Monday, March 29, 2010

The Pope & the Pedophile-Priests

This is from Reuters of 28 March: “The pontiff [Pope Benedict] said faith in God helps lead one ‘towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion’.” It would be hard to imagine a more arrogant, elitist statement, especially by the head of the entire Roman Catholic Church worldwide. It reeks of an insensitivity that is shocking.

The pope has been relatively free from being connected to the filth dredged up in the last two decades or so with regard to the pedophilia practiced by priests in the U.S., finally culminating in the church’s responding to lawsuits practically bankrupting many dioceses and “outing” the priest-pedophiles nationwide. It’s a wonder that the believers in the pew haven’t pronounced a pox on the church fathers and walked.

The Pope should not even consider using the word courage in anything he says. The bishops and cardinals who had full knowledge from the get-go of the filthy perversions practiced on the most vulnerable, children, and did nothing realistic about it exhibited a cowardice unmatched in anybody’s church, not to mention the crass insensitivity or outright ignoring of criminal laws. And how much courage does it take for a priest to defile a child and then warn him/her not to speak of it, especially in light of the fact that the child has been taught that the priest can do no wrong and that the pope is indeed infallible (perfect?)?

The Pope should take the word intimidated out of his speeches/lexicons/prayers/homilies/whatever. Intimidation of the worst degree was practiced by the priests, most likely promising their charges everything from earthly physical deformity to eternal hellfire if they spoke of priestly perfidy. The pope had better be intimidated because the people in the pews in Europe (his bailiwick) are now making their outrage heard, the accounts of rampant pedophilia appearing daily. This is no longer just a U.S. problem. Even the Catholic bastion of Ireland is filled with seething congregants, and for good reason.

It’s unbelievable that the pope characterized the mega-numbers of well-documented offenses (anything but gossip) and payoffs in the U.S. alone as the result of “petty gossip of dominant opinion.” The very fact that Benedict recognizes the opinion as dominant makes it anything but petty. He apparently feels himself so far above the matter that he doesn’t even realize the seriousness of it. Does he actually believe that pedophilia just devolves into pettiness…nothing to be accounted important enough to make waves? Maybe he thinks a good confession can just make things right, despite the fact that in a civilized country pedophilia is a crime.

Also from Reuters: “As the scandal has convulsed the Church, the Vatican has gone on the offensive, attacking the media for what it called an ‘ignoble attempt’ to smear Pope Benedict and his top advisors.” It’s impossible to smear something or someone that/who has already smeared itself/himself. The media has only presented the sordid truth about the scandal and most likely has only scratched the surface at that, with many more shoes to drop.

It is now known that Benedict, while a bishop in Germany, took no significant action against a pedophile-priest in his charge and – even worse – presided over the Vatican agency for 14 years that handled pedophile-priest cases, apparently keeping everything so quiet that no waves would be made, thus assuring that the pedophiles could continue their perfidies unmolested (no pun intended), with the church going merrily on its way. How disgusting!

Two bishops in Ireland have already resigned, with three more offering their resignations. The head of the Irish church, Sean Brady, should step down no later than yesterday, as some have demanded. Also resigning – and the sooner the better – should be Pope Benedict since the entire mess lies at his feet. Only then will the church gain back some of the respect that has been lost, and for good reason. It’s noteworthy, also, that this perverted pedophile-priest conduct happened on the watch of Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Ironically, the Vatican has him on a fast track for beatification.

There are Elmer Gantry-types in probably all denominations of any size, but the thoroughly documented scope of pedophilia (and homosexual behavior) has been so far-reaching in Roman Catholicism that there should be a thorough cleanup top to bottom in the leadership. It’s hard to imagine how devout Catholic parents can send their youngsters to Catechism or altar-boy training or, certainly, to confession without being conflicted.

It’s probable that pedophile-priests have operated with impunity in the church since its beginning, their safety from prosecution being guaranteed by their absolute control over their charges. The problem is at least now vividly out in the open but it remains to be seen if the Catholic leadership is up to the task of sincere repentance and consequent purging – a sort of penance on a grand scale.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Stupak Spin, Maybe?

Dear Representative Stupak:

As CEO of the Institute for Modifying All Government Entities (known by its acronym IMAGE), I am writing to offer you our services in light of the furor resulting from your flip-flop on the Senate healthcare bill, which you and those dedicated to you as their leader could have kept from passing the House.

In preparation for a possible affirmative response, I’m suggesting that you attend a Washington seminar later this week featuring an IMAGE department outlining the course titled Stratagems for Effecting Loyalty and Loot and Offsetting Unaccountability Tactics, or SELLOUT, for short. Your 180-degree change from being pro-life to being pro-abortion would have been tolerable to most democrats if you just hadn’t accepted that $726,409 right before the vote ostensibly to update some small airports in your district.

You will need help now in regaining the loyalty of the “true-believers” while at the same time devising ways to slurp more from the public trough. SELLOUT can help with this as well as teach your staff how to convince voters that you are still accountable to the “true-believers” and will work hard to keep the president from signing another executive order to nullify the one he promised and delivered, not that it matters since an executive order is worthless paper when contrary to settled law. As a lawyer, you know this and probably erred in believing that the voters are too dumb to understand.

The IMAGE arm that can help you in preparing remarks before and after a foot-in-mouth disaster is the LEAGUE for INSCRUTABILIZING EGREGIOUSNESS, or LIE, by its acronym. Before the “gift” for your district, you insisted that the bill included money for abortions despite the Hyde Amendment that apparently disallowed same but after the vote, in an interview with CNN’s John King, agreed with Speaker Pelosi that the Hyde Amendment forestalled this all along. What did you think initially about the Hyde Amendment when you insisted that the bill killed it or that the executive order was necessary to uphold it, knowing full well that the executive order is worthless? See? You need help in first discovering the truth and then in how to explain it away, and that’s the business of LIE.

Politicians need to be all things to all people most if not all of the time. IMAGE has an arm for helping the legislator say the right thing at the right time in the right place. It’s called the Department for Excising, Correcting, or Extolling Inimitable Tripe, or DECEIT, for short.
Depending upon the group you’re addressing and assuming that most political speech is opportunistic propaganda, DECEIT will help you either deny something you’ve said, give it a new twist, or make it appear as a pronouncement from the Oracle at Delphi and worthy of canonization.

For instance, former president Clinton simply cleared up the “Monica mess” (excised it) by homing in (correcting the definition of non-sex) on the proper definition of the word is (an intellectual triumph worthy of genius classification). It also saved his skin from perjury. You need to distance yourself from the Speaker pronto, and DECEIT can help you do it, the first step being plausibly denying that you even know her, much less actually agreed with her.

After using DECEIT services to clear up misunderstandings (euphemism for outright idiocies), most politicians need to reactivate their bases of support with rousing language that appears to exhibit world-shaking wisdom but actually says nothing, the better not to be asked about it later and forgetting the proper position to take for a specific group. The IMAGE seminar (weeklong) for help with this subject is titled Patriotic Homilies for Orating Objurgations and Evangelical Yammering, well-known by campaign chairmen by its acronym PHOOEY.

