treasury secretary who allegedly couldn't understand the payroll tax provisions in his 1040. Followed by Tom Daschle, who had to fall on his sword according to the new Washington rule that no Cabinet can have more than one tax delinquent.

The Daschle affair was more serious because his offense involved more than taxes. As Michael Kinsley once observed, in Washington the real scandal isn't what's illegal, but what's legal. Not paying taxes is one thing. But what made this case intolerable was the perfectly legal dealings that amassed Daschle $5.2 million in just two years.

He'd been getting $1 million per year from a law firm. But he's not a lawyer, nor a registered lobbyist. You don't get paid this kind of money to instruct partners on the Senate markup process. You get it for picking up the phone and peddling influence.

At least Tim Geithner, the tax-challenged Treasury secretary, had been working for years as a humble international civil servant earning non-stratospheric wages. Daschle, who had made another cool million a year (plus chauffeur and Caddy) for unspecified services to a pal's private equity firm, represented everything Obama said he'd come to Washington to upend.

And yet more damaging to Obama's image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama's name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections...
(Read the rest of the article here.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Having a "Case Number"

So, here's what I did about it...

It will accomplish nothing but make me feel better, I'm sure, so I'm not one of those "good people who do nothing" from the Edmund Burke quotation. ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.")

February 4, 2009

To whom it may concern:

I am disappointed and angry about the sexually-explicit commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.

We were hosting a family-friendly Super Bowl party in our home, and a roomful of children and adults were shocked and embarrassed to see the scantily-clad women you chose to air during this broadcast.

There is enough raunchy stuff on TV. Please keep it away from the eyes and minds of young children enjoying "the biggest football game of the year" with their parents.

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for contacting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This is an automated message to confirm that we have received your correspondence. We will review your information to determine how we can best serve you.

If you need to send additional information, you may reply back with this email, leaving the case number in the subject line, or contact us at our toll free phone number 1-888-Call-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and reference the case number.

The Federal Communications Commission

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"... the rotting corpse of Christianity ..."

Why I'm Homeschooling, Reason #286:

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being...

The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved."

- Humanist author John J. Dunphy, from "A Religion for a New Age, The New Faith of Humanism and Teachers" in The Humanist magazine, Jan-Feb 1983 (Vol. 43, No. 1)

Monday, February 2, 2009


"Laura loves her little family,
And she's the kind of woman who loves them with her life.
But sometimes in the evening,
When the world rests on her shoulders
With four walls closing in,
She'll close her eyes..."

From "Saved by Love" by Amy Grant
(on the 1988 album Lead Me On)

Keeping the Clicker Close!

Well, it is certainly interesting to me that this prolife commercial was deemed inappropriate for airing during the Super Bowl we watched last night, while all the half-naked women parading around were deemed just fine.

It sure made for an interesting family-centered Super Bowl party...