Monday, June 22, 2009

Cheney is the booger man, but Geithner is the baby-faced archangel?

Much of the mantra of the past 8 years went something like:

Cheney, Cheney, Halliburton, Cheney, Cheney, Cheney, Cheney, Halliburton, Halliburton, Cheney, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Cheney, Halliburton, Cheney, Cheney, Halliburton, Halliburton, Cheney, Halliburton, Cheney, Cheney, Cheney.

But now when, in the midst of the economic downturn, Goldman Sachs is shelling out record bonuses, no one but Maxine Waters has had much to say about it?

I'm not making any accusations, but I do find it a little odd that GS happens to have employed the last couple of Treasury Secretaries (and has ties to other power brokers), but nobody makes a peep.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

TSA: "The almighty says, 'Don't change the subject; just answer the [expletive deleted] questions.'"

I'm glad to hear that Mr. Bierfeldt with the Campaign for Liberty has filed suit after his unreasonable detention at the hands of the TSA for simply refusing to tell the pink-cheeked oppressors why he was carrying $4700 in cash.

TSA spokesman Greg Soule says, welllllllll, yeah, um, you really don't HAVE to tell us why you're carrying the money, 'cuz there's no upper limit for domestic flights, but that's not the point. YOU GOTTA TELL US WHATEVER WE WANNA KNOW. I MEAN, YOU BETTER RECONIZE WE'RE THE PO-LICE AND WE DESERVE RESPECK 'CUZ WE KEEP STOOPID DUMB CIVILIANS SAFE LIKE THE THIN BLUE LINE! I mean, we went to TSA school and you didn't! Sniffle.

Let's wish Mr. Bierfeldt the best, even though he might have made a deal with the devil in this particular fight.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Yep, these are the people who determine whether you're a fit parent. It's interesting that we're expected to give up the fundamental right of parenting our children on the word of people that the state doesn't even see fit to background check.

We have yet another fine, upstanding government employee who sought to ruin a man's life by accusing him of being a child molester just because the CPS worker though the man got her husband transferred. All of it was untrue, of course, so the CPS worker got 90 days in jail.

90 days in jail for destroying a man's career, his emotions, and his family just for spite. These are the people who can destroy your life just as easily.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweet, though probably temporary

Do you remember the guy you used to work with who irritated you so much? He was kind of short, fat, and slovenly. Not really very smart, but conniving. Loud and arrogant, liked to talk tough, but kind of pink-cheeked and soft. He really should have been fired long ago, but everybody sort of felt sorry for him and wanted to give him another chance.

Well, that guy's name is the Texas Residential Construction Commission, and he is gone. Or will be in February. For at least a little while.

It's not like he's been getting good reviews from the Sunset Commission. This time around, it looks like everyone just kind of acted like he wasn't there and decided to forget to send him his next paycheck, along with a few of his buddies who will undoubtedly get re-hired as part of a special session.

Will we possibly go back to the enforcement of contracts? Could one of the capable private inspection services be used by potential homebuyers? Probably not. TRCC, even if under a different name, will probably come back to suck up a paycheck, but it might take another two years for the legislature to give him a bath and clean up his act a little. Anyway, it'll be fun while it lasts.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Border Patrol: The game wardens of the southwest?

On the surface it would appear that Border Patrol/DHS agents have the same exemption from the Fourth Amendment that Texas game wardens (and I'm sure many other LEOs) have.

Is this type of thing getting more common, or has the free market - by cleaning out the deadwood and ushering in the New Media - given us a little more visibility into the extent of official oppression?

Here we have a nice young pastor, father of five, small businessman; you know, a real troublemaker. He appears to have been beaten by DHS and Arizona DPS agents, after extensive damage was done to his car, for failing to allow a warrantless search. This was not even at an actual national border but at one of the checkpoints inside the state of Arizona.

