Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Affirmative Action," Another Lunacy of the Left

You can count on the left to do the stupidest thing they can possibly imagine for any issue, but when it comes to racial and gender matters they win the award for the ultimate in stupidity: The so-called "affirmative action" programs. They believe that racism can be cured with more racism and that if they simply give a nice-sounding name to one of the most asinine ideas, then that makes it ok. George Orwell would be impressed.

I have taught hundreds of black and hispanic students and I can say without reservation that members of both minority groups are every bit as intelligent as whites. There is no need to give preferences for college admissions, hiring, or government contracts. But the looney left thinks it is a good idea. They love to treat people in a patronizing manner. If I were a member of a minority group and I were given preference for my skin color then I would be seriously offended. To make it even worse, the looneys call me and other people "racists" because we oppose racist practices.

The idiots point out that the minority groups are less successful than whites. Very true, but discriminating against whites will not solve the problem. The biggest problem are the substandard public schools, especially in the inner cities. Conservatives have offered vouchers for children in failing schools to attend decent private schools, but the left opposes voucher programs vehemently. It is more important for them to preserve the jobs of the incompetent buffoons who run our public schools than it is to give children a decent education.

Here is an article that talks about the upcoming referendum on affirmative action in Michigan. This is a good article that presents both sides of the argument.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ronald Reagan: The Vanquisher of Communism.

I hear all the screaming and squawking from the left today about George Bush and how he is evil incarnate, and I am reminded of another American president who was criticized and ridiculed just as much. Ronald Reagan, along with Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Andrei Sakharov, Helmut Kohl, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Anatoly Chubais, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, and many, many others brought an end to the nightmare called communism. Reagan was vilified for building up our military and placing the nuclear Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe. The left, both here in America and in Europe, were constantly predicting that Reagan would start a nuclear war. The left, many of whom openly admired communism/socialsm and said that it was good for the people of Russia, China, Poland, Vietnam, Cuba etc. The left, many of whom wanted America to adopt the policies of the communist regimes including government control of business and suppression of civil liberties. They hated Reagan back then just as they hate Bush today.

There is an excellent quote of Reagan that he made about communism in 1982, that I saw in Powerline today:

While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings... What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term -- the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people. ... Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable… [T]he task I've set forth will long outlive our own generation. But together, we too have come through the worst. Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best -- a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny. -- Address to Members of the British Parliament, Palace of Westminster, June 8, 1982.

I often wonder about the innermost thoughts of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, and the other founders of the Soviet Union, during those heady days in 1917 when they were so eager to kill and otherwise disrupt the lives of millions of innocent people. Did they ever in their wildest dreams imagine that there was a six year-old boy in Illinois who would one day lay their grandiose plans to waste?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wall Street Journal Readers Underwhelmed by Greg Mankiw's Powers of Pursuasion

It appears that I'm not the only one who was struck by the sheer arrogance of Greg Mankiw's stupid proposal to raise gas taxes. There are five letters to the editor in today's Wall Street Journal in response to this left-wing lunacy. My favorite was written by Keith Carpenter from Fort Worth:

Whenever I read an article or listen to someone crow about raising the gas tax. I am reminded of how far removed some people are from the rest of us who have to work for a living. Every point in Prof. Mankiw's commentary boils down to improperly using the tax code to force a certain behavior and enact social change, all in a quest to show us poor fols who have to drive to work, to the store or to pick up the kids that we're just not in line with the professor's progressive thinking. If being in traffic makes Prof. Mankiw wish the rest of us would drive less, reading socialist diatribes like his make me wish people like him would write less.

My feelings exactly, Keith. And I must admit I was quite surprised when Bush picked Mankiw for his Chairman of the CEA. The good professor has done some excellent research in macroeconomics, but when it comes to government fiscal policy, he has strong Keynesian/saltwater tendencies.

Greg Mankiw got his Bachelor's degree from Princeton, his PhD from MIT, and now he's on the faculty at Harvard. I don't know him personally but I know some people who do and they tell me he is a decent fellow. The problem is that he doesn't have a clue about the middle class Americans in the red states. He hasn't spent much time interacting with some guy who works as a plumber in Pensacola, Florida, or some woman who manages a 7-11 in Killeen, Texas. He has spent all his adult life in the rarified atmosphere of the elite in the Northeast. He probably had no intention of coming across as so arrogant in his Op-Ed, but in the circles he travels there is nothing but disdain for the little people, and some of it has rubbed off on him, either consciously or subconsciously.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Free Offer for All Gun Control Advocates!

I will give each and every one of you a decorative yard sign to display in front of your house in order to show how you feel about relinquishing your second amendment rights. All I ask in return is that you agree to display the sign in your front yard for at least one year. In order to receive your yard sign, respond to this post with your contact information.

Photography of Angela Watters

My niece Angie is an artistic photographer. She recently earned her MFA at Columbia School of Arts in Chicago. Here is her photo next to one of her works at an exhibition she and some of her fellow students held just prior to their graduation.

Angie has shown great courage in the face of tragedies that have happened to her family in recent years. And it also takes courage to pursue a career in the arts. Her artwork can be viewed here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Only twelve days to pheasant season!

Rocky and Daphne are ready to commit some major mayhem on the pheasant population of Kansas.

Rocky and Daphne's page

Greg Mankiw Talks Big with Other Peoples' Money

Wouldn't it be nice to be one of the beautiful people, like Professor N. Gregory Mankiw? He is a full professor of economics at Harvard. He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent conservative think tank. From 2003 to 2005, he was the Chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, earning a nice $140,000 salary, paid for by the American taxpayers.

And now, our esteemed Beautiful Person wants to raise our taxes! In the October 20, 2006 editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, this so-called "conservative" and former spokesman for the Bush Admistration makes the following proposal in his Op-Ed Raise the Gas Tax:

I would like to see Congress increase the gas tax by $1 per gallon, phased in gradually by 10 cents per year over the next decade

Hmmmmm..... one of the justifications he gives for the tax increase is the coming budget shortfall in Medicare and Socialist Security:

A $1 per gallon hike in gas tax would bring in $100 billion a year in government revenue and make a dent in the looming fiscal gap
He is certainly correct that Medicare and Socialist Security are trainwrecks looming on the horizon. But why doesn't this member of the Ivy League intelligensia set an example for all us lesser mortals by sending his personal check to the federal government in the amount of $1 per gallon of gas that he consumes? Or, even better, he could refund the $280,000 that he was paid to be President Bush's economic spokesman. Since he has proven himself to be a faux conservative, I think the American people deserve a refund, since they elected and re-elected a president who ran on a platform of keeping taxes low.

Since this man of such deep northeast atlantic coast intellect knows what is good for us inbred hillbillies of the red states even better than we do, he gives another justification for his proposed tax increase

The burning of gasoline emits several pollutants. These include carbon dioxide, a cause of global warming.

So now our future Nobel prize-winning macroeconomist is also an expert at climatology. He takes the supposition that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming as a proven fact, in spite of the considerable evidence that no such relation exists. But here is my favorite part of the Op-Ed:

Every time I am stuck in traffic, I wish my fellow motorists would drive less, perhaps by living closer to where they work or by taking public transport. A higher gas tax would give all of us the incentive to do just that, reducing congestion on streets and highways.
Ah, I see. Professor Mankiw wants his fellow motorists (the little people) to live closer to where they work, or take public transport, so that he can drive his car on uncluttered streets without having to offend his sensitive sense of smell with the stench of the unwashed proletariat passing him in their pickup trucks. Of course, it never occurs to him that he is also congesting the streets and highways. And for a man of such intellect and privilege to have to take public transport himself is inconceivable.

I am trying to think of when I have ever read a more arrogant Op-Ed. I don't think I have.