Category Archives: Give ’em Hell!

Chivalry Is Not Abuse

I was trolling the internet and tripped across something that has nothing to with politics, politicians, elections, public policy or much else that I typically write about.  But I had to write about this.

In a post at Corkin.com Sanford Kahn makes a weak attempt to explain that you can out a male control freak by seeing how he reacts if the woman want to pay for the meal while dating.

On the next date, why don’t you suggest taking him out to dinner and see how he reacts? It doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant. What is important is his reaction.

If he reacts in the negative and makes a fuss about how that is not important, it could be an early indication that he likes to be in charge and in control..

Not every woman desires a traditional man.  Perhaps this test could have been better positioned as a filter for those women to prevent them from dating a gentleman for far too long.

I was raised by a very traditional and conservative family.  My Grandfather would have rolled in his grave if I had ever not paid for a meal on  date or failed to open a door for a lady.  I don’t see these actions as my exerting my manly authority over a building entrance, car door or restaurant tab – it’s taking care of my partner.

After 13 years of marriage, my wife and I make the decisions on different things.  Certain topics we go with what she wants, on others my decision may stand.  It’s not because we are both control freaks, but that we know each others strengths and weaknesses.  Why would I make a call on something where she is clearly better informed?

As far as restaurant bills, to this day, my wife has never paid the bill when we went out together.  The money all comes from the same account and we tend to carry the same amount around.  The action of signing the bill or leaving the money is the same today as it was 15 years ago when we dated – its my way of saying that I will take care of my partner and that I take my responsibility to the family seriously.  Yes, it’s symbolic – but so is a hug, a kiss, holding hands.

If Sanford wanted to offer advice on how to find out if your date is a control freak, there are far better signs.  Can you pick the restaurant?  Does he try to pick your food for you?  Or a billion other signals that should be easy to pick up on.

Being a gentleman means taking care of a lady.  If you prefer living in a world where chivalry is dead, this test is indeed for you.  I am not sure how long you will enjoy your relationship with someone that does not think he needs to do much at all for you – least of all something so simple as paying for a meal.

Blogger Insults Gun Owners – He Acted ‘Stupidly’

A poor attempt at satire was posted over at New West Community Blogs. The author attempts to paint gun owners as unintelligent, angry hicks that have guns simply because it feels good.

..as to why somebody would need a semi-automatic assault rifle, like the AR-15, or maybe a sleek Uzi. My answer to that question is, are you effin’ shitting me? Because it FEELS good, you moron! Listen, a lot of us gun owners ain’t got a whole lot going for us, but when we go out to the quarry and blast the shit out of a dirt pile with enough lead to make our own personal Yucca Mountain, well, there just ain’t a feeling like that in the world. Hell, just thinking about it puts a lump in my shorts.

After taking some heat in comments to his post, he tried to explain his actions as a quest for knowledge.

I’ve attempted in the past to engage gun enthusiasts in a conversation. It usually goes something like this: Me: “Why do you feel it’s important to own a handgun or assault rifle?” Them: “Because it’s my Second Amendment right.”

That’s not a reason, and it doesn’t answer a very direct question: What motivates you (as a human, not an NRA member) to own handguns and assault rifles, devices that are expressly designed to kill humans as efficiently as possible?

Well, of course, I had to give him hell about it.

An unfortunate piece at best.

Bob,
When those gun owners answered your question about gun ownership with, “because it’s my Second Amendment right.” they gave you a valid answer based on an understanding of the Constitution.

Those you were debating didn’t feel the need to craft an insulting, belittling overly-verbose response, they kept it simple – they did so based on the assumption that you understood the reason the founders put that right into the Constitution.

They gave you credit where perhaps none was due. Since I have observed your lack of understanding of their simple statement of reason, I will expound upon their most-correct answer.

To fully understand one’s right to bear arms, it should be measured alongside the Declaration of Independence. This would help the reader gauge the true meaning of a militia, the concern the founders had for tyrannical rule, and for what the 2nd amendment was intended.

Simply put, the second amendment, located in the bill of rights, is intended to insure that we may not lose the other rights afforded to us by either invasion, crime or tyranny.
Those who choose to invoke that right and even gave you a concise reason as to why they do so are not dense, silly people such as the main character in your satire. They are Americans and yes, they own guns because “they can” – it’s their right.

