Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Regroup
I had sorta forgotten that I had this blog. Looking back through some of the old posts it's just a mishmash of my thoughts, along with some interesting projects and life events. I may retire this blog and start another, or simply overhaul this one and remove most of the old content. Either way, this blog is effectively suspended for the time being.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another month, another Garmin 310XT giveaway from DC Rainmaker! I have the Garmin 305 and absolutely love it!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

DCRainMaker is at it again, giving away another Garmin Forerunner 310XT.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

What the Hell is Going ON?!?!?

I am just astounded. Simply astounded.

The excessive spending and intrusion upon personal freedoms seen during the Bush Years (particularly the second term) were bad enough, especially watching them end with ridiculous taxpayer bailouts....but less than three months into the Obama Administration I am truly in awe of just how quickly America is being torn down and rebuilt into a socialist (even fascist) state before our very eyes. And people are just going along with it like it's a good thing.

Among the things we've seen so far...

- Pushing through spending that will top $11 trillion dollars over the next several years
- Seeking to eliminate the "conscience clause" that protects doctors from discrimination for refusing to perform medical procedures (such as abortions) that violate their conscience
- We are seeing the government take controlling ownership of major financial and industrial corporations
- We are seeing the government willfully violate Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the US Constitution by passing legislation to take bonuses back from corporations
- We have just agreed to place our corporations under the jurisdiction of the Financial Stability Board, placing American companies under the global regulation of the IMF and FSB without any recourse or appeal.

There are many other things that have already happened that simply defy justification in light of our Constitution and the founding of this nation. The pace isn't slowing, it's increasing. I fear for where we're headed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis Advancements with Non-Embryonic Stem Cells

Once again, we have news of medical advancements as the result of the use of NON-embryonic stem cells, and this time it's news that hits a personal note for me. Scientists have been able to stabilize or reverse Multiple Sclerosis using haemopoeitic stem cells harvested from the patient's own bone marrow. It essentially allows them to reset the immune system by removing the white blood cells that are attacking the myelin coating around the nerves and using the stem cells to create new white blood cells. While it's not the first time this has been done, it's the first time they've done it in patients with Relapsing-Remitting MS that have only had the disease for a relatively short period of time (about five years or so).

I'm excited about this news because so much progress is being made right now in treating this disease, and doubly so because this is yet another example of medical advancements being achieved using non-embryonic stem cells. The fact remains as well that in over ten years of research now, there is not a single approved treatment or human trial using embryonic stem cells. There are literally dozens upon dozens of therapies and and cures that have been developed using non-embryonic stem cells, including things like bone marrow transplants for leukemia patients. Despite what the media would have you believe, there IS embryonic stem cell research being's simply not federally funded. All the research that has been done thusfar has not produced a single cure or therapy, yet some insist we must ignore ethical concerns about an embryo being a human life and use tax money taken from taxpayers who DO have those ethical concerns to fund further research in a field that has thusfar produced absolutely nothing.

It's ironic that these people have no qualms about destroying life in the name of preserving it.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crucial Turning Point

I didn't watch President Bush is address the nation last night, making the case for a proposal by his administration to spend $700 billion in taxpayer money to bail out financial institutions and (allegedly) avoid the complete collapse of the American financial system. I couldn't...because I'm entirely too pissed off about it.

I'm pissed because that's my money. They are using my money to rescue these financial institutions from their own ineptitude. This quote pretty much sums it up on this aspect:

Much of the $700 billion will flow to investment-community friends of Paulson, Bush and other administration figures. Average Americans who behaved irresponsibly by signing gimmick mortgages may get some taxpayer aid from the Paulson proposal, and maybe they should get none. But in the end, average Americans will still be liable for most of what they owe -- that is, will still be held responsible for their actions. Wealthy, politically connected insiders who run banks and companies such as American International Group will be exempt for responsibility for their actions, and will stuff taxpayer-subsidized millions into their pockets.
This action represents a definitive turning point in the history of this country, where we cast off any notion of being a free market society and openly embrace collectivism (or "Progressive Corporatism" if you will). Somehow we're supposed to believe that we need more regulation of financial though that isn't what caused this problem in the first place. Consider what Larry Elder has to say:
Ever hear of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO)? This
agency, which employs 200 people, exists for one thing and one thing only – to
"oversee" Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the "government-sponsored entities" that
own or guarantee 40 percent of the nation's residential mortgages. Mere months
before Freddie and Fannie's collapse and subsequent government takeover, OFHEO
issued a report that saw only clear sailing. The Community Reinvestment Act,
passed in 1977, mandated that lenders lend to high-risk borrowers – or else. The
government actually held up prudent bank mergers if one or both
sides did not sufficiently "lend" to borrowers who, under normal circumstances,
failed to qualify. Why is the federal government in the housing business in the
first place? We need less government, not more regulation.
Risk is a large part of finance, and a concept that is becoming increasingly foreign not only to consumers in our culture, but also to corporate entities now that they have the safety net of federal bailout. Remove the risk of failure, and people will take increasingly irresponsible risks. Keep bailing them out, and they will never stop doing it. Why would you not take risks if you know there was no real chance of experiencing the negative consequences of failure?