John Kerry and John Edwards used PHOOEY extensively in 2004 since they spoke constantly in African-American churches and had to be fed pungent homilies or full-fledged sermons on a weekly basis as well as taught ebonics for some areas. Edwards also used PHOOEY rhetoric for his appearances in the backyards of New Orleans in 2007-08, although he was often distracted by…never mind. As a Roman Catholic democrat, you’re faced with the problem of being on the same side (or at least you were) as the evangelical Christians vis-à-vis abortion, the problem being that they’re mostly republicans. So, you need PHOOEY to help you devise ways to excoriate the evangelicals without disagreeing with them.

That’s a fine line, and that’s where PHOOEY can help. A pedestrian objurgation might be that the evangelicals are mean-spirited since many of them oppose healthcare and want people to just die off. You can’t say that, of course…too harsh. PHOOEY will coach you in the proper way to scandalize those Bible-thumpers. If before his campaign stop in Hollywood the president had consulted with IMAGE before heading into Pennsylvania after his claim to the beautiful people that the little people grasp their Bibles, load their shotguns and go looking for immigrants to waste, he wouldn’t have had to spend weeks cleaning up that misunderstanding (euphemism for mindlessness).

In any case, PHOOEY can make you sound off with the best of the fire-eating evangelicals in the hell-and-brimstone milieu. So, please consider taking advantage of all these services. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and observe total silence during the Easter recess.

I.M. Otherself, CEO

Friday, March 26, 2010

Social Justice...or Injustice?

Much has been made in the media – or at least by the pundits – of the statement made recently by TV-radio personality Glenn Beck regarding the need for churchgoers to leave their congregations if their churches have as a primary goal the insistence upon “social justice,” presumably exercised within both the church and the government. Tons of wrath have been heaped upon Beck for that statement, one regular TV “talking head” on ABC’s Sunday morning clambake even calling him a terrorist for that or some other remark/position he’s alleged to have produced.

A prime element in President Obama’s campaign operation was his insistence upon the need for “social justice,” in this instance, obviously, as matter of public policy. He was promising to bring this circumstance to fruition when elected, leading the government into a posture guaranteeing “social justice.”

So…what is “social justice?” The definition of “social” is “of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society.” The definition of justice: “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” The keyword in determining justice is, of course, “just,” defined as “having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason.” (Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th Edition).

Most folks probably think of the legal system or the courts when they consider justice, recognizing that in a nation of laws one can be punished if in violation of the rules that must exist in order to protect people’s rights, as well as in order to protect people from each other…the life, liberty, pursuit of happiness thing. The arguments are made and the judge/jury decide guilt, innocence, or civil responsibility. Regardless of status, citizens are treated alike regarding access, with the law being applied equally – at least supposedly. Neither the judge nor the jury gives the participants anything, just makes decisions.

The differences in treatment of participants arise on the basis of the degree of culpability. A drug-pusher does not receive the same sentence as a cold-blooded murderer. According to the rules of the court, the two are given nothing and actually are required to give up something – their freedom, though for different time-periods (or even life itself). The miscreants are not interested in justice; rather, they plead for mercy.

As defined by “social,” the miscreants are members of a society interacting with their fellow citizens and impacting their welfare or being impacted. Indeed, everyone fits that description. The result, of course, is that while all play by the same rules, whether in violation or conformity, their outcomes are vastly different, depending upon variables all the way from poverty to wealth, indolence to work-ethic, or illiteracy to Ph.d- status. Should justice be the same for everyone as practiced in the legal system, or does making it “social” change it to something else?

For instance, should everyone pay the same percentage of income in taxes and receive government service according to the same percentage, as is not the case now? That would seem just but everyone does not pay the same percentage in taxes, though everyone receives the same government attention. Presently, the wealthier pay a greater percentage for the same protections that are received by the poorest, who may pay no taxes at all.

The current administration has defined “social justice” as the making of everyone just like everyone else regardless of income, services, education, incentive, whatever. To do this requires that everyone suffers an impact of one kind or another, some on the giving end and others on the receiving end…by law. Obviously, everyone is not like everyone else, so for this to happen some must make a mandated sacrifice in order for others not to make a sacrifice. This would appear to be “unjust” to many.

So…the president is not talking about “social justice” when he uses that term. He’s talking about “social mercy,” i.e., redistributing the assets of the best producers to the less-productive, or in many cases the non-productive for one reason or another, sometimes just laziness or various addictions or the kind of irresponsibility remarked by fornicating children into the world and then deserting them to be cared for by government. In doing this, he actually is defining “social injustice,” which has been the way of life in this country especially since the introduction of the income tax in 1913, or at least the graduated tax.

Another term for Obama’s approach is “socialism.” Property-owners or entrepreneurs used to pay the bulk of taxes. Under the new system, the government will “level the playing field” by simply taking the property eventually and combining it with the inordinate income taxes, or at least the total control of it, as in the case of General Motors, Chrysler, Fannie and Freddy and – soon – any business the new czar proposed by Senator Dodd simply designates as “too big to fail.” Where has that phrase been used before?

To the extent that the church should be interested – as a CHURCH, not in impacting government – in “social mercy,” Beck is right. Social justice is a killer of incentive, the circumstance in government leading to the mediocrity inevitably endemic to socialism. This is not to say that government shouldn’t help the disadvantaged. It should. Just don’t call it “social justice.”

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The New Welfare State (Banana Republic)

The totally partisan healthcare legislation that just became law was fashioned by a Congress and a president ignoring three key proposals advanced by republicans, namely, tort reform, caps on the humongous payments awarded by judges for “pain and suffering,” as if these could be quantified, and allowing interstate competition among insurance providers that would naturally drive down premiums. These are cost-cutting reforms, but the democrats went for tax increases instead…the welfare-state mentality, more commonly called “redistribution of the wealth.”

It is noteworthy in this regard that Obama made the matter of redistribution an integral part of his campaign, thus explaining in large part why he is interested in immigration reform that instead of beneficial reform will take the form of automatic amnesty and citizenship, the ultimate goal being the filling of democrat registrations with Latinos, especially, and others interested in partaking of the newest welfare state, financed by those who work and provide the resources for redistribution.

Whereas FDR and the heavily democrat Congress of the 1930s could not convince a public remarked by “breadlines” and unemployment rates averaging 19.2% between 1932 and 1940 and therefore the natural adherents to socialism to embrace that governance, Obama and the current demos have started the process in earnest. This is the sociological difference between that generation, sometimes called the “greatest,” and the current one, marked by a the “wimp” attitude that government exists mainly for what it confiscates and distributes, not for providing the opportunity to earn and keep.

Also noteworthy is the fact that as of 2008 and still largely the same configuration, 58 senators and 178 representatives – or 44% of total membership – was made up of Congresspople with law degrees. In other words, Congress is and has always been in modern times an arm of the American Bar Association. Lawyers thrive on civil tort cases; therefore, there will never be legislation touching that area.

