The Daily Switch

Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Bring on 2010

Posted by maker on January 7, 2010

Thank God for Bill Whittle and others like him. Enjoy…

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Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Environment, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics, Socialism, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Era of Obama = Same Old Politics

Posted by maker on December 18, 2009

As much as this characterizes our government, it is also becoming a universal sentiment of an entitled society.

Last week, President Obama lashed out at the financial institutions on Wall Street, again.

When the President of the United States flippantly refers to private citizens and their businesses as ‘fat cat bankers on Wall Street’ there is a problem with the president. When the public sees nothing wrong with this, there is a larger problem with the public itself.

The irony of this particular instance of class warfare populism exhibited by Barack Obama, is that as he delivers these remarks, we learn that government employees are much better paid than private workers. This may seem unrelated at first glance, however, the president petulantly proclaimed these so called ‘fat-cats’ the architects of our current recession, seemingly excusing the federal government of any and all responsibility in the matter. I won’t get into all the intricacies and arguments here, but suffice it to say this is a more than generous revision on the president’s part. So the age old question ‘cui bono?’ does not reflect well on those ‘fat cats’ in D.C. if we understand their role in the unraveling of our economy compared to their ever increasing compensation.

The cycle is a vicious yet convenient one: Support and push policies that loudly proclaim help for the helpless while quietly destroying the free market, which action directly creates more ‘helpless’ to promise more for while also creating the circumstances in which people will more likely cede power to ‘the only people’ who can fix things. Oh, and they need to be better compensated for all the extra work of saving us.

In fact, USA Today reported the following:

  • On average, federal employees earned $71,206 per year, compared to $40,331 in the private sector.
  • From December 2007 through June 2009, average federal employee salaries increased by 6.6 percent, while average private-sector salaries increased by 3.9 percent. Federal employees at the top of the pay scale received pay increases of 8.6 percent during that period.
  • Federal employment is getting top-heavy. Federal employees making more than $100,000 increased from 14 percent to 19 percent of total government employment. In fact, the number of federal employees making more than $100,000 has more than doubled in less than two years. There are now more federal employees making more than $100,000 per year than $40,000 per year.

How could anyone say no to this face?

In light of these facts, how can any government employee begrudge any private citizen their salary? The fact is that these ‘fat cats’ on Wall Street are creating something. They are creating jobs and wealth for millions. The ‘fat cats’ in Washington are best known for creating hurdles for those that would create jobs and wealth.

Worse still, Obama warns that the ‘fat cats’ had better stop opposing government control of their pay and strict oversight of their day-to-day operations because, basically, they owe him for the bailout, which coincidentally many of them have paid back and others have been deterred from paying back.

Obama’s ignorance seems only matched and perhaps exceeded by his unmitigated arrogance. These comments were made just before the president was to meet with said ‘fat cats’ to persuade them to comply with his wishes.

Who says this guy isn’t smooth?

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Liberalism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quick Links

Posted by maker on November 12, 2009

Some useful reading… Unintended consequences are fine as long as our intentions were good, right?

 

 

  • Stephen Spruiell on the SEIU

 

 and viewing…

 

 

Health-care…

 

 plus

 equals an

 that will prove

 

 

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, Health care, Liberty, Obama, Politics, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

School Choice

Posted by maker on May 5, 2009

Thank God for the folks over at Reason.TV . In their typically succint and clarifying manner they pose some simple yet devastating questions to the current administration specifically and leftist ideology at large. 

 

How can we explain this issue being politicized? Is there any conclusion to be drawn other than undue influence of, and pandering to, special interest groups like the NEA?

There are moral dilemmas involved as well as straightforward pragmatic implications. What message is sent to those who were involved in the program and experienced success only to have it taken away? More importantly, what message does it send to those who hoped to one day be part of the program? If it works and it’s cheaper why not do it?

This seems to be yet another example of the government squashing the success inherent in a competitive free market. Let’s treat it as an opportunity to reverse the tide. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors about it and then call your representatives, senators or even the White House.

Like the democrats always say, it’s for the children.

