Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ideology - why I don't buy it

Recently I've been engaged in a respectful online debate over global warming with a couple people I really like and admire. But it has helped me understand why I have never been, and never will be an ideological Republican or Democrat.

Except for my belief in Jesus and living a good and clean life, I'm really not sure about much else.

Ideological leftists and rightists never hold out the possibility that their opponents may have something to say. It is impossible for them to say, "I was wrong," or "that was wrong," or even "I could be wrong."

I was one who was convinced we should invade Iraq because of the presence of weapons of mass destruction. I was not alone, a lot of people on both sides of the divide agreed with that, including our current Secretary of State. But when it was proved they didn't exist, I didn't keep insisting they did. That was wrong. The premise was wrong, the intelligence was wrong and we invaded a country for a bogus reason. I still love our troops and all they do, I refuse to turn on them.

I'll listen to the argument that Iraq will be better off without Saddam, but that doesn't change the facts that the premise of the invasion was wrong. Facts are facts.

Recently, the global-warming-is-caused-by-humans scientists got caught by a bunch of e-mails that show that many of them, upset that their computer models were wrong and that the earth has actually cooled over the last number of years, decided to cover up, cook the books or stifle the opposition. That was wrong. People should say so. Science is not ideology. Revisionist history is not real history.
Not a whimper about the waste of carbon emissions used in flying gas guzzling limos to Copenhagen for use by the dignataries, most of whom fly by private jets to the summit. When all those environmentalists start walking to their next summit, I'll start to listen.
Let's not even start on all the cow manure that Al Gore has spewed over the years on the subject.

Like their friends on the far right, you don't hear the left admit that. They don't acknowledge they have a credibility crisis of their own. They move forward like nothing happened.

Republicans were ushered into office in 1994 based on their promise to bring back fiscal stability and values and then they spent 12 years spending like drunken sailors.

The Democrats promise to bring back civility, bipartisanship and transparency in 2006 and are swept into office only to do the opposite. A Congressional representative who didn't pay his taxes is put in charge of the committee that decides on them, just for one example.

As all of you know, I couldn't support either major Presidential party candidate last election, but President Obama who promised open doors, transparency and the end to pork barrel spending was elected only to allow the first spending bill he signed to be laden with the usual useless Congressional spending.

Now he is apparently poised to do that again with another spending bill weighted down with pork, for both sides, but mostly his.

The lock step nature of politics, ala the Republicans versus Arlen Specter and the Democrats versus Ben Nelson are another reason I detest the two parties. People are elected to represent their districts or states, not the party that carries their political label. There should be no punishment for voting your conscience.

I applaud those representatives, even if I don't agree with them, who go against their party when they believe it is the right thing to do. Not so much when their votes are purchased with millions and billions of my money and yours.

At lot of my friends detest Joe Lieberman, I celebrate him. I don't always agree with him either. An independent thinker is not necessarily a bad thing. I thought it was just desserts when the Democrats worked so hard to get him defeated in the Democratic primary in Rhode Island only to have him come back and thump their guy as an Independent.

My local Republican congressional representative, Candice Miller, is supposedly a good conservative, but yet touts her efforts to bring Homeland Security grants that buys fire engines for places like Otter Lake, which, last time I checked, is not a hot bed for Al Qaeda. It is that kind of stuff that drives me crazy.

Recently there is a hell bent effort to pass any kind of health care. Doesn't matter if anyone reads the bill, knows what's in it or if it really helps anyone. It just matters that something gets passed to save the enormous ego of our young President. From what I understand, and I'll freely admit I haven't read the bill, is that none of the good provisions even take effect for four or more years, although the taxes that support it begin next year.

This country sorely needs health care reform. It certainly needs a way for everyone to have access to health care, but all that is lost in this partisan effort to either pass, or defeat, anything proposed by the other side. In my opinion it is better to do it right, than fast.
And, by the way, what ever happend to the Prez's campaign promise that the health care debate and legislative process would be open, transparent and on C-SPAN. I keep looking on C-SPAN, but it's not there.

Removing a brutal dictator from power, developing alternative energy and conserving our precious earth resources and providing health care for all, are noble intentions.

Good intentions, whether on the left or right, do not make good policy, science or economics. I'm sick of the back and forth, the lack of courage to do the right thing or even the courtesy to admit when your side is wrong, or makes a mistake.

That's all I'm going to have to say on politics for awhile. Frankly, I'm sick of it. I'm sure you all can agree that is a good thing.

Flattery will get you no where (or is it nowhere?)

The latest comment rejected by me (one of less than 10 in two years):

"Cool blog. But I'd rather read more about....(and then a link to a website called "Asian Escorts").

Nice try, but this is why I use moderation.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A warning about THE debt

Hopefully someone will start taking this seriously. Thanks to one of my readers for sending me this link to this story. The government cannot spend us into prosperity, but they can very easily spend us into disaster.