Now, I'm sure that many self-proclaimed Republicans - the ones who appreciate emails written in blue 18 point font that say "KillEmAllNoImportsOrForeignersGodBlessJohnWayneforPrezident2012!" - would appreciate what they would term "Crackin' down on them illegals." (You know who you are: You wear starched Wranglers, graduated from a government college with a degree in Construction Science, drive a spotless new 4-wheel-drive, and have hands softer than my sister's.)

Hopefully, though, most of us recognize this as a misapplication of authority and force in the ostensible protection against other crime. After all, it's a lot easier to catch an American citizen who compliantly drives right into your checkpoint than it is to actually go out and find the problem.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Now don't forget, kids (and usurpers of property): WE DON'T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY!

Dr. Williams, as always, is right on with his latest column. By virtue of the laws set forth in our Constitution, we and Congress supposedly don't get to vote on everything and simply enact laws based on what 50.0000000001% of the population (or sample of the population as is the case with Congress) thinks is A Good Idea. Just because most of the folks in town agree that my house is ugly doesn't mean that I have to paint it.

Oh wait; never mind, I just got annexed. Yes, it does mean that. And I have to cut my grass the way they want it. And I have to clean that filthy place up.

Anyway, this is always a useful lesson for the Tenth Plank crowd and everybody else who believes that anything and everything should be up for a vote. We have a constitutional republic, which is, as Mr. Adams said, "A government of laws, and not of men."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If you can’t think of any charges, it was probably a bad arrest

Though I respect these people, I must say that private dancing to an iPod is pretty fruity. Evidently a group of folks were celebrating Thomas Jefferson's birthday with this little party, but the U.S. Park Police didn't approve of their peaceable assembly during normal park hours, and they violently removed some of the dancers with no explanation of the law being violated. One of the victims of this official oppression has filed suit, and her counsel is none other than Alan Gura of D.C. v. Heller fame.

I'm also reminded of a young staffer for the Campaign for Liberty who was recently harassed by the TSA. The TSA workers, not content with mere arrogance and stupidity, had to detain the young man as well. A plainclothes officer mysteriously stopped the detention.

No matter what happens to the fascists who stopped the cornball dance party or to the geniuses who detained the young man without cause, it is refreshing to see that we have some who will stand up for their rights. It is inspiring to those who, like me, become disheartened and compliant sometimes.

It's a simple question: "What law have I violated?" Make sure you're not being inconvenienced just because some guy got beat up in high school and is using a badge and a duty belt to regain his self esteem.

Monday, April 6, 2009

One wise Frenchman

Although this is an off year, C.S. Lewis' Omnipotent Moral Busybodies will not sleep. Many municipal elections will be held, and do-gooders yet in the larval stage will emerge to grace us with their superior wisdom and save us from ourselves as they take the first steps toward bigger things. Oh yeah; they'll vigorously protect their own property values and nurse their pet peeves while they're at it. You will probably have a chance to vote in these elections should you care enough to do so. (Unless, of course, you live in my city, where a combination of voter apathy and archaic law precludes challengers.)

Before you vote, though, I would ask that you read a book by a Frenchman who died about 150 years ago. His name was Frederic Bastiat, and his book was The Law.

The Law is a short, simple, eloquent, non-ranting book about basic human rights and the proper role of government. It is also powerful. Just as C.S. Lewis used Mere Christianity to speak common sense to the common man, Bastiat's work is breathtaking (and I don't use silly words like that very often) in its wow-that-makes-a-lot-of-sense quality.

The Law is in the public domain, I believe, and it is downloadable for free online if you don't want to purchase the book. It's short, and the free 2-hour audiobook can be completed during rush hours to and from work or while walking behind the lawnmower, as in my case. I like the one with the foreword by Walter E. Williams, but that's just because I think Dr. Williams is a pretty swell guy; any of the translations you find will probably do just fine.

The book will serve to reinvigorate long-held but deeply-buried beliefs for some, and it will force others like me to dig a little deeper into their thought processes to root out inconsistencies. Like Dr. Williams, I don't believe that any education is complete without it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Universal principles

I've been doing some thinking about universal principles this week. The term came up a little while back when my father-in-law and I were talking about the Mormons. (Although I give him credit for showing me these things, he shall remain nameless in order to keep from sullying his good name by connecting it to this site.)

