I’m not Laughing Anymore
Well, Friday rolled around, and Paul was still broke, and being rather fond of knees that bent in only one direction, and knowing that Peter would enjoy altering that natural limitation of motion, Paul went back to Stanley and borrowed $50, promising to pay him back on Tuesday.
This cycle repeated itself for a few weeks, with Paul borrowing from Stanley to pay Peter and vice versa, until they all three met in a bar on Wednesday.
Paul said, "Peter, you know that I'm going to borrow $50 from you on Tuesday so I can pay back Stanley, right?"
Peter said,"Yep." Peter is a man of few words.
Then Paul said,"Stanley, you know that I'm going to borrow $50 from you on Friday so I can pay Peter back, right?"
Stanley merely grunted, being a man of even fewer words than Peter.
Then Paul said, "Well, since you both know that I'm going to be borrowing $50 from you to pay the other, why don't you just trade $50 back and forth between the two of you and leave me out of this?"
That used to be a funny joke until the Obama administration started using that same process to prop up our banking system.
By the way, those of you from Tennessee remember Jake Butcher, who ran a similar scam with his banks. He went to prison, and a lot of people lost their life savings in the ensuing collapse.
But hey, it might work out better this time, right?
The AP is reporting that the White House is now backing the idea of verification before distributing benefits, an idea rejected by Democrats in the House. He may have been rude, but Joe Wilson's two words are still echoing in the White House.
You know, after watching the speech again, I get the impression that Obama may not actually know much about the legislation his administration is pushing. When Wilson erupted, while Pelosi looked shocked and irritated, and Biden looked, well, like Biden, Obama looked confused, like he really thought that HR 3200 did what he said it did. Given the new direction by the White House, it feels almost as if he read the legislation for the first time, realized that Wilson was right, and moved to correct the oversight. This isn't as far-fetched a supposition as you might think. Remember, this is the president who had to have his own executive orders explained to him as he signed them.
That attack continues today, but like a magician, our enemy has used the distraction of a physical attack to attempt to distract us from the real one, the attack on our culture, our ideals, and our freedom. Sadly, our enemy has been almost completely successful in this second front. What he could never achieve through military might, he is easily accomplishing using the apathy, lethergy, and weakness of the modern American citizen.
Our president stood before the nation and baldly lied to us, and we save our outrage for the one man brave enough to call him on it. A friend of mine posted all day yesterday about the consequences Wilson faces, and how much money has been donated to his opposition since the speech, yet when called on it, tries to hide behind a sense of humor. "I get amused..." It must be coincidence that all the things that strike him as funny show Joe Wilson in a negative light.
Even worse than his apparent inability to stand squarely behind his beliefs, when presented with hard facts demonstrating that Obama was lying, my fired decides, without doing any research, or looking at anything, that there's more to the story and he fabricates a hypothetical problem. He would rather make things up in his head than look at the facts.
That's why we're losing this battle for our country. Our friends and neighbors would rather believe in warm comfortable fairy tales than the cold hard truth.
I've come slowly and reluctantly to a painful realization about the nature of most people. Given the choice between citizenship with an uncertain future, and subjugation with security, all too many of them are choosing to be servants.
Most people don't want freedom. It's hard work. It's risky. It's uncomfortable. Instead, they want security, and if having that security means they aren't allowed to choose for themselves, for many of them, that's a bonus. No choice means no responsibility. When things go wrong, they are free to blame somebody else. They want to be taken care of.
That's human nature and our enemy is making great use of that nature.
All of this leads to the very interesting question, "Who is our enemy?"
Without putting on my tin foil hat, Barack Obama received more money through untraceable small contributions than John Kerry spent in his entire presidential campaign. Let that sink in for a moment. Obama spent enough money to fund an entire presidential campaign without anybody knowing where that money came from. Somebody with a tremendous amount of resources, both monetarily and organizationally, may have purchased the White House. Who in the world has that kind of resources? It's a pretty small list. It gets even smaller when you add in the ideological viewpoints that would want an Obama presidency.
