Part 3 – Efficiency (NOT)
I wrote a book review about one of the scariest books that I have ever read. After more than three decades The Amityville Horror is still the scariest book that I have read. I have recently been frightened by another playbook, the government playbook.
Our founding fathers had experience with big government and its effects on freedom. They built many measures into the Constitution to limit the size of government. They were particularly concerned about a large federal government. I have recently worked for government for the past nine years and am amazed when people express a desire for government to “take over” something.
Part 2 – Blackmail
I know that sounds extreme, but it happens all of the time in (and to) government. The media never really calls it blackmail, but that is what it is. How many times have you heard a politician say that we need to do something (raise taxes, bail out some company, sell a senate seat) or things will get worse? That is blackmail.
A recent local example involves the construction of a subway line in Pittsburgh. Yes Pittsburgh has a subway!
Hopefully by now you have read my review of Bernie Goldberg’s book, Bias. The mainstream (drive by) media cannot seem to differentiate between news and commentary. Maybe I can help. News is what happens and you are supposed to write about. To quote a famous TV show from my youth “The facts ma’am, just the facts.” (the show was Dragnet)
In a Commentary, however, is where you give your opinion. The media can be so cute when they confuse the two. By cute, I mean irritating. The latest example was an article from Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press about the Republican National Committee electing Michael Steele as their national chairman. Mr. Steele happens to be black and is the first black RNC chairman in history.
I probably could not have chosen a worse time to make my case for the repeal of the 17th Amendment. As I write this Illinois Governor Blagojevich is on his world innocence tour while avoiding his impeachment trial. In New York, the last two weeks of news has been dominated by talk of whether Caroline Kennedy has the right stuff. Gov. Paterson did not think so and mud was slung. Delaware’s choice to replace Vice-President Biden did not get as much press, but many believe that state’s new senator is a “place-holder” for Biden’s son, Beau.
How to enjoy work as much as play
“You have got to be kidding me,” I thought as my former boss handed me a book that had these words on the cover. I read this book many years ago, but was recently reminded of it when I saw a copy at a bookstore. I was tempted to buy it, but I thought that I still had my copy and sure enough, I found it where it has been buried in my nightstand drawer for over a decade.
I had an epiphany this morning. Well maybe it was not a true epiphany, but something struck me. I am a fairly conservative guy working in a field dominated by left-leaning individuals. On many issues, we do not see eye-to-eye. In fact, I do not even feel completely comfortable when they know about my conservative beliefs. There are not many of us there. We do not have a secret handshake, but it is nice when you are around someone with beliefs like your beliefs.
Part 1 – UNIVERSAL PAIN
In these tough economic times there are daily gloom and doom headlines about a recession or that we may be heading into a depression. A common phrase that politicians and newsreaders like to use is something like “we are facing an economy that may be as bad as the Great Depression.”
Be very careful when politicians and newsreaders agree on a storyline. It usually means that you will lose some freedom or at least some money.
There is a lot of talk about cutting taxes and taxing the rich and tax rebates and our new president’s statement that we all will all have to feel a little pain. I am not a wimp, but I am against politicians causing me pain to help pull us out of tailspin they caused. I started thinking about taxes that we all could live with.
- I am proposing a 50% tax on Hollywood celebrities (actors, producers, directors, etc.) that make more than $500,000 for any one film or more than $10,000 per episode of a TV show.
February 6, 2009 Update: The Obama Administration’s continued flirtation with law-breakers keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Here are his latest poor choices:
Secretary of the Health and Human Services – Tom Daschle: It seems the former senator “forgot” to pay $128,000 in taxes over three years. He paid the back taxes plus $12,000 in interest and penalties seemingly right before his confirmation hearings. It was also disclosed that Mr. Daschle also made millions of dollars since he failed to win re-election in 2004. He was paid by a law firm, but is not a lawyer and claimed that he is not a lobbyist. If it gets paid like a lobbyist and looks like a lobbyist and smells like a lobbyist, he mustn’t be a lobbyist.