As Megan McArdle points out, "The Paulson plan is not a plan. It's a plan to maybe have a plan at some unspecified point in the future. The basic idea seems to be that we give the Fed a big pot of money, which it hands over to banks in exchange for illiquid securities. Essentially, we're recapitalizing the banks with federal money." She goes on to point out that nearly every conceivable necessary detail one would want to know before signing on for such a proposition is largely absent from the discussion. True to form, the federal government is trying to sucker us into the same thing they did the financial institutions: "take this risk or else, and don't worry it will us!"

Now don't get me wrong...there is most definitely a measure of accountability to which the decision makers in these finanacial institutions must be held, just as those citizens who made foolish choices in taking out mortgage loans they could not afford will be held accountable for their decisions. This proposal thusfar fails to establish such proper accountability. The proposed cap on executive salaries and bonuses does not establish such uses the guise of doing so to further meddle in free markets by trying to somehow legislate against greed. It attacks the symptom rather than the disease.

One Presidential candidate that not only could see this coming but did everything in his power to stop it was Ron Paul.* I am more inclined than ever to write his name in on my ballot this November. He is precisely the type of leader this country needs, and unless we send more men (and women) like him to Washington this country will continue to spiral until their is true tyranny and revolution.

* I would be remiss if I did not admit as well that John McCain saw this coming too in the case of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, and proposed legislation to try and fix the problem. That said, the solution to the problem is not more legislation but elimination of much of the legislation that brought the problem about in the form of "affirmative action" style regulations forcing the banking industry to give higher percentages of loans to low-income and other groups that would otherwise not have qualified for these loans. In other words, the federal government mandated that these banks take more and higher risks than they otherwise would have, with the consequence for non-compliance being tremendous restrictions upon their ability to do business.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Conservatism Has A New Face

Picture from The Sun

The reaction was predictable...and telling. The morning after Sarah Palin's brilliant GOP Convention speech, they best the left can come up with is that she was engaging in "mean-spirited personal attacks" and has a hairdo from 20 years ago.

Oh sure, you get your typical liberal whining from the LA Times, but it doesn't really address a single thing Palin only decries conservatism in general with a long string of ridiculous emotion-based (rather than reason-based) arguments. It assumes that liberalism is self-evident truth (rather than self-preserving socialism) and then slams Palin for not falling in goose-step with that "truth."

As to the "mean-spirited personal attacks" that is a laughable charge. Let's look at some of these "personal attacks" included in her speech:

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. - A subtle reference to Michelle Obama and her statement, as support for her husband began to solidify, that she was proud of America "for the first time in [her] adult life." I'm sorry...there's nothing "mean-spirited" about reminding people of the constant dragging down of America that Obama and those around him engage in.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. - A direct rebuttal to the Obama campaign's criticism of her supposed inexperience immediately following McCain's announcement of her as his running mate. Now of course community organizers are good people in principle. Unsurprisingly, Obama's attack dog (campaign manager David Plouffe) tried to spin Palin's comments into a derision of the notion that your average ordinary person can play a role in political leadership. The problem is that you can't deride a vice presidential candidate's executive experience as the mayor of a town when your presidential candidate has NO executive experience and lists "community organizer" among his credentials. Again, this is not "mean-spirited." This is a direct response to a challenge to Palin's own experience by the Obama campaign.

I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.
- What is "mean-spirited" about reminding people of how Barack Obama spoke of the "bitter" folks of Middle America who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment." How dare Gov Palin remind us of Obama's view of Middle America as preached to elitist Californians!

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate. - I still see nothing "mean-spirited" about pointing out the fact that Barack Obama has indeed never authored a single piece of major legislation in his time in Illinois or Washington, yet indeed he has had time to author two memoirs. There is nothing "mean-spirited" about pointing out his utter lack of leadership in this respect, especially after putting forth her own numerous accomplishments.

I'm sure there are several more "personal attacks" in the speech, but again...what do you expect Sarah Palin to do when the Obama campaign goes directly at her and dismisses her years of executive experience as inconsequential?

The left (most especially the mainstream media) has thusfar woefully underestimated Sarah Palin. Last night gave them a clearer picture of what they're dealing with, and the reaction has ranged from naked panic to panic disquised as dismissiveness. Whether or not I ultimately end up voting for McCain-Palin, I will love seeing the MSM squirm as they try to deal with the self-proclaimed "pit bull" and staunch conservative that is Sarah Palin

Ideological Party Shifts

Something else I've been thining about increasingly is the ideological shifts of both of the major political parties. Over the past decade and a half the Republican Party has been taken over by neocons and true conservatives have been pushed to the side. Well, the same thing has happened to the Democratic Party, but in the opposite direction. Mainstream Democrats have been pushed to the side by ultra-liberal, types who have taken over the party. Obama's nomination and candidacy are proof positive of this. That is the only way that the most liberal Senator in Congress could be tapped as his party's nominee despite being a woefully inexperienced freshman. This fact was further reinforced today when his VP candidate, Joe Biden, said that he and Obama would pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if elected. In other words, they're taking a page right out of the liberal whacko playbook (and in so doing appealing to their real base, the ultra-liberal fringe).

I feel bad for the true Democrats, mostly because as a conservative I can sympathize.

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