But what is really important here is that this tactic fails the very instant that Americans decide to be citizens and not subjects. If enough of my friends and neighbors shake off the lethergy, wean themselves from the government teat, and decide that they will stand on their own as free men, to succeed or fail by their own efforts, then the enemy's strategy fails.
Free men know that the government exists to serve them, not the reverse.
Free men know that they have no right to the labor of another man.
Free men demand honesty from their leaders.
Free men understand that diplomacy is not another word for compromise.
Free men work hard, just for the chance of success, and are willing to make sacrifices and take risks to achieve great things.
Free men stand up for themselves, and encourage those who cannot stand to accomplish all that they can.
Free men know that character is more important than success.
A man or woman who lives by these principles cannot be a tool of our enemy.
But there are too few of us. America is sinking under the weight of its own complacency. We can't reverse the process; there aren't enough of us. All we can do is stand our ground, speak the truth, and see how many of our fellow Americans we can pull to safety before the coming collapse.
More Obama Math
I was wrong. They are that stupid. (Notice I'm linking to NPR, to avoid any claims of right wing bias of my source.)
White House economists said Thursday the Obama administration's recovery efforts have saved or created more than one million jobs so far.
Now this a couple of paragraphs later:
The report is certain to draw criticism because the U.S. economy has actually lost about 2.5 million jobs since the stimulus was signed in February. Because the White House number is based on economic models, it's impossible to say for certain what that number would have been without the stimulus.
We've lost 2.5 million jobs since the stimulus was signed, yet the White House claims that if they hadn't acted, we would have lost another 1 million jobs. NPR says the truth of this claim is hard to judge because it is based on economic models. IN other words, instead of relying on real world fact6ual data, the Obama Administration prefers to guess. So let's see how well they guess. The next graph, from Innocent Bystanders, shows a comparison of the Obama Administration's economic forecasts predicting the effects of their stimulus package to the actual unemployment rate, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Notice that real unemployment data shows almost no relation to the projections made by the Obama team. Also notice that the point of inflection, where the rate of job losses begins to slow, occurs in the 2nd quarter of 2009, the same time it would have occured in the Obama team's projections if there were no stimulus package. Also notice that the slope of the unemployment data continues to mirror that of the projections without the Stimulus, not the projection of the effects of the stimulus package. Most importantly, notice that the Obama projection has unemployment peaking at just under 8%. According to the BLS, we're at 9.7%
14.9 million people out of work, 2.5 million of them since the stimulus package was signed, and this joker claims to have created a million jobs. He really thinks you are stupid enough to believe this lie.
Is he right?
Just how stupid are you?
First Things First
Oh yeah, that's right, he called Republicans liars. He just used a lot more words to do so. He's articulate, don't you know.
You Be The Judge
Yes, that's SC Rep Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during his speech to Congress, calling him out specifically on Obama's claim that "The reforms that I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." So who is telling the truth?
Obama supporters point to Section 246 of HB 3200, which says:
H.R. 3200: Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS: Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
So Obama was telling the truth, right? Not so fast sparky. All that this section says is that those here illegally will not get Federal subsidies to buy health insureance, but that is only one small part of Obama care. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
CNN noted that HR 3200 requires all individuals carry health insurance, and that there was no system for verification of legal residency built into the bill. Given that millions of illegal immigrants work in the US today using fraudulent documents, it's no stretch to imagine that they could use those same documents to obtain those subsidies. An amendment to add a verification process already in use to prevent those here illegally from enrolling in Medicare was defeated by Democrats. The loophole is there and the Democrats want it to stay there.
Jon Feere notes that illegal aliens are specifically exempted from the requirement to carry insurance and the mandatory fine the rest of us will pay for not carrying insurance. Yep, you heard right. If you or I decide we don't need health insurance, we will be fined by the Federal government. If an illegal alien doesn't want to carry coverage, that's OK with President Obama. And since, as James Edwards writes, those illegal immigrants will still receive medical care at the nation's hospitals and emergency rooms, they are getting a completely free ride at the taxpayer's expense.
Hmm...things are looking a litle dicey for the President. Now throw this inconvenient little fact into the mix: The President and his supporters are quick to claim that there are somewhere around 40 million uninsured people in America.
You hear Pelosi say it.
You hear Reid say it.
You here the New York Times say it.
You hear Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann say it.
What you won't hear them say, is that 10-12 million of that number is comprised of, you guessed it, illegal aliens. If Obama wasn't planning to cover them, why would he include them in that number? To dishonestly inflate the numbers in order to ease the passage of his plan?
Wouldn't that qualify as a lie?
As the refs say, upon further review, the ruling on the field stands. The President was telling a lie.
As somebody who has been known to speak truth to power, usually with a 200w amplifier and a full quiver of sarcasm, I fully empathize with Joe Wilson. I don't like being lied to. I don't like being manipulated by an empty suit bellowing emptier rhetoric. And after I've had a bellyful, polite behavior takes a back seat to integrity. Like the man said, "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." I would just as soon the President tell me the truth, that in order to get this thing passed, and to get reelected come 2012, he needs the Latino vote, and that's why he's leaving massive loopholes in this bill and yes, lying about it.
UPDATE: By the way, for all of you hypocrites crying over the disrespect shown to the sitting President, what did you have to say on this day:
Yeah, that's what I thought.
UPDATE II: It's not just me. Wow. When even the Associated Press feels compelled to notice that a democrat is shading the truth, things must be getting pretty bad for President Obama.
Obama Care in a Nutshell
The first group will be the elderly. As Obama himself has said, we need to decide whether to expend medical resources to help patients who may not have much life left to them. Instead of a hip replacement, they'll get pain meds instead as they wait in a hospice to die. The second group affected will be children with developmental problems, both physical and mental. As Zeke Emanuel, President Obama's Health Care Reform Adviser has written, since their societal usefulness will be limited, it's only fair that their ability to draw on society's resources should also be limited, so that the rest of the public might benefit from a more useful allocation of limited resources.
The irony here is that the group which pays the most into the health care system, young and middle aged adults, also use the least amount of the resources.
And that, my friends, raises a very interesting question. If we're raising all of this money through new taxes and such to fund health care, yet we're eliminating the primary consumers of the health care dollar, where will all of that lovely money go? If I were a cynical man, I'd bet that the insurance companies, the AMA, and the various legal groups who are backing this monstrosity might just be in line to benefit financially from this legislation, which should increase their income while limiting their outlays.
Ok, so I am a little cynical.
It’s Labor Day (AKA The Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Cement Integration Day)
I've worked in three places that were unionized. In every one of them, productivity was negatively impacted by the union. I saw workers on probation being told to slow down and work less, because they were making the rest of the employees in their shop look bad. I saw shops file grievance after grievance against other shops in the same plant for doing their work. I saw union workers watch somebody do work, then file a grievance, rather than telling them it wasn't their work. I watched union workers commit major safety breaches, get fired, then rehired on arbitration, with full back pay. I saw union workers go on strike just because it was the third Friday of the quarter. I saw a union organize a hostile takeover of another union, resulting in a loss of pay and benefits for the workers involved. (BTW, that was the SEIU.)
I'm sure there are good unions out there somewhere. I'm sure there are shops where the union works with management for the benefit of all.
Of course, I also believe in the Tooth Fairy.
From the Mouths of Babes
Game Thoughts: Just Remember, It Was Western Kentucky
It was fun to see a Tennessee team not play down to the level of their competition.
And it was nice to see a Tennessee team play with passion, and look like they were having fun.
But, this was the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, not the Florida Gators. Heck, they aren't even the Kentucky Wildcats.
Tennessee failed to score in the first quarter, stopped not by the Hilltopper defense but by their own mistakes. If the mistakes can be chalked up to first game jitters and not the Vols usual lack of discipline, then we are looking good for the rest of the season. We won't win them all, but we will play them all,and that's somthing that has been lacking for the Vols.