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Education, Liberalism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, The Daily Switch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fun with Pictures – The Obama Edition

Posted by maker on May 5, 2009

I’ve been collecting images as I come across things that are particularly hilarious or indicative of a tide of propaganda. Here are some of the results for your enjoyment.

 

"Obama: I'm not a miracle-worker."  Don't be so modest.

"Obama: I'm not a miracle-worker" Don't be so modest.

 I’m sure everyone has seen this one, but its suggestiveness is worth noting. My fear here is for those that think it more than mere opportunistic propaganda or coincidence.

 

 

Does Obama approve of vigilante justice?

Does Obama approve of vigilante justice?

Which comic was W. featured in? It’s an honest question. I can’t recall any, but am open to correction. Do you think being wrapped in a web and hung from a street light could be considered torture? What about the Green Goblin’s civil liberties?

 

 

Not at all racist.

Not at all racist.

This is just unfortunate. But how else should Germany have responded to that rousing speech Obama delivered to the world from their soil? And what’s the deal with the curry dip?

 

 

Action for action's sake

Action for action's sake

More Obama and Superfriends. Is this portending assassination attempts? Seriously? The news didn’t hype Obama’s being a target enough that it had to bleed into comic book fantasy?

 

 

Should be mandatory accessory for dashboard of all GM cars.

This should be a mandatory accessory for the dashboard of all GM cars. The price is even Union ready.

 

Is there anything that says you’ve made it more than having your very own bobble-head? The pop-culture overtones are obvious, but the physical action indicating yes, yes, yes may be the most telling.

 

 

German engineering at its lowest.

German engineering at its lowest.

This may be the most disturbing simply for the lack of effort. Is this doll not a child? It comes off as a hurried instance of white babe in black-face. The Germans should probably stick to cars, beer and fantasies of EU domination.

 

 

ikea-obama1

Change Everything

 

What the heck?!?!?

 

If you have any images worth sharing please email them to me. My email is listed on the ‘About’ page under maker.

Posted in Culture, Liberalism, Media, Obama, Politics, Socialism, The Daily Switch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Whither the Constitution?

Posted by maker on May 1, 2009

With the recent revelation that Justice David Souter will be retiring from the Supreme Court, we are given an opportunity for debate on a matter of great importance. Is the Constitution of the United States of America relevant or even worth consulting? Surely, foundational respect and reverence for the Constitution is an apolitical issue, no? If only it were that simple.

Justice Souter

There are two sides to the debate over the Constitution and its legitamacy. On the one hand, there are those that believe that it is a ‘living, breathing’ document that changes over time as cultural or societal norms shift or decay. On the other are those who say the Constitution means what it says and says what it means, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is another issue that is pretty clearly divided along ideological lines. Liberals, or more accurately, Statists tend to believe that as times change the Constitution must adapt and change as well. Conservatives trend towards acknowledging that the values and morals implicit in the Constitution are timeless and just as applicable today as they were at their writing. It seems that in valuing the Constitution we are faced with an ‘all or nothing’ decision. As Mark Levin writes in his new book Liberty and Tyranny ,

“If the Constitution’s meaning can be erased or rewritten, and the Framers’ intentions ignored, it ceases to be a constitution but is instead a concoction of political expedients that serve the contemporary policy agendas of the few who are entrusted with public authority to preserve it.”

Is the Constitution a binding contract prescribing the standards for governing? Or, can the laws be changed based on trends or feelings indicative of different social ‘values’? Levin goes on to say,

“To say the Constitution is a ‘living and breathing document’ is to give license to arbitrary and lawless activism. It is a mantra that gained purchase in the early twentieth century and is paraded around by the Statist as if to legitimate that which is illegitimate.”

Article V of the Constitution addresses the ways that changes can be made to the Constitution. There are but two, and only one has ever been used. The built-in difficulty of changing the Constitution speaks to the critical nature of its reliability. A constitution is made powerful by its permanence. If it is something easily altered or ‘reinterpreted ‘ it is a sand-like foundation at best.