Some would posit that it is also their responsibility. Criticizing someone for their answer, solely because you failed to understand its meaning is self-critical.

So head over to the post and feel free to comment.

Liberal Attacks the Contract from America

A progressive author by the name of Ryan Normandin has an agenda against the Tea Party as he makes obvious by creating a post to dismantle the “Contract From America”.  It is not my self-identified post to defend the Tea Parties, they can do that fine on their own ,but the amount of egalitarian, modernistic, progressive idiocy “Ryan” posits in his/her article is too great to let pass.

I’ll follow his format in the interest of consistency:

1. Protect the Constitution

Specifically, the party would require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that justifies Congressional intervention. This is both unnecessary and a waste of time. It is Congress’s job to make laws, which, for the record, is explicitly stated in Section 8 of the Constitution. Any attempt to limit this power is itself unconstitutional, and is a task already given to the Supreme Court.

Ryan’s Rating: Useless

How much time does Ryan think will be wasted?  Does he not believe that legislators have a clue about the authority which has been granted them?  I don’t think it would be that harmful to slow that bunch down a bit.  We’re learning every day that they rushed Health Care Reform.  Is it too much to ask to have them jot down a justification?  He also apparently misunderstands the purpose.  It isn’t about Section 8, it’s the clauses that are requested.  How would it be harmful to force Congress to think about the framework of our government while doing their work?

Whether this will have a gigantic effect or not remains to be seen, but it will certainly force a tie between legislation and the Constitution.

Rich’s Rating: Ryan didn’t think this one through .. at all.

2. Reject Cap and Trade

Evidently, the Tea Partiers would perpetuate our addiction to foreign oil and the destruction of the planet through global warming.

Ryan’s Ruling: Defer to Al Gore

Kinda weasel-ish..  Defer to Al Gore, if you must, but I wouldn’t.  Cap and trade has little to do with protecting the environment and therefor, rejecting cap and tax is equally not about the environment.  The Tea Party’s rejection of it is probably the same as most Conservatives, massive government exchange where favors will be traded for the right to do business… not cool.  But like he said, he’s letting Al handle this one.

Rich’s Ruling: Deferring to logic

3. Demand a Balanced Budget

This idea sounds great when headlines use the word trillion, but whether or not you agree with the Bush and Obama bailouts, there is no denying that without them, this country would be in a depression right now.

Ryan’s Ruling: Dangerous

Ah yes, asking those who hold the nation’s purse strings to not spend more than we have is truly dangerous, but letting them spend however they like is not.  A fiscally responsible person would suggest that some percentage of annual receipts be held in the “Federal Rainy Day Trust Fund”.   Then again, since the stimulus has been proven to not actually have been beneficial.. the position is silly on its own lack of merit.

Rich’s Ruling: Ryan didn’t think, he/she just threw ideology into the response

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform: Adopt a Single and Fair Single-Rate Tax System

A flat tax would make the poor poorer and the rich richer. Any given percentage of a low-income, impoverished family’s income is far more valuable than the same percentage to a family making six figures. To give an example, $100 could make or break a poor family, but a family earning over $100K would likely not even notice a missing $100. Mocking the length of the internal revenue code, the Tea Partiers would require that a new tax code be no longer than the US Constitution. Yet this is simply an attempt to spark patriotism and fieriness in those who read the Contract; there is no logical reason why a new tax code should have that many words or fewer.

Ryan’s Ruling: Oppressive

Of course a family earning $100,000 would miss $100.00, they know where their money goes.  Would a family making $20k miss $100.00 more?  Sure.  But a single rate system would mean that if the $20k family paid $100 in taxes the $100k family would pay $500 which they would certainly miss, on a fair plane with the $20k earners.  What’s more important is that the $20k family would now be negatively impacted by Congress’ spending and taxation and therefor less likely to respond so positively to spending measures when they know they will not get the free-ride they get today.

Rich’s Ruling: Egalitarian garbage

5. Restore fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government in Washington: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.

There are quite a few issues here. Broadly stated, the idea itself is excellent. Indeed, something similar was promised by President Obama during his campaign. However, what the Tea Party thinks should be cut is very different than what most Americans would think. Notice the bit where they identify “programs better left for the states or local authorities.” The Tea Party has advocated eliminating both the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. It is not necessary to go into why either change would be disastrous. In addition, it is the job of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution. They have the final word on what the document means, not the Tea Party.