Lawyers earn on the basis of payments accruing to tort cases; therefore, exorbitant pain-and-suffering awards made by judges, themselves lawyers, will continue to wreck the insurance system. Lawyering expertise also entered into the actual meat of the healthcare reform in that the solons made sure that the most onerous (expensive) parts of it are far into the out-years and consequently susceptible to many changes, allowing them time to slither out of accepting blame. For instance, complete coverage of 32,000 people, as claimed now, is scheduled for 2019, when nobody knows what the actual number and/or cost will be, if the law stands until then.

The near-term effects such as denying coverage for one reason or another having to do with the insurance providers – under existing policies – may cause insurance premiums to skyrocket, thus impacting everyone. Businesses will pass this added expense along to the consumer, thus increasing U.S. prices and further opting this country out of competition in the global market. Requiring coverage of “children” up to age 26 will increase costs and encourage the “children” not to bother covering themselves, even after they go to work.

The costliest aspects of reform will not kick in until well after the election of 2012, the obvious perk being that Obama will not have to explain the conditions that will accrue to the out-years in the new law. For instance, the insurance-premium subsidies to families realizing less than $88,000 a year (could be much higher by then according to the qualifier) will not kick in until 2014 and the 40% excise tax on the best insurance policies until 2018. This will mean the end of private insurance, another way of recognizing the forced entry of everyone into the government “option,” which, of course, will not actually be an option but a mandate.

Congressman John Dingell probably said it best when he said it takes time administratively to get ObamaCare in place to Control the People. Healthcare is important and the republicans dropped the ball by not paying more attention to it, even though Bush and gang did get the prescription-drug program in effect for the old codgers. The Obama administration is not about healthcare; rather, it’s about total government control of every citizen’s existence…the Olde Europe model that’s in such unholy disarray.

The Social Security act of the 1930s and the Medicare act of the 1960s were designed to help the most vulnerable – old people unable to care for themselves adequately. The average life-span for men in those years was 58 and 67 years, respectively, meaning that benefits would not accrue, on average, over a long period, if at all. The current law puts every citizen, regardless of age, health or ability to pay for treatment/insurance for self and family on Medicare, thus producing a welfare state, otherwise known as a socialist (banana republic) state. It’s all about control, stupid! This is the TRANSFORMATION Obama and his cohorts have begun…the new direction. Contemplate and weep!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, March 22, 2010

Corruption as Official Legislative Paradigm

It was a fitting end to the healthcare debacle/squabble when the House passed the Senate’s healthcare reform legislation in a night session, not that it couldn’t have done it in the normal run-of-the-mill daily routine. The president had already called off his important(?) weeklong trip to Indonesia and Australia, so there was no need for such an unusual circumstance as a night session. However, it was great theater, always a political perk since the networks treated the ordeal the same as a presidential election, with their well-coifed otherworldly anchors in place, their panels of “experts” to explain every nuance to the hoi-polloi, and all the rest.

The fitting-end, of course, was how the bill made it through, i.e., the mind-change (or sellout) of Democrat Congressman Stupak, who had fought the bill on principle, claiming the Senate bill included language that required the government to finance abortions, anathema to Stupak and his holdouts. Coincidentally, of course, an earmark of some $726,409 for three small airports just happened to go toward Stupak’s bailiwick late last week. The cover Stupak presented in a press conference in which he was backed, presumably, by congresspersons sharing his view and also changing their minds, was that the president promised him an executive order (but only after, not before passage, trust being as nebulous as is) absolutely denying any government payout for abortions…as if he could actually do that and make it stick.

The sellout route marked the passage of the Senate bill, also contrived in an “emergency” session on last Christmas Eve, as if that couldn’t also have been done between Christmas and New Year’s, or shortly thereafter. The buying and selling of votes in the Senate process was published/discussed ad infinitim in the media as the citizens were treated to how things are actually done in the august chambers of Congress, such terms as the “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Nebraska Compromise” coming online. The process stank!

Stupak should have kept his mouth shut about that executive order, which just on the basis of the provisions of the Senate bill will be worthless, if it actually is delivered. President Clinton issued an executive order dissolving the ban on homosexuals in the military in his first week in office in 1993. Before the end of the year, Congress had passed a law upholding that ban and trumping Clinton’s executive order, so all Clinton actually achieved was the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, still in force and allowing any homosexual (or any GI wanting a severance) an automatic discharge, no strings attached, whenever he/she wants out.

If Obama actually issues such an executive order he, as a former professor of Constitutional law, will actually engage in disengenuousness (actually outright dishonesty) that defies belief. Since one assumes that Stupak, also a lawyer and in the House in 1993, understands this, he made himself look terribly silly and in the process insulted the voters’ intelligence. Of course, he may think the voters are dumb enough not to see through this, but he may wonder about that in November, although he may be from a district that’s republican-proof.

Since the abortion matter was settled when the House passed the Senate bill, an executive order to the contrary about abortion is already null and void. It’s the law now, stupid, when the president signs. The normal procedure, of course, would have involved a conference committee of Senate and House members to settle the differences between the Senate bill and the one already barely passed by the House early last November (220-215, 218 votes needed at that time). This conference was conveniently bypassed when the House collectively held its nose and made the Senate bill the settlement…a done deal, both protocol and public be damned.

The poop now is that there will be a reconciliation process in which the House’s disagreements with the Senate will be assuaged. Anyone who believes that will happen is invited to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for seventy-nine cents. The tipoff on the Senate’s “promises” is seen in the letter that was supposedly signed to that effect by 51 senators and delivered to the House. The letter was made available to the media but without even one senator’s signature, much less 51. Surely nobody believes there was ever such a letter, not that it would have been worth the paper wasted on it anyway.

Business has always been done like this in Congress, but not in recent memory stretching back a long way have there been dishonesty and conniving to the extent witnessed in the last year. Legislators passed “stimulus” and “cap-and-trade” bills without reading them. It’s doubtful that even 10% of Congresspersons have read either of the healthcare bills, not that the House bill matters now anyhow. Speaker Pelosi probably doesn’t know what’s in the bill and even said publicly that the people would know the bill’s contents when it becomes law. It’s hard to imagine a statement that dumb, but she made it.

The czars in the White House know what’s in the bill. They know that it constitutes a long jump toward the socialism that Obama is intent upon delivering. His most recent remarks lambasting insurance companies give the tipoff on method, to wit, the dissolution of private insurers, driving every individual and institution into the so-called “public option,” which will not be an option at all but a requirement involving penalties for “violations.” The IRS will be the enforcer! As that happens, the government will make all decisions regarding treatment, not patients and their doctors. Unless changed, this means the end of the best healthcare system in history.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PEPSI as Paradigm for POLICY?

One of the latest decisions by a corporation to invoke the “herd,” i.e., “socialist,” approach in its business practices is the Pepsi Company, planning now to offer only sugarless, calorie-challenged beverages in schools. The reason claimed by the company is that kids are too fat, ergo, needing to be saved from themselves since fatness predisposes to physical problems. According to the experts who deal with this subject, some one-third of students in public schools are either overweight or obese.

