Begin Planning Now

These are parlous times, cluttered with counter-intuitive truths. Note, for example, that keeping the corrupt in power, as horrible as that sounds, may prove to be for the best. By refusing to clean house, the leadership of Congress could be writing its suicide note. Then too, when Old Europe makes it obvious that it welcomes the decline of the USA, that could be just the shock the nation needs to make it replace its masters with principled leaders. And finally, it is certain that attempts to create a Utopia will do great damage, thereby demonstrating the need for fundamental reforms — and animating the reformers.

Sometimes in order to find the strength to determine their destiny, the afflicted must suffer at the hands of rascals.

But…how does one oppose an establishment that views the national community as a mass of uncomprehending peasants, a mere target to be organized? How can the people nullify the commands of a man who can remain in power for more than three additional years? How can the electorate throw out a Congress controlled by professional politicians whose seats are safe because they live in the strongholds of the contemptuous ruling elite?

Well, some folks have pondered these questions, and provided suggestions.

Fact: it’s not too early to to consider what matters most, to plan, and to begin to form the networks. Not all revolutions have to be violent; until and unless Obama and his allied collectivists make dissent and opposition illegal — as Hitler did shortly after coming to power in complete accord with the democracy of his time and nation — the electorate remains sovereign.

So far, steps to subvert and co-opt the electorate’s power, such as the machinations of ACORN, have failed. In spite of the federal government’s current de facto policy of not prosecuting those who intimidate voters at the polling places, the citizenry can still vote.

The greatest danger, in this newsletter’s opinion, is that zealots hoping to keep the current congress and The One in power will literally sabotage the elections, stuffing ballot boxes and destroying ballots.

The USA’s representative democracy can be protected if citizens take it upon themselves to use their video cameras, cell phones and sheer numbers to secure honest elections. A network of alert voters can prevent tampering and negate intimidation.

All this will have to be planned and coordinated, and it is never too early to begin that effort.

As the dollar loses strength, and as taxes rise and circumstances worsen, the resolve of the people to preserve what is left of their heritage must grow. If that is to happen, the Tea Party movement will have to mature.

People will have to graduate from flag-waving participants to committed citizens who are willing to stand toe-to-toe with thugs. When the union toughs arrive to shut down the exercise of free speech, individuals of all ages and both sexes will have to block their way.

If the electorate deserves Liberty, then the courage to defend it will be found. The heroes who sent United 93 into a field in Pennsylvania were ordinary people, chosen by Fate and tasked with fighting back against impossible odds. They did not fail. Their example tells everyone that what must be done can be done.

This newsletter will have additional thoughts on specifically how the citizens of the Republic should proceed if they wish to reclaim and defend the promise they have inherited from the Founding Fathers.

The USA Can Consider Itself Lucky — So Far

From this news report, a quote:

A recent internal memo says that when cops make an arrest, they should remove the suspect’s cell phone battery to avoid leakage – then jot down the International Mobile Equipment Identity number.

The IMEI number is registered with the service provider whenever a call is made.

And that data (sic) could allow a detective to match, for example, a cell phone used by one suspect to a phone used by another.

There are limits to the data’s usefulness – all Chinese-made cells sold in India have the same number and some overseas cells are embedded with fake numbers.

How long do you suppose it will be before some enterprising crook smuggles a container of those Chinese cell phones into the USA, and sells them to thugs?

Thanks again, China, for your sterling business practices.

A Very Pedantic Quiz For Native Speakers Of English

Once again, the PenPo endeavors to make its subscribers feel inferior. Think of it as just the silly hobby here at the Eagle Wing Palace….

1. What’s the correct plural of “octopus”?

2. Identify all the words on this list that cannot be verbs (if any are present): press, impress, contact, book, text, harbor, salt, critique, sample, jade, compass.

3. Synonyms for “problematic.” Select all that apply: dubious, difficult, interrogatory, puzzling, putative, troublesome, munificent, egregious, hard, fulsome, meretricious.

4. If you confront your Nemesis, what are you dealing with? Your biggest problem; a loss of good health; your hardest task; your punitive deserts; trial by ordeal; pure malice; an implacable enemy who stalks you relentlessly; your greatest fear; a humiliation at the hands of false friends.

5. A medical examiner performs an autopsy on a deceased human, while a veterinary surgeon performs a(n) _______ on a dead horse.

6. Identify the correct meaning of “status quo.” A stable condition; circumstances that previously obtained; today’s circumstances; future circumstances as they will be if allowed to develop naturally.

7. “To deprecate” means: to downplay; to rot; to curse; to deplore; to collapse; to ridicule; to fall out of favor with the elite.

8. Media. Is it a singular or a plural noun? If it’s singular, what’s the plural? If it’s plural, what’s the singular? Why doesn’t anybody know the answer to this simple question, or care what it is?