Ryan’s Ruling: Cutting Wasteful Spending? Sure. The Rest? End of United States as We Know It

First Ryan posits that what the Tea Party wants is different than what America wants.  What he/she means is that it is different that what Progressives want.  His intellectually-bankrupt ruling proves that out.

Rich’s Ruling: Not the end of the United States as we know it, the end of America as progressives want it.

6. End runaway government spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

Seems to me that this could pose a problem in wartime or in an economic crisis when massive stimulus is required.

Ryan’s Ruling: Dangerous

Well, that “Federal Rainy Day Trust Fund” comes to mind again.  Only two positions could be taken on such a fund. Either A) we should not be at war so often and this fund will grow substantially to some mandated maximum or B) we are at war too much to save any money and therefor war should just be a budget line item that is equal to that reality.

Rich’s Ruling: Ryan would be dangerous if anyone other than college-aged progressives and people living in their parent’s basements believed his musings.

7. Defund, repeal, and replace government-run health care.

They later clarify how they want to replace the current system: free-market health care. Translation: Wall Street-style, pure capitalistic health care. Right, because at this point we all know that deregulation of industries and letting private companies do whatever they want, including discriminating based on pre-existing conditions, or denying health care altogether, leads to a fair and equitable health care system that gives those that can’t afford it what they need.

Ryan’s Ruling: Downright Stupid

The current health care system isn’t anything close to free-market.  Most health care consumers don’t shop around for their care because for everyday care, they don’t pay anything but a co-pay.  That doctor’s visit doesn’t actually cost $25, it’s in the $125.00+ range for a simple office visit, but most don’t have to pay that.  If oil changes, shocks, brakes and repairs for you car’s engine were paid for by your auto insurance, your premiums would be ridiculous, but you wouldn’t shop around because you only perceived the payment to be the co-pay.  Costs would skyrocket due to the lack of free market competition – not from the presence of it.

Rich’s Ruling: Agreed, Ryan is “Downright Stupid”

8. Pass an “all of the above” energy policy: Authorize the exploration of proven energy and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation.

Translation: Drill, baby, drill. Deregulate the oil industry and drill wherever there’s oil. Now that’s truly insightful, since we all know how unlikely that is to end in disaster (as long as you don’t live along the Gulf of Mexico). Not to mention that such a policy would just accelerate the death of the planet. We should be investing in alternative, clean energy, not more oil and coal.

Ryan’s Ruling: Suicidal, on a Planetary and Environmental Scale

Well, let me start with the fact that Ryan’s whole position is based on his/her assumption about what the Tea Party meant by this clause.  While I can’t say what the intent of part 8 is, I would admit that I can’t take it at more than face value.  I will concede that it includes drilling – and solar, wind, gas, geo, cosmic energy, whatever.

Rich’s Ruling: Ugh, this is getting old.. nice ideology based on nothing but self-interest.

9. Stop the pork: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

If Congress ever gets a 2/3 majority on a controversial bill, I will… well… it doesn’t really matter what I would do because that will never happen. Witness the gridlock in Congress in recent months, where the filibuster allowed the Republican Party to prevent the extension of unemployment benefits for those who desperately needed them. Some may think “Yay! End to wasteful spending!” While I certainly agree that earmarks need to be brought under control, killing them altogether is not the way to do it. Earmarks are not all evil, despite their portrayal as such. This is how congressmen bring money and projects into the states they were elected from. They can create jobs, build infrastructure, and fund other state and local initiatives — the very state and local initiatives Tea Partiers seem so fond of. If earmarks are eliminated, state funding is starved. And another thing that will never happen is the government having a balanced budget.

Ryan’s Ruling: Counterproductive

Ending earmarks simply forces debate on the actual bill.  Earmarks are used to slip controversial spending into another bill so that both the base bill (which might be controversial) and the earmark pass without serious debate on either.  Those that would have voted down the base bill get something in the earmark so they will accept the bad base bill and vice versa for the earmark.  Make them vote on single purpose legislation so we know whether they represent us or not.

To address the whole, “They can create jobs..” part, that isn’t the work of Congress.  That’s for the states and cities to manage, and they do a far better job.

Rich’s Ruling: Hope Ryan never gets any position of influence in our government.  He/She has already volunteered to sell his/her soul.