Since two-thirds (67%) of students are not overweight or obese, their “right” to a normal Pepsi is determined by the minority (33%) of students. Since a normal Pepsi may actually be of benefit to the students of normal weight in maintaining that weight, their rate of susceptibility to good health is diminished by the denial of the properly sugared drink. Is that fair? Of course not, but that’s the societal trend in this country today – the “herd” approach and minority rule.

In socialism, one size fits all, whether it actually does or not. Under this rubric, a physician should be paid at the same rate as a go-go dancer since the value of work is determined not by skill and demand but by the fact that all the citizens actually need to buy is food and other life-supporting elements such as medicine and warmth, and the doc needs perhaps even less than the dancer, therefore, less income. The doc may be earning too much vis-à-vis his contribution to society and also for his own good, especially if he’s drinking a traditional Pepsi with (gasp) sugar in it.

According to agencies such as the NIH and CDC, some 47% of adults (142 million people over age 20) in this country are overweight, with nearly half of the overweight ones (67 million or 47%, also) being obese. Since these numbers are much deadlier than those of the students, one must conclude that for the sake of equity and benevolent considerations, Pepsi will pull all of its “normal” drinks from all groceries in the interest of saving the fatsos from themselves, the rest of the population be damned.

The fact that more than half the population is not overweight/obese and might actually need the traditional drinks to maintain their good health, at least weight-wise, should be of no consequence in light of the school-position taken by Pepsi. Left to their own designs, 47% of adults, many if not most of whom also decide what their children ingest to their detriment, will simply make their lives miserable, the natural conclusion in a socialistic society being that the minority will determine the circumstances under which everyone will survive and cheat death every day. In this case, the government should step in and make Pepsi, Coke and all other food/drink vendors re-design their products, leaving the majority of citizens to eat cake (non-sugar, of course), assuming they don’t like sugarless, calorie-challenged products.

Take the case of New York City. By law, trans-fat has been banned. By law, restaurants must indicate food-content percentages on their menus, as if anyone believes that is actually possible. As of now, the folks who live there will either voluntarily decrease their salt-intake or, by law, have the city reduce it by 5% per year for the next five years. This includes restaurant and packaged foods, although one wonders how the law in the case of the latter, prepared all over the world, can be enforced. This is an example of the zaniness of this stuff.

So…naturally, this leads to the health-care debacle in Congress now, with the president admitting to Fox News reporter Bret Baier on 17 March that he doesn’t know exactly how the bill will be passed (or otherwise foisted on the public) but that it doesn’t actually matter since reform will be voted as a good thing to do. Of course, there’s no bill yet, but Speaker Pelosi has promised that this “no-bill” will soon be available on the Internet for all citizens to non-read. They’re expected to non-read it before the weekend, else the prexy may have to avoid the East altogether and stay home to campaign, his specialty.

Added to that further bit of zaniness and more to the point is the fact that 80-85% of citizens have health insurance and are satisfied with the health-care system in this country. This means that some 15-20%, the distinct minority, is not satisfied, ergo, the whole system must be overhauled, including the ways it relates to and satisfies the vast majority of citizens, becoming, of course, socialistic in the process. One size fits all.

Obama and gang try to hide this fact by insisting that private insurance is not on its way out and that government bureaucrats will make no medical decisions, but thinking persons understand on the basis of what has been revealed so far that the design is for single-payer, total government control to be in place soon. These thinking persons also understand that the method used to do the deal will not be Constitutional; rather, it will be an under-the-table exercise more in line with the “communist” approach in place. It’s all about control, not health.

And so it goes…as the proverbial tail wags the dog!
Jim Clark

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Slimy Washington DEALS!

The magic term in Congress, as in many other enterprises, is, simply, DEAL. Deals are things that involve selling and buying in the marketplace. In Congress, they are better described by the term quid pro quo. In both cases, money is the driver. In both cases, SLIME might be the operative incentive, remarking something done behind closed doors or passed under the table or concluded under the cover of darkness – backroom deals, for instance. Before the time of the state primaries and/or caucuses, when delegates were not sewed-up long before the quadrennial convention, a presidential nominee was often decided in the smoke-filled backroom.

A certain amount of governmental subterfuge is always both suspected and accepted in a democratic society, especially since many if not most legislators view incumbency as actually more important than lawmaking and control of Congress by the legislator’s party paramount to anything else. Regarding probably most presidents, the most important thing is the LEGACY, and most anything to make it look good is acceptable, never mind who gets hurt or what gets mangled in the process.

Never in the considerably long memory of the keeper of this corner has the Washington establishment sunk to the level on which it now resides, with regard to subterfuge, slime, whatever. Both the administration and the Congress are steeped in skullduggery that defies the imagination. This seems crazy because the players know that transparency is inevitable in this day of instant news-dissemination on a 24/7 basis, enhanced by the obvious agenda-driven efforts of the various media culminating in the “anonymous sources” telling all to their media-cronies when it’s to their advantage. The result is two-way manipulation, with both the media and the bureaucrats held in VERY low esteem by the public.

The quid-pro-quo deals outlined graphically as the health-care bill moved through the Senate, with the sell-outs to “key” senators having virtually no limit and favoring one part of the citizenry over another as seen in the Nebraska/Louisiana/Florida/Union corruptions, is enough to induce retching. To see elected lawmakers as little more than tinhorn crooks buying and selling each other for advantage makes a mockery of the process.

In the House, a razor-thin majority regurgitated a bill months ago that was designed to have the government take over in the not-too-distant future the entire health-care industry, 17% of the GDP. The president has made it clear that he intends for this to happen, if not right now, at least sometime soon. It will happen as the insurance industry is wrecked instead of just better regulated. The House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader are expected to see that this happens, else not only will the president’s first year in office be a complete disaster but his LEGACY (and power to control) will take a drastic hit, maybe even sinking his chances for a second term.

The shenanigans connected to all of this are bad enough with regard to outright corruption, but the most egregious complaint here is that these buffoons are jerking the citizens around as if they owned the country and had cornered the intelligence universe. This is the worst it’s been in decades. It’s so utterly brazen. Lawmakers have passed bills involving hundreds of billions of dollars without even reading them…something, strangely, that they admit. This is another way of saying they aren’t smart enough and know it. Yet, they expect to gain the trust of the public.

For their part, republicans are having none of it…and they’re essentially right in that. The latest ploy – connecting student-loan legislation to the health-care bill apparently in order to make it financially feasible and therefore susceptible to the reconciliation protocol – just adds to the contempt with which the public holds Congress. In the bargain, the government will eventually completely take over the loan program, part of the CHANGE from representative government to socialism, obvious in spades now as the goal of the Obama administration – the U.S. as the western-hemisphere Europe. This is not even to mention the obvious breaking of the rules of the House in order to actually escape a vote on the Senate bill, something that’s probably un-Constitutional.