I liked Kiffin's decision to go for it on 4th down in the third quarter. Against WKU that's a good call. Against an SEC opponent, not so much.
I liked our running game. We ran with power and a bit of flash,and the offensive line opened some monstrous holes. Hardestyran better than I've ever seen him run before,and the new kidslook pretty exciting as well.
Monte Kiffin's defense simply smothered the HIlltoppers.
UT's freshmen contributed significantly, as Kiffin predicted, something that will help recruiting next year, not to mention our performance this year.
I give the Vols an A for this week. UCLA comes to Neyland Stadium next week, providing a tough early test for the Vols.
Viewsonic Monitor issues
I fired up the computer to start my day off checking me email, and my primary monitor stayed dark. At first, I though the display had died, or that the graphics card might have been the culprit, but Windows recognized that the monitor wasn't working and switched the primary display to my second monitor. (That's very cool programming, by the way.) I did some basic troubleshooting, including pulling up the device manager and discovered that the computer didn't see the monitor as a plug and play compatible monitor and had loaded a generic driver for that monitor. The second monitor was still recognized as the Viewsonic monitor and it was using the right driver.
I swapped the monitors between ports on the graphics card, and the problem moved with the monitors. I swapped the primary with the secondary monitor using the Windows controlpanel, and then using the nVidia control panel and the problem stayed with the same monitor. At this point, it was clear to me that the problem was with the monitor so I called tech support.
First there was the communication gap. I speak English as a first language. The nice young man on the other end of the call did not.
Second, I understand basic troubleshooting. The nice young man on the other end did not.
He tried to tell me that the problem was probably with the driver and wanted me to download the most current one. I explained to him that I had two identical monitors on the computer. Both monitors were using the same driver. One monitor worked; the other didn't. Obviously, it wasn't a driver issue. Following his script, he insisted that I download and install the latest driver.
I called back and got another tech support rep. This time she was a nice young woman who had trouble with the English language. I explained the situation to her, including the fact that I had updated the drivers, swapped monitors and cables and that the problem followed the monitor. Her suggestion was to try the monitor on another computer. I explained to her that I had already accomplished that step of trouble shooting by placing the monitor on another port of the video card. She insisted that I had to try the monitor on another computer to verify that it was a monitor problem.
I did it.
The monitor still didn't work.
I called tech support again and got the young lady again. I explained what I had done, and said I needed to return the monitor for service since I had proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the monitor was defective. Apparently, I hadn't done enough. She wanted me to get another cable and see if that fixed the problem.
Seriously? A cable?
I explained that I had already changed cables when I changed computers, and again when I had changed ports on the graphics card earlier, but the cable must have been the next thing in her script because she wouldn't move off of it. I finally asked her to escalate the call because it as clear that she had no understanding of the situation, and relatively little knowledge about how a computer works. She agreed to escalate the call and promised that I would hear from Viewsonic within 48 hours.
Two days later, and nothing.
So I called tech support once again, and told the person, who spoke American English very well, that I wanted a return authorization number so they could fix the monitor, and asked him why I hadn't heard from them within 48 hours as promised. He read through my file, agreed that I should have gotten a call back, issued the RA, and asked me a serious of specific,detailed questions about the symptoms and my system configuration. I gave him the operating system, the CPU, the graphics card,and the monitor model. I told him I was running two identical monitors on the system, the one worked, and the other didn't. I told him that I had moved the monitor between ports on the graphics card, and onto another computer running a different operating system. I told him that I had downloaded the most current driver and installed it. Through all of this, the problem stayed consistently with one monitor.
He listened carefully, took good notes, and said he was going to put this problem to the senior tech support guys, because it was something very unusual. He promised an email within a day or two to let me know what they came up with. That was on Sunday. Wednesday, I got the following email:
Dear Mr. Hailey,
Thank you for contacting ViewSonic Customer Support.
In regards to your current case number C987318, we have heard back from our technicians about the issue of your monitor not being identified as a plug and play monitor. What they suggested is to uninstall all the monitor drivers on your computer and restart the system to install the actual drivers for this monitor.