9. What’s this error called? “Having completed the first part of the test, the second half seemed a lot easier.” — Correction: this question has been stricken from the list and replaced by another. The reason for that draconian step is that the original question refers to an error that is virtually exclusive to English-speakers from the United Kingdom. Therefore the question is virtually irrelevant to the subscribers of this newsletter. Here’s the replacement question: provide the definition of “parameter.” Is it a technical term from higher mathematics that is virtually impossible for non-mathematicians to understand; a setting (such as 200 degrees on an oven); or a limit or extent?

10. If your friend has “a plethora of tasks,” what does he have? A delightful abundance of things to do; lots of things to do; a wide selection of varied things to do; so many things to do that he is in danger; so many things to do that he is bemused; so many things to do that he may not get them all done in a timely fashion.

In case you care, the answers are available from the publisher. Caution: sources will be cited, and you are reminded that, in the words of a reference resorted to for parts of the above quiz, “…it’s against the rules to subject others to your own secret meanings.”

California

The chief justice of the California supreme court has informed the world that Californians do not deserve their remarkably quasi-direct democracy. It seems the voters have blocked confiscatory taxation on occasion. How dare they? When they do that — as when they saved the homes of retired folks who were inhumanely targeted by insatiable county and state governments — they prevent the ruling class from determining how much wealth is to be confiscated, and how it shall be redistributed. Horrors!

Read the article, and then consider these points.

First, the public has voted on a number of issues that it should not have had to decide, so the chief justice’s critique is apt — up to a point. He goes off the rails when he blames the voters and/or the state constitution for the state’s financial collapse.

Early on, voters took to doing the legislature’s job when the elected officials balked. Chiropractors are permitted to practice in California because of an initiative placed on the ballot, for example. Their healing art — if that is what it is — was blocked by the physicians’ lobby. Sometimes the intervention of special interests is inimical to proper governance, and the initiative process can be a valuable way of righting wrongs. (Yes, such as inhumane taxation. Keep reading.)

Second, the justice misses the point quite deliberately when he complains that the care and feeding of California chickens somehow illustrates the causes of the financial crisis. This is an example of the way voters can fine-tune the rules. It has nothing to do with the current disaster. While it might be better if the legislature rather than the people looked after the chickens, in many years that has been too much to ask of the elected representatives of the people.

Third, the fact is that virtually all state employees and officials have never learned to live with Proposition 13, the tax relief measure that was desperately needed. It is often forgotten that the legislature absolutely refused, time and again, to enact property tax reform. The tax revolt was caused by bad government. (And there is no evidence that government in California has subsequently improved.)

People were indeed losing their homes to irrational levels of taxation (the retired were particularly hard hit). Property taxes used to be based on the price that your home would probably command if you wanted to sell it. People complained about the insanity of it all, but the legislature stonewalled.

As a direct result, a moderate initiative was proposed and placed on the ballot: Proposition 8. The state employees and educational establishment howled like so many stuck pigs, pleading with the public not to sound the death knell of the California promise of a good life. The voters, bemused by the outcry and uncertain of the issues, voted Proposition 8 down.

Some months later, as the situation became clearer to the public, Howard Jarvis rolled up his sleeves, and Proposition 13 made the ballot and was voted into effect.

Had the legislature acted with even a modicum of decency and rationality, all this would have been unnecessary.

As it happened, one of the region’s cyclical brush fires hit a few communities in Southern California not too long after Proposition 13 passed, and some homeowners were told by firemen that they deserved to lose their homes because they had presumably voted for the new law.

To say that government employees were bitter is to understate a circumstance whose sheer size has never really been appreciated. The spite survives to this day.

Fourth, let it be noted that, faced with tax revolts both failed and victorious, the state legislature remained unconcerned. As the people took more and more control of events, the assembly and senate reacted by staging a decades-long sitdown strike. Bad decisions and unholy alliances with shadowy power brokers resulted. The petulant reaction of the Solons is largely responsible for the current disaster, for the state continued spending like a drunken sailor though the funds were no longer available. The long-standing beneficiaries of the legislature’s munificence, an educational system that is both insatiable and disastrously ineffective and a civil service staffed by people who consider their positions entitlements, remain the drains into which ever-larger tax revenues are dumped.

Fifth, over the decades, the legislature has stubbornly refused to address a fundamental problem: the California business climate. Before Proposition 13 passed, firms were already in the habit of moving as much inventory to Nevada as possible, because leaving it in California was madness (the greedy government would tax it). Again, legislative stupidity, sloth and venality prevailed; rather than promote business growth, California’s elected morons kissed the backsides of the power-brokers in the unions.