The deal now seems to be that the House will hold its collective nose and pass the corruption-formed Senate bill (or illegally bypass it), making it the actual result of a Senate-House conference committee that will never have to meet. Reconciliation action to appease the House is promised to come later but surely no one believes that will happen or at least that the Senate democrats actually give a fig about what the House wants. Just as the cloture rule has already been nullified in the Senate, with its bill to be ready for the president’s signature after being passed by the House, the reconciliation actions can be mangled in any way either legislative body sees fit, assuming such actions actually happen.

Perhaps not since President Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court in 1937 (using legislation instead of the amendment process outlined in the Constitution) has there been such low-life finagling in Washington as there is now. Roosevelt gave this as a reason in his speech on the subject: “because it [legislation] will provide a reinvigorated, liberal-minded judiciary necessary to furnish quicker and cheaper justice from bottom to top.” Does this sound familiar? Roosevelt wanted CHANGE…a gigantic CHANGE, a CHANGE to hopefully subvert the Constitution that had then stood, and does yet stand, the test of time.

Virtually nothing the president and Congress have done since January 2009 has worked, though the cost of what they’ve done is inordinately enormous, with the health-care bill aimed at blowing off the financial roof and plunging the country into insolvency, ultimately at the mercy of its creditors. Obama has indeed brought about CHANGE, with a complicit democrat Congress either woefully ignorant/selfish or completely insensitive to reality.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, March 11, 2010

DNC Memorandum #11

From the office of Tim Kaine, commissar, 12 March 2010

***It is hoped that no one will be unduly distressed at the title used above. For recent graduates, the term is defined in this country as: “one that attempts to control public opinion or its expression.” The definition known by most is: “a Communist party official assigned to a military unit to teach party principles and policies and to ensure party loyalty.” The title is being used as an experiment by the party in its effort to influence the proletariat, defined as: “the laboring class; especially: the class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labor to live; the lowest social or economic class of a community.” In other words, the proletariat (for recent graduates) is the lower class. Please do not be turned off by these terms because they are almost exclusively identified with communism, especially as relating to those at the top of the governmental process operating in secret and badgering (but not water-boarding, except in rendition) all the workers (lower classes).

***In keeping with the new commissar-system being introduced now in the party and subsequently in the populace, the meetings concerning health-care legislation in the House are being held in secret, not least because the proletariat (including nearly all House members regardless of income) is too ignorant to understand complex issues such as the need to spend more than one possesses in order to get rich. It’s felt, also, that the bourgeoisie, defined in this country as the “middle class,” is also too ignorant to understand important matters of state, so only the sharpest minds – in this case Speaker Pelosi and her comrades, with some help from the POTUS and VPOTUS – are making the decisions vital to saving the country. Please be advised to emphasize constantly that the middle class (where most of the vote resides) is being given the greatest consideration class-wise (at least in manipulating the media) but never – repeat, NEVER – refer to these people as “bourgeoisie” since that sounds so Marxist/Russian and some of them might actually know what it means in communism, i.e., the “ruling class.” Never mind about the proletarians since they’re too ignorant to understand or care. Call them ninnies if you like, but only in private. Until further notice for all practical purposes, the democrat leadership is understood to be the “ruling class,” but referred to both privately and publicly as PUBLIC SERVANTS.

***In keeping with the new system, the party leaders, aided by some 34 czars appointed by the Chief Commissar (POTUS, for recent graduates), have already begun taking over the financial systems, auto companies, lending institutions and social programs, such as the New York Commissariat’s in its laws regarding individual salt- and sugar-intake in order to save people from themselves. In the new system, the ruling class (government) will eventually own everything. In this regard, you are directed never to mention that the CC smokes cigarettes and may even use snuff. If the subject arises, refer to the CC as president, since the connotation usually awarded the behavior of a criticized CC would quite simply imply the removal of your worthless head. Since murder isn’t done at this time, offenders will be assigned to the Durbin Gulag and Killing-Field Center (this designation allowable under the new system) for indoctrination as to allowable speech, never mind anything written in the U.S. Constitution, which is already being studied at the highest levels for a complete overhaul if not complete expunging.

***Please be aware of the “Eric Massa” affair with respect to the Chief Commissar’s determination to do away with banning known homosexuals in the military. Congressman Massa’s behavior, having come to light recently, has caused a number of former naval-personnel colleagues to come forward and express unflattering remarks about his strange behaviors, such as groping as well as the attempted pants-removing “snorkeling” of a colleague on a ship. Do not – repeat, DO NOT – discuss this matter publicly or even around the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue/red-state-map, and Bush-dart-board. The president is determined to normalize such behaviors and will revert to CC status concerning the treatment of those discussing this matter. A word to the wise…even to the dumb proletarians among us!

***Under the new system, it will be necessary for me and those above me in the ruling class to know what each apparatchik in the DNC is saying/doing. This being the case, a manual is being prepared to instruct in the matter of eavesdropping, monitoring protestors, surveillance and reporting. Anyone not delivering the party line as outlined in the manual is to be reported to me and the method to be used is in the manual. This may sound un-Constitutional but it is for the general welfare, which is mentioned in the Preamble. Also, the manual will include instructions on how to disrupt protests staged by the republicans and tea-party gang. An example was seen outside the insurance-executives meeting in Washington recently, especially by members of the Service Employees International Union, which is actually an arm of the party, as is the AFL-CIO generally, though the Teamsters can sometimes be squirrely. Any staffer who wants to join a union, however, will be fired on the spot. The DNC will NOT be unionized under any circumstances.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Church/State DUPLICITY?

In an article in something called, James L. Evans, pastor of a Baptist church in Auburn, Alabama, said that he was “an ardent proponent of the separation of church and state.” Later in the column, he said this: “For instance, it should be people of faith at the forefront of the call for health-care reform. When Jesus says on Judgment Day, ‘I was sick and you did not take care of me,’ what will we say? We didn't want government-run health care so we just let 35 million people do without it?”

In other words, the good pastor delivered of himself the mother of all oxymorons, i.e., that separation of church and state is vital while at the same time it’s okay for the church, represented by him, to demand that the government do the church’s bidding, in reality absolving the church of what Christ told his followers (the church) to do, not the government.

Evans also had this to say: “Likewise it should be people of faith leading the charge to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.” The church didn’t send the troops to either Afghanistan or Iraq. Those actions were strictly government endeavors, approved by Congress. But Evans believes that the government should pay attention to the church’s (or at least his) demands and withdraw the troops. This is the pastor’s conception of the separation of church and state? One wonders what he would describe as a joining of church and state.

This is Evans again: “There is a time-honored role for faith to play in our public life. Since the days of the biblical prophets, the voice of faith has called for justice and peace in our common existence.” Okay…there seems to be nothing wrong with that statement insofar as the “voice of faith” makes itself heard. The problem arises when the term “justice and peace in our common existence” is defined. Evans thinks the church (or at least he) knows what justice and peace are, ergo, the government should fall in line with its/his thinking. Is that attitude one of separation of church and state? Obviously, justice and peace as defined by elected officials are thought by others to be worth fighting for. At this time, that’s the government’s position, ergo, the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. This doesn’t even get to the matter of just exactly what justice and peace are…or even “common existence.”

The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright was said to be speaking truth to power in his pulpit, using wildly exuberant damnations of this country even to the point of saying God should damn this country…he even said that was in the Bible. He can preach that from the pulpit all he wants to (and he does), but he (the church) can’t presume to tell the government what it should be doing, although he’s a popular – perhaps the highest profile African American in this country – to demand some type of reparations (outgrowth of black liberation theology or something like that). That’s his shtick with regard to what the government should be considering as policy, and it’s as wrong-headed as Evans’ demand on behalf of the church that the government change its troop deployments.

Evans wound up his piece with this: “If Amos were around these days, he would have much to talk about. And one of the things he would say might sound something like this: How is it that so many followers of Jesus concentrated in one country can't do a better job securing justice and peace for everyone, and especially for the least of these in our midst?”

And there’s the rub, of course. Substitute the word “church” for the word “country” in that quote, and that would be the question Jesus would ask. He expected no consideration from Caesar (the government) and did not attempt to run the government as a representative of the church. This is a lesson for Evans and other members of the “religious” community. They have the right to inveigh against government to their hearts’ content but no right to expect government to do their bidding officially…or even to listen. Shades of the Inquisition!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Philadelphia Redux – More Hot Air!

It could be that the president has a soft place in his heart for Philadelphia, that city of brotherly love in Pennsylvania, the state he visited back in 2008 a short time before he described people who were obsessed with grasping their Bibles and firearms and rooting out illegal immigrants in the process…right before visiting Pennsylvania again. Maybe he meant the “typical whites” to which he referred in the campaign, sorta suggesting his grandmother to be one such, i.e., a bit leery of being around people “not like us.” Anyway, he picked the Philadelphia area on 08 March to deliver a stem-winding message to Congress to pass immediately his health-care bill (though he actually doesn’t have one).

The prexy’s March 2008 speech, almost exactly two years ago, was referenced as a speech on race. Apparently, this speech was meant to be part of a defining moment of his candidacy not long after it came to light that Obama had sat under the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who had a habit of castigating this country on a regular basis, outlining the white folk as trolls, more or less, and had screamed from his pulpit (still everywhere on YouTube) that God should damn America and that such action was in the Bible, even though America did not exist in the Bible days.

The 2008 speech, predictably, was largely the usual “slavery boilerplate” served up by the likes of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, but in actuality was a lame apologetic for Wright, a large portion of the POTUS teleprompter being dedicated to that subject. It didn’t fly with the reverend (and certainly not most citizens), probably because Obama mentioned that he didn’t agree with all he’d heard Wright pontificate in 20 years, whereupon Wright went on a tear (National Press Club) saying more bad things about the country. The upshot, of course, was that Wright was thrown under the bus and more recently has stated that the Jews surrounding Obama have kept him (Wright) from connecting with his former congregant.

There was nothing new in the speech on 08 March 2010, featuring a rousing campaign-style oratory full of sound and fury but signifying very little. It was delivered on a college campus, where it could be safely assumed that any entitlement of any kind was considered a “right” and that republicans are just a notch lower than Adolph Hitler, that idea probably ingested by faculty courtesy of Senate Majority Whip Durbin, who described American GIs a while back as roughly the equivalent of the dreaded Storm Troopers Hitler sic-ed on the Jews in the 1930s-40s.

Obama declared war on the evil insurance companies in his speech, probably with some justification, but certainly not enough to call for his preference, the complete takeover of the health-care system. Medicare came on line in the 1960s but had been so badly managed by the government by the 1980s that it was turned over to private insurance companies for its administration. One cringes to think about the many bureaucracies introduced in the current bills trying to manage the entire system. The result would be chaos on a scale too scary to even imagine. Fraud, waste, other corruptions would undermine it to death.

The president also declared war on the lawmakers in Washington, accusing them of “gaming” the politics, worrying about positioning themselves for the elections in November instead of doing what he said was RIGHT, apparently figuring his conception of RIGHT as being totally superior to theirs. In this, he was castigating his own party, which barely snuck through health-care legislation last year, the Senate in a frantic exercise on Christmas Eve and the House by an excruciatingly thin majority, which seems now in danger of being diminished further in November. Reason: All the polls indicate: (1) Something like 80% of the citizens are satisfied with their care, though perhaps not its cost, and (2) The whole idea is anathema to the public, which already holds the Congress in such low esteem that it distrusts the legislators to do anything that won’t hurt.

Of all people to point fingers at “spineless” Congressmen, Obama, more than anyone else, should stuff it. He voted “present” at least 129 times as an Illinois legislator instead of taking a stand on issues. He castigated the republicans for not doing anything about health-care for 10 years but didn’t mention the prescription-drug bill for old codgers passed in the republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by George Bush in 2003. Even with the so-called “donut hole,” it has been of great benefit to those needing more medicine as they get older in order to keep it all together.

The Philly speech may represent desperation on Obama’s part. Without question, his minions are arm-twisting to an extent one can only imagine, on the basis of media coverage. The Senate bill was passed by more than just one well-documented case of bribery to Senators to vote the RIGHT way, for instance. The unions got unbelievable and unfair windfalls vis-à-vis the rest of workers, the payoff for their activities in getting Obama elected. The president, at a time when the nation is living on borrowed money, is proposing a package that will bankrupt the country when he should be focusing on getting people back to work. This is disgusting, but it’s the name of the GAME in Washington now. The president referred to the enterprise as SPORT.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The "NANNY" State in Spades!

It’s been sad in recent years to watch individual non-society-threatening freedom being eroded in this country, both individually and collectively. People have to buckle up in their cars whether they want to or not. Owners of establishments who don’t wish to disallow smoking therein must do so anyhow. Or…they must hire and fire not on the basis of job-requirements but on the basis of quotas, never mind the extra expense involved, usually passed on to the consumer.

This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be laws to protect citizens from other citizens, such as those relating to speed restrictions on roads or to the requirement that drivers be sober and not distracted. Without laws governing societal conduct, there would be anarchy, so this isn’t about extreme libertarianism.

The third example above is a case in point with reference to freedom. Wal-Mart has a distribution facility in London, Kentucky, in which there are about 900 employees plus another one hundred contracted truck-drivers. In this huge warehousing operation, employees must be able to do heavy lifting. Anyone who has ever lifted a hundred-pound bag of spuds knows what this means. Since this is the case, Wal-Mart attempted to hire people it felt could do this job, the ultimate decision apparently being to employ mostly men for the quite obvious reason that, collectively, men are considerably physically stronger than women.