The Constitution

The Constitution

 

 We can mostly agree that the founding of our country was a net good. And, judging by the 200 plus years since, it has birthed the greatest nation in history, both in might and benefit to the rest of the world. This success is owed entirely to the Constitution that has liberated, prospered and strengthened generations of people united under its protections, and to the principles and faith upon which it was founded.

 The question I submit for your consideration is this: If the Constitution is a malleable thing, upon what foundation is our country now built?

Posted in Conservatism, Culture, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Guns, taxes and much, much more…

Posted by Ender on April 21, 2009

At the end of March there was yet another propaganda push to villianize guns in America. It took the form of the media and state leaders saying that American guns were fueling the Mexican drug violence. By state leaders I’m not talking about low level mayors and city councilmen. I’m talking about Obama and Clinton…  Here’s a great article about the whole thing…

It appears that Obama’s whirlwind tour of Europe left some with a sour taste in their mouths. Shockingly, even France had several criticisms of Obama. A report leaked by French staffers stated “Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation.” Once Obama was elected I thought they were going to love us over there…guess not. Read about it here.

One of the most despicable organizations in America is the Teacher’s Union. In truly liberal fashion they are the epitome of claiming to care for X while simultaneously looking out for themselves while hurting X. The fact of the matter is that Unions only benefit the corrupt, lazy teachers. The students and education suffer. Here is an article detailing how layoffs are handled.

Apparently, Obama has made an about face on his fiscal irresponsibility. He has made a budget cut of $100M. Wow, I am almost ready to renounce all the times I have said he is economically ignorant. But wait, let’s put this into perspective: Brian Riedl writes “It is 1/40,000 of the federal budget; It is 1/7,830 the size of the recent “stimulus” bill; It would close 1/1,845 of this year’s budget deficit; It is the amount the federal government spends every 13 minutes; and for a family earning $40,000 annually, it is the equivalent of cutting $1 from their family budget.” I’m pretty sure that if the family making 40k a year peed outside instead of in the toilet it would save at least that $1. Glad you are taking this seriously Barry.

And finally, here’s a great video about all those taxes you pay. Did you know that most of you are actually slaves to the state for about 1/3 of the year?

Posted in Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Education, Liberty, Media, Obama, Politics, Quick Links | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

From the Field

Posted by maker on April 15, 2009

Can you feel it?

Can you feel it?

Today I was driving through western Tennessee for work.  One of the real benefits of my job is the privilege to get to know this country a little better, first hand. I was struck by the beauty of the land even on a cool and overcast day. The rolling hills and quaint little towns seem so far away and insulated from the rest of the country which is reportedly rife with turmoil and despair. I also noticed that more than any other area I’ve travelled, northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky seemed packed with birds of prey. Nearly every mile I travelled brought with it the sight of an owl, hawk or bald eagle. At the risk of  inordinate sappiness, I’ll tell you that every time I see a bald eagle I find myself overcome with a sense of nostalgia and patriotism. I try to imagine what the founders must have intended with the choice of this majestic bird as a national symbol and I am proud. 

As I passed by small town after small town I listened to a long line of callers reporting in to conservative talk radio shows about their experiences of the Tax Day Tea Parties they attended. I was struck by the unique nature of today’s events. When do we as conservatives ever do something as a group? When do we clearly articulate a feeling, belief or sentiment in a way so attractive to so many?  These thoughts caused me to regret being away from home and unable to participate.  I even looked up locations in Tennessee just in case I might have time to stop on the way to the airport. Unfortunately, the event in Nashville was scheduled to end before I would arrive. I resigned myself to live vicariously through the callers speaking of their ‘electrifying’, ’empowering’ and ‘encouraging’ experiences.

Original Tea Party Tea

Original Tea Party Tea

As I navigated my way through the town square of Springfield, TN (pop. approximately 16,000) on my way to Franklin, KY, I noticed a large crowd forming in front of the courthouse.  I checked the clock and was thrilled that I had an hour and a half  to spare before my next appointment about 30 minutes down the road. I turned around, parked and walked towards the courthouse to find that the crowd I had seen just moments before had already grown and was continuing to do so.  I approached the outskirts of the crowd and was struck by the diversity of the assembled throng. Business men and women in various levels of formal work attire mixed with obvious farmers who rubbed shoulders with young mothers pressed up against men in full revolutionary war garb. It seemed as though everyone in the crowd, regardless of dress, held something in their hands, whether it be a sign, child, camera, placard or breifcase (no pitchforks or torches. Sorry, acorn).

