Tuesday, March 29, 2005

NEWS FLASH>> Study Finds College Faculty Overwhelmingly Liberal

Gee, what other shocking exclusives will the Washington Post print this week? That SUV's are popular with Soccer Moms? That Michael Jackson appears to have had some plastic surgery? That the Earth really is round after all?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

As the President tours the country touting Social Security reform, some detractors have reacted flippantly, suggesting that there really is no cause for concern over the program’s insolvency. Inexplicable as it is for some of these otherwise intelligent people to deny the patently obvious and ignore Social Security’s Ponzi-esque capital structure, their half-baked protests are nonetheless having an adverse impact on public opinion, and are therefore eroding the President’s efforts to promote a national dialogue on the issue.

Today’s report affirming earlier projections of Social Security insolvency by 2041 should re-inject some much needed perspective back into the debate. The report also declared that Medicare will be bled dry by 2020. How people can take a collective “head in the sand” approach to what are huge looming fiscal crises is beyond my comprehension.

Some have suggested the answer to both the Social Security and Medicare problems is simple: raise taxes on the rich. Retarded as that suggestion may be in and of itself, the same people who advocate this approach are also the ones who want to both increase Social Security disbursements to seniors and radically expand Medicare to cover all Americans. I’m not sure how wealthy they think the “rich” are, but it’s a save bet that the “rich” won’t be for very long should the liberals among us worm their twisted ideas into the realm of what’s considered reasonable public policy.

It’s up to us as conscientious conservatives to be vigilant in the face of such lunacy, and support common sense solutions to the impending fiscal dilemmas we will surely face over the coming decades. A reversion to ideas modelled upon the failed socialist experiments of the 20th century will not only further undermine the social programs in crisis, it will begin to unravel the very fabric of the capitalist system that has served this country so well for so long.

Monday, March 21, 2005

UPDATE>> Recently “Outed” Republican Fired from Playgirl magazine.

Now former Editor-In-Chief Michelle Zipp sent the following message to Matt Drudge regarding her dismissal:
"After your coverage of my article about coming out and voting Republican, I did receive many letters of support from fellow Republican voters, but it was not without repercussions. Criticism from the liberal left ensued. A few days after the onslaught of liberal backlash, I was released from my duties at Playgirl magazine.

"After underlings expressed their disinterest of working for an outed Republican editor, I have a strong suspicion that my position was no longer valued by Playgirl executives. I also received a phone call from a leading official from Playgirl magazine, in which he stated with a laugh, "I wouldn't have hired you if I knew you were a Republican.

"I just wanted to let you know of the fear the liberal left has about a woman with power possessing Republican views."

Friday, March 18, 2005

NEWS FLASH>> Canadian Teens’ Columbine Copycat Plot Foiled by Police.

What’s that? Canadian teens scheming to carry out senseless, violent acts on innocents? No, it can’t be! Didn’t everyone see Bowling for Columbine? It thought such things were impossible in The Great Utopian North. Say it ain’t so, Michael Moore. Say it ain’t so!

Following up on a brief conversation I had with friends Wednesday night on the nature of Canada’s national identity complex vis-à-vis the US, I’m posting a few choice samples from Matt Labash’s latest Weekly Standard article, entitled “Welcome to Canada: The Great White Waste of Time”:
...Canadians are bizarrely obsessed with us, binge-eating out of our cultural trough, then pretending it tastes bad. Plainly the two things Canada needs most are a mirror and a good psychiatrist.

Though they don't know who they are, they know they're not us (roughly 9 out of 10 comparison surveys are done by Canadians), so they bang that drum until their hands bleed. Still, it seems there is almost nothing Canadian that isn't informed in some way by America. When the late Canadian radio host Peter Gzowski had a competition to come up with a phrase comparable to "American as apple pie," the winner was "As Canadian as possible, under the circumstances." In 1996, when Canadians were asked to name both the greatest living and the all-time greatest Canadian, 76 percent said "no one comes to mind." Another survey showed them to believe that the most famous Canadian was Pamela Anderson, star of America's Baywatch. When Canadians were asked to name their favorite song, they settled on one by a good Canadian band, The Guess Who. The song: "American Woman."

While Canadians pride themselves on knowing more about us than we do about them (undoubtedly true), the problem--captured in a survey done for Canada Day in 2000--is that even historically challenged Americans know more about ourselves than Canadians do about themselves. In parallel 10-question quizzes on everything from our first president/prime minister to the words of our respective national anthems, 63 percent of Americans scored five or more right answers. Only 39 percent of Canadians did...

What many don't consider is how much Canada has oversold itself in the areas where it purportedly does succeed. While it's true that the government has been much friendlier than ours to gay marriage, only 39 percent of Canadians decidedly support it. While Canada is supposedly more environment-friendly, it has been cited for producing more waste per person than any other country. While Canada is supposedly safer, a 1996 study showed its banks had the highest stick-up rate of any industrialized nation (one in every six was robbed). And while a great deal is made of Americans' passion for firearms, the Edmonton Sun, citing Statistics Canada, reported that Canada has a higher crime rate than we do.

Canadians are supposedly less greedy than Americans, yet they lead the world in telemarketing fraud, and most of their victims are Americans. Are they more generous? Not by a long shot. The Vancouver-based Fraser Institute publishes a Generosity Index, which shows that more Americans give to charity, and give more when they do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Here's some more level-headed analysis of the impact of the Bush Doctrine by Karl Zinsmeister of The American Enterprise. Karl includes the following Abraham Lincoln quote, which is just as apropos today as it was 150 years ago:
Most governments have been based, practically, on the denial of the equal rights of men...Ours began by affirming those rights.