In some areas, women are mentally stronger than men, but at this facility the premium was placed on physical strength. A while back, a lady charged discrimination when she applied for a job at this facility and was turned down, she said, just because she was a woman. Well, yes…that might have been the case, not hard to believe. It’s perfectly obvious that if two employees instead of one are needed to heft a hundred pounds of spuds when one man can do it alone, the cost to the company for labor goes up to be passed on to the consumer while also thereby degrading the company’s competitive position in the marketplace, not to mention its responsibility to its shareholders.

So…the lady sued Wal-Mart nearly 10 years ago and the settlement just came down but only after it had become a class-action suit just ripe for any woman who could make a similar charge, real or imagined, to get in on the action. Wal-Mart settled for $11.7 million to be divvied up among all these ladies and any others who can still get in on the windfall, along with $250,000 in “administration costs.” One can only guess at what the real winners received – the lawyers – but they probably got a third of the stash, at least.

In other words, Wal-Mart could not conduct its business in the most efficient way possible but had to do business according to the way the government decides is “fair,” recognizing diversity as paramount in hiring, not the satisfying of qualifications for employment, in this case, physical strength. The next step in the process could be that inevitable “back injury” for which the company insurance must be responsible or – much better – a woman’s lawsuit in the interest of collecting a gazillion bucks for the ruination of her ability to make a living, also real or imagined.

Suppose a man applies for a job in Wal-Mart’s office but can neither type nor use a calculator. Will he be hired? Of course not, even though virtually no physical strength is required! He simply lacks the proper qualifications. Does anybody care about that? Of course not, since nobody gives a fig and men don’t cry! They just go looking somewhere else.

There’s a beautiful irony in all of this. Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million workers, of whom 63% are women, even though they make up only 50.7% of the population. According to diversity-think, men are entitled to 49.3% of the jobs but hold only 37% of them. Why is that? Men are walking the streets these days looking for work at the same time Wal-Mart is discriminating against them…actually owing them 690,200 jobs but giving them only 518,000. Now…is that fair?

Living in a “nanny state” is no fun, but the progressives are determined to make this country into one so profoundly and correctly diversified that government will regulate everything and every service. People will become robots, except for those at the top, of course. Just ask Wal-Mart. In the meantime, all you men walking the streets…FILE THAT LAWSUIT! Some 172,000 of you are ENTITLED!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, March 05, 2010

Obama Health-Care Theatrics

There’s nothing more insulting than the hokum connected with staged performances advertised as something else. The latest good example was the president’s grandiloquent effort on 03 March, held in the East Room of the White House before a throng of folks whose identities it would be amusing to discover. Did they come out of the woodwork in the building or were they invited to attend this presidential production (cronies or cronies of cronies?) billed as his description of HIS health-care plan?

The expectation here was that the president was to hold something more like a press conference at which he would lay out his details – that’s DETAILS – and then take questions in order for any matters to be cleared up. Instead, as shown by one camera-shot (probably by mistake) as the president made his grand entrance, a teleprompter had been set up. The president then launched into yet another speech, apparently never straying from that word machine in front of him, giving his head the usual in-your-face-toss once in a while, and generally making himself look foolish. It wasn’t even great theater.

It boggles the mind that Obama had actually lined up a bunch of folks in white lab-coats or hospital-garb to stand behind him in light of that silly distributing of – yep – white lab-coats during that famous health-care affair in the Rose Garden last year. That was probably something that the cameras were not supposed to catch, also, but the hokum was so blatantly obvious that one could only laugh at such sophomoric antics. Doctors and nurses have a right to be offended by such an insulting effort to use them as props for a speech. That was sorta like using expert witnesses at a trial.

His speech was notable for its vagueness, like most of his speeches advertised to lay out HIS plans. It seemed to say more than anything else that the president was declaring war on insurance companies, mentioning one in particular, and that (gasp and three flutters of the spleen!!!) he had found common ground with republicans on a number of issues, ergo, that blessed PARTISANSHIP had been reborn, as if he gives a fig about any such thing, proven conclusively by his promise that health-care reform would occur as the result of using the reconciliation protocol, the republicans be consigned to where the heat is gangbusters.

Actually, as noted over and over on media productions, the president has no plan. His only plan is that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid get on the ball, whip their respective constituencies in shape and do whatever he wants, that is, assuming they know what he wants, i.e., assuming HE knows what HE wants, which is assuming maybe the impossible. Okay…maybe that’s too harsh. HE probably wants the House to get on the ball and pass that pesky Senate health-care plan, so reconciliation can get started, though maybe he figures that if the House does that he can count that as the end of the conference process and just sign it into law and be done with it.

Admittedly, some insurance companies have pushed the envelope. Their perfidy is not different from a host of other corporations – think Enron and World-Com and Freddie/Fanny – that do this all the time. But placing premium-caps by fiat on these companies will do what the president said would not happen, i.e., drive them out of business, thus forcing everyone to accept the public option, which would not be exercising an option at all. Or, if the government forces such action, the companies could engage in collusion and keep prices high…until the inevitable breakdown.

In the early 1990s, the democrat governor and democrat-controlled legislature in Kentucky legislated what the health-insurance companies could and could not do. The result was that some forty-odd companies (all but one or maybe two) simply left the state, leaving the citizens to pay the premiums set by the remaining company. In other words, there was no competition, the only thing that drives prices down. Companies operate on state-by-state licenses, meaning that national competition is foreclosed and a handful of companies in each state set the prices. A more recent example of “universal health-care” is Hawaii, forced to give up its program.

This isn’t to say that efforts to repair a less-than-adequate health-care system are not needed. Obama’s actual plan – HIS plan – is government-controlled health-care top-to-bottom, cradle-to-grave. The media folks who talk about consequences connected to a government takeover of 17% of the nation’s GDP need to be carefully heard. The cuts in Medicare, especially in payments to doctors, for instance, could mean that doctors will stop seeing Medicare patients, desert the profession or that potential doctors will not enter it. The threat that doctors will also bypass Medicaid in the states is also serious. Result: rationing of health-care account shortage of doctors, thus medical decisions being ultimately made by bureaucrats, not doctors and citizens.

The republicans have insisted that the well-over 2,000-page bill is too complicated, far too coercive, and that the effort should be re-started from scratch. Just the transparent and well-documented corruption involved in “buying and selling it” are reason enough. It’s doubtful that most legislators understand it and may not have even read it. This is the way to go, and no ostentatious/intimidating ceremony complete with teleprompter and human props fools anyone.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

DNC Memorandum #10

From the office of Governor Tim Kaine, convener, 01 March 2010

***First, a word of apology for not advancing the regular monthly memorandum for February, though I had it scheduled for Feb. 29 but was advised that the day did not exist (little joke there). Recent days have been frantic, what with advising the president on his state-of-the-union address, explaining how those thoughtless interlopers crashed the first state dinner and beat their gums with the president, and later working with the president on teleprompter protocols that would guard against the use of terms such as corpse-man, Marine Corpse, and Peace Corpse. For those who have just graduated an Ivy League school, the word is corps, pronounced as the middle of an apple is. The rumor that the president said he mispronounced the word twice just to see if people were awake is not true and Rahm Emanuel said he would not do it again. A diversity-aware red/yellow/black/white paper will be issued soon to explain why the White House social secretary who staged the state dinner was disallowed to testify in Congress account executive privilege even though Attorney General Holder and Congressional democrats are still trying to drag in Bush colleagues Rove and Miers, also given executive privilege a while back.