10. Stop the tax hikes: Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes (the estate tax), currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

It’s interesting how so many of these Tea Party goals are written in a way that seems appealing to people precisely because they’re written in a way that prevents them from being fully understood. Simply put, this implies extending the Bush tax cuts forever. To sum up what the Bush tax cuts were: tax cuts for the rich, making the wealthy wealthier. While having taxes cut seems great, tax cuts of the magnitude the Tea Party is advocating would starve the federal government (which I’m sure would make the Tea Partiers happy) and increase the gap between rich and poor, accelerating the deterioration of the already vanishing middle class; and with it, the cornerstone of democracy.

Ryan’s Rating: Moronic (three cheers from Wall Street)

Ryan’s objection to this clause is failed at best.  He/She makes an assertion that this extends the “Bush tax cuts” forever.  I believe that the intent is to prevent the constant reconsideration of one set of taxation rates.  If Ryan had instead attacked this clause because it is redundant to clause 4, it would have shown some thought, not just the regurgitation of a failed ideology.  He also would have received agreement from me, clause 10 is unnecessary if 4 is enacted.

Rich’s Ruling: Ryan wasn’t thinking here.

I’m making a final recommendation that Ryan, who appears to be a Freshmen at MIT from his publications, take some philosophy courses and understand his own first principles and bases of thought before pressing them on others.  Reading Nietzsche, Marx et al is not enough, truth exists Mr. Normandin and equality of condition or outcome does not.

Progressives Cry Gun Culture Out-of-Control

They cried that the gun culture is out-of-control, and I let ’em have it.

This article at New Haven Register rants on gun ownership, doesn’t have an author’s name (at least not when I went there), had poorly-sourced statistics and what sounded like the idiocy that usually comes from the left.

Nine more Connecticut families now have to feel the devastation of gun violence in the workplace. A worker at Hartford Distributors went on a rampage, killing eight fellow employees and himself.

Our society has come to accept these shootings almost as normal events. Instead, we should ask: “Is this the culture we want?”

The gun culture has been energized by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming the right of an individual to possess guns in their home for protection. But, let us not forget that every year in this country, guns kill more than 30,000 people

So I commented – and so should you.

Typical progressive tripe, the author knew it and therefor hid their identity.

What about defensive gun use and the lives that might save? There’s a number out there that says that 40,000 lives were saved by lawful gun owners last year.

So using two unsourced stats together (because two wrongs somehow make a right), the net is that guns resulted in 10,000 more people breathing today than otherwise might have been.

In ObamaSpeak, that’s 10,000 lives created or saved.

The Myths about the Myths of Social Security

For decades we’ve all known the Social Security was in trouble. No more!!  MoveOn.org has calmed the waters and published the truth – all while using an absolute fiction.

This post at the liberal site attempts to convince its readers that there is nothing wrong with Social Security – move on folks, nothing to see here:

Myth: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.3 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits–and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

The source of footnote “1” is… yup, another liberally-slanted “news” site, new deal 2.0. To refute this myth about a myth, I submit – The 2009 Annual Report of the Board of  Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors  Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (that’s the original name for the Social Security Trust Fund):

Under the long-range intermediate assumptions, annual cost will begin to exceed tax income in 2016 for the combined OASDI Trust Funds.

That just means they’ll dig into their piggy bank right?  Well, that piggy bank is not cash or any other easily liquid assets (stocks, money market funds, etc) – it’s government bonds.  In the event of Social Security running a deficit, they will have to cash in their government bonds, and their holdings aren’t small.  One must also realize that in order for the government to pay those bonds, they will have raise taxes, cut spending or both.  The exact same thing as if dealing with a deficit crisis.

I am not sure how they even throw this next one out with a straight face .. but hey, job security for me.

Myth: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly–since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Checking the footnote source “3” .. The Center for Economic and Policy Research – A progressive economic “think-tank”.  Wow, what right-wing nut job counter-source will I use… uh, I know!  That whacked-out tea party infested non-partisan .. Congressional Budget Office :

Once the baby-boom generation retires, the portion of the nation’s output that the federal government will spend on Social Security will increase by more than 50 percent–from 4.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal year 2001 to an estimated 6.5 percent in 2030.<

This is just too easy.
Next up… a statement that is only true if you believe the first two falicies:

Myth: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn’t need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here’s a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

But heck, this has been so fun, let’s see who this source “5” is.  The Economic Policy Institute which has a board of directors listing that reads like a collection of union leadership, socialists,and at a minimum heavily left-leaning academicians.