Congress just raised the debt limit again. Clearly, this is not sustainable and the quick fix will likekly lead to long range disaster.

The next time someone tells me that a government run health care "will save us money," I'm going to remind them that we got into $13 trillion in debt because we believed Republicans and Democrats about their estimates for Social Security, Medicare, a series of wars, the cost of prescription drug benefits, and on and on.

From all the past promises of "savings" our country ought to owe nothing by now. Instead we're swimming (maybe drowning) in an unsustainable debt. I've said this so many times it is now boring me, but it is immoral to keep adding to a debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay.

They are going to really be mad at us someday and I won't blame them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A funny video from the left

Most folks who visit here know I am very skeptical about the current plans to reform health care. Health care needs reform, but the way it is being done in Washington is, in my humble opinion, a joke. But has a pretty funny video about Joe Liebermann that I couldn't help but chuckle at.

The Booth strategy explained

A loyal FFE reader passed along a link to and Editor and Publisher story about the current strategy of trying to charge more for less. (Hat tip to Jan).

Good news, sort of?

Apparently not losing as much as you have been losing is good news.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gene Weingarten: Unfit to print

My father sent along by snail mail a very funny journalism column by the Washington Post's Gene Weingarten. Enjoy. It explodes the myth of liberal bias, well, maybe.

Warning: You may have to suffer through a very annoying advertisement, but eventually it disappears.

This one is worth a good chuckle as well.

A Twisted Sister Christmas

A pastor I know posted this on his Facebook. It is a little out there, but it is a version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" that I had never heard before. I've got some tamer and more traditional offerings planned for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Al Gore: An inconvenient spokesman

The inventor of the Internet and the subject of the book "A Love Story" has stepped into a big pile of global warming doo-doo with his latest exaggeration at the Nopenhagen, 'er Copenhagen, Summit.

Even the dire predicting, global warming supporting scientist quoted by Al Gore in a speech yesterday publicly blanched at the Gore prediction that the polar ice cap will completely disappear in five years.

Please note that Mr. Gore's office admitted that the figures of five years to the end of the polar ice cap were from a talk with the scientist "several years" ago. The "several years ago" comment from Gore's office makes the fact he used the figures even more puzzling.

Hopefully, this conference will end in a whimper of frustration and then we can all get on to the real work of cleaning up our environment and developing alternative energy without the chicken little, sky-is-falling nonesense that has become the global warming community.

There's clearly nothing wrong with developing green technology or in conserving the earth's resources, but we don't need to be scared into it with manipulated science or doomsday scenarios.

Propaganda is no more acceptable from the left than it is from the right.

Inside Out: More Advance news

The Inside Out blog has a couple new stories on the top management merry-go-round and some new buy out offers.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Warren Buffett chimes in on newspaper travails

Warren Buffett offers his opinion, which mirrors what many of the peons (me included) were saying ten years ago when the suits were telling us that free or not, we had to give our product away on the Internet.

Didn't make sense then, and makes less sense in hindsight. But what did we know, we were just reporters.

Two former Flint Journal editors, still in the company by the way, dismissed our opinions about giving away the product. Funny, we're gone and they're still there. Go figure.

This year's Red Wing pre-game video

I really like the new pre-game video that is shown at Joe Louis Arena before every Detroit Red Wings game.

Last year's was pretty good too! We always like to be in our seats in time to watch the videos.

George Carlin on the Environment: Adults only warning

I'm not embedding this George Carlin video on the blog because it violates my rules about profanity. However, if you can stand a few f-bombs, George sums up my feelings about the current panic over the environment in just seven minutes.

Carlin was one of the great thinkers of our time and while I disagreed sometimes with what he said, I always found it thought provoking.

So click on the link above, but only if you are prepared for the profanity. Hopefully, someone will play this video during coming global warming summits.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday Night Live: How the mighty have fallen

For the first time in ages I was up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live. We turned it off about half way through. It was horrible. Not just horrible, but embarrassingly horrible.

What has happened to the writers on that show? The only part that was halfway acceptable was the news portion, but the skits were as lame as I could ever imagine.

Maybe it will never regain its level of Belushi, Chase, Farrell, etc., but what I saw last night wouldn't survive most local cable access channels.

Here's a free script idea for SNL: Take any President Obama speech or any Republican or Democrat congressional representative giving a speech or conducting a hearing and simply run the sound track of one of the Peanuts television specials, but only play the noise that adults make when the speak.

"Waaah, waaah, wah, wah, waaaaaaaah, waaaaah." That's what all their hot air is starting to sound like to me.

I tried to listen to President Obama give one of his daily speeches (and he has a clear speech delivery) broadcast everywhere and it suddenly occurred to me that I had completely tuned out the message. The first thing that came to mind was the adults speaking on Peanuts. It was really startling how the rhetoric has become so repetitious that it just puts you to sleep.

Shorten up the speeches Prez, they are too long.