Even though I admire their apparent devotion to family and am convicted by their zeal for missions, the Mormons and I aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to Jesus and the Bible, at least according to what I've gleaned from the courteous young men named Elder So-and-so who periodically come to my door. It seems, though, that they as a people group are fairly successful in business and personal wealth management. Whether that's actually true across the board or not I don't know, but it's a good public image they maintain.

My father-in-law's position was that the Mormons are successful because of their adherence to certain principles, namely providing for the needy inside and outside the church. His thought was that some principles are universal, so they apply regardless of religious belief. In this case it would seem that the Mormon's success is tied to a principle along the lines of Malachi 3:10, although there are many other verses that would apply, some possibly better than this example. It seemed like a reasonable explanation at the time, but it has become real to me lately in my own life. Just in the last few months I have practiced, shall we say, "delayed obedience" (yeah, I know what that really is; I just hate saying it) that seemed to actually put me in a bind, and eventual obedience, even though it was somewhat late, did appear to bring about great blessing in several situations over the past week.

I'm not a theologian, and I don't want to get into the tithing debate, but I must say that I have seen a correlation between giving and blessing in my life. The timing of these events, especially recently, has been too mechanical to simply be coincidence.

Unlike some of my other posts, I don't pretend to have the answers here. I don't know the formula God uses, what determines the form in which the blessing comes, or what other universal principles may be out there. I know there is the unseen "eternal perspective," and I do not discount that a bit; in fact, it is obviously the more important consideration, as provision for the needy can often serve to draw them to Christ. I do, however, find it intriguing to think that there is some scientific principle at work aside from mere obedience for unseen reward in the afterlife.

I welcome comments, as always, and would love to hear your perspective on it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just so you know

Merriam-Webster said it; I just emphasized it:

Main Entry: so·cial·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1837
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

In other news, GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest.

"socialism." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.
Merriam-Webster Online. 29 March 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

This sums it up

I'm usually a few days behind on the news, so I really like quoting insightful people from the more distant past. This stuff is timeless.

Although I wouldn't necessarily set up Ayn Rand as a role model for my daughter, she did have some good thoughts, and this quote is a concise description of what's happening and has happened from the federal level to supposed deregulation at the state level:

One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is my right to keep and bear arms a "social issue"?

I love the Libertarians. They're a great bunch, mainly because they're one of the groups most likely to leave me alone if they ever get into power. That means a lot to me, because I believe that the aggregate of individual decisions comprises a single unit of knowledge much greater than that of a group of smooth-talking bureaucrats with teleprompters and speechwriters.

Now, as much as I love freedom, I'm certainly no Anarcho-Capitalist (sorry for the Wikipedia link). Aside from government's provision of a national defense, I believe that its laws are necessary to protect negative rights. In other words, I need the power of government to keep you from interfering with my property rights, but I can't project any requirement on you to take a positive action such as, I don't know, paying for my medical care or footing the bill for my children's education. I also want to be able to delegate enforcement power to the government to make sure that each of us upholds our end of any contract into which we enter. I want the government to provide a judicial system and be a fair means of punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent.

And that, my friends, is where the more "tolerant" Libertarians disappoint me. The national party's approach to the "sensitive issue" of abortion goes too far in its acceptance of doing one's own thing. The Libertarian party platform simply treats it as a personal decision about which people hold different "good-faith views".

How can life simply be reduced to a social issue, like whether we believe that consumption of alcohol is appropriate on Sundays? We as Christians have allowed this to an extent by projecting our morality onto others and allowing abortion to be redefined simply as a moral issue about which there is a debate rather than as an issue of fundamental rights and due process on which there can be no compromise.