As I pressed in a little closer I noted the countenance of the people around me. Despite the reported rage that was fueling these ‘radical’ protests, I was met with bright eyes and ready smiles, doubly surprising if you knew what I look like. This was not an angry mob. This was a peaceful gathering of good-willed citizens exercising their constitutional right to assembly, many for the first time.

I caught the attention of a nearby participant to ask what time things were scheduled to start. He informed me that they were running behind because of a court proceeding that was running long that they didn’t want to interrupt. Twenty minutes, two renditions of This Land is Your Land, God Bless America, countless chants of U.S.A! and one Pledge of Allegiance later, a local pastor named Bob Carroll stepped up to a podium to deliver his speech. The speech was well written, well delivered and well received. It was met with loud applause at times, shouts of encouragement and agreement at others. It was stirring and surprisingly non-partisan. The greatest strength of the speech, however, was its seamless inclusion of direct quotes from the constitution.

Sadly, at this point I had to hit the road again. Nonetheless satisfied, I proudly returned to my work comforted by the knowledge that even in what some would label a “backward’ southern area these tea parties were being conducted in a respectful, peaceful and effective manner.

My sincere hope for this country is that these Tea Parties might stir something up within the citizenry. I pray that we would consult history to learn from what our leaders are so eager to repeat. I pray we would each set aside our prejudice and party affiliation and embrace common sense and respect for the constitution upon which this great country is founded.

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Liberty, Politics, The Daily Switch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

It’s for your own good, don’t ya know?

Posted by Ender on April 10, 2009

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  C.S. Lewis

Tyranny does not always start with goose stepping soldiers storming your house to take away unauthorized items.  Sometimes it starts with the government taking small things that you actually agree with.

For instance in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg banned smoking in the early 00s.  I am sure that many out there appreciate this ban because they don’t have to worry about stinking for the rest of the day after going out to eat.  However, think about your liberty and the liberty of all the restaurant owners in the state of NY.  Aside from the fact that the ban was based on junk science and bad statistics we need to remember that the government should not have the power to force businesses and individuals to ban a legal activity.

Mayor Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s basis for the policy was to prevent “thousands” from dying each year.  The problem is that the individuals involved (waitresses, bar tenders, customers, owners) chose to work in these restaurants.  They could have chosen to go to different restaurants, have different jobs or own different businesses.  Beware of policy that tells us to do something for our own good.  I am much better qualified to decide what is  for my own than the government.

In 2006, NY moved to ban trans fats from restaurants. Again, I am left to wonder on what basis is the government allowed to do this?  Can’t I decide whether or not I want to risk the slight increase in risk of heart disease by eating trans fats?  If consumers truly wanted a ban on trans fat they would stop eating at places that cooked with it.  This in turn would lead those businesses to stop using it in order to keep their customers.  No law necessary.  But, who’s going to argue when it’s for your own good.

Perhaps there are some out there reading this who say “Well, I see your point but smoking in public and trans fats are really bad so I don’t mind the government taking those things.”  My question to you would be: where does it stop?  What would they have to take away?  What about Twix bars or table salt?  That would be ridiculous, no?

If you had to guess which mayor in the US was attempting to ban table salt; who would be your first guess?

Bloomberg?  You’d be correct. Bloomberg announced “that the city is starting a “nationwide initiative” to pressure the food industry and restaurant chains to cut salt intake by half over the next decade.”  Don’t bother him or others with the fact that it is based on junk science.  (Read the article for details)  Just remember that this is for your own good.

C.S. Lewis had it right when he said “those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  Who would have thought that the smoking ban would have led NYC down this slippery slope?  People need to realize that they are responsible for their own health, not the government.  The government needs to realize that it cannot legislate a healthy society.

