I Believe

I keep linking to Bill Whittle over at PJTV. Well, he keeps making sense.

Latest topic: American Exceptionalism. Our dear leader, President O, doesn’t believe that America is exceptional. Bill Whittle explains why the president  is wrong.

I have experience with the US civil engineering educational process (bachelor of science). I can tell you that in college there were students in my classes from all over the world. It’s simply because they can’t receive the same level of education, and at such an affordable price, anywhere else in the world. 

Whether the liberal elite like to believe it or not, science education is good here and it’s relatively cheap, which is why the US is such a powerhouse in the sciences worldwide. Producing scientific advantages is efficient and easy when the scientific education is good, affordable, and nearby.

LATER: Having such a large source pool of scientists and engineers also ensures that the entire population has a higher standard of living.

LATER, MAY OR MAY NOT BE RELEVANT: When I was in college most of the international students were from India, Asia, or South America. I don’t remember many European students. Also, most of the international students intended to return home once they completed college.

MUCH LATER: Ack! I forgot to include my source. I found the link originally at Ace of Spades HQ. Oy. Usually I’m better at giving credit… I think the brain is still mushy from yesterday.

Happy Independence Day!

No one ever says that. It’s always “Happy July 4th.” It bugs me.

On this day in 1776, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved. Sure, it was one giant “Go away ye overbearing olde fuckers!” to the British Empire. That part was fabulous in its own right; but further than that, the document itself isn’t just the embryo of the United States. There’s true greatness contained there. And it’s all in one of the most famous sentences ever:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There’s never been a greater statement of human rights. And it’s right there, in the genesis of our country. We should all be proud of it.

More than a just celebration of our nation’s birthday, July 4th is a celebration of one of the most important documents in history. It’s a celebration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a celebration of what this country could be, of what awaits us if we look to the past 233 years. And the name “Independence Day” is a reminder of that.

So happy Independence Day! May we all be free as our founding fathers dreamed.

I’m going to go pursue some happiness by flame-scorching some pig then smothering it in a sweet tomato-based sauce.

Signs

I’ve been a worrywart lately. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Glenn Beck. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands to stumble upon otherwise ordinary information and connect dots. Unrelated? I don’t think so.

COPPER:  Copper is the metal of industry. You can’t build anything without it. If an item has an electrical component in it, chances are, copper has something to do with the manufacturing of and/or the working of the item. Generally, the copper market can predict industrial output for the next six months to a year. This week, the copper market collapsed.

DOLLAR:  The dollar is fairly high (and I write that with a laugh). But that’s in relation to other currencies. In relation to gold, the dollar is low.

GOLD: Yeah, what’s up with gold anyway? Does it signal deflation? Inflation? Disinflation? Depression? Recession? Recovery? I’ve heard all the above and more as an explanation of gold prices. I don’t think anyone will know until a proper autopsy after the corpse of our economy is discovered.

WALL STREET:  I saw somewhere on the news (CNN?) that it’s predicted that the Dow will hit levels not seen since the mid-1990’s. So that means it’ll bottom out somewhere around 4000. Shit. Really? I’m suddenly glad that I’ve never had enough money to put into a 401K or other retirement plan.

MORE WALL STREET: Every time Obama says “crisis” the Dow drops. He said “crisis” 25 times in one speech alone. If you can attribute today’s trading to Obama’s speech, the Dow dropped 12 points each time he said the word. Someone needs to tape that man’s mouth shut. I don’t think Wall Street likes where Obama’s leading the nation. Or at least, they don’t like it when he goes into fear-mongering mode.

GENERATIONAL/CYCLICAL CRISES: The Baby Boomer’s crisis is here. The best part of this (really long) article:

Boomer leaders are always sure, and often wrong. They are dogmatic and cocky. They utter the words catastrophe, without specifying what will happen if you don’t follow their plan. They say that we will enter a permanent decline if we don’t spend our way out of a situation that was caused by spending too much. Boomer followers are so shallow and self involved that they will put reason aside and believe that we can spend our way out of this. The easy sound bite solution is what they are looking for. The word sacrifice does not exist in their vocabulary. The well being of future generations is of no interest to them. The day trading, house flipping, BMW driving Boomers are looking for the next big thing. The danger is that the next big thing could be a major war.

TAXES: Some states may not be able to send out tax rebates this year. I’d send in your taxes AQAP if you want to get your money back.

EU: The European Union: Not so united after all. Half of them want us to save them. The other half want us to go down in a fiery crash of SUVs, crude oil, Wal-Mart, and McDonald’s. BOOM!