  • Andy Stern – SEIU Founder
  • Linda Sanchez (D-CA 39)
  • Ed Mcelroy – American Federation of Teachers
  • Ron Gettlefinger – United Auto Workers
  • R. Thomas Buffenbarger, Internation Association of Machinists & Allied Workers
  • Anna Burger, SEIU and “Change to Win” (Organized labor group)

I could go on, but you get the point, another progressive site sourced as if it’s a balanced credible source.

Next up, something we’ve all known for decades:

Myth: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn’t full of IOUs, it’s full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market–which would have been disastrous–but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

I cringe at the thought, but yeah.. lemme go check this apparently omnipotent, clarifying and surely factual source.  Hey look, it’s Andy Stern and his union cronies at Economic Policy Institute again.  Now why would organized labor have an interest in Americans feeling secure about Social Security and also getting the rich to put more in than they will ever get out?  Probably because his union workers are going to get the shaft when they realize how badly unions have under-funded their pensions.  If the government can’t bail him out.. he’s looking at the collapse of organized labor.  Now to debunking the myth.. uh check the commentary under the first myth and the next one.. this is just a chain of lies where you tear down one and rest fall upon the weak foundation that first lie set.

I hope I don’t even have to post a rebuttal to this one, because if you’ve understood the rest of the article, it’s unnecessary:

Myth: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It’s not just wrong — it’s impossible! By law, Social Security funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can’t add one penny to the deficit.1

The source, New Deal 2.0 .. again.  As if the actual “New Deal” hasn’t actually perpetuated a deficit crisis, the new version is trying to say that not only did Social Security not cause the issue, it’s actually not even possible.  The first rebuttal should give you enough, but if not.. lemme try again.  During years of excess, the Social Security trust fund does not get to hang on to its excesses.  It has to put that money into government bonds and hold those instead.  Should they run into deficit, they will call on the government to give them cash for the bonds.  Since our government doesn’t have any free cash due to deficit spending… they’ll have to borrow money from somewhere else, raise taxes or cut spending – exactly the same actions as excessive debt.  Because the trust fund gave the government money and it received bonds in return, it holds debt of the U.S. government (I said debt right?).  The treasury got money from someone on a loan basis to cover costs it cannot fund on its own.  Most of us call that operating at a deficit.  Social Security absolutely enables our government’s deficit spending and if they call on the money in those IOUs, it will just get tacked-on.

So MoveOn.org posts an article based on the facts of union-run, far-left, liberal nut-job organizations – gave me something to do, but could really have used a challenge.

The Left Does Not Get Gun Rights

Huffington Post has an article that goes nuts worrying about men carrying guns around… children.  I was ten when I handled my first gun, twelve when I was given my first rifle – by my mother.  I had to comment.  Heck we all should.. they haven’t a clue why the second amendment is important.  They are mind-melded to their chosen ones in Congress and can’t think for themselves.

A car driven by a crack-infested druggie is scarier to me than an unloaded gun carried by a responsible citizen.  The left have no idea what their rights are for and are therefor willing to give them up at the request of their leaders.

The second amendment is there to insure that the government cannot de-fang the citizenry to which they should be answerable.  Libs are trying to make sure that we are all as sheepish and ignorant as they are.

Obama Driving BP to Default So Taxpayers Can Foot the Cleanup Bill

Another HuffPo hit.  Chris “Leg Tingly” Mathews posted about the possibility that BP may go bankrupt.  I decided to let him have it on why:

well, BP’s market capitalization is now less than the worth of its assets, so yup, some form of default is coming. But Obama wants the default.

He sent Holder and an army of snakes (aka lawyers) down to the gulf instead of getting in front of this himself. There is a time for blame – that time typically comes after you deal with the disaster to avoid distraction. Leadership 101, guess they don’t teach that in ivy league schools.

Investors are fleeing from the stock leading BP to have no choice. Their bonds are trading at or below junk. They couldn’t even borrow money, but perhaps Obama could loan him some of our (printed) cash.

With $12B or so left in the piggy and $1.5B just in the containment effort… this looks aweful for taxpayers (the ones who will be paying for this).

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