***The latest rumor that Green-peace, Nader’s Raiders, NOW, Smokers Anonymous, and the nasty Congressional republican caucus have joined in exploring impeachment possibilities account the president’s continuing to smoke is untrue. Nader, speaking for the entire cabal that never was and never is and never will be, flatly denies any such effort and has insisted that these groups will not meet again. The president has explained that trying times call for extreme measures and that cigarette smoke clears not only his sinuses (especially the menthols) but also clears his head, citing as an example his smoking a complete carton the day before his Berlin speech in 2008 and winning over all of Europe to the concept that community-organizing is the very best preparation for being president. Pressperson Robert Glibs (okay…Gibbs, still a small joke there) has also explained that the president is not a threat to health-care-related expenses since he will die before getting so old that he will cost millions per month surviving into senility and actually is doing the country a favor by saving money. Caution: The DNC official position is that only idiots smoke for any reason other than head-clearing and that, even then, only geniuses qualify.

***Please be advised that in answer to questions about the president’s high-normal cholesterol condition you are to change the subject if possible; however, if the matter is beaten to death, simply say that Bush had good cholesterol, a condition that made him a poor president, and that President Obama is therefore risking his life (artery plaque-buildup, for recent college graduates) in order to be a good president. The rumor that Senator Kerry has offered one of his Purple Hearts to the president in honor of this sacrifice (if he can find one, that is…still looking along the fence over which he threw it in 1970) is untrue. Anyone finding a medal will be given a week’s vacation in Juarez but will have to furnish his/her own bodyguard.

***The health-care conference on 25 February was a huge success and staffers are reminded to use this lie in all contacts. Be careful in visual presentations not to use pictures/comments of Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid, who, sitting near the president, may or may not have been affected by the smell of Marlboro Menthols on the president’s clothes…allergies and all that. Senator Reid appeared as whining and Speaker Pelosi appeared as not being all-there at all. In sum, they didn’t help the cause and even furnished proof that the health-care panels enacted already in the legislation might have to rule adversely someday in any question as to spending money on their survival. In any case, do not – repeat – DO NOT use the term “trillion” in your presentations, since that scares the little people who don’t understand the vice president’s thesis concerning the proper way to use more and more spending in order to avoid bankruptcy. Rather, use some form of “billions” or, better, “thousands,” not that it actually matters much to the great unwashed, “Joe the Plumber” types.

***The president has begun his campaign for 2012 and White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will be campaign manager. At least, this is the latest poop, not the usual kind but the propaganda kind, although it’s all pretty much the same. The campaign will be run out of Chicago and not the Capital for obvious reasons. It’s well-known that John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1960 on the back of the Chicago vote in which even more dead people than were enumerated in the cemetery records voted. In fact, former president Chester A. Arthur voted in Chicago even though he was born in Vermont, lived in New York, died in November 1886, and was a republican.

***Homeland Security Chief Napolitano has informed the DNC that she’s heard staffers using the terms terrorism and kill with reference to the Ft. Hood massacre perpetrated by Major Hasan. This has offended some Muslims, especially those close to the Rt. Rev. Dr. Honorable Imam Louis Farrakhan, whose help in the Chicago campaign is absolutely vital since living humans (and a multitude of cats and dogs) also vote in Chicago, so the massacre is to be described now as people breath-challenged by a man-caused disaster. Anyone violating this directive will be sent for attitude-adjustments to Senator Durbin’s indoctrination facility, though it is not to be called the Durbin Gulag and Killing-Field Center, as some around the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue/red-state-map, and Bush-dart-board have been heard to do. Senator Durbin has explained that he meant only the American GIs in Iraq and Guantanamo (called Bush cowboys) are like Nazi Storm Troopers and Stalin’s “whoopee killers,” not the GIs President Obama has sent to Afghanistan (called peace-keepers). Napolitano is demanding a kinder and gentler FEMA, beginning with the proper verbiage.

***Until further notice, Congressman Rangel is not only not in prison but is still chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In view of the tax practices (or non-practices) of Treasury Secretary Geithner, the Ethics Committee is viewing Rangel’s mistake of a few hundred thousand dollars (who’s counting these days anyway?) as a mere slip of a pen by his chief clerk, who doesn’t understand Spanish real-estate contracts (or even English ones) and has accepted blame for all non-payments and lies, alleged, of course. Also, no money has been found in Rangel’s deep-freeze among the chicken wings, which proves that he’s far more ethical than former congressman Jefferson, who, at last report, was eating KFC smuggled into the Big House, where he’ll be living for a few more years.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Fayette PDR Rip-off!

In the Lexington Herald-Leader of 28 February, columnist Tom Eblen extolled the virtues of the Development of Purchase Rights program, which is designed to pay Fayette County property owners for promising never to develop their properties from farming usage (mostly horse and cattle business now that tobacco has faded) to anything else. The city and state pay the landowners an average of $2,500 per acre, in the process of which the land is devalued for tax purposes, meaning that the owners not only get the cash but also get the tax break. The Urban/County government has contributed $26.1 million and the state/federal another $31.5 million since 2000, which, of course, means that Fayette taxpayers have anted up thrice for 10 years. Add the tax-break others must make up and a fourth rip-off is in place.

The added tax burden per household is not enormous but the principle stinks. The Urban-County government, accountable to ALL the taxpayers, has now spent $26.1 million in a very short time to bribe property owners not to “develop” their land, notwithstanding the fact that they can’t do anything with it, in the first place, that’s against the planning-zoning requirements as enforced by – yep, you guessed it – the Urban-County government. This means that this obvious and pernicious duplication and overlap of responsibilities awards the “haves,” those folks owning valuable rural land at the expense of the “have-nots,” those folks who live in town and are stuck with nothing to “develop,” thus making them ineligible for the bribe.

The local budget includes $1.1 million for these land-bribes this year even though the government is strapped for cash just to fix potholes. In the last map I saw (2006), 98.3% of the PDR properties were so far away from the service area that they would never be developed anyway…unless, of course, the right palms in government might be crossed, not unheard of in Kentucky. The map of 2009 included with the article didn’t define the service area but it’s a leadpipe cinch that little has changed. In the meantime, the property-owners have complete and normal use of their operations since the government has bought absolutely nothing tangible from them.

The supreme irony lies in the fact that these farms are already actual developments (horse-farms or dairy-farms, for instance, not to mention tobacco), the upshot being that PDR-bribes go to developers, not non-developers. That’s government…at its worst…and there’s quite a waiting list of owners out there, waiting for their turn at the public trough. Also ironic…Eblen suggests that PDR is good environmentally but certainly doesn’t mention how the extensive use of chemical fertilizers used on farms affects everything from wells to streams.
And so it goes. Jim Clark