STIMULATE ME: My half-assed stimulus plan: Banks would be required to refinance home loans at 3%. If the home owner is underwater, then the loan my be bumped out to 40 or 50 years until the loan is paid in full or until the market recovers enough to refinance at more “normal” terms. You would not be eligible for the plan if you lied to get the loan (i.e., misrepresented your earnings to qualify for a larger loan). [I admit; that last part is just for spite. I hate liars and they deserve what they get. Gods forbid they should profit from it.]

The Opposition

I’ve been mostly silent about politics recently on this blog. Oh, I’ve comment here and there about the mess in Washington, but I’ve mostly kept away from the fray. Until today, I wasn’t sure why. But now I’ve realized I was afraid.

Oh, I’m not like the loony leftists who ranted and raved about W silencing free speech or any of that. I’m not afraid of losing my life for speaking out. I’m afraid because when I look across the world, I see where we’re headed.

In the UK, I see cameras on every street corner and people unable to defend themselves.

In France and the Netherlands, I see a violent extremist minority who frightens entire countries into submission.

In Europe, I see an entire region mired by taxation and regulation.

In Japan, I see a country whose past closely resembles our present and whose present resembles nothing I want for my country.

In Venezuela, I see a dictator who consolidated his power to such an extent that it was impossible for his opposition to gain enough ground to elect any one else.

In the US, I see the seeds of all of the above in Obama. It scares me for my country.

When he was first elected, I thought that four years wasn’t enough for him to do too much damage. I’ve assumed that in two years, he’d be rendered completely ineffectual because of a traditional conservative surge in the House and Senate. His first two weeks in office have made me doubt my assumptions. His recent power grabs have consolidated in me a belief that far left liberals will remain in power for quite some time.

Like I said, it scares me. It scares me to think about it. It’s not comfortable writing about it, which is why I’ve largely avoided it. I know where we’re headed. I see the genesis of it in Obama. And I know how ineffectual conservative movements are elsewhere in the world.

I’ve decided that I can’t stay silent. That’s how they win. That’s how they convince others that their leftist ideas are in the majority, that there’s no real opposition to the erosion of liberty, that there is no one else out there questioning the fear-mongering or the power-grabbing or the double-talking or the taxing or the spending or any other bit of nonsense they push.

So I am the opposition. You are the opposition. We are not alone.

Let’s give ’em hell.

I’m Just A Flag Waving American

Excuse me whilst I feel a moment of superiority.

Why is it that now, after the Obama election win, liberals suddenly discover their patriotism? All of a sudden, flags are the must have accessory for both home and body. All of a sudden, sniffing at the nation anthem is perfectly acceptable.

I remember when flags and anthem sniffing were laughed at and scorned by the liberal elite. That was, you know, a few months ago. I don’t get it. Does the patriotism of some depend so much upon the Commander in Chief’s policies? Mine does not.

I was patriotic then. I will continue to be patriotic. I’ve always loved America. I will always love America. I may not be happy with a direction it has taken or a person it has elected, but my support and love will always be there, unwavering. So the new conversion of some to patriotism has me scratching my head a bit.

NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song from the play, I Love America. I love the song, it’s a cheeky bit of patriotism that unashamedly boasts of the country’s greatness. It’s the kind of thing that drives Europeans and liberals nuts. Or at least, it used to drive liberals nuts. Hmp. It’s lost half of its fun if it doesn’t.

New Day

Today is a historic day for America. Today, we’ll anoint the Kwisatz Haderachto the highest office in the US. (You know I’m going to call Obama Muad’Dib or the Kwisatz Haderach from now on, right? Good. )

I don’t want him to fail. I expect that he will if he intends to follow his campaign promises, but it’s not something I want. I also expect him to fail if he doesn’t follow his campaign promises; any deviation from his campaign statements will make enemies out of his fellow liberals. His policies will get nowhere fast with such enemies.

Added to that is the high expectations of his devoted followers. I don’t know that there is a way to make all of his promises to them good. It could get ugly fast when they figure that out. His team hasn’t done a very good job of managing the unrealistic expectations of his followers. Having promised the moon during the campaign to win the election, he finds himself in the position to follow through on obtaining it. I wish him luck with that.

And already, Obama’s had a pissing contest with Reid over who is the real boss of the Democrats in Washington. Obama won the media war with Reid, but Reid’s been in this a long time; I don’t see him giving up easily.

I don’t think there’s a way he can succeed. And that’s a shame.

(And I write all that with no relish or sarcasm. Well, I’m having fun with the Kwisatz Haderach stuff. But no… I don’t want him to fail. We’ve seen enough of a mess this past year. I don’t look forward to more of it.)

LATER: Something’s been bothering me about this press coverage of the inauguration (which has been going on for a few days!!!!). They keep calling Obama President Obama. He won’t be president until a little later today. Also, these are the same people who don’t call W President Bush. Things like that bug me.