Archive for January 2009
Lately, in my research, a number of things have popped up regarding the City of Detroit, MI. While one or two things in a city usually are normal, for some reason, the name “Detroit” kept coming up in my research. So, I decided to chronicle what I found, do a little bit more research, and show what happens when liberalism and labor unions with a chokehold on the state government will do to a once great city of the USA.
1. Literacy Rate – This week, I found a very startling statistic. In Metro Detroit, currently, there is a staggering 47% illiteracy rate in the city. This means nearly one in every TWO people cannot read. Michigan’s largest city with nearly 1,000,000 people has 450,000 people who are illiterate. One would wonder how many of the 830,000 vote difference in Michigan between Barack Obama and John McCain was made up of people who were unable to read, research the issues, and make informed decisions based on facts, rather than emotional response.
2. People die and no one cares – This week, I found articles (example) talking about some poor soul who was frozen in three feet of ice; only his feet were protruding. It’s bad enough that anyone dies this way, encased in ice for weeks, but life went on around him, as if the people seeing this didn’t care about the guy.
3. Houses stripped of their raw metals – This is older news, but because of the recessed housing market, houses like this one mentioned, the notorious $1 house, more houses are being ripped apart for their raw materials. Copper pipes removed, siding ripped off, carted down the streets in wheel barrows where it can be sold to scrap dealers and recycle facilities. Short of the ‘we’ll pay you to take it over’ mentality, houses are being abandoned and then stripped by thieves.
4. Forbes-rated The Most Miserable City – Detroit was rated the nation’s Most Miserable City by Forbes for 2008. The highest level of violent crime, second-highest in unemployment, often adopting the mantle of “US Murder Capital”, Detroit’s plight often holds national attention in cliché.
5. Education Failure – It’s not for lack of money. Detroit, on average, spends $11,400 per pupil during 2007-2008 and graduates just 20% of blacks and 17% of whites that go through the school system. In fact, if you read the previous article about the guy frozen to death in the warehouse, that warehouse used to contain school supplies that were left to rot rather than handed out to the kids.
6. Political Corruption – Just this year, September 18, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned from office after a very tumultuous political career as the city’s youngest mayor. Shortly after his departure from office, he was sentenced to four months in jail and a million dollar fine on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury, and misconduct in office. He was disbarred, required to surrender his legislator pension, and put on probation for five years.
What the heck is going on in Motown?
This is what happens when the Democrats, liberals, and labor unions keep a GOP mayor from being elected since 1961. Middle-class people are forced out of town by riots, leaving behind a cesspool of people who’s only hope is the millions of dollars in government dependency that is dumped in, with no motivation to bring this failure out of the rubble.
If you want to see what happens when liberals control something for long periods of time, look in Detroit.
In closing, have a listen to Mr. Newt Gingrich’s comments regarding Detroit and understand – this is the product of liberalism. Conservatism has been completely shut out of the Detroit system for the last fifty years – and one of the countries great cities has fell into ruin.
And like Newt says, no liberal will dare talk about Detroit, because there is no excuse other than liberal failure policies breeding entitlement and dependency. This is a time to mourn, because more of this will follow if we adopt our new President’s liberal agenda.
Within the Declaration of Independence, one of our most hallowed and sacred of documents covering the governance of our land, there are three inalienable rights of man, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every American and every human has these three basic rights. However, as we learned, these rights can override one another, as we learned from Oliver Wendell Holmes. So, as I think over this list, I see that it is an ordered list, and correctly prioritized.
In other words, the right to life reigns over the right to liberty; the right to liberty trumps the right to the pursuit of happiness. So, it is improper, then, for one’s pursuit of happiness to infringe on another man’s liberty, and a man’s liberty should never override another person’s right to life.
I think about the abortion issue and the fact that I believe the unborn child, from conception to birth, is a human life and is deserving of equal protection. I do not believe that a woman’s pursuit of happiness should ever override that baby’s right to life.