If this does not correct the issue please contact us again so that we can further assist on this issue.
Thank you for allowing us to assist you.
John ViewSonic Customer Support.
This from the best guys they have. Once again, for the slow students in the room, I have two identical monitors running on this system. One works no matter where it is plugged in; the other won't work no matter where it is plugged in. This cannot be a driver issue. Period.
I'm shipping the monitor back tomorrow.
Now here's the best part. My other monitor? It did the same thing about 8 months ago. I called Viewsonic tech support and the guy I talked to recognized the problem instantly, said it had happened on a lot of monitors of that model, and gave me an RA instantly.
I guess he left the company and took all the brains with him.
So, when it comes time to replace my monitors, it's a fair bet that they won't come from Viewsonic.
My Two Friends Updated.
One of them is very upbeat and supportive. He tells me that I can meet any challenge that comes my way, that I have the capacity to succeed, and to excel, as long s I'm willing to work hard to overcome the obstacles in my path. He tells me that no matter what comes, I have the ability to survive it, and to prosper. He tells me that I am strong, and that I can stand on my own. I know he has my back, because he's been there when I've needed a hand, but he always let's me make my own way. Sometimes I get tired, and I complain that other people don't seem to have to work as hard, and he tells me that it doesn't matter what other people do or have; I can make my own fortune regardless of their wealth.
My other friend always tells me how much he cares about me, and how much he wants to help me succeed. He doesn't say it out loud, but the way he acts shows me that he doesn't think I can do it on my own. He "helps" me before I ask, and sometimes in ways that aren't really helpful at all. He insists that I do things his way because he knows what works best for people like me, and he can get very angry when I try to go my own way. He tells me that he's here to help me because I need his help, that the obstacles in my path are too big for me to overcome on my own. Sometimes, he tells me that I have to forget what I want and do what he wants, so that somebody else can get what they want. I'm never exactly sure how that's supposed to work, but he talks really fast and it's usually easier to go along than to argue. Other times he tells me not to work so hard, that other people have it much easier than I do, so they owe me something. He says I have value and worth,. so I shouldn't have to prove that value or worth by producing anything. In fact, because I have value, I should have my needs met without any labor on my part. He tells me I'm entitled to everything I need, and I should stand up and demand my rights.
The first friend makes me feel strong, independent, and capable. The second friend makes me feel weak, envious, and afraid.
Tell me why I should keep hanging out with the second guy. He's kind of a downer.
Self Defense 101
Today, my son texted me and asked me how much it cost to get a Handgun Carry Permit. I gave him the ball park figures for the class and the application. He thanked me and told me that his roommate had been robbed at gunpoint the night before.,
Yeah, I called him immediately.
My son lives in an apartment in the Old City close to the railroad tracks. He described what happened. Apparently, his roommate was coming home from work at around 12:30 AM and when he parked his car, he noticed a couple of black men hanging out in front of the little coffee shop across the street. When he got out of his car and headed towards the entry to the apartment building, they left crossed the street towards him. He assumed they were just going to bum some change and turned to open the entry door. As he turned his back to them, they drew guns, and demanded all of his money.
He gave them everything, all $8.00 of it, and they ran off.
So now my son is thinking about getting a gun.
"Well, first things first," I said, "What would you have done in that situation?"
"I don't know," he said.
"Then you don't need a gun. What would have happened if your roommate had a gun at the time?"
"It probably would have been stolen too."
"Exactly right," I said, "Carrying a gun won't do you any good if you don't pay attention. The first thing you have to do is realize you live in a bad neighborhood."
"No I don't," he answered. "It's the Old City. It's well lit and..."
"Your roommate was robbed at gunpoint at your front door. You live in a bad neighborhood."
"It's not that bad! There are lots of people who live down here and..."
"One more time. You live next to the railroad tracks. Have you ever heard of anything good happening by the railroad tracks?"
"Stop. Listen. Your roommate was robbed by two men with guns right at your front door, on a well lit street, and they got away clean. You live in a bad neighborhood."
"Ok, you might be right."