A former coworker of mine used to say, "Don't chastise a non-believer for the act of sinning, because he is only being who he is. He needs Jesus' salvation, and no simple behavioral change will save him. Correct the believer, because he has been transformed and knows better." In much the same way, we need to defend life not only from the position of Christianity but from the position of jealously guarding our rights and the rights of others under our Founding Documents. Yes, our system of laws is based on that set forth by the Creator of the universe, and those who fail to submit to His authority on earth will be dealt with by that same Creator on the Day of Judgment. In the meantime, those who fail to recognize His authority must still be forced to recognize the written rule of our land, regardless of whether we're able to persuade them to change their personal beliefs or preferences.

The right to life is no more a social issue than is my natural freedom and equality, my right to property, and my right to defend that property. I would love to see the Libertarians begin to speak up for that right, or at least treat it with as much importance as legalization of marijuana.

Good music

Bill Kirchen's extended version of Hot Rod Lincoln has to be one of the most entertaining songs of all time, especially watching him live.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Obama's pogrom

Well, if there was ever any doubt of the Obama administration's attempt to bring socialism to our country, it's gone.

Your president, along with his angelic host in Congress and others like them who are anointed with superior wisdom and disdain for freedom, have effectively created a crisis and are continually reaping more power from it. Government over-regulates, forces businesses to make decisions based on artificial external stimuli (i.e. thwarts business activities or gives bad ratings if certain lending standards aren't met to the satisfaction of the regulators), makes the businessman out to be the villain, and gently collects more and more power as a gullible, uneducated, pitchfork-wielding public readily hands it over.

Now that the stimulus bait hasn't brought the world under his control, Obama has decided that he'll just go ahead and control executive pay with or without the leverage of federal assistance. This latest grab wasn't really such a stretch, though. After all, the Republicans, ostensibly the party of limited government, ran in '08 and decried the "predatory lenders" who went around holding guns to people's heads and forcing them to buy houses they couldn't afford. (All of that happened before the evil lenders stole the families' underwear, killed their pets, and ate their firstborn children.) Populist emotion overcame critical thinking, and an entire nation was defeated by a silly notion of prices and fairness that could have been debunked by knowledge gained in a sophomore-level economics class.

President Obama's demonization of business and subsequent war on capitalism are physically different from the European anti-semitism and pogroms in the Middle Ages, but ideologically they are quite similar. A certain group works with the resources available, its members are made out to be villains by the more irresponsible members of the proletariat and their populist leaders, and the group are punished for their success.

Obama and the other statists-whether they be Republican, Democrat, or other-share the blame for the persecution of an entrepreneurial minority, and responsibility for the massacre of freedom and prosperity is upon their heads.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's keep our eyes on the states, too

Maybe I'll just rename this blog "To Do What I Will With Chuck Baldwin's Articles."

This has been eating at me for a while now, and Tim Lambert's newsletters on home schooling freedoms from the THSC have cemented it in my mind: It's easy to focus on what's happening in Washington, but the less-glamorous-but-not-less-important state business needs as much, if not more, attention.

Mr. Baldwin points out that we need to rein in these rogue state legislatures. I take a look at Texas, though, and see some real potential. Yeah, we have a lot of opponents to classical liberalism concentrated in the major cities, especially since Katrina, but we still have one of the strongest state economies and, of course, the best people. Over time, I think that some good education and strong leadership could turn Texas into an even better example of the success of freedom and limited government.

I'm trying to keep reminding myself to stay involved in state issues, and I encourage you to do the same. Austin is a shorter trip than D.C., anyway, and as weird as they are, the people are still more pleasant.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"I'd like to think 20, 30, 40 years from now people will still be reading the newspaper,"

AG Eric Holder told reporters.

"I think it's important for this nation to maintain a healthy newspaper industry. So to the extent that we have to look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that that industry faces, that's something that I'm going to be willing to do," Holder said.

Hey, now, c'mon fellas. Let's not get too caught up in the whole "law" thing. Let's be reasonable, use our own good judgment, and not worry too much about what the law states. After all, we are the anointed ones, are we not? Who needs written law when you have all these good looks and a functioning teleprompter?

When Microsoft leads the market because they invest millions of dollars to develop a product that people want, that's unacceptable; it's predatory and monopolistic. But when a single pompous, freedom-hating lawyer decides that he wants to protect his Constitutional right to read a newspaper in 20 years (I can't find the article and section, but I just know it's there), we can enforce selectively when it comes to antitrust regulation.

I have an idea! Let's think about construction trade regulation, look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that that industry faces. Let's think about the tax codes, look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that our country faces. Let's think about unconstitutional gun legislation, look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that our country faces.

See how it works? We can do this all day long, and it doesn't hurt a bit! We can just conform enforcement to fit anything we want to.

Whew. This whole Living Constitution idea makes things a LOT easier. I say we just apply the concept to everything; it's working well for Holder.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wasn't McCain enough?

Further proof that the Republican Party in its present form is no longer worthy of support: Michael Steele's interview with GQ. The party leadership has turned from conservatism, and no matter how much Mr. Steele says that Ronald Reagan influenced him, he and those like him left me out in the cold a long time ago.

Can this guy possibly be serious? I mean, we can agree to disagree on some minor points, but LIFE? You know, that pesky little thing to which the authors of our Founding Documents recognize our unalienable right? I appreciate Mr. Steele's support for states' rights, selective as it may be in this matter, but if a true conservative believes in the power of a federal system at all, he should believe that the federal government must protect that most basic right whence springs our ability to exercise the others!

The Republican Party needs to ask itself whether the RNC is an educational tool used to promote ideas or if it is simply a sales organization. I realize that practicality dictates the need to attract voters, but the cost is too great if their commitment to the Constitution and property rights is completely discarded. In the political arena as in any other, the complete abandonment of principle in the pursuit of power is nothing more than a blatantly self-serving act that should be recognized for what it is and fought accordingly.

Mr. Steele can talk about misunderstandings, commiserate with his fellow Republican statists about the unfairness of the media, and focus on the big-tent approach of his "hip-hop" agenda, but a hipster aura and apologetic statements made after the fact don't compensate for an inability to articulate beliefs (if he truly has any) and a general lack of competence in leadership. As it stands, the Republican Party has turned into a bunch of whores, and Michael Steele is their latest pimp.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If we can't/won't enforce the laws we have, let's just create some more!

See, burglary is already a crime, but we shouldn't find and punish burglars. We should enact a daytime curfew in the City of Dallas. All we need to do is force the juvenile delinquents into our government youth detention program, I mean public school system, and the problem will be solved!

Yeah, Mayor Pro Tem, we have a problem; it's your knee-jerk idiocy.

Here are some ideas for the more rational folks:

Busy week

This is a fairly busy week (hence the title of my post), so I'm not posting as much right now.

And let me just say that I think one of the finest grocery stores in the Metroplex has to be the Rio Grande Supermercado on Jefferson and Hampton. I got to go by there late this evening, and they have some of the best prices on produce in addition to their all-around great atmosphere. It's not a big old impersonal Soriana/Bodega, but it's not a dumpy, fly-infested joint like...well, like some other places south of town. Best of all, though, they have guacamole-flavored Takis. I only picked up 5 bags today instead of my regular dozen. Tough economic times and all.

Awful lot of hyphens in that last paragraph for some reason.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Romans 13 and the higher powers

I hate linking and copying so much, but there are so many wise men who speak and write better than I could. In this case, Pastor Chuck Baldwin writes the second edition of a great column about misinterpretation of Romans 13 within the church. Here is an excerpt; the passage is based on the KJV (sorry, I couldn't make it work with a block quote):

"Beyond that, we in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. We have no king. There is no single governing official in this country. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with any man or any group of men. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with the President, the Congress, or even the Supreme Court. In America, the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.

This means that in America the "higher powers" are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this is how Romans Chapter 13 reads to Christians in America:

'Let every soul be subject unto the [U.S. Constitution.] For there is no [Constitution] but of God: the [Constitution] that be [is] ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the [Constitution], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For [the Constitution is] not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [Constitution]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For [the Constitution] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for [the Constitution] beareth not the sword in vain: for [the Constitution] is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for [the Constitution is] God's minister, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.'"