Now, if one chooses to give up their right to life so that another might have the right to life, or even more, the right to liberty, this is an act of bravery and courage. The Bible even says, “scarcely for a good man would one dare to die”. My brethren and sisters-in-arms offer up their lives so that I may have the right to liberty – and for that, I offer my humblest gratitude, as we all should, for they are the true heroes of our country, not Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid.
Giving up one’s liberty for someone else’s happiness, however, is an act of stupidity, and giving up one’s right to life for another’s happiness is an atrocity.
So we see there is a priority to these rights and I believe George Mason, who penned these words into the Virgina Declaration of Rights might agree with my premise*. But even if he would not, I do believe that there are priorites to rights, based on the precedents set in the Scriptures.
Lastly, these truths are self-evident, that is, they need no explanation. And just like the charges listed in the Declaration, one has to suspend rational and logical thought to not see it this way.
*An interesting sidenote is that Mason was in-fact a slave-owner. Even more interestingly, he was, at heart, an anti-slavery advovate. He said, “It is far from being a desirable property. But it will involve us in great difficulties and infelicity to be now deprived of them.” So he might not have truly agreed with my premise, given his right to property and pursuit of happiness would not be overridden by their right to liberty, but I digress.
A number of people over the last couple days have adm0nished me because of my apparent lack of sensitivity about the inauguration. I’ve been called ignorant, bigoted, and harsh.
But I won’t back down from my position. I won’t drink the kool-aid and sniff the faerie dust. I’m a conservative and I refuse to give up my positions because people find them offensive. I refuse to apologize for my beliefs. I believe that the individual has the power over his own destiny with hard work and God’s blessing, not because some liberal speech-writer, by proxy through Obama, tells us that we’re entitled to happiness.
With God’s permission, I make my own way in the world, and that offends people who would rather that I validate their need for entitlement by laying down, sticking a funnel in my gullet and letting some government bureaucrat pour the kool-aid in. I don’t need the government in my business, my life, my health-care decisions, or telling me what is right and wrong. In fact, it’s government that needs to be told how to do it’s business and what is right and wrong.
So, if I offend you with my words, I offer no apology to you, for it’s not me at which you’re anger is directed, but rather, my positions. And if you hate me for my positions, well, don’t even consider us equals in the marketplace of ideas, because I still can still love you and do so because God has shown me the way. You, however, in your intolerance, cannot.
Now, onto my rant:
Yesterday, I got a number of incendiary comments regarding my so-called “lack of sensitivity” regarding the inauguration. I was told things like:
“this is an important moment for some”
“why do you have to rain on their parade. Let them have their day”
“you’re so heartless, this is an important step for humanity!”
Ugh…all the kool-aid is going to make me sick.
I take issue with all the pomp surrounding this event because people are so enamored with the man, as if he is anything more special than any of his collegues and peers in government.
“oh, Rick! But he represents CHANGE!!”
“Just what does he plan on changing and how will he change it? He has yet to articulate those what those changes are and what they mean to us.”
“That’s not what I meant. I mean all the world is happy and smiling again, it’s wonderful!”
Why is it so wonderful? What the heck is so wonderful about Barack Obama? Yes, the people elected him and yes, he is the president. But why are these people so gushy gushy over him? I still remember the pictures of women crying profusely during his acceptance speech back in November, crying like they had just been given $20 million dollars, tax-free.
Is it because he’s not George Bush? Well, we knew that. Is it because he’s a liberal? Well, we knew that too, even though we don’t really see the ramifications because the mainstream media treats Obama with kid gloves.
Hopefully, it’s not because he’s a man of color, because that would really just torque me off. While I’m a firm believer in civil rights for all citizens, if a man of color was what they wanted in office, rather than someone whose policy decisions would be good for the country, that tells me that America didn’t listen to Dr. King’s statements about judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
Maybe it’s because of entitlement – that the people who elected him will have a president who will, in their perception, give them their hearts desire. I heard one woman remark on the radio, “I won’t have to worry about paying my rent anymore!” *gush gush* These people cannot be seriously thinking that electing Obama will absolve them of the responsibilities and hardships of life.