You’ll have to excuse me for a moment while I convert my flask to be able to handle covert salt transportation because eating a steak without salt is just plain unacceptable to me…….

Posted in Conservatism, Culture, Health care, Liberty, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Great Overreach

Posted by Ender on April 4, 2009

The problem with the Liberal philosophy is that it has an unquenchable thirst for power. When was the last time you heard a Modern Liberal, not to be confused with a Classical Liberal, call for a decrease in Government? I guess I should clarify, when have they asked for a decrease in Government outside of Law Enforcement and the Military? This should not be a surprise even to Liberals because the idea that the Government can solve any problem is at the core of their belief system. “Failure is not the product of his beliefs but merely want of power and resources.” (Levin) A belief system with this at its heart will invariably lead to severe overreaches when they are in power. In only about two short months we have seen several examples of overreach.

Salaries

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

On March 22nd, I wrote a piece about how the administration was seeking to control executive pay. I asked “How long until it’s not just executives anymore?” Well, unfortunately, it appears the answer was 2 days. On May 24th, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank passed the Pay For Performance Act of 2009. The act “is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.” It would give power to the Treasury department to determine if salaries are unreasonable.

Initially, this would be justified by only applying to companies that took bailout money. The problem I see is the problem of the slippery slope. Just look at where it has taken us so far, from just executives to all employees of bailout companies to…..what? I am reminded of Wickard v. Filburn, a case tried before the Supreme Court. In the 1940s (through today) the Federal Government has the ability to regulate interstate trade. In the Wickard ruling, the Supreme Court decided that it could regulate whether a private citizen could grow crops on his own land to use for his own consumption. How could the Court do this, you ask? Well, the Court said that by not participating in interstate trade the farmer affected interstate trade, thus opening him up to regulation. With rulings like this it doesn’t take much to imagine a situation where the Government declares it can control all salaries.

Running a Business

Giethner and Bernanke

Giethner and Bernanke

Treasury Secretary Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke argued for the ability to “regulate and even take over financial goliaths whose collapse could imperil the entire economy.” Shockingly, Obama agreed. This is such a large overreach/power grab that I am surprised they had the audacity to ask for it. The Government has no right to take over companies like this. The only thing Geithner and Bernanke disagreed on was which of them should have the power. In another post I wrote I talked about how Obama and his team decided that they knew more about the auto industry than the board of GM. The Government cannot run a car company, a bank, a financial institution, a hospital (see Walter Reed) or a post office. A commenter asked what Wagoner (former CEO of GM) knew about running a car company. I ask what does the Government know about running an economy, specifically Geithner. You can learn all about how Geithner devastated the Indonesian Economy in the 90s. In a post on what caused the Tech Boom I briefly mentioned part of its cause was due to the Asian crisis. Guess who was behind it? “[B]y frightening the Chinese into building their vast $US2 trillion foreign reserves, Geithner was responsible for the build-up of tremendous imbalance in the world financial system. This imbalance, in turn, according to Keating, contributed to the global financial crisis which has since devastated the world economy.” Three cheers for Geithner!

Free Speech

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

There have been many attacks on Free Speech in the last few years. Most of them are under the guise of fairness. McCain-Feingold was a blatant attack on free political speech. “Just last week, the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that it has no principled constitutional problem with banning books.” (Goldberg) The Supreme Court is hearing a case about a documentary called Hillary: The Movie. “Several justices asked the deputy solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, if there would be any constitutional reason why the ban on documentaries and ads couldn’t be extended to books carrying similar messages. Stewart, speaking for a president who once taught constitutional law, said Congress can ban books “if the book contained the functional equivalent of express advocacy” for a candidate and was supported, even slightly, with corporate money. Such advocacy, Stewart conceded, could amount to negatively mentioning a politician just once in a 500-page book put out by a mainstream publisher.” I guess these words just aren’t clear enough “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (Before people start commenting on McCain being on the Right, give me a break. He has more in common with the Left than the Right, which is why he lost the election.)

These are just a few examples of the overreaches we have seen lately. Let’s hope the American people remember Liberty and wake up soon.

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Liberalism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, Socialism, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »