Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marcus was a Little Lamb

John Birmingham of the Brisbane Times reports on an Australian school teaching children about animal husbandry. Among the animals was a lamb named Marcus. At some point, the kids voted to send Marcus to the slaughter house, and the animal rights-types came forth with predictable laments.

The doggerel potential was too obvious to pass up:

Marcus was a little lamb.
He lived at school, you know.
The kids thought he’d be good to eat.
The greenies all said “No!”

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Monday, September 28, 2009

William Safire, Rest in Peace

William Safire is dead at 79 of pancreatic cancer. I was particularly fond of his "On Language" columns.

Rest in peace.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Carnival of the Vanities

Andrew Ian Dodge hosts Carnival of the Vanities.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nanny Bloomberg

Of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Slate's Jacob Weiss reports:
By 2012, the mayor hopes "to lower the proportion of adults who drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages each day by 20 percent."
Not satisfied with being mayor Bloomberg wants to be our mother.

Oh Nanny boy, the Coca-Cola’s calling,
From store to store and down 5th Avenue.
Tobacco’s gone, your nanny drive is stalling.
Go after Cokes and then find something new.
You must not stop, we need you as Big Brother
Without you, I'd know not what to do,
For at times our thoughts might turn to burgers.
Oh Nanny boy, oh Nanny boy, you so and so.

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Marching Forward into the (Not so Good) Old Times

Politico reports:
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty . . . .
So not to put too fine a point on it:

Obama would surely respond with derision,
But when the thought is expressed with concision,
And when, on the murk, the sun has risen,
Obama's imposing a debtor's prison.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

To the Commenter Who Called me an Imbecile

Is it just Obama men
Attracted to ad hominem?
I’m not sure; I have my doubts.
Perhaps we’re all a bunch of louts.

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Obamacare Will Be Just as Good as Medicare

We're told that Medicare is great, and Obamacare will be just as great. But we know Medicare is stretched thin and will have to reduce costs. And Medicare covers only a small, albeit increasing, percentage of the population. When you drag in all the population, what is stretched thin will break.

The Democrats say Obamacare’s good,
For Medicare works just as it should.
Now Medicare starts at sixty-five,
A small percentage of who’s still alive.
A lot more people are paying in
Than are taking out benefits at the end.

But even with such a favorable ratio,
It’s not all rosey, though some may say so.
Medicare cuts what doctors are paid,
So doctors are cutting their Medicare trade,
But cutting what doctor’s are paid’s not enough.
What happens next is going to be rough.

The President says he’s going to cut waste.
Why drag you in first; why all the haste?
He’s got to pare back that which is covered.
He wants you locked in, before that’s discovered.
There may be treatments you think that you need,
But you will be told to diminish your greed.

When society needs to cut down on cost,
It’ll just be too bad that a few lives are lost.
Obamacare means, I tell you no lies,
That government sets who lives and who dies.
That can’t coexist with American freedom.
Madison and Jefferson! Go tell them we need them!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Down Like a Dog on the Highway, With a Government Boot at Your Throat

David Henderson reports: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is squelching the speech of insurance companies expressing concerns about Obamacare to their insureds. Many a liberal acquaintance were dismayed at George Bush's civil liberties shortcomings, but I don't recall a single incident of the Bush administration trying to silence its critics.

Being who I am, I provide some doggerel. What came to my mind was Alfred Noyes' The Highwayman, perhaps appropriate since we are being robbed not only of our money but also of our freedom.

Obamacare critics cry out; they desperately want to be heard.
They post their views on blogs and such, getting out the word.
The media ignore them studiously, hoping they’ll all go away,
And HHS comes censoring, censoring, censoring,
And HHS comes censoring,
Denying the critics their say.

Critics, it says, are misleading, confusing the proletariat.
Keep all the critics quiet, its says, round them up with a lariat.
It sends out threatening letters, abusing its government power
And the HHS is threatening, threatening, threatening,
And the HHS is threatening;
Beware the government’s glower

We’ve got to resist the thuggishness, asserting our right to be free.
They’re taking away all our freedoms, away from you and from me.
Recall that this is America; preserve its ideals when you vote,
Or they’ll drag you down into serfdom,
Down like a dog into serfdom,
With a government boot at your throat.

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Senator Hutchison Wants to be Gov

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is making progress in her attempt to wrest the GOP gubernatorial from Rick Perry. I do not particularly support Rick Perry, though neither do I particularly oppose him. He hasn't screwed things up too badly.

Kay Bailey is another story altogether. She has been resistant to earmark reform , an issue contributing to Republican defeats at the federal level. For that reason alone, she deserves to lose.

Senator Hutchison wants to be gov,
But when asked about earmarks, she gave us a shove.
No matter however she gives it a spin,
I'll not trust Hutchison ever again.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

You Know How to Whistle Don't You?

Josh Marshall reports: Lauren Bacall and Shimon Peres are first cousins. Maybe Shimon could get me her autograph.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Stuffing Papers Down Your Pants XII

In an article on Pajamas Media, Annie Jacobsen offers a possible explanation for the papers Sandy Berger was stuffing down his pants way back in 2004. It appears the Clinton administration may have tried to assassinate Osama Bin Laden well before 9/11.