In sum: California did not suddenly walk off an unseen cliff. The disaster began decades ago, was slow in coming, and cannot be laid at the door of the long-suffering voters-taxpayers. The housing of chickens has nothing to do with it, nor do the overwhelming majority of ballot measures that make law directly.

The critique crafted by the state supreme court’s chief justice ignores the fact that while the public was trying to change Sacramento’s spendthrift ways by putting the lawmakers on a tighter budget, the legislature was out of control — literally beyond moderation or reform. Catering to the special interests was of more importance to the political insiders than heeding the warnings of the public. It is probable that even the latest refusal of the voters to fund the insanity, a rejection of a “needed” tax hike, has no credibility in the halls of the state capitol building.

The estrangement of the state’s leaders from most of their constituents is almost total. Those who blame that on the provision for initiatives on the ballot can understand, but refuse to. They continue to believe that if the legislature’s power to impose confiscatory taxation were absolute, the financial crisis could be solved. To such persons, the taxpaying public is an expendable resource, not a community of human beings.

It began with a foolish reliance on taxes that frustrated the most productive sectors of the economy and preyed on homeowners, was exacerbated by the realization that taxes could be raised without consulting the people to be taxed, and ended with a number of unsavory characters huddled in a large bed and whining that they have not been fed. Fundamental reform will be excruciatingly painful, for the architects of disaster built very well indeed.

NO, tossing out the initiative process will neither suffice nor help. If properly governed by wise men, Californians would feel no need to pass laws directly; they would direct special interest groups to the legislature, saying, “Check with those people. They are professionals, good people with the means to look at your proposals and the intelligence to do the right thing.”

….But when, exactly, have the long-suffering taxpayers of California been able to say that?

Links

Attention, Everyone — here is Truth. Do not pass it by.

The Quote of the Day: “Any government medicine system suffers from a fatal contradiction: health care is a right, but a right that must be rationed.” It originally appeared here.

The advisors closest to Obama remain, for the most part, unknown to the general public. It’s easy to understand why “moonbats” and “wingnuts” alike would want to portray these powerful non-celebrities as intellectual giants or dwarfs (yes, that’s the correct plural — “dwarves” is incorrect, though it was promoted by J. R. R. Tolkien), so don’t be misled into thinking that this article on Valerie Jarrett is objective. It’s interesting and some folks will find it troubling, but it is a “wingnut” hit piece. In spots it reminds of the “moonbat” brief that, through excruciatingly boring innuendo, indicts G. W. Bush as a Nazi because his family made (at the time very wise) investments in pre-WWII German industry. Proceed with the salt shaker at your elbow.

This post consists mostly of links to information on the debate over US national health care. It’s a convenient way to get a grasp of the unfolding issues.

Firefox users need to know that a fake upgrade of Flash Player is actually malware.

You know all this already…so you won’t be surprised by this. Fine. The problem: the greedy, power-mad Congress does not care about the truth, because it smells money. Your taxes will go up to prevent the USA from contributing to global warming, which is like saying you will have to give more of your money to the government to prevent rabid wombats from eating all the preschoolers in Peoria and Fort Lauderdale.

This is where the USA is headed. It is headed there because its government is taking it there. That government knows exactly what it is doing, where it wants to go, and how to get there. If you don’t like it, you had better think of getting out and going somewhere else — or working to make the government change course.

You may recognize this specific example of an internet tangle: you click on a link that claims it will take you to an article in the Financial Times, but when the web page comes up, you find you are expected to register. For one of several good reasons, you don’t want to register. Well, good news: you can read the article if you put its headline into the search feature of Google News. — Websites that attempt to burden you with yet more user names and passwords are not harmless speed bumps; they reduce your internet security and privacy. Tips on how to avoid registering in order to read many on-line articles are available on this website. For more information on it, click here. — You are welcome.

Obama has always planned to drive private healthcare insurers out of business, though he denies it. His tactics are simple and will be effective. Prepare for the inevitable if Obamacare becomes a reality.

What’s the most effective way to attract tourists to your locality? People today are too sophisticated to fall for hype, so advertising has to adapt. The result is “the honesty pitch.” Check out an evolved example.

A tip of the hat to subscriber GB for passing on this URL. It leads to a video and text transcription of a PBS show chaired by Bill Moyers; the topic is how the bankers lied, cheated, stole, and finally ruined the international economy, and how the legislators are in league with the rotten bankers because bankers get legislators elected. (Bankers are either the “new Jews,” it seems, or maybe all bankers are Jews, either openly or secretly.) Check out the freak show, and then, in the event you are interested in what the PenPo thinks of this stupid, shallow and harmful drivel, drop The Eagle Wing Palace a line and request the file “moyers.” The PBS show drew heavy fire from here — the file is too long to go into a newsletter, and is laced with barracks language, so it’s only for those with a sincere interest in the subject.