"Good. The first step in self defense is being aware of your surroundings. Now that you understand that you live in a bad neighborhood, you have your eyes open and you can defend yourself. Now then, your roommate saw the two guys before he got out of his car, right?"
"Ok, the store has been closed for hours; it's late at night, and downtown is deserted. Are those two guys there for a good reason or a bad one?"
"Alright, so what are you going to do about it?"
"Call the police."
"When they start coming at me."
"Remember the official police motto: When seconds count, we'll be there in a few minutes. Try again."
"Ummm...sit in my car and call 911?"
"What if they come after you while you are sitting in your car?"
"Oh. Ok, should I just keep driving and call 911?"
"Bingo. You're still mobile, and our two would be thieves learn very quickly that there are better corners to hang out on."
The point I was making with him was that self defense starts long before you get into a bad situation. You have to remain aware of your surroundings at all times, and plan to avoid trouble whenever possible. Your goal is to never have to use force to defend yourself. Only when that option is removed should you consider a forceful response.
Now this doesn't mean to live in fear, or go 18 blocks out of your way to avoid a confrontation. What it means is that the easiest way to win a fight is to avoid it entirely.
The thing that most anti gun folks don't understand is that those of us who chose to arm ourselves take that responsibility even more seriously than those who don't. We know that if we get into a confrontation, there's a good chance somebody will die. I have liberal friends and I'm guessing that most of them are thinking, "But not everyone who carries a gun thinks like that!"
They're right. Criminals certainly don't. But the vast majority of those who chose to apply for and get a carry permit do think that way. Every study ever done on crime and permit holders shows that those of us who chose to arm ourselves are more law abiding than even the police departments. But we still hear the same tired canards about vigilantism, and living in fear, and other disparaging remarks.
Locally, we have a County Commissioner, Greg Lambert, who has an HCP. The local liberals love to make fun of him, and one in particular is quite vocal about her belief that he is too unstable to be allowed to carry a gun. Of course, when I asked her to provide an example of Lambert using his gun in reckless or dangerous fashion, she couldn't name a single incident. On the other hand, Commissioner Lambert has been involved in two incidents where he could have acted recklessly or dangerously and he didn't.
In the first incident, Lambert, who owns a used car lot, was sitting in his office when a young thug tried to hold him up at gunpoint. Lambert, who happens to be a quick draw champion, drew down on the kid, but didn't shoot him. Think about that for a second. Lambert could have shot the kid dead and been justified as the kid was trying to rob him and had already pulled his gun. INstead, he outdrew the kid, talked him down, and held him until the police got there.
Hardly a reckless use of his gun.
In the second incident, Lambert was in a mall when a man shot another. He heard the shot and went toward the scene, but when he got there, he realized that the situation was not one where he could safely contribute, and he let mall security and the police take the shooter into custody.
I pointed out both of these incidents, and her response was typical. In essence, she said it didn't matter what he actually did; he was still unsafe.
You can show a liberal logic, but you can't make them think.
Anyway, I believe I got the point across to my son that carrying a gun is only one small part of self defense. The first piece is maintaining an awareness of your surroundings, and the people in them. The second is forethought. Have a plan. Know what you're going to do when things go south. The third piece is to have multiple layers of defense, but that's a post for another day.
Brought to You by Those Folks who claim to Love Freedom of Speech.
I love the part at the end where that nice young brownshirt tells the sheep that "It's your meeting." So much for a public forum.
Of course, this only confirms what has been obvious throughout the Obama Presidency; the message is always managed, always controlled, and always scripted. There is a time and a place for spontaneity, but never when the cameras are rolling. President Obama lives and dies by the teleprompter not because he can't speak in public but because that's the best way to make sure he stays on scriipt.
The irony is that what the nice young brownshirt was doing is exactly what Pelosi and her folks have been claiming that conservatives are doing.
For those who want to object at my calling this guy a brownshirt, read your history. The attacks on dissenters have already begun, and given the Justice Department's treatment of the NBP thugs, I see nothing to stop them from escalating.