They said some men are too ignorant and vicious to share in government. Possibly so, said we; and by your system, you would always keep them ignorant and vicious.

We proposed to give all a chance; and we expected the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant wiser, and all better, and happier together.

NEWS FLASH>> Former Dentist Accused Of Squirting Semen Into Mouths Of Patients

Great. Now I have to ask my dentist if his office is jizz-free before he puts in my new porcelain crown next week.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Here's your Life Aquatic moment for today. If you're a Steve Zissou fan, you'll know what I mean.

NEWS FLASH>> Pirates Attack Japanese Tugboat, Kidnap Crew

Why do I have the Magnum, P.I. theme stuck in my head?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Charles Krauthammer may be crippled down below, but he makes up for it on top. Read his latest on the recent developments in the Middle East. Seriously, read it. A snippet:
What really changed in the Middle East? The Iraqi elections vindicated the two central propositions of the Bush doctrine. First, that the will to freedom is indeed universal and not the private preserve of Westerners. And second, that American intentions were sincere. Contrary to the cynics, Arab and European and American, the U.S. did not go into Iraq for oil or hegemony, after all, but for liberation--a truth that on Jan. 31 even al-Jazeera had to televise.

This was the critical event because Arabs have had good reason to doubt American sincerity: six decades of U.S. support for Arab dictators, a cynical "realism" that began with F.D.R.'s deal with Ibn Saud and reached its apogee with the 1991 betrayal of the anti-Saddam uprising that Bush 41 had encouraged in Iraq. Today, however, they see a different Bush and a different doctrine. What changed the climate in the Middle East was not just the U.S. invasion and show of arms. It was U.S. determination and staying power, and the refusal of its people last November to turn out a President who rejected an "exit strategy" but pledged instead to remain until Iraqi self-governance was secure.

It took this marriage of power, will and principle to produce the astonishing developments in the Middle East today. This is not to say that this spring cannot be extinguished. Of course it can. The dictators can still strike back, and we may flinch in defense of those they strike. History has yet to yield a verdict on the final outcome. But it has yielded one unmistakable verdict thus far: the idea that Arabs are not fit for or inclined toward freedom--the underlying assumption of those who denounced, ridiculed and otherwise opposed the democracy project--is wrong. Embarrassingly, scandalously, blessedly wrong.

There was a great article in the Christian Science Monitor yesterday on Europe’s flirtation with tax reform, specifically the hotly debated Flat Tax. Several Eastern European countries have experimented with a variety of flat income and corporate tax initiatives, with resoundingly positive economic results. Western European response to the burgeoning flat-tax movement sweeping across its former Communist Bloc neighbors has been derisive, with several major EU countries contemplating ways to blunt the tax reform efforts of the organization’s lesser members.

It seems rocking the boat by implementing pro-growth, low tax regimes is a major faux pas for Old Europe’s stodgy socialist bureaucracy. Pity.

NEWS FLASH>> In the April issue of Playgirl magazine, Editor-in-Chief Michelle Zipp writes about finally coming out as a Republican.

While I am somewhat gratified that there's now some conservative political representation within the small universe of predominantly liberal soft-core pornographers, I can't help but think this is a bad business move on Ms. Zipp's part, considering her magazine's sizable readership amongst gay men. Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe Ms. Zipp can capitalize on her "outing" and expand Playgirl's subscription base with some full frontal coverage of major conservative stud muffins. Anyone for a centerfold spread of John Thune's washboard abs and flaccid wang?

Friday, March 04, 2005

I participated in a marketing research focus group for The Wall Street Journal last night. There were 4 of us: myself, a dopey laundromat owner, an amputee law student, and a snooty school administrator / amateur photographer. The group facilitator asked us which newspapers or magazines we subscribe to, and which ones we read regularly in print or online, etc. Dopey said he just read whatever people left behind in the laundromat, which was usually the Arizona Republic or USA Today. Fair enough. On the other hand, Stumpy and Snooty both proudly heralded their subscriptions to The New York Times and Mother Jones, and lavished praise upon NPR, though radio news preferences were not solicited by the facilitator. The Arizona Republic is too right-wing for their tastes (huh?), and USA Today is, frankly, beneath them and insults their intelligence. Right off the bat, Stumpy and Snooty marked their territory: we’re liberal, we’re proud of it, and we’re smarter than you, so there!

I’m a political person by nature. I’ve had a passion for all things politics since childhood. I have unambiguous conservative, free market convictions. If you posed a direct question on the subject of political preference, I would tell you where I stand. However, if you asked my friends, acquaintances and co-workers where I stood on the political spectrum, I’d say only about half of them could answer with certainty. I don’t wear my politics on my sleeve because I believe the idiom that “politics and religion aren’t discussed in polite company”. I’ll be politically involved, I’ll work on campaigns, I’ll write my thoughts on this blog, I’ll have conversations with people on salient issues when warranted. What I won’t do is behave like a sanctimonious political proselytizer, forcing my views upon others in an inappropriate and uncouth manner.

Stumpy and Snooty were liberal proselytizers masquerading badly as objective consumers of business news. I’m not sure how they even managed to pass the screening for the focus group. They really didn’t have anything constructive to offer with regard to the Wall Street Journal, other than to say they have occasionally gleaned a copy, but would never subscribe to it.

After two hours of answering a host of questions and doing word association exercises, we were dismissed. As the receptionist handed us our $100 checks, it occurred to me why Stumpy and Snooty were there. I guess deep down they might be capitalists after all. They just won’t read up on it.