If only they had succeeded . . .

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Nancy Has a Cry

Regarding Nancy Pelosi's tearful bemoaning of opposition to the Democratic agenda, Ann Althouse observes:
And I hope you will take responsibility for this embarrassing display. You haven't done your job and now you are crying in public — you, the first female Speaker of the House. Crying. Pretending to be afraid of violence when the talk that troubles you so hasn't even included threats of violence.
My expectations of Nancy Pelosi are so low, I had not looked at it that way, but Ann has a point. So of course I composed some doggerel. For whatever reason, the Everly Brothers' "Bye, Bye Love" came to mind:

Poor, poor, Nan,
Poor, poor little thing,
Rich was her acting,
She stood right there and cried.

Poor, poor, Nan,
Poor, poor was the show,
Rich that we all know,
She thought she’d try to cry.
Poor Nancy heave a sigh.

Up there’s our speaker,
Trying something new.
She sure looks weaker;
She runs a zoo.
She was an ogre,
Til she pulled this.
Goodbye to all that
We’ll never miss.

Bye bye, Nan,
Bye bye surliness,
Hello girliness,
She stood right there and cried,
Bye bye, Nan, you cried.

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Diluting the Sting of Racism Charges

MSNBC (yes, really, I had to look twice) carries an AP analysis (yes, AP, really) decrying profligate charges of racism.

Our society is not free of genuine racism, though mercifully racism is less common than it used to be. We should not relent in rooting out genuine racism, but in so doing, we should not use the term loosely.

Labeling opposition to Barack Obama's policy proposals as necessarily racist is an abuse of the term, because it unfairly libels innocent people with a vile charge. But worse than that abuse, doing so leads to resentment of charges of racism and to taking the charges less seriously. That result is counter-productive of eliminating racism.

Once upon a time calling someone a Communist was a serious slur in the eyes of almost all Americans. At least partly because of the excesses of the McCarthy era, the charge lost its sting in many quarters and some now regard the charge itself as antiquated even when it fits, as in the case of Hugo Chaves.

We must all hope that a consequence of Barack Obama's presidency is not to lessen the sting of a racism charge. That is not the direction in which our society needs to go. Those throwing the charge around need to bear that in mind.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Acorn Didn't Know it Sat on a Wall

Acorn the org has been known to all.
Acorn the org had a great fall,
And all the spin doctors and all Barack’s men
Couldn’t put Acorn back together again.

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No Missile Defense for Eastern Europe

Dubya Bush thought it made sense
To give Eastern Europe missile defense.
Barack Obama says au contraire,
With Eastern Europe he will not share.

We used to fear proliferation,
Because it could lead to conflagration.
Our defense we said we’d share,
If from the bomb you would forbear.

The message now is loud and clear:
If you’re a target and danger's near,
America won’t protect you pukes.
You'd better get your own damn nukes.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Politico Claims the Word "Politico" as a Trademark

Dan Reihl reports that Politico is throwing its weight around against small sites using the word "politico" in their names. But "politico" is a word and therefore a poor mark. Sheesh!

Politico is a site on the web.
It’s also a word used without ebb,
But the site now claims its rights are exclusive,
Though the reasoning seems entirely elusive.

If you want a mark that can be protected,
You really ought to have quickly rejected
A word that appears in common use,
Or else your claims seem an abuse.

Politico ought to retract and then chill,
Though what are the odds, you think, that it will?
Let’s hope Politico will change the decision
That has caused it’s claims to suffer derision.

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MadKane and I Don't Agree on Much . . .

But I do agree with her criticism of Amazon for surreptitiously removing material from customers' Kindles. Refunding their money is not good enough. It was a breach of trust.

I have had two Kindles, and I loved them, but I don't have one now. Just before the one-year warranty expired, I tripped on steps while carrying my Kindle. I threw my hands out to catch myself, and the Kindle went flying. It no longer worked, so I called Amazon about repairs. Kindles apparently cannot be repaired, and the warranty did not cover customer "abuse," but they did sell me a second Kindle at half price.

I was reasonably satisfied with that until a few months later when the second Kindle inexplicably stopped working. I called Amazon, but the message was tough cookies. My original one-year warranty had expired. If I wanted a new Kindle, it would be full price.

So now I am Kindle-less and peeved.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama's Secret Plan to Fix Social Security

Many have warned to no avail
That social security's doomed to fail,
But stop despairing; lift the pall.
Obamacare will save us all.

You may think that Obamacare
And social security aren't a pair,
But Obamacare's to preserve your health,
So marvel here at Obama’s stealth.

Social security, you get when you’re old,
When Obamacare cuts back what's doled.
For social security, now don’t be dejected.
You just won’t live long while you collect it.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ask Sitting Bull How it Worked Out

Negative rights and positive rights are the dividing line.
Obama promises positive rights, offering things so fine.
He’ll give us all our health care and all our hearts desire,
If, in return, we’ll close our eyes and step into the fire,
For when the government gives us things, they’re not spun from thin air.
No, others must produce those things, and Barack will make them share.

There’s a word for when another takes the things that we produce,
And applies them to the taker’s thoughts of what’s a better use.
Conscripting labor from another is the vilest form of knavery.
We’ll find our labor has become nothing more than slavery.
If we don’t own what we produce, we own almost nothing.
We have just what they leave us with. Do not believe their puffing.

Negative rights are things that the government must not do,
Ways in which it’s not allowed to interfere with you.
Freedom of speech and of petition, such things they cannot stop,
If we insist on being free; we’ll know just what we’ve got,
But when they pass out goodies by taking things from others,
What we get was necessarily taken from our brothers.

Now if you think they’ll take from them, but not take things from you,
I’ve got a bridge to sell you, pal, a deal you’ll come to rue.
They see the proletariat as the class where we belong.
Trading freedom for state care is just a siren song.
If you are tempted to believe the state’s care will be great,
Ask Sitting Bull how it worked out; what was his people’s fate?

We can all be citizens, free and independent,
Or we can be just vassals, on the state dependent.
Freedom is quite costly, and it’s often very hard,
But you must throw it all away to choose to be a ward.
I know not what all may choose, freedom or dependence.
But as for me our negative rights are all that can defend us.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Barack as Caudillo

Barack has got plans for you and for me,
But they’re not embraced by the bourgeoisie.
His spending and taxes will soon fill the bill.
Stagflation will pauper us, leave us with nil.
Just like in the song called "Government Cheese",
When we’re all beggars, we’re easily pleased.
A banana republic is how it will end,
With Barack as caudillo, an endless downtrend.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Jack Be Nimble on Obamacare

Barack is nimble and he's quick.
He'll give you care when you are sick,
Unless, of course the cost's too high,
Which is when he'll let you die.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Zimbabwe Option

Power Line points to a Jeffrey Roger Hummel article discussing our future.

According to the article, we have three options:

1. We can try to get off cheap on repaying treasury securities through comparatively modest inflation.

2. We can default on treasury securities.
3. We can adopt the Zimbabwe option, repudiating the national debt indirectly through hyper inflation.

Mr Hummel is optimistic enough to believe the political class would avoid option 3 and does not believe option 1 will work. That leaves us with option 2. I don't know whether option 1 would work, but Mr. Hummel offers plausible reasons why not.

No option is good. Option 1 would severely damage the American economy. Option 2 would put an end to America as we know it, dramatically reducing our standard of living. Option 3 would leave us streaming into Mexico, looking for something to eat. My seat-of-the-pants guess is something in between 2 and 3.

Oh frabjous day. Obama is The One.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Role of the IRS in Obamacare

[I]f the plan envisioned by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats is enacted, the primary federal bureaucracy responsible for implementing and enforcing national health care will be an old and familiar one: the Internal Revenue Service.
Giving a new perspective on the use of the word "internal" in the Internal Revenue Service.

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Coinage of the Day

Daniel Henninger gets it with the term "lumpen bureaucratariat," as in:
In short, the lumpen electorate works, and the lumpen bureaucratariat spends. They get away with it because they have perfected the illusion that no human hand causes these commitments. The payroll tax just happens. Entitlements are "off-budget," presumably in the hands of God. This is government without the responsibility of governance.
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Use of the term "Death Panels" is a vile GOP distortion?

The Telegraph reports:
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.
But fears of death panels in Obamacare are fear-mongering distortions? If the Dems want to hold up European health care systems are the model to which they aspire, do they not have to address the negative aspects of those systems?

Defenders of Obamacare will say it is my own personality defect that I cannot put aside such trivial concerns and rest assured that:

Obama loves me, this I know,
For Pelosi tells me so.
All of us to him belong
For we are weak and he is strong.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tax All the Rubes in the Wildwood

Some may be familiar with the hymn titled "Little Brown Church in the Vale." It's one of the old-time, pleasant sounding hymns that, ironically in light of the lyrics, I recall from my childhood. And it has inspired doggerel:

Tax, tax, tax, tax,
Tax all the rubes in the wildwood,
Tax all the rubes in the vale.
No sport is as dear to a Congresshood
As taxing all the rubes in the vale.

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Contrasting Obama and LBJ

Keith Hennessey writes of how poor leadership from the Obama administration has contributed to the legislative problems in enacting Obamacare.
I think much of the chaos we are seeing results from a combination of:

Presidential indecision about which path to take and a lack of preparedness for the different paths;

an ever-changing message from the White House;

and a flawed set of policies and substantive arguments to which American citizens are reacting harshly.
Contrast that with Lyndon Johnson's approach to getting Great Society legislation enacted. A consummate leader in the Senate, Johnson's personality and skill were major factors in the success of his legislative agenda. I was young and naive enough at the time to be excited about the quantity of reform legislation pouring out of Washington.

I am profoundly grateful that, unlike LBJ, Barack Obama never bothered with the drudge work of getting legislation enacted.

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