The Obama administration must be getting really sick and tired of this scandal. It’s made how many appearances in this newsletter? The fuss just won’t go away and leave The One alone. Ignoring it, stonewalling, refusing to tolerate the equitable execution of justice…nothing has worked so far. The White House’s latest effort to avoid the consequences of a dirty trick appears to be to deal with it partially, and from a position of august authority. Don’t count on that working, Barry. Irritated hauteur and quarter-measures didn’t work for Nixon, and that shtick won’t work for you, either.

Now for a link to a discussion of how folks in the USA view their society, and some interesting speculation on what it all means. While thisanalysis is slick and interesting, it has failed to convince this newsletter. Have a look; you may find it insightful and accurate.

Don’t be taken in. It’s a colossal practical joke, a hoax, and in a few days the Norwegians will be laughing themselves silly at how everybody fell for it. — Related, or so it seems: this newsletter cannot understand what this is all about, but there are a lot of links to follow. Maybe you can figure it out.

Understanding the situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan (they are not really separate nations) is difficult, and the great fear is that Obama will blunder in making US policy. Perhaps the best brief discussion of the issues involved is to be found in this commentary.

Zig and zag…flip and flop…what did they call it, years ago, when a politician said something and then decided, for good reasons or bad, that he had to eat his words? Wasn’t it something like, “That statement is no longer operative”? Of course The One, in his near-divine wisdom, would never have to do anything like that. Or ….

Check out this group that has made a film denouncing the concept of anthropogenic global warming. The film is not available yet, but from its promotional material, it appears to be a disaster that will do more harm than good. If people are to reject AGW, they must understand the issues. They can not be informed by zippy editing and meaningless photographs of factories, crowds, the sky and the US flag. This is ascientific issue. Facts are central. People must be given the facts so they can rebut the nonsense of the AGW cultists. Glitzy, trendy, MTV-style videography can not substitute for that effort. Will somebody please make a good film, an effective film, an interesting film, a serious film that explains exactly why AGW is literally impossible?

A former federal senator contemplates the dismal fact that aliens have employed fulsome flattery of a narcissist in an attempt to shape US foreign policy. They must think he’s simple-minded; gadzooks, what if they are right?

“…the 1960s…revolutionary New Left didn’t disappear, it simply went on to graduate school and then careers, mostly in the mainstream media, academia, the non-profits, the bureaucracy of state and local social work, and Blue State politics.” So true! Read it all here, and understand the implications.

Another day, another promise… (yawn). So? — Does no one remember the words of Colin Powell to the officer corps of the armed forces? Essentially he said, “If you can’t serve with homosexuals, resign your commission.” What happened next made Slick Willy back down and settle for “Don’t tell, don’t ask.” Are things different now? Yes; the military now has many, many more combat veterans. Time will tell what that means, if it means anything.

Is this ironic? No, not as this newsletter understands the word, though there is room for disagreement. “Rotten” seems a better fit.

You know — because you read The Penguin Post — that there are nine specific (and crucial) errors in Al Gore’s propaganda film promoting the concept of anthropogenic global warming. You know that the film cannot be shown in the UK to schoolchildren unless those pupils are informed of the errors. Now watch this video.

Which would you rather have: a war in which tens of millions die, or no war at all — but a lot of whining and worry? Somehow, and this newsletter is still trying to figure out what in the world happened, Time magazine came up with the right choice and the correct explanationfor how to achieve it. This newsletter’s entire staff is in shock.

Do you remember “It’s the economy, Stupid!”? Well, these days, people who understand are saying, “It’s the Congress, Stupid!” And that’s avery good sign, because the Republicans do not deserve to be seen as heroic losers. Most of them are just losers, period. Thanks for nothing, Guys, and close the door from the other side of it.

More on how the Democrats are trying to pack the courts.

A quick comment from Mark Stein. He says more meaningful things in one shallow breath than a Congressman can say in a half hour.

Attention, Camille Paglia: read this. — Everyone else can benefit tremendously from the post, as well, because it’s the heartfelt plea of a long-time peace activist. Her moral insights are uncompromising.

Does experience matter, and can we refer to experiences that were voluntary, formative and at the same time expressive of one’s core values when we evaluate a man? If the answer is even a partial affirmative, then we have a problem. This newsletter considers SEIU a thuggish organization (as recent events strongly suggest) that is inimical to the common weal. Do click on the link and learn more.

After many decades of aid to Africa, can Old Europe and the USA determine whether the aid has been helpful? There is a lady who says yes, and she goes on to add that in the light of evidence, all aid to the Dark Continent should be terminated. As carefully as she makes her point, she is condescendingly dismissed by the aid establishment. Even her appearance counts against her. But is she right? If this interests you, begin your reading with this obviously slanted article.