Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Bird of ill Omen?

Soros has called gloom and doom on the world banking system. Read it here. Scares me. Let's just say he witnessed the trashing of the Bank of England, the Russian Ruble, and now.... Follow the money?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stimulated in LA

Just got off the phone with the little one who lives in LA at the moment. She's a trifle incensed as she's hearing that in lieu of a state refund, she can expect an IOU. She's contemplating paying her federal tax with California's IOU. Sign of the times.

Politics, Puberty and the Public

It does not take much imagination to look around at the moment and notice that the single biggest problem is not the economy as much as it is the immaturity of a society of superannuated adolescents.

Start with our politics, which exhibit nothing more than the dynamics of high school. Everyone wants to be cool, be a part of the in crowd. There is no room for reasoned debate. Civil discourse has devolved into one part name-calling, one part mockery, and two parts strong arming. And cynical manipulation of truth has become the medium of communication in government, stratagems which go unreported by a co-opted press.

On the public side, we whine and expect someone else to take care of us, pay for our health insurance, rescue us from our errors. There is no thought given to the rights of others who have acted responsibly or even to future generations. We have a pecuniary cold at the moment, so we are perfectly willing to inflict pneumonia on future generations. Gone seems to be the notion of taking responsibility for oneself.

Perhaps it is because for too long, this country has not faced the kind of adversity that makes you grow up. One has to wonder what those earlier generations would think of us today. I can only guess.

Tripping the Light Fantastic: Bollywood in Cuba

The fascination with the foreign film in this household has led to watching four hour Bollywood epics. I can only imagine the product if the Havana regime succeeds in luring Indian filmakers to Cuba as a location. Think about the possibilities.... salsa in a sari.... I'd better stop now. I don't want to offend anyone. I actually enjoy the films, mostly. Read about it here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Vote for George

Anne Coulter's column this week reminds me of something that's been nagging me. As I read all these rankings of American Presidents, I'm always surprised that George Washington is almost never front and center, number one. As I watch the machinations of Chavez in Venezuela in the grand tradition of leaders who come in to power and refuse to leave, I am always struck by the nobility of our first leader. What would have happened to our grand democratic tradition if he had availed himself of the power offered to him? He was the one who defined the office. What greater achievement could there be?

A Study in Civility

In between fits of the vapours every time I hear another horrendously large sum to be tossed into the Democrat maw that is the government these days, I rouse myself only to find the tenor of our political discourse sinking ever more rapidly into a morass of juvenile petulance. Rahm Emanuel tells us to find the measure of the man, our President Obama, in his mockery of Republicans. The White House website includes a caption under a "bipartisan meeting" noting GOP requests for autographs, as well as their bad manners in failing to vote for the stimulus. A recent speech shows Obama using the kind of accusatory rhetoric usually reserved for campaigns.

Two observations:
If el Presidente wanted to garner Republican votes perhaps he should have crafted a package that a Republican could sign on to, instead of the nancipolooza they were served. Did he expect them to bend over?

One of the very first lessons on the playground is that one should not be a sore loser but rather a gracious winner. And as he pointed out to the Republicans, "We won."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday on the Soapbox

Financial Follies. In the Wall Street Journal, William McGurn warns of the Nancy Pelosi effect. In a scathing article, he highlights her mismanagement and her looming status as an albatross around the new administration's neck. And from Governor of South Carolina Mark Stanford over on CNN comes this strongly argued position on the porkulus bill. Stanford has distinguished himself as an articulate spokesman against the behemoth, an exercise not in pork barrel spending, but in payback.

Silver Lining? So so says Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor over in England. In an interview at the Times on Line, the Catholic Prelate's view that the economic upheaval may actually turn out to be a good thing as it forces the country to change it's wicked ways is highlighted. Most of interest, however, is a more moderate perspective of a morally bankrupt society.

Presidential Metrics. Also at the Times is a ranking of the US presidents. Among the top scorers are Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and Dwight Eisenhower. At the bottom, yeah, George Bush and Nixon. Excuse me, but I find it a tad presumptuous.

Scientific Milestones? Let's start with the crash of the satellites, a working American and derelict Soviet one. According to the AP, experts fear the debris could be a menace. I've read elsewhere that even the Hubble could be imperiled. Back on Earth, the mummy of a young Egyptian temple singer has been virtually unwrapped without opening the sarcophagus. Ah, the miracle of modern science. Read it at CNN here.

Last Gasp. Had to include this one. Ohmigosh, the Kansas Department of Education has been caught in an error by a high school student. In a year, no one had noticed that omission had mistakenly been used for emission. Happens to us all. Read all about it. Meantime Fox News has come up with a list of the top ten deadliest stretches of road in America. Two are in South Florida. Given the driving habits I've observed further south, I'm not surprised.