What ever the reason, well, I’m not buying it. I’m not going to go all gushy gushy over Obama because I will judge him by the content of his character and by the things he will do while in office. If he refuses to protect the unborn, if he fails to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage, if he decides to crank up my taxes to pay for all the entitlement spending and bailout programs, he won’t earn anything but my harsh criticism.
And, God forbid, if we get attacked by some terror group because he felt the need to pull our troops back, thus taking the pressure off of Al Qaida and the Taliban, you can believe I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs, calling everyone who voted for him a blooming idiot.
However, if he starts reducing government interference in people’s lives, keeps taxes for EVERYONE, rich and poor, nice and low, protects the traditional family vehemently, repairs the business of America by letting the market sort itself out, and brings Osama Bin Laden’s head in on a silver charger, well, he’ll earn my respect.
“Well, Rick, you may not like the guy, but you have to respect him now – he’s our President”.
Oh really, if I’m supposed to be so respectful to our new President, then how about letting the the mobs of disrespectful protesters in Washington that were singing, “nyah nyah nyah nyah, hey hey, good bye” to President Bush during the inauguration ceremony show me how to do it?
I think not. My respect for Obama is tied to what he does while in the Oval Office, not because I’ve got so much faerie dust in my eyes that it makes me cry. I’ll still pray for him, though.
I’ve been seriously upset over the last few years over the fact that Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were put in prison for doing their jobs.
If you don’t recall, Ramos and Compean were the two Border Patrol agents who shot Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the butt when he was running away from his van, loaded with marijuana. They fired on Davila when they believed that he was armed.
The prosecutor, Johnny Sutton, made the point that there was no evidence connecting Davila to the drugs, yet a number of complaints, particularly ethical, showed that Sutton’s presentation of information was willfully misleading.
In any case, Ramos and Compean were put in *solitary confinement* in a *maximum-security* facility for their actions, for 11 and 12 years for their punishment, based on the words of a known Mexican drug smuggler, who was granted immunity to testify against our agents.
The whole case stunk to high heaven. It still does, but at least the extreme punishment is over.
I’m glad that President Bush commuted their sentences and will be setting Ramos and Compean free. At the worst, they should have been reprimanded for acting without orders, moving their spent shell casings, and not properly reporting fired shots. But even so, the punishment was way too severe. Their lives are already ruined and it will take them a long time to restore them…
…for just doing what they thought was right in the heat of the moment.
I truly hate the entire legal profession for this. It’s abuses of the system that punish good people and let the evil go free.
Thank you, Mr. President!
I am so sick of hearing about this inauguration. I’m already going to boycott the whole darned thing, since nothing new will come out of it. We think we’re getting a new president, full of fresh ideas on change and hope, but all I see is the same stuff that made up the Clinton hype back in 1992, when Der Schlick was playing his saxophone on MTV and VH1 in order to enamor the dumbkopfs who elected him based on feelings, rather than cogent policy. While Obama isn’t the same as Bush, he’s quite the same as Clinton. So, all we’ve done is pushed the ball back to the liberal faction for a ‘more-of’-the-left’s-same’.
In 2005, the Associated Press slammed George Bush’s $40 million inauguration party and parade, saying that it was far too pricey. In fact, AP writer Will Lester griped about “better uses” for the money, saying it should go to getting armor on Humvees in Iraq, sending it to tsunami victims, or even paying down the national debt (like 40 million would even make a dent in the national debt). Lester argued, “The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?”
Here’s an excerpt of the slam: Click Here
But where are the likes of Will Lester now? Well, Associated Press has yet to release a single contrary argument about B. Hussein’s $45 million party, five mill more than Bush’s, and that’s not counting the security for the sheer record numbers of groupies that show up to gush all over the Ba-rockstar.