So when a governing body legalizes plunder through excessive taxation in order to fund the welfare state and support infanticide, forbids parents from training up their children in the way they should go by forcing them to comply with compulsory education requirements, and through Second Amendment violation tries to deprive citizens of the right to defend that which God has given them, who are the real rebels in danger of enduring wrath?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


As seen on Drudge. (link may die soon)

In other news, I called on the late Mahatma Gandhi to follow the path of non-violent civil disobedience. And I called on Mother Theresa to help the poor. And I called on Michael Jackson to display odd personality traits in public.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What are the numbers?

As a new citizen of our lovely city, I've stopped urinating off of the front porch, started paying more attention to personal hygiene, and begun inserting myself into the debate going on at the municipal level. At council meetings I listen to the serious problems facing our community such as dogs being tethered while unsupervised, children under 16 volunteering at the animal adoption clinic, and "sign pollution." I hear about the grave danger associated with the allowance of these activities, but I miss the answer to my most important question: What are the numbers?

You know, the statistics, the data, the probability based on historical evidence. Where is the measurable evidence that there is a real threat to safety or a threat of liability to the city? I'm not saying that it doesn't exist, because I'm sure it does to an extent, but the debate needs to center around objective data. I'm sure a lot of people are afraid of a lot of things, but I need to be able to measure the cost against the benefit. The threat to safety caused by my driving across the Metroplex for work undeniably exists, but when I weigh it against my family going hungry I jump in the truck.

If there's a real, measurable problem, let's find it, weigh it, and base our actions, if any, on the results of our analysis. I'm plenty paranoid by myself, so I don't need someone to create problems for me just because they got appointed to some board and feel the need to conceive a problem in order to "fix" it. Don't get me wrong; I think it's great to look ahead to foresee potential issues and work to avoid problems. But I'm concerned that our leaders at every level may be seeing the demon behind every tree just so they can exorcise it.

It's a shame that I have to involve myself now, but the city brought it upon themselves when they just couldn't leave me alone...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Social networking and a complete lack of productivity

I let my lovely wife talk me into setting up a Facebook account. Yes, I've become quite the hacker in just a fortnight, both starting a blog and joining a "social networking site." So I'm a little behind the times; greater men than me have asserted that it doesn't pay to pioneer.

I feel like that dorky guy that came back and hung out on the square with all the high school kids on Saturday night even though he'd graduated 15 years prior. You know, the fellow that just couldn't cope with the real world and tried to relive the glory days of peak coolness, only this time with a gut and male pattern baldness? I take a little guilty pleasure in the mindlessness of it all, but on a more serious note I've also found a buddy of mine that I've half-heartedly tried to locate for the past few years. Now I wonder when I'll find time to go to work and take care of basic personal hygiene...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The tragedy of ignorance coupled with hopelessness

This interview is a few weeks old, but Michael Munger hits the nail on the head:

"But I would also say that economic booms and recessions are facts of life in capitalism...The government must never give citizens the impression that they are insulated from risk. Personal anticipation of risk, and choosing an investment portfolio to limit risk, are key private responsibilities of every citizen. The government can’t do it for you."

At least part of this fruitless search for a risk-free utopia on earth comes from the desperation that springs from hopelessness, and that hopelessness comes from a lack of knowledge of the fallen nature of the earth and a lack of faith in the hereafter. It induces people to put their faith in a tangible "messiah" in an irrational attempt to find someone who's able to perfect a life that they themselves are unable to perfect. If only they can find that special someone who can smooth out the highs and lows, reverse the inequality, and hold each corner of the safety net, then they'll surely have personal peace.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"We're all acting like the laws of economics have been repealed." - Alan Keyes

Even though he had some major disagreements with Chuck Baldwin, I still like to fantasize about an Alan Keyes presidency. Something tells me that Mr. Keyes will not be running around apologizing for his remarks tomorrow. Alan Keyes: Obama Is A "Radical Communist"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Moros y Cristianos and tough tortillas

Well, I might have to look into Cuban cuisine. I just made a feeble attempt at congri, mainly because most of the ingredients were lying around. After a few tweaks it should be pretty good next time; I think I'll whip up a pot of beans and then use the bean liquid instead of plain old water to cook the rice.