Some things never change, even for a president who argued a platform of change. Yet as I’ve blogged before and many others have reported, the Obama administration is filling up with many of the same old lackies that had a prominent role during the Clinton years.
Obama stated, “We can’t take the same old politics and the same old players and expect a different result”. But yet, we see that stance is contrary that.
Here’s a short-list of recycles:
- Leon Pinetto – CIA – Chief of Staff under Clinton
- Rahm Emanuel – Chief of Staff – Senior Advisor under Clinton
- Robert Reich – Economy Advisor – Sec Labor under Clinton
- Eric Holder – Attorney General – Deputy Attorney General under Clinton
- Cheryl Browner – Environmental Advisor – Ran EPA under
- Susan Rice – UN Ambassador – Deputy Secretary of State under Clinton
- Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State – Former First Lady under Clinton, Democrat Senator
- Tom Daschle – Secretary of HHS – Former Senate Minority Leader
So, I guess we’re just about ready to say, Barack Hu-same Obama. And to think, they called McCain, McSame.
Washington was right – and we just didn’t listen to him.
Did you watch President Bush’s farewell address last night? If you are a liberal, I am pretty sure you didn’t, unless every other word Bush said, you would say, “Good riddance”. It’s OK. Obama didn’t watch either. Turns out he was eating dinner at the very posh Equinox restaurant, not paying attention to what Bush had to say. Yeah, he’ll listen/read it later but I guess it wasn’t all that important to him.
Well, for those of us who did, I do have to say, if you didn’t, well, you didn’t miss that much. Sad to say, but President Bush’s final opportunity to address the American people was a sore disappointment. This was his last chance to say what he had come to Washington to say back in 2000. But yet, he squandered the time, defending his positions on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the economic crisis. Instead of telling Americans with gusto and effectual, fervent spirit that their hard work, determination, and steadfastness will overcome any obstacle, it was not as glorious. This speech won’t ring in the annals of the great monologues of all time.
So, to fill the void, I went and read the farewell address of President George Washington in 1796. And while Washington spoke with far greater eloquence and articulation than what we as a people are capable today (sorry, but it is too true), I was again moved by what he had to say, all those years ago.
I would encourage you to read it carefully: George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address
From that speech, four things stood out in my mind that I believe are very relevant to the American experience today. Sadly, these are four things that we have forgotten as a people.
1) Spirit of Party - Washington warned that when the spirit of the party is encouraged, it affects, by force, public opinion and has a tremendous tendency to excess. In other words, partisanship goes too far and destroys any effort to make the country better, favoring supporting the party.
Part of me, a large part, is about to go down to the post office and re-register as an Independent. While I very much want to continue voting in caucuses and such, I’m finding that the GOP, and particular, the GOP in the Beltway, has no interest in conservative principles. Republicans have now, like Democrats, gotten drunk over the spending and the corruption that goes with it. Most all the decisions in the House and Senate are party-line votes and most of the country, I would wager, is fed up with both parties. Washington was right – we didn’t listen to him.
2) Religion, National Morality, and Moral Government - Oh how far we have fallen! We have told the Almighty that He isn’t welcome in our governmental halls anymore. And while Washington asked His forgiveness for any mistakes that he might have made during his presidency, today, faith is something that is a liability to politicians.
It used to be that, as John Jay said, we should “prefer Christians”. After the first meeting of Congress to found the country, all members went across the way for a two hour prayer meeting. Today, Congress gives a little prayer and then completely forgets Him. (One only has to see the Capital Visitor’s Center to see how much God is suprisingly not present in our history – even though our monuments have Judeo-Christian influence all over them.
If politicians were actually moral, we might trust them more. But for them to have that morality, they must adhere to religious principles. Yet, we dare not make such a suggestion, for who are we now to demand that someone live their lives according to God’s law? Everyone has the right to choose their own path. But yet, those that choose a path are often (particularly by liberals) ostracised for it.
Today, we have a president who would rather go to the gym and play basketball than to be in the House of the Lord. And when he does darken the doors of a church, the church is run by a minister who hurls incendiary comments like, “US of K-K-K A”, “not God bless America, but God ____ America!”, and “America’s chickens have come home to roost” (comments made right after 9/11 by Jeremiah Wright).
3) Fiscal Responsibility – Washington noted that an important source of security and strength was to cherish public credit and to use it as sparingly as possible. He warned against accumulation of mass amounts of debt because when we borrow, we become subservient to the lender.
Today, how many people crave to be debt-free? But yet, our country is now over $10 Trillion in debt, paying out bailout money to every bank, auto company, broker, and perhaps even porn shops, when they come with their hat in their hand. Nancy Pelosi is touting an $825 Billion stimulous – where’s that going to come from?
Washington was right – and again, we aren’t listening to his very wise words.
4) Manage foreign affairs conservatively – Washington warned that we should stay out of Europe and not interfere in the politics of any foreign nation. But how much now are we even dependent on Europe and how much do we interfere in the political affairs of other countries in the interests of promoting democracy and liberty? Europe is wholly socialist now. We ran away from that over 200 years ago to found this country, to do things a different way, and now we’re bringing that same socialism here to America. It didn’t work there, it won’t work here and we’ll lose our ‘different way’.
So folks, if you were like me and felt dismayed at last night’s speech, I would encourage you to read Washington’s speech and see that, if we are to really keep America alive for our kids, we have to turn off the TV, close our cell phones, walk away from our computers, and start learning from where we’ve gone wrong.
And things have gone wrong. Washington prophetically enumerated some of the major things for us. It’s up to us, really, to decide if we’re going to keep ignoring the mistakes of the past or learn from them.
As you may know, Feb 17, 2009 is the day that the last of the analog TV broadcasts will be piped over the air. For the last three years, TV stations have been broadcasting the heads up that, after Feb 17, you’ll need a digital receiver if you use bunny ears on an analog TV. While this is a good thing, really the best thing to innovate TV since it came out in the ’50′s, the deadline approaches and now, people are getting cold feet about the switch.
Turns out, the Consumers Union is pushing Congress to delay the cut over, because the government didn’t properly tell people about the switch over and a lot of people will be without TV. They’re clamoring about how people who need their $40 Digital converter subsidy are now on a waiting list to get it done and people just have no idea what to do.
This is what happens when the lowest common denominator among the population has to be appeased before anything gets done. Essentially, we have to delay a project because people are two dumb to understand that they have to do something to continue getting TV after the 17th of February.
I say, just do the switch.
How long has this been coming? How many YEARS have TV stations been telling us to be ready for Feb 17, to get your digital converter box? But yet, there are still hordes of people who are ill-prepared, not paying attention to the deadline.
So, the government will spend more money to advertise to these folks how they can still get TV and pump a couple more billion into making sure these sheep have their digital boxes before the new deadline (if they don’t delay again because the people weren’t paying attention). More tax dollars shelled out because people didn’t pay attention to what has been coming down the pipe. And once again, those who were prudent and prepared for changes now have to pay for those who weren’t.
The writer of the article that I reference mentions that those for a delay believe that, in a recessed economy, people shouldn’t have to shell out their own money to stay tuned in, particularly when this is a government move. Instead, the government will shell it out and it will be another year or more before we go forward.
And in the spirit of Conservative Rabitity: And we want the government to run our healthcare? They can’t even manage this on time and within budget…kinda like that Capital Visitor’s Center thing…
Hart, K. (2008) Congress Urged To Postpone Nation’s Switch To Digital TV. Washington Post. Online. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/07/AR2009010703916.html?hpid=moreheadlines