My recaito was from a jar, a very old jar, but I guess that MSG keeps everything fresh. Or dead. I've found some promising freezable recipes if only I could find culantro and ajicitos in the DFW area. I suppose Central Market is my best bet, but I've never looked for that stuff there. Any ideas of an outlet west of Miami?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free GPS in every automobile! (Monitored by the feds, but hey)

You probably already saw this on Drudge, but there's a plan to track each one of us in the name of "paying our fair share." Now that hybrids have caught on after being bandied about as the answer to global warming, they're now robbing the federal government of THEIR fuel tax dollars (you know it's not our money, right?)

The official report comes out on the 26th, but you can see on their website that the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission already has a plan to move away from the "outdated" fuel tax.

Commission President Robert Atkison has said, "Privacy concerns are based more on perception than any actual risk." Of course! Silly me; I'll just trust him wholeheartedly based on that single statement!

Perhaps most frightening, and least surprising, is the flawed assumption under which the commission and the administration are operating. From the commission's website: "The Financing Commission’s recommendations are timely and provocative, as the nation grapples with staggering shortfalls in infrastructure funding and the new administration turns its attention to building what President Obama calls 'the roads and bridges…necessary to make this country great again.'"

Yeah, I always knew that entrepreneurship, property rights, individual liberty, and limited government were waaaaaaaay overrated. It's the infrastructure bureaucrats, not the producers, that made this country great!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where have you been, Rick?

I ain't got no cables and satellites and such, so I don't get them CNBCs like they do in town.

That said, I really don't know much about Rick Santelli. But what I do know, I like. Maybe it's just that a shred of intelligence seems so out of place anymore that I swoon when I see it. Wonder where he'll go when CNBC smokes him...

Enforcers of the Second Plank as your personal savings plan

The first part of this column gives us a good reason NOT to use a taxing entity to compensate for a lack of discipline in our personal finances. If you need that 57" TV so badly, and if your impulse buying precludes normal methods of saving, that it's worth minimizing deductions for a fat refund, you'll probably just find that the beneficiaries of your interest-free loan are no better prepared to manage your money than you are.

Holy frijoles; is Grey's Anatomy really worth it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Free unicorns!

Remember that neighborhood I told you about in my "Those People" post? Well, it's not just a neighborhood near me; it includes my neighborhood.

And guess what! CITY COUNCIL ANNEXED US! I'm so glad that I have wise leaders now to tell me when I'm using my resources properly! In exchange for paying double for my property taxes and having to beg a city plans examiner with no construction experience for permission to work on my own home, I get to have the city code enforcement genius tell me how high my grass can be and which items I can and can't have in my yard!

Yep, me and Peggy are set, now. My (yes, they really are mine now; insert girlish squeal here!) city council members also voted to try to get federal stimulus funds at the same meeting, so now I'll have federal wisdom, too! I'll have so many teats to choose from that I won't even know which one to suckle at any given moment!

I'm so glad my city council members are giving me this fairy tale world to live in. Only for some reason they looked at me funny when I asked where to line up for my free unicorn. Oh well, I'm too excited to care! I'll post again when my (!) button cools off!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scaring us into submission

This article referring to Obama's fearmongering is, of course, spot on, but let's not forget that we let a Republican president lead a spineless Congress, including many ostensible conservatives, through the first version of this second incarnation of the New Deal. We would be well-served to remember to keep our eyes our wobbly "friends," if we truly even have any in D.C., as we seek to defeat the Marxist that's currently in the White House.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On a lighter note: I need a cow's head

I guess that last post was a little serious and windy.

I'm planning on some barbacoa de cabeza here in the next few weeks, though, so I'm trying to find a good-quality cow's head. Looks like it'll be a frozen one from Fiesta.

Has anybody tried it in a water smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain? I'm open to good recipes if you have suggestions.

Those People, Matthew 6:2, and the advancement of my values at your expense

We need to help Those People. Those People are members of our community. Those People's children attend our schools. Those People (verb; you name it) with our children. We owe it to Those People to give them the opportunity for a better life.

I've heard these statements in discussions regarding a rather low-income neighborhood close to my home. The discussions have taken place both in my church and in my local city council chambers, and the differences in approach are stark:

My church has stepped out with multiple programs involving food distribution, ESL classes, job training skills, and direct investment into the community in the form of a playground and community center, not to mention VBS and counseling activities. Discussion at the church is pretty straightforward: "We have these resources set aside to do this. How can you help?" "Well, I can be here this day to do that."

The city has begun a grand plan for annexation; they're demonstrating their commitment to Those People by sending a) a dogcatcher to keep stray mutts from crapping in other people's yards and b) a code enforcement genius to ride around all day and measure grass (stroking citations when the green stuff is higher than the little line by the "10"). Discussion at the city involves the consumption of enough man-hours to clean up half the "blight" they seek to fix, and it's accompanied by much wailing, preaching about social responsibility, and vague emotional outbursts of "We have to do the right thing! And oh by the way, Those People affect our property values."

My church leaders want their membership to help needy people, because that's what Christians are commanded to do. They lead by example and ask me to follow. Their words precede action.

My city council and their cheerleaders, who for some reason happen to be in the real estate industry, pitch out a bunch of vague platitudes about helping Those Needy People. Their empty rhetoric focuses on the visible, superficial symptoms rather than on any root causes. By confiscating property (in the form of taxes), they want to force everyone in the city to finance the utopian vision of a few do-gooders who are unwilling to use their own resources. Their words precede orgies of back-patting, mutual admiration, and solemn recognition of their own altruism.

Admittedly, both parties have forgotten that no one forced Those People to live where they do or accept the circumstances in which they live. Both parties take it for granted that Those People's living arrangements are not what Those People want, even though many of Those People just want to be left alone. Recognition of those two facts would go a long way toward relieving a lot of self-inflicted burdens carried by the church and the city.

Even so, why have governments, even at the city level, gotten into the business of cleaning up yards on one side of town and propping up real estate values on the other? Why have logic, principles of limited government, and the notion of personal responsibility left all levels of political discourse as pure emotion takes their place? Why are Christians so maddeningly accepting of inefficient bureaucracies when Christians themselves can more effectively address root causes of problems in the community?

And then it comes back to me: Why have I allowed this to happen, and what will I do to turn it around?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Horton and the Kangaroo

I'm catching bits and pieces of Horton Hears a Who .

I did see that the kangaroo spent a great deal of time telling Horton what he was and wasn't going to to do, what the children needed, what was going to happen in this jungle, etc. Sounds like she has a lot of great notions of how everyone else should be required to behave while paying little attention to her own joey.

Is it interesting to anyone but me that the self-righteous, "pouch-schooling" kangaroo exhibits more of the characteristics of an overzealous HOA member or an enlightened PTA mom than your typical home schooling parent?

The first one

Little bit of a surprise, this blog.

I used to think blogging was for news junkies, digital camera experts, and nerds that think "indie" movies are the only true art form. Other people, you know. Then I realized that I take a little solace in the weekly screeds to my elected officials. I want to get that automated response and feel that I've been heard, even if it's only a lie that I tell myself. I need an audience, real or perceived.

Enough psychology, though. This will be my outlet for random rants, bipolar episodes, tantrums on property, questions on theology, praise of the United States Constitution, pictures of sweet classic cars, recipes for Mexican food, and pretty much any thought that gains traction during my rather limited attention span.

Maybe I'm just using a free blogging site because it makes me feel less dirty than would Facebook.

Either way, if you're reading this, thanks for stopping in.